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[TV Review] ‘Arrow’ Episode 4.07 – “Brotherhood”

Despite some long action sequences, the superheroics actually took the backburner for a bit in this episode as politician Oliver Queen finally began to come to the forefront.  Oliver and company have been battling Damien Darhk for weeks now as their superhero alter-egos, but this week saw Darhk finally approaching Oliver the politician.  While it remains unclear as to whether or not Damien suspects Oliver of being Green Arrow, he threatens him here nonetheless: play ball as mayor or I’ll take you down before you can even be elected.

Of course Oliver has no desire to do that and thus the conflict with Darhk will now continue by day as well.  This makes for a nice change of pace for the series, so I hope they stick with it and give both Stephen Amell and Neal McDonough something to chew on in this particular area.  It would be nice to finally see Oliver’s political leanings from the source material pulled into the series, even if only a little.

Moving back to the vigilante side of things, this week brought the revelation that John Diggle’s brother, Andy, is actually still alive.  Under the control of Hive and having apparently been working in their employ for the past 8 years, Andy is now a cold-hearted mercenary and John feels that he is beyond redemption.  Whether John is right or not remains to be seen, although it might be a bit before we fully explore this particular subplot.

Why?  Because “Legends of Tomorrow” is coming in January and the next episode of “Arrow” will be helping to set it up.  This is where Ray Palmer factors in.  Freed from the clutches of Darhk last week, Palmer is unclear of what he wants to do with his life now that the world at large thinks he is dead.  He spends most of the episode running tests for Felicity and whining about how his legacy has yet to amount to anything.  Were it a less charming actor in the role, this might come off as a bit irritating, but Brandon Routh sells it.

Where should Ray and his alter-ego, The Atom, go from here?  We already know the answer: join a time-traveling ragtag team of heroes to stop evil immortal Vandal Savage.  This arc for Ray should be set up week after next as both “The Flash” and “Arrow” return in a two-night crossover event where our heroes band together to face the new threat of Savage and set up the aforementioned “Legends of Tomorrow” series.

One week beyond that and we’re in mid-season finale territory.  That, my friends, is why the Andy Diggle arc might be left dangling for a bit, which is fine.  We don’t want to use up everything before the second half of this season roles around.  Will we find out what exactly Damien Darhk is up to two episodes from now?  I’m sure we’ll at least get a glimpse.

Honestly though, I’m down for whatever ride they want to take me on here, so long as the Baron Reiter island flashbacks finally start amounting to something.  Good lord, what a slog they have become.  Also, while some of the handheld work during the very well-choreographed (at least I thought so) action sequences was great, but some of it was downright awful.  I like where your head is at with the handheld camera work, my “Arrow” crew peeps, but make sure to up your game across the board with it.  Much like a killer shot can make one cheer, a sloppy one can take you out of a sequence.  Keep experimenting though!  It never hurts to change things up.

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