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    Arrow Season 5 Flashback Recap Thread (updated till episode 5x18)

    So this is basically something I've been working on for a while. Its a recap of the flashback narratives of every episode of Season 5, so you can follow the Russia/Bratva arc, and discuss it specifically, on one thread.I'll be periodically updating this post as and when a new episode airs (and also in keeping with the SPOILER rules of this board).

    So here goes-

    Episode 1: In Russia, Oliver is working as a prize fighter. He kills his opponent and then leaves. In an alleyway, he meets with his agent(?) who offers him money for his win but he tells the man he doesn't want money but instead wants the location of Constantine Kovar. However, another man joins them and the agent tells Oliver that he was afraid this would happen as the fighter Oliver killed was a 'top earner' for the man's organization. The man drugs Oliver and as he passes out, he sees three men surrounding him, proclaiming they are Bratva. When Oliver regains consciousness, he is tied to a chair and being questioned about his father's notebook and the names it contains (Adam Hunt, Leo Mueller, Frank Bertinelli, Daniel Brickwell, Jason Brodeur etc.) Oliver says that he's waiting to use the notebook "when he's ready". The Bratva man points his gun at Oliver and almost shoots him but is stopped by Anatoly Knyazev, Oliver's old friend. Once they are alone, Anatoly dislocates Oliver's thumb, telling him its a technique to escape being tied up. Outside, Oliver tells Anatoly that he's come to Russia to kill Kovar as part of an old promise (to Taiana). Anatoly advises him to forget this promise, return home, and start living his life again citing the Russian proverb "A shark that doesn't swim, drown". Oliver refuses and asks Anatoly for help in his mission. Anatoly agrees but tells Oliver that the one way he can help him might kill him. He then takes Oliver to a warehouse where he intends to get Oliver initiated into the Bratva. As the initiation begins, Oliver is jumped by multiple men.

    Episode 2: During the initiation, Oliver and a bunch of other recruits are to compete to ring a bell at the end of a room. Oliver and the other recruits are repeatedly beaten back before they can ring the bell. Oliver 'teams up' with a few of the other recruits to distract some of their opponents. Working with this team, Oliver is able to make it to the end of the room and ring the bell. At that point, Anatoly and the other Bratva recruiters come in and kill the other members of Oliver's 'team'. Oliver is shocked, claiming he would never have teamed up with them if he knew that the unsuccessful recruits would be killed, but Anatoly tells him he deserves to survive and move ahead with the process because he was intelligent enough to use other people. He also tells Oliver that the first rule of initiation is to "trust no one else". At that moment, Oliver notices that his hand is bleeding and he collapses as Anatoly watches.

    Episode 3: When Oliver wakes up, Anatoly reminisces about his ordeal aboard the Amazo and how Oliver is the only one who knows what he went through. Oliver still isn't sure he can trust the Bratva after they killed 'innocent' men, but Anatoly implies the men weren't innocent at all. He asks Oliver to come with him and see something before he makes a final decision about whether to continue with the initiation or not. Later, Anatoly takes Oliver to visit an old lady and shows her a photograph of the corpse of one of the slain recruits. The old lady identifies the corpse as her son's killer and thanks Anatoly for bringing him to justice. Anatoly presents this to Oliver as an example of how Bratva always ensures justice. Later, Anatoly explains to Oliver how Bratva means 'brotherhood' and tells Oliver that his second test is to trust his brothers. Oliver says that he trusts his brothers, and allows Bratva members to slash at his back, trusting they won't kill him.

    Episode 4: Oliver is in a car with Anatoly, about to embark on his final test - to infiltrate a police lock-up where one of Kovar's agents is being held and question the man. Oliver pretends to be a drunk and gets arrested and put in the lock-up. There he confronts Kovar's agent, and identifies himself as a Bratva member. He threatens the man's wife and daughter, forcing him to reveal an IP address on the deep web which leads to Kovar. Oliver then breaks the man's neck. After he is released, Oliver is back with Anatoly in the car. Oliver wasn't entirely convinced that the man needed to be killed, and admits he almost didn't, but finally he went through with it because Anatoly told him to. Anatoly tells Oliver that he is now officially part of Bratva.

