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S01.E11: Trust But Verify

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The next person on Arrow’s list is Diggle’s commanding officer and mentor from Afghanistan, Ted Gaynor. Oliver suspects Ted is responsible for recent armoured truck robberies, but Diggle defends Ted and takes a job at Ted’s security company to keep an eye on him. Oliver decides to make a move on Ted, which puts him at odds with Diggle. Meanwhile, Thea  suspects that Moira is having an affair with Malcolm. Tommy and Laurel have an awkward dinner with Malcolm.

 

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Meanwhile, Thea  suspects that Moira is having an affair with Malcolm.

 

   Oh, if she only knew...

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I felt terrible for Diggle in this. I was hoping he'd be right up until the very end. Really felt his betrayal and disillusionment.

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"Guys, you forgot one thing.  I'm the one who's holding the grenade launcher."  You go, Diggle!

 

I'm glad Oliver shot Gaynor, so Diggle didn't have to.  Even knowing that Gaynor is a thief and killer, I think it would still have been hard for him to shoot the guy who saved his life.

 

"My friend's having a scavenger hunt…" Oliver's string of ridiculous lies to Felicity continues, but hey at least this time he promised wine.  

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"Guys, you forgot one thing.  I'm the one who's holding the grenade launcher."  You go, Diggle!

 

I <3 Diggle so much. And this is just the 732nd reason!

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"My friend's having a scavenger hunt…" Oliver's string of ridiculous lies to Felicity continues, but hey at least this time he promised wine.

 

Yeah, but he never paid up, or made good to her. Since she seemed to know and appreciate what he was talking about, Oliver should've sent her something. Or a throwaway line from Oliver or Felicity about 'not as good as the Rothschilds, but...'  , imo.

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I love the way she makes a face at the phone after he hangs up and says "So, no wine then...".  This actress adds a real comedic touch to so many of her lines.

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March Guggenheim responded to someone twitter in December asking if Oliver ever did give Felicity the bottle of wine with, "Yes. On May 16th, 2013" Which people in that thread pointed out was Oliver's birthday the day after the

undertaking and Tommy's death.

. https://twitter.com/mguggenheim/status/417838240607920128  Which is completely a CYA tweet for a plot hole but it's out there that she did get it. 

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It's not in the Arrow comics. I've just finished reading them all. Issue 24 is only one that is Felicity centric and adds to the Oliver/Felicity relationship but there is nothing about wine in it. Arrow Comic spoiler.-  

Oliver fills Felicity's apartment with flowers and leaves a note on the wall with an arrow through saying, "We couldn't do what we do without you. You're special. Thank you for helping to make Starling City a better place."

That issue would have taken place right around this episode.

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I'm ashamed to say that even though I knew Ben Browder was guest-starring in this episode I almost didn't recognise him until he spoke.

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Honestly, I would have horked if Oliver did that.  That just doesn't seem like something Oliver would do.

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Tommy watching the armoured car heist:  "And that's why I keep your money off-shore"  Tommy is so great.

 

Trust but verify, says Moira to Malcolm

 

Nice parallel with Diggle not wanting to believe Gaynor is bad, and Oliver not wanting to believe Moira is either.  Thea, on the other hand, doesn't trust and doesn't verify.

"My father left me a message telling me what the book is.." Diggle is sceptical since it was after Oliver found the book on his father's dead body.  I hope the show doesn't forget they said that like they forgot about Felicity's wine.

 

Lots of hinting -- Thea wants a green or black car; Fyers tells Oliver "you do seem a little green"

 

"Is that your way of saying you miss  me?"
"No, but if it works for you, go with it."   (And that is why Felicity is so good for him.)  And then she calls him "Mr. Queen" when she phones.  I like that they had Oliver try to get past the encryption first and then take it to Felicity when he failed.

Laurel is good with Tommy. Maybe the best I've seen her, except when she tries to convince Tommy that his father is really okay at the end.

Laurel tells Tommy maybe Malcolm has changed; Gaynor tells Diggle Knox has changed.  "You haven't changed and you never will.  It's about time I learned that and stop letting you disappoint me" Tommy tells his father. Oh, Tommy, you are so much better than being the hero's sidekick.

 

Gaynor:  "If I hadn't got Knox this job, chances are he'd be knocking over liquor stores and robbing banks."  And because you got him the job, he's robbing armoured cars.  Good move.

 

"Right after Gaynor got you hired, someone hacked our system. First person to ever make it through the firewall.  Want to tell me how you did it?"  Diggle has a Felicity.

 

Carly's turned to be kidnapped. Glad to know they're spreading it around.  Don't they even give Diggle a kevlar vest to wear?

And Carly forgives Diggle after all that.  This is a woman worth keeping around.

 

Oliver tells Diggle that he chose  him "because you see the best in people."  Has Laurel has been replaced?  Then  he handed Diggle the book so Diggle could be the one to cross Gaynor's name off 

momentous, like  Felicity putting the mask on Oliver

.

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Ah, yes, the episode that proved the eternal truth of this show: Arrow needs more Diggle.

