Season 5 of Arrow will see Oliver finally finish his flashback transformation from poorly-coiffed playboy Ollie into the ruthless killing machine Hood of Season 1. The Season 4 flashbacks didn't actually do much to advance Oliver on his flashback journey, but the latest batch have upped the ante on action with the Bratva. All things considered, Oliver hasn't had the roughest time so far with the Russian mob. Unfortunately for him, it looks like things might change when he finally meets Kovar. We finally have our first look at Dolph Lundgren as the Russian baddie, and he's...surprisingly snazzy. Check it out!
If somebody had told me that a villainous government strongman in Russia could look so classy, I might have thought twice about wanting Oliver to fulfill his promise to Taiana and murder him. The first image of Kovar looks like a polished recruitment ad promising a life filled with formalwear, fancy drinks, and magnificent hair to anyone who signs on as a minion. Based on Taiana's description of Kovar in Season 4, he sounds like a brutal murderer who knows nothing of mercy, but at least he does know how to wear a tuxedo.
Unfortunately, Kovar probably won't give Oliver the chance to admire his tuxedo and/or ask for hair care tips. It seems that Oliver will be captured before he manages to harm a hair on Kovar's head. Oliver clearly won't be happy about it, although we can't say whether he's upset that Kovar has bested him or bummed that Kovar evidently discovered the fountain of youth while he was running around in circles on Lian Yu. Either way, he won't be having his best day in Russia. Take a look at his predicament:
Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim has already revealed that Kovar is an especially interesting villain due to his combination of intelligence and physical presence. Throw in the fact that he looks much more civilized than Flashback Oliver, and it should be interesting to see them pitted against one another. Depending on how his assassination plot goes, Oliver may seem like the bad guy to the civilians in the area.
Taiana certainly painted an ugly picture of Kovar, but she probably didn't imagine that Oliver would sign on with the Russian mob in order to kill him. Kovar is a bad guy; the question is whether or not he is worse for the public than Oliver's new brothers in the Bratva. Yes, Anatoly is a pretty cool guy whose shenanigans with Oliver are a fun combination of shady and ridiculous. The same can't be said for the rest of the Bratva.
Luckily, we don't have to wait too much longer to see the clash of Kovar and Oliver. Dolph Lundgren makes his Arrow debut on Wednesday, November 9 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. The latest episode revealed that Oliver's sketchy past in Russia is catching up to his public life in Star City, so the flashbacks may be more important than ever before.