It’s hard to trust anyone when you’re a secret vigilante, hunting down those who seek to destroy a city from within. Actually, it’s kind of hard for anyone on a show like Arrow to have trust, what with all the constant betrayal.

That problem was made abundantly clear in “Trust, But Verify.”

Oliver vs. Diggle

No, our two well-muscled vigilantes don’t quite come to blows in “Trust But Verify,” but things do get tense for awhile. That’s because Oliver has discovered that multiple armored-car heists are following military plans. The most likely culprit behind such attacks is Ted Gaynor (guest star Ben Browder), now an operative for Blackhawk Security.

This presents a problem for Diggle. Although this man is on The List and must therefore be evil, Ted Gaynor also happens to be Diggle’s former commanding officer from back in Afghanistan.

While Diggle argues for caution and restraint before turning an old friend into a human pincushion, Oliver has other plans. He shoots his way into Blackhawk, confronting Ted and stealing an encrypted drive.

Oliver might have shot Ted too, but that’s when Diggle shows up. A very grateful Gaynor cheerfully offers Diggle a job on the spot.

What’s Worse Than an Affair?

Which is worse — having an affair (twice) at an inappropriate time and with an inappropriate person or conspiring on a kidnapping with that person?

Moira is going for the latter option. Malcolm Merlyn wants her to pressure a friend into not gentrifying the Glades (because that isn’t part of this mysterious Plan). In return, Moira asks for proof that Walter is still alive. Malcolm isn’t so pleased with the tit for tat, but eventually he complies with a cell-phone picture.

All of this is bad enough. But it’s worse for Thea. Without hearing any actual plotting, Thea sees her mother and Malcolm together, speaking intimately. She immediately assumes that Moira and Malcolm are having an affair.

Interestingly, Moira and Malcolm also talked like this just before Robert Queen’s yacht sank. There’s no way that’s a coincidence.

Vertigo and a Convertible

Moira’s repeated bad behavior has another consequence — it pretty much screws Thea’s joy at her 18th birthday. Even though the girl gets a pricy convertible and an impressive party, Moira’s apparent callousness kills the mood.

But hey, two of Thea’s friends brought her another present! Thea gets a small package of a drug called Vertigo that’s the new “in” thing. The foolish girl pops one and goes for a drive.

Of course Thea crashes the new car. She’s not badly injured, but tests soon prove she was intoxicated while driving. The police come to arrest the unfortunately-just-turned-18 girl.

Malcolm Merlyn Sucks at Mending Fences

When Malcolm isn’t busy chatting about kidnapping and coercion, he’s trying to mend fences with his son. Or something like that. Considering that Malcolm’s idea of “mending fences” includes asking Tommy to help shut down his mother’s free health clinic, you have to wonder about Malcolm’s true agenda.

Maybe he is just a terrible father. That would make sense.

Oh, and by the way, Tommy’s mother was murdered when he was 8. Following that, Malcolm disappeared for a year or two, presumably to learn those kickass fighting and archery skills.

Poor Tommy! At least he gets the girl… For now.

New Friends Trump Old Friends

Diggle seems right about Ted Gaynor — another armored-car robbery goes down while the two men are together. This news shifts the blame over to a guy named Knox. Diggle served with him too, but they were most definitely not friends. Knox could totally be a criminal.

But how to prove it?

Oliver can’t get through the security on the drive he stole, so he heads right to the official greatest person in all of television — Felicity Smoak!!!

As always, Felicity is awesome and amazing and snarky and brilliant. She hacks through the security in record time (even though Oliver doesn’t give her a promised reward of fancy wine), learning that the drive contains schedules for the city’s armored-car companies.

This information is crucial, because another heist is going down. But now Oliver knows where and when to go. He disrupts the robbery and shoots one of the criminals in the head. The poor fellow goes down, looking like Steve Martin without the banjo and bleeding profusely.

That’s our clue! Diggle heads to the Blackhawk garage and almost immediately finds the blood on a floor. But wait — there’s a twist. Even though Knox carried out the last couple attacks, it’s really Gaynor who’s behind it all. It seems that the ex-military man is bitter about how he doesn’t get to be a hero now that he’s home. Or something like that.

Anyway, the important thing is that dear old Ted has kidnapped Carly, Diggle’s sister-in-law, in order to coerce the man into helping with the next heist. Diggle initially goes along with the plan but soon turns on the criminals, blasting himself and Carly free with a grenade launcher.

And then Oliver — who bugged Diggle earlier — comes in for an assist, taking out the criminals before they can cause further damage. This is especially good because Diggle himself is revealed to still be too good at heart to shoot an old friend.

So it sucks for Ted that Oliver (who has no problem shooting just about anyone) shows up right then to shoot an arrow straight through the heart. Diggle at least gets the honor (?) of crossing Ted’s name off the List later. One more down…

Back on the Island of Major Trust Issues

Why exactly does Oliver find it so hard to trust anybody? We have to go back to the island for that.

Having stolen a ninja-soldier’s clothes, Oliver sneaks into the camp and manages to hitch a ride over to where Fyer and company keep their most difficult captives. Alas, even with a balaclava to hide all but those pretty, pretty eyes, Fyer recognizes Oliver and captures him.

Oliver wakes up in time for a lecture on mask use and trust. Masks are a good choice. Trust… Not so much — the ninja-soldier at Edward’s side removes his own balaclava to reveal his identity. It’s Yao-Fei, Oliver’s supposed friend.

Trust issues might be fair in Oliver’s case.

Not enough Arrow for you? Check out what the critics had to say in the “Trust But Verify” roundtable!

(Images courtesy of The CW)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.