Wednesday’s Arrow takes Oliver into the dark recesses of his own psychology as Adrian Chase pressures the hero to confess the one thing he’s been afraid to admit, even to himself. When the truth comes out, it’s ugly.
Over six grueling days, Chase does everything short of killing a chained-up Oliver to get him to ‘fess up. All of his loved ones are in danger until he spills his secret, Chase warns, and to drive his threat home, he pulls out Felicity’s glasses and a picture of William. Mentally, emotionally and physically destroyed, Oliver is at his wit’s end.
“I don’t know what you want me to say,” he responds, tears pooling in his eyes.
To help him along, Chase brings in a bruised Evelyn — “I made her more compliant,” he explains — and then gives Oliver an ultimatum: kill or be killed. And if he doesn’t off the girl, Chase will snap her neck himself. Oliver, of course, refuses, but a desperate Evelyn can’t bear another day of life with Prometheus and grabs the knife Chase left behind. Oliver snatches it from her, hoping to use it to break free of his chains, but Chase returns and kills Evelyn. He, once again, lays into Oliver to reveal what he’s been too afraid to tell his friends. Chase argues that the archer’s list and heroic crusade are just an excuse, but for what? He doesn’t kill because he has to, but because…
“I wanted to! And I liked it!” Oliver finally exclaims.
As far as Chase sees it, Oliver infects every life he touches because his mission is based on a lie, and his loved ones — even Felicity and Diggle — pay the price for that. Having gotten what he wanted, Chase burns off Oliver’s Bratva tattoo, so he will think of this moment every time he sees the scars, then unchains him. Oliver returns to the Arrow cave and surprises a worried Felicity, Dig and Curtis with an announcement: “It’s over for me. I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m shutting everything down.”
Meanwhile, over the course of a lot of Russia flashbacks, we see the origins of Oliver’s taste for killing. In order to stop a deadly gas attack by Kovar — who got the weapons with the help of none other than Malcolm Merlyn! — Kapiushon (aka “Hood” in Russian) tortures one of Kovar’s men via a disturbing skinning technique. Oliver tries to justify his behavior by telling Anatoly that the man “gave up pretty quickly. The rest was me practicing” to become something else. But the new Bratva Pakhan warns Oliver that his hood cannot separate man from monster, and one day, he will not like the man he sees underneath the costume.
Oliver successfully thwarts Kovar’s gas attack and brings his opponent to his knees during a fight. Blade in hand, Oliver looks down at the other man as Anatoly tells him that Kovar will face justice, but Oliver kills him anyway. Despite their differing views, Anatoly makes his brother a Bratva captain, complete with the (now torched-off) tattoo. (It’s later revealed to Malcolm that Kovar is in very bad shape, but he survived. Also not dead? Evelyn, who was in on Chase’s charade. So that explains why there wasn’t a neck-snapping sound.)
What did you think of “Kapiushon”?