Arrow Flashbacks Season 5

Arrow EPs Open Up About Flashback Woes, Why Season 5 Should Be Better

If you’re enjoying Arrow‘s Season 4 flashback storyline, you’re on an island.

The storytelling device, which since the CW series’ launch has revealed how a mop-topped billionaire brat was honed into the hero known as Arrow, offered compelling correlations during Seasons 1 and 2, as Oliver Queen (played by Stephen Amell) first washed up on ArrowLian Yu and learned some hard lessons at the hands of Yao Fei, Slade Wilson and the Amazo captain.

The flashbacks began failing this series, however, with Season 3’s meandering trip to Hong Kong, while this season’s return to Lian Yu seemingly exists solely to tell us that Oliver encountered Damien Darhk’s mystical idol once before. TVLine recaps regularly sum up the island events in a single sentence, while The CW’s own press site hosts exactly one photo from the glacially paced arc.

Arrow‘s showrunners are not unaware of viewers’ escalating indifference to the flashbacks, and in fact addressed the topic head on at the Writers Guild Festival on Saturday.

“Part of the appeal of the flashbacks – certainly in the first two years, but I think the first three years – is seeing what a big difference Arrowit is between Oliver Queen in the present day and Oliver Queen five years ago,” EP Marc Guggenheim shared. “The problem is that we are telling a five-year story in the flashbacks of Oliver becoming the guy you met in the pilot. So the deeper you get into the flashbacks, the closer he becomes to being that guy, and, thus, you lose that element of the flashbacks that was so interesting, which is how different he was…. That’s something we have struggled with this year.”

In addition to highlighting any disparity between Oliver then and now, the flashbacks endeavor to be “emotionally or thematically connected” to the current storyline, said EP Wendy Mericle, though the writers have also “experimented with having them not speak to what’s going on currently” — which is probably when the flashbacks are most met with ennui by the audience.

So, might it be time to put an arrow in the flashback device and let Arrow simply and exclusively unfold in the present?

Speaking with TVLine after Arrowthe panel discussion, Mericle said that she “loved” Stephen Amell’s work in the earlier flashbacks, “because I thought he really inhabited that character. It was less the very stoic superhero and much more dimensional, because he was so flawed.” And though Oliver has evolved in the flashbacks to a point where, as aforementioned, he’s not a far cry from the man who set out to save his city, Mericle said, “The way we write the story is still very much married to that backstory, and trying to change it up at this point would feel weird.”

But looking ahead to next season, “We know what we’re working up to,” she shared, as the past timeline inches ever closer to where the series began. Thus, the flashbacks are poised to be more engrossing and focused. “The season will be easier to break because we have an endpoint, and we work backwards from there.”

And where might Season 5’s flashbacks take us? Mericle would not confirm the destination, but a recent reference to Russia by Taiana (that’s the name of Oliver’s island gal pal, by the way), would seem to offer a clue. “I don’t want to tip too much,” the EP allowed with a coy smile, “but it’s a very good possibility that we’ll finally find out how Oliver got that Bratva tattoo and how he learned to speak Russian.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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104 Comments
  1. JP says:

    They once more prove they dont know sh*t about what they’re talking these useless Arrow writers.

  2. Deb says:

    The flashbacks have truly been like brakes screeching in the middle of an episode this season. If they do lead to BratvaOliver it’ll be worth it though!

  3. diz16 says:

    Can’t wait for the Bratva storyline. Thanks for the article.

    • Sil says:

      The Bratva story is an intergal part that made Oliver a killing machine. This backstory is what I want to see. Season 4 backstory was only about Oliver experiencing the magical aspects of Damian Darkh’s idol. A long season just to show that.

  4. rj says:

    FINALLY the Bratva storyline. This was one of the fiercest aspects of Oliver in the first seasons. I don’t understand why they just couldn’t deal with it first since he is supposed to end up in the island anyway after those five years. That means that after the Bratva storyline, he’ll have to get back on the island, once again.

  5. cookietrap says:

    Or just give us a couple of flashback episodes per season and do away with flashback scenes completely. Not giving up on the show, but c’mon guys! Flashbacks I think are least of this season’s problems.

