By now, episode 1.13, viewers of Arrow know that things rarely go smoothly for Oliver Queen. In fact, this episode sets a new bar in things going wrong for the main characters. In short, if somebody can be betrayed in some way, it’s happening in this episode. Also, there’s a cliffhanger, so be prepared.
There are more island flashback scenes, and Deathstroke is revealed to be played by Manu Bennett, who fans of Spartacus will recognize. He tells Oliver that there are two men wearing the same mask on the island. And, he says that the other guy is the one who tortured Oliver. Okay, all right, Oliver goes with it so he can be trained to be an utter badass. This explains why Oliver bonds with people by sparring.
Now in Starling City, the justice system has failed, and a crime boss named Cyrus,(David Anders: Alias, Heroes, Once Upon a Time) is released from prison on a technicality. To celebrate his freedom, he kills a friend of his and then steals the man’s home.
Laurel, hearing about Cyrus’ release immediately uses the Hood’s phone and calls him to meet her. Of course, Detective Lance is tracking all calls on that phone, and so shows up with a fleet of police cars, and further proving that he and Laurel need therapy and to do some trust falls with one another.
As somebody who wants to make a name for himself, Cyrus decides to get the Hood’s attention, kidnaps Laurel, and invites the Hood to come and get her. Detective Lance is understandably furious, enough that he and Oliver end up working on the same side to get Laurel back. Laurel is rescued, and Cyrus ends up back behind bars.
Meanwhile, Diggle’s maneuvering leads Oliver to break into his mother’s office, through a window, as the Hood, and confront her with a drawn bow. And, that’s the episode.
Continuing with the theme of betrayal, Diggle has told Oliver what he doesn’t want to think about – Walter disappeared after he found a book identical to the one that Oliver’s dad gave him. Having the book in her room and acting strangely makes Moira Queen somebody who needs watching. Since Oliver doesn’t want to do it, Diggle goes behind his back, and records her talking to Merlyn Sr.
Oliver had to step back from Laurel, just as he is finding that blind trust is dangerous in other situations. All the things that are coming out about his family, and indeed, the families of other characters are complicating relationships in interesting ways. Adding to that, the introduction of Slade Wilson as a character who is going to be interacting a lot with Oliver, and it’s clear that there are a number of plot threads coming together as the season goes on.