 

Episodes 11 through 14 (this one through to the Odyssey), were loosely blocked together after episode 6 aired. By episode 6, as I noted, the show had largely abandoned its original idea of having Oliver pursue the bad guys illegally while Laurel went after them legally, solving cases jointly/in opposition. Quite apart from any issues of character/acting, as I noted, Oliver can only be the vigilante if the city's legal system - represented by Laurel - is broken, which means that either Oliver isn't needed, or Laurel - the supposed female lead - has to be incompetent, something demonstrated in the previous episode, "Burned."  (Burn Notice and Leverage got around this by putting all of the protagonists outside the legal system.) For whatever reason, the alternative route - the person in the legal system, realizing it is broken, starts turning to the vigilante - was given to Quentin. 

 

Thus, in this episode, Diggle once again steps up to be Oliver's main partner, solving the case partly jointly, partly in opposition, and Felicity steps up to a supporting research role - for the first time finding evidence that really needs to be turned over to the police - sidelining Laurel, whose only job here is to be the supportive girlfriend of a supporting character.

 

Hmm. But she's still in the episode.

 

But first!

 

1. I really like this initial family bonding squabbling moment about the car and the history of the Maserati.  Man, Oliver is so lucky - he removes the paint from his dad's car and yet still gets a nice private yacht trip to China years later.

 

2. "You're finally getting into online dating and you need help with your profile."  See, Oliver?  Diggle will do anything to help you stay away from Laurel, even to the point of (gulp!) dealing with OkCupid.

 

3. "I could be wrong. The list isn't."  You know, I realize Oliver's right here, but to this day I remain at a loss to understand why a list created by sociopaths ended up being so incredibly trustworthy.

 

4. Awwww. Island Oliver is finally going to get actual food, and instead he's gotta go do the whole hitching a ride thing. How sad. On the bright side, Oliver, those camp meals made for several people at once like that? Usually suck. 

 

5. John Barrowman just has a lovely way of saying, "I'm beyond awesome for cutting you off, am I right? Yeah, I'm right."

 

6. "A few years ago I found a message he left me explaining the list."

 

"Oliver, how is that possible? You were on a deserted island."

 

"I didn't say that I found it on the island."

 

Well now.  Fluent Russian, those tattoos, this...

 

And now we know he didn't. 

 

Tiny season three spoiler ahead:

 Apparently the voiceover of "for five years I was stranded...." is going to be "explained" as a partly real, partly metaphorical island, but it wasn't clear if "explained" means "explained in the script" or "explained in interviews."  

 

7.  "You do seem rather green."  And you, show, seem rather fond of anvils.

 

8. "Mom never would have cheated on Dad."

Oliver,  I really feel that we need to have a long, long talk about your people judgement.

 

 

9. "Is my interrogation over?"  

No, not at all.

I love Oliver's little quick double nod with clenched jaw that he does there whenever he's trying to bite back words.  

 

10. Oliver and Felicity definitely both know their wines. BONDING MOMENT!

 

11. "Your friend really went to all this trouble?"  "The idle rich are hard to entertain."  

 

Notably, a touch of romantic music plays at the end of the scene.

Very notably, he later talks to her from the Arrow Cave.  

 

By the time this scene was written the showrunners already knew that they would be bringing Felicity into Team Arrow and moving her into a love interest role - thus the earlier light flirtation, the romantic music, and the exchange of info in the Arrow Cave. 

 

12.

Wow, Oliver really does make a habit of just putting random trackers on people, doesn't he?  

 

13. None of the kids at the party chase after Thea when she looks that upset? 

 

14.  "You're forgetting one thing, guys. I'm the one with the grenade launcher!" Dude has a point.  Gaynor, seriously, threatening people is a lot more effective if you don't arm them with grenade launchers first.

 

15.  I really love the musical choice here during Tommy's discussion of his mother, her death, and what happened after that: it shifts into the Arrow Action Mode to remind us that Malcolm is also the Dark Archer and that something else might be behind this. Not to mention the nice transition between the photo of the younger Merlyns to Malcolm's reflection.

 

And now, Laurel!

 

It takes nearly 14 minutes for Laurel to appear in this episode at all, and she only has about four and a half minutes of screentime, most of which involve Malcolm or Tommy talking.  After returning - briefly - to an action role in the previous episode, here she is back to being left out of Plot A entirely, being pretty much completely wrong about Plot B, and left out of Plot C; her entire role in this episode is to be the girlfriend of a supporting character.  

 

Interestingly enough, once again, when she's "only" Tommy's girlfriend, as she was during "Legacies," she's not bad - this is not a strong episode for her by any means, but she has her charming moments, and I love that purple thing she's wearing at dinner.  

I don't love that nearly every dinner with Laurel ends up going spectacularly badly. Why do people keep having dinner with her? I know most of the dinners on this show are awkward, but there's awkward and then there's Dinner With Laurel.

