Arrow Andy Diggle Alive

Arrow Recap: Brother Grim — Plus: Who Is Immune to Damien Darhk?

Fight coordinator-turned-first-time Arrow director James Bamford was being humble, obviously, when dismissing the notion that this week’s episode was anything special in the action and stunts arena.

Because between the extended scuffle amid the cargo containers, Laurel’s badass infiltration of the looney bin and the Thea-vs.-Andy sequence that tumbled in and out of an elevator, to name but a few moments, this episode delivered a flurry of fierce fights as well as some weighty character moments.

Setting things in motion, of course, was Diggle’s discovery that one of the “ghosts” they went up against in the course of stealing a MacGuffin from a biotech company is his “dead” brother Andy. But where you might expect John to be thrilled by this news, he cannot shake the fact that, per the file from Darhk, Andy had been involved in some super-shady stuff before his “death.” Oliver, and later Laurel, do their best to cue Diggle to see the positives here, but he is headstrong in refusing to give Andy the benefit of the doubt.

In the meantime, Oliver chooses arrow-season-4-photos (20)the restoration of Starling Bay as a linchpin for his mayoral campaign, as much as adviser Alex dismisses the ideas a “hippie-crunchy.” But Oliver seems to have hit a nerve with Damien Darhk, who shows up at a PBA benefit to A) offer the candidate his support in any way possible, but ultimately B) strongly warn the wannabe mayor to steer clear of the bay — lest he suddenly find himself “opposed.”

Felicity turns to Ray — who’s stalling his return to “life” — for help in examine the ghost’s tooth they have, and he eventually traces it to an old psychiatric hospital, which thus must be some “base” for H.I.V.E. With Diggle wholly disinterred in retrieving his brother, Oliver, Thea and Laurel proceed to infiltrate the building. Thea is the one who finds herself fighting Andy, and she ultimately KOs him with a tranq arrow, only to then come face to face with Darhk himself. Yet when the mystical man goes to use the Darhk Death Grip on her, it… backfires?!

Meanwhile at the outside skirmish, Oliver gets an assist from The Atom as well as, in a life-saving moment, Diggle. Back at the lair, Oliver comes around to John’s idea to take on Darhk in broad daylight versus in the shadows/from the “inside.” Diggle then goes to talk to his locked-up brother, who is still standoff-ish (perhaps still drugged by the yellow capsules Darhk gives his ghosts?), and who also confirms that every dirty detail in his file is “true.” #CueDiggleTear

At episode’s end, Oliver meets the press to flaunt his bay restoration plan in Darhk’s face, vowing to “fight for Star City in the light of day, and never stop fighting” — a speech that frankly was a bit on the nose and all but drew a map from Green Arrow’s true identity to the mayoral candidate who’s the same height and build and has same calculated facial hair.

Elsewhere in the episode:arrow-season-4-photos (7)

* Ray will not be returning to his old life, having figuratively watched his own funeral and seen that no one really cared, save for the renamed (dying) city. So he, like Sara, will take some time to find his new calling. I’m just spitballing here, but maybe they’ll head down the same path…?

* In the course of fending off a letch at a bar, Thea nearly killed the galoot — right in front of Alex. (Meanwhile, should we worry about the urgent call Alex had to take, or was that just to leave Thea unattended?) Later, Thea tells Malcolm that rather than “feed” on rando pedophiles and such, she wants to find a way to turn Damien Darhk’s touch, which instantly quells her bloodlust, into a permanent cure.

* In Lian Yu flashbacks, Oliver was invited to whip Conklin for duping him into killing Vlad — who, by the way, is Taiana’s brother. (Also by the way: the woman’s name is Taiana. She and Vlad had been workers on a chartered yacht.) Oliver invites Taiana to help him get the map he needs to uncover whatever Baron Reiter is after on the island. Or something.

What did you think of “Brotherhood”?

