We find Oliver in the middle of an underground fight club fight, having what looks to be a grand old time beating up his gigantic opponent.
Oliver wins, and kills his opponent. Seems to be a fight to the death kind of underground club.
After Oliver wins, his promoter(?) meets him outside to give him his winnings. Oliver is disinterested in money and only wants to get close to Konstantine Kovar. Unfortunately for Oliver he wasnt supposed to win, or kill his opponent. Turns out his opponent was the Bratva's top fighter
Oliver's introduction to the Bratva is being tased and kidnapped
In excellent series premiere symmetry; we find Oliver being interrogated, zip tied to a chair in a basement somewhere with a gun to his head. He's being interrogated about his book, it intrigues his captor.
Luckily Oliver's old island buddy Anatoly is his captor's boss and saves Oliver from being executed.
Giving Oliver maybe the most genuinely happy smile I can recall.
Anatoly 'teaches' Oliver a trick he's used throughout the series, and dislocates his thumbs to get him out of the zip ties.
This is going to hurt. With practice you can dislocate your thumbs any time, if getting tied to chairs is going to become a habit. How did Anatoly know?
Anatoly questions the wisdom in Oliver's decision to hunt down Kovar, as he is a dangerous man with government soldiers at his disposal.
He knows the real reason Oliver has not returned home and its not because of a promise. He is not moving forward, his promise was in the past.
"Акула, кто не плавает, не тонет." ~ “The shark who does not swim, drowns.”
Anatoly agrees to help Oliver, but only so that he doesnt get himself killed. The only people who can get close to Kovar are Bratva. So Oliver gets initiated with a gang style beating to begin the proces of becoming Bratva.