by Ryan Rigley
Trust has always played a crucial part on "Arrow," specifically with the Queen household. Whether it's Oliver Queen, who has thus far proven unable to trust anyone but his dead father's list, Moira Queen, who isn't as trustworthy as she seems, or Thea Queen, who trusts her mother just about as far as she can throw her. Obviously, Starling City's most watched family has a ton of issues to work out.
Last night's episode, "Trust But Verify," begins with an armored truck robbery as three unidentifiable men stop the vehicle with grenade launchers and gas masks. Soon, we discover that this is the third armored truck robbery in a series of connected crimes all around Starling City. But when Oliver's research point to Ted Gayner as the next target on his list, Diggle steps up to the plate declaring Gayner's innocence.
During his first term in Afghanistan, Gayner was Diggle's commanding officer. Dig's personal ties to Ted have convinced him that Oliver is wrong about Ted's having to do with the armored truck robberies. Giving Diggle the week off, Oliver flashes back to his time on the island picking up where last week's flashback left off. Disguising himself as one of the soldiers, Oliver heads towards an enemy camp with the hopes of finding his friend: Yao Fei, a.k.a. the mysterious bearded Asian man.
Meanwhile, Tommy gets a call from his dad asking for Tommy's forgiveness and the opportunity to take him and his new girlfriend, Laurel, out to dinner. Tommy hangs up on his father, declaring that he'll think about it.
Later, when the vigilante shows up on Ted Gayner's doorstep, Diggle pops up out of nowhere just in time to save Gayner's life. Shooting a light out instead, the Hood makes his daring escape and Gayner immediately hires Diggle as one of his personal security guards.
The next day, the Queen girls, Moira and Thea, reminisce about the late Robert Queen after a long day of shopping for Thea's birthday party. Suddenly, their family bonding time is interrupted by Malcolm Merlyn calling Moira's cell phone. Thea, who already suspects Moira of being up to something, decides to follow her mother and soon discovers that Malcolm and Moira have been meeting in private.
As Diggle and Ted Gayner share a meal at the local burger place, Diggle learns that a man named Paul Knox has also been working for Gayner in recent years. Diggle, who knows Knox from his Blackhawk tour in Afghanistan, is immediately put off by the presence of Knox, who is apparently just not a very good person.
Thea confronts Oliver about Moira and discusses with him the possibility that her and Malcolm are seeing each other in Walter's absence. Troubled by this new information, Oliver goes to hear Moira's side of the story. Moira assures Oliver that she isn't cheating on Walter, but pretty much lies about everything else, i.e. her affiliation with Robert's death and Malcolm's evil nature.
As Tommy and Laurel soon discover, Malcolm Merlyn is indeed a very cruel and insensitive man; inviting his son to dinner under the pretenses of getting to know his new girlfriend, but in reality just wanting his signature on a document that will shut down his deceased mother's free clinic.
Over at Queen Consolidated, Oliver brings a hard drive to Felicity Smoke with the hopes that she can crack the military grade encryptions protecting it. Of course, it takes Ms. Smoke all of one hour to break the code, immediately calling Oliver and informing him that whoever owns the drive was also behind the three armored truck robberies.
At Thea's birthday party, Moira is again confronted by Malcolm Merlyn who brings her proof that Walter is still alive. Thea, who still believes her mother to be having an affair, angstfully storms off with the "Vertigo" pills that her friend gave her as a birthday present.
Meanwhile, Diggle, who finally realizes that Ted Gayner and Paul Knox are the ones behind all of the recent armored truck robberies, is forced to participate in a heist of his own as Gayner has kidnapped Dig's sister-in-law as collateral. But, of course, Diggle chooses instead to use his grenade launcher for good, shooting at the rest of the masked men. Just then, the Hood arrives bow and arrow in hand.
Shooting Ted Gayner dead in the street, Oliver admits to Diggle that he was right about his inability to trust. Diggle also apologizes for doubting Oliver. On the other side of town, Thea, who is now tripping balls on Vertigo, gets in a car crash. As Moira and Oliver visit her in the hospital, Thea is arrested with a charge of driving while under the influence of illegal narcotics.
In a flashback, Oliver arrives at another enemy camp on the opposite side of the island where he is subsequently beaten and unmasked. After throwing him in a jail cell, it is revealed to Oliver that the man whom he believed to be his friend, Yao Fei, has been playing against him this entire time.
Let me be the first to say that last night's episode did a terrific job of setting up for next week's episode. Not only do we have the huge cliff hanger of Thea going to jail and this new mysterious drug in town, but we also have the big reveal of the mysterious bearded Asian man being even more mysterious than we initially thought!
How will Thea fair in jail? Where is this "Vertigo" stuff coming from? What does Yao Fei want with Oliver Queen and how does all of this connect to Deathstroke? Hopefully, we'll be getting the answers to all or most of these questions next week!
Previously on "Arrow":