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Arrow Conversations: Thea & Ollie Talk About Mom, “Trust But Verify” 

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

“She’s a liar and a cheater and you really don’t know her at all.”  

Sassy and wide-eyed, Thea has never been one to hide her true feelings. However, when she uttered these words about her mother, who had just taken her for a day of dress-shopping and party-planning, even I was surprised. However, it’s moments like these that make me love Arrow.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the lightning-quick fighting, the mysterious twists and Stephen Amell’s superhero abs, but to me, Arrow is all about the relationships. Every week I find myself brooding over a scene, sometimes more, where two characters are simply talking. I know it’s not flashy or classic comic book fare, but it’s the stellar dynamic between the characters in these simple scenes that makes me care about them when they are taking down a criminal or navigating an island or trying to impress a girl.

More often than not, Oliver and Thea regularly reign supreme as my favorite pair of the week (although last week Diggle’s “man up” directive to Oliver won me over full force) and this week is no exception. Thea may not be 100% right, but she’s also not wrong and her plea to Ollie (for what, I’m not quite sure) was one of those moments that makes us remember that in a world full of arrow-slinging playboys, these are real people.

Thea plays a bit of a know-it-all and the past five years has probably given her that right, but it’s her approach to Oliver as a someone who knows something but doesn’t know what to do with it that makes this brother-sister relationship feel so genuine. Yet this moment was only one of many in which her more accurate-than-she-knows statement rings true. Not only did we see more of Moira’s game-playing and shenanigans, but we also watched as our beloved characters put their trust in others and were consequently let down.

Diggle’s former commanding officer and mentor, Ted Graynor [played by Farscape/Stargate actor Ben Browder], showed his true colors after Diggle went to bat for him. No longer the good guy he used to be, Ted had taken to robbing banks and trying to regain the power he once had and he has no problem using Diggle as a means to his end.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

 

Another liar and cheater, Malcolm Merlyn.  We’ve long known he’s bad news, but as we see, Tommy wants to believe in his father and is willing to give him another shot.  Merlyn extends to his son a dinner invitation under the guise of getting to know Laurel and swiftly remind us of his true colors when he uses said dinner to try and get Tommy to agree to sell his mother’s clinic.  We’ve seen Merlyn as a ruthless business man and manipulator, but this cold-heartedness is a new personal low.

And finally, perhaps the most shocking reveal of deceit occurred courtesy of an island flashback as Oliver attempted to rescue his island mentor from the bad guys only to learn his mentor may in fact be one of the bad guys. As we finish the episode with Oliver locked in an island cage, we now know why he has such trouble trusting people. Moral of the story, Starling City is filled with liars and cheaters and people you don’t really know at all, but it’s also filled with genuine people who care and who trust and who are willing to fight for what’s right. So while we look forward to more dynamic interactions, we’re also going to take Oliver’s advice and keep our heads on a swivel because this show and these characters never fail to surprise us.

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.

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