This Arrow review contains spoilers.
Arrow Season 4 Episode 7
Well, would ya look at that. Another episode with no villain of the week. More importantly, an episode of Arrow that’s actually an episode of Arrow, and not a setup for Legends of Tomorrow (which I’m looking forward to in a completely ridiculous way). Most importantly, it’s the second excellent episode in a row, and it’s been a while since this series has delivered back to back exceptional entries.
So, yes, “Brotherhood” got it done. The last of the Legends of Tomorrow table-setting is done (next week’s crossover doesn’t count), Damien Darhk now feels like a villain I’m ready to invest in, the team is doing all the things the team should be doing, with virtually every member’s stories getting done the justicce they deserve, and it feels like the Arrow I’ve always loved is back.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but…I’m completely on board with Oliver’s mayoral campaign now. For real, throw a rock at any of my Arrow reviews from the previous two seasons and there’s a good chance you’ll hit a paragraph with me complaining about how ridiculous things get whenever Star City politics get brought into the picture. I know I had my doubts, and I know if I think too hard about it, things will probably fall apart under scrutiny, but they’re keeping this together pretty well.
The fact that it no longer feels like the strange whim of a disturbed individual (for real, Ollie is a vigilante after all), but something that’s actually going to help move the main conflict forward in a profound way doesn’t hurt, either. Okay, fine, Felicity’s trademark “calling Ollie out on shit” and helping put into words why this campaign is something that should matter helped bring me around, too. Look, I’m easily convinced by Felicity Smoak, okay? Don’t judge me.
Ollie’s broad daylight staredown and blatant “fuck you” to Damien Darhk at the end was a wonderful touch. We’ve only seen them interact as superhero/supervillain before, but their little chat at Ollie’s PBA event earlier in the episode was a nice change in that dynamic, and it’s a good sign of what Stephen Amell and Neal McDonough may have in store for us going forward. Speaking of that PBA event, Lance’s smirk during Ollie’s speech was priceless.
Does anyone feel like poor Diggle got any real closure from what went down with his brother there, though? Is he supposed to? I don’t know what I was expecting. It just seems that after Laurel’s kind of naive attitude about sibling resurrection (and I appreciate her trying to bring John around on it) and how long this has tormented John, that we’d have spent a little more time here. I suspect this isn’t over, and that’s fine. I’m into it now.
Oh, and did I mention the action? “Brotherhood” probably delivered the slickest superhero action we’ve seen on the show this year. Even the stuff that didn’t involve actual fighting just looked great. The Green Arrow/Diggle synchronized leap into battle was one little moment, as was that really great looking “follow Black Canary all the way down her jump” shot. And the full blown rumble at the end that brought ATOM into the battle was vintage stuff, and probably the best/most agile we’ve seen Ray look in full armor since he was introduced.
And yes, I realize we’re about to say goodbye to Ray as a member of Team Arrow. In the past, I’ve made the occasional noise about how he’d feel more at home on a show like The Flash than he has on Arrow. I realize now, once and for all, that I’ve been completely wrong. It was always the right call having him here. Still looking forward to seeing him on Legends, though.
Throw in John Barrowman for good measure, with some trademark Malcolm Merlyn manipulation on the sly (things have finally gotten interesting with Thea!), and we end up with a solid episode of Arrow. Now we get the fun Legends of Tomorrow event, and then, just maybe, the midseason finale that follows will kick this season’s main stories into high gear. I’m feeling pretty good about Arrow season 4 now. How about you?
Meanwhile…On an Island…
Well, they’re still really only feeding us scraps with this story, but I’m far more invested than I was before John Constantine showed up a few weeks ago, so that’s good. I’m also really starting to buy into Reiter. Jimmy Akingbola is a strong screen presence. I feel like we need to get to the “flashback only” episode a little quicker this year to finally get this one moving.
DC Universe Watchtower
– Wolfman Biologics is not about lycanthropy, but certainly about legendary comics writer (and one of my personal all-time favorites), Marv Wolfman. Mr. Wolfman is probably most famous for his epic time on New Teen Titans with George Perez on art, but he also wrote an extended run on Adventures of Superman in the 1980s that all told make for some of my favorite Superman comics ever.
– The only “Lawrence Tanner” I can find in the DC Universe was some employee of LexCorp who appeared once. It’s probably a coincidental name. And no, I didn’t just pull this one out of my memory banks, I had to look it up. I’m good (usually), but I ain’t that good.
– I know I keep saying I’ll stop pointing out the 52 stuff, so let’s just pretend that I’m not typing the words “Slip 52” right now.
What did I miss? You know the drill…hit me up in the comments or on Twitter!