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Welcome back to the Brotherhood! I mean, Arrow Squad. Which is essentially a brotherhood, isn’t it? We won’t make you take any small, yellow pills, but we will expect you to have our back down at the docks! This week on Arrow Squad, your triumvirate discusses Arrow Season 4 Episode 7 entitled “Brotherhood” which originally aired on November 18, 2015.
It’s appropriate they bring the character Andy Diggle back onto the screen, alive and well (though possibly under some yellow pill influence?), in the same season that the flashbacks resemble those of Green Arrow: Year One, which of course was written by Andy Diggle. If you’ve listened to Arrow Squad or have read my blog posts before, you’ll know I read into everything. How can we not read into this one when there is literally something to read? As though we weren’t all already bouncing on the sofa and pointing at our television screens screaming, “Year One! Year One!” They go and bring back a character we thought dead paralleled against the very story that character is named in honor of.
Go on, tell me I’m crazy.
If it doesn’t pan out, I’ll eat my words, but either way I’m not worried. Watching television is the one area of my life where I would rather be surprised than know what’s going to happen. Well, I suppose reading as well.
I read Green Arrow: Year One early this last summer and really enjoyed it. The artwork was phenomenal and the story was very engaging. I believe it’s comprised of 6 books, and when I’d made it to the end I was wanting more.
There were a couple parallels of brotherhoods in this episode, and when each is defined it goes to show how differently certain individuals approach the core concept of brotherhood. By definition, brotherhood indicates a community of people linked by a common interest. Our culture has too often purported the connotation of the word into a generalized, gender-free collection of men and women who fit this mold — kind of like saying, “Hey guys!” in which you could be speaking to a group of men, of women, or of men and women — so that even though the obvious brotherhoods in this episode are that of HIVE and of the Lian Yu soldiers, they are also very much demonstrating that Oliver and his band of heroes are a brotherhood.
The platform that Oliver is running on for mayor, United, is also a keen indicator of a sense of brotherhood. The song America the Beautiful, which was originally a poem, probably uses this word in the way we’d expect: America! America! God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea. We’ve been called the Boiling Pot, the Land of Opportunity, and a lot of less friendly things, but the one thing no one can deny is that we’re a diverse people. In this country, there are over 46 million people (about 15% of the population) living below the poverty line. One percent of the people control thirty-five percent of the wealth. That’s what they say, anyway. When facing those numbers, it seems hard to consider the people in this country form a brotherhood. But in spite of the disparate people who call America home, we are united under the common goals of freedom and opportunity, to name two. A foundation in the belief that all men are created equal and should be offered the same, unalienable rights, is what unites us.
Just as in real life, where it’s easier to spot the dissenters through their general negativity and disinclination to work toward the common good or common goal, it’s easier to see where the brotherhoods in this episode of Arrow begin and end. Reiter might have his magical sticks to detect the dissenter in his own ranks on Lian Yu, but the only reason Conklin’s motives were called into question was due to his behavior. And the behavior of his brother Andy is, essentially, what turns Diggle off to giving the man the benefit of the doubt. Under the influence or no, he tells Oliver, Andy let his wife and son believe he was dead for 8 years.
In thinking about every situation where one person has attempted to infiltrate a group of people, behavior seems to be the one thing that consistently gives the infiltrator away. They do something they aren’t supposed to be doing, they behave contrary to the group’s way of being. In the flashbacks, acting in character seems to be a more powerful motivator for Oliver to whip the daylights out of Conklin than for him to show mercy. It didn’t look like he wanted to, but in order to prove he is who he wants them to believe he is, he needs to act in a certain way.
My favorite representation of brotherhood, of course, was on Team Arrow. A brotherhood, in my own humble opinion, lovingly reminds us through actions and patience of our basic moral principles. It comes as no surprise that Diggle acted in the way he did upon discovery of his brother’s alive-ness; considering how much time it took for he and Oliver to mend fences, this was serious progress! His friends patiently fight at his side and try to keep Diggle from making snap judgments about how Andy got into the situation he’s in. They all fight for the common goal of hope! Hope and redemption.
Win a Season of Arrow
ANYONE can win, so why not YOU? Please read this post fully and you will know everything you need to know. About this contest, anyway.
Heroes & Villains Meetup
Going to be in San Jose this weekend for the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest?? YOU are invited to a meetup happening on Saturday evening from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Mosiac Lounge. The address is 211 S 1st St San Jose, California 95113. The Shadow and I will be there and hope to have the opportunity to meet you!
Next week is the week of Thanksgiving here in the United States, so The CW is giving Flash and Arrow the night off. BUT! When they return on December 1 and 2, there is going to be an EPIC crossover event! If you haven’t been watching Flash, this would be a GREAT time to start as the two stories will be closely intertwined.
Hit us up with your thoughts and theories every week after a new episode airs. We record on Thursday evenings following new episodes of the show, so head on over to our feedback form to get in touch! You can type up an email, record a voicemail, or upload an audio file. All of which we love.