While last week’s episode, ‘Burned,’ saw Oliver off his game in the vigilante business, he’s now back to his determined self, but this time he’s targeting someone close to Diggle. This, of course, causes a sticky situation between the two and the loyal bodyguard is caught in the middle. Simply put, as the title implies, “Trust but Verify.”
Now on to the recap!
There’s been a rash of armored car robberies in Starling City and the culprits seemed to be a group of well-trained thieves, almost militaristic in the manner of their actions. At the Arrow cave, Oliver (surprise, he is shirtless!) is working out and doing one arm push-ups when Diggle comes in and comments they’ll need to put in a side entrance so that no one can see them come and go with all the construction work occurring above. Oliver shows Diggle the footage of the armored car heist and they realize the robbers are performing the same swarming technique used by the Marines to take out a Taliban transport vehicle in ’09. Oliver found the footage while researching Ted Gaynor, a bodyguard from the Blackhawk Squad protection Group (yes, fanboys and girls, you can squeal at the nod to the DC comics) and someone who also happens to be on the little book list. The news is not taken well by Diggle as Gaynor was his commanding officer who saved his life during his first tour in Afghanistan. Diggle can’t and won’t believe Gaynor is involved in anything shady but Oliver is insistent in meeting the guy and taking him down.
Arrow visits the Blackhawk Squad Protection Group in his usual shoot-anyone-in-the-way-to-get-through-the-building method. He reaches Gaynor, who seems to have downloaded something on a flash drive, and knocks him to the ground. Arrow strongly advises the man not to do anything hinky as they have a talk… or will they? A firearm cock is heard and when Arrow turns around, it’s Diggle pointing a gun at him! Seems as though Diggle was there first to get hired as a bodyguard so he can keep tabs on Gaynor and prove his innocence.
Arrow is not too happy so he causes a diversion and shoots an arrow at an electrical panel causing it to smoke and spark. It’s enough for him to grab the flash drive and escape.
Back at the Arrow cave, Diggle and Arrow argue about Gaynor’s involvement and whether his name should have been in the book. Oliver asks, what if he isn’t innocent, but Diggle reminds Oliver that he owes him enough to at least to prove he is.
Meanwhile, Moira and Thea’s mother-daughter day is interrupted by a call from Malcolm. Moira lies to Thea telling her she needs to cut their day short because of business. (Oh that Malcolm! What is he up to? )
Moira and Malcolm meet at Queen Consolidated where he asks for her help to shut down an associate of theirs who’s going against the plan and gentrifying The Glades. Moira agrees but under one condition: proof that Walter is still alive. He agrees and walks away as Thea watches while hiding in the hallway.
When Thea gets home, she goes straight to Oliver with her suspicions that Moira is hooking up with Malcolm. She’s worried that “it’s happening again.” Thea explains that a couple of months before he and their dad went on their yacht trip, the ‘rents were arguing a lot and at that same time, Moira had a lot of “lunches” with Tommy’s dad. Now that Walter’s gone…
Oliver tries to convince Thea that Moira is not cheating on Walter but Thea insists that he doesn’t know their mother as well as he thinks he does. Well, Oliver decides to get to the bottom of this and outright asks Moira if she’s having an affair. Moira tells him it isn’t her that has been cheating, it was their father. As for why Thea thinks she’s sneaking around with Tommy’s dad? Moira tells him she has no idea but maybe it’s because she has been seeking Malcolm’s advice since taking over Queen Consolidated. (Man, can she lie so well!)
Remember that flash drive Arrow stole while at Blackhawk Squad Protection Group? Well he brings it to Felicity (who seems to have no social life as she’s working late in her office) and gives it to her to decode promising a bottle of wine if she succeeds.
Well she did succeed (and why wouldn’t she? Felicity is a computer genius!) and tells Oliver that the drive contains illegal information about grenade launchers and armored car routes and schedules. With the information from the drive, Arrow is able to foil the next armored car robbery and manages to hit one of the guys with his arrow. Unfortunately, the thieves get away.
At Thea’s 18th birthday party, Oliver and Diggle compare notes. Gaynor has an alibi as he was with Diggle during the robbery attempt but Diggle thinks it could be one of the other guys in the company (namely Paul Knox) that may be involved. Diggle tells Oliver he’ll check the motor pool at the security building for any blood evidence in an of the vehicles. Unfortunately, Knox catches Diggle in the act and while he’s got him in custody, Gaynor comes out and admits he’s the mastermind of the whole thing!
He convinces Diggle to join them for one last heist by bringing in his sister-in-law Carly and threatening to kill her if he doesn’t.
This is where Oliver’s micromanaging is an advantage because without Diggle’s knowledge, Oliver planted a bug on him. (Well, Diggle does tell him he knew he did this later on.) After hearing the whole encounter between Gaynor and Diggle, the hooded one goes to help his friend.
Diggle is entrusted to shoot a grenade into an oncoming armored truck but he can’t seem to do it. As Gaynor and the other men come out, they tell him they will just have to kill him and Carly, but Diggle has the grenade launcher and uses it giving Carly time to run for cover. Gaynor goes after Carly while Diggle runs after both of them. Before Knox could try and get a shot at Diggle, Arrow comes in and breaks his neck.
Diggle traps Gaynor in an alley who taunts his former subordinate that he doesn’t have the guts to pull the trigger. Unfortunately, Arrow does and kills him with an arrow before he can kill Diggle.
Back at the Arrow cave, Diggle is eating crow but Oliver tells him that since being on the island, it’s hard for him to trust people but he admires that Diggle can see the best in people. Later we find the reason Oliver has trust issues. That’s because while all this time we thought that Yao Fei was helping Oliver against Fyers on the island, we see that the Chinese man was actually working with him!
This episode brings the return of John Barrowman as Tommy’s father as well as sets up the appearance of the next villain of the week. We find out a little more about Merlyn’s past as Tommy explains to Laurel that his father was gone for almost 2 years after his mother died. We can surmise during that time, Malcolm was training to become the Dark Archer, but who trained him?
I really like the set up for next week’s episode where fans will be introduced to Vertigo (Seth Gable). In the comics, Vertigo was a nemesis of both Arrow and Black Canary, so does that mean we’ll soon be seeing the latter’s appearance?
As much as I enjoy ‘Arrow,’ I do find that each villain of the week rather… well, weak. Maybe it’s because there’s really no mystery to them. Basically, we have a bad guy, we know he’s a bad guy in the first few minutes of the show, we see him do bad things (because, after all, he is the bad guy) and Arrow kills him.
The other storylines this week seemed drawn out. The relationship between Laurel and Tommy is cute but uneventful and Thea is back to her troubled teenage ways taking drugs and not caring. The saving grace is trying to figure out where Moira and Malcolm fit into the bigger picture.
Hopefully we’ll find out soon!
So what did you think of ‘Trust but Verify’? Sound off in the comments below!