What Happens in Russia

Warning: this post contains spoilers from episode 2.06  of CW’s Arrow, “Keep Your Enemies Closer”

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Team Arrow? This week’s episode lived up to my belief that the episodes are only getting better. It already held promise by being a Diggle centric episode, and then Stephen Amell amped up the hype by posting a video on his Facebook featuring himself, Emily Bett Rickards, and finally David Ramsey. The video  is beautiful, and requires a minimum of ten views per person.

https://t.co/vy4bCyBJqb

The episode started off with Roy giving Arrow his signal, and then led to another scene where Isabel is putting Oliver in his place about missing board meetings. She is cut off by Felicity who interrupts them by needing to talk to Oliver about his “meeting” with Mr. Harper. Oliver then leaves with Felicity telling her that she needs to work on her excuses. This is coming from the man who was the king of excuses last year.

As for Roy, he is doing his part on Team Arrow, and then being told to stay out of it. It is nice to see Oliver is becoming more protective of Roy. Of course Roy wants to do more, and it leads him to be arrested by Officer Lance (reunion time!) while he is trying to stop one of the bad guys. However, when Roy is at the police station he tells Lance they are on the same team right before Thea shows up and Lance lets him go. Moral of the story here is become part of Team Arrow and Lance will let you go. I enjoyed the short scene, and it is interesting to see both Lance and Roy are on the same team now.

Meanwhile, Oliver is able to take down the bad guys,  and Diggle gets kidnapped. This is why you never turn off your communicator right after the mission seems to be a success. Luckily for Diggle it was a couple of members of A.R.G.U.S. who had captured him, and we are introduced to another character in the DC World, Amanda Waller. She informs Diggle that Lyla Michaels has gone missing in Russia while trying to find Deadshot, and she needs him to find her.

The next scene with Diggle shows him entering the lair where Felicity and Oliver are watching a clip about the particle accelerator (This is the third or fourth time the particle accelerator has been mentioned, so it will come into existence on the show soon. If you mention it three times, it will come.). Diggle informs them that he is going to Russia in order to find Lyla, and Felicity explains to Oliver who Lyla is. I love Felicity and Diggle have a friendship that doesn’t necessarily include Oliver. Oliver then tells Diggle all of them will be going as a team even though Diggle didn’t ask them. I love the fact Oliver said “we” meaning he is including Felicity instead of saying he would join Diggle.

Right before the trio is able to get on the plane, Isabel appears at the hanger asking where they are going. Felicity tells her Tahiti, but Isabel already knows they are going to Russia. OK maybe Felicity does need to work on her lies. Right now, I’m claiming Felicity subconsciously does want to go to Tahiti, and she secretly might be possibly crossing the DC/Marvel lines in some way with Phil Coulson. Either way it turns out Isabel is a fast packer and joins Team Arrow on their trip to Russia.

This episode finally does give Isabel plenty of screen time, and her partnership with Oliver. As soon as they land in Russia she informs him she has made already made a meeting with the head of the subsidiaries. She is also the one to finally bring up the idea of Oliver and Felicity sleeping together. Oliver is obtuse on the matter, because it never occurred to him that a former party boy turning a girl from the IT department into his assistant might lead to people thinking they are sleeping together.

Later, when Oliver sees Isabel in the hotel bar and they have a chat. This leads to Oliver finding out more about Isabel’s past and the fact she is Russian. They have a cute little conversation in Russian, and the next thing you know they are in Oliver’s hotel room getting to know each other even better. As the slogan goes for this episode, what happens in Russia stays in Russia (possibly). When Oliver goes to the door to meet Felicity for the next part of the plan, she is already at his door. This is when Isabel walks past them saying she think Felicity can take the night off. The reasoning why Isabel does this is still unclear. It is not like she is fighting Felicity in a battle over Oliver, but she still makes it clear she and Oliver just slept with each other. At the end of the episode they decide not to discuss what happened in Russia, so it stays in Russia for now.

While the whole tryst is happening between Oliver and Isabel, Diggle is in prison trying to find Lyla. He is able to get into prison because of Oliver’s connections to the Russian mob. His connection and the reason why he is Bratva is because he saved the man they meet, Anatoli Knyazev, from the boat they are prisoners on in the flashbacks. Knyazev has a man inside the prison that can help Diggle escape once he saves Lyla. Knyasev also gives him a bag of Breaking Bad crystal meth, so he can be put in prison.

