Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
After the “Olicity”-fest of last week, this episode was understandably lighter on the kisses and the makeup sex. But there were still a few ‘shipper moments thrown in, and it was David Ramsey’s night to shine as John Diggle dealt with the realization that his brother is still alive. Here’s our complete Olicity Watch for 4×07, Brotherhood:
Brotherhood is the theme in general this week, as Diggle openly struggles with the knowledge that his brother Andy is alive, probably evil, and has kept his existence a secret from his family for the past eight years. Oliver takes the whole thing to heart, and not just because he decides to team up with Darhk to help Dig in his time of need. Luckily, Felicity is there as the voice of reason and talks him out of the darhkness (heh, heh) and into the light. But Oliver still insists on rescuing Andy until he finally admits that he needs to have hope that Andy can come back—just as he needs to have hope that he can truly come back after his own five years in hell. In the end, the team rescues Andy, Oliver stands up to Darhk, the brotherhood between Oliver and Diggle is once again confirmed, and there’s some Ray stuff that is too boring to care about. Let’s send this guy off to his own show soon, ‘kay? Meanwhile, Thea’s bloodlust is back with a vengeance and she’s teaming up with Malcolm to figure out why Darhk’s magic makes her desire to kill suddenly vanish. I’m sure this won’t end badly at all, she says sarcastically.
After the Diggle-drought of Season 3, it’s nice to see Ramsey shine in his own meaty storyline. It’s also nice to see how strong Original Team Arrow is this year—the show and the actors are making it clear that there are separate teams within Team Arrow and it’s working great. Last year, fans were rightly up-in-arms when it felt like Laurel was getting shoehorned in for the sake of an actor’s-contract rather than believability, Diggle was taking a backseat in the story and the fighting, and Oliver and Felicity were so at odds that the chemistry of the entire team was suffering. This year all those kinks have been worked out, and while it’s still not totally clear to me how Laurel is a valuable member of Team Arrow, I’m happy for the Oliver/Diggle moments, the Oliver/Felicity moments, and the care with which the writers are treating each separate relationship. The show shines when Oliver, Felicity and Diggle are allowed to play off each other and this episode was an awesome example of why.
- Team Arrow is in the lair, out in the field, and back in the lair again to discuss Andy’s return from the dead. No real Olicity moments other than Felicity rubbing Oliver’s shoulder every chance she gets, but it’s good to see them all working as a well-oiled team at this point.
- Candidate Queen gives a speech about the police department while formalwear Felicity looks on with pride. I am all for this mayoral campaign if it means they keep throwing moony looks at each other across a crowd. She also hilariously jokes about how he usually spends his evenings “dressing in leather and tying people up.” The look on Oliver’s face is everything.
- When she finds out he wants to pretend to work with Darhk, Felicity lists off all Oliver’s other bad ideas (including dating the Huntress), then literally bats his hands away when he tries to stick up for himself. I love how she can cut him down to size and bolster him up in the same conversation. By the end, she’s pep-talked Oliver back into doing the right thing, Oliver’s heart-eyes are out of control, and OMG where was this kind of scene in mid-Season 3? He should know by now that listening to Felicity = a good idea.
- Nurse Felicity has her hands all up on Oliver’s abs. She’s just tending his wounds, though a girl can dream. She wants to stay and help, but both Oliver and John give her “get out of here” looks, and she awkwardly relents. I missed funny, awkward, talks-too-much Felicity, and having her in the background of this episode was a great way to consistently break the tension.
- Out in the field, Felicity makes a joke about playing deadly bingo and Oliver literally chokes. Bless the writers for humorously utilizing the comms (communication devices) this year, showing how Olicity exists not just in quiet Oliver/Felicity moments, but also when they’re being badass vigilantes.
Kiss Count: None. But last week we got a bedroom make-out, so I’m not complaining. Yet.
Best Moment: Innuendo Felicity is back and ready to embarrass Oliver in public. The fact that it involved leather, getting tied up, and an old lady side-eying Oliver was just icing on the cake. I could watch Oliver’s loving exasperation with Felicity all day long.
Steamy or Loving: From Felicity’s pep talk to the casual way she keeps rubbing his arms, this was definitely a loving episode for the two of them. Emily Bett Rickards recently did an interview where she said that her and Stephen Amell’s goal is to show the healthy communication that exists between Oliver and Felicity. Their ability to talk to and understand each other has been a pillar of their relationship from the very start. It’s part of what made Season 3 so difficult: without them consistently supporting each other, the team and the show suffered. Season 4 has been a breath of fresh air in showing how all parts of this team work together, with Olicity serving as the undercurrent that grounds them all.
Episode 8 doesn’t air until December 2, so next week I’ll be eating turkey and dreaming of Olicity kisses. Check back in in two weeks for more shoulder-touching analysis—and hopefully a lot more make-out sessions!