“Bratva” or Enter the Ragman
This episode of Arrow finds our hero Oliver Queen (secretly the masked vigilante the Green Arrow) and his intrepid band of assistants once again running head long into his past. As you know, Oliver was stranded on a not-so-deserted island for a period of years and before making his way back to Starling City, fell in with a variety of unsavory characters who taught him the skills he’d ultimately use to become a crime-fighting bad ass. One of those groups was a brotherhood of Russian thugs known as the “Bratva” (which literally means “brothers”), whose help he’d now need despite turning his back on them years before.
Recent events see Ollie becoming fast-friends with a news reporter named Susan Williams. Initially, she was a nemesis to his fledgling political career as the new mayor. But Oliver used his Queen charm, and the two of them begin dating. Part of his administrative staff includes Quentin Lance, former police captain and father of Laural and Sarah Lance. Laurel lost her life saving the city and, since that time, Quentin tried to find solace at the bottom of a bottle that necessitated his having to seek help at a rehab center.
When he returns to the mayor’s office after getting treatment, he finds reporter Susan with Oliver. The two agree to interview Quentin, so he can inform the public of what he’s been going through. Speaking of going through stuff, John Diggle recently went through his own trials and tribulations while on active military duty when he was falsely accused by his commanding officer of being a traitor . Turns out that everything Diggle was accused of doing was actually committed by the C.O. who framed John.
Before John could be tried and convicted – or worse assassinated – Oliver convinced the city’s District Attorney to step out of his prosecutorial role and defend John in military courts. Prior to it even reaching that stage, Diggle’s C.O., General Walker, was link to the crimes via a leaked secret file, and he was arrested. Team Arrow, however, learn that the General and his cronies make an escape, killing several in the process, and high-tail it to Russia where he’s going to sell a purloined nuclear device.
Ollie uses his connections as the mayor to commandeer a jet and, under the guise of city business, he and his team head to Russia to stop the general’s plans and recapture him. This is when Ollie’s past comes into play; he seeks help from the Bratva to try to locate the General. Oliver isn’t the only one, however, hot on the General’s trail. Felicity, code named “Over-watch”, acquired the data (leaked by a hacktivist group) that also contained some intel on a Russian businessman. She used that information to blackmail him to get some info as to the General’s whereabouts
The newest member of Team Arrow is the all-new Black Canary, who is a former cop. She comes up with the idea that they ultimately use to track down the General. When Oliver and John follow the lead, they wind up in a shootout with some of the General’s foot soldiers but are saved by Black Canary.
Back in America, “Wild Dog” (Renee) was left behind for fear his hot-tempered nature would cause an international incident. Instead, he attempts to help Quentin prepare for his television interview by peppering the recently recovered Lance with some very tough questions, many centering around his dead daughter. Of course this rubs Lance the wrong way, and the two have a brief falling out.
The two bond and tempers cool. Renee recalls when Lance was a beat-cop, and they had a brief run-in while Renee was breaking the law. But instead of putting him the system, Lance gave him some words of encouragement. The two resume focusing on the interview, which Lance knocked out of the park. Unbeknownst to Quentin, Renee contacted the reporter and told her his story of how Lance was a good dude, so she took it easy on him.
One of Team Arrow members we haven’t seen in action in some time is Rory (aka Ragman). He accompanied the rest of the team on the trip to Russia and acted as Felicity’s bodyguard, along with Curtis (aka “Mr. Terrific”), when she confronted the Russian businessman. When he learned how Felicity blackmailed him, Rory snitched to Ollie.
Meanwhile, the final confrontation is about to occur. Ollie’s Bratva contact provides a small army for him, so they can take on the General who’s “sold” a nuclear device to terrorists. When Team Arrow takes down the truck containing the nuclear device, it’s not there; the General double-crossed them. He held on to the real device, took the money, and planned on selling it over and over again. In the hanger where the device is kept, Diggle confronts the man who made his life a living hell and defeats him. John debates putting a bullet in him but decides to let him be taken into custody despite the General taunting him and even threatening his family.
Felicity and Rory track down the actual nuclear device, but it is somehow triggered to explode in 5 minutes. Felicity realizes that she can’t diffuse it and is going to try to fly it somewhere safe, when Rory comes up with a better idea: in his guise as Ragman, he wraps the device in his rags hoping it will absorb the blast. And it works, with no radiation poisoning or other apparent ill effects to Rory. What he learns later is that the explosion damaged the rags, so they no longer have their magical properties. He decides to leave the team.
The show ends with Ollie’s reporter girlfriend meeting with a contact who’d been digging into Oliver’s past. He learns that Oliver and an arrow-wielding vigilante were both in Russia years ago at the same time. She comes to the conclusion that her new boy-toy IS the Green Arrow. What will she do with this information? Tune in to Atlanta’s CW next Wednesday night at 8 to find out. Be sure to follow @ATLCW and me, @ATLBlerd , so we can live-tweet the show together.