“Brotherhood” opens with a bike chase strangely reminiscent of the truck heist in The Dark Knight, until Team Arrow comes in with a Canary Cry, and Diggle comically smashing a truck, before the Ghosts set a mountain of cash ablaze. Again, like in The Dark Knight. The episode proceeds to be really campy and focuses on a “brotherhood” theme for most of its duration, as its center is the reveal of yet another character in the Arrow universe who has evaded death: Diggle’s brother Andrew. But it’s better this time because Felicity delivers a tongue in cheek line “even death isn’t permanent anymore.” Being meta, however, doesn’t retract the sins of poor storytelling decisions in my book, but the moment was still funny enough.
Back at the cave, Diggle shows Oliver Andrew’s file delivered by Lance. For the sake of having dramatic argument in the episode, Oliver is the spontaneous pure of heart hero again, with Diggle opposing him on giving his own brother the benefit of the doubt. Oliver insists that there’s got to be some explanation, and that things aren’t always what they seem in this world they live in. While Diggle’s stance initially seems as outrageous as when he held a grudge against Oliver when he first came back to the city, he has a heart-to-heart with Laurel at the campaign party later in the episode. Here, John Diggle depicts a real, tragic truth of our world when a soldier dies, as he tells her about the most painful day of his life when he needed to tell his nephew that he’d never see his dad again. We reach a most dark moment for John in this episode when the team finally captures Andrew alive, and the brother admits to to every evil deed Damien Darhk’s files say. This moment has likely crushed John inside, but one has to wonder if Andrew is still brainwashed or under the evil influence of Darhk and his yellow Vicodin pills.
Our plot in the daylight of this episode depicts the beginning steps of Oliver’s campaign for Mayor, for which, his primary plan is to clean up Star City Bay. It’s a plan that is about as GREEN as you can get.
Oliver introduces this plan at at a campaign party honoring the Star City Police. It is here, where everyone is looking their most dapper, that Darhk introduces himself to Oliver Queen, suggesting his own assistance in in the former playboy’s efforts, which is a bait that Oliver struggles with throughout the rest of the episode. In fact, Oliver reveals later that his flowery ideal that Andrew was innocent was to relieve him of his own guilt, as he was truly considering the deal offered to him by Damien Darhk. and whether one can come back to the light from that move. It’s here that the episode takes a hopeful turn, and for the better parts of the hour, because while the things that Oliver say in his first rally at Star City Bay appear corny out of context, the character has been well built to this moment in the episode, and the season, thus far. Unlike killing people off of a hit list as The Hood, or infiltrating the League of Shadows as The Arrow, Oliver pledges to fight against the darkness in Star City in the light of day, both as himself and as the Green Arrow.
Tangentially through the episode, Felicity get’s Ray’s help analyzing one of the Ghost’s cyanide capsule teeth, which eventually sends the team “Wolfman Biologics” facility, but they also have several conversations about Ray’s position in the world, and his shame in feeling that his efforts, and his company, haven’t made any kind of heroic difference he’d hoped for, especially after seeing the condition of Star City upon his return. It’s here, I’m sure, that we’re seeing a desperate Ray Palmer plotting out a team of super humans that will eventually become our Legends of Tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Thea’s story gets much more complicated when her bloodlust returns in full force, and despite a visit from her sleazy bio-dad, Malcolm Merlyn, and the offer to kill a pedophile that actually deserves to be sacrificed, Thea attempts to deal with her problem in her own way. Strangely, but also satisfyingly, this effort backfires when she pummels on an old guy making moves on her while she’s out in public. Needless to say, that guy will be staying home on the weekends for a long time.
When the team infiltrates the biologics facility, Thea has her first hand-to-hand encounter with Damien Darhk. This mostly comes as a result of the team being really bad at stealth (like Oliver and Diggle chatting too loud on top of a storage container bad). In Thea’s encounter with Darhk, he attempts to choke her out with his dark magics, but whatever has happened to her (either her contact with the Lazarus Pit, or the bloodlust itself) his attack on her causes a physical reaction in his body, leaving her unharmed. Does this make Thea one of the only people that can fend themselves against Darhk? Details will most likely emerge after the DC TV POWER HOUR IN DECEMBER!
–> FLASHBACK NOTES 4.5 <–
→) Oliver finds out that Vlad was the brother of the girl he’s got hidden away
→) Oliver takes the map left by Constantine
→) Conklin guy gets the cheesiest whipping I’ve ever seen
→) Yum roasted lizard. Oliver tells her about her dead brother.
→) Oliver tells her that Conklin is the one who killed Vlad, shows her the map.
Arrow 4×07 “Brotherhood” (7/10)
Coming up on December 2nd and 3rd, a two night, mini-Justice League will be born in the CW Event Flash/Arrow “Heroes Join Forces.”
No Doubt, Ally and I will cover this event thoroughly in our TYF DC Debrief that weekend. Speaking of which.
Are you a fan of Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl? Check out Ally’s review of this week’s other episode in the DCTV Universe!
The Flash 2×07
At the end of every week, Evan and Allyson meet up to chat about the weekly happenings on our podcast TYF DC Debrief! Available on several platforms! You can join the conversation with us every week on Twitter @EvGriff42 @AllysonAJ and @TYFOfficial
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