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.

Keep Your Enemies Closer Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (94 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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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.