Arrow: Review of the episode “Keep Your Enemies Closer”- “What happens in Russia, stays in Russia.”

arrowWARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE EPISODE WILL FOLLOW.

More of the DC universe showed up on this week’s episode as Ollie and the gang head to Moscow to find Agent Lyla Michaels. Amanda Waller (guest star Cynthia Addai-Robinson), head of A.R.G.U.S. (Advanced Research Group Uniting Super-Humans) captures Diggle after he and Oliver have broken up a crooked deal, and informs him that Lyla has been captured in Russia while on a mission to find Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot (Michael Rowe). Waller wants Diggle to go in and get her out, and John tells Ollie and Felicity that he needs to do this on his own. Naturally, the other two don’t agree, and the three head off to Moscow. Unfortunately, they end up with a tag along partner- Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau), who argues with Oliver about his business.

Before they depart, Diggle does make a confession to Felicity and Oliver- that Lyla is his ex-wife, which gives him more incentivarrow2e to find her. The group arrives in Moscow, where Ollie introduces Diggle to an old friend, Anatoli Knyazev, who we know from the flashback sequences was a fellow prisoner aboard the Amazo. Anatoli tells them that Lyla was captured breaking into a gulag, and devises a plan that will get Diggle on the inside. Diggle poses as a drug trafficker, is arrested, and placed in a cell inside the gulag. He gets into a fight in the cafeteria, landing him in a freezer with none other than Deadshot. A guard comes and proceeds to take Diggle out of the freezer, and Deadshot breaks free and kills the guard. Deadshot offers to help Diggle locate Lyla in exchange for him making the escape with them. They find Lyla, and are explosively broken out of prison by Anatoli, Ollie, and Felicity. They make they’re escape, and Diggle goes to shoot Deadshot, but finds he can’t. As Deadshot walks away, he tells Diggle that John’s brother Andy was his intended target, that Andy didn’t die because the real target was missed. Deadshot offers an alias to Diggle for the person responsible for ordering the hit on Andy.

In the more personal drama onarrow3 the show, Roy is arrested and released by Quentin to Thea. Thea is visited by her mother’s lawyer, Jean Loring, who tells her she needs to break up with Roy so that her mother’s case isn’t damaged further. Thea does so, only to have her mother reverse that in the end, as Moira tells Jean to back off and forbids the break up between Thea and Roy, as she believes Roy has actually helped to strengthen Thea over the past few months. Over in Russia, Oliver and Isabel get to know each other a bit better, leading to a tryst, much to Felicity’s disapproval. Emily Bett Rickards provides this episode’s humor, remarking to Ollie “What happens in Russia, stays in Russia.” Later when she admonishes Ollie on his choice to sleep with Isabel, Oliver asks, “What happened to what happens in Russia, stays in Russia?” “We’re still in Russia,” Felicity snaps back.

In the flashbacks, Oliver and Sara speak about the shipwreck. Ivo also questions Oliver, asking him if he had found a Japanese sub on the island, and tells him that the Japanese were working on a genetic superweapon, a serum that enhances strength. Ivo wants to find the serum and believes that the secret has been buried in the graves of the Japanese sub crew. We find out that Shado and Slade are still alive, having survived the shelling by the Amazo. Half of Slade’s body is burned (pushing him closer to becoming Deathstroke, perhaps?), and Shado nurses him, working to heal his wounds. Sara tricks Ollie into contacting them, and now Ivo and the captain of the Amazo know they are alive. Ivo threatens to kill them, unless Oliver agrees to lead him to the graves.

The episode was another strong entry in the show’s second season. There was plenty of action, even though Oliver only donned the hood briefly in the beginning of the show. Diggle had his share of this in the prison scenes, and the fact that Deadshot is alive and free offers some interesting possibilities for future episodes. The moments between Isabel and Oliver offered a little more insight into her character, and you have to wonder if that one night stand will come back to bite Ollie. Felicity certainly disapproves, but beyond this little bit of drama and some humor, the scenes felt more thrown in as filler, even though they were done fairly well. Moira’s trial is drawing closer, and we’ll have to see what impact the result of that will have on the Queen family. Plus, they’re returning to the island. More good flashbacks await.

 

8/10

Thomas Juretus

Born in 1963. Enjoy videogames, movies, comics- anything that tells a story. Have written three novels (The Zarchler Chronicles Book One: The Cassandra Crisis, Shalgroth The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Two, Madman's War The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Three) all published and available through PublishAmerica. Currently working on my fourth book, a sci-fi/murder mystery.

Thomas Juretus

Born in 1963. Enjoy videogames, movies, comics- anything that tells a story. Have written three novels (The Zarchler Chronicles Book One: The Cassandra Crisis, Shalgroth The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Two, Madman's War The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Three) all published and available through PublishAmerica. Currently working on my fourth book, a sci-fi/murder mystery.

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