    • Karen L says:

      Yes. This. A flashback episode, then just episodes with the main story and no break in the action for the rest of the season. Otherwise it’s just a waste of space. The only great part about the FBs this season was John Constantine. It’ll make the entire season worth it, but otherwise, it’s a big fat NO. Plus… bad wigs. Thank you for the buzz cut.

  6. Yes! Bring on the Bratva flashbacks!

  7. SHONDA LAUREL says:

    At least the flashbacks don’t get more airtime than the current story like it does on Quantico.

    • bj says:

      Quantico is terrible and since there’s not a big change in appearance like on Arrow, it’s sometimes hard to tell which time period they’re in.

      Also when shows like Arrow and HTGAWM began to use this device it was a bit of a novelty. Now many shows are using flashbacks, and some take up half the episode, so I’m just getting thoroughly sick of them.

    • Sil says:

      I liked the flash enacts in Quantico initially. But, now it is confusing. I just want to get a conclusion in the finale. I won’t return next if there is one.

    • tvjunkie says:

      I gave up on that mess of a show about 5 or 6 episodes in. I don’t know why people watch, it’s poorly written and acted.

      • Jbj says:

        My guess is that it is a combination of determination to finish what one has started and all the pretty. I made that mistake with The Tomorrow People. With Quantico, I get a headache reading the recaps, so I try to just stick with the commercials.

      • KT says:

        I’m with you. I want to have answers, but I can pretty much not get through the episodes.

  8. Phoenix5634 says:

    The flashbacks arn’t that bad, if your patient. It’s the Olicity drama, specifically the Felicity drama that’s the main problem.

    • . says:

      Sure it is. World War III will probably be caused by this fictional character. The moment you people realize that you’re so focused on felicity because you stopped liking other aspects of the show is the moment you’ll start discussing actual improvements that need to be made. Here’s a brand new information, the show is a drama and it’s been a drama since Oliver ran away with his gf’s sister only to come back to see that his gf is now dating his best friend while he impregnated, along the way, a random girl who showed up years later with the not-so-dead mass of cells who grew into a boy. He also happened to sleep with his dad’s mistress while oliver’s mother slept around with his best friend’s dad who happens to be oliver’s sister’s daddy. But with this clusterfudge of soap drama, Felicity, one character among a bunch of other characters, is an issue. Flashbacks don’t have Felicity, yet they’re so universally bad this year that the EPs had to talk about them.

      • Mary says:

        Agreed. There’s a lot more problems with the show than just Oliver and Felicity’s relationship drama.

      • Deb says:

        I wish there was a “like” button here LOL

      • Phoenix5634 says:

        Here’s the bias Felicity fans making a stand ^

        • Ben says:

          Whoops. I mistook your comment for something that wasn’t biased against Felicity, but simply was calling out the lack of quality around the fake drama in their relationship right now. My mistake. I guess I’m the only person criticising the writing of that relationship instead of bagging on Felicity. Felicity is my favourite character on the show, but I haven’t really bought her arc in the second half of this season, and for me that’s poor characterisation at fault.

      • Charles says:

        Fantastic (and on point) post!!!!!!

      • Lizzie says:

        Slow clap…slow clap! Thank you, I still enjoy this show and yes it has it’s problems but your taking away from the good when you focus in on one thing. Those haters have tunnel vision as much as the fan girls have. Flashbacks made sense and were so good in 1&2, especially because they were all about the same thing. They just had the formula and unfortunately have been trying to fix it. They are a little better than last season but still very useless at points. But if we get that Russia story I am so down, we are winding down to Oliver getting off the island. For all we know island beard and hair could have been grown from being held captive.

      • Lex says:

        Late to the party, but YES, YES, YES. As a character Felicity has kept her integrity through all the sh– the writers have been throwing at everyone– because God forbid she think of herself and her well-being and do something like leave the guy who apparently is forever going to have an emotional wall he’s never going to break. Any time a woman calls the male protagonist out for being an idiot/ass—-/douche/jerk they automatically are vilified in certain circles of fandom. It’s the Skylar White effect: she’s being a nag whenever she tells her husband making meth may not be a good decision for the illegality, the violence from cartels, adding to an epidemic that ruins people’s lives and puts their lives in danger. That b—-!

    • bj says:

      No, it’s not. It’s the flashbacks.

