Arrow: Corto Maltese
October 22, 2014 8:38 PM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Oliver, Roy, and Diggle go on "vacation" and Thea's life gets complicated again. Meanwhile, back in Starling City, Laurel searches for ways to cope with her sister's death.
posted by soundguy99 (18 comments total)
Nice Bieber hair, Thea.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:32 AM on October 23, 2014

Looking forward to Thea being back around, interested to see where that goes.

I bet Stephen Amell really enjoyed the chance to shoot an action sequence in daylight, with no hood on, for a change.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:02 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

OK, Felicity is now my favourite character ! "Are we favour friends now ?"
posted by Pendragon at 10:01 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Stephen Amell's sad puppy eyes should be licensed as a lethal weapon. I don't know how Thea held out against them for half an episode.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:46 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

You're not kidding, nicebookrack. That confession about Robert was brutal. I honestly didn't even want Oliver to talk about anything else from the Island/Arrow after that. What's crazy is that all that impact had to have been from the actors, because Oliver has said those exact same things before about not wanting to tell people too much because of how it'll change their perception of him, and we even saw Robert's death on screen in a flashback. This time it really hit home, for me at least, though. I was very happy when it went right to the lighthearted fight scene. phew. Thinking of that, the episode was well-paced/structured altogether.

Thea must know about Oliver being the Arrow now, though, doesn't she? Malcolm had to have told her? I liked everything having to do with Thea in this episode, though. Especially all her irritated comments about how Roy and Oliver are now bff. And of course her fight scenes, and the training with Malcolm -- EXCEPT the thing of dripping hot wax or whatever onto their hands to learn to deal with pain. I don't even get it, if something is hot enough to really hurt, isn't it going to burn your skin? Wouldn't her hands be covered in scars from that? And if the wax or whatever that liquid was, wasn't hot enough to burn, then how was it hot enough to be a useful training method? I don't know much about hot wax in particular though, so maybe I'm just missing something.

Anyway, Laurel is just appalling, I don't even know what to do with that SL. I found a lot of the stuff she was doing before to be really sleazy (relatively minor but unethical stuff, like using her ADA credentials and her dad's name/position to get away with things or to get access to things, or how in this episode she was running a background check on someone in her AA meeting) but I figured I was just being petty/uptight, especially considering that the lead of the show was murdering people until relatively recently. But in the previous episode she manhandled a man in a hospital bed, then saw him murdered and didn't even blink, then tried to empty a clip into some other man, and in this episode, she's jumping someone in a dark alley with a baseball bat. WTF! Sure, these guys she's trying to brutalize/kill are bad, but how can she be so ruthless and violent? I have a temper, too, but jeez, doesn't she have a soul? And how can she become a vigilante, and still practice law? Vigilantism is a total rejection of the rule of law. If you're living in anarchy, aka, the Island, I don't think it's wrong to be a vigilante. But she's a LAWYER, you'd think that she'd have some kind of respect for the rule of law, enough not to become a vigilante anyway, in the context of the city where she is an ADA of all things. Vigilantism isn't even practical, as her father told her and as he proved later when he (apparently) tipped off the cops about the abuser and got him into trouble with the police. It also really, honestly bothers me that she's such a bad daughter. Did she for real go to that AA meeting with her father and bring up Sara's death right in front of him? Her parents seem like really loving and genuinely good people, I can't take how she just seems to think nothing of them. I know that many people get irritated with the writing for Laurel because she's always getting warned by men not to do stupid shit, and then the men turn out to be wrong, and she looks like a fool. And that's basically her SL in a whole lot of episodes, it's true, and it is annoying. But I don't think the men are right when they warn her because they're men, I think they're right because the stuff she's doing is TERRIBLE. Does she have any scruples or integrity? You really shouldn't even need advice like, "tell people when their child is killed, so they can attend the burial" or "don't stalk and assault the family members of people at your AA meetings" or "don't come here asking me to train you to become a killer," etc. When this show started, she was working in that law clinic and seemed like she tried to be a good person. But it seems like she just doesn't even *think* about morality anymore? It's strange, and creepy. She's reminding me a bit of Malcolm, with the way she just seems to not have any respect for anything or anyone but herself. Is that intentional? Given that Thea is obviously not becoming a terrible person under his tutelage, maybe the plan is for Malcolm to follow Thea to Sterling City and end up taking Laurel under his wing?

God help Laurel's poor parents if that happens. They're already breaking my heart, especially her poor father, who has FINALLY wormed his way into my heart. I mean, he told her just this episode "you can tell me anything, sweetheart." COME. ON. Why is this episode such a heart-crusher?

