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  1. #1
    Site Groupie President_Luthor's Avatar
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    Loved It? Hated It? What did you think of "Bratva"?

    What did you think, Arrowheads?

    Lots of stuff to digest. We had both Diggle and Felicity crossing a line, Oliver too (doing some temp work for the Bratva), with Ollie pulling at least Diggle from the brink, thanks to a pep talk from Dinah. Good line about the past being an anchor, though Ollie needing someone to tell him was a bit predictable. Dinah was alright here, we got to see her work with the team and there was no mention of wigs or masks.

    Felicity is still on the dark path, no surprise. What was surprising was Ragman's departure. He survived but smothering a nuke cost him his suit. Too bad, he got extra points for outing Felicity's line crossing to Oliver ... though he still has no idea what she did. Without Rory, who's going to put Felicity's darkness in check?

    It won't be Oliver at the moment -- because he got some! Russia is a lucky place for him. Or ... is it? Susan has pieced together that Flashback Oliver and some dude in a hood were in Russia at the same time. And she knows about the Bratva tattoo.

    Flashbacks were cool, and Oliver got further revenge on behalf of addict Thea. No dithering about killing here, he's heading into Hood turf.

    Liked the connection between Quentin and Rene. This either means Wild Dog is sticking around, or that one (or both) of them have a double date with Death and Glory by season's end. And no, those aren't metas.

    Diggle going all berserk in this ep seemed a bit off, but they made him come full circle from Andy's death.

    A lot to chew on in this ep.
    Last edited by President_Luthor; 02-09-2017 at 08:24 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'm doing reaction vids now so I'll do the highlights here.

    Good Stuff:

    - We get some idea of why there was no serious blowback from the Bratva after Alexi died. I saw two reasons: first, Anatoli doesn't like him anyways; second, why kill what could be a potential resource in the future? He knows Oliver's skills, knows that Oliver is Green Arrow (seriously, anyone connected to Oliver's past who's seen him with Yao Fei's Hood would know it was him), so why not wait until you can use that? Especially now that Oliver is Star City's beloved mayor. The way Anatoli spoke in this episode... it strongly suggested the Bratva becoming a problem either later this season or being the primary antagonist for Season 6.

    - Dinah fits in well with the team, which honestly furthers my suspicions that either those rumors about Katie Cassidy being cast before everyone else (or shoved into the role) were true, or she really wasn't giving Arrow her all, since her work outside of Arrow has been stellar. I also loved how she was basically like, "They told me when you get like this to just let you brood, but I hate brooding, so we're gonna talk this out." Also love that it was her Oliver turned to.

    - Wild Dog: "Oliver didn't want me starting an international incident." Also loved his story about Lance and what he did for Wild Dog when he was a kid.

    - Ragman's sacrifice: What was it that Oliver quoted back in Season 2? "The essence of heroism is to die so that others can live." Ragman nearly made the ultimate sacrifice, and as it is, he's out for the count for the time being.

    - Felicity surprised me. EBR hasn't shown herself to handle dramatic roles well, or perhaps she just needed the right director. Either way, I fully bought Felicity's darker side in this episode and it was a heck of a lot better than her 'dark side' from 5x10, which reminded me more of post 4x15 Felicity... However, the one down-side to this is they emulated those stupid Bratva!Felicity fics... its called a BROTHERHOOD for a reason, you morons!

    Meh Stuff:

    - I honestly could care less for Dig's man-pain issues and need to bring in Walker.

    - While I enjoyed the scenes where the original OTA were trying to figure out what their dynamic was, I think they were shoving that too hard... which makes me wonder if the plan for this season does mean an end to OTA. THey've shown to be taking the criticisms of last season into account, and one of those criticisms was their lack of a plan regarding the grave and how you need to build up to something like that. For example, we've built up to Ragman's actions in this episode, and I was actually feeling like, "Don't tell me you killed him!" So if that is what they're doing by bringing up the OTA stuff this season... I applaud. Otherwise, they need to remember that over-focus on that and Olicity was what dragged the series down in the first place. Or rather, the melodrama connected to the two.

