Arrow, CW’s long-running Green Arrow series, is in the fifth episode of its final season, “Prochnost.” After Future Team Arrow was transported in time to the present, last week’s episode saw Oliver (Stephen Amell), Diggle (David Ramsey), Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) Rene (Rick Gonzalez) come face to face with the future. After successfully defeating the Deathstroke Gang, Oliver learned that to retrieve plans to a similar weapon to the one that wiped out Earth-2, a trip to Russia was in order.
In “Prochnost,” Future Team Arrow is continuing to grow accustomed to the period they’re inhabiting. Although William (Ben Lewis) finds it easier, due to having already lived through 2019 as a teenager, it’s Mia (Katherine McNamara) who finds it hardest when fitting in. Fortunately, as promised last episode, Oliver has begun training with his daughter, including the classic ‘shoot some tennis balls’ routine and a detailed look at his trick arrow selection. Meanwhile, Diggle reunites with fan-favorite and returning character Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) in an attempt to help him with this bloodlust.
Hitting the halfway mark of the final season, “Prochnost” focuses on some of the themes from Season 5, particularly Oliver’s antics in Russia and the darker sides of his past. Oliver allows his children to join him on the trip to Russia in which they meet with longtime Arrow returning character Anatoly (David Nykl). As this is the final season of the show, Anatoly’s presence reminds the audience both of the show’s legacy and the trajectory we’ve seen Oliver go through after all these years. Laurel (Katie Cassidy-Rodgers) also accompanies the team for this mission with a proviso, she has been tasked by the Monitor to betray Oliver Queen to restore her Earth. It’s here that Anatoly’s presence also connects with Laurel’s storyline, as both worked together in villainous circumstances and have changed their ways in spite of that. One of the benefits of a long-standing show like Arrow is that it allows these story beats to occur.
The most interesting part of the episode is seeing how each of these characters still has something to learn, and that character growth in itself isn’t a ‘one and done’ situation. Mia, of course, is stubborn and incredibly reckless at times but learns from the advice given to her by Oliver and Laurel. But that doesn’t mean the latter two characters themselves don’t learn a few lessons from Anatoly. Oliver learns that his children at this juncture and aren’t kids – meaning that he needs to be open with them. It’s probably no coincidence that the Monitor has set up this particular set of events this way, as it allows Oliver and Mia to be the best versions of themselves for when the ‘Crisis’ strikes.
This theme is also repeated with Diggle and Roy’s arc but in a slightly different way. We saw Roy deal with the issue of his blood lust throughout Season 7’s flash-forwards which ended up with him taking the blame to help save the city. Now, time-travel interference can often wipe these instances away but the writers do something more interesting with it. Instead, Diggle alerts Roy to what happened in the future and helps to push him in the right direction for his wellbeing. Not only does this positively affect his wellbeing and quite possibly the future, but it also doesn’t ignore the development that iteration of the character went through.
Arrow also continues to do a brilliant job at taking this extremely cosmic story and translating it in so many ways that feel right for the show. For example, Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) has been secretly working for the Monitor all this time as ‘Harbinger’, something which Laurel finds out in this particular episode. While the Crisis connections are indeed fascinating, instead I can’t help but wonder what effect this will have on Diggle and Oliver when they find out the truth. This is all due to the wonderful story building that the writers and actors have put in for the last eight years.
Overall, “Prochnost” is another worthy addition to the final season of Arrow. An episode chock full of character development and an ending that will leave you begging for next Tuesday to arrive sooner.
“I can’t stand pity parties.”
Arrow airs every Tuesday at 8 PM CT/9 PM ET on the CW.