Arrow, ‘Brothers and Sisters’: There’s No Sign of a Midseason Slowdown as Dante Makes His Debut

Arrow, Season 7, Episode 14, “Brothers and Sisters”

Like the episode before it, Arrow continues to slash and burn through plot like a flamethrower. It’s almost like the writers are trying to make up for six seasons of “get on with it already” in one frantically paced series of episodes. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Arrow:

What’s the scoop:  We finally get to meet the elusive Dante, though first, there are a lot of chess pieces to move around the board. Suicide Squad Ghost Initiative has shown up on the radar of Lilah’s superiors and the walls are closing in quickly, just as she and Diggle are making headway on the conspiracy. They are going to have to rely on Diaz in the field to confirm Dante’s identity. But in an Arrow-verse first, Diggle decides he needs to let Felicity and Ollie know the secret that Diaz is part of Ghost Initiative. This gets Felicity and Not-Laurel back together to plot Diaz’s demise.

Meanwhile in B-plot land: It’s not often that Oliver is relegated to mostly B-plot duty, but here we are. Thanks to Rene, acting as a go-between for Oliver and Emiko, who’s asked the newly deputized Rene to have the bullet that killed her mother analyzed and Oliver sees it as an opportunity to reach out to his sister. Initially, it’s Oliver straight-up meddling in his sister’s mission of vengeance but thanks to a pep talk from Rene, the newfound siblings found some common ground … or do they, because Emiko is keeping a treacherous secret.

On the island of the future: The future scenes parallel the Oliver-Emiko plot in the present, as William and Mia bond over how crappy their parents were, and how Felicity taught life lessons with a Rubik’s Cube. A point to consider here is that William’s stories of parental abandonment aren’t syncing with what’s happening in the present. He tells Mia that neither Ollie nor Felicity reached out to him after he moved to Central City with his grandparents, though we see Oliver fill William’s voicemail up with attempts to reach out. This is either selective memory on his part, or perhaps future William isn’t who he says he is.

Sex and the Olicity: Felicity has been trying to find the right moment to spill the beans to Ollie about their bundle of joy. Fake Laurel figures it out by the lack of booze and coffee during her meeting with Felicity (which is odd because I don’t remember Felicity popping bottles much before she was pregnant). Felicity finally gets a moment to let Oliver in on her secret after they get invited to back up Diggle on the Dante hunt. It’s a tender moment that’s been in short supply since Oliver has been imprisoned or distracted and Felicity, in perpetual paranoid Mama Bear mode.

What about the action: The Ghost Initiative team has an impressive three-way training fight that is just an appetizer to the broader Mission: Impossible style climax of the episode. ARGUS discovers that Dante is in Star City for a covert meeting with a princess who is plotting a coup, and Dante is providing the funding. Diggle and Lilah need to bring Diaz into the field to verify Dante’s identity. There’s a lot of discussion that Dante is the main target of the operation and that containing Diaz is secondary, much to the chagrin of Felicity. As if on cue, the moment Dante, the princess, and the mole inside ARGUS meet, Diaz neutralizes the bomb in his brain and warns Dante it’s all a setup. Dante reveals that he’s more than a nice suit and an evil plot, as he starts shredding loose ends with some hidden knives. Oliver has a fight with him on a balcony before Dante makes his escape. Felicity gets the drop on Diaz and as he monologues about how Felicity still doesn’t have the guts to pull the trigger, Diggle comes up behind him and knocks him cold. It’s not exactly a happy ending as Diggle falls on his sword at ARGUS to keep Lilah in position to continue to investigate Dante and the related conspiracy (also freeing him up to join the Star City PD). Oh, and Diaz might be dead for the third or fourth time (it’s hard to keep track these days). Someone rigged the sprinkler system in his cell to spray a volatile liquid all over him, and he gives a “What are you doing here?” to an unseen person who tosses a lighter into the cell. Diaz makes a great catch, but it’s not enough to keep him from going up in flames. They want you to believe that the unseen person was Not-Laurel, who killed Diaz in the exact fashion Diaz killed his childhood bully last season.

What’s next: Police Academy 8: Squad Star City. If Steve Guttenberg doesn’t make a cameo, I’m gonna be so disappointed.

Last impressions: I’m starting to dig this roller-coaster ride. Normally, this time of the season is reserved for side adventures while the big-bad mysteriously goes on vacation for two or three episodes at a time. So this surge of significant plot developments is a welcome change. Emiko’s connection to Dante suddenly makes the thought that she eventually takes over as the Green Arrow seem even more unlikely. Oliver might actually be discovering the cracks in her façade, because the construction of her arrows is going to come back into play. Despite the fact I’m still not sold on the whole future plotline, Arrow is hitting enough character notes and providing solid action to keep it entertaining week in, week out.

 

 

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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