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Thursday, October 23, 2014



ARROW, Corto Maltese Episode Review



We begin this episode in great anticipation of the encounter between Thea and Oliver.  We first get a glimpse of the exchange between Thea and Malcolm Merlyn when she left Starling City 5 months ago.  It’s clear that Thea has some talents which she hasn’t been fully utilizing.

Then it’s on to one of the sub-plots.  Oliver tracks down the individual whose fingerprint was on the green glass he found where Sara was murdered.  After a short chase and quick interrogation Oliver realizes the lead is a dead end. 

But not all is lost to Oliver as Felicity has located Thea in Corto Maltese.  Oliver and Roy get ready to go get back Thea!  I’m sure they think it will all be cake and laughs too.

Meanwhile, Lyla asks Diggle to go to Corto Maltese with Oliver as she has a field operative, named Shaw, who has “gone dark” in Corto Maltese.  How fortuitous!  Diggle accepts as he’s not expected to be doing much – simply making sure Shaw is OK.

Then we see some more flashbacks to Thea’s training with Malcolm.  He tells her about how some Buddhist monks believed the first fight begins in the mind and that she must learn to accept pain, but reject suffering.  He plans to teach her how to do this by pouring hot oil over her hand.  She’s understandably not very fond of the idea.

Oliver lands in Corto Maltese and goes off to see Thea.  Upon finding her to not be at her supposed home he learns from a groundskeeper that she might be at her day job waiting tables.  Why she is waiting tables is beyond me…maybe to learn the culture and language better?  In any case, Oliver avoided getting shot by an arrow that was waiting for him from the end of Malcolm’s bow.  So I guess that’s a plus.

Thea is surprised but happy to see Oliver when he approaches her at work.  After a short bit of dialogue she repeats her affirmation: she is NEVER going back to Starling City.  Oliver is understandably dejected.

So, while he tries to think about how to persuade her to come home, Oliver goes off to help Diggle with checking up on Shaw.  The encounter is supposed to be very straightforward and friendly.  But Shaw pulls a knife and almost slices Diggle open.  Luckily he’s been training with Oliver. 

Shaw confirms Diggle’s identity and then tells him that they need to go stop the sale of Argus’ list of agents and their families.  Diggle takes off with Shaw to stop the sale.  But something doesn’t smell right.  Diggle guesses that something is up and that Shaw is actually up to no good.  But not quite in time as Shaw tazers Diggle, shoots at Oliver who is waiting as backup, and takes the transcoder stick from Diggle’s pocket before making his getaway.

Roy gets his chance to talk to Thea also.  They share a moment where he confesses he just wants her to be happy.  And if that means that she stays in Corto Maltese, then so be it.  We see that Malcolm is keeping an eye on his daughter from the shadows though and looks none too pleased with her interaction with Roy.

Turns out EVERYONE loves her hair.  Even me.

And then a flashback to Thea’s training.  Malcolm tells Thea that he must train her the same way he was trained – and then promptly hits her in the face.  She must have a face of steel though because she doesn’t start bleeding or anything.  Thea does show her war face however.

The guys contact Felicity for help in tracking Shaw down.  This of course happens right as she is in a meeting with her new boss, Ray Palmer.  He’s quite shocked as she gets phone call after phone call with mysterious undertones talking about finding people.  She’s embarrassed as usual.

Laurel is angry with the death of her sister and everything and decides that a good way to get out her aggression is to try and beat up a guy who likes to beat his girlfriend.  This does not go over very well for her and she gets her face pummeled quite soundly.  Her face, it turns out, is not steel.

Then we see Laurel in the hospital and sense that she is starting to go into a deep, dark place.  She’s had it with the injustice of the world.  Who knows what she’s going to do next…  Five bucks says she’s going to learn how to fight and try to take Sara’s place.

Oliver has one more meeting with Thea.  He discloses that, yes, he’s been keeping secrets.  Thea is still adamant that she will love him as her big brother no matter what.  She’s just pissed that he didn’t tell her who her father was.  That’s when Oliver tells her the truth of how their dad, Robert, died and pleads with her to come home even going so far as to say that he needs her.  He then leaves to go help Diggle.

The team is set up to intercept Shaw as the deal is going down.  But fate intervenes as a heavily armed group of men shows up and spoils the plans.  A big fight ensues and we get to see that Oliver is actually an amazing shot with a pistol as well.  It seems he learned some other things from his time working with Waller in Hong Kong.  After a solid fight the day is won and the group gets the data back. 

Thea tells Malcolm that she would like to go home.  He says he thought she was past all of that and that maybe she’s not ready.  A sword fight ensues between the two, because how else would you settle such things, with Thea apparently winning.  She suspects that Malcolm let her win, however, and he ominously states that he’ll see her soon.

Thea meets the group for the plane back home and everyone is happy.  That is until Oliver gets home to a waiting Laurel.  She asks him to train her but he refuses.  She’s not happy about that.

Upon entering his hideout under Verdant, Oliver and Roy have a conversation about Thea.  Oliver thinks that something is off with Thea and that she seems a little different.  The conversation is cut short, however, as Sara’s lover and fellow assassin, Nyssa, cuts into the scene with a bow aimed at Oliver and demanding to know where Sara is.

So hot...So deadly...So cool.

This should make for an interesting conversation in the next episode…

P.S. – I absolutely love Katrina Law as Nyssa.  She’s exotic looking like Nyssa should be, talented, and crazy beautiful.  I loved her in Sparticus as well and can’t wait to see where her career takes her.

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