      • Phoenix5634 says:

        Oh really, so that’s why every episode there’s maybe a few comments on the flashbacks being bad. They’re slow pace sure.. But then the rest of the comments are just mostly full with arguements between the Oliver – Felicity drama.

    • Murica! says:

      I agree. The flashbacks aren’t nearly as bad as the olicity drama. The show has turned into a soap opera about olicity! Felicity should have been the one in that grave. Maybe that could have saved the show. Felicity has been ruining this show for the last two seasons! Al she does is cry and whine about everything!

      • The Phantom Stranger says:

        Don’t lie. The show was always a soap opera, and Felicity does NOT cry and whine about everything. That was always closer to accurate with Laurel. The show is better off without the latter.

        • Alex says:

          Felicity does cry all the time, or sound like she’s about to cry. I find it the most grating aspect of her character, followed closely by the my-mouth-got-away-from-me-did-I-just-say-something-cute-unintentionally act.

          But… I agree she’s a more interesting character than Laurel. I had such hopes for Katie Cassidy coming off of Supernatural, but I *still* find her drastic change in appearance from Season 1 shocking, and the actual character has no point, and no development. I just found out she died when I googled the actress’s name, and literally didn’t blink. Goodbye.

        • RAHUL says:

          Then you’re insane. The only thing I agree about your comment was that this show was always a soap opera. I agree that the first couple of seasons with Laurel there was drama going through her life. I also hated that, but those were just a minor subplot to the actual season. It was more like that subplot was 20% of the entire season 2, while the rest 80% were the main plots. The problem with Felicity drama was that was occupying like 40% of the subplot while the rest of the 60% is the main plot.

          Also, Felicity doesn’t cry and whine about everything. Have you seen the last 4 episodes of Arrow? (Not including the last episode.)
          She’s such a whiner who doesn’t know what she wants and is ready to bail when things get tough or if it’s not in her favor. Also, I wish she was in the grave.

          She gave some signs of this in the first season when she initially signed on to be with the team. However, she got over that quickly.

        • Murica! says:

          Open your eyes! You’re delusional!! All felicity does is cry and whine! She has been nagging oliver about everything for years! She has been ruining Arrow for the last two seasons! Her character has become unbearable and the writers are moronic enough to actually listen to the delusional olicity fans! Thank you for ruining this show!!

    • Ben says:

      I agree. Not the relationship. Just the drama. Time for them to put them permanently together and stop with all the will they/won’t they.

      The flashbacks have been dire this season though.

      • Lex says:

        Thank you.

        There is nothing inherently wrong with Olicity; it was charming back in season 2, before The Flash got all the good writers, the writers that were left made Oliver an overbearing dick, and they killed the wrong Canary.

        Yes, I said it. At the end of season 2 Laurel should have been put on a bus to Gotham, Katie should have gotten a development deal from the CW to exec produce her own show, and Sara continue being everything we could want in a Black Canary, plus a hot girlfriend.

        Diggle took a backseat so Laurel could take her three weeks of boxing lessons and nearly start a riot in the Glades, Felicity became the Hero Whisperer shoved together with Ray (who pretty much showed up with REBOUND tattooed on his forehead) to launch the third spin-off… that became a team show because the audience was pissed Sara died and she alone would have been enough to draw an audience.

        For season 5? Get Oliver and Felicity together, put their relationship in the background, and get back to good storytelling. Friday Night Lights was a perfectly compelling drama even though Coach Eric and Tami Taylor were a committed, stable couple. Drama was generated either because of characterization or because of an external issue that always made narrative sense and was never enough to do any permanent damage.

        Get them together, make them a thing, and leave them alone. Let the plot come from the actual big bad, not some baby mama drama that makes Samantha and Oliver look like morons and Felicity like a bitch, in some circles at least (because that’s what happens when a woman thinks of herself for once instead of the hero, the team, etc.) I think I was hoping for too much when I thought these writers could tell a story without throwing in unnecessary relationship drama.

        • kath says:

          I agree that they need to end the Olicity dramatics. Keep them together but keep that relationship in the background and let Team Arrow function again.

          I disagree that The Flash got the good writers though. That’s a show about teenage boys for teenage boys. Women exist only to prop up their men either by endless pep talks or Caitlin acting as a second tier lab assistant to Wells. Joe asked Barry is it was okay that Wally move in; he never thought to ask Iris.
          I can’t think of a single Flash scene that passes the Bechdel test. It was Arrow who dodged the bullet on that one.

