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Arrow “Corto Maltese” 

That’s what I’m talking about! Going in to the episode, I was prepared for a Diggle-centric storyline, which had me downright giddy, as you’d expect; however, once I was knee-deep in the episode, I couldn’t help but notice all the other valuable goodies that had been thrown in as well. Not only was this episode full of superb action, plot-progressing storyline and fantastic acting, but it also gave us new and exciting things that we haven’t seen before from each character. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite moments and some “firsts” from each of our main characters.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

Oliver: Forget that whole “saving the best for last” business, I can’t go another second without talking about what a badass Oliver was in “Corto Maltese.” And no, I’m not talking about “the Arrow,” I’m talking about Oliver. I don’t know why but for some reason, seeing him fight and take down the army-for-hire was so much more impressive when he was looking all dapper in a button-down and cargo pants. Maybe it’s because his Arrow get-up conceals his face. Maybe it’s because those fights usually happen in the dark. Or maybe it’s just because when you’re dressed like an action-hero, fighting comes with the territory. But seeing him all out brawl as current-day Oliver was like watching a whole different person. And he used a gun!! It felt so out of place, but at the same time, he was so natural with it. I loved his line to Roy as well, “I never said I didn’t know how to use a gun.” So good.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

Laurel: We all know Laurel can be stubborn. She’s faced her fair share of ups and downs (though mostly downs) and she’s been determined to do it on her own, which is why I wasn’t surprised when she decided to go all female-vigilante on her AA-mate’s abusive boyfriend. After all, she practically did the same thing to Sebastian Blood last year. You think she would’ve learned by now. But just because I wasn’t surprised, doesn’t mean I wasn’t horrified. What was she thinking?!?!? I get that she has “this fire” in her and a rage that she needs to let out after Sara’s death, but wanting to do something and actually being able to do it are two completely different things. We would all be billionaires, pro-athletes, exceptional artists, world-renowned chefs and supermodels if that was the case. Honestly, as hard as it was seeing her bruised face, I’m glad that she got a quick dose of reality to put her in her place.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

And for once, it actually forced her to ask for help. Granted, Oliver refused as he should have, but Ted Grant, new guy at the boxing gym, was more than happy to help. And I love that he saw that fire in her before she even recognized it.

Grant: In this city, there are a lot of good people who get dealt bad hands. They lose someone, they lose themselves, which is why they come in here to work off that rage. I’ve gotten good at picking out the types. Types just like you.

Laurel: If I’m angry, it’s because I’m working with someone who’s willing to lie to a DA to protect a punk kid.

Grant: I don’t think that’s the case.

Despite the fact that he would lie to a DA (whether he actually did or not is a whole other issue), I feel like Grant is a good guy and wants to help people channel their rage and turmoil in to a healthy outlet. And it goes without saying, it never hurts to have another shirtless guy on the show.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

Felicity: Felicity is movin’ on up! Her own office. A ridiculously flexible work-on-another-job-while-you’re-at-this-job policy. And spur-of-the-moment vacation time. Not to mention, her very own assistant! Granted, she went in ready to stand up for herself, but quickly realized that Ray is already giving her top-notch treatment without her even having to ask.

Felicity: I told myself I would stand firm on a few points. No late night emails. No errands. And definitely no coffee. There will be no espressos brought to you by me. I stand very firm on that last point.

Ray: And I admire your conviction. This is Jerry Conway, your executive assistant and I wanted to know if you’d like HIM to get YOU a coffee. Or are you just anti-latte in general?

Felicity: Um, executive assistant?

I love that Felicity is getting all she deserves at the new Queen Consolidated, after all, in her first day, she’s accomplished what no other IT expert could. I’ve said it from the beginning, I like this new side of Felicity and I’m liking her dynamic with Palmer. Brandon Routh is actually really good in this role…which is something I can’t say about all his roles…and if the look on his face when he saw the weapons’ schematics tells us anything, it’s that his character definitely has something up his sleeves. It’s been confirmed that Routh will suit up as The Atom later this season but what does that mean for Felicity? Palmer has already gotten between her and Oliver in civilian life so I’m curious to see what happens when it comes to their superhero sides.

Thea: Is it just me or is season 3 Thea a huge improvement over season 2 Thea? Last season she was angst-filled and angry. Don’t get me wrong, finding out you’ve been lied to your whole life is a fair reason to feel that way. But seeing her at peace and having learned how to temper her rage make those feelings of peace downright contagious. As much as I hate to praise Malcolm Merlyn for anything, he has obviously given her these skills and turned her in to a happier, stronger, more rational person and I love how they used the hot wax flashbacks vs the hot coffee spillage to show her transformation. That being said, she came to Malcolm for this specific reason, to shut off the pain and protect herself from angst.

Malcolm: Why did you reach out to me?

Thea: You reached first.

Malcolm: Still.

Thea: I don’t want to feel this pain again. I don’t want to hurt or get hurt ever again. And you seem like someone who can teach me not to.

Thea’s new lease of life makes me want to believe that a return to Starling City will be a good thing and that she may even be a potential member of Team Arrow in the future. But knowing that Malcolm is still her guru and will eventually have to return makes me wonder whether or not that can last. He obviously is not wanted or welcome in Starling City and it worries me that his return will force her to fight for or with him as he takes on the Arrow.

Diggle: I absolutely love everything Diggle. Seeing him with his daughter is like seeing a whole different side to him. He’s soft and gentle and content to just “be.” But I love that he also keeps true to the character, ensuring that of Sara’s future dates will put his Glock to good use.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

Baby time aside, this was a tough episode for Diggle. He had to go from soft to tough, but this time it wasn’t just for work, but to protect his family. What was suppose to be an easy check-in quickly went south when Shaw, Lyla’s friend and colleague, used Diggle to put all of Argus (including their families) in danger. I hated to see Diggle get duped at the initial “sale.” But thanks to team Arrow, Diggle was able to set things right and retrieve the flash drive that put so many people, including his own family, at risk. However, when he finally caught up to Shaw, it became clear that this wasn’t a simple case of good-guy-gone-bad.

Diggle: Lyla was a friend and you endangered her and her daughter for what? A lousy payday?

Shaw: Not a payday. My ticket out.

Diggle: Of what?!

Shaw: ARGUS!! You don’t know the things that Waller made me do. You don’t know the things or the person she turns you in to.

Diggle: That still gives you no right to put a bull’s-eye on my family’s back.

Shaw: I had no choice. But you do, John. Tell Waller I died. Tell her you put a bullet in me.

John: [Knocks Shaw out] If only.

Sure Diggle let Shaw go, but that clearly set his wheels in motion since Lyla also works for Waller. She seems happy now, but clearly something drove Shaw to take such drastic measures and it’s likely something that Lyla has faced or will face as well. Her having to leave for the office as soon as Diggle got home didn’t help matters either. It’s his job to protect her, but how can he do that against a force as strong as Argus? I also found it interesting that Diggle went in assuming that Shaw had simply gone rouge for selfish reasons only to find that his actions were not as they appeared, much like the scenario he faced with Deadshot earlier in the series. They both threatened or harmed Diggle’s family and yet both of them claimed to have been essentially backed in to a corner and forced by Argus to do these things to protect themselves. And Diggle let them both live. So who’s the real enemy here? Me thinks it might be Argus and that they are about to face the wrath of Team Arrow before this series ends.

Be sure to watch Arrow on Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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