Arrow Review: What Happens in Russia

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We knew it was going to be damn difficult to follow Arrow Season 2 Episode 5 with the explosive revelations about Sara Lance and the emotional scenes between she and her father, but I would have liked a little more follow up to what happened before the segue information tossed our way tonight.

There were so many avenues that could have been explored. Where was Lance's head after learning Sara was alive? Had he made any progress with Laurel? Even a quick check-in on the repair work on the Queen mansion window would have sufficed.

Instead Arrow Season 2 Episode 6 thrust us into what seemed an hour of preparation to bring together the two worlds of Oliver Queen - his home of Starling City and the island where he became a man.

Diggle in Russia

Don't get me wrong - I adore Diggle and learning more about him and seeing his strength of character and the lengths to which he was willing to go for his ex-wife (Surprise!) Lyla to get her out of the Gulag after she entered to try to track down Deadshot was a good story. It just felt like filler in comparison to all of the details that were thrown at us.

Call me crazy, but I'm still not enjoying Isabel Rochev any more than I did upon arrival. If anything, she has even less appeal after all of her "I'm such an incredible business woman" antics fell by the wayside and she dropped her panties to hit the sack with her partner. It will be difficult for her to be uppity with him going forward.

Did that mean all of her comments regarding Felicity, her lack of skills and short skirts were really driven by hidden jealousy? Having been an executive assistant to a CEO, I can assure you that Felicity has all of the skills required and more because hacking would have come in quite handy in my job. 

Felicity's disappointment in Oliver choosing to sleep with someone she felt was beneath him hurt. I don't know if they could ever be more than friends, but that doesn't mean I don't see how attracted she is to him and understand her point of view. Have you noticed that Felicity has completely stopped wearing her glasses?

To work with him so closely, have feelings for him and wonder why he would choose casual sex with an uptight mean girl over something meaningful with Felicity must have crushed her. I was surprised she had the courage to call Oliver out on it.

It was also pure strength on the part of Diggle to put his faith into Deadshot to lead him to Lyla, even if it meant he was going to let his sworn enemy out of the Gulag in return for her whereabouts. The things you do for love. As a "reward" if you will, Deadshot told Diggle the truth - that his brother wasn't collateral damage, but rather the target of a group called H.I.V.E.

In flashbacks, we discovered how long the interactions between Sara and Oliver lasted, but I'm not entirely sure we know the whole story. She half helped him, but also turned on him. Dr. Ivo was looking for the Japanese submarine because it held a serum that was the product of stem cell research that in Japanese meant "miracle" and made humans - essentially - bionic without the parts.

Sara got Oliver to admit his friends were difficult to kill, and let him try to radio them. In popped Dr. Ivo, telling him he was going back to the island. Sara had set Oliver up. I did not see that coming, so I'm hoping there is more to that story. After all, by the time she got back to Starling City, she knew Slade.

So here's where all of those details come into play. I'm guessing a bit here, because I'm scraping together what we know from the show and what I have gleaned from the DC Universe (comics).

Dr. Ivo is looking for this miracle serum, and Oliver, Shado and Slade are on the island. Slade is badly burned, but according to DC lore is the number one assassin in the world as Deathstroke. He also has heightened speed, strength and senses and works for H.I.V.E. (the first incarnation of which meant Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination), who we just learned were responsible for Diggle's brother's death and hired Deadshot for the job. 

If Slade was on the island and Dr. Ivo discovered the serum there, it's possible he used it on him. Maybe the next time we see Slade, he'll be all kinds of powerful. Since S.T.A.R Labs are nearing the completion of their particle accelerator, and Dr. Ivo had ties to that lab, he could be heading to town and in tow might be a hint of Deathstroke, especially if Diggle is going to try to track down H.I.V.E., to which he might belong. He did use Bing to search - surely they'll even give him a map to his location, right?

See what I mean about a lot of details to uncover here? A LOT.

The only other thing worth mentioning before I close for the week is Roy and his red hood. Shame, shame, shame! He was caught red handed! He's trying to be good, but he cannot help himself. He really likes hoodwinking the bad guys. I thought it was hilarious when he told Lance he wanted to make a citizen's arrest, but got arrested himself.

Once Lance learned he was teaming up with The Arrow, he was a catch and release suspect. As long as Lance is on the beat, Roy will be safe now. Thea had a close call when Moira's attorney asked her to end it with him to protect her mom, but Moira wouldn't have it. She was right - her kids' personal lives aren't going to win her case. She has enough to deal with.

So what did you think of this follow up the impressive Canary reveal? Dish on Diggle, insinuate about Isabel, feel for Felicity and squeal on Sara... all in the comments! Be sure to drop by later in the week to read the "Keep Your Enemies Closer" Arrow Round Table.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (94 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I would really like that Oliver would fell in love with Felicity, that way both know what's going on with their lives and there is no secrets!


Great review on bonding DC Universe to the story. That cleared out my many doubts. However I disagree on your view about not having Lance or his emotional crap. Good that we got a break from that coz seriously being a cop you should be more tough.


