Arrow Season 4 Episode 7 – TV Review

Arrow Brotherhood Diggle Laurel

Is it an insult or a compliment that the main show is keeping them?

You know who I don’t miss? Roy. That whiny little killjoy was half the sidekick Thea and Laurel have turned out to be.

Roy is in no way related to this episode, but I just thought it was worth mentioning.

TL;DR Diggle’s brother is alive, and the Super Friends rescue him from the clutches of HIVE; Oliver goes against Damien Dahrk in his mayoral campaign ambitions; Thea has a new plan to manage her bloodlust; Ray decides to move on in search of a purpose; the flashbacks maintain their unobtrusive presence.

Short of ditching them altogether, I suppose this is the best I could ask for.

So in the spirit of dead siblings not being dead after all, it turns out Andy Diggle is alive and well(ish) as one of Damien’s Ghosts. Diggle, still reeling from the revelation that his brother was a budding criminal mastermind, and not buoyed by the fact he is currently working for HIVE, doesn’t really care to save Andy. Oliver, though, puts on his best Vin Diesel face and insists he be rescued because he’s family, and Diggle reluctantly joins the Super Friends in doing so. Meanwhile, Oliver gets an idea to revitalise Star City’s bay as part of his mayoral campaign. Damien, who doesn’t know Oliver is the Green Arrow, by the way (I think?), advises him against it, because it would conflict with HIVE operations. But Oliver DGAF, so now he’s at war with Damien in both sides of his life. Meanwhile, Ray helps Felicity determine that HIVE uses a chemical on their goons to obscure their DNA, and to kind of mind control them to make them more compliant. Ray also chooses not to announce his return to life, and looks forward to tomorrow. Meanwhile, Thea finds unexpected relief from her bloodlust when Damien tries to use his powers against her, and they instead sate her craving. And in flashback, Black Boss sees through Supervisor’s machinations instantly, and commands Oliver to whip him as punishment. And it turns out that the slave Oliver killed was OSG’s brother. The news makes her sad.

But not sad enough for me to care to remember her name.

Arrow is simply a consistent, mostly satisfying meal these days.

Yeah, it’s not a soaring, skyscraping juggernaut, or a wall-to-wall slow burn filled with fantastic characters.

But it’s a hell of a step-up from the League-drenched, redundantly flashbacking trash heap that was last season.

Now we just need Olicity to go away for good, and all will be right with the world.

 

Why I hate this episode:

We can’t get rid of Ray fast enough. Excruciatingly, Olicity seems to be sticking for the time being, so we don’t need Ray moping around as Felicity’s former flame. I’m glad that he’s already gone by the end of this episode, but we needed to suffer through his pointless insertion into the DNA chemical subplot, and his unnecessary cavalry moment during the raid on the HIVE hideout. Bye, bitch.

Diggle’s insistence that Andy isn’t worth saving is a refreshing point of difference from the usual moral absolution that superhero shows tend to espouse. Which is why it’s obvious that Oliver will win him over eventually. Consequently, Diggle’s refusal to come around to the Andy side is just a way for the plot to tread water.

I find it hard to believe that Damien, with all his magic and Ghost network at his fingertips (literally, in the case of the magic), doesn’t know that Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow. Which means that a) he’s a dumbass; or b) he’ll reveal at some point that he does know, which won’t be the breathtaking surprise Arrow will think it is.

Oliver reckons that Damien is so keen on ruining Star City because he wants to use it as a HIVE base of operations. A rundown city flowing with crime, and sporting a choked police department, would be ideal for an evil organisation to call home or something. What? Do they have to go to all that trouble?

I don’t care that OSG’s brother is dead.

I was hoping that Andy’s appearance would be a hallucination on Diggle’s part. Or even more whimsically, a clone. But no, Andy is totally alive. Whatever.

Oh, and on a date with Alex, Thea beats the absolute shit out of a rude dude who hits on her. Alex later agrees to keep seeing Thea, despite this. If you flipped the genders on Alex and Thea, that wouldn’t be anywhere near okay. But it’s cool, because Thea’s just a girl, right? Tee hee.

 

But it’s not all bad:

Thea beats that dude the fuck up. Sara may have that whole animal thing going on, but nobody sells Angry Face like Thea.

Thea gets to be part of the episode’s most interesting development: Damien’s powers are not only ineffective on her, but they also somehow calm her blood cravings. Damien is appropriately shocked when she is unaffected. But Thea stays on the ball, and starts working on a plan to use whatever powers Damien as a solution for her Lazarus madness. Smart.

Malcolm is going to be part of this plan. He initially comes to town to offer Thea info on bad people she can murder, but that doesn’t impress her. I’d say magical manipulation of a rival supervillain should keep Malcolm on the line, though.

All the “family matters” stuff from Oliver is unoriginal, but it’s touchy feely and nice, you know? Part of Oliver’s mission to save Andy stems from his desire to see Diggle not give up on anyone, himself included. Aww.

The flashbacks keep themselves off to the side. I lol’d when Black Boss forced Oliver to whip Supervisor good. And making the dead slave OSG’s brother added a tad more wholeness to the story.

OSG tells Oliver that she was a dive instructor and her brother was a deckhand on a charter boat before they were abducted and forced into slave labour. Look at her, with a backstory and all. She’s trying. She and Oliver also band together to find whatever Black Boss is looking for before he does.

Laurel looks bloody magnificent at the police ball that Oliver and the gang attend for the mayoral campaign.

Damien accurately accuses Quentin of meeting with him as a distraction for the raid performed by the Super Friends last episode. He’s got you there, Q.

There are a slew of excellent, continuous long shots during the fights this episode. Yeah, they look a little low tech, but restraint in action scene editing deserves praise.

Oh, and I don’t know if it’s related to Thea specifically, but Damien has a mini pain episode after his failed magic attack on Thea. I suspect that whatever method Damien uses to gain his magical powers likely has side effects, but it’s equally possible that he was reacting to the obstructive douchebaggery that still lingers around Thea from earlier seasons. That stuff is poison.

Arrow Brotherhood Damien attacks Thea

That’s a fatal dose.

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About ijusthateeverything

Sincerity is death.

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