ARROW “Kapiushon” Review
BY The Screen Spy Team
Published 5 years ago
By Justin Carter
This was an interesting episode of Arrow to watch play out over social media. Some people were very interested in seeing where it would all go, while others were content in expressing the sum of events as one of the worst episodes in the season. I admittedly wasn’t entirely sure where I fell on that scale when the episode ended, but after thinking it through a bit, I think I could safely say that I dug it.
It must be said that for all the really messed up stuff the show has done over the last five years, this episode saw some pretty bleak stuff going down. Adrian Chase may be putting arrows into Oliver and forcing him to kill a teenage girl — more on that later — but it’s the Oliver of the past who truly deserves the title for bloodthirsty monster. It’s not just how he casually shoots four arrows into three guys in two seconds (he shoots one in the leg, then again in the chest), he threatens to skin one of Kovar’s henchmen like an animal. And then there’s what Chase is trying to convey to Oliver, that his presence truly ruins people’s lives, as we see when Kovar murders Taina’s mother after she helps Oliver sneak into his casino and Chase throws Evelyn into Oliver’s cell with one ultimatum: one of them has to kill the other, or Evelyn gets her neck snapped.
Given the tone of the episode and how the only two women of real prominence both function basically to die for the sake of messing with Oliver, the term “fridging” certainly came to mind, especially when Chase delivers the neck snap. But then it turns out that Evelyn’s death was just a ploy to get Oliver to confess his deepest, darkest secret, and man, that final reveal threw an already bleak (replete with physical torture and psychological warfare) intoeven bleaker territory.
So much of this episode was dependent on the performances from Stephen Amell and Josh Segarra, despite brief supporting scenes with Felicity, Curtis, and Diggle. Of the two men of the hour Amell does a really good job of showing us Ollie’s decline into bleakness over the course of the episode, but it’s Segarra who really gets the chance to shine here, because he is doing some really messed up stuff to screw with Oliver and get the answer he desires. As in last week’s episode, it feels as if there really isn’t anything stopping him from just going kill crazy beyond his own twisted desire to see things play out how he wants them to. The proceedings all come across as a game that he’s playing with someone who is taking forever to get caught up on the rules, and his frequent needling and frustration at Oliver’s obliviousness adds tension as the torture goes on. And because the majority of the season has been spent making these two friends, that groundwork makes everything going on these past three episodes and future ones all the more tragic.
As for Oliver’s secret? That’s something I had to think about as well, because on paper, it seems really obvious that he would eventually start killing because he liked it. But the revelation that it was pretty much the foundation for his entire crusade is what makes it work a little better. All those previous moments in the series where he’s killed have been out of necessity, but the casino fight up against Kovar was all him wanting to. Anatoly did his best to steer him from that path with promises of justice, but to our future emerald archer, killing the guy is justice all on its own.
And now that we’ve also learned that it didn’t take the way he was hoping, we see another case of Oliver’s past coming back to haunt him. This really makes Anatoly’s beef with Oliver in the present all themore justified. He tried to show his friend that the Hood persona was a weak rationalization for his blood rage, and now it’s come back to blow up in his face.
“Kapiushon” isn’t a perfect episode of Arrow, and for many people, this is going to rank as a straight up bad episode. But it is definitely the show at its most ambitious without the need of a crossover or trying to clumsily impart a message about gun control. Instead, it chooses a braver route in hinging its entire emotional weight on two main actors and letting one of them give a really powerful performance. With six episodes left to go in the season and Oliver seemingly calling it quits, I am definitely interested in seeing where all this goes next.