After taking a year out from doing a flashback focused episode, season five revives the trend with “Kapiushon”.
With Oliver being held captive by Prometheus, much of the hour is spent in Russia, circa 2012. It’s a less heavily weighted towards the past than in previous years – or, at least, it feels like it – but the majority is still spent away from the present-day. When attention is turned to Oliver’s current predicament, Arrow delivers some fantastic blows. Save for the final scene, all of the present-day material takes place in the cage with Prometheus attempting to break down his enemy and force himself to realise his greatest secret.
Watching the torture – both physical and emotional – is rough. Director Kevin Tancharoen captures the brutality of Prometheus’ methods, and Stephen Amell is terrific at looking beaten down, both literally and mentally. Josh Segarra, meanwhile, is as chilling as one can fathom, turning the intensity up to eleven and making his presence overwhelming. Their interactions are the strongest aspect of “Kapiushon”, and arguably the strongest set of scenes the show has done in a long time.
Five years ago, meanwhile, Anatoly takes over the reins as Pakhan, and is forced to honour Gregor’s deal with Kovar. But when he and Oliver learn the specifics of what Kovar is planning, they decide to try and take him down. The first quarter of the episode takes a while to get going – despite a cameo from a familiar face – but by the time the Bratva begin battling Kovar, the pace and the quality picks up. One particular scene midway through the hour ties in very nicely to the present day, both now and in the past, and is also amongst the most brutal on display.
The plot does have considerable issues with both logic and the basic concept of science, but it’s entertaining and narratively strong. It perhaps lacks the focus of “The Odyssey” and the technical excellence of “The Promise”, but it works.
Some teaser quotes:
1. “What did you do to her?”
2. “He called the man kapiushon.”
3. “See how easy it is to think first and kill people later?”
4. “Fortunately for us, we have both friends and money.”
5. “But for me, we both know it’s just a matter of time.”
“Kapiushon” airs on Sky 1 on Thursday 30th March at 9pm.