In “Kapiushon”, Oliver suffers through both physical and emotional torture at the hands of Adrian Chase while in Russia he goes with the Bratva on the mission that will get his vendetta on Kovar accomplished.
After getting Oliver shirtless off screen (would love to see how that conversation went) we see him getting tortured by Adrian Chase who is drowning Ollie for 145 seconds at a time: the same amount of seconds Adrian’s dad had seemingly suffered inside of a pool after the Arrow had shot him back in Season 1. The deal is Chase wants Oliver to confess (a very obvious) *something* to him and he will be set free, but until then, he is going to suffer.
Intercalating with the Star City torture chamber, the Russian flashbacks get much more screen time as things allegedly heat up. Oliver does some torturing on Gregor before he eventually dies from his wounds, leaving up the position of Bratva Boss empty. Given seniority, Anatoly will be the one to step up to rule over the brotherhood now. After the painful “chair-passing” ceremony (which is totally unsanitary), Anatoly realizes he will have to talk to Kovar about his businesses with Gregor. Oliver suggests that he can talk to Taiana’s mother who work for Kovar, but that conversation is made short by some bodyguards.
We see Kovar doing some trade deals with Malcolm Merlyn before they are interrupted by Anatoly. In their conversation, Anatoly gets the gist of Kovar plans: overthrow the Russian government using some sort of weapon that he acquired from Malcolm.
Adrian shoots some arrows at Oliver, hurting his shoulder. He also proceeds to taunt Oliver with the idea of killing his friends, family, and son. Oliver begs, but Adrian doesn’t go back: he wants to hear a couple of words from Ollie’s mouth even if Ollie himself doesn’t quite know what are these words.
At Russia, the Hood/Kapiushon coordinate his attack on the weapon shipment with the Bratva. Sadly, Kovar manages to beat them and retrieve this ultra powerful gas that he plans on unleashing on some very powerful people. As Ollie got his hands on one of Kovar’s lackeys, he suits up and proceeds to torture the man by skinning him alive so he can get the information of what precisely Kovar’s plan is.
Anatoly sees what the Hood has done and is both horrified and not convinced about Oliver’s discourse on how being the Hood allows him to channel and hide the monster apart from the “Oliver”, in a way that is supposed to be reminiscent of dissociation. Now armed with the Kovar’s plan — killing government officials inside his casino — they come with a plan of their own: Oliver will talk to Taiana’s mom again and get her key to Kovar’s place so they can sneak in. The main goal of the conversation is reached, but it comes with powerful punches as Taiana’s mother learns of her death albeit Oliver lies to her when she asked him who killed their children (hint: Oliver himself).
Back at the torture chamber, Adrian brings out Evelyn Sharp, who had been revealed to be in cahoots with Prometheus several episodes ago after she found out about Oliver’s early days killing. She appears to be in a terrible state of mind and hurt as Adrian says he has made her “more compliant”. Chase, by the way, gives out a knife so that Evelyn and Oliver can fight leading to one dead. Evelyn picks up the knife as she can’t take another day being a prisoner.
The Hood breaks into Kovar’s house/casino/wherever to let the other Bratva brothers in. There, he sees through surveillance cameras that Kovar is beating up Taiana’s mother for giving out her key to someone. She stands brave at the face of the enemy claiming not to know anything. The Hood runs down the halls trying to stop the worst from happening, but he arrives too late, finding Taiana’s mom dead on the chair. Meanwhile, one of the Bratva brothers betrays the rest by leading them straight to Kovar’s heavily armed men.
Oliver tries to convince Evelyn to join him in ambushing Adrian, but she refuses it because Adrian kept telling her that “[she] is dead because she is part of [Oliver’s] life”. As she makes the first move, Oliver takes the knife from her. Adrian barges in furious, asks once again for Oliver’s secret and by getting no response from a clueless Ollie, he snaps Evelyn’s neck.
