Whenever I review this show, I always feel like Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride from the scene where Wesley wakes up after the pill Miracle Max has given him, and Inigo says, “Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much, let me sum up.” The number of scene shifts and information tidbits subtly tossed or thrown like a curveball at the viewer in this episode make it difficult to provide a clear picture of what is going on in written form. Seriously, I had to color code my notes just to keep my crap together. So, (add disclaimer here) if my mash-up fails to mention an important piece of info, my bad. You’re just going to have to watch it, okay?! Let’s approach this episode by major plot line first, then by character.
A series of armored car heists have made the news and attracted Oliver’s attention because the modus operandi is military. Once he starts digging (no pun intended), he finds a name connected to a security firm involved with these transports and we all know what “names” mean on this show, this guy’s on the list. The problem is, this guy is also on Diggle’s good-guy list for saving his butt in Afghanistan. In fact, Ted Gaynor (the guy) offered Diggle a job at this firm a few months ago, so, he thinks Gaynor is innocent, but Oliver believes otherwise. It seems the Hood is going to pay him a visit to see what he has to say for himself, but as Oliver corners Gaynor in the office, a gun clicks behind him and when he spins around he finds Diggs holding it. Yep, Diggs drew down on the Hood. This is like end of episode, not beginning of episode stuff, right? Oliver avoids a shootout with Diggs by taking out a computer monitor but he grabs a thumb drive Gaynor was using on the way out. When Diggle asks him why he had attracted the Hood’s attention since he wasn’t a “rich schmuck,” Gaynor avoids the question by saying, “What do you think?” Back at the lair we have a good ole shouting match as Oliver pulls the Mom voice, “I could have killed you, what were you thinking?” To which Diggs replies that he is not going to let him “William Tell” an innocent man. I must admit, I had never heard that name used as a verb before. As they argue about the list, we find out that Oliver has obtained additional information from his father concerning those names but not while he was on the island (commence puzzled look). Regardless, Diggs decides to take the job with Blackhawk Security to prove Ted is innocent. After swapping stories at Big Belly Burger Gaynor and Diggs are approached by a man who Diggs definitely does NOT like. The vibes are palpable. If Diggs doesn’t like him, there has to be a good reason, so we wonder what he has done and why Ted hired him.
A second heist is attempted but Oliver stops it before the truck is hijacked by executing a nice 20-feet leap. Unfortunately Gaynor isn’t involved. Oliver manages to tag someone, though (tag as in shoot through the chest cavity) so there has to be blood in one of the trucks, right? When Diggs goes to investigate, he is stopped by Knox, that guy he doesn’t like, and, guess who…Gaynor, who shows he really is a good guy by kidnapping Carly to make sure Diggs becomes involved in the next heist up to his neck and trigger finger. As the armored truck approaches, Diggs raises his weapon but doesn’t fire. When Gaynor and Knox pull Carly from the truck Diggs hits them with the grenade launcher (filled with tear gas) and Carly takes off with Gaynor hot on her trail. Knox recovers fast enough to draw a bead on Digg’s back and it looks like he might get it, but Oliver arrives just in time to save the day, because he planted a bug on Diggs before he left. We get to see some brief, quality, hand-to-hand action as Oliver and Knox fight and when Diggle reaches Gaynor the mind games start in the form of “you can’t shoot me.” Why do the bad guys always say that? And why does it sometimes work? I can’t say that I would have any problems pulling a trigger on a bad guy. Anyway, it is a decision Diggs doesn’t have to make because just as Gaynor raises his gun, Oliver shoots him. Diggle’s response: you’re late. He seems to feel that since Oliver planted a bug on him it meant he wasn’t trusted. Oliver assures him it was the other men he didn’t trust and as the police sirens approach, Carly comes out of her hiding spot and exchanges a meaningful look with Diggle.
Later Oliver and Diggle discuss the case a bit. Diggle admits he was wrong about Gaynor and Oliver explains that he wasn’t entirely, he was right about one thing, Oliver does trust the book more than he does any one person. But Diggle’s willingness to see the best in people (gee, where have we heard that before) is what Oliver needs and appreciates in a partner. The episode ends with a giant, “No Way!” but since it is an island scene, you will just have to wait a bit to find out why.
