The team gets answers about Damien Darhk’s ghosts in the Wednesday, Nov. 18 episode of “Arrow,” 4×07, “Brotherhood,” but how far are they each willing to go to extract one of them? Plus, Damien approaches Oliver, which leads to the mayoral candidate considering possibly repeating a past mistake, and Malcolm comes to town with a solution for Thea’s bloodlust – but she may have found her own.
David Ramsey is, without a doubt, the MVP of this “Arrow” episode. From Diggle’s shock over seeing that his brother is one of the ghosts to him tearing up as he faces his feelings over his brother being alive and how they differ from how he would have felt years ago to his determination that no one else gets hurt to help Andy, Ramsey knocks it out of the park in every one of his scenes.
When Diggle shows Oliver Damien’s file on his brother, he refuses to even think about the possibility that there could be a good reason for it. “He deserves the benefit of the doubt,” Oliver argues. “Trust me, things aren’t always what they seem.” (If anyone would know…) When the team goes to get a sample of a synthetic compound Ray identifies on the ghost’s tooth they have, Diggle gets the shock of his life when one of the ghosts turns out to be his brother. He’s still dealing with finding out his brother wasn’t who he thought he was, but nothing could have prepared him for this. Diggle is so shocked, he falls back and removes his helmet. (Who can blame him? Even for a show where the Lazarus Pit exists and only a couple of weeks ago, they reunited Sara with her soul after she was dead for a year, there’s no way he could have seen that coming.)
Oliver still wants to give Andy the benefit of the doubt, simply because he’s Diggle’s family, but while the others are seeing the good in this – his brother is alive and they can get him out of H.I.V.E. – Diggle can’t give in to the false hope that his brother may be a decent guy, despite what he’s read lately. The months after Andy’s death were the darkest of his life. He would’ve given his own life so his brother could live, he admits to Laurel, who has experience in resurrected siblings. Now, however, as he tells Lyla, he hasn’t even let himself believe that this could be possible, even after finding out about the Lazarus Pit. Because of that, he hasn’t called Carly yet.
Thanks to a tip from Lance off a note on Damien’s desk, Oliver and Diggle check out the docks as a possible location for the ghosts and witness Damien pass out yellow pills to make them cooperative. When Oliver and Diggle are spotted, they end up in a fight with the ghosts that they barely escape. Because Oliver could have been killed, Diggle’s resolve that he let this go is only strengthened. That’s when Oliver admits that he needs to have hope for Andy because he needs that hope, hope that no matter how much darkness infects them, they can come back from it.
Still, when it comes time to extract Andy, Diggle is against it. However, several fights with ghosts, a brother located and subdued and an assistant from Ray in the ATOM suit later, Diggle shows up in time to help Oliver. “My brother needed me,” he explains. “The green one.” (That has to be one of the best lines of the episode.)
When Diggle goes to see his brother in his cage later, he asks him if what’s in the file is true. Barely looking at him, Andy confirms it is before sitting in the corner of the cage, his back to Diggle.
Thea’s bloodlust is back, though she is able to stop herself from killing a ghost in the field, and knowing this would happen, Malcolm makes the trip to Star City with a solution: kill a pedophile in the neighborhood, get a month of peace. She refuses his help, but while out on a date with Alex, her bloodlust comes out in full force against a guy who thinks “no means yes.” The only thing that stops her is Alex returning from a call and wondering what’s going on.
However, while infiltrating H.I.V.E. to get Andy, she runs into Damien Darhk. When he tries to use his death touch on her, however, nothing happens, and even he’s surprised – especially when it seems to affect him instead. Plus, as she reveals to Malcolm later, it gets rid of her bloodlust, and she wants him to help her make that permanent.
Meanwhile, Lance may be getting on the wrong side of Damien Darhk, who noticed that following their last meeting, he had an unpleasant encounter with the Green Arrow. Coincidence? He thinks not. “Trust is an orchid, beautiful and delicate, requiring ideal conditions in order to thrive,” he tells the police captain. “Without those conditions, it dies.” Tread carefully, he warns. The death of his daughter isn’t the most terrible thing he can threaten him with.
Oliver Queen officially meets Damien Darhk at a gala, during which Damien pulls him aside with ideas on how he can contribute to his campaign, on how they can work together. “The levers of power have changed, and not understanding that is what doomed Jessica Danforth’s bid,” Damien warns him. First on his docket? Don’t restore Starling Bay. If he refuses, he’ll no longer be unopposed.
Though Oliver considers taking a familiar path – infiltrating an evil organization from the inside to take it down – both Felicity and Diggle remind him that his past choices weren’t always the best. Instead, Oliver decides to follow Diggle’s advice to take Darhk down in the light of day, and that starts with moving forward to restore the bay, which, as he says in the announcement of his plans, is out in the open for everyone to see. His message to Damien, who stands in the crowd watching couldn’t be clearer. The fight to save Star City isn’t going to be fought in the shadows, but in the light of the day, and Oliver vows that he will never stop fighting to save the city.
As for the flashbacks, that woman finally gets a name: Taiana. That’s only because Vlad, the man that Oliver killed whom Conklin sent after him, was his brother. After whipping Conklin – the punishment after they bring their argument in front of Reiter about the soldier sending Vlad after Oliver – Oliver returns to the cave where Taiana is hiding out, tells her her brother’s dead (blaming Conklin, of course) and enlists her help in getting a survey map so they can go after whatever it is Reiter wants. No, the flashbacks aren’t any better this week than last week, unfortunately.
“Arrow” season 4 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 7 “Brotherhood”?