The Hood goes down on another murder spree in Russia, taking out several henchmen as he makes their way to the room where Kovar is reuniting the officials and the now Bratva prisoners to kill them all with the gas. He plans on telling a story about the Bratva being responsible for all this and releases the gas.
As both plots reach their climax, the editing jumps back and forth quickly, so just going ahead part by part: in the Russian flashback, the Hood has an initial fight with Kovar, stops the gas, and releases the people who were still alive by then. Another fight sequence begin — an annoying one because of the terrible strobe lights — that seemingly ends on the Hood killing Kovar. This is all paralleled by current day where Evelyn’s death seemed to have pushed Oliver too far and, after Adrian taunts him, he finally confesses that he didn’t have to kill all those people, but he did it because he wanted to and liked it. Predictable, right?
Adrian taunts Oliver a bit more and Evelyn makes a return as her death was just meant to break Ollie a bit more. In the end, Adrian’s mission is successful as he really did destroy Oliver’s spirits. Before letting him go, however, Chase burns out Ollie’s Bratva tattoo which we see him getting it as the flashbacks return to reveal that Oliver is leaving Russia now, packed with the hood. Anatoly does read Ollie once again and tells him that he does enjoy killing and that this Hood thing is going to burn him one day.
Before the episode ends, another scene with Malcolm reveals that Kovar didn’t actually die. As Oliver returns to the Arrow-cave, he tells his friends that his shenanigans days as the Green Arrow are over – the whole shebang is over.
After a huge sigh on my part when I realized that the episode was going to be flashback-heavy, I actually ended up appreciating the finality of it: the writers dragged the plot with a terrible pace throughout all season because they needed the climax to be reached at the same time as Oliver was being confronted by Adrian. Was it worth it? Not really. But it did reach an intermediate level of actual “dramatic satisfaction”. Too bad Kovar didn’t die. Too, too bad. I really wanted the Bratva thing to be over *sigh*. Also, Kovar had such terrible enunciation in Russian that I could barely understand what he was saying.
For starters, this whole thing about using the Hood personality to keep his darkness at bay while murdering and torturing loads of people is complete bullshit and reminds me a lot of this:
I mean, seriously. Oliver Queen is a nice, sporty kind of guy, sure he cheated on a few of his girlfriend and he did end up killing some people (oops!), but that guy The Hood is the real bad egg of the story, with the mass murdering and all that jazz. Yikes.
Now, about the predictability of Oliver’s big secret: yes, everyone could have guessed it. In media, given the context that Adrian wanted Oliver to confess his biggest darkest unspoken truth, it was only the option about his liking of murder. The episode even made a point to strike on Oliver’s cruelty — he did skin a guy for Kovar’s plan and kept going even after the guy had ratted because he needed the practice. If this isn’t comparable to Ramsay Snow/Bolton/Sue levels of sadism, I don’t know what is.
Truth is this was a long time coming. Oliver has killed an incredibly high amount of people throughout five seasons, both in flashbacks and present day plots. While he did stop eventually killing the villains of the week, this is the type of thing that one doesn’t simply come back from so it is nice seeing him getting some repercussions. The show also made a point to call out Adrian on his bullshit — he did murder several people too, innocent ones mostly —, but so far he has been a formidable villain which, as I mentioned last week, closely mirrors the other great villain Arrow had in Deathstroke.
Overall, “Kapiushon” was actually greatly entertaining if you take out about 10-20 min of Russian scenes which, despite serving to “increase the stakes”, they mostly fell flat. One thing I’d like to say though is that, even though I appreciated the show not showing the graphicness of Taiana’s mom’s death and Evelyn’s alleged on, it still hurts that Taiana’s mom even had to die to fuel up Oliver’s thirst for killing Kovar. I mean, it’s not like he wasn’t already going to kill him because of Taiana herself, so adding up the death of a sweet helpful oldish lady does not bode well at all.