Full disclosure, some of you tonight will not have gotten the “in joke” that surrounded this episode. In real life, Stephen Amell is a major fan of wrestling, specifically, WWE. last year, he took part in a major WWE event called Summerslam, and fought a man called Stardust in a match at the event. Tonight, we got the “rematch” as the man who was Stardust, Cody Rhodes, came onto Arrow to play villain Derek Sampson. While not the best episode, “A Matter Of Trust” did do a good job in most areas.
The main crux of the episode was easily Ollie’s still lack of trust in the team. On one hand, you can understand him being more hesitant with these new recruits than he was with Diggle, Roy, and even Laurel. But, as Felicity noted, eventually, he would have to trust him. I appreciate the writers giving Ollie another reason not to trust Wild Dog, and by extension the others, because its through mistakes like the incident with Sampson that they can grow and evolve.
Which was a real treat when it happened by the end of the episode, with everyone suiting up and going after Sampson and his army in potential. Seeing Curtis go full Mr. Terrific was cool, complete with “T” on his face and the “Fair Play” jacket which were the staples of the character in the comics. Oh, and Ollie noting that he liked Wild Dog’s hockey mask? A callout to him being Casey Jones in the TMNT movies. Classic.
Trust was a running theme throughout the episode, as Thea made a big mistake in trusting a reporter, one that really got Ollie in trouble. Amell really showed the pain Ollie was going through as it seemed nothing he was doing was working. Yet, in the end, not only did he took responsibility for everything that happened in both sides of his life he reciprocated his trust in Thea by supporting her decision in making Quentin Deputy Mayor. Hopefully, next episode we’ll see Lance in action, as this will no doubt be his big story for the season.
John meanwhile was in prison due to the fallout from last weeks episode. I’m glad we got to see what happened to him, and seeing Lyla again is always great. What I didn’t expect was the return of Floyd Lawton. If you recall, the Suicide Squad was nixed quite violently from Arrow because of the movie. So to see him return in any fashion was surprising. Then, for them to reveal it was all in his head? And he’s still angry with himself over killing Andy? Impressive. Lyla coming to Oliver at the end made me smile, as you know something fun is about to happen. Prison Break!
The flashbacks were slow again, but a key lesson was taught to Ollie. Two in fact. The Bratva need to be “trusted”, and not everything he sees is at it appears. Ollie still isn’t the cold as stone man we know from Season 01 yet, but he’s slowly getting there. Hopefully the process won’t take too much longer.
All in all, “A Matter of Trust” did more thing right than wrong. I wish Cody got to show off more as Sampson, but there’s rumors he’ll come back potentially. Curtis was annoying at times, but whatever. I’m still very pleased with this season so far.