The scene right before Diggle leaves his partners is truly beautiful. Oliver was the one who first offered to go to prison when him and Diggle were talking to Knyasev, but Diggle stated it was something that he had to do himself. The worry on Oliver’s face is clearly present. I think this is the first time I have ever seen Oliver this worried. He has been in situations before where loved ones were in harm, but I think a part of him knew he could save them. This time he has to stay back while Diggle goes into a situation, which he may not be able to ever get out of. Then there is Felicity who is also worried about Diggle. If Oliver’s face hadn’t already killed me, then Felicity putting a scarf on Diggle and kissing him on the cheek did.

This team is there for each other, and would do anything for the other members. Oliver and Felicity don’t like the fact they have to wait on the sidelines, until it is time to complete the mission. Felicity keeps wondering aloud how Diggle is doing, and Oliver has to reassure her. Oliver is worried too, and whatever he said to the man they met was not “please” despite what he told Felicity.

Diggle is now in prison and becomes the best of buds with his roommate who is apparently in prison because he gave a speech against the government. He also learns that black men are not popular in Russia.

I will say that prison agrees with Diggle, not in the way it agrees with Moira, but we are able to see so much Diggliciouness while he is prison. It all started when he was in the cafeteria with his new bestie when he got into one little fight with the popular group of prisoners. I’m pretty sure Diggle broke one of their legs while he was beating the group up, and for some reason the guards thought it would be best if Diggle cooled down.

One of the best things about Arrow this season is they know how to amp up an already great episode, and Deadshot being in the same confinement with Diggle was excellent. Diggle is put into a hard spot with being so close to Deadshot, but not being able to do anything about the man who murdered his brother because he needs to save Lyla. It doesn’t help make matters any better when Deadshot kills the man who is helping Diggle, and Diggle must then rely on Deadshot to help save Lyla and escape the prison. They are able to escape prison and it looks like Deadshot was able to join the crew, no questions asked until the van stops and Diggle tells Deadshot to get out. Diggle being a man of honor is not able to shoot Deadshot, and Deadshot reveals to Diggle, that he never missed his target. He was hired to kill Diggle’s brother by an alias called H.I.V.E.

Diggle is able to help save the girl (which he revealed was his ex-wife) with the help of his friends. They come back from Russia looking as cozy as can be, and it was great to see Diggle that happy. He now wants to investigate what H.I.V.E is, but we still got a glimpse of him being happy with Lyla.

Another somewhat happy ending on the show was Moira approving of Roy. Earlier in the episode, Moira’s lawyer comes to visit Thea telling her she needs to break up with Roy because it isn’t helping Moira’s case with Thea dating him. Thea caring for her mother actually does what the lawyer wants, and breaks up with Roy. It was heartbreaking to watch. However, Moira being her awesome self finds out about it, and invites Roy to prison so she can meet him. She sees Roy as being a positive influence on Thea’s life, and wants Thea to continue seeing Roy, therefore she tells Thea she forbids her not to see him.

The only person who did not get lucky or a somewhat happy ending in this episode is Felicity. She is hurt from finding out Oliver sleeps with Isabel, and doesn’t necessarily understand why Oliver chose her out of all the other women. Isabel has been seen as the enemy who has taken apart so many companies, and was trying to get control of Queen Consolidated. The scene with Oliver and Felicity have at the end of the episode can be construed in different ways especially depending on what a person is shipping. What can be taken away is Oliver feels he needs to tell Felicity his reasoning on why he slept with Isabel, and why he feels like he can never be with anybody he can truly care for. Felicity comes back with telling him she believes Oliver can do better than Isabel. It is one of the reasons why the team works so well. They believe in each other, and see the good each of them has.

As for the flashbacks, we find out Shado and Slade are still alive on the island. The scene shows half of Slade’s face is burned, and Shado is trying to help heal his injuries. It is an interesting scene because this is the first time we see them alone, with no Oliver, and the bond works.

Elsewhere Oliver is trapped on the boat where he found out Sara is alive. However, it is not the Sara he knows, and they have both changed over the past year. Sara is still able to save him from being killed, saying he can still be of use, and Ivo agrees. Both stories were great but the present day one held my attention more.

I believe this was the best episode yet, and really hope Felicity gets some love in her life which involves her being taken to Tahiti.

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