TV Rants & Ramblings: Arrow 1.11 – “Trust But Verify”

Arrow headerJust in case the title didn’t clue you in, this week’s episode of Arrow plays with the theme of trust and why there’s a strong chance that no one deserves to have unquestioned faith placed in them.

Black Hawk Down

Usually Diggle is the one steering Oliver in a direction needed to go, from going after the small fry bank robbing family to trying to get him see the truth about The Huntress, but this time it’s Diggle who needs a little pushing in the right direction when the bad guy might just be someone from his past.  Diggle’s old commanding officer, Ted Gaynor, is definitely a prime candidate when the tape clearly shows that the armored truck robbers have some military tactics in their skill set, but Diggle isn’t so ready to turn on his brothers in arms.  Semper fi, and all that jazz.

Marine mottos do make it a little easier to forgive the interference Diggle runs when Oliver goes in for his usual attempt at bad guy intimidation, but at least he’s smart enough not to trust every ex-soldier, just the one that saved his life a time or two.  That, and by getting a job with Black Hawk in order to prove the man’s innocence, Diggle is in the perfect location for an “I told you so” from Oliver down the road when it turns out that Gaynor was a part of the murderous heists all along.

Even with all of the head shaking at Diggle for his misplaced trust, he still more than redeems himself.  What’s more, he does it in quite the epic fashion by teaching Gaynor not to put a grenade launcher in the hands of someone you’re forcing to do things by threatening the life of someone they love.  With that said, it’s still a good thing that Oliver was there to put an arrow through Gaynor’s chest during the standoff between Diggle and his ex-commander (and that Diggle left the bug on himself for Oliver to follow).  I’m sure Diggle would have pulled the trigger in the end, but Oliver did a nice thing for his partner by not giving him the opportunity to live with that decision from then on.

Mr. Homewrecker

Ted Gaynor might have been the bad guy of the week, but Malcolm Merlyn still came off the worst going by the numbers because he caused problems within two separate storylines.  First he invites his son and Laurel out to dinner under the impression that he is aware of his failings as a father and still wants to make their family work.  But really he just wanted Merlyn’s signature to shut down the free clinic that his mom set up before dying.  Turns out that Malcolm and Oliver have more in common than we thought if they both turned to the bow to avenge those killed in a traumatic event (assuming his wife being shot in the head is why Malcolm became the second archer.  Because let’s be honest, why the heck else?).

If his own family drama was not enough, he’s also jamming wedges between members of the Queen family when Thea follows her mother to a meeting with Malcolm.  They’re just lucky that all she thinks is going on is adultery considering she was practically in the room during a conversation that should have filled Thea in on what really happened to Walter, and that her mother is more than aware of it as well.  Thea still doesn’t have a huge part in the show other than throwing in a few minutes of family dysfunction or alcohol/drug use each week, but tonight’s use was to push Oliver in the direction of asking his mom about this relationship.  He seems to believe his mother’s words about not having an affair, but he still has that look like he’s got the nagging feeling that something else is there.  In other words, it’s not a question of if Oliver is going to find out the truth about where Walter is and what happened (and the truth behind the shipwreck) and that his mom is the liar that Thea says she is, but when this is going to happen.

Back on the Island…

…The plot thickens!

Every week I am always talking about Ollie’s “Best Island Buddy” (or BIB.  That’s right, I even gave him an abbreviated nickname because of how super cool he was, or maybe because I have trouble remembering names) and how awesome of a sensei he’s probably going to be, and I feel so duped!  Maybe not as badly as Oliver does considering he landed on someone to death in order to steal his clothes and infiltrate the enemy compound, only to find out that BIB was evil all along!  At least he isn’t Deathstroke, but it’s still super lame.

Which begs the question: how far back has this been the plan to get to Oliver?  Build his trust for what?  Especially considering they had Oliver in custody before when BIB rescued him.  Why not keep him there instead of prolonging the inevitable?  It’s not like when BIB came back they had any revealing conversations containing Queen family secrets.  Maybe BIB is a triple agent who was swayed by Ollie’s pretty eyes and will still become his teacher since someone needs to give him a bow already!

Final Thoughts

With Thea getting arrested at the end of the episode for driving under the influence of the drug Vertigo, Oliver will undoubtedly be dealing with that next week.  Not only that, but it looks like he might be under the influence of it as well.  Good thing he and Diggle are on good terms again because he might need someone to pull him back down to earth.

So what did you think of tonight’s episode of Arrow?  Did anyone else have trouble hearing any of the numerous conversations during the party scene?  How long do you think Felicity is going to continue to fall for the lies that Oliver tells her in concern to all the favors he asks of her (A scavenger hunt?  Really!?)?  Isn’t Thea lucky that her mother didn’t die after she told her that she wished she had instead of her father?  That’s pretty much how that usually goes after those words.  Let me know your thoughts on this episode in the comments below!

ArrowEp11

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