‘Arrow’ 1.11 Recap and Review: Trust But Verify

Everyone learns a Very Special Lesson about trust on this week’s Arrow!

First things first, the recap:

It’s Thea’s 18th birthday! Moira is helping her put together the Party of the Century, since Thea has proven that she has a fantastic track record when it comes to partying with her friends. Well done there, Mom. Everything is surprisingly angst-free until Moira has to take a call from Malcolm Merlyn. Thea is instantly suspicious, as Mo started having a lot of “secret meetings” with Malcolm just before Ollie and her dad disappeared. Could Mo be having an affair?

Meanwhile, the Hood is looking into a gang who’s been robbing armored cars using military combat strategies. His search leads him to Blackhawk Security, seemingly run by Ted Gaynor (played by the awesome Ben Browder). Ted’s on the list, but he’s also Digg’s old Commanding Officer. Digg trusts Gaynor enough to interrupt a Hood-raid on Gaynor’s offices and manages to get himself hired on. Digg plans to prove Gaynor’s innocence to Ollie and to himself.

Ollie takes a Blackhawk security fob to Felicity, who finds all of the plans for the next armored car heists. The Hood foils the next one, leading Digg to discover that Gaynor was behind the whole thing all along. The reasons for Gaynor’s Face-Heel Turn seem pretty flimsy, but he’s far enough gone to kidnap Digg’s sister-in-law Carly to ensure that Digg will help them out on the next job. Digg agrees, but refuses to fire when the armored car comes into view. The Hood joins the party and a massive fight ensues, leaving Gaynor dead and Digg having learned a valuable lesson about trusting the series protagonist.

Back at My Super Sweet Sixteen Eighteen party, Thea’s textbook examples of peer pressure friends have slipped her the new hot drug, Vertigo. Thea’s planning on getting rid of it, but goes rebelliously off the deep end when she sees Moira and Malcolm scheming together on the balcony. She pops a few pills and goes driving in her new car, only to promptly crash it and wake up in the hospital. Mo seems inclined to let her off easy, but the Starling City Police Department has other ideas. Her tox screen came back positive, so the newly-adult Thea is going downtown with a DUI.

In Ollie’s periodic island reminisces, we see a disguised Oliver attempt to sneak into the enemy camp to rescue his Jungle Buddy. He manages to make it all the way to the prison camp on the other side of the island before he’s discovered by the Bad Guy In Charge and his helper… Ollie’s Jungle Friend!!

I’m standing by what I’ve said before: I’m just not intrigued by the island flashbacks anymore. Tonight’s reveal was supposed to be pretty major, and it definitely goes along with the writing mantra, “Show, don’t tell,” but it didn’t have nearly the shock value of some of the present-day revelations. I think I’ve reached the point where I would rather have a brief flashback narrated by Oliver than a full-blown cut to the island.

The part of this show that keeps me tuning in, other than the obligatory topless work-out scenes, is really the conspiracy endgame. I’m really hoping that Malcolm’s wish to shut down his late wife’s free clinic is some sort of major stepping stone that we’ll find out about later, and not just a particularly sad-looking puppy for the bad guy to kick. We know that Malcolm definitely thinks he’s cleaning up the city, and we got a glimpse tonight of his motives. I would love to see more of how Moira got pulled into this.

Maybe on next week’s Arrow, right?

Best Quote:
Oliver: “Is that your way of saying you miss me?”
Felicity: “No, but if that works for you, go with it.”

Things to Ponder:

  • Is Thea’s arrest the set-up for her to actually become Speedy, or are the writers just feeling a little Degrassi this week?
  • The mild groping that led to Thea’s spiral, was that indicative of an actual relationship between Moira and Malcolm, or was Captain Jack Merlyn just being affably skeezy?


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