In “Brotherhood,” directed by Arrow fight and stunt coordinator James Bamford, Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) confronts mayoral candidate Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), attempting to use him as a pawn. The joke is on him, though, since Oliver wants nothing to do with his machinations. Now Darhk is readying himself for war. (If you missed the episode or want a refresher, be sure to check out our recap here.)
The Arrow cast recently spoke with journalists from their Vancouver set, and explained more about Episode 7, and how it’s a turning point in the relationship between Darhk and Oliver. “It allows us to establish an interesting dynamic,” Amell said. “As we saw in the second episode of the season, Darhk doesn’t react very kindly to people running for mayor. He doesn’t want any galvanizing force or goodness in the city. That puts everyone at odds.”
McDonough added that, “Damien thinks this is the greatest thing on Earth. We’ve got this nice guy, this good-looking guy, he’s running for mayor — I’m going to use him for whatever I need. And we have this wonderful scene where I’m telling him, here’s what’s happening: I’m going to back you for mayor … and oh by the way, you have to bow down to whatever I ask of you. And of course, [Oliver] has his own agenda. Damien doesn’t like that. No one says no to Damien Darhk.”
In fact, things are going to get personal. McDonough noted, “You see that Darhk has a huge heart for something. And that’s also the driving force that he wants to make this world perfect for this ‘something.’ [Oliver] figures out a little bit about my personal life and uses that against me.” Meanwhile, Amell mentioned that a huge point of growth for Oliver this season is trusting his team completely (“even though one is my sister, two are life-long friends and people I care about and love, and another one is someone I’m in love with and actively dating and considering proposing to”). So regarding this particular fight, he seems to have the upper hand — for now.
Still, Darhk should not be underestimated, especially regarding how he’s continue to build up H.I.V.E. “Brotherhood” included a great scene where we got to see Darhk recruiting men into his command, and as McDonough put it, “You see how I basically give the Kool Aid to these men and make them become part of Hive. You see the absolute joy on Damien Darhk’s face, like, ‘I just love my life!’ But he does, because he believes he has a purpose to save the world in his sick, twisted way. He’s a dictator, but he believes what he’s doing is right and just. If didn’t think that, then he would just be a foolish character.”
But Oliver and Diggle have been at odds over how to handle H.I.V.E. “[Oliver] has one viewpoint on H.I.V.E., and Diggle has another, much more personal viewpoint,” Amell said. “But while the two of them continue to work together, we’re over the hump of what happened at the end of Season 3 with Lyla. They’re not at odds with one another, but their viewpoints on how to deal with H.I.V.E. and the strategy really come to a head.”
They had better get on the same page soon. Though the crossover episodes with The Flash seem mostly focused on Vandal Savage (and establishing Legends of Tomorrow), don’t expect Darhk to slow down. “It just keeps building,” McDonough told us. “You see my militia expand, and everything is going my way. And this other guy, Oliver Queen, and the Green Arrow — these two guys are getting in my way, and I need to kill them both. So far I can’t, and it’s really pissing Darhk off. Quite a bit.”
Arrow airs Wednesday nights on the CW; for more on each episode, be sure to check out our weekly recaps.