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TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 7 "Brotherhood"

11.18.2015

Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.

Episode 7: "Brotherhood"

Synopsis: Team Green Arrow's ongoing battle with Damien Darhk is complicated by a shocking revelation. Thea's bloodlust returns and she loses control in front of Alex.

Review: The decision to introduce supernatural elements to Arrow's more grounded approach to comic book storytelling was a double edged sword. On one hand, it opened up the ability to overlap with the meta-human world of The Flash while also bringing in a larger range of superheroes for upcoming spin-off series Legends of Tomorrow. But, it also has upset the balance on Arrow by bringing dead characters back to life. First, it was Thea (technically not dead, but she still needed to be revived via the Lazarus Pit) and then it was Sara Lance, and then even the return of Ray Palmer from presumed death. Now, another character long presumed to be dead is found to not only be living but also not whom we had come to expect.

John Diggle's motivation to work with Oliver Queen has stemmed from the death of his brother, Andy. This season, Diggle has learned that Andy was not the hero he thought but rather a rival to H.I.V.E. and now, apparently, one of their soldiers. Diggle has definitely been one of the longest suffering characters on this series and the hits have just kept coming all season. But, Oliver feels compelled to help save Diggle's brother even if that means going into a partnership with Damien Darhk. At a fundraiser for the Star City Police Department, Darhk approaches Oliver offering to help him with his campaign. If not, he will do what he can to stop Queen from becoming Mayor. Oliver decides that it may be worth the risk to get in with Darhk now that the H.I.V.E. leader suspects Quentin Lance may be working with the Arrow.

Oliver and Diggle learn that Darhk forces his Ghosts to take a pill that makes them more pliable to his control. Oliver tries to explain to Diggle that his brother is not the stranger he has learned Andy to be, but Diggle disagrees. Oliver says he has to believe he can come back from the darkness of H.I.V.E. but Diggle disagrees and warns Oliver to stay away from Darhk as well. Diggle warns his friend that the only way they can do things differently would be to take Darhk down using the proper channels, something unfamiliar to the heroes on this show.

Meanwhile, Thea is dealing with the returning hunger for violence from her time in the Lazarus Pit. Malcolm Merlyn arrives to offer his daughter a local pedophile she can kill to satiate her bloodlust, but Thea turns him down. While out on a date with Oliver's campaign manager, Alex, Thea succumbs when a douche hits on her and she beats him within an inch of his life. In the final battle at the Starling Shipyard, Team Arrow works with Ray Palmer back in his A.T.O.M. suit to try and rescue Andy. Darhk confronts Thea and tries to drain her lifeforce but fails, leading to his realization she has been in the Lazarus Pit and Thea realizing Darhk may be able to help her with her bloodlust.

In this week's useless flashback, Oliver must deal with the fallout of killing a prisoner last week. The man, Vlad, was the brother of the woman he helped rescue and was put up to the task by the suspicious Conklin. Reiter, realizing that Conklin is lying, gives Oliver the task of punishing him via whip. Oliver then has to unburden himself and reveal that he was responsible for Vlad's death. Sure, it is a nice parallel to the Diggle brothers storyline, but aside from that this is another pointless flashback unless Baron Blitzkreig is going to show up in Star City.

Despite some plot development for the series-long Damien Darhk arc and some new reveals about Thea's bloodlust, this was an overall mediocre hour of the show. There seems to be a shift in how the action scenes are shot, using handheld digital HD rather than steadicam which definitely lowers the quality of the shots, giving them a very direct to video look. Even the arrival of A.T.O.M. seems to have been done as much off camera as possible to save costs on special effects, making this entire hour feal very cheaply made. With another dozen episodes left this season, I would have expected more of an effort this early in the season, but I guess they needed to spend a little more on the crossover with The Flash on the next new episode.

Final Verdict:

Next on ARROW: "Legends of Yesterday" airs December 2nd: Oliver and Barry Allen take Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall to a remote location to keep them hidden from Vandal Savage while they figure out how to defeat him. Malcolm arranges a meeting between Vandal, Green Arrow and The Flash that doesn’t go as planned. Meanwhile, Felicity, Thea, Diggle and Laurel work with Team Flash to come up with a weapon powerful enough to destroy Vandal Savage.

Source: JoBlo.com

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