ARROW Season 1 rewatch, Ep. 10, “Burned” / Ep. 11, “Trust But Verify”

14 Jul

Welcome back to the rewatch, Arrowheads! As you can recall, last summer I attempted to rewatch the first season of Arrow as I had not thoroughly recapped it unlike the seasons since. Well that ran into a few delays, mainly recapping all the big DC superhero shows on the CW that fall, so getting back into that groove was just impossible. Now with that season of television FINALLY done, I thought now would be the best time to finish up this season one rewatch. Fingers crossed.

In case you don’t remember where this rewatch ended the last time: Oliver Queen had his first confrontation with the mysterious Dark Archer, who we all learn is the father of his buddy Tommy, Malcolm Merlyn. That ended badly for Ollie, who spent his holidays recovering in a hospital. He’s faring better than his stepdad Walter, who got kidnapped by Malcolm for looking too close into the shadowy stuff Moira was into. So, let’s just jump into things, shall we?

“Let’s see…there’s a sub here…a mystical cave…no wi-fi hotspots? This place is Hell!”


In our big flashback segment, Ollie has to contend with his mystery archer friend being captured by Fyers, and runs afoul of one of Fyers’ goons. They fight, go over a cliff, Ollie survives, the goon doesn’t. So Ollie decides to steal the goon’s clothes and finds a map of the island. I guess he’s gonna rescue his unknown savior, and that should be no biggie, right? In the present, Ollie has had a few weeks to recover from his encounter with the Dark Archer, with zero results in finding Walter and still names to cross off his list, but he seems to be lacking a need to jump back into the vigilante game.

Maybe he just needs a reason to get back into things, and he finds it in a string of brutal murders of firemen at local fires, one of which is the brother of one of Laurel’s friends. Laurel tries to contact The Hood with that phone Quentin left him last episode (and that Quentin oddly leaves on his desk for Laurel to find, hint hint), asking for help to investigate this murder. He wants to just investigate things, but not get involved Hood-wise in it. Besides having to contend with opening a new nightclub above his lair with Tommy, he also has to convince Moira to take a hand in running Queen Consolidated with Walter still missing. He does get into the hood again to stop another possible firefighter attack, by someone in a firefighter’s uniform, at another fire. He’s too late to save the killer fireman’s victim, but does get a clue in seeing that killer’s firefly tattoo on his hand.

This connects several firefighters who were known as the “Fireflies”, and that all the victims were part of that group that disbanded after a deadly fire that claimed one of their own. It just so happens there’s going to be a fire department charity gala at Ollie and Tommy’s new club, and Ollie has put together something horrifying: their lost man, Gabriel, survived that fire from years ago, and wants revenge against his former partners for leaving him to die. And surprise, Gabriel shows up to start lighting the place up to get to his next target, pushing Ollie to get back into the Hood (good thing he didn’t have to go far to get it) to face him. And somehow, Ollie talks Gabriel unintentionally into torching himself to death. Probably not Ollie’s original plan.

Afterwards, it seems everything’s back to relative normal, as Moira goes back to work at Queen Consolidated, Ollie gets back into being the Hood, and oh yeah, Quentin leaves that Hood cell phone with Laurel. It turns out Quentin is using the cell phone to trace and find the Hood, which I’m sure Laurel will understand her dad’s deception. Or not.

Ollie needs to work on his negotiating skills, obviously.

–Comic book connections: our antagonist is clearly a reference to DC comic villain Firefly, who has a similar interest in burning stuff.

–So we lose Laurel’s buddy at the law office because of mourning time for her dead brother, but don’t expect to see her again.

–Tommy finally gets a drawer for his stuff in Laurel’s apartment, which, just the one?

–“Apparently I’ve been gone for a while, and I missed out on the cinematic talents of Zach…Gal-li-fan-nak-is?”

–“This is one sturdy desk.”

“Why yes, Laurel, I was a captain. How did you know?”

“Trust But Verify”

In our flashback, Ollie has put on that dead goon’s clothes, mask and all, and made his way into Fyers’ camp. Things are going okay, until he gets captured and imprisoned by Fyers…who happens to have a new henchman with him, being Ollie’s mystery archer buddy! That’s what he gets for trying to be a good guy. In the present, a string of well-planned armored car thefts points Ollie to a name on his list: Ted Gaynor, a private security man for Blackhawk. And maybe unfortunately, Ted was Diggle’s beloved commanding officer when he served in Afghanistan. That will make things awkward.

When Ollie decides to make a late night Hood visit to Ted’s office, Diggle is there to intervene and keep the Hood away. Later, Diggle tries to convince Ollie that Ted can’t be a criminal, and offers to investigate Ted himself to prove it. Meanwhile, a simple shopping trip between Moira and Thea reveals a sinking suspicion from the latter about the former when Moira is called away to talk to Malcolm. Thea thinks Moira may be having an affair with Malcolm, maybe as far back as before Ollie and Robert went missing. Ollie learns from Moira she did have a fling with Malcolm many years ago, but that his dad wasn’t exactly faithful himself.

Speaking of Malcolm, he offers to take Tommy and Laurel to a get together dinner, and then uses it to convince Tommy to sign away his dead mother’s free clinic. Real d-bag move, Malcolm. Ollie asks Felicity down in the Queen Consolidated tech department to look at an encrypted USB file from Blackhawk (but really, it’s just for a “scavenger hunt”), and it reveals the plan for another armored car heist. Ollie shows up at the scene of the heist and takes out one guy before the rest of the group run. At Thea’s big birthday bash, Diggle confirms Ted was with him the whole time, and Ollie believes him. But still, Ollie does put a tracer on him, just in case. Oh, and Thea sees a heated conversation between Moira and Malcolm, misreads it as them being discreet about an affair, and storms off, along with a little present from one of her friends: a vial of some new drug called Vertigo.

Diggle revisits Blackhawk to confirm who is behind the robberies and is confronted by Ted, who reveals he’s the mastermind behind the robberies. Ted needs a man like Diggle for one last score, which was meant to be the one Ollie prevented, and just to push Diggle to help, Ted has kidnapped Carly, the wife of Diggle’s dead brother! Well, Diggle doesn’t go through with the heist as it’s going down, using the grenade launcher he got for the gig to help Carly escape. And luckily for Diggle, Ollie puts down Ted for good. At the same time, Thea is driving around in her new convertible trying to blow off things, only to swerve and crash into a tree!

This is only the prelude to worse, when Thea gets arrested after being discharged at the hospital, because her blood work showed she had Vertigo in her system! Dammit, Thea!

“Diggle, you seen crazy, but have you’ve seen the Uncharted Territories? That will scare the crap outta you!”

–Comic book connections: Blackhawk Security is a reference to the WWII pilots in the DCU know as the Blackhawks, as is Ted Gaynor, who served with them only to become a bad guy who wanted them destroyed.

–Is this the first time the phrase “Arrow cave” has come up? Also this might be the first time Ollie has explicitly said he had an experience somewhere that wasn’t in Lian Yu in his time missing, besides the then still lingering question of how he became connected to the Bratva.

–So we finally get some information about Malcolm’s dead wife and Tommy’s dead mom. This would get explored later, but it’s clear what Malcolm did in that year he ran off after her death.

–The first hint to the submarine on Lian Yu, which we will see for real in season two.

–“So, no wine, then?”

That’s it for now, but come back next time for the recaps of “Vertigo” and “Betrayal”…

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