Arrow “Brotherhood” Review (Season 4, Episode 7)

Arrow Brotherhood

Sometimes dying is the easy part. It’s the living that’s hard. For the past eight years, Diggle has lived with the knowledge that his brother Andy was murdered. Andy’s death impacted Dig on a massive level, and a great many of Diggle’s subsequent actions were based upon his desire to know why Andy was murdered and find the person responsible. Basically, Diggle sort of became defined by Andy’s death. So I can imagine it was quite a shock for Dig to receive the confidential file about Andy’s supposed drug kingpin status. None of that jived with what Dig knew of his brother, but in the absence of any other answers as to why Andy died, Dig accepted that one. Diggle was still processing that knowledge when he was hit with the fact that Andy isn’t actually dead and has apparently been working for Damien Darhk all this time.

Diggle’s refusal to give Andy the benefit of the doubt was kind of baffling to me. He knew Andy his whole life. He knew what kind of person Andy was. I guess I can understand him accepting that maybe Andy wasn’t the person he thought he was after he got Andy’s file. However, that file shouldn’t cancel out a lifetime of knowing someone. When they discovered that Darhk was using some sort of mind control pill on his soldiers, it should’ve at least caused Dig to reconsider his position. In fact, it seemed to have the opposite effect. Diggle seemed to blame Andy even more for working with Darhk and for allowing his family to think he was dead. The truth of the matter is, a person who is under the influence of any drug would be hard-pressed to make any sort of clear, completely consensual decision. Oliver is right that there is no doubt much more to the story, but Diggle has to be willing to hear the truth before he’s going to be able to get to the truth. I suppose if Diggle had had more time to research the information Lance gave him and emotionally process it with what he knew of Andy, it wouldn’t have been so hard for Diggle to at least give Andy the benefit of the doubt.

Despite Diggle’s reluctance to try and save Andy, Oliver was willing to risk everything. Oliver knows from personal experience that things are not always what they seem, but there was much more to it than that. Oliver is pretty much hanging on by a thread. The last few years haven’t exactly been easy on him. He never really got a chance to deal with the fallout from Slade Wilson’s attack, and then right on the heels of that Ras al Gul got into Oliver’s head in a major way. He ran away with Felicity, but he never really dealt with everything that’s happened to him recently. Then to come home and see the state of the city he risked so much to save has been difficult for him too. Oliver desperately needs to believe that Andy isn’t past saving because he needs to believe that the city isn’t past saving. Even more than that, Oliver needs to believe that he’s not past saving. He needs to know that all the sacrifices he’s made and the losses he’s endured weren’t in vain. He needs hope.

Ray was having a bit of a crisis as well. He got back from the dead to realize that not only has life gone on, but everything he was working so hard for doesn’t seem to have made any difference. A lot of Ray’s motivation was based upon his desire not to feel as helpless as he felt when Slade Wilson’s mirakuru soldiers attacked him and his fiancee. In Ray’s absence, Damien Darhk has destroyed whatever progress Ray made toward making Starling City a better place and now Ray doesn’t know where he fits. I can see how that would be a bit depressing and how Ray would need to spend some time trying to figure out what his next steps should be. However, I don’t think hanging around his apartment or Oliver and Felicity’s apartment is going to help him along in that regard. Ray is doing the same thing that Oliver was doing a few months ago. He’s hiding. If Ray really does want to be a part of the solution, he’s going to have to come out of hiding.

Thea’s bloodlust reared it’s ugly head again. Some jerk hit on her in a bar and she proceeded to beat her face in. Her date seemed pretty surprised by her reaction, but not nearly as horrified as I would expect him to be. I get the feeling he hasn’t been completely honest about who he is or why he’s working with Oliver’s campaign. Maybe it’s just me, but he was way too calm about Thea’s violence. On the upside, it seems that Thea’s soul damage could come in handy fighting Darhk. When Darhk tried to use his magic on Thea, it backfired and seemed to hurt him. I believe that’s the first sign of weakness Darhk has shown. When Thea told Malcolm about it, it was pretty clear that Malcolm knows more than he’s sharing. It’s also a pretty safe bet that Malcolm is already working out a way to use this new information to his advantage. Thea needs to tell the rest of Team Arrow what happened with Darhk before she goes too far down the road with Malcolm. Primarily because hat’s kind of strategic information that could come in handy. But also because she shouldn’t trust Malcolm. At all.

This was a pretty solid episode. I’ve always enjoyed the episodes that focus on Diggle because the show often relegates him to the background. But Diggle is a big part of the reason Oliver has become the person he’s become, and I like when the show reminds everyone how awesome Dig is. It looks like Dig is going to have a long road ahead of him figuring out the truth of what happened to Andy. It seems pretty clear that at least some part of Andy either knows or remembers Dig, but it’s not clear what it’s going to take to break him of Darhk’s hold. It also looks like Darhk is going to have more of a fight on his hands than he anticipated with Oliver. He thought he could either tempt or bully Oliver into doing things his way, but he apparently has never come up against the stubbornness of Oliver Queen. We’re on Thanksgiving break next week, but when we come back we’re in for another Arrow/Flash crossover. I thoroughly enjoyed the last one and I have high hopes for this one as well. So what did y’all think of this week’s Arrow.