Welcome back Arrow fans! We’re now on the 13th episode of the season and it looks like Oliver’s rose colored glasses when it comes to his mom will soon be removed! Remember last week, Felicity gave Oliver the notebook that Walter found? The notebook contained the same names as the one his father gave to him before he died and now Oliver is set to figure out how Moira fits into this puzzle. Of course he must do this while battling the villain of the week, Cyrus Vanch, who means to make a name for himself in Starling City by getting rid of ‘The Hood.’

Read on for the recap of this week’s episode ‘Betrayal’ and remember… it does contain spoilers!

The episode opens with the release of Cyrus Vanch from prison. He’s none too happy with the fact that his lawyer couldn’t keep him out of jail so the first order of business upon his release: kill the lawyer and claim his home as yours. Second order of business? Bring down the biggest guy in the city in order to get the Triad and Bertinelli’s crew to follow his lead. In others words, kill the Hood. Yes, folks, we’re dealing with a baddie indeed!

Meanwhile, Oliver shows Diggle the book that Felicity gave him. Oliver doesn’t want to believe his mother could be part of something nefarious but Diggle disagrees. Trying to determine if Moira has anything to do with the people involved in corrupting Starling City, Oliver shows his mother the notebook Walter found, telling her that he gave it to him before his disappearance. As she thumbs through the book, Moira tells him it contains the names of people that owned his father favors. When Oliver questions about the characters of the names in the book (“they’re not good people”), Moira tells him that Robert was not such an upstanding citizen himself and it’s best not to investigate the names any further. She throws the book into the fire and as Oliver watches it burn, she tells him that he needs to stop asking questions in order to keep the family safe.

Oliver tells Diggle of his encounter with Moira. Diggle still doesn’t believe that Moira is innocent but as they argue the point, the special Arrow phone rings. It’s Laurel who asks the Hood for help. She wants him to find evidence to put Vanch back into jail. While Oliver heads out to be Laurel’s white knight, Diggle decides to investigate Moira himself and decides to become Moira’s driver for the next few nights.

Oliver calls Laurel to meet on the rooftop to give him what little evidence that might help her cause. Unfortunately, Quentin had bugged the Arrow phone so he heard the call and set up a task force to bring the Hood in.

While talking to Laurel about Vanch’s plans, he senses that they’re not alone. Quentin and the cops come in guns drawn. The Hood uses Laurel as a shield just long enough to get away, but Quentin follows and gets knocked out by Arrow in the process.

The encounter seems to have gotten under everyone’s skin. Laurel is furious with her dad for using her, Tommy is furious with her for not telling him about her meetings with the Hood, Diggle is angry that Oliver has a soft spot when it comes to Laurel and Moira and Oliver is angry at Diggle for suspecting his mom is up to no good.

The next morning, Tommy confides to Oliver about how angry he is that Laurel has been lying to him about working with the Hood. Oliver acts surprise that she would secretly meet with this dangerous vigilant (heavy on the “act” part). Tommy tells him that she has an infatuation with the archer (which you know made Oliver’s heart skip a beat) but Oliver advises him to talk to her before their relationship becomes unfixable.

That night, Diggle drops Moira at her “accountant’s” office and she tells him he can take the rest of the night off. As she heads inside the building, Diggle follows and listens in on the conversation Moira is having with Malcolm. He overhears Moira telling him that she has taken care of the fool who was getting in the way of their schemes. Malcolm then requests that she gets rid of the remains of Robert’s yacht to keep anyone from finding out it was sabotaged. Bingo! Caught red handed! Winner, winner chicken dinner for Diggle!

Vanch commences with his plans to take down the Hood and kidnaps Laurel. When Tommy heads to her apartment, he sees that it is in shambles and finds an arrow with a message from Vanch saying the vigilante better meet him or come sunrise, Laurel will be found in little itty bitty pieces.

Tommy takes the arrow to Quentin and it’s then that Quentin realizes that someone in the police force is corrupt. After all, no one else knew about Laurel’s involvement with the Hood. While Tommy begs him to put together a rescue team, Quentin realizes he can’t trust anyone to save her except for the one person she does trust.

Diggle takes the recording of the meeting to Oliver who hears that his mother knew that the ship accident was a sabotage attempt. While trying to find reasons that his mother could still be innocent, even with the recording that she knows more than she lets on, Oliver receives a call from Quentin asking him to save Laurel.

They agree to work together and to make a long story short, they get through Vanch’s men, save Laurel and have enough evidence to stick the bad guy in prison for life.

Now that Laurel is safe, Oliver has come to terms that there is more to his mom than meets the eye and is ready to deal with her… as Arrow!

While last week I was a bit disappointed in the way the series was heading, I’m ready to eat my words! This week’s episode was one that I’ve been waiting for a while now. First, it was a sci-fi guest star extravaganza with appearances by Agam Darshi (‘Sanctuary,’ ‘2012’), John Barrowman (‘Torchwood,’ ‘Doctor Who’), Manu Bennett (‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ ‘Spartacus’), Roger Cross (‘Eureka,’ ‘Continuum’) and David Anders (‘Heroes,’ ‘Once Upon a Time’). Just seeing all these people in one episode was enough to pay homage to the producers for the next week.

It’s always been said that ‘Arrow’ would be more gritty and real life based so it was with great amusement that Vanch knew that the vigilante would only have 24 arrows available to him and the series showed him actually running out. There’s none of this magical-never-ending-quiver-of-bows on this show unlike Hawkeye’s quiver in ‘The Avengers.’

Moira is finally getting her comeuppance! What is her involvement with Malcolm’s “undertaking”? She’s obviously a lackey of some sort in this organization and it was great to see Arrow crash through the skyscraper building and begin to confront her. Is she a willing accomplice or being coerced to do Malcolm’s bidding? It looks like we may find out soon.

As for the villain of the week, Anders did an excellent job as the cold hearted smooth criminal but like the Count last week, I just wish more time was spent watching him do more evil things. His capture seemed to come way too fast and easy.

As for Bennett’s character, Slade Wilson, he manages to convince Oliver that he is not Deathstroke like we think he is and the person who tortured him was really his partner who was assigned to help save Yao Fei from Fyers. Right… and I have some swamp land in Nevada to sell.

Well, there you have it! Last night’s recap and my thoughts. What did you think of the episode? Is ‘Arrow’ still hitting the mark for you and what was your favorite part?