Also, what's going on with Diggle? I usually like that he's sarcastic and kind of cutting, but in this episode it seemed to have more of an edge to me. I guess because not so long ago he said he wanted to quit Team Arrow to focus on his family, and then in this episode when Layla asked him to go to Corto Maltese he immediately was like, "don't you think I already spend enough time with Oliver?" and then he was telling Oliver that if Thea knew about him she'd never believe or forgive him again, and then he didn't want Oliver to help him out with Layla's errand....? It just seemed tonight like he actually wants out?
posted by rue72 at 11:30 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Also, doesn't Ray seem like he's laying out a honey trap for Felicity?

The big job with big paychecks, the executive assistant and corner office, the compliments and flirtations, now he's letting her take a few days off after what was maybe her first day on the job...Felicity's special, but *nobody's* that special.

Hmmm this is just spitballing/idle speculation, but I wonder if the plans for fighter jets and tanks and things that Ray manipulated/sweet talked Felicity into getting for him have anything to do with ARGUS? Or Amanda Waller?
posted by rue72 at 12:27 PM on October 23, 2014

Dude how does Ray even know that Felicity's especially good with computers? Wasn't she just a random IT person at QC, then she was an executive assistant who everyone apparently thought got the job because she was sleeping with the boss, then when the boss (Oliver) got ousted, she got kicked to the curb, too, and went to work as a tech at a storefront? She went to a good college and all but come on, that resume isn't going to light a fire under a CEO of a multinational corp. I wonder if Ray thought that she'd be vulnerable to a honey trap seeing as she was apparently vulnerable to Oliver's (seeing as her being a sucker for Oliver would explain to the outside world why she became his EA/girl friday despite that being a completely random job for her)?

I know Ray mentioned something in the premiere about her reputation preceding her, when Felicity was helping him with some tech thing or another (sorry, I can't even follow the fake!computer stuff she talks about) -- but I don't remember what he said her reputation was or where she'd heard of it. But seriously, how does he even know who Felicity is or that she's more knowledgeable than her resume would suggest?

When he went to that storefront where Felicity was working, was he trying to see if he'd be able to distract her into helping him do something that would be harmful to her (and Team Arrow)? Because if so, then that worked, and maybe that's why he's offered her this job. Maybe he was so eager to get her working for him partly because she's good with computers and all, but partly because she's also so trusting? It probably didn't hurt that with her in his sights at work all day, he can probably keep track of everything that's going on with Team Arrow by keeping tabs on her. I mean, they keep running all their info and questions through her and it really shouldn't be hard to find any of their whereabouts based on where she is or wants to go or is calling on the phone, at any given time.

OK ACTUALLY GOING TO DO WORK NOW. Instead of giving fictional characters the side eye. Even though Ray TOTALLY deserves the side eye.
posted by rue72 at 12:49 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

FWIW, I feel like Laurel, because she's a lawyer and been an ADA and her dad's been a cop her whole life, is intimately familiar with the limitations of the rule of law. I mean, imagine how you'd feel if you and your father both spent your whole lives crusading within the rule of law and then your ex-bf shows up doing his vigilante thing and in just a couple years is like 10,000% more effective at cleaning up the streets than your and your dad's entire careers have been? Meanwhile all your dad's hard work has gotten him is a serious heart condition and a desk job he hates. I'd be rethinking my belief in the rule of law, too. Add to this her grief (over her sister who also was down with the whole vigilante thing) and I think it's not unreasonable that she'd be rejecting her prior belief system. That's not to say that she's not being stupid and extremely unethical - the comparison that seems obvious to me is that right now she's basically the next Huntress, and I expect at some point Oliver will have to lay a smack down on her because of that - but I don't find it totally out-of-left-field for her to be rejecting rule of law right now. Given the fact that she's been hanging around with Ollie and her sister and a whole crew of people who make being a badass vigilante just look really easy, I even feel like thinking you can just grab a bat and take on a thug is not the stupidest thing she's ever done, even if it's not exactly the level of cleverness that I might hope for from a person who once almost caught the Arrow by luring him into the middle of a SWAT-team ambush.

(Also in Laurel's defense, she didn't bring up Sara's death while her dad was at the meeting - she brought it up and then her dad walked into the meeting in the middle of her story so she pretty much just wrapped it up as soon as she saw him.)

Diggle, likewise, has got a newborn infant at home right now. I think it's pretty understandable that the long crazy hours that used to not bother him are going to bother him a lot more when he's worried about missing things - that line "She better not do anything interesting while I'm gone" was pretty telling. He doesn't want to miss baby's first word or baby's first steps or anything like that because of Oliver, and then when he expects his wife to be all supportive of his being A Good Dad, instead his wife is like "Hey actually, you should totally go on another Oliver-Queen-Sponsored-Madcap-Adventure, by the way don't forget to pick up milk and top-secret spy info on your way home!" So again, I found his relative bitchiness tonight totally understandable.