 

1. Number of times Laurel fails as a lawyer in this episode, two: 1, Laurel, it's not that I'm against seeing the goodness in people. But you are a freaking lawyer, and when someone asks you for advice about someone else with a history of questionable behavior, your appropriate response should be to start questioning, not be all cheery and optimistic.  That speech would have been just fine coming from Thea or Oliver, but you know that Malcolm has been a jerk. 2, Failing to ask why, exactly, Malcolm needs Tommy's signature to shut down the clinic. That's sort of a legal question and it could have given Tommy some leverage/understanding.

 

2. Number of times Laurel fails as a human being in this episode, three : 1, Ok, granted, she's stunned, but staying in her seat after Tommy has already gotten up and left?  And delivering her shocked speech then, when Tommy can't hear it?  2, Having JUST BEEN REMINDED earlier in the evening that Malcolm is understandably still sensitive to his wife's death, referring to it when attempting to cut down Malcolm, with her "And when did she have time to do that?" SURE, LAUREL, REMIND THE GUY WHO IS ALREADY UPSET and also plotting to destroy the city AGAIN that HIS WIFE WAS MURDERED. 3, After this, just standing there instead of, I don't know, going off and comforting a clearly upset Tommy.

 

(I'll let her later attempt to reconcile Tommy and Malcolm just because she's tired of Malcolm calling her all the time kinda slide, since I think she's sorta doing to comfort Tommy.  Even if it fails and even if Tommy has to explain that yes, yes, his father really IS a jerk which Laurel should have gathered by now.)

 

3. Number of characters who comment negatively on Oliver/Laurel this episode, zero.  The relationship is never brought up.

 

More to the point, this is the second episode in the series so far where Oliver and Laurel never share a single scene.

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• What is Tommy’s father up to? 

• Ooh Diggle vs Oliver! What a good lead in to the opening credit. 

• Ben Browder! It’s always nice to have a guest star I recognise! 

• “So no wine then” the delivery of that line made me chuckle. 

• I’m glad that Diggle discovered the bug, but chose to keep it in place if needed. The writers choice to do this ensured Diggle wasn’t dumbed down for plot convenience and it also displayed how much Diggle trusts Oliver. 

• Loved the Tommy and Laurel scene towards the end of the episode. His actor does a good job of selling to the audience the man behind the facade.

• As @MsSchadenfreude said, I’m glad that John was spared from having to kill Gaynor. While I think he could have done it if absolutely necessary the guilt would have eaten away at him. After all it’s not easy to just switch off feelings of friendship and camadrie. 

Edited by Wayward Son

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I liked this episode.  It was a really good building block in Oliver and Diggle's friendship.  They did a good job showing why Oliver and Diggle learned to trust one another.  

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111 (Trust But Verify) – Oliver Queen’s voiceover intro:
Oliver (voiceover): "My name is Oliver Queen. For five years I was stranded on an island with only one goal... survive. Now I will fulfill my father's dying wish... to use a list of names he left me, to bring down those who are poisoning my city. To do this, I must become someone else. I must become something else."

111 (Trust But Verify) - Oliver gives another lame excuse to get Felicity's IT help and promises her a bottle of red wine:
Felicity: “And here I was beginning to think my days of being Oliver Queen's personal computer geek were coming to an end.” 
Oliver: “Is that your way of saying you miss me?”
Felicity: “No. But if it works for you, go with it.” 
Oliver (laughs): “So a friend of mine is running a scavenger hunt, and there's a case of Lafite Rothschild 1982 waiting at the end.” 
Felicity: “Oh, I love red wine.” 
Oliver: “But in order to find it, I first need to get through this.” 
Felicity: “Hmm. Security fob. It's pin protected. Challenge response goes back to a company called Blackhawk Squad Protection Group.”
Oliver: “Yeah, my friend had his bodyguard set it up for him. Personally, however, I think it's cheating. But whatever.” 
Felicity: “This is a military-grade cryptographic security protocol. Your friend really went to all this trouble?”
Oliver: “The idle rich are hard to entertain. Listen, you get through it and one of those bottles of wine is yours.”
*  *  *
Oliver (on phone): "What did you get?
Felicity (on phone): "I think your friend's bodyguard gave him the wrong security fob."
Oliver: "Why is that?"
Felicity: "Well, once I got past Blackhawk's authentication system, there wasn't anything about a scavenger hunt. Just a directory and - well, I think you've stumbled onto, or gotten me to stumble onto something pretty illegal."
Oliver: "Define illegal."
Felicity: "Oh, you know. Robbing an armored car with grenade launchers and tear gas."
Oliver: "Wh -what?"
Felicity: "Someone at Blackhawk was using their system to store detailed routes and schedules for each of the city's seven major armored car carriers, including the three that have already been hit.  Mr. Queen, I think we should provide this information to the police. With it, they should be able to predict the next heist."
Oliver: "Hold on. Felicity, I don't want to get you in trouble with my friend, so do me a favor. Forward that directory o to me and I'll get it to the police personally. Thank you." (Hangs up)
Felicity: "So, no wine, then?"

Edited by tv echo
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