Let’s all take a moment to praise Arrow’s fight coordinator, James Bamford, for directing Brotherhood and crafting one of the most (if not most) visually appealing Arrow episodes yet. The camerawork and staging were absolutely outstanding this week, with a handful of mindblowing action sequences that rivalled the best that television has to offer (I’m looking at you Daredevil!). I do hope future directors can live up to these standards because Mr. Bamford undoubtedly spoiled us with his impeccable work this week; every action set-pieces was a joy to behold. I’m in awe!
A case could definitely be made that death means absolutely nothing on Arrow these days – after all, the only two who haven’t risen from the dead by now are Moira Queen and Tommy Merlyn. But for some reason, Andy being alive didn’t irritate me as much as I thought it would. It provided Diggle with a compelling subplot (David Ramsey was superb), and it’s got me curious regarding Andy’s role in the season going forward (he certainly seems like a baddie at this point). Plus, his return allowed Diggle to bond with Laurel over resurrected siblings, and I can never get enough of these two! Arrow would do good to further explore their friendship.
One thing I certainly didn’t expect was Thea being revealed as the secret weapon against Damien Darhk. I was positively dumbfounded when the Big Bad was unable to hurt little Queen, as the Lazarus Pit after-affects have apparently endowed her with protective properties. Sure this adds further fuel to the fire that she could be the one dead in the flash-forward, but I refuse to believe the show’s writers would kill off Ollie’s sis after taking away his mother. Fingers crossed.
Ollie’s mayoral run continues to be mightily interesting, punctuated by his inspiring speech to the public (and Darhk) as he promised to fight for his city in “the light of day”. I continue to love this development as it allows Oliver to kick ass without resorting to actual physical violence. Who would have thought that adding a political element to Arrow would be such a bonafide win?
Bits & Arrows
– I’m confused – the last time Laurel used the Canary Cry, it sent a guy flying back almost telekinetically. Why is she just breaking glass and making peoples’ ears hurt again?
– Flashbacks: Ollie kept another secret – this time not telling Tianna that it was him who killed her brother. Uh oh. Also, he’s handy with a whip.
– I did like the continuity with a Ghost not killing Diggle a few episodes back. It’s good to see these writers thinking ahead sometimes (since they still haven’t decided who’s dead in the flash forward and I think that’s going to blow up in their face).
– I kind of wish Thea killed the pedophile Malcolm told her about. Nevertheless, I was enormously satisfied by her brutally beating the sleazy guy who came on to her in the bar?
– Diggle throwing the arrow in the docks with his bare hands was badass! That single-take fight was just glorious!
– Ray’s here! It’s hard to enjoy his appearance since we know he’s being shipped off to the spinoff soon. But his fighting side-by-side with Ollie gave me season finale vibes. Especially the music that kicked in when he arrived!
– Laurel spouting the word “sick” like a teenager was kind of adorable.
– More nifty shots: the trio jumping across rooftops, and that stunning one-take of the Black Canary jumping down from above as the camera follows her path. Woah!
– Notice how the camera never cut as Thea kicked ass through an elevator and right into another floor? That entire sequence (in addition to Laurel’s hallway fight as she took out a gang of goons) was a masterpiece.
– The one drawback to all the fantastic action this week with the single camera takes is that it was obviously the stunt doubles at work. Ugh.
Ray: To be honest, I’m feeling at a bit of a loss of what to do with my newfound freedom. And height.
Felicity: Well, this is actually a better way than how you usually spend your evenings– dressing in leather and tying people up.
Laurel: Do you want to talk about it? Resurrected siblings are kind of in my wheelhouse.
Diggle: It’s not quite the same thing, Laurel. Sara wasn’t really-
Laurel: A member of an organization of killers?
Felicity: Leaving to fight Ra’s on the mountaintop, going undercover with the League of Assassins, dating the Huntress…
Oliver: What are you doing?
Felicity: Oh… I am just listing all of the terrible ideas you’ve had over the past three years, of which throwing in with Damien Darhk has got to be the worst.
Felicity: Maybe they’re playing Bingo.
Oliver: Let’s assume that’s not it.
Felicity: Deadly Bingo.
Diggle: My brother needed me. The green one.
Under Bamford’s astounding direction, Brotherhood was an immensely memorable and action-packed hour of Arrow.