And yeah, Ray is totally a bad guy, obvs. Could be he's the Isabel Rochev to Ra's al Ghul's Slade Wilson. Waller as we've seen her so far doesn't actually seem to have the patience for a long con-job like stealthily taking over QC; for a supposed spymaster-type she is seriously the most blunt, unsubtle, kill-everyone-and-let-God-sort-it-out strategist ever.
posted by mstokes650 at 1:11 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a temper, too, but jeez, doesn't she have a soul? And how can she become a vigilante, and still practice law? Vigilantism is a total rejection of the rule of law. If you're living in anarchy, aka, the Island, I don't think it's wrong to be a vigilante. But she's a LAWYER, you'd think that she'd have some kind of respect for the rule of law, enough not to become a vigilante anyway, in the context of the city where she is an ADA of all things.

If I can get a bit real here for a sec. - I used to work in child endangerment law (not public prosecutions, but still dealing with abuse cases and similar), and that part didn't seem off to me at all.

For a lot of people, being a lawyer is just a job - for example, a lot of corporate lawyers don't give a crap about the ideals of the law and of justice. Rather, it's a system they can manipulate for their clients' benefit - that is their job.

For the people who work in public service, again for some of them it's just a job, but a lot of those people are working in areas that aren't particularly visceral, they're doing anodyne stuff like tax regulation. For others - including some of the people who do public prosecutions, or are children's advocates, or work in Legal Aid - it's often part of a broader personal goal to actually help people. Respect for the law, sure, in some abstract sense, but the point is to help people. And earning money is still part of your motivation, because in the end you still have to eat.

The thing is, the law sucks at helping people. It's slow. It's easily manipulated in unjust ways. Richer people have vastly more power than poor people. The biases demonstrated by the police against women in domestic violence situations often bleed into the courts. It's easy to get frustrated at those aspects when you are trying to help people.

There were definitely times when I would have happily taken a bat to some of the abusers involved in my cases, if I could, law be damned. Sometimes - often - the legal punishment doesn't seem like it's enough. And I probably would still have come into work the next day, and done my job. Because bills need to be paid.

Just my $0.02.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:29 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

the thing of dripping hot wax or whatever onto their hands to learn to deal with pain.

Malcolm Merlyn is actually Tyler Durden.
posted by homunculus at 6:23 PM on October 23, 2014

Ooh, the comparison of Laurel to Huntress is interesting, because of Laurel and Huntress's interaction in Birds of Prey last season: "Once you let the darkness inside, it never comes out."

I think the thing that bugs me is that we keep getting rationalizations for Laurel's behavior that she doesn't consistently apply: i.e. "I can't tell my father that Sara's dead! HE HAS A HEART CONDITION!"

So, ok, I can get that maybe she went into the baseball bat scenario on a stupid impulse and didn't think about how that might affect her and her dad. But then both her dad and Ollie point out how terrible it would be for her dad if something happened to Laurel, and now it's apparently, "fuck my dad and the promise he asked me to make, I'll do what feels good to me."

I'll be very, very happy if she gets called out for her hypocrisy sometime this season (like her dad finding out about her hiding Sara's death and Laurel's vigilante career at the same time, and noting that his heart condition can't be that much of a concern if she's out there risking death every night). But I'm not holding my breath.

Felicity: I really wish they hadn't led with the stalker stuff with Ray Palmer. If Ray just seemed like a nice rich guy and a more generous boss than Ollie, I could totally see Felicity being a bit dazzled and naive about him being secretly evil. But when a guy starts off with stalker tactics, that's a much tougher sell.

Really like the Ollie, Thea, and Diggle moments throughout the show. Am a little nervous about Lyla after the ARGUS agent's speech about what working for Waller does to people.

Nyssa! Glad they didn't forget about her. I like her a lot.
posted by creepygirl at 7:49 PM on October 23, 2014

The direction they're going with Laurel is interesting. I know she's supposed to be Black Canary, but they're basically making her Manhunter / Kate Spencer: federal prosecutor by day, vigilante by night.

I agree about the nice Ollie, Thea, and Diggle moments in this episode. The ensemble worked really well this ep: everyone played well off each other, and everyone had something important to do (except Roy, really, but he had some nice moments with Oliver and Thea to justify his existence). It was fun to see this kind of back-and-forth in a relatively low-stakes episode.

I'm pretty sure Nyssa's going to break my heart next week. NYSSARA FOREVER!
posted by nicebookrack at 8:21 PM on October 23, 2014

And yeah, Ray is totally a bad guy, obvs.

