Arrow: Brotherhood

Felicity: "Even death's not permanent anymore."

Even though the major plotline in this episode wasn't fully resolved, the overarching themes of the season are really starting to gel.

Although the general theme of this season has been the path towards the light, this was the first time where a choice between going down those two paths was presented clearly. Oliver's first instinct was to embed himself with Darhk, and it was perfect for Diggle to call him out on that. In previous seasons Oliver would have just done it, like he did with the League. Here that choice was less obvious, and might have consequences. But it was the right thing to do, even if it wasn't necessarily the best or easiest choice.

It isn't just Oliver either -- it is the entire team. Laurel made an impossible choice earlier on in the season, and that brought a hero back into the world. Thea continuing to struggle with her inner darkness has yet to fully play out, but her choice couldn't be simpler: give into the monster and kill every month or risk succumbing and hurting someone innocent. She has more than enough bad guys to sacrifice on a nightly basis for that. Malcolm even gave her a pretty horrible monster served up for her to feed her blood lust.

Of course I've been thinking Thea's darkness would a reason for her to be killed off. Now it looks like she is the key to taking down Darhk, which makes her almost invaluable. It also gives Malcolm a reason to hang around for a little while, or at least make more appearances. I wonder if Darhk realizes that she has come from the pit? Their interaction did prove one thing for me though, Darhk's presence is linked to Thea in some way, and maybe her blood lust is being heightened by his proximity.

Speaking of Darhk, he may be my second favorite villain so far. He has an edge and presents a threat that feels tangible. His forces are vast, and his resources seem endless. In other words, he isn't someone the team can just push against and take out. They have to fight him, little by little. Claim victories over him. Like saving Ray, and stopping the ghosts all the time. Maybe a major one will be Andrew Diggle.

This storyline has been building up basically since season one, so I'm glad it wasn't resolved in this episode. But if John can get to Andrew, perhaps even turn him back towards the light, they can fight the Darhkness together as a family. Actually, it just occurred to me in this episode that resurrected siblings is a major theme. Oliver came back for Thea, Thea came back for Oliver, Sara died twice for Laurel, and now Andrew has come back for John. All we need now is a long lost brother or sister for Felicity and each of our primary heroes will have had the same experience.

Flashback:

So Taiana finally got a name at the same time she got a brother, who was unfortunately killed in the last episode. Oliver has been down a similar road before lying to an ally, and it didn't turn out well. Also, she seemed a bit too eager to join Oliver in his mission to stop the Baron. I get it, she just lost her brother. But I wonder. Also, Conklin just got his loyalty tested pretty heavily. How much do you wanna bet he turns on the Baron at some point down the road too?

Bits:

What is with Felicity referring to miniature Ray as potato products? Okay, Cheetos aren't a potato product, their first ingredient is corn meal, but still.

Oliver and Thea seriously need to work out some pre-planned excuses, because 'Our friend has a tooth problem' is about as lame as it gets.

Acting props go out to David Ramsey and his crying scene. Scenes.

So the reason that Darhk was deleting all those military records is because his HIVE soldiers are all "dead" soldiers who have volunteered. I noticed they're not holding back as much with the Hive guys as they do with other baddies. I'm not sure how I feel about them making exceptions. Although it was a lot clearer in this episode that Diggle and Oliver aren't shooting to kill.

That convenient note on Darhk's desk that Quentin noticed and shared with Oliver was clearly a test. I'm starting to think it really is Quentin that we're going to lose.

They ought to have a dedicated holding cell in the Arrow lair for all of these siblings that keep coming back, oh wait... I guess they do now.

Ray kind of kicked ass in this episode, and I liked that he doesn't have a clue what he wants to do from this point forward. At least he volunteered to be a hero when needed.

The show is taking a week off, and returning December 1 with a Flash crossover event.

Quotes:

Ray: "I'm a recently undead billionaire CEO. My time is at a premium."

Diggle: "My brother needed me. The green one."

Felicity: "Well, this has to be a better way than how you usually spend your evenings, dressing in leather and tying people up."

Laurel: (to Diggle) "Want to talk about it? Resurrected siblings are kind of in my wheelhouse."

Oliver: "Military crates marked G6:5. Does that mean anything?"
Felicity: "Maybe they're playing Bingo."
Oliver: "Let's assume that's not it."
Felicity: "Deadly Bingo."

Three out of four resurrected siblings, because that one is just too obvious.
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J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

3 comments:

Patrick said...

JD, that was my first thought too when I saw the note on Damien's desk, "It's a trap!" I can't believe nobody even thought to bring up that possibility, especially since they were all talking about how Damien wasn't completely trusting Quentin these days.

It was great to see Ray back in action this week, one more chess piece on the board for Legends Of Tomorrow. I wasn't sure what to think about the new spinoff, but I'm really enjoying the slow burn to set it up.

REALLY enjoying Damien Dahrk so far, in no small part because of Neal McDonough. He's clearly having fun with the role, and it's great to have a villain that isn't tortured or brooding, who's just deliciously EVIL. I can't wait to see what his master plan is, and I really like this new twist they've thrown in about how he might be a way for Thea to control her bloodlust.

The big two-parter looks like it's going to be awesome, I kinda wish they'd make it a special one-night event and move either iZombie or Supernatural to a different night that week.

Freeman said...

I really liked this episode. The fight scenes in particular were stellar. And it makes sense, the director was the stunt coordinator for the first two seasons. The way they lingered on the scenes rather than quick cuts was really great.

The stakes keep raising higher and higher. Even though the team has been a consistent thorn in Darhk's side, you never know what kind of tricks he has up his sleeve. Anything can happen. At least we know he has some sort of weakness. I'm really loving him as a villain. I'm curious how Andy will play into the larger part of the story. Nice to see Diggle have something to do besides glaring at Ollie disapprovingly. Though it seems they've moved past that altogether.

I'm suspecting that Ollie's campaign manager is a plant for Darhk.

Deborah Gallegos said...

I was just thinking that about the campaign manager, too....