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Arrow: Kapiushon delved into incredibly dark territory this week as Prometheus tries to mentally destroy and break Oliver in every way. Spoilers for Arrow from this point on.

So this was our flashback-centric episode of the year, we didn’t get any last year so it was kind of a surprise to see one this year but I’m very happy that they did. While the flashbacks weren’t exactly at season 1/2 level, the present day parts of the episode were some of the most intense, dark and amazing Arrow scenes we’ve ever seen on the show, the scene where Oliver finally breaks and screams at Adrian about how he wanted to kill is in my top three favorite Arrow scenes, serious props to both Stephen Amell and Josh Segarra for pulling off that scene.

It was clear from the start of the episode that Oliver would be leaving this confrontation a very changed man, but I really didn’t expect this much of an outcome, he lost his Bratva tattoo, he’s given up hope on everything, he’s mentally ruined and he just seems like he doesn’t want to go on anymore. It’s crazy to look at home has changed in a year, this time last year Oliver was stuck in Palmer tech fighting a Bee robot while Felicity and her mother were leading people through the building, that was arguably one of the worst string of Arrow episodes the show has had, now exactly one year later we have an episode about Oliver being tortured and broken by the big bad in what may turn out to be one of the strongest string of episodes that the show has had.

So Adrian has covered the walls of Oliver’s prison in pictures of people who he has affected, some in a serious way such as Count Vertigo and Justin Claybourne and others who Oliver never meant to hurt such as his son. When Adrian mentioned William and how it was only a matter of time before he would find him Oliver looked truly scared and he was so close to just snapping Adrian’s neck then and there. Another crazy scene involved Madison McLaughlin’s Evelyn. Evelyn reappeared for the first time since the mid-season finale and for a minute I was really feeling for the character, she seemed broken, destroyed and wanted to get away from Prometheus as fast as she could and when it looked Adrian snapped her neck, it just reinforced the idea that whoever get’s involved with Oliver ends up worse for it, when it turned out to be another trick on Adrian’s part I was a little disappointed, Evelyn’s character definitely needs more story and she hasn’t done much but the impact her death would have had on Oliver would have made this whole situation feel a lot more darker, I think maybe they should have had Artemis die.

The flashbacks were intriguing this week, I do feel like maybe they dragged on a bit too much and some of it was kind of boring and the whole time I was watching them I was kind of just hoping we’d get more Oliver/ Adrian soon. I’m not saying these flashbacks were bad however, quite the opposite, we got a really good look at the circumstances that are turning Oliver into the killer he was in season 1, and that’s what this episode was all about, how Oliver is a killer. The scene with Malcolm Merlyn was cool, tied nicely into season 1 and we got a little nod to Unidac Industries and I think I heard a throwaway line about Kovar helped Malcolm get the Earthquake device. The Kovar scenes were good and Dolph Lundgren’s character is really great, but just like with Evelyn I feel he should have dies this episode. I know that kind of goes against the rule of having them beat the big bad in the last episode but I feel like the flashbacks for the rest of the season should be completely focused on Oliver getting back to Lian Yu and becoming the man we see in season 1, but he’s getting there.

The fight between Oliver and Kovar was great though, the moment Kovar said Tainna’s name and Oliver snapped was great. I’m also really enjoying the Anatoly- Oliver brotherlike friendship and of course we see Oliver get the Bratva captain tattoo, fitting that the episode he gets it is the same episode he loses it. Also I need to give a quick mention to Stephen Amell’s acting in the scene when he really breaks, when Ollie says that he killed because he wanted to and because he liked it I just needed to pause the episode for a second because of how amazing and intense it was, that may have been the best acting we’ve had on this show yet.

 

THE VERDICT

9/10   This episode was amazing, it’s only downfall was a little too many filler-feeling flashback moments.

 

Connor Cunningham covers ENTERTAINMENT for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @Connoriscoolio

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