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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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1:32PM on 11/19/2015
Last night's episode was great.
Last night's episode was great.
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12:10PM on 11/19/2015

I'd say it was better than the others this season....

Not as good as the worst Flash episode, but at least it's making moderate progress forward. I've come to the conclusion that the flashbacks are because the writers simply don't have enough material for a 60 minute show, so they add sideplots from years ago that eat up the extra time. This show is just meandering from episode to episode waiting to die, so on that basis I'd give this episode a thumbs up for at least not being bad like most of this season.
Not as good as the worst Flash episode, but at least it's making moderate progress forward. I've come to the conclusion that the flashbacks are because the writers simply don't have enough material for a 60 minute show, so they add sideplots from years ago that eat up the extra time. This show is just meandering from episode to episode waiting to die, so on that basis I'd give this episode a thumbs up for at least not being bad like most of this season.
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11:50AM on 11/19/2015

Totally Disagree

I thought last night's episode was damn good. Arrow definetely started out slow this season but it has really picked up. The flashback scenes have not seemed to add anything... yet. But something tells me a monster M Knight Shaymalan reveal is coming. They have worked it this season where they have kept more of that darker tone while making it more comic bookish and fun. Like where The Flash is Metropolis, Arrow is Gotham City. The one big negative still is Diggle's Magneto helmet.
I thought last night's episode was damn good. Arrow definetely started out slow this season but it has really picked up. The flashback scenes have not seemed to add anything... yet. But something tells me a monster M Knight Shaymalan reveal is coming. They have worked it this season where they have kept more of that darker tone while making it more comic bookish and fun. Like where The Flash is Metropolis, Arrow is Gotham City. The one big negative still is Diggle's Magneto helmet.
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10:05AM on 11/19/2015
So this season I am very sour on so far. The show has definitely lost its edge, in my opinion. In Smallville, the series at least waited 6-7 seasons until it became a Mini-Justice League TV Show. We are losing track and sight of what made the first two seasons so compelling: Oliver's journey itself. My problem with the flashbacks is that they are all supposed to lead to him being in his darkest place ever, because the end of the flashbacks have to be when he returns to Starling City after being
So this season I am very sour on so far. The show has definitely lost its edge, in my opinion. In Smallville, the series at least waited 6-7 seasons until it became a Mini-Justice League TV Show. We are losing track and sight of what made the first two seasons so compelling: Oliver's journey itself. My problem with the flashbacks is that they are all supposed to lead to him being in his darkest place ever, because the end of the flashbacks have to be when he returns to Starling City after being "found" on the island - which is when he has taken up the choice and mantle to save the city and kill everyone on his father's list that is corrupting the city. I do not understand how they are going to get there. When we see Oliver in season 1, he is extremely damaged and very very reserved. I do not see that in his flashbacks. The show has lost its grounding so far. It needs to bring back the elements which brought everyone aboard in the first place. Still holding out hope. But right now, The Flash is overtaking this show in interest. Sadly enough for me.
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6:54AM on 11/19/2015
Good episode, but I'll admit I'm going to be glad when they get past the Legend of Tomorrow tie-ins.
Good episode, but I'll admit I'm going to be glad when they get past the Legend of Tomorrow tie-ins.
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4:48AM on 11/19/2015
I disagree with the reviewer, I found this to be a good episode. I will agree on one point, the gritty big production feel of some of the action scenes from S1 and S2 seems to be gone. Tonight's episode aside, the fight choreography this season seems slow and cheap. Tonight on the other hand had some small screen daredevil inspired fight scenes. The two hallways scenes (laurel's and speedy's), instantly reminded me of daredevil. Not that they could come close to measuring up with that, but they
I disagree with the reviewer, I found this to be a good episode. I will agree on one point, the gritty big production feel of some of the action scenes from S1 and S2 seems to be gone. Tonight's episode aside, the fight choreography this season seems slow and cheap. Tonight on the other hand had some small screen daredevil inspired fight scenes. The two hallways scenes (laurel's and speedy's), instantly reminded me of daredevil. Not that they could come close to measuring up with that, but they were the best of this season. It was good to see Ray Palmer back too, Routh brings a lot to this show and is one of the big reasons I want to watch LOT. Looking forward to two weeks from now to Vandal Savage and the crossover event.
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3:55AM on 11/19/2015

Keep the director that did this episode

That Speedy fight (hallway, then into elevator, then into the next floor) was very well shot and one of the best action scenes of the series, thus far.
That Speedy fight (hallway, then into elevator, then into the next floor) was very well shot and one of the best action scenes of the series, thus far.
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12:24AM on 11/19/2015
Solid episode tonight. It'll be interesting to see just how deep Oliver involves himself with Darhk the rest of the way and if Darhk will be left standing by the end of it. Perhaps he's defeated and placed in the prison located on the island Oliver was stranded on and becomes inmates with Deathstroke. Or since this season has opened up the supernatural realm, perhaps Team Arrow will need Constantine's assistance one more time in taking down Darhk and his ghosts.
Solid episode tonight. It'll be interesting to see just how deep Oliver involves himself with Darhk the rest of the way and if Darhk will be left standing by the end of it. Perhaps he's defeated and placed in the prison located on the island Oliver was stranded on and becomes inmates with Deathstroke. Or since this season has opened up the supernatural realm, perhaps Team Arrow will need Constantine's assistance one more time in taking down Darhk and his ghosts.
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