by Ryan Rigley
There's been a lot of trust issues on "Arrow" so far, but never before have they been made so prominent. Last night's episode, "Betrayal," puts a spotlight on all of the liars in Starling City; whether it's Oliver Queen, who is lying to his family and friends about his alter ego, or Detective Lance, who is lying to his daughter about putting a tracer on the vigilante's phone, there just doesn't seem to be an honest person in the entire town.
Well, besides Tommy that is.
"Betrayal" begins with A-list criminal Cyrus Vanch exiting the Starling City penitentiary. Catching a ride with his leggy blonde cohort, Cyrus makes his way to a mansion belonging to one of his former associates. Cyrus threatens the man, prodding him about the triads and this new vigilante they're calling the Hood but to no avail. Then, suddenly, Cyrus stabs him in the gut and goes to raid his refrigerator.
At the Queen residence, Oliver confronts his mother about the notebook that Ms. Smoak gave him at the end of last week's episode (which is identical to the one given to him by his dying father in the pilot). Moira assures Oliver that his father was not the man he thought he was and tosses the notebook into the fire. But while Oliver is blinded to his mother's deception, Diggle decides it best to follow her around for a few days.
On the other side of town, Laurel receives a call confirming that Cyrus Vanch has been released from prison. Laurel, who knows that Vanch is bad news, immediately calls the vigilante asking him for help. However, what she doesn't realize is that her father has bugged the vigilante hotline and is organizing a taskforce to take down the man he believes to be a dangerous murderer.
Using his own daughter as bait, Detective Lance charges forward interrupting the exchange of information between Laurel and the Hood. Luckily, the Hood is able to jump off of the roof and get away relatively easily. The next day, Laurel is furious with her father. He apologizes, assuring her that he was just doing his job. Then he asks for the vigilante's phone back.
Above the Arrowcave, Tommy finds Oliver looking over resumes for the new chef position at their nightclub. Tommy confesses to Oliver that he thinks Laurel has a crush on the vigilante and that she's been seeing him in private. Oliver tells him to talk to her and fix things between them, but on the inside he's beaming. Because he still secretly loves Laurel.
Meanwhile, Cyrus continues eating food that doesn't belong to him but is soon given a piece of vital information about the vigilante by his blonde cohort. Cyrus then decides to kidnap Laurel Lance with the hopes of getting the vigilante's attention.
In a flashback, Oliver investigates the wreckage of an old airplane. Suddenly, he's ambushed by a large man with two swords. Oliver mentions that he's friends with the mysterious bearded Asian man (Yao Fei) and the large man stops attacking him and starts training him.
Diggle, who has been driving Moira all over the city for the past few days, finally finds himself with an opportunity to prove Moira's guilt. Listening in on her exchange with Malcolm Merlyn, a.k.a. the Well Dressed Man a.k.a. the Dark Archer, Diggle discovers that Moira may have had something to do with Robert Queen's death and Walter's disappearance. He plays the conversation back for Oliver Queen, who is so shocked by the information that he has to listen to the recording 15 more times.
Later, Tommy shows up at Laurel's apartment only to find that Laurel has been kidnapped. Going straight to the police, Tommy plays back a message recorded by Cyrus Vanch on one of the Hood's arrows. Detective Lance quickly realizes that someone in his department is a rat. With no one left to turn to, he calls the vigilante and asks him for help.
The Hood meets with Detective Lance on a rooftop, agreeing to rescue Laurel if Lance will help him do it. Without a moment to lose, Oliver storms the castle that is Cyrus's stronghold. As Cyrus gives a speech about how it's impossible to breach his impenetrable fortress, Oliver quickly picks his henchmen off one by one. Then, he runs out of arrows. Showing up as if on cue, Detective Lance busts the door open and then knocks Cyrus Vanch out cold.
At the police department, Laurel tells her father that it's going to be a while before she starts trusting him again. As she leaves the precinct, the Hood shows up to tell her that he's breaking up with her and then disappears. Laurel, confused and kind of scared, hugs Tommy and apologizes for lying to him. A flashback reveals that the large man training Oliver is, in fact, Deathstroke, the same masked man who tortured him in the first half of this season.
In the Arrowcave, Diggle points out that Oliver has a soft spot when it comes to Laurel and Moira. Learning the error of his ways, Oliver agrees to confront Moira once and for all. Suiting up, the Hood crashes through the window of Queen Consolidated holding a bow and arrow up to his own mother.
If there's one thing that I can say about "Arrow," it's that the show sure does know how to make a good cliffhanger. It's been a longtime coming, but we finally have that confrontation between the Hood and Moira Queen that we've been waiting for since the end of the pilot episode. What is Oliver going to do about his own mother being one of the bad guys in Robert Queen's notebook? Will he injure and/or interrogate her? Will he go so far as to kill her? Only time will tell!
Previously on "Arrow":