Thea & Moira
So, while all the criminal action is going on we see the relationship between Thea and Moira develop…or unravel. The ladies have a shopping day but while enroute Moira gets a call from Malcolm Merlyn. She doesn’t realize that Thea has seen the caller id and lies to her about who it was. Thea follows her to Merlyn’s office where she sees them talking together but jumps to the conclusion that they are having an affair. What she doesn’t hear is Malcolm telling Moira to pull a friend off of a project. It seems this friend is trying to clean up the Glades and that is not in the “plan.” We aren’t quite sure what the “plan” is, but the hints given us indicate a sort of ethnic cleansing campaign. More on this later. Moira demands proof of life on Walter in exchange. So, when Thea has a birthday party (where she is celebrating the gift of a convertible) he brings it. The party ends when Thea catches her mom talking to Malcolm and assumes the worst. Stressed out, Thea pops some pills her friends had given her and leaves the party. If I didn’t know better I would say these people hate parties. Every time there is a party in an episode someone leaves unexpectedly. Do rich people have parties all the time? Hopefully that particular strategy is used a little less in the future. She wrecks the car and ends up in the hospital. When Moira and Oliver show up, she blows Moira off and Oliver wonders what is up with that.
As she and Oliver leave the hospital later, she is arrested for driving under the influence of a drug called vertigo (place intro to next story arc here).
We do get to see our favorite geek girl Felicity Smoak as she verbally jabs her way into another job for Oliver. She breaks into the security fob Oliver lifted and lets him know the bad news: all the details for the armored truck robberies are on it. One often gets the feeling that Felicity thinks Oliver is kind of attractive but also beneath her, intellectually-speaking, like lots of like-minded girls feel towards jocks. Sure, when they need help with their homework, they’re your best friend, but otherwise they don’t know you’re alive…sorry, that was maybe too personal. Her behavior around him is often awkward, humorous, and slightly condescending yet also kind of sad as you can tell she expects to be ignored or forgotten. I feel for her and hope the writers decide at some point to make her role more active via DC lore.
Tommy & Laurel
Tommy and Malcolm have had little to do with each other since the elder Merlyn dropped Tommy on his rear and an effort by Malcolm to mend fences ends abruptly when dinner with Tommy and Laurel turns into another altercation, this time over Tommy’s dead mom’s medical clinic. Malcolm wants to close it but Tommy refuses to help and Laurel is informed that Mrs. Merlyn was murdered in the street. Later when she and Tommy discuss the incident, we learn that Malcolm disappeared for a year after his wife was killed and left Tommy all alone (hm, sounds like character development time). As they speak, the camera pans to a scene of Malcolm looking at a picture of the three of them with his Dark Archer suit hanging in the background. It looks like the writers are going to develop the Archer character more in the show than was relegated in the comics…maybe try to create a more sympathetic character. I have a feeling we will find out later that Mrs. Merlyn was murdered in the Glades either going to or coming from that free clinic of hers and Merlyn’s drive to rid Starling City of certain elements is directly connected to it. Or, they know we want to like Captain Jack, we just need a reason.
Okay, so, the island has in a way become its own character as that portion of the story has taken on a life of its own. After Oliver scuffles and accidentally kills a sentry, he robs him of his gear and goes in search of his friend Yao Fei who has been captured by Captain Bad Guy (Edward Fyers). As he enters a camp, he finds someone willing to take him (unwittingly, of course) to the location where the prisoners are kept but before they can leave, Captain hitches a ride and proceeds to talk him up. It looks like Oliver has successfully evaded the radar as he manages to provide the correct answer to a very pointed question meant to trip him up, but the victory is short-lived. When they reach the prisoner area, Oliver is knocked to the ground and Fyers welcomes him to the camp and reminds him of a warning given about who to trust. As Fyers talks, the guard standing next to him removes his ski mask to reveal the face of (spoiler alert!) Yao Fei. Now we know why Oliver trusts no one, at least not easily, but we are left with the question of what on earth is happening on that darn island!