Arrow: Bratva review S5, Ep.12 

Bratva proved a nice reminder that there’s more dangers for Team Arrow than simply Prometheus.

Ironically it might not be the vigilante with a mad-on for Green Arrow that could prove Oliver’s undoing, but his girlfriend Susan. She’s starting to piece together that Green Arrow and Oliver Queen are the same person. But what will she do with that information?

Clearly, exposing the mayor as a vigilante would make Susan’s career, but I doubt that would benefit the show long-term. Arrow’s version of Oliver is styled more after Bruce Wayne than Tony Stark. Ditching the secret identity would work if Oliver was more free-wheeling, but it’d be like everyone knowing Bruce Wayne is Batman here. Either way, I’m glad the Susan subplot hadn’t been forgotten.

It was great seeing Quentin Lance back. Team Arrow has missed its Flawed Father Figure. And his back and forth with Rene proved a surprising highlight of the episode. More than any of the other new recruits, Wild Dog has made the easiest fit into the established Arrow dynamic. While Team Arrow is still a little bloated, I’m glad the writers continue to expand his role and bonds with the group.

Arrow Bratva review - Oliver and Anatoly

The main focus of Bratva however, was Team Arrow making a road trip to Russia to prevent Gen. Walker from selling a nuke. Oliver didn’t fully grasp how compromised his team was as they had various agendas.

Diggle desperately wanted payback on Walker and was willing to cross any line while Felicity is becoming obsessed with the info cache provided by her hacking fan. Furthering the Batman connection, Oliver reinforced that he’s fine getting dirty so long as it doesn’t land on Diggle and Felicity. They’re his Harvey Dents — Star City’s White Knights — in a sense.

After a season of flashbacks, it was neat seeing Anatoly (David Nykl) in the current day. As much as he wants to deny it, Oliver still feels a sense of obligation to Bratva, which played out in both time periods. Once you go Bratva, you never go back appears to be a theme for the rest of the season. Arrow hasn’t had this this kind of synergy since Season 2.

Arrow Bratva review - Oliver, Diggle and Felicity

We only got a handful of scenes of just Oliver and Dinah, but between her using a legit Canary Cry and not buying in to Oliver’s broody shtick, I’m close to going ‘Laurel who?’ And I’m looking forward to seeing Lance and Thea’s reaction when they meet Dinah.

In a nice callback to last season when confronted with someone threatening his family, Diggle didn’t pull the trigger this time. But Felicity appears heading in the opposite direction.

Rory losing his Ragman powers to stop the nuke from imploding doesn’t mean much for Team Arrow. He was underutilized anyway, but this was odd timing for his departure since he finally had something to do in playing the Felicity Moral Compass to Felicity.

I’m very intrigued where next episode will go and how Susan’s revelation will play out. And there’s also the matter of when Prometheus will turn up next. Arrow has brought it this season and it only seems to be building momentum.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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