Arrow Review: “Trust But Verify”

I thought Arrow did Batman this week (more so than usual), especially with that comment near the end. My wife found it “superficial.”

Jethro, however, has considered the ep in some depth:

Fairly strong episode this week! John Barrowman tries to reconnect with his son (or IS HE?) while manipulating Moira. Speedy stumbles on some secrets (though perhaps not the ones we were expecting), while Oliver and Diggle get into a conflict over OH MY GOD IT’S BEN BROWDER.

Title: “Arrow” Review: Trust, but Verify

Cast and Crew

Director: Nick Copus
Writer: Gabrielle Stanton

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
Willa Holland as Thea “Speedy” Queen
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance
Colin Salmon as Walter Steele
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn
Ben Browder as who cares it’s Ben Browder Full cast and crew can be found here.

Information for this episode may be found at TVRage and IMDb.

Premise

Oliver investigates a stream of armoured truck robberies which seem to implicate one of Digg’s old army buddies. Meanwhile, John Barrowman does… um… I’m not really sure WHAT he’s doing, to be honest, but it’s creepy as hell. Thea has some fairly bad over reactions leading to a bad conclusion that we’ve seen coming for a while, sadly. And we get a good WTH Island Memory moment.

High Points

  • The very last couple of seconds.
  • Oliver and Diggle learning they need to trust one another more.
  • John Barrowman does such a wonderful CREEPY.
  • They did a pretty good job keeping his character and motivations a complete mystery, although we do get a small clue.
  • Ben Browder!

Low Points

  • People wear full facemasks. At camp. On a tropical island. I overheat with one of those things after 20 minutes at -10 degrees.
  • Peoples’ choice of weapons on this show sometimes confuses me. Oh a guy’s running at me? Good thing I didn’t bring a gun!
  • Oliver REALLY needs some basic computer courses.
  • In fact, every time there’s a computer “hacking” segment on this show, it bugs me to no end. You know the code displayed when what’s-her-piercings is “hacking” the “security fob”? It was a program to display a calendar.

The Scores:

Originality: I thought this was pretty good. Again, based on a comic, there’s not a ton of material to draw from, and we’ve seen the Old Army Buddy thing, but the way it’s dealt with on Arrow is fairly original. Plus John Barrowman’s character had a fairly big part this week and that guy just adds to the score. 5/6.

Effects: We had a lot of explosions this week, and good fight scenes. 5/6

Story: Maybe it’s that last week was such a weak story, but I was really drawn in this week. We had some good misdirects, such as Thea discovering her mom with John Barrowman, and her actually telling Oliver, but that hasn’t lead him to the correct conclusion (yet). Instead it directly lead to where we always knew Thea’s story would go. The main story was ok, too, and the island memories segment was fantastic. 5/6

Acting: Once again, Arrow delivers quality acting. Though Oliver’s Clark Kenting can be a bit much sometimes. 5/6.

Emotional Response: Oh Thea. I don’t know if I want to hug her or slap her for being an idiot. 5/6

Production: This show has consistently good production values. 5/6

Overall: I’m tempted to go back and knock points off other sections just because I don’t want the score to be TOO high, but I guess I really liked this episode, so 5/6.

In total, Arrow: Trust but Verify receives 35/42 points.

6 replies on “Arrow Review: “Trust But Verify””

  1. Fez says:

    Spot on, plus these:
    * I know grenade launchers are fairly powerful, but shouldn’t armored car windows be a bit more resistant to projectiles? Especially large ones? I would have been fine with it sticking in the door and gassing inside, but going so easily through a window on an armored car just didn’t sit well with me.

    * Can’t express enough WTF about that last bit on the island.

    * I think part of Thea’s actions are there to remind Oliver about how he behaved before the island. I expect him to take some sort of action on the matter, perhaps something that mirrors his island experience. Maybe we’ll see her go to “rehab” and end up in an Arrow training camp instead.

    * Thea’s mom has been cast, and it’s another Dr. Who person: Alex Kingston. Perhaps she’s in league with Merlyn, given that connection, eh?

    * WTF, mysterious island dudes. Serious. W.T.F.

  2. vanyel says:

    I thought it was a weak episode myself:

    * Ben Browder was great, but he’s umm, “been less active than usual lately it seems” though I suppose out of shape guards aren’t uncommon. I think that’s not so true for body guards though…and certainly not an outfit like blackhawk

    * The plot with Ben could only go one of ways, though they did try a sleight misdirect at the slightly higher road, they went with the low one

    * Thea’s mom didn’t even really try to defend herself; a little believable because she can’t tell the truth, which is even worse, but I would have liked to have seen something like “dear, men will come on to you all the time, tolerating it when necessary doesn’t mean you approve of it”

    * Yeah, the smoke bombs going through supposedly bulletproof glass – grenades yes, smokebombs, no

    * Did love the island twist at the end though, and the character development between oliver and diggle

    • Jethro says:

      I figured it was a gas grenade, rather than smoke. Which makes it seem somewhat more plausible, I guess…

    • Jethro says:

      Heh, missed your “weak episode” comment (;

      * Ben Browder’s character was more an admin guy running the outfit. Ben Browder IS 50 years old, by the way, whereas David Ramsey is 41. I think their respective shapes are consistent with that.

      * The plot could’ve gone the other way, with Oliver learning to trust Digg’s judgement. and honestly, how many of us wanted Ben Browder to be a good guy?

      * Moira DID try to defend herself. Repeatedly. Thea wouldn’t listen.

      * See above about the gas grenades – they WERE all wearing gas masks, after all.

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