TV Recaps

‘Arrow’ Review: Everybody has trust issues


Oliver Queen has some major trust issues on Arrow and he’s not the only one. In this week’s episode, “Trust But Verify,” the show delved into various characters’ problems and why they have the inability to trust certain people or all people in their lives. It was a solid episode, not as entertaining as last week’s, but still enjoyable to watch even if a few of the revelations were lacking or didn’t exactly make sense.

Let’s start with the side plots because frankly, I enjoy them more than the main storyline. Tommy was busy overseeing the construction at the club when he received a call from Malcolm (ugh, this guy), who suddenly wanted some father-son bonding time. Tommy was rightfully suspicious since his father cut him off and told him that he was a loser. Malcolm wanted to mend fences and asked Tommy and Laurel to have dinner with him. Laurel (who again did not get her own storyline this week) convinced Tommy to go and he teased her about seeing the best in people.

But Malcolm really just wanted an excuse to get Tommy to sign off on some paperwork to close a free clinic that his mother had opened. Tommy refused and Laurel told Malcolm that he was horrible basically and he insisted that he’d started preparing Tommy for the real world after his mother died when Tommy was eight. I don’t really understand Malcolm’s logic, probably because I have no use for him, but we learned in this episode that when Tommy’s mother was murdered, Malcolm disappeared and left Tommy alone. Then we got to see Malcolm in his Dark Archer hideout, looking fondly at a picture of his family. I guess he has layers, but I don’t like him (Team Tommy).

Malcolm also played into Thea’s storyline this week. Her eighteenth birthday was approaching so she was having a huge party and begging for a car. Thea and Moira were out buying the perfect dress and Moira got a call from Malcolm and had to go see him immediately. She wanted proof that Walter was alive and they had a conversation about a man who was giving them issues, but all Thea saw as she was spying was Malcolm creepily touching Moira for no reason so of course she assumed they were having an affair.

She shared her suspicions with Oliver and he immediately broke the sibling code and told Moira. She assured him they weren’t having an affair, she lied about how much time she’d been spending with him though and then Moira told Oliver that it was actually Robert who was a cheater, but she wanted to preserve Thea’s memory of her dead father. But after a second glimpse of Malcolm putting his hand on Moira as they whispered together at her birthday party, Thea freaked out, took the new club drug Vertigo and then went out and crashed her new car into a tree. Thea was okay other than a bump on the head, but Starling City’s finest came to arrest her for having the drug in her system at the time of the crash (Happy Birthday, Thea).

Before I jump into Oliver and Dig’s story, I just want to take a minute to acknowledge how awesome Felicity is. She didn’t get much airtime in this episode, but Oliver came to her for some help and her sarcastic comments and the way she looks at him like, ‘do you really think I’m a moron?’ are some of the highlights of this show. I’ve heard we’re going to see more of her on the series and I applaud this decision.

So the main storyline of the episode was that the next name that popped up in Oliver’s little black revenge book was that of Dig’s commanding officer in Afghanistan. Dig insisted that there had to be a mistake and Oliver was all, ‘nope, the book never lies.’ The two argued and Oliver was kind of an ass and more or less reminded Dig that he worked for him and he should fall in line, but Dig wasn’t having that. He took a job with his commander to protect him from Oliver and the two had a mini showdown and then they returned to the Arrow Cave (did you guys catch when Dig referred to it as that?) and had another fight, but then it looked like Oliver was wrong because there was another armored car robbery while Dig was with the commander.

But Oliver was only pretending that he’d dropped it because next time Dig went to meet with Gaynor, Oliver planted a bug on him. It was a good thing too because guess what? Gaynor was the bad guy after all and he was just testing Dig and he failed. So Gaynor kidnapped Carly (Dig’s sister-in-law, who he totally has the hots for, obviously) and forced Dig to help him with his latest robbery. But Dig refused at the last second, told Carly to run and used his rocket launcher against Gaynor and his crew just as Arrow showed up to help. Dig and Gaynor faced off and Gaynor taunted Dig, telling him that he’d never be able to kill him. Luckily, Oliver has no problems with murder and planted an arrow in his heart.

Dig turned to Oliver and told him that he was late and Oliver was surprised that Dig knew he was coming, even though Oliver pretty much held up a neon sign when he planted the bug on him. Dig told him the same thing and told him to be subtler next time. Dig and Carly exchanged some meaningful glances and then it was back to the Arrow Cave for Dig and Oliver, where they reaffirmed their partnership and Oliver even let Dig cross off Gaynor’s name on the list. Dig told Oliver that from now on, he doesn’t want to know who is on the list until he needs to.

As all of this was going on, there was a flashback to the island where Oliver infiltrated the enemy camp so that he could go and save Yao Fei. But Oliver pretty much got caught immediately and as the bad dude (sorry his name slipped my mind) taunted him about being able to see everything he needed to in his eyes, he reminded Oliver that he’d warned him not to trust Yao Fei and then it turns out that Yao Fei was one of the masked men too, meaning he’s on the side of the bad guys.

I hate myself a little for the fact that I didn’t see this coming because it’s another twist straight out of Batman Begins when Ra Al Ghul turned out to be screwing with Bruce’s head the entire time he was in his weird training house. But that was why Oliver couldn’t completely trust Dig or anyone because of what happened on the island. There was another revelation in this episode, the one I alluded to earlier that doesn’t make sense. Oliver told Dig that his father told him about the book and it didn’t actually come from the island.

At first I didn’t think much of this because Oliver has been keeping it a secret that his dad actually shot himself in the head and didn’t drown like everyone assumes. But then I saw one of the show’s writers saying on Twitter that this was a big revelation. Am I the only one who is confused? Didn’t we see Oliver getting the book onscreen? Is there more to the story? I have no idea, but I also apparently have trust issues because I am side eyeing this whole thing.

Did you enjoy the episode? Can you explain Oliver’s logic to me? Do you love Felicity too? Hit the comments and let us know what you thought of the episode!

Mandy Treccia
Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that.

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