          • Lex says:

            This is a little late, but I wanted to mention I do agree that the Flash is quite the nerd boy fantasy. Somehow over last summer I decided I needed Iris in an Agent Carter-like separate series, where the intrepid reporter follows the money to the CEO of Big Evil Corporation, and manages to save herself instead of waiting for Barry. Sure, it’s never a long wait, but there’s something in Candice’s eyes that convinces me Iris would be fierce if she were ever given the chance.

  9. Wee says:

    Loooooool well at least they’re not oblivious to the fact that they suck. The flashback girl (does she even have a name?) is so boring and bland. And I thought s3 was the worst they could get. Boy was I wrong. Only way they’d be better is if we get Bratva flashbacks next season.

  10. kath says:

    I’ve enjoyed this season’s flashbacks as much as you have, Matt, which is to say “Why are you doing this to me????” I also feel that they’ve been unfair to Elysia Rotaru who can do much better than this very beige Taiana.

    I’m wondering if there was something going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about. At the end of season 3, Oliver is boarding a Russian ship which made me think that he would end up in Russia for this season. But no, he’s right back on the island again (why? Amanda Waller has a secret base that, couldn’t she figure out what Reiter was doing with ARGUS?).
    I’d really like to know if the original plan was to have Russia in the flashbacks this season but for some reason (availability of actor who plays Anatoli? wanting to put in a magic story to parallel Damian Darhk?) the plan was changed and we got this very poorly constructed set of flashbacks.

    • Gilded Rose says:

      I think the behind the scenes issue was hijacking Arrow entire for *seven episode* to build Legends Of Tomorrow. So much of Arrow’s choices this year seemed about introducing magic to steer around super powers, make Constantine make sense (for one ep), explain Sara’s resurrection, bring in reincarnated hawk people, etc. all of which didn’t benefit Arrow at all (and now has people complaining “where did Season One & Twi Arrow go?” After demanding more and more comic book elements). Then it all got shuffled off to launch a new show. Again. For some reason the network seems to think that Arrow can be used to launch a thousand spinoffs at the detriment of its own show, storylines, & characters without the cracks starting to show. It’s crazy. Stop the spinoff madness! Make these shows responsible for carrying their own weight, telling their own stories, and building their own characters.

      • Phoenix5634 says:

        Although Legends is a great show, like half the CW schedule suffered from the launch of that series. It messed up a lot, even the shows outside its continuity, becuz of scheduling.

      • rinaex says:

        Well, in hindsight, I’d prefer the set-up episodes to the dreck that we’re getting now.

      • CDFYC says:

        Arrow was fine for the first seven episodes, the amount of “lifting” they had to do for LoT wasn’t anywhere near the amount as the Flash, Arrow was actually better and more entertaining than The Flash because of it but at soon as the cross over hit Uncle Guggie and company decided it was time to crank of the Olicity drama with the dumb kid secret and it’s been suffering since.

        • Lizzie says:

          Are you kidding me!! Arrow had the heavy lifting in the first half. They had to resurrect Sara and Ray. Integrate magic so everyone would know how to explain it when Kendra showed up. I’m sorry but kid showed up once, Oliver discussed a total of two times and it wasn’t obvious every episode. She found out, it was over had ONE closure episode and they’ve been away from each other for three episodes now. So yeah your tunnel vision as much as the fan girls is annoying.

          • The heavy lifting Arrow got to do didn’t seem so artificial as the one The Flash did. Why? The Atom and Sara were all important characters already. While in Flash they had to introduce the new Firestorm.

  11. Kat says:

    The problem with the flashbacks, and this also happened in season 2, is that present-day Oliver acts as if this is the first time he’s hearing things such as Mirakuru or magic being wielded using a powered idol. The show joked about the fact Oliver doesn’t tell any of his team anything about his past in the last episode, but it’s not really funny. It’s stupid not to share pertinent information. And that’s not what Oliver is supposed to be, he’s supposed to be a strategic fighter. I’m not sure this season’s flashbacks can be salvaged but I hope the writers learn the lesson for next year. Don’t worry about parallels and such, just give me an interesting story that also brings Oliver to the ruthless, dead-eyed fighter I first met in season 1.