    All in all, I would give this episode a solid 6. It was good, but not spectacular, and there were issues even with some of the good stuff. I especially have to dock a point just for the Bratva!Felicity BS.

  3. #3
    It's the mileage... costas22's Avatar
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    It was ok. I kind of hoped that it would live up to the previous Russia-heavy episode they did (Keep your enemies closer), but it came nowhere close, sadly. For the second week running, the best part was the flashbacks.

    Anatoly is a character I can't get enough of. There's something about David Aykl that makes the character very enjoyable, even when his scenes are supposed to be serious. He also seems to have a pretty good chemistry with Stephen, making Anatoly's friendship with Oliver fun to watch. I also liked the fact that this episode addressed Oliver falling out with the Bratva during the Slade crisis. Leaving the door open for future Oliver-Bratva stuff was a wise move, because it leaves the window open for future Anatoly appearances, even after his role in the flashbacks ends.

    Can't say I'm a fan of the whole "I have a darkness inside me" theme. It's one of Arrow's most recycled plots and it never gets propery addressed anyway. Oliver has had about 85 bouts of it, Diggle has had a couple as well and now Felicity has her own. It also didn't help that after Oliver, Diggle and Felicity have this breakthrough about how each person makes the other better, Felicity decides to carry on with her own agenda anyway.

    Speaking of Felicity, while her scenes weren't as annoying as they were in Who are you?, I fail to realize the point of this storyline. Are we supposed to believe her dark turn stems from Billy's death? Because sorry, I didn't see Felicity care enough about Billy on screen to justify such a change. Is she suddenly not satisfied with the work she's doing for Team Arrow? How come? Going back to her hacktivist phase feels like character regression more than anything. And the fact that she blackmailed someone to get what she wanted proved that point. Finally, I found her insinuation that Oliver took Tina somewhere to sleep with her quite distasteful. She knows that Oliver is seeing Susan now and that he hasn't been the cheating type for a long time and she doesn't know Tina well enough to make such assumptions.

    Tina already being a full fledged member of Team Arrow felt off. Not that I expected a long initiation process or anything, but she went from being recruited one week to knowing everyone and joining the team on missions straight away.

    Rory's departure was a sad moment, seeing as he was by far the most likeable of the new recruits. At least he went out in style by saving the day in grand fashion. On the positive side, making Team Arrow a bit smaller won't hurt. With Tina involved, the team included 7 members.

    The Quentin/Rene scenes were ok, but I don't get why everyone just suddenly went along with Rene being Quentin's assistant. Even Susan Williams. Not sure what's the deal with Willa Holland, but this was exactly the kind of storyline she was needed in.

    It was nice to see Susan back this week. The stuff with Oliver was indifferent, but her investigation into his past is quite intriguing.

    5/10
    Last edited by costas22; 02-09-2017 at 02:59 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDBentz View Post
    I'm doing reaction vids now so I'll do the highlights here.

    Good Stuff:

    - We get some idea of why there was no serious blowback from the Bratva after Alexi died. I saw two reasons: first, Anatoli doesn't like him anyways; second, why kill what could be a potential resource in the future? He knows Oliver's skills, knows that Oliver is Green Arrow (seriously, anyone connected to Oliver's past who's seen him with Yao Fei's Hood would know it was him), so why not wait until you can use that? Especially now that Oliver is Star City's beloved mayor. The way Anatoli spoke in this episode... it strongly suggested the Bratva becoming a problem either later this season or being the primary antagonist for Season 6.

    - Dinah fits in well with the team, which honestly furthers my suspicions that either those rumors about Katie Cassidy being cast before everyone else (or shoved into the role) were true, or she really wasn't giving Arrow her all, since her work outside of Arrow has been stellar. I also loved how she was basically like, "They told me when you get like this to just let you brood, but I hate brooding, so we're gonna talk this out." Also love that it was her Oliver turned to.
    That makes sense of why there was no blow back for what Oliver did in season 2 and yeah the setting up of either a villain for this season or next.

    I'm kind of hoping it's next season. (Which the reasons I'll put in the spoiler thread)

    In regards to KC and her ending up on Arrow. Yeah If KC was forced onto Arrow or didn't do any real tests with any of the actors chemistry wise, it would explain a decent amount. There might be some truth to those rumors despite, who the supposed source is. This is Hollywood after all.