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64 Comments
  1. Diane says:

    I feel like the camera shots were weird in this… Too much copying of daredevil, to quick and choppy. Took me out of it. Lots of action but rough to watch,

    • I knew the camera work reminded me of some other show! But yeah, it was really distracting.

      • Evenmoor says:

        The episode was directed by James Bamford, who is best known as a fight and stunt coordinator.

        • Liz says:

          He should go back to doing stunts then because the filming and directing was bad.

        • The fighting and stunts were top notch in this episode but I don’t think the shaky camera style worked in the episode’s favor!

          • Sil says:

            I agree the stunt and fighting sequences were excellent. The life like essence of watching the fight right next to them was interesting and realistic to me. Very dramatic and real. I loved the episode. My favorite fight scenes in a while. Multiple persons in action made the action awesome. So glad that David Ramsey is able to show his acting skills. Love Dig.

    • amb1973 says:

      I thought it was terrible…not the story or the acting (except the FB woman; she’s terrible), but the weird camera stuff and bizarre transitions between scenes.

  2. Liz says:

    Wow, I don’t know what anyone else was watching but the stunt work wasn’t impressive to me and neither was the filming of it. I felt like I was watching a bad documentary with really bad shaky cell phone cameras!

    Diggle was the highlight of the episode. Ramsey was insanely good and he made me emotional when he cried. Loved the brief Olicity moments we got and Felicity was in great witty form. When that woman overheard her saying Oliver dressed in leather and tied people up every night? Comedy gold!

    Flashbacks continue to be a waste of time. What a drag. The actress is truly bad too. Enough already.

    • Liz says:

      Forgot to add about Thea. Really loving her this season and I can’t wait to find out why Damien’s powers didn’t work on her.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        I winder if maybe there isn’t enough naturally “alive” material inside her for his touch to “kill”?

        • Liz says:

          Ooooh. Matt. Yes. I like it!

        • luke says:

          Didn’t he say he can manipulate energy within a person.? Maybe the bloodlust is like a spiritual poison and he ‘drew it out’ of her to his own detriment.

        • sladewilson says:

          Interesting idea, Matt. How about this one – since both Darhk and the Lazarus Pit are both mystical, maybe the Pit’s magic is stronger than Darhk’s? The show has turned the whole Lazarus Pit on it’s head (way different than how it’s portrayed in the comics) so this is all new territory now….

        • Dj says:

          I thought it might have had to do with Thea soul or all the different souls that are in her.

          • blah says:

            ooh. Thats good. So essentially, all the restless souls just need to be killed and then Thea (and Sarah) can return to normal.

            A 5 minute montage and we can forget all about this lazarus pit stuff

        • That would definitely add an interesting wrinkle to Darhk’s story and could lead to Thea having a bigger role!

        • John NYC says:

          If she were merely unaffected by his touch that would make sense: but HE got blowback, turning his skin really weird for a moment reflecting his pause to recover from whatever it was; so something went from her to him, just not what he’d wanted.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            No, I think it just “bounced back,” as if it hit a wall. His skin got the same veiny “crackle” that those he has killed did.

      • tvjunkie says:

        I think this is a big reason Thea could be the one in the grave. This episode could be pivotal in Dark seeing her as a serious threat to him, if she’s immune to his powers and cause them to backfire on him. He could very well be thinking she needs to die ASAP.

  3. Dj says:

    I don’t think Thea is in the grave, but I now think who every is in there Thea did it and Oliver is blaming Malcolm for turning her full on Darhk side. Also what a great fight between Thea and Andy.

    • jj says:

      I hope not. They already did the Thea killed Sara storyline last year. I don’t want a Thea killed another important person storyline.

