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TV Reviews: FTN Reviews Arrow Season 05 Episode 12: Bratva

February 9th, 2017 by Todd Black Comments

In Arrow Season 02, Oliver, in his quest to take down Slade Wilson, broke off ties with the Bratva. Or at least, the American/Starling City Chapter of it. To its credit, the show never showed Oliver using the Bratva again, but, there was a loose thread in the form of Anatoli Knyazev, Olivers “brother” in the Bratva, and the man who’s life he saved on the island. We never knew what he thought of what Oliver did, until now.

“Bratva” was very simple in purpose, but it did serve to flesh out some of the team in various ways. Oliver got to face the darkness of his past, in both the island adventures and his time in Russia, as well as what his actions do to his team. Oliver lamenting his past is a key part of his character, and it’s interesting to see the new wrinkles put on it. In this case, it was with new member Dinah, who put him in his place pretty quick, as well as giving him new insight into how he should view his life. It was blunt, but effective, so perfect for Oliver.

One of the real focuses here was Diggle, who was finally cleared of his charges, only to find out Walker was getting away. You’d think that Diggle being in an enraged state about this would be wrong. Except, this general nearly ruined his life, and took time away from his wife and son, why wouldn’t he go to all lengths to try and take him out? And to see him fight the urge to kill Walker (much like he did with Andy) and win this time around was a good thing.

As for Felicity, she took an even further step down her “hacktivist” path, and I got to say, I’m enjoying it. And it’s even more interesting now that Rory (who used his Ragman cloths to save the day) is out of the picture for a while. He was her anchor along with Oliver, and she’s not listening to Oliver, so let’s see how far the rabbit hole goes.

A big surprise was the return of Quentin from rehab. They made sure to point out that he’s made it through the process, which is good, because a relapse would’ve been a step back for him. Yet, he didn’t seem quite right. He was angry, quick to snap, etc. But he gave his reasons why in that he has nowhere to hide from the grief of losing Laurel now. Which is actually very fair. I look forward to seeing him back on Team Arrow and as Deputy Mayor.

In the flashbacks, we got to see the true debut of the Hood, as well as the beginning of the end of his Russian journey as he was pushed by Talia into fulfilling his oath to his father. But…Anatoli and the Bratva need him, so he has to fulfill his other oaths first.

“Bratva” was a very solid episode, and it gave a lot of the characters some good stuff to do. And though i don’t like Oliver’s new “girlfriend”, she did finally get some headway herself in terms of story. Where this all ends? It’s anyones guess.

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!