We are now officially halfway through Arrow‘s last season. With the fifth episode, “Prochnost”, we go back to Russia and one of the darker times of Oliver Queen’s life. Amends continue to be made, and Oliver continues to go on this journey of self reflection. However, he now has his children from the future, Mia and William, to attend to.
“Prochnost” is an excellent episode of Arrow. There was worry about the future characters weighing down the story. Instead, the two helped move the story and character development of Oliver forward. The backdrop of Russia for this episode works great as well. It works as a sort of homage to the Season 5 flashbacks. This isn’t a detriment to the main storyline of the season, either. Rather, it moves the plot forward in that the main focus is getting an essential item to use against the monitor.
Interactions between Oliver and Mia were the highlight of the episode. In it, we have Oliver revisiting his dark past in Russia and going back to the underworld, albeit reluctantly. This is mainly due to the concern of the safety of his daughter. The premise is basic and by the numbers, with Oliver recognizing Mia’s capabilities and using them to his advantage, working together. William hardly has any conflict with his father, and seems to be a Felicity fill-in as the tech person on the team.
The fight choreography was also thrilling in this episode. Watching Oliver in an underground fight club setting was very entertaining. Mia gets in on the action as well, but unfortunately, her physicality isn’t as convincing in her fight scenes. A lot of the hits thrown by her character don’t look like they land. That doesn’t take away from her development, however. At one point she is put through a grueling exercise that Oliver was put through in the Season 5 flashbacks. It’s refreshing to see their relationship develop through her re-living experiences similar to Olivers.
The subplot revolving around Diggle and Roy was intriguing too. While not having as many stakes as Oliver’s, it was still fun and nice to see Roy return for the final season of Arrow. The concept of being in control of your own destiny was interesting too. Roy, worried about his bloodlust, was reluctant to re-join the team. However, Diggle’s optimism lures Roy back in. Together, they have a thrilling action sequence in which they obtain necessary materials in their quest to prevent the impending crisis.
Overall, “Prochnost” was a surprisingly compelling episode of this latest season. While some fight choreography wasn’t too convincing and the story was predictable, that won’t stop Arrow‘s final season from being of superior quality. I’m excited to see how the second half of the season plays out. – Ernesto Valenzuela
Grade – 8.5/10
Arrow airs Tuesday nights on the CW.