    Well I think given what we have been piecing together it might make some sense. After all KC has a decent more of acting credits compared to the rest and with it, more money and her father was a former actor, who most likely still have a few connections.

  5. #5
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    Alright episode. Oliver isn't very good with recruiting I must say. One defected to the dark-side, one lost their raggy powers and one is probably going to end up dead by the end of the season I imagine.

    Didn't care for Quentin's scenes with Rene. Should have got Thea to do them instead of Rene.

    I'm amused by Susan playing Oliver. This is going to backfire majorly on him.

    I'm wondering if Prometheus turns out to be someone Oliver doesn't want to kill, Felicty will hire someone to kill him.

  6. #6
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    Loved it! Great episode!
    For me the OTA scenes were also too much, because the dynamic between those three for me gets same old, recycled and boring.

    That is why I love the new additions. Rory has great chemistry with Felicity. Too bad he left.

    Dinah and Oliver - awesome stuff. I like her a lot on the field too. She is now my favorite part.

    Anatoly is great.

    The flashbacks were also great. I was hoping exactly for that - action filled flashbacks where Oliver is actually doing something, not only serving as punching bag. Talia al Gul is also very good. Can't wait to see what she will want in return.

    Oliver and Susan - intriguing Most people hate Susan, because she seems not genuine, but I like the aspect she brings, that she stirs the things up, I like that she is shady and nothing is safe with her.

  7. #7
    Site Groupie President_Luthor's Avatar
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    It was Diggle who I couldn't really digest in this ep. He was in alpha berserker mode in this ep. I can appreciate that he's ticked that Walker screwed him over, but the way he was acting in being the unhinged temperamental one in a room that included Oliver Queen (!) it was a bit much esp. when he went to beat the crap out of that dude after Oliver said it wasn't necessary. I'd go so far as to say he was a bit OOC for the sake of hammering home the darkness theme. It was a rehash of what he went through with Andy. Ollie should have left Diggle at home and brought Rene instead.

    Felicity's darkness arc - while I can see how some of it is annoying (her faux-Bratva blackmail scheme was bordering on silly ... Curtis and Rory: Worst. Fake henchmen. Ever.) - after enduring two seasons of relationship heavy angst, I feel she needs something, a subplot, anything unrelated to her status with Oliver that could give her some development. And I think her grief over Billy (hey, I know, it happened largely offscreen) is only part of it. Post-Havenrock guilt is part of other too, Laurel's death, etc. and it seems Rory was one of the few teammates who could have kept her "darkness" in check and now he's gone.

    We could even argue that without Laurel, who seemed to have kept the team's moral compass aligned, everyone is off-balance, hence all the out of whack behaviour from the vets who should know better.

    Felicity is OK with blackmail now, so it looks like it will be easier for her to slip into old (bad) hacker habits with each task she completes from Pandora. Felicity's behaviour was irksome; Diggle's came off as batty. Maybe he needs some Ivy Town downtime, like, yesterday. I think a five day stay at Disney World with Lyla and Junior should be on-deck.

    Anatoly is great, I'm hoping he does get to stick around even beyond S5, though if there is a season he could be written off it would be this one.

    One of the reviews suggested that the Quentin-Rene connection would have resonated better had they revealed it earlier in the season. Here, they just sprung it on us. I liked their scenes but it would have been more effective if we'd learned that Rene crossed paths with beat cop Quentin sooner than we did.Anyway it either means they're safe through S6 or ... on the edge of (death) and glory by season's end.

  8. #8
    Site Groupie Shelby Kent's Avatar
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    Well, that was quite the little sociopathic scene, where Talia nonchalantly offered up some clueless low-level drug dealers for target practice for Ollie, and he went right along with it. Pretty dark. Their deaths were nothing more than a means for Oliver to increase his proficiency in his archery and fighting skills. Okay... I'm not sure but I think...maybe I kind of felt bad for those drug dealers???

