The Dark Secret Of Oliver Queen

This article contains spoilers for the Arrow episode – Kapiushon.






This episode may have been the darkest in the series and contained arguably the best acting of Stephen Amell’s career and equally brilliant acting by Josh Segarra. This was also very different from a normal Arrow episode where the modern day story takes up most of the time and the flashback fills in around it. Here, the Bratva vs Kovar story was the biggest part of the episode, but that doesn’t mean the modern day part was weak by any stretch of the imagination.

Chase has captured Oliver and is torturing him for a confession. The problem is that Oliver has no idea what it is that Chase wants him to confess and Chase isn’t giving any help. He waterboards him, beats him, shoots him with arrows, threatens his family and friends… and its hard to tell if Oliver is just withstanding the pain or would he have already broken if he knew what Chase wanted.

We cut to the flashbacks that take up the larger part of the episode. Oliver tortures Gregor to get information on Kovar. He gives one clue, a quote that lets Anatoly know that Kovar is looking to overthrow the government. Meanwhile Kovar is meeting with Malcolm Merlyn, who is supplying a weapon that will help Kovar in his coup. Anatoly, who becomes the head of the Bratva now that Gregor is dead, meets with Kovar and finds out location of the weapon. When they go to retrieve it with Oliver’s help, it turns out to be serin gas. Kovar arrives before they can get away, killing a bunch of men and making off with the canisters. Oliver goes to Galina and gets her key to Kovar’s club. But Viktor has betrayed the Bratva, Kovar kills Galina and captures most of the Bratva, while at a club opening with all the major government figures. He releases the gas into the club, but Oliver shuts down the gas before it can kill everyone. Oliver ends up fighting Kovar directly and beating him. Anatoly wants to turn Kovar over to the authorities, but Oliver kills him instead. Oliver is given the captain tattoo as a parting gift by Anatoly. And we learn that Kovar is still alive… so I’m sure he’ll be coming to find Oliver soon.

All of this was shown with cuts back and forth of Oliver being tortured by Chase who finally puts Evelyn Sharp in the cell with him and gives her a knife. She looks beaten as well and whoever kills the other gets to leave. She tries to stab Oliver, but he disarms her… but refuses to kill her. So Chase snaps her neck. This pushes Oliver past the breaking point and he finally tells Chase what he wants to hear. Oliver admits that he didn’t kill the people on the list because it was his father’s request, he did it because he wanted to and he liked killing.

Having gotten what they wanted, Evelyn gets up, showing she was playing along. Chase then burned the area of Oliver’s chest where the Bratva tattoo was. Oliver blacked out form the pain and when he awoke, Chase and Evelyn were gone, he was unchained and his gear was waiting for him. Oliver returns to the bunker to find Diggle, Curtis and Felicity waiting. He is a broken man and tells them that he is no longer going to be the Green Arrow, that he’s shutting everything down.

This was an intense episode that leaves us with the question of, “what’s next?” Is Prometheus done? And what will Oliver do about him? I think it’s an interesting story going on, but I don’t know if I buy the fact he liked killing. Nothing in the previous four seasons ever gave me the impression that Oliver enjoyed killing. In the beginning it was efficient and then later, he turned against it to the point that not killing had put him in harms way. I think it was a very strong episode, I just don’t think the actual secret works for what we know about Oliver or how he has changed.

Now that he is broken and battered, Oliver pushes his team away and calls in his brother… Anatoly, to deal with Adrian Chase.

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.