Arrow Season 5, Episode 17 recap: Can Prometheus break Oliver?

Spoilers for Arrow Season 5, Episode 17

Last time:

Oliver rescued Susan Williams, but Prometheus and Talia captured Oliver. In season 4, Oliver killed Taiana after she absorbed the idols power, a mercy killing. Now, he meets her mother.

Onto the recap:

Star city: Chase Tortures Oliver:

s05e17 Chase dunks Oliver underwater

In a cell in Star city, Chase holds Oliver underwater for 145 seconds, the same amount of time his father struggled under the water before he died after Oliver shot him. He says that if Oliver confesses to the one thing that he has been afraid to admit to himself, he can go free. Oliver insists that he doesn’t know what Chase means. Chase holds Oliver underwater again.

Russia: Oliver tortures Gregor:

Anatoli, Victor, and Oliver interrogate Gregor. Oliver digs a bullet out of Gregor’s arm as torture. Anatoli is not impressed. Gregor quotes the Russian revolution before he dies. Victor says that they must swear in a new Pakhan, Anatoli. 

Anatoli is promoted:

Anatoli is sworn in as the new Pakhan. He is given Gregor’s ring, and he and Victor cut their palms to seal the bond in blood. Victor is not happy with Anatoli’s promotion.

Oliver and Anatoli discuss Kovar:

Anatoli says that he must meet with Kovar to ask him why Gregor quoted the Russian revolution before he died. Oliver is shocked, but Anatoli says that because Kovar and Gregor had a deal, he has to meet with Kovar now that he has taken Gregor’s place. Oliver says that he will talk to Galina, Taiana’s mother who works for Kovar, in case she heard something.

Oliver finds Taiana’s mother, Galina:

Oliver finds Galina, but her body guard intervenes before he can get any information, and Oliver kills him. Oliver tells Galina not tell Kovar that she saw him, before he flees the scene.

Kovar meets Malcolm Merlyn:

Merlyn has arranged a shipment for Kovar. As they discuss compensation, information about Unidac industries, Anatoli comes in.

Anatoli meets Kovar:

Anatoli tells Kovar what Gregor’s last words were: revolution, and he mentions that Gregor was killed by the hood, a man with a bow and arrow. He explains that, as new Pakhan, he is obliged to keep Gregor’s commitments. Anatoli sees a file on Kovar’s desk with the name of a shipyard.

Anatoli tells Oliver about his meeting with Kovar:

s05e17 Anatoli reveals Kovar's plans.jpg

Anatoli tells Oliver that Kovar plans to overthrow the Russian Government, and that he met with an American businessman about a secret shipment to help him do that. Oliver says that he will help to get the shipment before Kovar does. Anatoli worries that Oliver is becoming a monster, but Oliver says that he wont stand by and let Anatoli be murdered by Kovar.

Star city: Chase makes Oliver confront his victims:

When Oliver comes round, Chase has put photos of Oliver’s victims on the wall. Chase places a picture of The Count in front of Oliver, and says that unless Oliver confesses, he will shoot Oliver in the same place with three arrows. Oliver tells him to go to hell. Chase shoots.

Russia: Anatoli, Oliver and Victor go to the shipyard:

Anatoli and Victor find the shipment. It is Sarin gas, enough to kill thousands.

Star city: Chase continues to torment Oliver:

Chase pulls the arrows out of Oliver. He shows Oliver Felicity’s glasses, which he took from her apartment, and says that he could kill everyone Oliver cares about whilst Oliver is locked up, even his son. If Oliver confesses he can go free. Oliver still doesn’t know what Chase wants.

Russia: Kovar arrives:

As Victor and Anatoli load the shipment, Kovar and his men show up. A fight breaks out, but Kovar gets away with the shipment.

Victor criticises Oliver and his vendetta against Kovar:

Victor says that they lost a lot of men, and he believes that they should honour Gregor’s pact with Kovar. Oliver says that if they do Kovar will shut the entire Bratva down. Oliver will question the man they captured, to find out where the gas is going to be used: but not as himself.

Oliver tortures Kovar’s man:

Oliver, as the hood, ties down Kovar’s man, and he talks of a skinning technique used by hunters in Mongolia to remove all the skin of their kills in less than 5 minutes. He tells the man that he does not have long to confess what he knows.

s05e17 Oliver skins a man alive

Anatoli is shocked by what Oliver has done. Oliver says that it worked, he knows what Kovar is planning. Anatoli comments that the man withstood a lot before breaking. Oliver says that he gave up pretty quickly. The rest was just Oliver practising to become something else. 

