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By: Adam Basciano

Arrow Title Card

“Oliver and Diggle are at odds when Diggle’s former commanding officer is next on the list. Meanwhile, Thea notices when Moira and Malcolm spend time together, while Tommy and Laurel have dinner with Tommy’s father.” (The CW)

The last few episodes have struck a balance between antagonists on the list with those not on the list, with this episode returning to the list for an adversary.  That character also happens to feature in the comic books, a certain Ted Gaynor, head of Blackhawk, a private security agent and former commanding officer of Diggle.  I can’t speak for the accuracy to the source material in this case, but Ted Gaynor provides the real test of loyalties and friction between Oliver and Diggle.  Turns out that both men fail to an extent.  For most of the episode Diggle puts his faith in Gaynor, while Oliver plants a bug on Diggle to get dirt on Gaynor.  This theme in the title of the episode continues in the flashbacks, as it appears Yao Fei has deceived Oliver, leading him right into a trap.  Or did he? Appearances are deceiving on this show.  Thea also has trust issues where her mother is concerned.  Of course, her suspicions of her mother being unfaithful to Walter bring back painful memories of her father’s death, causing her to turn to a new drug called Vertigo.  This is a great lead in to next episode, and is a better reasoning for Thea’s mood swings than teen angst.  Malcolm Merlyn also gets worst father ever award, for toying with his son’s feelings in the most deplorable way possible.  John Barrowman gets high praise for nailing the part of an S.O.B.  I also didn’t mind the Laurel/Tommy relationship in this episode.  Much more natural.  Still don’t think it will last, but it was far less obtrusive.

Diggle and Gaynor

This episode had more trust issues and parenting problems than episodes of Jerry Springer and Maury Povich combined.  All the drama seemed to minimize the action,  I counted two action set pieces.  On one hand, the first action sequence seemed too tame and subdued compared to previous fight scenes on the series.  The second larger action sequence was a feast for the eyes featuring Arrow jumping off a truck, stopping in mid-air (slow motion) and firing off an arrow.  However, him dodging that high-end firepower was a bit unrealistic given the boundaries set by this show.

I’ve been tougher on this episode more than any other thus far.  This episode was decent and I liked certain aspects of it, but it is without a doubt my least favourite of the 11 to date.  Still new mysteries, hints at possible new romantic interests for both Oliver and Diggle, and the arrival of DC Comics villain Count Vertigo, will keep me enjoying this show for the foreseeable future!

Trust But Verify