Title: Arrow: “Prochnost” Review
Release Date: November 19th, 2019
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
Why? Just… why end the episode like that? I was so ready to head into this article, write up some detailed thoughts on how Mia has actually progressed as a character and how awesome Laurel’s storyline was. That cliffhanger changed that. I’m not sure I can really think about anything other than theories on what happens next but let’s just see how this review goes.
So, yeah, this was most likely the last episode for Anatoly and the whole Russia side of Arrow. I’ll miss Anatoly. His brotherly bond with Oliver has always been one of my favorite relationships in the show and it made his short-lived turn to the dark side in seasons 5/6 all the more gut-wrenching to watch. As for the Bratva aspect of things with Oliver, I thought it was handled well enough.
Oliver wanted his kids to see him as what he is now, a shining hero that has all the answers. He didn’t want them to see the darker days where he killed unceremoniously and his former life with the Bratva. I do believe Oliver’s motivations probably could’ve been shown more instead of being told about his feelings multiple times. For example, I thought the scene where Oliver quickly bolted from the cage to go deal with the general was very well executed. It showed that he didn’t want his kids to see him like that or to see that side of his past. But, I do think I’m kinda grasping at straws with this complaint because otherwise, this was a pretty awesome episode.
It was also the best episode for Mia in Arrow season 8. I know I’m not alone when I say that Mia has been lacking in terms of character growth and likability. The start of this episode gave us a training montage I think Mia desperately needed. She’s only been trained by Nyssa Al Ghul but yet she talks to everyone else, including Oliver (who has defeated Nyssa multiple times), as if she is the best fighter in the room. Seeing Oliver actually teach Mia about these different arrow types and fighting techniques does wonders for her character, especially in fight scenes.
Her fight scenes this week were some of the big standouts from this week’s episode. As stated many… many times before, Arrow is excellent at these action sequences. Mia’s ring the bell fight and the Mia/Oliver team-up were no different.
And we also had some character development from Mia as we learn that she is pretty insecure about her being able to live up to the Arrowverse heroes. A reason why we like characters like Diggle, Roy, Thea, Laurel, and Oliver so much is the fact that they are flawed. This scene between Mia and Laurel was a great first step for our flashforwards crew. They don’t have to be perfect reincarnations of the old Team Arrow. That’s one of the reasons why people haven’t been attached to this crew. Let them be their own characters. Which, in a way, was kinda what Laurel was telling Mia in that scene.
Speaking of Roy, I had no idea he was showing up here. I kept scratching my head when Diggle mentioned that he had someone in mind for his heist. For a split second, I thought we were somehow getting Deadshot back or a Wild Dog team-up mission. I know, I’m pretty dumb for thinking, even for a second, we would get a Deadshot appearance. But hey, at least they killed the Arrowverse Deadshot off for a good cause. That Suicide Squad movie was just fantastic, right? Everyone loved that DCEU film.
It’s great to have Roy back and it seems that he’s sticking around for Crisis. Here’s another nitpick but Diggle constantly mentioned that Roy was able to control his bloodlust in the future because he had a team around him. Well, two things to that statement. First, Roy had a team around him for a while last season and he still killed innocent people. And second, correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think his bloodlust was ever under control in 2040. He was definitely brutalizing some corrupt politician or cop last season in the flashforwards. I think Dinah pulling him away is the only reason he stopped punching that guy.
Laurel’s story this week was probably one of the strongest aspects of “Prochnost”. We spent so much time last year with her redemption arc that it would have been a waste for her to throw it all away with just a few episodes left in the season. Those little moments of admiration from Mia and Anatoly were the turning points for Laurel’s decision to refuse The Monitor’s deal. It helped that Katie Cassidy expertly sold that conflict throughout the episode. You could see it in the dialogue where she continued to make off-handed jokes to sway the conversation and in Cassidy’s facial expressions.
Okay, so we covered Mia’s character development, Oliver’s motivations, the Roy stuff, Laurel’s conflict, and Anatoly’s final episode. Anything else? Great, now we can get to that ending. What the hell is going to happen next week? I mean, I saw the trailer so I can kinda take a guess but still. I have so many questions. Why is Lyla helping The Monitor? What did he promise her or tell her? Is The Monitor the Anti-Monitor? That last one is a theory I’ve been consistently saying in these reviews since the start of the season. Next Tuesday can’t get here quick enough.
Verdict: “Prochnost” was another excellent episode of Arrow season 8 that featured a goodbye to the Russian side of the Arrowverse. It was also home to Mia’s best episode yet and a brilliant side story focusing on Laurel’s conflict between who she is now and who she was before the team took her in. The episode was only elevated by that outstanding ending, which is unfortunate because we have to wait another week to see this show again.
- This was Mia's best episode in season 8
- Laurel's conflict throughout the episode
- The fight scenes
- A great farewell to Anatoly
- Roy is back!
- That cliffhanger
- Maybe we could have seen Oliver's motivations more instead of being told about them
- Diggle constantly mentioned that Roy overcame his bloodlust in 2040 but I'm not sure he ever did
- We have to wait another week to see the fallout from that ending
- Those are all really just nitpicks, this episode was pretty awesome
Avid gamer and placeholder of what is now the worst selfie of all time. Mostly an Xbox/PS4 player but I have been known to destroy friendships in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.