ARROW Season 3×03, “Corto Maltese” recap

22 Oct


Welcome back, Arrowheads! Last time we were here, Team Arrow was searching for Sara’s killer, and despite stopping a deadly archer assassin, got no joy and not Sara’s killer. I suppose we’ll get to that eventually, but there’s other things to mention before we get to this episode. For instance, Laurel keeping Sara’s death a secret from dad (he has a heart condition!), Felicity taking Ray Palmer’s new high paying job, and Ollie finding out Thea’s not so much “on extended vacation”, but “just getting away from everyone”, and deciding to bring her home. I’m sure finding out about Thea will be nothing in comparison to when he finds out his baby sister is being taught to fight by Malcolm Merlyn! Yeah, the mass murderer and not dead Malcolm Merlyn! I smell an awkward reunion on the horizon…

Six Months Ago. So, six months ago, Thea agreed to meet with Malcolm Merlyn and learn how to be less emo and stuff. She figures Malcolm will want to do all this training stuff somewhere other than Starling City, because you know, he’s murdered a lot of innocent people and is supposed to be dead. Anyway, she gets some mind exercises, followed by scalding water dropped into her hand, followed by, “I need to treat you like a student, not my daughter” stuff from Malcolm, like being less lax about hitting her in the face. As we saw last week, that tough love stuff seems to be working.


“Don’t worry, Thea, I learned this watching Fight Club on DVD… A LOT!”

Travel Plans.. Team Arrow is following up another lead on Sara’s killer, which goes nowhere. So, with that trail going cold, Ollie decides to finally see Thea, who’s not so much in Italy as she claims, but in South America as Felicity has discovered. Roy tags along, feeling a bit responsible for her running away, and Diggle comes as well, although that’s to check on an asset for Lyla that’s gone quiet. Meanwhile, Felicity has figured out what her new job is for Palmer: she’s his new executive assistant, has her own assistant, and now is in Ollie’s former office. Well, well, well, someone got a great promotion!

Reunion. Meanwhile in Corto Maltese, our terrific trio of Ollie, Diggle, and Roy arrive, and Ollie takes off to find Thea at the house she’s supposed to be at. Good thing the house’s gardener points Ollie towards where “Mia” works, because Malcolm is waiting the front door with a now and arrow at the ready. Thea is serving drinks at a local cafe, and is actually happy to see Ollie when he shows up saying South America is not Italy. He wants her to come home, but she’s not inclined to because she’s actually content for the first time in a long time (don’t mention Malcolm, Thea, don’t mention Malcolm…). Later on, Roy sees her and is apologetic about not being honest about the bow and arrow stuff, but is willing to let her be if its making her happy. Well, if the whole getting Thea back thing is becoming a bust, maybe that other thing Diggle is here for should go well, huh?

Double-Cross. Diggle meets with Lyla’s contact, Shaw, who seems to be a bit jumpy, but after a USB ID check, let’s Diggle know about a meet selling ARGUS secrets, like agents and soft targets (family) that is about to happen. Ollie shadows the two as they head to the meeting place, and there we find that Shaw is the one selling those secrets, namely the USB that Diggle used to access ARGUS’ mainframe. Oopsie. Well, good thing Felicity has enough time in her schedule to find out when the actual meet will be with Shaw. Hey, she’s an executive assistant who’s looking into recovering data from Queen Consolidated’s Applied Sciences division (they got blown up last season by, ahem, her) and helping Laurel trace some guy’s phone. Well, let’s get to that last part…

Venting Your Anger. Back in Starling, Laurel is meeting with boxer “Wildcat” Grant about an unrelated case, but Grant thinks she has her own issues to deal with, and offers to help her out like other people he spars with. And when at an AA meeting she finds out one of the regulars is getting beaten up regularly by her boyfriend, she decides to get Felicity to trace the boyfriend’s phone, put on a ski mask, and beat the guy up. Only thing is, she loses that fight and gets put in the hospital. Quentin figured out what she was doing, and reminds her she’s not the Arrow and Sara.  No, not yet, she’s thinking to herself…


First thing to learn about vigilantism: prepare for ass-whoopings. MAJOR ass-whoopings.

Something About Dad. Ollie meets Thea again, but is intent to come clean to her about everything. But as Diggle says earlier, that’s a really bad idea, because while telling her the truth may be good, she might also hear “I’ve been a vigilante the last two years and lied about that”, and that would be bad. So, in the meeting, as Thea says she’s not upset about Ollie lying about what happened on that island, but about her whole family lying about who she is, Ollie talks about Robert. He tells her about Robert not dying on the Queen’s Gambit, but on that life raft, and asks Thea to consider coming home with her. But more on that decision later.

The Meet. Our terrific trio stake out the meet as Shaw meets with the buyer, and Ollie gives Roy and him some makeshift bows and arrows made from parts of the hotel room they’re staying in. But, leave it to some paid off local Army guys in Shaw’s employ to ruin the element of surprise. The trio somehow manages to deal with the army guys, the buyer, and Shaw, with Diggle confronting Shaw about why he would sell out Lyla and ARGUS. He was going to use his ill-gotten gains to cut clear of ARGUS, because he was getting sick of doing Waller’s dirty work.

(You’re Not Quite) Going Home. Thea meets with Malcolm about heading back to Starling, and after a brief sparring session, agrees to let her go home. She meets them at the airport and is all good with going with them. She’s so good, even doesn’t feel that spilled hot coffee on her hand that everyone else notices. “It’s fine”, Thea says, but Ollie and gang are thinking, “No, that’s so not fine.”

Housekeeping. Diggle arrives home to Lyla and baby Sara and wonders about what Shaw talked about. Ollie gets back with Laurel wanting to get into the vigilante game with his help, and even though this is a step up from drinking and pill-popping her troubles away, Ollie refuses. So, she goes to Grant for some sparring lessons, and that abusive boyfriend gets brought in by Quentin, so kinda win-win for Laurel this week. Felicity’s heading out of town to check on the now not comatose Barry Allen, while Palmer is looking at all that military weapon blueprints she just recovered. At Arrow HQ, Ollie and Roy are talking about if Thea seems different (I don’t know, guys, did she not scream ever when something hot hit her hand?), and they get another visitor: Nyssa, pointing a bow and arrow at them, demanding to know where Sara is. Um, so Ollie and Roy, who wants to tell her?

Ollie thinking upon seeing this: "Seriously, do we have a 'make yourselves at home' sign in front of this secret lair?  The ***k?'

Ollie thinking upon seeing this: “Seriously, do we have a ‘make yourselves at home’ sign in front of this secret lair? The ***k?’

–Comic book connections: Ted Grant is also know as the DC hero Wildcat (and kudos if you spotted him in that boxing match in the season premiere), a founding member of the Justice Society of America.

–A nice tie-in to Flash with Felicity checking out that blog on that mystery “Streak”. And hey, she’ll be popping up there next week on The Flash, and did I mention I cover that on my blog?

–So, Malcolm let her go, right? So why do I feel this isn’t the last we’ll see of Malcolm in Thea’s orbit?

–“What’s with your family and islands?” Legit question to ask, Dig.

–“Are we favor friends now? Are we friends?”

–“I’ve…never been on a plane before.”

–“And I will not be bringing you espressos ever. I am very firm on that.”

Well that’s it for now, so leave your thoughts and theories below, and come back next week for “The Magician”…

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