Arrow ‘Corto Maltese’ Recap – Episode 03.03

Arrow
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Flashback Time

The writers have decided to take some time off from Oliver’s flashbacks this week and instead fill the audience in on what Thea has been up to since leaving town with Merlyn.  She approaches him with the hopes that he can train her to not feel pain anymore and Merlyn is all too happy to oblige.

At first the training doesn’t go very well but Merlyn thinks he knows what the problem is.  He believes that if Thea is ever going to learn anything, then he needs to treat her like his student and not his daughter at which point he immediately starts beating her up.

Oliver, Roy and Thea

After Oliver gets a chance to read the note Thea left for Roy during the siege, Oliver has resolved that it’s time for Thea to come home.  Felicity traces Thea’s location to the island of Corto Maltese in South America.  At first Oliver wants to go alone but Roy feeling partially responsible for Thea leaving insists on tagging along and Diggle decides to go too as a favor to Lila (more on that later).

When Oliver finds Thea she is surprisingly happy to see him.  Unfortunately, even though she has cooled off on her anger with Oliver she still doesn’t want to return to Starling City knowing that Oliver will only continue to lie to her.  Roy makes his own plea for her to come back but she tells him she prefers to be alone and away from all the secrets and an understanding Roy doesn’t press the issue.

Oliver decides the only hope of bringing Thea back is to tell her the truth but Diggle quickly talks him out of it.  Oliver instead makes one last appeal to Thea to come home and admits that he keeps secrets from her saying that if she knew everything about him, she would look at him differently.  He then confides in her what happened to their dad after their boat sank five years ago.  Oliver had always told her that their father drowned in the shipwreck but finally admits that he killed himself in a desperate attempt to keep Oliver alive.

Oliver’s confession seems to do the trick as Thea tells Merlyn she wants to go home.  After a brief duel between the two, Merlyn says he’s okay with it but promises they’ll see more of each other.  While Thea and the others wait at the airport, a tourist accidentally spills hot coffee on Thea’s hand and to Oliver’s suspicion the spill appears to have no effect on her.

Diggle

While Oliver and Roy have been trying to persuade Thea to come home, Lila asks Diggle to go with them to check on a missing A.R.G.U.S. agent named Shaw who also happens to be in Corto Maltese.  Diggle is able to find Shaw pretty quickly but the guy immediately pulls a knife on him.  Diggle is able to fight him off and calm him down and Shaw fills him in on what’s going on.  He says a hacker is selling some information on A.R.G.U.S. to the highest bidder.  If the information gets out it would not only blow the covers of countless agents but leave their family members exposed as well.  New father Diggle is all too happy to help Shaw but when they arrive at the site of the buy, Shaw reveals that he was the one who stole the A.R.G.U.S. files but needed a key that Diggle has on him to decrypt them.

Diggle decides to stop the buy and Oliver and Roy go with him for backup.  Here we learn Oliver is also secretly MacGuyver as he arms himself and Roy with some bows and arrows he made out of a bunch of random stuff in their hotel room.  Before they can get to Shaw however, they are attacked by mercenaries hired by Shaw.  Shaw brags about how easy and cheap it was for him to hire an army but considering how quickly Oliver and Roy take them out, I’d say he got what he paid for.

While Oliver and Roy take care of the armed guards Diggle is able to chase down Shaw.  After Shaw is captured he admits that he didn’t make the deal for money but more as a desperate attempt to quit A.R.G.U.S. and get out from Amanda Waller’s thumb.  Shaw begs Diggle to let him go and tell Waller he shot him but Diggle ignores him and simply knocks him out.

Laurel

With Team Arrow no closer to catching Sara’s killer, this has left Laurel with a serious ax to grind.  Looking for something to channel her anger, she sets her sights on an abusive boyfriend of one of her fellow AA members.  Considering Laurel has no fighting prowess to speak of, this goes about as well as you might expect and she winds up in the hospital.  Captain Lance is understandably worried about this behavior which is made worse by the fact that he still has no idea what’s causing it.  The boyfriend is arrested at the end of the episode through an anonymous tip and why Laurel didn’t just do this in the first place is beyond me.

When Oliver makes it back to town, Laurel asks Oliver to train her to avoid a repeat visit to the hospital.  Oliver unsurprisingly refuses saying that Sara would never forgive him.  Undaunted, she instead decides to train with a gym owner named Ted Grant (a name many DC fans should be familiar with).  At this point I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t become Black Canary by the end of the season.

Felicity

While everyone is out of town, Felicity shows up for her first day of working for Ray Palmer.  At first she assumes her job will consist of waiting on Palmer much the same as did for Oliver but Palmer surprises her by instead giving her an assistant and a corner office.  The first task Palmer gives Felicity is to recover data from Queen Consolidated’s Applied Sciences division.

After she recovers the data, she requests a few days off to visit the recently revived Barry in Central City setting up crossover episodes for Arrow and The Flash next week.  The recovered data shows to be blueprints for a set of top secret weapons and if the ominous music is any indication, Palmer is up to no good with them.

Cliffhanger

Back at Team Arrow headquarters, Oliver and Roy are talking about Thea’s return.  While Oliver is glad to have her back, he admits there’s something different about her he can’t put his finger on.  Before he think more about it, Nyssa barges in and points an arrow at Oliver’s head demanding to know where Sara is.

Analysis

Much like ‘The Calm’ did a couple of weeks ago, ‘Corto Maltese’ mostly serves as a set-up episode though this one was a slight improvement form the season premiere.  That’s fine for now but things need to get more interesting soon which thankfully may be next week considering it’s a crossover episode.  On the plus side, it was nice to see the writers finally give Laurel and Diggle something to do.

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About the Author

Derek Johns
is a native Texan who has had a love and fascination with movies as long as he can remember. He attended Sam Houston State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Broadcast Journalism. His love of film only grew during his college days, with seldom an hour going by without him making some kind of movie reference. He has since gone on a seemingly never-ending quest to see as many movies (old and new) that he possibly can, a task made possible by his Netflix subscription. Besides movies he enjoys television, reading, writing, video editing, listening to music, and watching Doctor Who.
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