Arrow "Brotherhood" (REVIEW)
Written by Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
This week's Arrow inches ever closer to Dhark's nefarious plans, and how he controls his HIVE. We also get to see Ray back in action, just not "officially" back from the dead. We start on yet another Team Arrow mission to take down the ghosts. Some (Like Cisco) might even go so far as to call them Ghostbusters, but Bill Murray might have something to say about that. I digress, it seems as though the Ghosts were trying to take down an armoured truck transporting additional money to the Star City Bank. They weren't looking for money, they just wanted to watch the money burn, so that the city too can burn, and from it's ashes The Dhark Knight Rises.
Meanwhile Felicity enlists the freshly rescued Ray Palmer to take a look at a tooth Diggle was able to extract from one of the ghosts. It seems as though through some complex chemisty they were able to strip it of any traceable DNA. However, like any good genius there is always something you can get from a piece of evidence when you look from a new angle. That angle is in the process that was used to remove the DNA, one that leads to Wolfram Logistics. The Team suits up to capture a sample of the drug for testing to find out exactly how they were able to strip the DNA. But it wont be easy. There are several Ghosts guarding the building they are trying to enter. This leads to some stellar fight scenes. If you have seen the Netflix Daredevil Hallway fight scene, it's on par with that and it's some of the best fighting on the show I've ever seen. I tend to zone out during fight scenes but it's actually a highlight of the episode in this case. There is one slight snag. One of the ghosts gets taken down by Diggle and he goes to unmask him. Much to his surprise he finds that it is his brother Andy. Andy awakes, attacks Diggle and flees. He most certainly saw a Ghost and that is exactly what Damien was going for.
Elsewhere in Oliver's campaign for mayor, he attends a dinner benefiting the Star City Police Department, among the attendees is Damien himself. It's a tense scene as Oliver tries to maintain composure in the face of his current nemesis. Dhark asks him to stop his plan to clean up Star City Bay and threatens that if he doesn't he will himself run for mayor. Something Oliver would very much like to prevent, but he also sees it as a way to get into Dhark's circle as the faith in Captain Lance is shrinking after a tip telling Dhark about his involvement in the set up to track Dhark to his hideout. Felicity outright refuses to let Oliver go through with it and Diggle equally agrees. He presents an alternative, instead of trying to beat him with dirty underhanded spy work, why not beat him out in the open in the race for mayor? That is exactly what Oliver does. How do you make a seemingly unfair fight between Oliver and a supernatural being? Good old fashioned democracy that's how!
Thea has been feeling more and more rage as the days have gone on and during a dinner date gets hit on by a sleasy guy and nearly beats him to death. scary stuff for sure and it seems as though she may not be able to control herself much longer.
Back in Team Arrow land, the gang is on the hunt for more ghosts and this time, going off of a tip from Captain Lance is a meeting Dhark has arranged at the docks with his fellow HIVE members. It is here we get a look at just how he is controling his army. It appears as though he is dosing his Ghosts with a pill that allows them to be extremely obedient to his commands. They move in on the ghosts and using some tech Felicity cooked up and some help from The Atom the team manages to capture Andy Diggle and bring him back to HQ, spoiling Dhark's meeting. During the fight, Thea is grabbed by Dhark but Dhark glows a dark red and is clearly in pain and removes himself from her and flees. Thea realises that her blood lust is gone for now and with her father Malcolm being a sort of "Harry" to her "Dexter" asks him to help her control her urges by using Dhark's abilities.
Diggle, now with Andy captured, confronts him about his past, wondering if it is all true. To this point Oliver has sworn to Diggle that there must be some kind of a reason, and to hear him out to find out the truth of everything. As it turns out, Andy is exactly what they say he is and turns a very cold shoulder to Diggle. It's a really emotional scene and one that plays to the strengths of Diggle's love for his family even when he tries to remain strong in the face of uncertainty.
On the island this week, we see the aftermath of Oliver's self defense. In the end using some magic the camp leader determines that Oliver is in fact telling the truth and that his lacky was lying. It is here he gets whipped by Oliver as punishment. Pretty harsh stuff, but at least that gets him off Oliver's back and he can proceed with finding out exactly what the group is after.
Overall this was a solid character based episode of Arrow. Lots of interesting character developments advance and more pieces are put in place and I'm sure soon all things will start kicking in to high gear. As it stands though, Arrow has been quite good as of late with genuine character moments and not the soap opera kind it has been plagued with in the past.