Buuuuuut . . . . in one of the previous threads it was pointed out that the name "Ray Palmer" is not the name of a villain in the standard DC Universe. (I'll leave it to the reader to decide how much more they want to investigate that possibly-kinda-spoilery idea.) So I'm pretty sure we're looking at a multi-episode/full season fake-out; Ray is not what he seems in many ways.

I don't even get it, if something is hot enough to really hurt, isn't it going to burn your skin? Wouldn't her hands be covered in scars from that? And if the wax or whatever that liquid was, wasn't hot enough to burn, then how was it hot enough to be a useful training method? I don't know much about hot wax in particular though, so maybe I'm just missing something.

You made me curious, so I went poking around the intarwebs (which, by the way, led to some *ahem* definitely NSFW BDSM sites, just in case anyone else chooses to investigate . . . . ) and apparently it can depend a lot. There are several different kinds of wax, with melting points between 100˚ and 165˚ F, and according to this chart from Anti-Scald Inc. people can be exposed to water at 120˚ and below for quite a while without being at serious risk for 3rd degree burns, which can cause scars. Supposedly 100 degrees is considered the "standard" US bath/shower temp, while 120 is the max temp for residential hot water systems.

I don't know about you, but I'd have a hard time lasting 8 minutes with my hand under a water faucet with nothing coming out but hot water @ 120 degrees. But theoretically it wouldn't cause permanent scars.

The direction they're going with Laurel is interesting.

I like it, so far, and especially in this episode. TBH, it's felt like the writers haven't quite known what to do with her, except as someone to bounce off of and react to everyone else. So far she's mostly been defined by her relationships with others; Oliver's ex, Det. Lance's daughter, Sara's sister, victim of Oliver & Sara's infidelity, etc. etc. Now we're getting a chance at her developing into her own individual character.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:01 PM on October 24, 2014

I'm 50-50 on Laurel. I'm glad she's finally doing something on her own. I just wish it weren't this something. I guess the show is demonstrating that you actually have to learn to be a vigilante to do it successfully, but it does seem like her grief has really blown her moral compass, which was one of the more attractive things about the character as she was before.
posted by immlass at 9:59 PM on October 24, 2014

Laurel is just on a carousel for the writers, they keep spinning her around and stopping every now and then for her to do something completely new and sometimes ridiculous and sometimes not. Rather than become the next Huntress, I think due to her fetish of her sister's jacket, she will become the next Canary.

I concur about the law. I'm in public law and it is often a long, dragged out affair. If someone is pushed to the point of exasperation and desperation, I don't think it's impossible they just give up and sue the vigilantism. At least it isn't popping pills or drinking, that Laurel was the absolute worse. She did definitely betray a trust in her AA class by looking up the woman's background to figure out who her boyfriend was.

Thea is officially rocking the Korra haircut. As someone who has had a significant amount of molten hot wax splash on their hand (Never pick up a giant candle that has been lit for over an hour!), and it does hurt lick the dickens, but it doesn't leave anything other than some irritated red skin in its wake. I would think the hot coffee probably was a more painful and harmful affair.

Thea has also been looking for a purpose on the show, be it also substance abusing teenager to awkward teenage manager of a night club. I really want to know how honest Merlin has been with her, about himself, and about Oliver. I think he referred to Ollie as lying, so perhaps he has told Thea the truth about Oliver's background and who he is, i.e, the Arrow.

The Diggle storyline was...worth it pretty much just for the Diggle stuff. The desperate turn coat agent for ARGUS, wasn't so much interesting.

I now wonder how many hotel rooms are going to be destroyed to create two bows and two quiver sets.
posted by Atreides at 10:14 AM on October 25, 2014

So, hey - Thea is coming home now, but to what? Do the Queens even still have a house? Isn't Oliver sleeping in the lair under Verdant? Which is owned by Queen Consolidated, which the Queens no longer own or control?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:23 PM on October 26, 2014

That is a great question. Perhaps Routh's character will let her move into the family place? I suspect she will get another job, though, and get her own place or move in with Laurel (cause why not?). I wouldn't be surprised if the Queens had a city apartment, either, that somehow is still available (no HBO though).
posted by Atreides at 7:39 AM on October 27, 2014

Perhaps Routh's character will let her move into the family place?

On reflection, I'm pretty sure that the Queens still own the house, because Oliver took Felicity there at the end of the last season to be kidnapped by Slade; that was after Queen Consolidated was wrested from his grasp. It would be insane (from a company and estate planning perspective) for the house to be held by QC anyway.

I imagine Oliver's sleeping in the lair because he can't afford to staff and run the house, and also what's the point of sleeping there when he doesn't have to keep up his cover identity to his family?

But QC still owns the building that Verdant is/was in. Which Thea was (totes illegally) evicted from at the end of last season. Maybe Routh-guy will let Thea reopen Verdant.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:16 PM on October 27, 2014

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