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Home Featured ‘Arrow’ 3.03 Episode Recap and Review: Corto Maltese
‘Arrow’ 3.03 Episode Recap and Review: Corto Maltese

‘Arrow’ 3.03 Episode Recap and Review: Corto Maltese


The trail of Sara’s killer has gone cold. Team Arrow’s last lead was a fingerprint on a piece of glass on the roof, which leads them to a punk kid. All he can tell them was that he was told to clear off by a tough-looking woman in black (presumably, but not necessarily, Sara).

Ollie wants Thea back home now. Felicity’s been on her trail, which doesn’t actually lead to Italy, but to a small island in South America, Corto Maltese. Digg isn’t planning on tagging along until Lyla asks him to check up on an ARGUS operative who’s suddenly gone dark in the area.

When Ollie, Digg, and Roy get to Corto Maltese, the party splits up – Ollie and Roy heading for Thea while Diggle checks up on Mark Shaw. Thea’s working at a local café. She’s happy to see Ollie, but just as happy to stay right where she is. Roy gives it a shot, as well, but tells Thea that all he wants for her is happiness. If she’s better off in Corto Maltese, Roy wants her to stay there.

Meanwhile, Diggle meets up with Mark Shaw. The ARGUS agent has learned that someone hacked the ARGUS database, obtaining identification info on covert agents as well as “soft targets” – the spouses and children of anyone working for ARGUS. (I choose to ignore that they called them “women and children,” as Arrow is known for having a slew of amazingly badass women.) The hacker is going to be selling the information tomorrow. Shaw takes Digg to the buy (with Oliver following in secret), but double-crosses him. Shaw is the hacker and just needs Digg’s ARGUS ident card to decode it all before he can sell it at the real buy tomorrow.

Digg calls Lyla, but the ARGUS team is too far out to be of any use, so it’s up to Team Arrow to get that intel back. Shaw hires a small army, but they’re no match for our heroes. Oliver and Roy recover the intel while Digg goes after a fleeing Shaw. Shaw reveals that the only reason he was selling the intel was as a means to get out of ARGUS. Digg lets him go and tells Lyla that he was taken out during the fight. Hopefully that doesn’t come back to haunt us.

Ollie decides to tell Thea the whole truth about what happened to Richard Queen. His willingness to come clean convinces her to come home. She tells Malcolm that she wants to go. He tells her that she must defeat him in combat to prove that she’s ready to leave. She wins, but realizes that Merlyn let her. She shows up at the airport with just minutes to spare before the plane to Starling City starts boarding. While they wait, a random passerby spills hot coffee on Thea’s hand, but she doesn’t flinch (see below for the not-Island Recap), tipping off Oliver that something might be a little odd with his baby sister now.

While all of this has been going down in South America, Laurel has been trying to find her own path back in Starling. At her AA meeting, she comes across a young woman in an abusive relationship. The cops can’t do anything, since the woman won’t file (and Quentin says that AA confessions are “off-limits” to official police work). Laurel decides to take matters into her own hands. She tracks down the boyfriend, but swiftly finds out that she’s way out of her depth. Laurel asks Oliver to train her to be like Sara, but he unequivocally refuses, so Laurel dons Sara’s leather jacket and heads to a local gym to seek training from Ted Grant (yes, THAT Ted Grant).

Felicity is trying to get a handle on her first day back at Queen Consolidated. For one, she’s no longer an Executive Assistant. In fact, she has her own. Ray wants her to salvage the servers from QC’s Applied Sciences division (you know, the ones they blew up before? Oops.) She recovers quite a bit of the data, but is unaware that Ray seems mostly interested in the Advanced Weapons schematics. He’s got time to look them over, though, since Felicity is heading to Central City to visit an old and very fast friend.

It wouldn’t be Arrow if there weren’t one more twist before the credits roll. Nyssa’s back in Starling City. She’s in the lair, she’s armed, and she’s looking for Sara.

Non-Island Flashback: Who cares about Oliver this episode? We’ve got Thea-centered flashbacks this time! Six months ago, Thea went with her bio-dad Malcolm Merlyn down to Corto Maltese. She wants him to train her so that she can never get hurt like she did when the truth came out about her family. He initially tries to train her as his daughter, but then realizes that he can only train her as he was taught – very trial-by-fire. Cue the “Thea Becomes A Badass” montage, including several scenes of pouring hot wax over her hand (as previously referenced in the spilling of the airport coffee).

So at this point, I’m really most interested in what Thea’s going to be doing back in Starling. Merlyn obviously had a reason for letting her go back, so what’s her role going to be in his new endgame?

I’m loving the heck out of this season so far. My only gripe is that Laurel’s journey to becoming the new Black Canary feels very predictable right now. Maybe there are going to be some better twists and turns along the way, but at the moment it just seems like the writers are ticking off a checklist to get Laurel into the leather jacket for keeps. Hopefully her story will get more interesting as the season progresses.

Arrow 3.03 Episode Recap and Review


Best Quote:

Digg: “What is it with your family and islands?”


Things to Ponder:

  • Wasn’t the Atom a good guy in the comic books? Palmer taking an interest in the weapons schematics is usually writer shorthand for an upcoming face-heel turn.

Photo Credit: The CW

rennlark Jenn is a contributing writer for Having been raised Geek Orthodox, Jenn has a love of most things sci-fi. Thanks to Georgia Tech, she also has an honest appreciation for the “sci” as well as the “fi”. Her current favorite shows include, but are not limited to: Doctor Who, Being Human, Sleepy Hollow, and various Joss Whedon offerings.


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