Review: Arrow Season 4 Ep 7 “Brotherhood”

Diggle is still dealing with the revelation of his brother’s past when another even more shocking truth is revealed.  Oliver continues his campaign to be mayor of Star City, and Thea is having to deal with her bloodlust returning.

The Positive

Diggle takes center stage throughout much of this episode with the primary story being about him and his brother.  He finally reveals the file he acquired to Oliver.  Oliver does his best to help Diggle.  We see how their relationship has improved since the beginning of the season.  David Ramsey gives a great performance with several big scenes. He’s trying to cope with not only his brother’s past but also how to deal with a brother who is not as dead as everyone first thought.

Brotherhood 2Thea’s aggression has returned and several times during the fight scenes she forces herself to stop before going too far.  Malcolm has returned, knowing that the deaths he set up for her in Nanda Parbat will be wearing off now.  He has a plan to have her kill a pedophile who has evaded arrest.  Thea refuses to kill the man, but may have come up with an even worse plan.

Team Arrow attacks one of HIVE’s bases to save Diggle’s brother.  During the fight, Thea comes face to face with Damien Darhk who tries to kill her using his powers, but they backfire and it has temporarily cured her bloodlust.  This makes for a very interesting twist considering we still don’t know which member of the team will die before the end of the season.

This episode was directed by James Bamford.  It’s his first time in the director’s chair, he’s been the stunt and fight coordinator for many episodes of Arrow.  He adds a new visual flair to the action scenes, with more handheld camera work and longer action in single takes.  It’s good to see the show taking chances with first-time directors and new styles.

The Negative

Team Arrow has been fighting the Ghosts for a while now, and they seem to be able to handle the Ghosts in a standard fight now.  The only advantage the Ghosts seems to have is sheer numbers and here we saw that with all 5 members fighting they were able to take on nearly 50 soldiers without much difficulty.  Darhk is still a great intimidating villain, but his soldiers are starting to seem a bit toothless and not above your average Cobra soldier or Imperial Stormtrooper.

Brotherhood 3

While on a date with Oliver’s campaign manager Alex, Thea attacks a creepy guy who is hitting on her.  She puts a hefty beat down on him.  However, aside from one small bit of dialogue at the very end, this incident is never brought up again.  It would seem like the exact thing the press or the police would jump on, especially considering her role in Oliver’s campaign, but nothing happens.  There isn’t even any mention of having to pay off the person whose property was damaged.

The Verdict

This was a strong episode.  Great fight and stunt sequences enhanced by a new visual style that pushes the audience into the scene.  Oliver faced a similar temptation to last season but was able to make the better choice by including more of his friends input into his decision making, showing that he and the producers won’t repeat the same mistakes from last year.