    Later, in FB scene where Oliver is at Anatoly's hospital bedside, Oliver seemed very comfortable and confident embracing the idea of killing someone (Gregor) as a way to solve problems. I've missed a lot of episodes this season -- has he previously been this comfortable with killing (in FBs) or did this represent a newfound level of confidence, inspired perhaps by his lessons from Talia? I guess what I mean is that he seemed very proactive, certain and definite when he offered up the idea to Anatoly, and I was wondering if this might be due to Talia's influence?

    Still curious as to why Talia so badly wants him to go back and keep his promise to his father.

    Really enjoyed the Oliver-Anatoly scenes, including the punch "greeting." I don't know why, but I felt like Oliver deserved it. I like the complexity of their relationship, the feelings of tension, suspense, mutual respect & wariness etc. I think the actor playing Anatoly does an excellent job and he's the one I found myself watching closely anytime he was present in a scene. He seems to have a quiet & subtle kind of charisma that kept me hooked, wondering: what's he thinking? what's he going to do? what's he up to?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Kent View Post
    Still curious as to why Talia so badly wants him to go back and keep his promise to his father.
    I might be clutching at straws here, but The List was created by Malcolm. Talia's sister hates Malcolm, which maybe rubbed off on her?

    Maybe there are things we don't know about The List yet even. Prometheus is supposed to tie in with events from Season One.

    I hope the writers don't disappoint us with Talia...

  10. #10
    Site Groupie Shelby Kent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quark View Post
    I might be clutching at straws here, but The List was created by Malcolm. Talia's sister hates Malcolm, which maybe rubbed off on her?

    Maybe there are things we don't know about The List yet even. Prometheus is supposed to tie in with events from Season One.

    I hope the writers don't disappoint us with Talia...

    Good points. That would be interesting if they came up w/ a new angle to explore re: The List. The List was one of my favorite things about S1.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quark View Post
    I might be clutching at straws here, but The List was created by Malcolm. Talia's sister hates Malcolm, which maybe rubbed off on her?
    Nyssa doesn't hate Malcolm until present day of Season 3, which is three years ahead of where the flashbacks are. So its not because of Nyssa.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Kent View Post
    Good points. That would be interesting if they came up w/ a new angle to explore re: The List. The List was one of my favorite things about S1.
    Oh yes, The List is also one of my favourite things.

    It could also easily tie in with the present, as Prometheus has killed people on The List. Seeing as Talia seems to have taught Prometheus some moves, maybe she also has a copy of The List and wants Prometheus to do whatever she intended Oliver to do as well?

    The thing that I found most interesting with The List was why Ra's al Ghul decided that what Malcolm had done was so terrible, when he has done pretty awful things himself.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quark View Post
    It could also easily tie in with the present, as Prometheus has killed people on The List

    The thing that I found most interesting with The List was why Ra's al Ghul decided that what Malcolm had done was so terrible, when he has done pretty awful things himself.
    Did Prometheus kill people on The List or was it just people that their names ended up in whatever Curtis said from his program of they came out to be people on The List? Because from what I remember Prometheus never killed anybody from The List.

    In the season 2.5 comics it was revealed Malcolm never asked permission and became hunted because of that.

  14. #14
    Site Groupie President_Luthor's Avatar
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    That was my understanding, that Malcolm had disobeyed Ra's and had essentially gone rogue.

    There are no shades of grey with the LOA -- he is either obedient to them, or he is disloyal. And the Undertaking wasn't sanctioned by Ra's, even though wiping out a city to cleanse it would be a League m.o. in any other situation. Ra's wants to do that to the whole world, but only he gets to make that call. And he actually did make the (official) call in S3 when he thought Al Sahhim would do his bidding re: SC.

    I'd think Malcolm should be dead many times over, once he stopped being a Ra's. He's on his 10th or 11th life at this point.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggard01 View Post
    Did Prometheus kill people on The List or was it just people that their names ended up in whatever Curtis said from his program of they came out to be people on The List? Because from what I remember Prometheus never killed anybody from The List.

    In the season 2.5 comics it was revealed Malcolm never asked permission and became hunted because of that.
    I'm sure Prometheus was killing people on The List. That's why Oliver was so concerned and why we saw him explaining it to his teammates.

    I didn't know that about Malcolm so thanks for that.

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