Arrow: Due Process

“It’s like the world’s worst trust fall.”

An episode rife with trust issues? Must be Arrow.

Let’s start at the top of the food chain, shall we? Once again, Oliver takes on Brick and his crew.  This time it's to exonerate poor mild-mannered Stanley of Officer Dunbar’s murder. Dunbar and Brick’s crew have had a falling out and Stanley is far too helpless to murder a guard. After all, Stanley’s depended on Oliver for protection since his arrival. Finding a knife covered in Turner's fingerprints is just icing. Sickeningly sweet icing.

I’ve long suspected that Stanley was not as innocent as he looks. If so, he’d be in Iron Heights or some other cushier environs. Instead, he’s in maximum security with the worst of the worst. I’d even had a fleeting thought he might have been the Demon, but I was quickly disabused of the notion. But if he’s been smart enough to set Turner up and play Oliver all this time, how could he be stupid enough to mention Turner’s knife so casually?

And after two years of believing a part of “his Laurel” must exist in the Earth-2 version, he’s finally concluded he was mistaken. Laurel Part Deux is irredeemable. Unfortunately, his conclusion comes when Laurel is firmly on the path to redemption. As for his belief that Felicity would never work with the likes of Laurel. He should know better. Felicity, like Oliver, has proven willing to work with almost anyone to achieve her goals, whether or not she trusts them.

The jury is still out on Felicity's trust in Laurel. Felicity may trust Laurel’s hatred of Diaz and she certainly needs Laurel’s help to save her husband but desperation and trust are not the same things. Regardless, Felicity did not hesitate to go after Diaz with Laurel by her side. Granted, she contacted Rene for back up but I think it’s because he was the only one left on Team Arrow she hadn’t offended.

Everyone converging on Diaz’s location and discovering it was a setup was the perfect use of narrative coincidence, one that creates conflict instead of solving problems. It led to this week’s most memorable scene, where everyone’s cards are thrown on the table, some more forcefully than others. Curtis is right. Y’all need to pick up a phone every once in a while. Despite this, their trust in each other remained unshaken, and they came together to take down Diaz. Diggle literally stands in the middle of A.R.G.U.S. headquarters and tells Curtis to call in all of Team Arrow because he needs their help. All, except Laurel, whose indignation at Anatoly’s inclusion was completely justified given the number of times he’s betrayed Team Arrow.

Trust is an issue in the flash forwards as well. Dinah wonders if William can be trusted for the same reason Roy is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt – he’s Oliver’s son. Future Felicity squandered much Team Arrow’s trust in her. After abandoning William and taking on her father’s criminal nom de plume, she either planned or discovered the plans to destroy what’s left of Star City. Yet there’s still enough trust left for the remnants of Team Arrow to follow the breadcrumbs she’s dropped.

The flash forwards leave me with tons of questions. Top of my list is why wouldn’t Team Arrow trust Oliver. And where is he? Everything has been Felicity, Felicity, Felicity but nothing about Ollie. Is he dead? How did his bow wind up buried on Lian Yu? Originally I’d assumed that Oliver and Felicity had placed William somewhere “safe” and promptly disappeared. That’s obviously not the case. So where did they send William and why didn’t William seek them out when he reached adulthood? It appears he had the means and they, or at least Felicity, wasn’t exactly hiding. While I’m confident we’ll learn who or what the Mark of Four and Blackstar are, I’m less assured we’ll discover how the present day Oliver and Felicity become their future counterparts.

Even Diaz is not immune to trust issues. Diaz trusted Anatoly who betrayed him and instead of trying to rescue their leader, the Longbow Hunters cut bait and ran. At least Diaz’s problems are more straightforward. Anatoly and the Longbow Hunter’s assistance was coerced or, possibly, paid for and therefore trusting them was a mistake at the outset.

It would be nice to think The Powers That Be were trying to say something profound about who should be trusted and who should not but I’m not convinced. Everyone from Oliver to future William seem to base their decisions on the past behaviors of the people in question – with varying degrees of accuracy. But if trust issues permeate every scene of this episode, questions of good and evil and what makes someone a hero don’t lag far behind.