Isabel strikes an resemblance to Jezebel Jett for Batman R.I.P. arch. We still dont know her true propose in Startling City. I wouldn't be surprised if she has an tied to Hive or League of Shadows. Maybe her both tagging alone on the trip and sleeping with Oliver is to throw him off the unseen enemy.


Bad episode. It was way too cheesy and general for me.


Finally I watched the episode and I have to say I like the episode. It had many twists and turns. I did not miss Lauren at all I guess that is now a common opinion, this season Lauren really is not adding anything interesting. I hope she hooks up with teh ADA and stay away from Oiliver. I dont really like Oliver sleeping with Isabel but maybe he did it to softner her up a bit as she is been too pushy and bosy but I dont know why was the reason for Oliver to have slept with her. It looked like in the beginning he had something planned for her and the only way to shut her up was to to give her what she wanted, as she was flirting with him. H even told Felicity he did not know why he did it. I like how Oliver is so protecting for his real friends (Felicity and Diggle) they all back up each other. and he will do anything to protect them and them to protect him.
Im glad also that Oliver accept any comment bad or good from Felicity in the way she tells and speaks to him. He knows she cares for him and she wotn mean any harm to him. I wish those 2 will hook up eventually but Oliver clearly told her that for the life he leads he cant accept to harm people he cares. That means Oliver really care for her very much. How sweet!!! We knew more about Ollie when he was in the island for 5 yrs I hope Slade returns at some point in the season and joing Ollie;s team.. I liked his character and how he befriended with Oliver. Althoug I dont like very much Thea as she is a rebel, but is ok if she is with Roy, as Roy is not a bad guy besides being a handsome good looking guy he is a good guy trying to make ammends and become a better person by helping Oliver.. I hope he stays that way.


Good episode. I'm glad Diggle saved Lyla. I was suprized to find out that they were married. Thea's mom is pretty good I mean how many parents would forbid you to not see your incredibly hot boyfriend. I can't believe Oliver slept with Isabel I'm glad Felicity said something to him. Can't wait till the next episode it looks really good.


Great review! My heart broke for Felicity - especially when Isabel gave the "night off" comment (man, I wanted to smack her!). I think I had two major surprises this episode. One was that Diggle was married to Lyla; didn't see that coming at all. Also, the way he was willing to put his vendetta aside to save her was admirable. Two was that Oliver was willing to admit that he cared for Felicity and that's why he wasn't with her. We could definitely see how much he likes her - she's the only one that can make him smile spontaneously and sincerely, he never really backs away or shoots her down when she blurts out an awkward comment about her attraction to him, and she's the only one who accepts him with all his baggage and calls him out on being a jerk. I don't know if I would call this a filler episode, though. It may not continue the Black Canary arc, but there was still a lot that had to do with all of the Arrow mythology. We learned more about his Russian connection, more about the island, etc.

@ Robin Harry

Hiya! I didn't consider it a filler episode, but rather a segue... filler would be just a placeholder. This one propels us to a much larger story with a lot of details. I agree that there was a LOT of mythology - almost too much to absorb so quickly.

@ Carissa Pavlica

Good point - that's fair I'm familiar with a lot of the characters & organizations (see my avatar LOL) so it didn't seem too much for me. OH - one disappointment with this episode - Amanda Waller. Not bad, but not how I envisioned her - she needs to be a lot more intimidating. There's time, I guess.

@ Robin Harry

Oh - I was going to mention Amanda Waller's intro in the review and totally forgot. At least she kidnapped Diggle by way of introduction instead of just shaking his hand. ;-)


Why Oliver slept with Isabel? Tell me plizzzzzzz

@ Nina

They both felt lonely and had a bit too much to drink ;)


Last night's show was great. I enjoyed the focus on Diggle, and getting a little more of his backstory. I was greatly surprised to find out he was married to Lyla. I like them together. I hope to see more of her on the show. Oliver, Oliver. SMH. Oliver's decision to sleep with Isabel was a disappointment to me. I felt for Felicity. I dislike the way she found out about it,however, I am glad she that she did. I am also glad she called Oliver on it, that he gave her his reason for doing such a thing. My hope is for them to become a couple, but that does not happen, I don't wish to see her pining for him. I would like to see her have someone in her life. I am glad Moria told Thea to keep seeing Roy. Thea and Roy are good for each other. I didn't miss Laurel at all. In fact, I forgot all about her. That's bad. The episode went very well without her.


I love this show. All the actions and story development. It's so cool to watch to Oliver story at the same time.
As for Felcity she's such a role model. She's smart, loyal and brave. She's always there in the middle of the action. She's cute and sweet too.
I hated that Oliver slept with Isabel. Felicity's reaction I don't know.. She was disapointed just like me. And I liked Oliver telling her the reason.

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Arrow Season 2 Episode 6 Quotes

Felicity: Just thinking out loud, but are we sure this is the best plan we can come up with? I know Lyla's your friend, but...
Diggle: Felicity, Lyla isn't my friend. She was my wife.

Lance: Thanks. It's been a while since I arrested you. I had forgotten how good it feels.
Roy: I was working for... him.