Just as the last episode was Felicity’s episode, this episode titled “Brotherhood” really belonged to John Diggle and it was about damn time Diggle got some good story progression. After last week’s rescue of Ray Palmer, the show doesn’t let up on the action or the drama, but lets go just slightly of that lighter tone that I praised so much. Nevertheless this episode was fun and insightful. I couldn’t have been more pleased with this week’s episode of Arrow.
Warning: SPOILERS will follow!
1. So this episode finally came back around to a few of the very small occurrences of a H.I.V.E Ghost not finishing off Diggle or running away from Team Arrow like you’d expect them to. I’ll be honest, I had completely forgotten about those small scenes until this episode, but I feel like that was kind of the point. It was kind of like an “Oh wow I should have seen that coming” type of moment when it turned out that Andy Diggle was that H.I.V.E. Ghost all of those times. I really loved seeing Diggle’s emotions and reaction to his long thought dead brother actually being alive. We got a full range of emotions from sadness to anger to confusion and much more, but I have to say… damn did David Ramsey nail it all! We even got a rare appearance of Crying Dig this episode, who then goes and gets comforted by Not-Crying Laurel. It’s like the person that usually writes Laurel accidentally got the characters mixed up, because this episode mirrors the past few where Laurel had to deal with her sister being back from the dead. The best thing to come out of Diggle’s frustration was his conversation with Oliver where he made him think to start fighting Darhk in the light of day. That dialog was powerful and really moving. The real question is… where the hell has Lyla been? She just shows back up this episode like she wasn’t gone doing ARGUS stuff with the baby, but no one says a thing. Oh well.
2. So something I addressed last week was that Damien Darhk didn’t notice that Detective Lance set up the whole meeting with him as a trick to allow Team Arrow to follow him. Well someone noticed that flaw in Darhk’s character and made up for it this episode by having Darhk confront Quentin and threaten him once again. Between Darhk knowing about Felicity, Diggle’s brother being H.I.V.E., Quentin being a mole and Laurel being Quentin’s daughter, the writers are really throwing everyone’s name into the hat for who’s name will be on that grave from episode one. We get to see a bit of Darhk’s techie side this episode when we find out how he’s controlling his army of Ghosts. Apparently there is a little yellow pill that gives Darhk a Killgrave-esque suggestive power. I feel like these pills will come back into play later in the season when someone on Team Arrow will probably end up taking one of those.
3. One of the best parts of this episode was the meeting between Oliver and Damien Darhk during the police banquet. We get a pretty respectful and business like proposition from Darhk who wants to give Oliver campaign support in return for his withdrawal on any plans to revitalize the waterfront area of Star City. I loved this scene because of Oliver’s reaction. Even though he’s not in his costume, Oliver Queen can still be a hero who stands up to the villain. When you think back to what happened to Jessica Danforth back in episode two “The Candidate” and what happened when she tried to run for office, this meeting makes me start to think that maybe Candidate Danforth had refused Darhk at some point as well. Especially after the last scene where Oliver openly defies Darhk, I feel that Darhk is going to go after Oliver as both Candidate Queen and Green Arrow. I’m not sure Oliver really thought this plan through. Now he’s fighting the war on two fronts… it’s a game of deadly bingo.
4. The flashbacks during this season have been catching a lot of flak, but I felt that this episodes flashbacks were interesting. We learn that slave woman in the cave is named Tiana and that the guy who Ollie killed last episode was her brother. Again, last week I talked about how Conklin was annoying, well he got his this episode when Ollie ratted him out to Baron Reiter. We got some strange magic where Baron Reiter showed an ability to determine lies using a bunch of twigs. Whether this was just luck on Ollie’s part or if Reiter actually has magical powers is the question here. Either way it’s ironic that one of the slavers got whipped this episode. We see ruthless Ollie doing the whipping and all I can think was “Damn when did he learn to use a whip?”. Ollie also goes to visit Tiana and blames her brother’s death on Conklin, which in part was true but I forget sometimes that flashback Ollie is quicker to withhold the truth than Green Arrow Oliver. These flashbacks end with Ollie giving Tiana the map that Reiter is using to hunt down whatever secret magical item he wants, and so I assume Ollie and Tiana are going to try and sneak there first and take it. I think the reason people don’t like these flashbacks this season is basically because nothing important has happened yet. I think this will be the turning point. Once Ollie starts to take risks and dig deeper into what Reiter’s doing on the island, we should start to see a far more interesting plot line emerge.
5. So Oliver’s campaign manager Alex Davis is totally a bad guy. I mean think about how many of the guys Thea has been interested in have turned out bad or at least killed someone? While I don’t really have evidence of him being bad, I just can’t see why we’re getting this cutesy relationship between Bloodlust Thea and Alex. I mean if I went on a first date with a girl who then proceeds to almost beat someone to death, I would get as far away from that girl as possible. Alex stuck around. That being said, Thea’s bloodlust came back fast! At this rate we’re going to be dealing with her rage killing every three episodes or so. While we’re talking Thea, can we just talk about how awesome that Daredevil-like continuous fight scene with Thea and random Ghost guy was during the final battle sequence? Was awesome to see Speedy in action and kicking ass. Speaking of kicking ass, Ray Palmer showed up again during the final battle all suited up and it was great seeing him fly around putting people down. Too bad we only have the crossover left before Ray goes to his own show.
So the questions that linger after watching this episode for me is: Who’s name is on the gravestone? Each week our cast of characters are getting closer to Darhk’s crosshairs. What will happen with Andy now that he’s captured? Will the pill wear off or is it permanent? I mean erasing half your DNA seems intense, so can he be saved? Will we get more explanation on these pills? We need to get Felicity a pill to analyze soon so they can clue us into what they actually do. What is Baron Reiter after? Who is Tiana and how does she relate to Ollie’s Russian mob history? And the new question… What the hell happened to Darhk when he touched Thea? I’m excited for the upcoming crossover event, but I’m even more excited to see where the show will head once Legends of Tomorrow has been fully set up. Fun times ahead!
In the competition between The Flash and Arrow this week, I had to give the point to Arrow this week. With the insanely good acting coming from David Ramsey and the fun scenes between Damien Darhk and our heroes, this episode answered questions while raising brand new ones. For Sarah’s review on this weeks The Flash, check out my The Flash Zoom-In column here!