Arrow: “Brotherhood” Season 4 Episode 7 Review

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This was a very busy episode of Arrow, but at least it featured zero awkward connections to Legends of Tomorrow.

More than half of the main superhero team had subplots tonight, not to mention some scenes with Detective Lance and the flashbacks. A lot was going on in “Brotherhood,” which was a welcome change of pace. Not every plotline was well-orchestrated, but the individual resolutions did a great job of giving everything here purpose.

Let’s start with the big one: Diggle’s brother is officially back from the dead, and he’s one of Damien Darhk’s ghost soldiers. While brooding Diggle is hardly the most enjoyable to watch, this storyline at least forced Team Arrow to take on H.I.V.E. head-on. At first, it’s just Green Arrow and Diggle in the field, but Oliver almost gets killed so Diggle refuses to partake.

The next time goes a lot better, with all of Team Arrow, including the Atom, taking on what amounts to essentially a militia. The choreography and corresponding camera work were both really awesome. What could have been the usual decent enough action scenes Arrow produces turned out to be some of the best stuntwork in the series yet. The camera really stuck on Black Canary and Red Arrow as they fought, almost invoking the legendary hallway fight from Daredevil earlier this year. Though I will say, the capture of Diggle’s brother was awkwardly edited. He’s now trapped in the Arrow Cave under close supervision.

Moving onto Thea, who (sigh) is dealing with her bloodlust again. This subplot really, really needs to go away, but at least “Brotherhood” seemingly took steps toward that. But I definitely don’t need to see the show’s obvious excuses for Thea to go berserk at inopportune moments anytime soon. Darhk’s touch doesn’t affect her and quenches her bloodlust (things are so easy/complicated in superhero stories). Now she’s asking for Malcolm’s help to make the effect permanent. Sooner than later, please.

Finally, Oliver is still running his campaign and deciding where and how he’s going to clean up Star City. His first idea is to clean the bay and make it a new hub for social activity. But Darhk disagrees because evil guys don’t like gentrification or something. Their whole confrontation was superbly acted, but it didn’t make a lick of sense. I’m sure in just a few episode’s time, the Star City bay will be the host of all of Darhk’s magic or plans, but for now it was just silly. But having Oliver fighting Darhk in the day as a politician is an interesting turn.

So all these story parts had good enough resolutions by the end. The episode mostly succeeds because it features an excitingly direct confrontation between Team Arrow and the main villains of the season. Plus, some great actions scenes can go a long way in spicing up an episode. Grade: B+

Some Other Thought Bubbles:

  • Does anyone have a tally of how many times Arrow has done the resurrection-gone-wrong in its entire run? Diggle’s brother is the latest after Sara (twice), Malcolm, Slade Wilson, and I’m sure more. At least its using its history in a compelling manner. Laurel understanding how Diggle feels was a good character moment.
  • Atom sticks out like a sore thumb in the best possible way when fighting with Team Arrow.
  • I for sure thought when Quentin saw the intel on Darhk’s desk it was a setup to expose him.
  • Next up is the big crossover with The Flash in two weeks!

By Matt Dougherty

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