Episode 1.11 “Trust But Verify” sees Oliver and Diggle clashing over the latest name on Oliver’s list.
Following several armored truck heists, Oliver thinks that he’s figured out the culprits’ identity. The trouble is that it’s a former Marine named Ted Gaynor, who happens to be Diggle’s old commanding officer. Nevertheless, Oliver pursues Gaynor, only to be thwarted by his partner.
Still, Oliver manages to steal encrypted data from Gaynor, which turns out to be information about robbing armored trucks.
Oliver uses the encrypted information to track Gaynor, and discovers that even though Diggle’s ex-C.O. wasn’t on the scene, somebody from his security firm was involved.
Dig is still trying to hold onto the image of the man he knew, the one who saved his life, and he works with Gaynor, investigating at the same time. But, he finds out that Oliver’s list was right after all. At this rate, Santa Claus is going to use that list anybody who’s been ‘naughty’ this year. Gaynor kidnaps Carly, Diggle’s sister in law, and forces him to help with the next heist.
In the end, Oliver shows up to give Diggle a hand, just as he expected, and they apologize to one another. In one of the biggest understatements ever, Oliver notes that he has trouble trusting people. This goes back to his time on the island, when Yao Fei, his supposed rescuer, was proved to be working for the people who tortured Oliver, as their leader Fyer gleefully shares after capturing Oliver and putting him in a cage.
Moira and Merlyn Sr. have been taking long lunches together, which makes Thea suspicious – she thinks their mother is acting weird and having an affair. When Oliver confronts her, it turns out that his dad was unfaithful to her. But, even if she isn’t seeing Merlyn Sr. in secret, the kids at least know something strange is going on. Sooner or later, Moira’s scheming is going to come out, and that family’s trust issues are going to fund generations of psychiatrists.
Thea, in yet another rebellious maneuver, takes the new drug ‘Vertigo’ that is being used in the Glades, speeds, crashes her car, and is then arrested for driving while intoxicated. No, she won’t be getting a car for a gift anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Tommy and Laurel have a fraught meal with Merlyn Sr., where Tommy tells his dad in short, to go to Hell, and leave him alone. Not surprising, considering his dad’s idea of ‘tough love’ was to tell him that he was a loser and disinherit him. Laurel manages to wrangle some information out of him about his mom, who died when Tommy was a kid, and they seem to be sticking close to one another.
The reappearance of Felicity Smoak bodes well, as her dynamic with Oliver is a lot of fun, and it’s only a matter of time before the plucky tech-savvy character is let in on the secret.
Diggle being wrong about a former friend could have been played as ‘Oliver is always right,’ but instead it was framed as him seeing the good in people, while Oliver is much more pragmatic. It was a lesson for both, and Oliver letting Diggle cross Gaynor’s name off the list reinforced Ollie saying that he chose Dig as his partner for good reason. Of course, Oliver does trust his list more than anybody else, and it remains to be seen if that’s the right move.