Jan 24 2013 11:23am

Arrow Season 1, Episode 11 Recap: Trust Issues in the Arrow Cave

Oliver Queen in Arrow season 1, episode 11Last week, we found more reasons to love Diggle, including seeing him push Oliver into making the right decisions. Laurel’s dad plans to use her—without her knowledge—to track down The Vigilante. Tommy continues to be The Good Guy. Will he prove to be more than a milquetoast character? Will Oliver find a new girl to hook up with, maybe another assassin? Will Laurel figure out that Oliver is The Vigilante? Will we finally see where Walter is being held captive?

So many questions!

(Need to catch up? Don't miss H&H recaps of the pilot episodeepisode 1.02,episode 1.03episode 1.04episode 1.05,episode 1.06episode 1.07episode 1.08episode 1.09, and episode 1.10. Plus, read Jennifer Proffitt's report on the Arrow cast panel at NYCC!)

Onward to the highlights from “Trust but Verify.”

The episode opened with an armored vehicle heist in the middle of the night on an open road. Bold thieves are just the kind made for Arrow.

Oliver and Tommy are certain that Moira’s erratic behavior makes sense if your husband is missing and presumed dead. Thea thinks her mom is “too okay.” Really, Thea is far more insightful on this show that she gets credit for.

…and then there was Oliver doing one-handed push-ups in some very low-slung jeans. Nom.

Digg uses the phrase “Arrow Cave.” I will adopt this. Way better than “Oliver’s Warehouse.”

Oliver is looking into the armored truck heists. Digg is all about this at first, but Oliver’s research shows assailants with military background. Oliver is looking into the man that was Diggle’s commanding officer during his first tour of Afghanistan. Awkward. Not only that, but Ted Gaynor’s name is on the list. That makes no sense to Digg since his former C.O. wouldn’t have the cash to be on the list. Oliver’s response: “I never said it was just one-percenters.”

It’s interesting to see Oliver and Digg fractured this way. To see Oliver pushing Digg to drop his reservations and investigate this one like any other case. The interactions between these partners is one of the things that makes this show for me, because Digg isn’t just a compass for Oliver but he’s a true team mate.

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in ArrowFLASHBACK! Oliver infiltrates the camp of the men in black. He’s trying to find his friend in the green hood.

Tommy’s dad invites him to dinner. He apologizes, kind of. This doesn’t bode well for Tommy, but does make his character more engaging.

Oliver as Arrow goes to have a chat with Ted. Right as he gets to his “be good or else” speech, Digg shows up with a gun trained on Ollie. Oh great. That’s what we need. Friends pulling weapons on one another is highly frowned upon even in vigilante circles. As such, Oliver as Arrow shoots the computer and snatches up a jump drive from the desk.

Cue this bromance’s mega fight. The theme: How could you trust a list over me? It’s a good question. It was a smart way for the show’s writers to give us a good reason for believing in this list. Oliver says he received a message from his dad explaining the list. Oliver is so certain, but he doesn’t share the message with Digg. That’s frustrating, because it means they didn’t share it with us either. I had hoped the next flashback would be Oliver discovering the message, but no. Teases.

Moira bails on mother-daughter day with Thea (on her birthday), but hopefully it will be to get answers about Walter. Malcolm asks her to do a little job for him. She asks for proof of Walter’s life before agreeing to help. Thea overhears.

Diggle and Ted hit the café and catch up. Digg’s been recruited to work for Black Hawk security, the very people Oliver thinks are behind the heists. I hope this doesn’t end with an “I told you so.”

Well, Thea didn’t hear as much as I thought. She goes straight to Oliver and says the reason their mom hasn’t been acting weird enough is because “she’s hooking up with Tommy’s dad.” Then Thea says this isn’t the first time. Apparently Moira was having lots of meetings with Malcolm right before Oliver and his dad’s boat sank.

Ollie confronts his mom about Thea’s concerns. Instead of being honest, she opts to say Robert was unfaithful. She doesn’t deny or confirm a relationship with Malcolm. We, of course, know she’s not fooling around with him.

FLASHBACK! Oliver makes it to the detention camp, but is captured upon arrival.

Malcolm and Laurel in Arrow 1.11Tommy and Laurel have dinner with Malcolm. It’s doesn’t look like it isn’t too much fun. To prove that point, Malcolm closes the meal by handing over legal documents. He wants Tommy to sign paperwork to close a free clinic that was his, now deceased, mother’s life’s work. Then we get to be so proud of Tommy by turning his father’s words back on him by saying it’s about time he stopped letting his dad disappoint him.

Oliver takes the stolen flash drive to our favorite Tech Girl (real name: Felicity). This time his guise involves a scavenger hunt. She just goes with it at this point. The encryption is military grade, but that’s not really a shocker. I am surprised the data revealed all the plans for the armored truck heists. Makes Ollie’s job too easy. Felicity wants to turn the information over to the police. Ollie has to delay that.

