Friday, February 15, 2013

Arrow 1.13: "Betrayal"

“The lesson here is blind trust can be dangerous.”
- Diggle

I have to say I thought “Betrayal” was full of well…betrayals. Lots of characters fund themselves learning things about each other that didn’t make them very happy. And this marks the very first episode of Arrow ever where Oliver is not seen shirtless at some point. I think a small part of me died inside. We start at Iron Heights prison where Cyrus Vanch (David Anders, aka Dr. Whale from Once Upon a Time) has been released on a technicality. He and his girl Vivien head to his lawyer’s house where Vanch kills him for botching the trial. He’s definitely a lot creepier than Whale. In the man cave, Oliver and Diggle are discussing Moira’s copy of the list. Diggle makes the point that Walter had the list and then he went missing. Oliver refuses to believe his mother is capable of making anyone disappear. We flash back to the island and he stumbles upon a clearing with a plane wreck. I have to be honest, the second I saw that I went “they did not just pull a LOST”. But they kind of did, yeah. Oli climbs into the plane and gets nabbed by its current occupant. Oliver managers to escape getting his vocal cords cut out by saying that the Archer sent him.

Meanwhile, in Starling City, Detective Lance is being given a new assignment and he is pissed. He thinks he is close to finding the Hood. But his lieutenant has a point. The Hood has done a lot of good recently and maybe people don’t want him caught. We jump across town to the legal aid office where Laurel is showing Thea around. She gets the news about Vanch being released is all gung ho about finding a way to get him back behind bars. But as Anastasia, a lawyer doing a pro bono sabbatical, points out, unless laurel has a private police force, she’s not going to have much luck. Laurel has a sort of mischievous glint in her eye. She in fact does have her own private police force. Before she can do anything, Tommy calls with offers of dinner. He’s testing out chefs for the nightclub. She reluctantly agrees to meet him.

Oliver has a chat with his mother as she’s heading off for a meeting. He shows her the notebook that Walter had, saying Walter gave it to him before Christmas. Moira feigns ignorance, claiming it to be Robert’s book of names of everyone who owed him favors. Before Oliver can say much more, she tosses it in the fire and tells Oliver to stop asking questions. Diggle is quick to point how shady that was but Oliver is just so blind to his mother’s scheming that he just doesn’t want to hear it. Laurel picks that moment to contact the Hood and ask for his help. And Detective Lance is all happy because Laurel called the Hood so they have a location. And Lance is going to show up guns blazing.

Holed up in his heavily fortified mansion, Vanch decides he needs to be the one to fill the power vacuum left in Starling City’s crime world due to the Hood. Quite conveniently, Oli is there doing reconnaissance and leaves an arrow with a voice recorded behind. This gives Vanch the perfect way to show the rest of the crime underbelly why they should follow him. Laurel ditches Tommy under the guise of a work emergency when Oliver calls with the evidence. He manages to hand over what he recorded but picks up on the fact they aren’t alone. Detective Lance and his back up bust in. Oliver uses Laurel as a shield long enough to get to the edge of the building before jumping over the side. Lance follows him only to get cold cocked so Oli can actually escape. Meanwhile, Diggle has taken it upon himself to be Moira’s driver so he can keep tabs on her. His first drop off ends up being a birthday party (yeah that one was kind of awkward, Dig).

Laurel and Oliver are both spiraling a bit out of control on the lie/disbelief front. Laurel is furious with her father for using her as bait and storms out on him only to end up fuming at Tommy about her father’s trickery. Big mistake since she basically admits to working with the Hood for months. Meanwhile, Oliver is angry with Lance for putting Laurel in danger (he doesn’t even think he’s part of the problem) and Diggle reveals he’s been keeping tabs on Moira. That pushes Oli’s buttons, too. Tommy ends up at the Queen mansion to bitch about Laurel lying to him. Oli plays the supportive friend and tells Tommy to talk to Laurel and see why she’s keeping secrets. And it appears there is a leak in the police department because Vivien tells Vanch they should go after Laurel.

We find Oliver back on the island with his new military buddy. Apparently he and the Archer were working together to get off the island. But then the Archer was compromised. He thinks Oli has been sent as his new partner but quickly discovers Oli has no skills. Meanwhile, it appears Vanch is putting his plan into action. Laurel is leaving Tommy a voicemail when someone knocks on the door. Thinking it’s him, she opens it to find two thugs. She manages to take them down but Vanch gets her with a Taser. Bastard. Meanwhile, Diggle’s snooping pays off. He records a conversation between Moira and Malcolm where she says she took care of one of their colleagues and he tells her she needs to get rid of the remains of the Queen’s Gambit.

Tommy heads over to Laurel’s place and finds it trashed. He also finds the arrow Oliver used to record Vanch at his mansion. Tommy frantically brings it to Detective Lance and begs him to find some way to help Laurel. Lance is a little disturbed by the fact that the connection between Laurel and the vigilante could have been leaked by dozens of people. But he gets his head focused and goes to call the vigilante for his help. Diggle shares the recording of Moira with Oliver and Oli kind of gets angry. Even with the proof, he still doesn’t want to believe his mother had any part in his father’s death or Walter’s disappearance. We flash back to island again and Oliver wakes up to find he’s been bound. His newfound companion is going to kill him since he thinks the soldier will just torture the location out of Oliver. But Oli manages to get free (probably dislocating a joint or two) and punches the guy. It seems they may be working together after all.

Detective Lance and the vigilante team up to save Laurel and it works out pretty well. Oli takes out the guards and makes it inside the house but doesn’t have any arrows left. Vanch planned it that way, you see. But Lance rushes in last minute to sort of save the day. He’s about to shoot Vanch when Oli stops him, reminding him that he is the cop. As Lance punches Vanch out, Oliver makes his escape. A short while later at the station, Lance offers to drive Laurel home but she needs some distance and space from her father. They don’t trust each other anymore. She runs into the vigilante outside the precinct and he tells her that he won’t be getting in touch anymore because he’s not willing to take the risk of her getting her or killed because of him.

On the island, Slade (Oli’s new buddy) tells him to pick a weapon so they can start getting him into a shape that won’t get them both killed. Oliver finds a mask like the one the guy wore who tortured him for the Archer’s location. Slade reveals he and his partner are Australian intelligence and they are trying to get the Archer off the island. Back in the man cave, Oliver finally comes to terms with his mother’s betrayal. So he has to have a chat with her. She’s in the middle of a meeting when the vigilante bursts through the window, points an arrow at Moira and delivers his standard condemnation. What has Oliver gotten himself into now?

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