Arrow : Arrow Season 5 Flashback Recap Thread (updated to Episode 11)

Arrow Season 5 Flashback Recap Thread (updated to Episode 11)

Continuing a two year old tradition with a new season of (hopefully MUCH better) flashbacks!


Episode 1: In Russia, Oliver is working as a prize fighter. He kills his opponent and then leaves. In an alleyway, he meets with his agent(?) who offers him money for his win but he tells the man he doesn't want money but instead wants the location of Constantine Kovar. However, another man joins them and the agent tells Oliver that he was afraid this would happen as the fighter Oliver killed was a 'top earner' for the man's organization. The man drugs Oliver and as he passes out, he sees three men surrounding him, proclaiming they are Bratva. When Oliver regains consciousness, he is tied to a chair and being questioned about his father's notebook and the names it contains (Adam Hunt, Leo Mueller, Frank Bertinelli, Daniel Brickwell, Jason Brodeur etc.) Oliver says that he's waiting to use the notebook "when he's ready". The Bratva man points his gun at Oliver and almost shoots him but is stopped by Anatoly Knyazev, Oliver's old friend. Once they are alone, Anatoly dislocates Oliver's thumb, telling him its a technique to escape being tied up. Outside, Oliver tells Anatoly that he's come to Russia to kill Kovar as part of an old promise (to Taiana). Anatoly advises him to forget this promise, return home, and start living his life again citing the Russian proverb "A shark that doesn't swim, drown". Oliver refuses and asks Anatoly for help in his mission. Anatoly agrees but tells Oliver that the one way he can help him might kill him. He then takes Oliver to a warehouse where he intends to get Oliver initiated into the Bratva. As the initiation begins, Oliver is jumped by multiple men.

Episode 2: During the initiation, Oliver and a bunch of other recruits are to compete to ring a bell at the end of a room. Oliver and the other recruits are repeatedly beaten back before they can ring the bell. Oliver 'teams up' with a few of the other recruits to distract some of their opponents. Working with this team, Oliver is able to make it to the end of the room and ring the bell. At that point, Anatoly and the other Bratva recruiters come in and kill the other members of Oliver's 'team'. Oliver is shocked, claiming he would never have teamed up with them if he knew that the unsuccessful recruits would be killed, but Anatoly tells him he deserves to survive and move ahead with the process because he was intelligent enough to use other people. He also tells Oliver that the first rule of initiation is to "trust no one else". At that moment, Oliver notices that his hand is bleeding and he collapses as Anatoly watches.

Episode 3: When Oliver wakes up, Anatoly reminisces about his ordeal aboard the Amazo and how Oliver is the only one who knows what he went through. Oliver still isn't sure he can trust the Bratva after they killed 'innocent' men, but Anatoly implies the men weren't innocent at all. He asks Oliver to come with him and see something before he makes a final decision about whether to continue with the initiation or not. Later, Anatoly takes Oliver to visit an old lady and shows her a photograph of the corpse of one of the slain recruits. The old lady identifies the corpse as her son's killer and thanks Anatoly for bringing him to justice. Anatoly presents this to Oliver as an example of how Bratva always ensures justice. Later, Anatoly explains to Oliver how Bratva means 'brotherhood' and tells Oliver that his second test is to trust his brothers. Oliver says that he trusts his brothers, and allows Bratva members to slash at his back, trusting they won't kill him.

Episode 4: Oliver is in a car with Anatoly, about to embark on his final test - to infiltrate a police lock-up where one of Kovar's agents is being held and question the man. Oliver pretends to be a drunk and gets arrested and put in the lock-up. There he confronts Kovar's agent, and identifies himself as a Bratva member. He threatens the man's wife and daughter, forcing him to reveal an IP address on the deep web which leads to Kovar. Oliver then breaks the man's neck. After he is released, Oliver is back with Anatoly in the car. Oliver wasn't entirely convinced that the man needed to be killed, and admits he almost didn't, but finally he went through with it because Anatoly told him to. Anatoly tells Oliver that he is now officially part of Bratva.

Episode 5: Oliver is brought before a Bratva committee, including Anatoly and another man, Victor, for his formal initiation ceremony. He proclaims his allegiance to Bratva, claiming "I have no family, I have no home, I have no name". Later, at the party celebrating his initiation, Oliver drinks with Anatoly and muses about Taiana and how he hasn't contacted her parents in Russia yet. He then has a hostile conversation with Victor, who refuses to accept him as a part of Bratva and calls him an outsider. Oliver is warned against leaving the party by another man, but he ignores him and steps outside only to be confronted by a couple of men who beat him down. The other man kills his two assailants and tells Oliver to tell his boss that the rest of his fee is due. The man leaves, unmasking himself, and is revealed to be Christopher Chance. Anatoly meets Oliver and tells him that Victor planned to have him killed and Anatoly hired the 'specialist' to protect him. Oliver asks Anatoly what he's gotten himself into and Anatoly claims "that's an interesting question".