    Episode 5: Oliver is brought before a Bratva committee, including Anatoly and another man, Victor, for his formal initiation ceremony. He proclaims his allegiance to Bratva, claiming "I have no family, I have no home, I have no name". Later, at the party celebrating his initiation, Oliver drinks with Anatoly and muses about Taiana and how he hasn't contacted her parents in Russia yet. He then has a hostile conversation with Victor, who refuses to accept him as a part of Bratva and calls him an outsider. Oliver is warned against leaving the party by another man, but he ignores him and steps outside only to be confronted by a couple of men who beat him down. The other man kills his two assailants and tells Oliver to tell his boss that the rest of his fee is due. The man leaves, unmasking himself, and is revealed to be Christopher Chance. Anatoly meets Oliver and tells him that Victor planned to have him killed and Anatoly hired the 'specialist' to protect him. Oliver asks Anatoly what he's gotten himself into and Anatoly claims "that's an interesting question".

    Episode 6: Oliver is being instructed by Anatoly on how to build and set a bomb, and accidentally sets his off. The Bratva hideout they are in is attacked by gunfire, which Anatoly claims is a declaration of war by the Bratva against Kovar. Later, Anatoly, along with Oliver, meets with Bratva's Pakhan (Godfather) Gregor. Anatoly is concerned by Oliver's disrespect towards Gregor, but Gregor claims to be intrigued by Oliver's eagerness. He tells Oliver that Kovar is planning to expand into Bratva territory by starting a casino and is looking for investors. He asks Oliver to pose as an an investor and then bomb the casino. Oliver meets with Kovar's man at the casino, playing the 'rich American playboy'. He knocks out Kovar's man and he and a Bratva agent start setting charges, but they are knocked out by an approaching Kovar man. Oliver wakes up tied to a chair, face to face with Kovar.

    Episode 7: Oliver is brought to Kovar's dining room, after a week of interrogation, during which all he did was yell about the need to avenge Taiana. He notices one of Kovar's maids, who Kovar reveals is the mother of Taiana and Vlad, whom he offered a job after her children disappeared last year. Oliver reiterates Taiana's claim that Kovar is a monster, but Kovar retorts that the world is a complex place and 'truth is a matter of perspective'. He tells Oliver that the Bratva is simply using him as a tool and then claims that he and Gregor have reached an accord. Oliver manages to take Kovar hostage in a sudden move and tries to force his way out of the house only to be overpowered. Oliver challenges Kovar to a fight. Kovar easily overpowers Oliver and beats him to within an inch of his life, when Gregor walks in and tells Kovar to "stop this madness", revealing that Kovar was telling the truth about the accord between him and the Bratva.

    Episode 10: Gregor and his men take Oliver to a basement with Gregor admonishing Oliver for joining the Bratva for a personal vendetta of killing Kovar. Oliver calls Gregor a sell-out to Kovar, a traitor to the Bratva. Gregor asserts his authority, claiming that as Pakhan his word is law and he will beat obedience into Oliver. Gregor discovers the photo of Laurel on Oliver's person and wonders if she's the woman Oliver is planning to kill Kovar for. After discussing Oliver's history with him, he wonders why Oliver didn't return home to Laurel after Lian Yu and Oliver replies that its because Laurel wouldn't recognize the person he's become now. Kovar tells Oliver that he's not responsible for the darkness inside him - its the circumstances that have made him what he is now. He offers Oliver a place in the Bratva in exchange for obedience. When Oliver refuses he threatens to kill Oliver before someone attacks the guards, and then Gregor, with arrows. A dazed Oliver finds himself face to face with a female archer in a hood who introduces herself as Talia.

    Episode 11: Oliver wakes up in Talia's apartment. Talia reveals to Oliver that she's researched his history over the last four years - from Lian Yu, to stopping Shrieve in Hong Kong, to taking down Reiter, and even his brief return home to Starling City and his refusal to reveal himself to his family. She tells her that she's interested in him because he has the hood of her old student - Yao Fei. Oliver finds it hard to believe Talia trained Yao Fei given that she's half the latter's age but Talia chalks it up to a "family secret". Talia informs Oliver of a people-trafficker who supplies to Kovar and asks him to help her take him down, before she makes her proposition to him. Oliver agrees. Talia, using a bow-and-arrow, takes down several of the trafficker's men while Oliver too takes them down using a gun. Oliver then confronts the trafficker and beats him to death. Later, Talia asks Oliver why he travels the world in search of a mission when his father has literally given him one with the List. Oliver says that its because he's become a monster and is no longer the man his father raised. Talia offers him a solution - in order to be 'Oliver Queen' again, he needs to give the monster a distinct identity and make him "someone else, something else...", and offers him back Yao Fei's hood. Oliver then assumes the persona of 'the Hood' while Talia prepares to ensure he's ready for the crusade ahead.