Oliver is able to use the information to find the next heist. Cue killing shooting guys with arrows before more civilians get taken down. They fire a grenade launcher at Oliver as Arrow, while he manages to use a trashcan as a shield, they are able to get away. As masks get pulled off, we see the Black Hawk guy Digg doesn’t like—not Ted—in the vehicle. Does this mean both Digg and Oliver were right?

Thea’s 18th birthday party includes lots glow sticks. It’s there that Digg and Oliver recap things. They both admit they were wrong, kind of. They do not hug. Oliver doesn’t think it’s Ted, but Digg says he thinks it is Knox, the guy with Black Hawk. Digg decides he’ll investigate while Oliver stays at his sister’s party.

This party is all about catching up, apparently. Malcolm is there (Isn’t that weird? Why is he at what’s essentially a dance party for a teenager?) and he has a cell phone photo of Walter to show Moira. Thea walks by to see his hand on Moira’s back briefly. Thea is upset. Moira tries to explain, says she never cheated. It doesn’t matter. Thea says hurtful things including that she wishes it had been Moira on the boat instead of her dad. That’s one hell of a sucker punch.

That, of course, leads Thea to do drugs. This reminds us that we’re watching the CW.

Digg snoops around Black Hawk’s vans. He finds blood and is still searching as Knox shows up. He pulls a gun on him and reveals that Ted is the one in charge of the heists. Ted’s plan is to make Digg join the team and help them complete the next heist. To convince him they kidnapped his sister-in-law. Classy friend you got there, Digg.

Digg managed to call Oliver during the “convincing,” so he was able to know about the next job. When Digg doesn’t stop the armored truck, Ted pulls out the girl and they say they’re going to kill her. Only, Digg has the grenade launcher. Really poor planning on the special ops end. Knox aims to shoot at a fleeing Digg, and Oliver as Arrow steps in for some excellent hand-to-hand combat. (Far better than last week’s fire-heavy episode.)

Ted pulls a gun on Digg and Oliver as Arrow shoots him. Bromance resolidified.

A very high Thea goes for a joyride and crashes the car. I love the interaction of Thea and Oliver, but hate seeing her in this trite storyline. Drugs. Car accident. I’m not saying it doesn’t match her character, just that I think she has more potential than to be the stereotype.

Related: Do you think the Queen family owns a wing at that hospital? Thea is fine physically. She does, however, get arrested for driving under the influence of a narcotic.

Tommy opens up to Laurel. We learn his father shut him out after his mother died. Not only that, but he disappeared for a couple years. We can assume this was his time on the island, as Malcolm is the other archer.

The plant in Arrow 1.11FLASHBACK! We discover that the hooded man on the island was actually a plant by the men in black. He was there simply to get Oliver captured. Lesson: No one can be trusted.


I think there’s very little chance Oliver won’t deal with his sister’s new issues by taking out drug-dealing baddies next week. However, what else do you want to see? I’m slightly more invested in Tommy/Laurel, but not enough to be worried about what comes next. I hope we’re going to get more of a pull on the Walter-is-Kidnapped line. Also: Oliver needs a girl. Maybe Felicity. She’s lovely.


While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. Her appreciation of Alexander Skarsgard is well documented. Bother her on Twitter — @ChelseaVBC — she likes it.

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Rakisha Kearns-White
1. BrooklynShoeBabe
I would like to to see Felicity and Ollie together. Between her, Digg, and Arrow, they'd be a super crime fighting team.
2. ChelseaMueller
@BrooklynShoeBabe - I know! There would be snark, morals, brooding and too many good looking people in the Arrow Cave.
Carmen Pinzon
3. bungluna
I too would like to see Felicity become part of the team. She's too smart to not connect the dots about what's going on.
4. ChelseaMueller
@bungluna - She clearly doesn't buy his excuses, but I think they're such fun tasks that she's going along with it. If he doesn't follow through on that wine promise, then maybe she'll push. I hope so.
Carmen Pinzon
5. bungluna
What I meant was that she'll figure Arrow's identity out. I'd rather she become part of the team rather than a threat(?) or a loose cannon.
6. ChelseaMueller
@bungluna - Agreed. I want her working with Oliver and Diggle.
Darlene Marshall
7. DarleneMarshall
That, of course, leads Thea to do drugs. This reminds us that we’re watching the CW.
Love this line. I think too that Felicity's too easy--she should've held out for three bottles if she's doing the tech work and Ollie gets the (fake) wine.

Overall this was a pivotal episode with lots of new information and character development. I still think the green hood dude on the island is one of the good guys, but time will tell.
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