One of the early surprises on Arrow occurred in the third episode, 'Lone Gunmen'. That was the first time audiences heard Oliver Queen, a notorious playboy with a history of getting kicked out of school and who had apparently survived for five years on an uninhabited island, speaking Russian. Not only that, but he was a Captain in the Bratva, a Russian criminal organization. Over time, more hints have been dropped about Ollie's history with Russia and the Bratva. It became clear that during his five missing years, some of that time was probably spent in Russia and in season 5 - during which the flashbacks have detailed the fifth year he was gone - he finally ended up there.
In order to fulfill a promise he made to his friend Taiana Venediktov, Ollie went to Russia and joined the Bratva in order to take out criminal overlord Konstantin Kovar (Dolph Lundgren), who Taiana said had mistreated the people from her hometown. Ollie's efforts to join the Bratva were dangerous and difficult, but he finally succeeded and went after Kovar. His plan did not go well, he was captured and tortured. When he was released, Ollie learned that Kovar and the Bratva had forged an alliance and he could no longer count on their help.
A Swedish born actor known for playing tough guy roles, Lundgren has only been seen in a couple of episodes of Arrow so far. But according to EP Marc Guggenheim in an interview with Comicbook.com, the audience will be learning a lot more about Kovar soon. There will be an episode which focuses nearly entirely on the flashback story, and it promises plenty of Lundgren:
"Russia is very much in the zeitgeist these days, and coming into the back half of the year, we're doing a lot more with Russia. We're going to do a Russia-centric episode, a flashback-centric episode like we did in the first three years of the show. We'll be doing that later on in the season and that will have Dolph Lundgren's character, Konstantin Kovar, very much front and center."
Guggenheim didn't speak much more about the episode's content, besides a small tease about how it might tie into a current news story:
"In that episode, assuming the scheduling works out because we're still writing this episode, the plan is for Konstantin to have a very key meeting with a corrupt, American multimillionaire businessman. Make of that what you will."
Whether Guggenheim's reference to scheduling is based around an actor's availability, a planned event in the near future, or something else is unclear at this time. But the promise of an episode centered around Kovar is something fans have been looking forward to, and it is nice to get confirmation that it is happening.
Arrow returns with ‘Who Are You?’ on January 25th @ 8 p.m. EST on The CW.