      • Dj says:

        I don’t want Thea to be killed or turn evil, she is by far my favorite character. but it feels like her working with Malcolm to use Darhk powers to cure her is going to lead to her becoming a Villain. I wouldnt mind a whole season of Darhk as the main bad guy, but something shocking is going to happen

  4. James D says:

    good episode. I thought Bam-Bam did a fine job. the action work was nothing particularly new but I enjoyed it especially the elevator scene. I don’t like that Andy is alive personally, every character coming back to live puts the show on a weaker foot IMO their is no weight behind the drama if you can just bring characters back from the dead. hopefully Andy will be the last one.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Yeah, it’s unfortunate that Andy’s “resurrection” turned out to come on the heels of the LEGENDS-dictated Sara and Ray returns. Must be a reason they had to hit that beat now versus later in the season.

    • Sil says:

      I agree, now, Roy’s returning.

  5. Tobias says:

    What was up with the camera work.. jeez. Disappointing.

  6. Maryann says:

    The fight scenes were disappointing. Kicking over someone’s head as they duck looks more like a dance than a fight.

  7. Drew says:

    One of the better episodes of the season, I think. It was a solid arc episode. Lately, I’ve been thinking that the team needs to be trimmed back some. It seems crowded a lot of the time, when they’re on mission. But this week was well done.
    My main problem with the fights this year is that they seem abbreviated, like something that they just have to get through in each episode. In season 1, the fights were really impressive an felt like something that they cared about.
    This episode’s fights were actually better than most this season, in my opinion. The fight with Thea and Andy was nice. It felt grounded and brutal than some of the fights lately. I think it’s better when they focus on one-on-one fights, rather than large group things.
    I am not thrilled that Andy is alive. I was hoping that it was a mind game or something like that, and not really Andy. His being alive invalidates the whole Deadshot arc, which was really nicely played. That was such a huge part of Diggle’s motivation and it seems cheap to undo that.
    Was it me, or did Katie look different/better in a lot of the scenes this week? Her makeup seemed less severe than normal and she looked really nice.

  8. VJ says:

    What was up with the shaky camera? Threw me off a little bit. Otherwise I enjoyed the episode. And somehow this episode brought me to this: I think it will be Thea ending up in the grave. I just think that Lance would be an too easy way out of this. Well. We’ll see.

  9. Was I the only one who thought the conveniently placed info on Darhk’s desk was just a ploy to confirm that Quentin was leaking INFI?

    • K says:

      That crossed my mind as well. And I’m not convinced that Darhk doesn’t already know Oliver is the Green Arrow.

    • Liz says:

      Yep. Damien smiled when he saw Green Arrow was there, like it confirmed his theory.

    • Karen says:

      I can’t believe there was anyone who didn’t think the info was planted. Just a little bit too obvious.

    • ? says:

      Yes. Also, what harm does destroying physical cash the government was sending the bank do? No actual wealth is lost, the government can just replace the cash. I guess the bank has a few less notes on hand to give patrons but any serious amount of wealth would be transferred electronically . . . it just seems dumb. Or is this not how money works?

      • You’re right about electronically but the bank still needs physical bills! Also, I think it was more the idea than the actual deed that was the point of blowing up the truck.

      • Dj says:

        I think the banks having fewer notes was why Darhk did it. He wants the city to die and by limiting the physical cash it helps him do that. A wire transfer might not help Star City when citizens in the city cant get the physical notes to spend in the city. Its not a fast death, but it would have some impact on commerce and force people to leave the city.

    • herman1959 says:

      Yes, it was so obvious. D.D. wouldn’t be so careless as to leave the paper on his desk for Lance to see UNLESS he wanted him to. I feel there is still so much more to D.D. than we have seen so far, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

    • Kira says:

