Arrow, Episode 76 “Brotherhood” Broadcast on November 18, 2015
Written by Speed Weed & Keto Shimizo
Directed by James Bamford
“Previously on Arrow,” in a flashback Oliver kills someone, while Felicity and Curtis find a miniaturized Ray and bring him back to his normal size. In the present, a federal cash deposit truck is attacked by two motorcycles and a truck. The driver is about to be shot by a Ghost when a sonic scream causes the thug to drop his weapon. Black Canary is on the scene, as are Speedy and Green Arrow. Speedy takes down a foe and pulls her blade, and tries to restrain herself from killing the man. The heroes miss one Ghost who blows up all the money within the truck. Oliver realizes that the money was going to be used to prop up Star City Bank. “HIVE just wanted to make sure that didn’t happen.” Cue opening title sequence.
Back at headquarters, Team Arrow realizes HIVE wants to use a “dead city” as its base. Felicity has had no luck with the tooth they took from one of the Ghosts, but maybe Ray can help. After everyone leaves, John gives Oliver the file on his dead brother Alex which confirms HIVE had him killed. A flashback to the island has Oliver learn about a relationship between two people. Back in the present, Ray meets up with Felicity and givers her a lead on the tooth. At Oliver Queen for Mayor Headquarters, the candidate has to attend a function held by the police where he’ll really have to choose his words carefully. Thea’s phone goes off and it’s Malcolm, but she blows it off as a wrong number. Oliver tells Alex that he’d like to focus on cleaning up the bay and is told that will put voters to sleep. Their conversation is cut short when he gets a call from Felicity. He and Thea have to go, but not before Alex tells Thea he thinks her brother knows they’re having a relationship. At Wolfman Biologics that night, the heroes break in to steal a sample of the chemical that can unscramble the DNA marker so they can identify some of the Ghosts. Unfortunately, four Ghosts enter. Diggle shoots one and pulls back the man’s mask — it’s his brother Andy who begins to fight him. Cue first commercial break.
The long stewing plot of “Is-Andy-Dead-Or-Alive?” is answered with a big yes. This gives David Ramsey some big scenes as John has to grapple with his brother being alive. I was really moved by his moment at a bar — it was strong stuff and Ramsey nailed it! Stephen Amell gets to play Jiminy Cricket with Ramsey, and he does an okay job, but the lines he’s given are what one would expect, so nothing truly took off with what he said. Better were the scenes pairing Emily Bett Rickards and Brandon Routh, who still could sizzle a scene together, even though their characters’ relationship isn’t at their previous point. Alex Davis got to see Thea cut loose, but the script doesn’t give Parker Young anything to say to Willa Holland. That was disappointing. The high point was Thea’s story line and her scenes with John Barrowman (and things are always better with Barrowman in the scene, aren’t they?) and Neal McDonough. Something very interesting happens between Darhk and Thea and it holds a lot of promise. This episode had some really outstanding fight scenes — the best I’ve seen in my limited viewing of this series. I was really impressed with the camera work among the storage containers and Thea in the final setting. Excellent work by director James Bamford.
The good: David Ramsey, Willa Holland, John Barrowman, Neal McDonough, Brandon Routh, the direction of James Bamford, nice nod to comics’ fans with Wolfman Biologics (if only a Victor Stone was working there…), and New Rule: Don’t hit on Thea.
Fun lines: “Trust me. Things aren’t always what they seem,” “Tread carefully, Quentin,” “Resurrected siblings are kind of in my wheelhouse,” “Well, then you’d no longer be…unopposed,” and “If I’m going to come back to life, I have to figure out what it is I’m living for.”
The bad: Bored to tears by the flashbacks (unless Constantine reappears) and Thea’s anger issues in front of Alex went nowhere; it should have been given more time in a different episode.
The final line: The flashbacks are killing me, but I’m loving the story in the present. Overall grade: B