Arrow: “Bratva”

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Jim’s Thoughts

“Bratva” didn’t offer any surprises until the end. The entire time Ollie and company were in Russia, I kept thinking, “How is no one going to find out about this and connect the dots?” When Ollie’s reporter girlfriend and her partner in snooping did that, I got my answer. There’s no telling how this will pan out, but it could be something a little different.

The bulk of the episode seemed to rehash a lot of the same things the show has been exploring all along. Diggle found himself in a position Oliver’s been in a hundred times, weighing a thirst for revenge against his humanity. There wasn’t a lot to build on. Dinah having a heart-to-heart with Oliver rang false because she’s been on the team for about a cup of coffee, and she’s plenty haunted by her own past.

Rory’s robes stopped a nuke. That is a thing that happened. Do you buy it? No, I don’t either. It’s actually a little reassuring he’ll be leaving the team for a bit, because he’s clearly powerful enough to not need anyone else.

I’m still waiting for some hint as to why Talia needs to be in the picture. Oliver’s past with the Bratva in Russia is looking like an aborted storyline, with the exception of it coming into play this week. I get that Talia is bringing him full circle to becoming a vigilante, but I have no idea why she would care. Her character in the comics certainly wouldn’t.

We need more than references to Prometheus at this point. It’s good that we closed off John’s legal troubles, but Prometheus is the main story. Let’s get back to it.

Kyle’s Take

Well, Arrow closed off John’s legal troubles last week when he was exonerated of all charges. “Bratva” was a pathetic excuse to keep General Walker relevant for one more week—looks like anyone can walk out of a federal prison’s front door—because Arrow needs to pad its number of episodes, and Diggle could make the decision not to kill Walker, proving Ollie right. It’s the same old, same old, only with Arrow shuffling its deck of characters. I wonder if Arrow writes its scripts using an Arrow character deck of cards. 52 cards and we still haven’t drawn into Thea or Prometheus.

We did see the last episode that will center on Diggle for a while, so I’m sure we’ll get back to Prometheus. Arrow’s so disjointed that I don’t know what is the main story this season. Ollie’s main story should be Prometheus and he is the title character, but Bratva continues to be a player, Arrow can’t drop its superfluous flashbacks, and there’s an argument to be made for another character taking over Ollie’s role as the lead. The trump card right now is Felicity.

I’m sure we’ll see plenty of Felicity and her abuse of stolen government documents. Who doesn’t have a flash drive filled with every nation’s secrets? Arrow wants to make Felicity the main character. Most of what Ollie does is Star City centric, while Felicity is worldwide.

I guess Ragman’s outfit can stop a nuke. Sure. That suit could’ve come in handy at Ravenrock. Arrow needed to depower Rory, so the show can tack on another five or six episodes, and his short exit should make room for returning characters. I can hear the character deck shuffling.

Like I said last week, Talia is another way for Arrow to hitch its wagon to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Ra’s trained Bruce, so Talia must train Ollie. It makes no sense for her character, but it further links the two franchises. It’s pandering.

The only development I liked during “Bratva” was when Ollie’s new bed partner figured out he was the Green Arrow. The media getting ahold of Ollie’s secret identity could make for a nice twist, but it’s another story line that could dominate an entire season if Arrow didn’t try to jam every remnant of a story into its quiver. I’d like some clarity.

I’m sure we’ll get some clarity next week. Perhaps Arrow will get back to Prometheus, or maybe Felicity will overthrow a small, island nation.

Thanks for reading.

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