      OMG! I thought the same thing as soon as I saw that scene. And I was also thinking that even if Lance didn’t give away OQ identity by being predictable and running and telling him about the note so undiscretely placed on Darhk’s desk, then Felicity’s being OQ girlfriend would make it obvious. Am I the only one who was thinking that Darhk would be smart enough to make the connections that or all around him. First, since Darhk knows that Felicity used to date Ray who happens to be the Atom, and that when Darhk was holding Ray he made a distress call to Felictiy and then TGA happens to show up to save him. Not to mention that Ray also showed up to help TGA rescue Dig’s brother. I think Darhk is smart enough to know the link between TGA and The Atom is Felicity, which links her to OQ. Not to mention that fact that TGA took Dig’s brother who if with a little research anyone could find out that Diggle was/is OQ bodyguard another link connecting TGA to OQ. And last I’m not sure if ther was ever a reference to this or not but if Darhk know that it is Thea I he gabbed last night then I am more then sure that was the nail in the coffin he need to confirm that TGA is OQ.

      • Soo we’re all in agreement that if Damien Darhk doesn’t know who Oliver Queen than he is a complete moron?

      • Isobel says:

        yeah he said last episode he had his suspicions as to who the Arrow was, I presume he does think he’s Oliver Queen

      • Pearl says:

        If what you say is true, and it could be, since they made clear Dahrk is a very smart villain, then chances are that he would kill felicity. Not only she is the link he found, between every “pain in the ass” he havê… She wouls be the worst hurt he could do to Oliver, and it would explain why Barry wouldn’t miss the burial.

  10. Robert says:

    Why is it they can all fight the league of assassins, deathstrokes army but yet always seem to have trouble with everyone else

  11. Datya says:

    Did anyone catch what Darhk called Thea? Was it Merida?
    That would be great after the iZombie shoutout on Once Upon a Time this week.
    These Vancouver-based shows really seem to enjoy working next to each other…

  12. Luis says:

    Whose yacht were they working on?

  13. Vince says:

    Whoever directed this must not comeback. The shaky cam. The fights looked sloppy. Fire him.

  14. peterwdawson says:

    So I guess the unofficial name for this season of Arrow is ‘The Walking Dead.’

  15. Pat says:

    Thea is immune to Damien Darhk so I would assume, that Sara would also be immune to him? I have always stuck with Thea being in the grave and I still do. Yes, I have tilted towards Lance but they most certainly are making it quite obvious that he is the one that will probably die but this could be a ploy to make us think this.

  16. Here’s a thought. Could it be Diggle’s brother in that grave in the flashforward scene?

    • Luis says:

      It certainly could be, although it would be good of Barry to show up for the funeral, considering he, presumably, never met Andy

    • Liz says:

      I can’t imagine Oliver would have that kind of emotional reaction over Diggle’s brother though.

    • KatsMom says:

      That’s a good thought. I’ve been thinking that the person in the grave would turn out to be someone no one was thinking about during the series premiere — that they would develop a character as the season went along and then that character would die. So, with a few more episodes, it very well could be developed that Dig’s brother was working deep cover. He did terrible things, as the file says, but all in the name of a greater good. So, he starts helping out Green Arrow and winds up dead. They could have easily picked up that scene in the future after Lila and Dig left to grieve in private. Flash shows up to check on the team, knowing that it’s taken a hit with a key member grieving. Oliver feels like he let Dig down. Dig got his brother back only to lose him again so quickly. After all Oliver and Dig have been through to get back to a good place, Oliver may feel like this puts his relationship with Dig on shaky ground again, so he vows revenge. That would explain why he seemed more determined than bereaved. He doesn’t really want to talk to Barry about how he let Dig down again, so he dismisses him. Barry’s not grieving himself, so he has no problem leaving. All the pieces fit, in my opinion. :)

  17. Dominique says:

    i thought bam-bam did a fantastic job directing this episode, AND the stunts were amazing once again. that elevator fight scene between they and andy was awesome!
    andy being back from the dead has me going ‘meh’, cause there is such a thing as too many ressurections.

    • Sil says:

      To each their own who liked the realistic fight scenes. I thought it felt real that I was right there next to them watching them have an awesome fight.

  18. Will says:

    That fight scene in the elevator sorta’ reminded me of the fight scene in and around a car on Banshee. I loved it!