Arrow Episode 13 - Betrayal (2013): TV Recap
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Organized crime in Starling City has taken quite a hit since Oliver started wearing leather out at night. The head of the Triad is dead, and Frank Bertinelli is in jail. That leaves quite a power vacuum to fill, and Cyrus Vanch plans to take advantage of it. Released from jail unexpectedly, he and his moll immediately head over to his lawyer’s house (I assume his lawyer George is the Perez half of his law firm Wolfman and Perez), where he stabs his lawyer so he can stay in some nice digs.
Diggle and Oliver are trying to figure out what Oliver’s mother was doing with a book of names just like his father had. Oliver is positive that his mother couldn’t be involved, but Diggle wisely suggests that Moira could have had someone disappeared. He assumes the innocent party is the person who is missing and presumed dead, not the suspicious woman left behind. Oliver decides to confront Moira about the book, pointing out that some of the names listed are pretty unsavory characters. She deflects his questions by reminding Oliver that his father wasn’t necessarily a great guy, and simply saying the book was filled with names of people who owed Robert Queen favors. She throws the book into the fire and requests that Oliver stop asking questions about it, especially if the book had anything to do with Walter’s disappearance. Oliver doesn’t see this as suspicious at all, even though it’s probably the most suspicious thing she can do. “If this were anybody else,” Diggle says, “you’d be hooded up right now on your way to have an arrow-side chat with them.” Since Oliver won’t look deeper into his mother’s connection to the book, Diggle decides to conduct his own unbiased investigation into Moira’s activities.
Detective Lance is determined to use his daughter as bait to capture the vigilante, despite the urban legend becoming a hero. If the vigilante is a hero, he claims, Lance doesn’t know what his life as a cop means any more. This is a legitimate problem for someone in law enforcement. When a vigilante is breaking laws and violating people’s rights, but is an effective deterrent to crime and often punishes bad guys in ways that the police can’t, what should you do? Should you try to stop him because he’s breaking laws and you don’t see any difference between him and the criminals he’s chasing? Or should you take the Jim Gordon approach and assist the vigilante because he’s more effective than the police? Lance takes on an approach that doesn’t really make sense according to his own internal logic: he decides to be a by-the-book cop, taking down a force for good in the city because he’s breaking laws, but he does it by illegally monitoring the phone conversations between his daughter and the hood, and is willing to put his innocent daughter in harm’s way in the name of “doing his job.” What a great dad!
Laurel calls the hood to sic him on Vanch, so Oliver heads over to the lawyer’s house. Oliver learns of Vanch’s plan to take over the underworld and sets up a meeting with Laurel to let her know, not realizing that her father would use the opportunity for an ambush. Detective Lance wants the team to use rubber bullets, and warns them not to hurt his daughter, but everything else is fair play. The ambush fails to capture Oliver, but it does drive a wedge between Lance and his daughter. He tries to justify his actions by saying that he warned her to stay away from the vigilante, but Laurel sees right through him. That warning came before he handed over the phone for her to unsuspectingly trap the hood. Once he concocted this plan, he was set on bringing down the vigilante, no matter the cost. Laurel is furious with her father, and tries to explain the story to Tommy, but Tommy is shocked to learn she’s been in contact with the vigilante. That’s not the point, though; the point is that her dad has been lying to her for weeks! “Yeah, feels like crap, doesn’t it?”
Tommy is rightfully concerned about this development, because he knows Laurel is attracted to dangerous guys who break the rules. There’s some sort of infatuation here that he knows enough to be wary of. Oliver advises him to talk to Laurel and fix this problem before it gets out of hand.
Vanch’s girlfriend has a contact on the police force who knows that Laurel is connected to the hood, so Vanch kidnaps Laurel in an effort to draw Oliver out. Vanch thinks killing the vigilante will put him on the fast track to criminal power in the city. When Tommy reaches Laurel’s apartment, he finds a message from Vanch, which he takes to Detective Lance. Realizing that no one on the force can be trusted, Lance is forced to team up with the hood to storm Vanch’s stronghold.
Oliver uses up all of his arrows getting into the kitchen where Laurel is being held and appears to be at the mercy of one of Vanch’s thugs, but Lance shows up to save the day. He shoots the thug and then flies into a rage at Vanch, ready to kill him for kidnapping his daughter. Oliver saves him from making a terrible mistake by knocking the gun out of his hand. “I’m the vigilante. You’re the cop.” Laurel needs some distance from her father for a while. She loves him, but can’t trust him right now.
As Laurel leaves the station, the hood confronts her and tells her that he needs distance as well. He shouldn’t be putting her in danger like that. Basically, he’s breaking up with her. No more rooftop dates, no more phone calls when her boyfriend is around. Is this a reaction to the danger she was put in, or was this a reaction to Tommy’s concern that his girlfriend might end up cheating on him with the vigilante? Is this a case of bro code coming into play here?
During the flashbacks, Oliver follows his map to a downed airplane. Upon entering, he is assaulted by a man (Manu Bennett, who plays Crixus on Spartacus) who puts a sword to his throat. He can’t believe that Yao Fei would send him this far just to be killed. Instead, it appears Oliver will have to be the second man in a two-man escape plan. This obviously skilled killer has his doubts about Oliver’s ability to cover his back, though. He ties Oliver up and tells him he has to kill him. If he leaves Oliver alive, he will be found and tortured, and would undoubtedly give up his location. Instead of letting this man kill him, Oliver breaks or dislocates something in his hand to slip free of his bonds and punch his captor in the face. He laughs, shakes Oliver’s hand, and makes his introduction. “Slade Wilson,” he says. “Well, Oliver Queen, there might be a fighter inside of you after all.” Finding the kind of fighting spirit he was looking for Slade asks Oliver to choose a weapon. It appears Slade plans to train Oliver well enough to get them off the island. Oliver opens a trunk and sees the Deathstroke mask, and is furious. “You’re the lunatic that tortured me!” No, he says, that was his partner who also wears the same mask. They are Australian Intelligence, sent to free Yao Fei. “Now, you are going to find yourself a weapon. Have you considered a sword? I like swords.” I bet I know which weapon Oliver ends up choosing!
Meanwhile, Diggle replaced Moira’s regular driver to check on her comings and goings. His first attempt to check up on her found him in the midst of a bunch of middle-aged women celebrating at a birthday party. His second attempt, though, was during Moira’s meeting with Merlyn. Diggle was able to capture some recorded audio of Merlyn telling Moira to dispose of the remains of Robert Queen’s sabotaged yacht and checking on how her intimidation of another businessman had gone. Faced with hard evidence of his mother’s activities (but why is Moira’s voice clear and Merlyn’s is not?), he has no choice but to have another conversation with her.
Breaking in on a late-night meeting at his mother’s office (Why do these people meet so often at night? If they just met from 9 to 5, Oliver couldn’t bust in on them like this!), Oliver knocks out the lights and draws back his bow, taking aim at his mother. “Moira Queen, you have failed this city.” Uh, oh! That’s what the hood says when a rich person is about to get shot with an arrow! You don’t think he’s really going to shoot his mom, do you?
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm Eastern on CW. Betrayal originally aired 2/6/13.