    Episode 12: Oliver and Talia stake out some drug-dealers, and Oliver effectively takes them down as the Hood. Later, Talia gives Oliver a file about Hideo Yamahe, a drug-dealer from Starling City. Oliver realizes that Yamahe was the man who supplied the drugs he saw Thea taking when he last visited Starling City two years ago, and admits that while he killed her dealer, he failed the city by not stopping the source. Talia tells him he now has a chance to correct his mistake, as Yamahe is in town to visit his Russia contact. The Hood confronts Yamahe, and kills him, declaring "You have failed Starling City". Later, Oliver crosses of Yamahe's name from the List - the first step in his father's crusade. Talia tells him he needs to return to Starling City to cross off the rest of those names, to which Oliver replies that he swore an oath of allegiance to the Bratva and it won't be easy to leave. Talia reminds him that he swore a different oath to his father that he needs to fulfill. Oliver visits Anatoly to discuss his leaving the Bratva only to find him in hospital - he was beaten by Gregor's men for opposing the deal with Kovar. Oliver tells Anatoly that they need to work together to kill Gregor.

    Episode 14: Oliver and Anatoly plan the assassination of Gregor. Oliver tells Anatoly that once he helps him take back the Bratva, he will be returning to Starling City. He notices the same orderly in the hospital corridor more than once, and so gets Anatoly out of the ward and into the basement when they are surrounded by Gregor and his men. Gregor offers to spare Anatoly if Oliver surrenders, so Oliver pretends to do so, before overpowering Gregorís men. A shoot-out ensues, and while Anatoly tries to pick up a gun, heís held at gunpoint by Gregor.

    Episode 15: Oliver aims a gun at Gregor and tries to get him to release Anatoly, but then they are all surrounded by Bratva members. Anatoly however invokes a Bratva clause, challenging Gregorís leadership. Oliver and Anatoly are given an hour to settle their affairs and present evidence against Gregor, failing which they will be killed. Oliver, as the Hood, breaks into Kovarís mansion and steals a laptop containing data on transactions. At the trial, all the Bratva members side with Gregor, but Oliver presents the laptop, which has evidence of Gregor being paid off by Kovar, which leads the majority of the Bratva members to side with Anatoly and declare him the new Pakhan. Gregorís men however open fire on them.

    Episode 16: The Bratva captains who sided with Anatoly are are killed in the gunfight while Gregor and his loyalists escape. Oliver, Gregor and Victor confer and come to the conclusion that Kovar will promote new Bratva captains and get them all killed, since they have no evidence to prove Gregor's treachery to the rest of the Bratva - the laptop having been riddled with bullets. Oliver decides the best course of action is to kill Gregor before he can call a meeting of the Bratva rank-and-file. Later, Oliver dresses up as the Hood, and tells Anatoly about how Talia taught him to give the monster within him an identity. Anatoly cautions Oliver against following Talia's advice, saying that what's inside him can't just be given a name and separated, and that one day, Talia will be the source of his greatest pain. At an ice-hockey ring, Gregor is meeting with his loyalists, when Oliver attacks as the Hood, backed up by Anatoly. They kill all of Gregor's men. Oliver then confronts Gregor. When Gregor asks if its Oliver under the hood, Oliver says that he's "the man who will kill you". Gregor says that Oliver will only be killing himself, even as Oliver stabs him.

