‘Arrow’ recap: 8×05 “Prochnost” The Smoak-Queen Family Goes To Russia!

Arrow recap Season 8, Episode 5, “Prochnost” Aired Nov. 19, 2019.

One feeling that was constant watching this episode, was pride. Everyone in this episode made the effort to be better, to try harder. And as we vacationed to the parka-wearing weather of Russia, we were reminded of what this place is… to Oliver at least.

This is the place where he wasn’t better. This is Kapiushon.

But they lifted each other up all the same, and it was truly like they were embracing piña coladas in a cold Russian bar. Let’s get into it:

Oliver & Mia

Oliver and Mia and their blossoming relationship was very much the driving force of this episode. As Anatoly said, Oliver Queen was always meant to be a father. Mia and Oliver’s scenes were charged, fresh, and feeling. I was on the edge of my seat watching them battle it out, watching their curiosity peak for each other, and watching them protect each other.

The Training Montage

We begin this episode with a Mia and Oliver training montage. Did they want me to die right there? I guess they did, because they were shooting tennis balls mid air, teaching/learning about trick arrows, and shading Felicity’s cooking skills. Oliver even comments on how dedicated Mia is. 

“Mia is a machine, Dad.” -William

He teaches her everything he knows, and she’s excited and determined! Scenes like this are gifts, truly. It’s made apparent that Oliver knows he doesn’t have much time left, and he wants to get to know his kids and empart some of the skills he’s learned along the way.

Back to the Bratva

After they learn that the plans for a weapon that could destroy The Monitor are in Russia, Oliver, Mia, William, and Laurel plan for a little trip. (I have logistical questions about how Mia and William can get on an airplane given that their social security numbers would indicate that they are much younger than they look, but we can let that slide).

We get to Russia and that of course means we visit our favorite Russian, Anatoly. It’s so hard to ever stay mad at Anatoly.

William even says in Russian, “water under the bridge,” and Oliver gives William a hilarious “WTF, you speak Russian?!” look.

Anatoly suggests that he call his “friends” to help, but Oliver refuses. Oliver understandably isn’t particularly eager to introduce his kids to the Bratva, but Mia does looked peeved like she isn’t getting let in on the whole plan.

Fight Club

The only way to get to the guy that has the plans is at his underground fight club. Then we get another wonderful dad moment from Oliver as Mia reveals she used to earn her money from fighting — and winning — at fight clubs. Oliver’s reaction is a mix of horror and pride. And I’m truly loving the duality of the emotions both Oliver and Mia are expressing… in every scene they share.

She confesses this because she wants to impress her dad, and she wants to show him what she’s capable of. Oliver is both equally impressed and horrified that his daughter fought and won in fight clubs. It’s scenery chewing goodness.

Mia wants to go of course. And Oliver says no of course.

“Yes, but we’re not children!”

“You are when I look at you!”

So Oliver wins fight club but along the way gets distracted when he sees his kids faces looking back at him. There’s a quick look of panic and confusion on his face but he snaps out of it and swiftly wins against the guy that was, as Laurel pointed out, “twice his size”.

Mia’s look of wonderment follows Oliver after he’s won to retrieve the plans. Unfortunately, the Bratva get to her first and they get kidnapped.

Ring The Bell

We get to see a little bit of Felicity’s humor in Mia as she remarks that they are “tied up in a creepy basement”.

However, this whole scene of Mia and Oliver kidnapped was my favorite part in the episode. They test to make sure Oliver is telling the truth by having Mia “ring the bell” (it’s apart of Bratva initiation… remember season 5?).

Mia fighting all those guys had me completely captivated. We are Oliver, not blinking, worried, stressed, and proud. We are in the fight.

And I will say that there was a moment where Mia was on the ground and two goons were pulling at her legs. My stomach hit the floor, and I probably reacted to it in a way that wasn’t necessarily how it was intended. But I think those reactions had to be thought of right? A brief moment from panic? Ladies, did any of you feel the same?

Mia is so close to ringing the bell, but she doesn’t. And he pulls the gun on Mia, pulls trigger, but it’s empty. Mia’s panic and relief were heartbreaking. I just wanted to wrap her up in a blanket and make her soup.

When they get back to Anatoly’s bar they have it out. Oliver, of course, makes a speech that makes me cry. He does that a lot:

“I’m sorry that it worked out that way. And both of you can decide on your own how much you want to hate me, and how much blame you want to assign. But I made a promise to your mother to keep you safe. And there is no world, there is no universe, there is no past, present, or future where I break it.”

Green Robes, Let’s Go!

After they all cool off, Oliver decides to let them help. The plan is for Oliver and Mia to distract them in the ring, while Laurel and Anatoly get the drive.

They get into the ring and kickass together. Momma’s proud once again. Also, that synchronized shot of Oliver and Mia taking their hoods off at the same time, *chef kiss*.

After they successfully get the drive, Oliver decides to let his kids in a little more. He tells them they can ask him anything. Mia asks about an island, and we end with the classic Arrow intro, “it was called Lian Yu, Mandarin for Purgatory.”

A Brief Rant About Roy Harper!

Roy, *hard sigh* I’m kind of done with you? I was sympathetic the first couple times he hopped on the self-pity parade. But this is a pattern with him. And then Diggle said he left Thea without a goodbye. I don’t care what your damage is, you don’t do that to the people you love. But mostly, Roy hasn’t grown. Same old, same old. It really seems like he is using his bloodlust as a crutch, or an excuse to isolate himself.

But considering how Diggle VERY IRRESPONSIBLY tells Roy about his future, he does seem to want to change. They might be able to redeem Roy in my eyes. I still see what I like about him. He’s very loyal, but is he dependable? I don’t really think so…

However, do I want Roy and Thea together at this point? No. Not really. Same old story with those two. And honestly, Thea deserves better.

Lyla and Laurel

Lyla asks Laurel to steal the plans from Oliver and give them to her. Laurel doesn’t want to because she doesn’t know what Lyla and The Monitor are planning.

You see Lyla, if you just tell people what’s up, your problems might be solved.

So, Laurel doesn’t do it and she tells Diggle and Oliver what Lyla has been doing. They are very shocked then get darted in the neck by tranquilizers.

Lyla doesn’t look surprised either. I just really need her backstory with The Monitor, STAT!

Stray Musings:

  • Mia and Laurel had a nice scene. Mia doesn’t know about Laurel’s Black Siren past, so Mia’s feeling a little self-conscious about her attempts at hero-ing. Laurel doesn’t fess up, but does say she isn’t perfect. So there’s that.
  • William was a treat, his little “wrap it up” at Mia, so cute, so funny, an icon!
  • Oliver promised Mia he would keep training her!
  • Anatoly needs to be on the spin-off as Uncle Anatoly.
  • Oliver: “Mia NO!”
  • Mia: “Mia YES!”
  • “What are the chances that my father and sister are in the clutches of the Russian mob, but aren’t already dead?”
  • “Slim.”
  • “Aren’t your family constantly ejecting each other with tracking devices?”
  • “Normally I would say, “god I hope not” but now I guess I can see the advantages.”
  • Mia is SO EXCITED to learn how to dislocate her thumbs! Precious.
  • I love that Diggle and Oliver text each other things like “Target Acquired”, makes me giggle.
  • I love Russia episodes.

Arrow all new Tuesdays at 9 PM on The CW!



Lynsey is a proud Hufflepuff. Find her watching anything from BoJack Horseman to Grey's Anatomy. She loves to read... especially if it features dragons and a good cry. If you ask her what she's doing she will most likely respond "I probably should be writing." Find her on Twitter, to theorize, geek out, and to obsess about Olicity.

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