Episode 6: Oliver is being instructed by Anatoly on how to build and set a bomb, and accidentally sets his off. The Bratva hideout they are in is attacked by gunfire, which Anatoly claims is a declaration of war by the Bratva against Kovar. Later, Anatoly, along with Oliver, meets with Bratva's Pakhan (Godfather) Gregor. Anatoly is concerned by Oliver's disrespect towards Gregor, but Gregor claims to be intrigued by Oliver's eagerness. He tells Oliver that Kovar is planning to expand into Bratva territory by starting a casino and is looking for investors. He asks Oliver to pose as an an investor and then bomb the casino. Oliver meets with Kovar's man at the casino, playing the 'rich American playboy'. He knocks out Kovar's man and he and a Bratva agent start setting charges, but they are knocked out by an approaching Kovar man. Oliver wakes up tied to a chair, face to face with Kovar.

Episode 7: Oliver is brought to Kovar's dining room, after a week of interrogation, during which all he did was yell about the need to avenge Taiana. He notices one of Kovar's maids, who Kovar reveals is the mother of Taiana and Vlad, whom he offered a job after her children disappeared last year. Oliver reiterates Taiana's claim that Kovar is a monster, but Kovar retorts that the world is a complex place and 'truth is a matter of perspective'. He tells Oliver that the Bratva is simply using him as a tool and then claims that he and Gregor have reached an accord. Oliver manages to take Kovar hostage in a sudden move and tries to force his way out of the house only to be overpowered. Oliver challenges Kovar to a fight. Kovar easily overpowers Oliver and beats him to within an inch of his life, when Gregor walks in and tells Kovar to "stop this madness", revealing that Kovar was telling the truth about the accord between him and the Bratva.

Episode 10: Gregor and his men take Oliver to a basement with Gregor admonishing Oliver for joining the Bratva for a personal vendetta of killing Kovar. Oliver calls Gregor a sell-out to Kovar, a traitor to the Bratva. Gregor asserts his authority, claiming that as Pakhan his word is law and he will beat obedience into Oliver. Gregor discovers the photo of Laurel on Oliver's person and wonders if she's the woman Oliver is planning to kill Kovar for. After discussing Oliver's history with him, he wonders why Oliver didn't return home to Laurel after Lian Yu and Oliver replies that its because Laurel wouldn't recognize the person he's become now. Kovar tells Oliver that he's not responsible for the darkness inside him - its the circumstances that have made him what he is now. He offers Oliver a place in the Bratva in exchange for obedience. When Oliver refuses he threatens to kill Oliver before someone attacks the guards, and then Gregor, with arrows. A dazed Oliver finds himself face to face with a female archer in a hood who introduces herself as Talia.

Episode 11: Oliver wakes up in Talia's apartment. Talia reveals to Oliver that she's researched his history over the last four years - from Lian Yu, to stopping Shrieve in Hong Kong, to taking down Reiter, and even his brief return home to Starling City and his refusal to reveal himself to his family. She tells her that she's interested in him because he has the hood of her old student - Yao Fei. Oliver finds it hard to believe Talia trained Yao Fei given that she's half the latter's age but Talia chalks it up to a "family secret". Talia informs Oliver of a people-trafficker who supplies to Kovar and asks him to help her take him down, before she makes her proposition to him. Oliver agrees. Talia, using a bow-and-arrow, takes down several of the trafficker's men while Oliver too takes them down using a gun. Oliver then confronts the trafficker and beats him to death. Later, Talia asks Oliver why he travels the world in search of a mission when his father has literally given him one with the List. Oliver says that its because he's become a monster and is no longer the man his father raised. Talia offers him a solution - in order to be 'Oliver Queen' again, he needs to give the monster a distinct identity and make him "someone else, something else...", and offers him back Yao Fei's hood. Oliver then assumes the persona of 'the Hood' while Talia prepares to ensure he's ready for the crusade ahead.

Formerly sn939

Re: Arrow Season 5 Flashback Recap Thread

Updated till 5x04.

Formerly sn939

Re: Arrow Season 5 Flashback Recap Thread

Updated till 5x06.

Formerly sn939

Re: Arrow Season 5 Flashback Recap Thread

Great job, @sanddragon!

Sometimes I feel that your excellent posts and recaps fall under the radar, and hence are not praised/commented upon enough. The main reason for this neglect is probably that the rest of us are so engrossed in our back and forth bickering about characters and ships that we miss the good, non-controversial posts out there! Joking aside, you're doing the board a great service with your flashback updates and metas. The flashbacks are so short, and so scattered among the present-day scenes, that it's hard to discern a coherent FB storyline unless you watch the eps several times...so your recaps are a great memory aid!

Re: Arrow Season 5 Flashback Recap Thread

Updated to episode 7.

Formerly sn939

Re: Arrow Season 5 Flashback Recap Thread

Updated to episode 10...first update in a LONG time.

Formerly sn939

Re: Arrow Season 5 Flashback Recap Thread

Updated to episode 11...and what an episode THAT was for the flashbacks!


Formerly sn939
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