What of Felicity? What has she become? She may want to follow in the old Oliver’s footsteps and wreak vengeance but she’s aware enough to realize that’s not a good thing. I find it hard to believe Felicity was going to shoot Diaz. Not because she’s unable to, I believe she’s ruthless enough to pull the trigger. I just don’t think she’s that reckless. Felicity is not dumb enough to shoot someone in a police station with a gun with no silencer – camera or no camera. 

And if Felicity is teetering on the precipice of good and evil, then Laurel is clawing her way back to the side of angels. Team Arrow trust of her extends only as far as protecting her identity as “their Laurel” ensures her safety. However, Laurel spent most of this episode as the voice of reason, she made an impassioned plea to win Oliver’s freedom and although it didn’t work, she ensured that Slabside would be investigated for its abuses. However, upon learning of Diaz’s capture she traded Oliver’s testimony against Diaz, securing Ollie’s freedom. Who’d have thunk that six episodes in, Laurel would be the one with the cleanest hands?

On a side note, our Green Arrow wannabe is back. Just in the nick of time to save Team Arrow and take down Diaz. He is definitely shorter and more agile than Oliver – kind of like Roy. I know I’m probably wrong but every time this Green Arrow flips through the air I’m more and more convinced. That said, it makes absolutely no sense. Roy has no reason to don Oliver’s hood when he has his own and he has no need to hide from the rest of Team Arrow. Unless something has happened to Thea that he doesn’t want to disclose.

With only two episodes (plus the crossover) it feels like a noose is tightening around our heroes and they don’t even know it’s there.

3 out of 5 belated birthday parties

Parting Thoughts: 

Oliver still thinks of Earth-1 Laurel as “My Laurel.”

Happy Belated Birthday, Curtis!

Diggle has always been a badass, but he’s been far more of a badass than usual. Or is it just me?

Why would Felicity make the passcode something only an archer could solve? Especially, since it’s a place she sent William. Was she that sure William could convince Roy to join him, or did she assume that William would eventually pick up the bow?

Just for the record, Anatoly’s American accent sucks!

Quotes:

Diaz: “You betrayed me. After I trusted you... gave you my friendship."
Anatoly: “Man like you has no friends.”

Stanley: “I thought that mind-control stuff only happened in movies.”

Felicity: “OK. Listen. I mean, prison’s obviously been rough on Oliver. I mean, that’s the whole point of prison. Duh! But he doesn’t know the new you. I mean he just knows the old, scarier, murdery version of you.”

Diggle: “So please, tell me, Felicity, how the hell did you end up in the middle of my op, again?”
Felicity: “Why don’t I just say exponential search algorithm, and we’ll just leave it at that."

Rene: “Wait. Hold on a sec. You’re gonna give me crap about working with the new Green Arrow, and meanwhile you’re siding with the Black Frickin’ Siren?”

Curtis: “Yeah, I’m totally talking about the fact that everyone forgot my birthday last week.”
Felicity: “Your party is next week. Act surprised.”

Diggle: “I just hope when this war is over, you still come out a hero.”

Laurel: “So an international mob boss gets to stay, and I have to leave. Is that it?”

Brick: “There are no innocent men in here, Queen. You should know that.”

Anatoly: “I played hero once before and Diaz killed all my brothers as punishment. Never again.”

Roslov: “Speaking of, you need 4k TV, sarin gas? All fall off truck, I swear.”

Laurel: “The hardest thing to do is be a hero when no one expects you to be.”

Anatoly: “You cannot take away mistake by wishing it so.”

Anatoly: “Regret, guilt. These are demons you choose to live with. A trade you make to get what you want.”

Curtis: “I’m going to need a little more time on my end. You got the easy bomb.”

Oliver: “Must be difficult to win a case when you’re not a real lawyer.”

Laurel: “Everyone has good and bad inside of them, and you can’t put people in one box or the other... ever.”

William: “OK, Let’s say you’re right and Felicity somehow became the Overwatch of evil... Why lead us here?

Zoe: “I swear to God, if this gets me killed, I’m going to murder you.”
William: “Noted.”


Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.

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