  12. rtalive says:

    well i gess this article shows how ignorant the creators are, why the flashbacks sucked this season. it was not because Oliver was close to what he is now, it was because they did a terrible job of writing a boring stories and did not deveoped his character at all. There was basicaly no compelling story at all, just walking and talking.

    • johnhelvete says:

      I dont agree with using the word “ignorant” but it is not a good sign that the writers dont seem to understand why the flashbacks are not working this season. Plus the season 3 flashbacks were problematic as well, while they dont share that opinion as well.

    • rinaex says:

      Yes, the writing this season is atrocious all around, and combined with the continuously declining quality of the fight scenes, it’s just become a chore to get through.

  13. Liz says:

    Bratva flashbacks sounds awesome. I’ve been waiting for them forever! I hope they get better because flashbacks have been a major downside to the show for 2-3 seasons now.

  14. Samantha says:

    The flashbacks have always been the weakest part of the show for me. I understand the need to see how Oliver went from spoiled brat to skilled vigilante but I never enjoyed the flashback storylines or characters. They’ve always been meh but this season’s are truly terrible. I groan every time they go back to that godforsaken island.

  15. Murica! says:

    All the flashbacks could have been so much better, if only the flashback storylines weren’t so horrible!!

  16. GraceM says:

    That’s one of the reasons I stopped watching the show earlier this season.

  17. Gilded Rose says:

    Thank goodness! Let’s get to the Bratva story. I think the flashbacks would benefit the most by not tying in so literally to the present day Star City events. If they want to explore a theme (family, loyalty, trust) between past & present, that’s wonderful, but when the story arcs themselves toe together so coincidentally *all* the time (and take forever to move somewhere interesting), the flashbacks just go stale. I don’t think it’s helped, either, to reduce Oliver’s action roles so much in both past/present. Build a good story for flashbacks to stand on its own merits and go from there.

  18. Alrisha says:

    “I don’t want to tip too much,” It’s OK. No one cares.

  19. Mike says:

    I’m not a fan of the flashbacks either, it be nice if they were reduced to specific episodes, not an entire season, or even a couple of episodes that are all about something that happened in the past that directly relates to the current story. as a viewer I’m barely hanging in there, killing Black Canary, useless Flashbacks, Oliver and Felicity either put them together or separate them, it’s gotten old, also think it’s stupid that they feel they have to kill at least one character as season on the team arrow side. I think season five should try something totally different and don’t kill off the supporting cast

    • Morgan says:

      You! I like you. I’d also like it if we could get a decent villain that isn’t boring. The only exciting thing Darhk has done the WHOLE season is shoot Felicity and kill Laurel which relates to your comment about why they feel like the death of a character is the only way to move the story forward. Now that’s just bad writing. I think they need to go back to the baddie of the week or every couple of episodes format, because just having one overall villain doesn’t do it for me. Darhk and Ra’s were just too boring to hold my attention for the whole season. And as for Olicity, they are okay together and okay apart, but if they were going to stay broken up then she would have been the one to die, not Laurel, so that means they are going to get back together which means their stupid breakup meant nothing and used up valuable screen time for something meaningless. Uuugh season 4, you have failed this series.

  20. A. D. says:

    Except for the Constantine Episode, the flashbacks have been boring this season!

  21. Rachel says:

    Bring on the Bratva flashbacks!

  22. Maria says:

    I’ve always hated the flashbacks of Arrow. I watch the show the next day just so that I can fast forward the island scenes lol

  23. Carla Krae says:

    I’ve always found flashbacks interesting. A bit tired of seeing people whine about them.

  24. J says:

    Arrow has so much story in the present day that when it does move to the flashbacks it kills the momentum of the show. I didn’t mind them the first few seasons but now they kind of seem pointless.

  25. B says:

    Never watch any of the Oliver flashbacks (least appealing aspect of the show) but if it’s for another character (once in a blue moon as it should be) than I do. I want more present time focus and the flashbacks (if they have to be) as needed not in every bloody episode.

  26. Antwon303 says:

    The flashbacks worked at first because they had to show us what happened on the island. I feel they take me out of the episode now. I either FF them or check my email until it’s switches back to the present day. I also watch Quantico and feel they do a better job with their flashbacks.

