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Trust but Verify

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"If you want me to help you with Carl, I want something in return. Proof Walter's still alive."
"My word isn't enough?"
"What's that saying-- "trust but verify"?"
"Words to live by.
"
—Moira Queen and Malcolm Merlyn[src]


"Trust but Verify" is the eleventh episode of the first season of Arrow, and the eleventh episode overall. It aired on January 23, 2013.

Synopsis

The next person on The Hood's list is John's former commanding officer and former mentor from Afghanistan, Ted Gaynor. Oliver suspects Ted is responsible for recent armour truck robberies, but John defends Ted and takes a job at Ted's security company to keep an eye on him. Oliver decides to make a move on Ted, which puts him at odds with John. Meanwhile, Thea suspects that Moira is having an affair with Malcolm. Tommy and Laurel have an awkward dinner with Malcolm.

Plot

John is shocked when the Hood's next target is his former commanding officer and former mentor, Ted Gaynor. Oliver suspects that Ted was involved with recent armour truck robberies. As the vigilante, Oliver infiltrates the security company Ted works for. While confronting Ted, John intervenes and Oliver is forced to improvised a quick escape, during which he steals a drive containing secure information. Ted gives John a job at the security company. In an argument with John, Oliver reveals that, during the five years he was away, he found a message from his father off the island, which explained the inclusion of each name on the list. However, eventually, Oliver allows John to prove Ted Gaynor's innocence.

While on a shopping trip with Thea, Moira receives a call from Malcolm Merlyn. She agrees to stop one of her contacts from going against a plan developed by Malcolm in exchange for proof of Walter Steele's life. Thea witnesses their meeting, and believes that Malcolm and Moira have been having an affair. She brings this to Oliver and also mentions that Moira and Robert Queen had been fighting for some time before the sinking of the Queen's Gambit. Oliver confronts Moira, who reveals that Robert had been repeatedly unfaithful and asks Oliver never to tell Thea about it, as it would tarnish her father's legacy in her eyes. Oliver agrees.

Tommy Merlyn, while working on the construction of the new night club, receives a call from his father, apologizing for his harsh words and inviting him and Laurel to dinner that night. Tommy, after some encouragement from Laurel, hesitantly agrees. The dinner goes well, however, Malcolm attempts to get Tommy to sign over a free health clinic that had been run by his late mother. Tommy refuses angrily and storms out.

Oliver gives the secure drive to Felicity, saying that it's a scavenger hunt with a case of high-class wine at the end, and asks her to crack it for him in exchange for a bottle. Meanwhile, John and Ted discuss old jobs at the restaurant where his former sister-in-law works. John is re-introduced to Paul Knox, also a former soldier, but not someone John got along with very well. Felicity cracks the drive, and finds information on it about the truck robberies. She forwards this information to Oliver, who says that he will hand it over to the police. However, he winds up disrupting one of the robberies in his Hood persona, seriously wounding one of the men.

In flashbacks to the island, Oliver obtains a disguise and goes back to rescue Yao Fei. His attempt is uncovered by Edward Fyers, who knocks him out and has him locked up.

At the Queen mansion, during Thea's 18th birthday, she receives a car, but she also receives a new drug called "Vertigo" from some friends. She goes upstairs to hide the drugs and witnesses Moira and Malcolm meeting. There are no overt sexual overtones, as Malcolm is simply providing the proof for Moira of Walter's safety, but Thea is furious. She storms off, but not before telling her mother that she should have been on the Queen's Gambit the day it went down.

Oliver meets with John at the party, who informs Oliver that Ted could not have been responsible for the attack, as he'd been with him during the attack. Oliver acknowledges this, and John lets him know about Paul. Oliver asks John to poke around at the security company, as one of the men had been badly wounded and there would likely be blood in one of the vans. John agrees, and Oliver discreetly plants a bug on him in case something goes wrong.

John locates the van used in the robbery, however, he is confronted by Paul and Ted, who was in on the whole thing. They are one man down due to Oliver, so they coerce John into participating in the next heist by kidnapping his former sister-in-law and threatening her life. Oliver overhears all this and sets out to help John.  

Meanwhile, with her emotions running rampant, Thea takes her new car for a drive. She veers over into the wrong lane, overturns to avoid oncoming traffic, and gets into an accident.

John is armed with the grenade launcher, while Paul and Ted are in a van with John's former sister-in-law and the other weapons. He fails to launch the canister at the armored truck and lets it go by. When he is confronted by Ted, he fires the launcher at him and Paul, creating a distraction for their hostage to escape. Ted takes off after her, John sprints after Ted, picking up a gun on the way. Paul grabs a weapon and is about to shoot John in the back, but Oliver arrives in time to disarm and kill Paul before he can get a shot off. John catches up to Ted, but finds himself unable to shoot him when Ted draws his weapon. Oliver is forced to kill Ted before he can kill John. John is arrested, but let go when he claims he did what he did under duress.

Oliver and Moira go to visit Thea in the hospital. She wants nothing to do with Moira, but later leaves her room with Oliver, having been cleared. They are confronted in the hallway by two police officers, who arrests Thea for driving under the influence as she had taken the Vertigo given to her before getting into her car.

In the final flashback, Edward tells Oliver that his men wear balaclavas so that only their eyes are seen, as you can learn everything about a person from his eyes. At this, the soldier with Edward, who had also been the first to talk to Oliver earlier, lifts his balaclava. It is revealed to be Yao Fei, who has apparently been working for Edward the whole time.

Production

Preparation ran from October 22 until October 30, 2012. Shooting ran from November 2 until November 13, 2012.[1]

Trivia

  • With the exception of Robert, everyone in the original Queen family has been in the hospital due to some kind of accident.
  • Thea tells Oliver in this episode that Moira and Malcom were having an affair before Oliver and Robert were lost at sea. Moira denies the accusation when confronted by Oliver and she claims it was Robert not her who was having affairs. In season two we discover that Moira did have a brief fling with Malcom which resulted in her becoming pregnant with Thea. Robert was having an affair with Isabel Rochev among others.
  • Malcolm says to Laurel that Rebecca was shot in her head in the street, but the story told later in Sacrifice was that Rebecca slowly bled out on the pavement after being shot.

References

  1. Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) - Twitter

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