    Episode 17: Oliver and Anatoly bring a grievously injured Gregor back to their hideout to interrogate him. Oliver violently interrogates Gregor asking him about Kovar's plans but Gregor simply taunts him before succumbing to his injuries. Anatoly, by virtue of his seniority, becomes the new Pakhan. He decides to meet with Kovar, under the pretense of agreeing to honor his predecessors deal with him, to learn about his plans. Oliver in the meantime seeks out Galina, Taiana's mother, in the marketplace, and claims to be a friend of Taiana's and Vlad's but is forced to flee because of the presence of Kovar's men.Kovar is conducting a meeting with Malcolm Merlyn, receiving from Merlyn a shipment in exchange for providing him with information regarding Unidac Industries. Anatoly visits Kovar just as Merlyn is leaving. Kovar asks Anatoly about the circumstances of Gregor's death to which Anatoly replies that Gregor's killer is a hooded vigilante they've been calling 'Kapiushon'. Kovar tells Anatoly about his plans to overthrow the Russian government and about the impending arrival of a shipment. Anatoly later meets with Oliver and they decide to investigate this shipment. Anatoly expresses his concerns about Oliver's increasingly violent tendencies and also requests Oliver to return to Starling City, but Oliver is determined to stay and help Anatoly against Kovar.At the docks, Anatoly and his men discover that the shipments contain sarin gas, but are attacked by Kovar's men. Oliver, as the Hood engages Kovar's men and takes several of them down, but Kovar escapes with the sarin gas. At the Bratva hideout, Victor angrily tells Oliver that the Bratva should be honoring the deal with Kovar, not opposing him because of Oliver's vendetta. Oliver then tortures one of Kovar's captured men brutally, skinning him alive until he succumbs to his injuries. Anatoly is horrified by this, and the fact that Oliver claims he did it 'for practice'. Oliver tells Anatoly that he's learned that Kovar intends to assassinate the Russian president and top Russian political and military officials and the opening of his nightclub using the sarin gas. Anatoly wonders how they'll get into the club. Consequently, Oliver seeks out Galina again, abducting her from the marketplace. He tells her about her children's deaths and the promise he made to them that he would take down Kovar. Galina gives Oliver her keycard. When Galina asks Oliver who killed her children, Oliver simply replies "a monster".With the keycard, the Bratva and Oliver access the nightclub. Oliver discover that Galina is being brutally tortured by Kovar and his men for her treachery and rushes to rescue her but finds her dead when he arrives. Anatoly and his other men find themselves surrounded by Kovar and learn that Victor has betrayed them by leading them into a trap.Kovar then addresses his guests claiming that the Bratva attempted to kill them all with sarin gas. He then pumps sarin gas into the club before he plans to escape but Oliver enters the room and helps everyone escape. Victor succumbs to the gas before he can flee. Oliver engages Kovar one-on-one and in the process Kovar rips off his hood, discovering who he is. Oliver manages to best Kovar and stabs him to death before leaving.In the aftermath, Anatoly makes Oliver a Bratva captain, and he receives the tattoo. Later, in an alleyway, Anatoly gives Oliver the hood back. He cautions Oliver against the belief that he can hide the darkness inside him under the persona of the Hood, warning him that one day the deception will fall apart and he won't like the man he's become.Later, its revealed that Kovar in fact survived his near-fatal injuries, thanks to medical procedures supplied by Merlyn. Merlyn remarks that he wouldn't want to be whoever did this to Kovar now...

    Episode 18: Oliver tells Anatoly that he plans to return to Lian Yu to stage his return home, reasoning that it will provide him the perfect alibi for where he's been the last five years. Anatoly tells Oliver he knows how they can pass his last 48 hours in Russia. Anatoly takes him to a hospital where children are dying from diseases. Anatoly tells Oliver that the Bratva was originally supposed to help people but ended up becoming a largely criminal enterprise due to leaders like Gregor and how he wishes to return it to his roots. However, even the Bratva can't purchase drugs in the quantities that these children need. He asks Oliver if he wants to cap off his time in Russia with a heist. Later, the Bratva, and Oliver as the Hood, break into a pharmaceutical company and steal the drugs. After giving them to the children at the hospital, Anatoly tries to convince Oliver to stay in Russia, but Oliver tells Anatoly that he needs to save his city as much as Anatoly needs to save his country. Anatoly remarks that he's not concerned about what the Bratva will become with Oliver's positive influence, but about what he will become.

    Episode 21: Oliver and Anatoly fly to Lian Yu. Oliver tells Anatoly that his father taught him to fly and how that was one of his last fond memories with his father. Anatoly watches Robert Queen's video message for Oliver - in which he tells him about the List and asks him to save the city. Oliver tells him this is the reason why its important for him to return home. Once they land on the island, they discuss the plan to stage Oliver's 'rescue' from the island. Anatoly will bribe fishermen to bring their boat close to the island in two days. Upon seeing the boat, Oliver will set off a fire to draw their attention, and return home a 'simple castaway'. Oliver tells Anatoly how important it is for him to create the impression that he was stranded on a deserted island - so that he wouldn't have to explain to his family why he didn't return home sooner. Oliver notices Slade's balaclava washed up on the beach and remarks that Slade was his friend, to which Anatoly retorts that Slade wouldn't have tried to kill them if that was the case, and that the mask washing up here is a 'bad omen'. Oliver puts the balaclava up on a pole and stabs an arrow through it. Later, Oliver takes Anatoly to the graves of Shado, Taiana and his father. Anatoly tells him that becoming the Hood was not what his father would have had in mind when he charged him with saving the city, to which Oliver reiterates that the Hood is an identity through which he can channel the monster within. Anatoly tells Oliver that he is paying for his father's sins, but he must ask himself who will be paying for his. Anatoly then gives Oliver as a parting gift, a wig and a false beard to disguise himself as a castaway, and then leaves. Oliver then starts to pile up wood for the bonfire but is knocked out by a tranq dart. Before he passes out, he's confronted by Kovar and his men, with Kovar remarking that Oliver is going to miss his boat.
    Last edited by sanddragon939; 05-16-2017 at 10:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    Updated till episode 16 "Checkmate".