  27. modwildtv says:

    And Season 4 is lighter in tone. Haha Trust no one.

  28. E says:

    My fast forward button LOVES the flashbacks. Me, not so much.

  29. George H. says:

    I’ve stopped watching Arrow because the flashbacks got too boring and never really add anything to the story any more. If something needed to be added to the backstory, a couple of lines added to the script could do more than the monotony of the flashbacks every 10 minutes.

  30. Sheila says:

    The flashbacks are a sh**show. They just said that the upcoming flashbacks will be good because they have an endpoint in mind and are working backwards from there……ummm, then what the he** have they been doing with the other seasons???????

  31. The Constantine episode was the best use of flashbacks. They are especially boring this season and I am looking forward to Bratva next season.

    I love how an article about the flashbacks brings out the Olicity haters.

  32. LE says:

    I think the flashbacks became pointless since they took Oliver out of the island, I mean he was supposed to be in “the hellish island for five years” but come one he was even in the then called Starling City one so…

    The flashbacks became pointless since s3 but at least they had cool characters like Tatsu and Maseo.

  33. 134sc says:

    If you took all the flashbacks this season and cut them together into one continuous story, I bet they would be better and flow a lot more.

  34. CRS says:

    I love the show but I started watching it cause it had no magical stuff in it. But with all the magic I have to shut it off. I hope next season will be better. Cause if not I have to abandon it altogether which sucks cause I love this show. The actors and actresses are awesome as an ensemble. I will miss Larel though. Here’s to no more magic.

  35. Blah says:

    Season 5 arrow flashbacks will be about how Oliver got his tattoo..

    Great that worked so well for lost

  36. gadr says:

    Enough with the flashbacks. Thankfully, I DVR Arrow so I can FF through the flashbacks which do nothing but interrupt the story line of interest.

  37. mac says:

    The actual problem is their focus on a completely irrelevant romantic subplot and shoehorning that plot (plus fan appeasements) into the main arc.

    Cut Felicity and we’re good, as long as Arrow’s writers don’t get that their show will remain a sinking ship

  38. John NYC says:

    The island flashbacks?

    Thanking all the lords of tech for the fast forward.

  39. ktc1986 says:

    The flashbacks are not the major issue with this show. They teased an Outsiders War type story with the flashbacks this season but have failed to deliver anything promising. This is the problem with the show, they have no idea how to deliver on any of the faint promise Arrow has shown since season 3. I don’t trust any of the people in charge to get it right.

  40. Agent 86 says:

    I cant wait to learn how Oliver got another tattoo and learned how to speak Russian. So exciting! They should leave those explosive reveals for the season 5 finale since they’re oh so very dramatic!

  41. Patty says:

    Finally Bratva. Flashbacks in s4 are just horrible and most of the time pointless. I’m just skipping those parts.

  42. Cca says:

    I enjoy the flashbacks – sometimes more than the plot! Oliver is a real hero – a real person with a past that he has over come and real human flaws. The flashbacks bring that into focus.

  43. W0NK042 says:

    Unless there is a flashback, showing how the “Fans-leaving-by-the-truckload” death was a fake-out/reversed; I don’t think it will matter what they do, next season. They wrote their own demise.

  44. pem says:

    Bratva flashbacks would be ones I would actually watch.

  45. Michelle says:

    I’ve been waiting 2 years for Bratva Oliver! Why couldn’t they have done it sooner?!

  46. Gospino says:

    I’ve always hated the flashbacks. Wish they’d dump them!

  47. Sonya says:

    I find the flashbacks boring this season.

  48. liame says:

    I think all blogs should get rid of the reply or install something where the person commenting can choose whether or not they want a reply to their comment. It’s becoming ridiculous and donald trump nasty up in herrrre!

    • liame says:

      I know they can still do that (@) thing but unless you comment right after or a few comments below it won’t really matter, especially when there’s a blog with over 50 or more comments.

  49. Christine says:

    Ironically, if you play just the S4 flashbacks together its a more cohesive story than prior seasons. Its actually a good story on its own, all together.

  50. Nicaela says:

    Fantastic I had asked Guggenheim last season if Oliver would be going to Russia this season. He wouldn’t confirm it and so I asked if we would see the Bratva or Antolie and he said yes. I knew we would get to Russia I just wish we had gotten there a little sooner.