Series Issues: Arrow 4×07 – Brotherhood

Sometimes spoilers just need a hug.

(Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

(Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

Arrow 4×07: Brotherhood finally addresses a subplot that seems to have always been in the background, but actually hasn’t gotten substantial until very recently: John’s brother Andy (Eugene Byrd). As we learned in the previous episode, he’s taken in a life of crime that he kept secret from everyone, including John. As usual, the title is a two-sided sword. This episode also brings together John and Oliver back as brothers.

Nitpicking commencing in 5… 4… 3…

Andy is alive. Team Arrow learns this while they’re infiltrating yet another company to grab a particular chemical because we so often just need an excuse to be running into Damien Darhk’s Ghosts. Then again, this is not the part that bothers me. My peeve is with the turnaround. John doesn’t trust his brother anymore because of the file that Quentin obtained from Damien. And this is ridiculous because although Captain Lance might have double and triple checked it, the sources of that very info are also questionable. So to be fully on the level here, John Diggle has no reason to believe those things on the documents obtained from a supervillain are reliable in the least.

But for the sake of drama, he does and Oliver wants to give this man a chance because otherwise the debate team doesn’t have anything to do. The problem is that for me the viewpoints are reversed. Oliver should be the callous skeptic not wanting to trust Andy and John should be the brother still hoping every word is a lie. That sounds like the actual way I would play it.

Ray Palmer is finally back and not turning into a Micro-machine because we’re being serious in this one. To be honest, I like that he’s been frazzled and taken down a peg or two. He’s been more cautious and wants to plan his next move carefully. Only a millionaire visionary is capable of turning away from a multi-million dollar company. Wait, no. Crazy people also would do that. Of course, Ray is about to join Legends of Tomorrow very soon.

Also, Thea’s bloodlust is starting to act up again. Malcolm is in town, trying to convince her that she needs to address this. She doesn’t want to do it his way though, and almost ends up killing a creep that proposes to her in the creepiest way while she’s out with Alex the campaign advisor for Oliver. She still refuses Malcolm’s help. Then two amazing things happen.

First in what I thought for sure was going to be Thea’s doom, she runs into Damien Darhk while in Speedy costume. Damien places his hand on her throat and… the curse backfires. Damien Darhk’s power feedbacks into Thea giving her some of Damien’s own life source. That scares Mr. Darhk out of his wits for the first time.

Second, Thea accepts Malcolm’s help. That would be completely uncool except that she decides to define what is he going to be doing to help her. Very much an empowered Thea in this episode.

I gotta say, you kind of see it coming as we learn that Andy Diggle is corrupt – but we also witnessed the latest batch of Ghost recruits ingesting pills that submit their will to Damien’s so Andy’s corruption is not all (or possibly none) of his fault. It’s nice to see the walls coming down between Oliver and John though.

Great episode with a couple of surprises bringing the cast up to play at almost the same level. Felt more of an ensemble cast than a hero’s quest this week.

Highs/Lows/Bros:

  • Thea! You could say she’s in peril from herself, but I loved the fact that a) she might turn into a de facto weapon against Damien and b) she will define how and who will help her. Actually let’s add c) she decides this without the help of anybody else before she lets Malcolm back in.
  • John Diggle and Oliver Queen’s roles are reversed. John is convinced by the evidence and is quick to dismiss any innocence on Andy’s part. Oliver wants to give him a chance. Andy is John’s brother. I don’t buy this. Yes, Oliver’s point about wanting to give someone a chance (reinforced very slightly by his flashback story where he kills another man) carries some weight. Not as much as related by blood though. Still, good performances from John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Andy (Eugene Byrd), although the actual brother reunion is a bit short.
  • Ray was a little less annoying in this episode. Yes, I’m sorry, sometimes he overplays being charismatic and comes off as a showoff. Not since he’s been back though.
  • There’s a scene with Black Canary kicking Ghosts’ asses as she moves down a corridor. Brief, but we’re slowly getting Laurel to become more and more of a badass.
  • Quentin is been playing the spy really well lately and he’s getting cocky. I thought for sure that reference, left in plain sight on Damien’s desk, would be a trap. Damien doesn’t trust him as much anymore, but you can tell the Police Captain is afraid of him. He should at least play along a little to avoid suspicion.
  • I actually want Oliver to do a serious run at the mayor’s office. I was glad that John Diggle told him not to play along with Damien, not even for the sake of having a way into his organization. Technically Felicity told him the same thing. On that note, Oliver doesn’t even blink as he runs face to face with Damien Darhk at a police fundraiser and shakes his hand without any fear. That was well played.

That will do for now.

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