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TV REVIEW: FTN reviews Arrow SO1EO11 Trust But Verify

January 24th, 2013 by Marc Comments

So no big bads from the Arrow-verse, but we got a great story with a huge reveal. Arrow sets his sights on a gang of armored cars thieves who it turns out have a connection to Diggle, Arrow suspects that Diggle’s former military mentor, John Gaynor, may be involved with the robberies. This doesn’t sit well with Diggle and he asks Arrow to back off his friend. The problem is Gaynor is also on his list, we don’t get told why, but he is so Arrow can’t let this one go.

As Arrow confronts Gaynor at the security firm Gaynor works for, Diggle shows up to spoil the party and chases Arrow away. This was a WTF moment for me, Diggle needs to hop on board or stay out of the way, but Diggle does manage to work his way into a job at the security firm so he can keep tabs on Gaynor. Now this whole thing works out by accident, but it would have been more clever of the writers if this whole scenario had been pre-planned by Arrow and Diggle to get Diggle on the inside. It also turns out that another man from Diggle and Gaynor’s past also works at the firm, Paul Knox. It instantly becomes clear that Diggle and Knox don’t get along too well, and this was another thing that we never get a full explanation on. A Diggle flashback would’ve been great here, but I guess it’s not integral to the story so it’s left unexplained.

Through some crack computer skills on the part of Oliver’s resident nerd, whatever her name is, Arrow is able to predict the gang’s next target and is able to intercept them though they get away. This made Knox their prime suspect and for the moment put Gaynor in the clear. Diggle traces them back to their security firm where he learns that Gaynor is indeed the mastermind of the whole operation. We got thrown a curveball here and I thought that was excellent on the part of the writers. Gaynor and crew coerce Diggle into helping them with one more job. During the job Arrow shows up to save the day, killing Knox and Gaynor, as Diggle is hesitant to do it himself. Arrow has caught a lot of flack for the way he offs bad guys left and right, but as he was fighting Knox I was hoping he would kill the guy, I don’t know why, but something inside me said kill the dude.

Elsewhere Thea becomes a total idiot and is becoming quite an unbearable character. The way she attacks her mom was very childish and her sleuthing skills suck as she deduces Moira and Merlyn are having an affair. The worst part of that second thing is that she comes up with that silly theory based on a few secret meetings and after seeing Merlyn barely touch Moira twice. Really?! You see Merlyn touch her shoulder and you automatically think affair? Then she decides to channel her inner Lindsay Lohan as she pops a bunch of pills and takes off for a joyride in her brand new car. We all knew this would end in Lohan fashion with her car wrapped around a tree, but I was disappointed that she survived. Damn you airbags!!! She did get arrested though, but being part of the 1% I’m sure her arrest will be inconsequential. This does however set up the next big bad as the drug Thea took is called Vertigo, which as we saw in the preview for next week, Vertigo will be making his reality based debut in Starling City.

There were some scenes with Tommy, Laurel and Tommy’s dad Merlyn, but they didn’t really matter to much of anything except to show that Merlyn is a total heartless ass, but that he does care for his son as he’s seen lamenting his family over an old photo. We did learn that Tommy’s mom was murdered, so that could also play into some of Merlyn’s motivations as a bad guy. By the way, how cool was his Dark Archer set up?!

Then we get the huge reveal through the flashbacks. Oliver’s protector on the island is actually one of the bad guys and his act was all a ruse to lure Oliver in. Man, both of my hands instantly shot up to grab my head on this one as my mouth gaped wide open. I had a very small suspicion that the masked Asian guy might have been him, but his perfect English under the mask threw me off a bit. Now that we know this the flashbacks are going to be 100 times more interesting than they already are as we find out what the purpose of the ruse was.

Overall this was actually one of my favorite episodes of the season. Though the writers dropped the ball on a few things the story was tight and kept interested. The reveal at the end was simply a bonus, though it was a huge bonus. I am noticing though the many similarities to Nolan’s Batman Begins. Aside from the fact that Arrow kills people, it almost seems as though the creators watched Batman Begins and said, lets do this but with Green Arrow instead. The writer of this episode even poked some fun at this as Diggle dubs Oliver’s lair the “Arrow Cave”. Nonetheless this had to be one of the better episodes of the series.

4 out 5 nerds

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….