Oliver reveals Kovar’s plan:

Oliver says that Kovar plans to invite key members of the government, politicians, and military to the opening of his casino, so that he can kill them and take charge of the country. Anatoli, Victor, and Oliver decide to infiltrate the casino to stop him, using Galina as their inside contact.

Oliver confronts Galina again:

Oliver says that he knew Galina’s children, but they are dead. He says that Taiana called Kovar a monster who needed to be stopped. Galina gives Oliver her key card to Kovar’s buildings.

Star city: Chase brings Evelyn to see Oliver:

Chase brings Evelyn into Oliver’s cell and throws a knife to the floor. He says that whoever survives is free to go, but if Oliver does not kill Evelyn, he will snap her neck. Evelyn says that she cannot take another day here. She reaches for the knife.

Russia: Oliver infiltrates Kovar’s Casino:

Oliver uses Galina’s keycard to get inside the casino. In the security room, he uses the cameras to find out where the gas is, and he lets Anatoli, Victor, and their men inside.

Oliver sees on the security camera that Kovar has Galina, and he rushes to help. 

Victor sells out Anatoli:

In the casino, Victor tells Anatoli that he knows the way. He leads them straight into a trap.

Oliver is too late to save Galina:

Oliver finds Galina, but he is too late: Kovar has killed her.

Star city: Chase kills Evelyn:
s05e17 Chase breaks Evelyn's neck

Evelyn attacks Oliver with the knife. Oliver disarms her and tries to free himself. Chase returns and is true to his word: He breaks Evelyn’s neck. Oliver says that he will kill Chase.

Russia: Oliver heads to help Anatoli:

Anatoli tells Oliver that Victor betrayed them. Oliver rushes to try and stop the gas attack.

Kovar puts his plan into action:

Kovar tells those gathered that the press will report that everyone here died because of a gas attack by the Bratva, who he brings into the room. He unleashes the gas and leaves.

Oliver kills Kovar:

Oliver shuts off the gas. Kovar finds Oliver and rips off his hood, surprised to see who is underneath it. Oliver and Kovar burst through a door. Anatoli, who survived the attack, watches as Oliver beats Kovar. He says that Kovar will face justice, but Oliver kills Kovar anyway.

Star city: Chase gets Oliver to confess:

Chase continues to insist that Oliver confess. He asks why Oliver kills, because he doesn’t kill because he has to. Oliver admits that he killed because he wanted to, and he liked it.

Chase torches Oliver’s Bratva tattoo:

As Oliver lays in his cell, Evelyn gets up and says that she knew he would break. She was part of the plan all along. She leaves Oliver alone with Chase.

Chase says that Oliver’s crusade was based on a lie: He used his father’s list to justify a killing spree. He says that Oliver is responsible for the deaths of Tommy, his mother, Laurel, and that he ruins the lives of everyone he touches. Chase blow torches Oliver’s Bratva tattoo as a reminder of the time Oliver spent as his captive, and of the secret that he confessed.

Russia: Oliver is made a Bratva captain:

Oliver gets his Bratva tattoo. Outside, Anatoli gives Oliver his hood back. Anatoli says that the hood is an excuse to allow him to kill, and that Oliver kills because he likes it. He says that when that facade falls apart, Oliver will not like the man he sees underneath.

Malcolm Merlyn saves Kovar:

Kovar will take weeks to recover. Merlyn knows that Kovar will want revenge.

Star city: Chase lets Oliver go:

When Oliver wakes up, the door is open, his shackles are undone, and his arrows and gear are in front of him. He stands, wobbles a little, and leaves the cell.

Oliver disbands Team Arrow:

Oliver has been missing for 6 days, and Felicity, Curtis, and Diggle have struggled to find him.

s05e17_Oliver disbands team arrow.jpg

Oliver arrives back at the base, and he tells the team that Chase let him go. He says that it is over. He doesn’t want to do this anymore, and he is shutting everything down. 


  • Season one of Arrow would have been very different if Anatoli told Oliver that Kovar met with Malcolm Merlyn.

  • The scene where Oliver skinned Kovar’s man was chilling. Oliver really is a disturbed individual, which isn’t really surprising given what he’s been through.

  • Malcolm Merlyn saved Kovar, who knows Oliver’s secret identity as the hood. Will Merlyn help Kovar get revenge? Did Merlyn find out about Oliver before season one?

  • I think that Oliver meant he wanted to kill and he liked it back when he started the list. I think that now, he’s torn. 

Next time:

Oliver asks Anatoli to kill Adrian Chase, and tells the team to stay away.

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