Warning: this recap contains spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Arrow, “A Matter of Trust.” This is, after all, a recap! Don’t say we didn’t warn you …
Okay, Arrow, I have a major bone to pick with you after watching tonight’s episode. “A Matter of Trust” was an epic hour of television, sure, but there was one scene that really had me yelling some obscenities at my empty apartment. It wasn’t Felicity hypocritically keeping her new boyfriend a secret from the rest of Team Arrow. It wasn’t Thea naively thinking a journalist would retract a true story just because she asked. It wasn’t even Diggle’s refusal to fight for his own innocence.
It was the fact that Deadshot was brought back from the dead, only to be taken from us once again in the very same episode. That’s right, Arrow brought back iconic DC Comics baddie Floyd Lawton as a surprise after oh-so-tragically killing him off back in season three’s Suicide Squad-centric episode, “Suicidal Tendencies.” How did this happen, you ask, when Deadshot was killed in an explosion after sacrificing his life for Diggle’s and the rest of his team? After Diggle was framed for the murder of his fellow soldiers after some of his squad turned dirty, he ended up court martialed and back stateside in jail. And to his utter shock, he was joined in his cell by none other than Deadshot.
According to Lawton, he never died in the explosion that everyone assumed had killed him. They never found his body after all, and that’s the rule when it comes to TV deaths: if you don’t see the body, the person may not be dead. Lawton lived through the explosion but was caught just a few weeks later and ended up back in jail. As luck would have it, his cell mate ended up being Diggle. The two former-enemies got to talking, and Lawton was shocked to hear Diggle tell him about how he ended up killing his brother Andy after HIVE corrupted him. After all the guilt that Diggle had put on Deadshot back when he thought Deadshot had killed Andy, Deadshot made Diggle realize that he was the one who deserved the blame for doing the actual deed.
So when Lyla came to visit her husband in jail and promise him that she would fight to prove his innocence, he dejectedly told her to forget about it. He was a killer who deserved to be punished for his sins, i.e. Andy’s death. Lyla tried to make him see reason, but he was resigned to pay for his crime. And here is where I got angry. When Diggle turned around to show Lyla that Deadshot was still alive and in his cell, he saw the other half of the cell was empty. The bed was made, the walls were bare and free of any of Deadshot’s pictures of his daughter. Turns out Deadshot was never there: Diggle had just imagined him there as an extension of his own guilt. Noooo!
Just when I thought that The Flash‘s “Flashpoint” had created another major life change for Diggle in addition to him now having a son instead of a daughter, Arrow tricked me with the lazy trope of hallucination. It would have been much more creative and compelling to resurrect Deadshot instead of just throwing Diggle a pity party. But sigh, we must deal with this plot point and move on. Because Lyla isn’t giving up on her husband — and who would expect her to? In the final moments of tonight’s episode, she showed up at the Arrow Cave to seek out Oliver’s help in breaking Diggle out of prison. This doesn’t seem like the smartest choice, but it’s definitely … a choice.
But that wasn’t the only major event that went down in “A Matter of Trust!” As the title gives away, this week’s episode was all about Oliver learning how to trust both of his teams, the one in his day job as Mayor and the one in his night job as Green Arrow. First up was Oliver coming to terms with Thea — his Mayoral Chief of Staff, because the most unqualified Mayor needs the most unqualified Chief of Staff — hiring the relapsed alcoholic, disgraced ex-cop Quentin Lance as the Deputy Mayor. It took him all episode long, and more than one exposé from the broadcast journalist Carly Pope, to back the hire and make it clear to Star City that, as the boss, he approves any decision anyone on his team makes.
As for Team Arrow, even after revealing his identity to his new recruits last week, Oliver still didn’t trust them to go out in the field just yet. That irked the impatient Wild Dog, who decided to take matters into his own hands when it came to taking down the drug dealers peddling new drug Stardust on the streets. He and Evelyn found the dealer Derek Sampson (Stephen Amell’s real-life wrestler nemesis Cody Rhodes in an impressive turn as guest actor) but accidentally killed him in a fight. Wild Dog also accidentally gave Sampson superhuman strength the ability to not feel pain, making him an even more formidable opponent for Oliver. After realizing that he needed to trust his new team in order for them to be successful, Oliver let them all suit up — including Curtis, who finally got a superhero costume and mask! — and fight alongside him to take down Sampson and his goons.
However, the trust among the new Team Arrow fractured a bit when Felicity finally confessed her involvement in the Havenrock nuclear bombing to new recruit Rory aka Ragman, clueing him in that she was the one who diverted the nuke to his hometown, killing his entire family and destroying his life. He left the Arrow Cave without saying a word to her, so we’ll have to wait to see his reaction to that emotional bomb getting dropped.
Also, Felicity’s new boyfriend Detective Billy Malone made a fake 911 report to lure the Green Arrow out to warn him that a new threat named Prometheus had gone after Tobias Church to make it clear that he wanted to kill the Green Arrow himself. Seeing Felicity’s ex and current boyfriend come face-to-face without her knowledge was definitely interesting to watch, but something tells me that when Oliver and Billy come face-to-face, finally knowing who each other is to Felicity, that’s when the real sparks are going to fly. Although it’s good to know that Billy is actually a good cop trying to do good in the world, and not going to end up being some evil guy that pushes her back into Oliver’s arms. This is much more compelling to watch!
As for the flashbacks this week, Oliver learned from Anatoly that his fellow Bratva recruits that he got killed last week weren’t actual recruits. They were targets that the Bratva had promised to enact justice on for their various crimes, and they were only being used to make Oliver think that he had to be the one to ring the bell. Oliver didn’t get any innocent men killed after all! Anatoly told him he needed to trust the Bratva like they were his own brothers, and so for his second recruitment trial, he had to turn his back on armed Bratva men with knives while they cut his back, trusting that they wouldn’t just kill him. He will now move on to the third trial.
What did you think of tonight’s Arrow? Are you as upset as I am that Deadshot isn’t actually back from the dead? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Images: The CW