    Looking forward to episode 17, "Kapiushon", which we've been told is the big flashback episode of this season - Season 5's answer to the likes of 'The Odyssey', 'The Promise' and 'The Return'. No doubt it'll be a huge turning point for Oliver in the flashbacks.

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    Very, very well done for taking the time to write out all that information. It makes for an enjoyable read and an easy way to keep track of everything.

    Now I could go into discuss the flashbacks that have aired and I will but right now I'm going to discuss the flashbacks for 5x17.

    First, I'm so very excited for this episode.

    Marc Guggenheim said in an interview "What you're going to see is as Chase is torturing Oliver and trying to get him to confess a secret. We are going to flashback to Russia and a pivotal moment in Oliver's experience."

    So I'm having to wonder if that secret which is whatever that pivotal moment is tied into Oliver's time in Russia. Through they could be talking about two different things but that doesn't sound like them since they love their flashback and present day tie ins.

    Makes me wonder if that moment/secret is Oliver having killed an innocent person.

    After all the description for the episode, said "which come to a head in a brutal confrontation."

    Given that Oliver is talking to Galina who is Taiana and Vlad's mother in the official pictures, and we all know how people tend to end up dead in Arrow.

    So I'm thinking that Galina is the person Oliver ends up killing either on purpose or by accident.

    Also I'm betting this is episode, is when Oliver finally becomes a Bratva Captain with the tattoo. Given all the captains are dead, Anatoly will no doubt promote him.

    In regards to Kovar? There's a 50/50 chance Oliver will kill him in this episode. If he does die the writers will have to figure out something for Oliver to do for the remaining episodes if they don't. Through I will figure Kovar will end up dead by the time the flashbacks close out.

    Now I'm not sure if Oliver will end up back on the island in this episode, through given this is the big flashback special he might.

  4. #4
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    If Oliver ends up going back to the Island in the next episode, then he never learnt how to fly a plane. Although I don't think we were ever going to see that anyway .

    I'm still convinced that Waller is the one that puts him back there, which would explain the antagonism that Oliver feels for her in the Present Day. Maybe she doesn't like that Oliver kills Kovar (assuming he does) or doesn't like how he has been hanging around with Talia (who I'm still convinced wants Amanda dead in some way), or just doesn't like that Oliver is part of Bratva?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quark View Post
    If Oliver ends up going back to the Island in the next episode, then he never learnt how to fly a plane. Although I don't think we were ever going to see that anyway .

    I'm still convinced that Waller is the one that puts him back there, which would explain the antagonism that Oliver feels for her in the Present Day. Maybe she doesn't like that Oliver kills Kovar (assuming he does) or doesn't like how he has been hanging around with Talia (who I'm still convinced wants Amanda dead in some way), or just doesn't like that Oliver is part of Bratva?
    Well MG said that Oliver would be going back to the island by plane or boat, with not being alone either. So may be Oliver learns how to fly a plane on his way back to the island.

    Other then that, yeah I'm not holding my breath. From the way they ended Season 2, he was supposed to learn things like flying a plane but that never happened. Along with Oliver being a master at Chinese and his computer skills. Which we all know they will never show where Oliver picked up those computer skills.

    My head canon is Oliver either learned how to fly a plane from his father who was a pilot or picked it up in off screen during his time in Coast City.

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    Alright since this now the flashback talk thread, got some pretty major news.

    First Stephen Amell released this, which GATV provides http://www.greenarrowtv.com/back-to-...lo-old-friend/ That speaks for itself. My mouth went wide, just saying.

    Then some filming notice around that area got posted on Twitter with the guy who posted that, confirmed Dolph Lundgren was filming that day. So looks like Kovar survives 5x17 in Russia then somehow both Oliver and him end back up on the island.
    So I read the page deal and it says a scene will be filmed between two characters talking on a grassy area overlooking the beach.

    I'll say probably Oliver and Kovar talking.

    Then another dialogue scene on the beach plus some men with guns confronting Oliver. Who I'm guessing is the hero they are talking about but it is plural so maybe Oliver has help.

    Hoping that Oliver will go back to Lian Yu at the end of 5x17 and the remaining 5 or 6 episodes, depending how 5x20 plays out will be Oliver taking on Kovar and his men.

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    I'm curious to see your description for 5x17 episode, sanddragon939.

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    Finally updated till episode 18.

    5x17 was a b#tch to write, for obvious reasons, even though it was one of the most fun ones to write (again for obvious reasons!)

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    Updated to 5x21.

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