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Fully recovered from the self-doubt that rocked him following his defeat by the Dark Archer, Oliver Queen is ready to return to what he does best: crossing off the names of Starling City’s corrupt businessmen in his father’s little black book. The only problem is this week’s bad guy is one of John Diggle’s old friends.
The title “Trust But Verify” makes the theme of the episode clear. Can Diggle trust his war buddy? Can Tommy trust his father? Can Moira trust that Malcolm is keeping Walter alive? Can Oliver trust … anybody?
Ted Gaynor saved Diggle’s life in Afghanistan, so Arrow’s confidant is understandably upset to learn his name appears in the book. Oliver and Diggle argue whether Gaynor could really be involved in a string of armored-car robberies plaguing the city.
When Arrow breaks into Black Hawk, Gaynor’s “hey-we-swear-we-don’t-rob-armored-cars” security firm, a gun-wielding Diggle steps in to fend off Starling City’s vigilante and save his old friend. Back at Arrow HQ, the pair argue over incident, leading Diggle on a mission to prove Oliver wrong about Gaynor.
While Oliver enlists the world’s hottest IT girl, Felicity Smoak, to get dig up some dirt, Diggle infiltrates Gaynor’s security company. For a moment it looks like one of Gaynor’s employees, Knox, may be the real villain. But when Gaynor kidnaps Diggle’s sister-in-law to force him to join in on their next robbery, The Hood and Digg (who really needs a codename, right?) reunites to take down the bad guys with arrows (naturally) and a grenade-launcher.
In this week’s flashbacks, we learn a great deal more about Oliver’s trust issues. Remember when Oliver killed a guard on the island and set off in search of his imprisoned protector Xao-Fei? Well, that didn’t go so well, as Oliver was captured while undercover in the dead guard’s uniform. It turns out Xao-Fei was working with Eddie Fyers and his men all along.
All we get in “Trust But Verify” is the revelation that Xao-Fei was under one of the guard’s masks. So, perhaps this is leading toward the development of Fyers as an ally of Oliver, as he has sometimes been in the comics.
Even as Diggle is discovering some unsavory things about his old commander and Oliver is learning to fully trust Diggle (he even hands Diggle the book so he can cross out Gaynor’s name himself), the audience finds out a bit more about Malcolm. The elder Merlyn invites Tommy and Laurel to dinner in a supposed effort to mend fences that turned out to be an attempt to get Tommy to close down his late mother’s free clinic. Tommy explains to Laurel that after his mother died, his father disappeared for a bit and was never quite the same. We see Malcolm, surrounded by his Dark Archer gear, staring at a picture of Tommy and Tommy’s late mother.
Malcolm is also causing trouble for the Queen family during this episode. He has some more shady business for Moira, who insists on having proof that her husband Walter is still alive before going any further with the citywide conspiracy that claimed the life of her first husband. Oliver’s sister Thea overhears some of the conversation and assumes her mother is having an affair. Angry and despondent, Thea ends up taking a drug called Vertigo at her 18th birthday party and crashing the new car Oliver that Ollie bought for her, landing her first in the hospital and then in trouble with the law.
Yep, the Count will be making his debut in next week’s “Vertigo.”