Going into Wednesday night “Arrow” episode “Corto Maltese,” we really wanted to like the story that was brought to the table. We had the return of Malcolm Merlyn and Thea Queen, a new, particularly sunnier location, and also a chance to see Felicity and Laurel have stories completely independent of our leads.
What we had, ultimately, was a little bit of a mess, in particular when it comes to what is going on with ARGUS. While the organization is cool and we like the steely-eyed nature of one Amanda Waller, the story doesn’t work nearly as well when you don’t follow understand what is going on within this organization. What was this Diggle story supposed to make us do when it comes to Lyla, fear her? Make us worried about Diggle and the couple’s child? It was a warning sign for him to steer clear of working with the organization, but it doesn’t sound like he was altogether interested in working with them in the first place.
Also, managing to convince Thea, who had been away for five months, to come back so soon was a little convenient … and a little hypocritical on Oliver’s part, given that he vowed to tell her “the truth,” and really only told her one thing about Robert Queen rather than anything he’d been up to. She is basically the only person in his life at this point besides Captain Lance who has no clue of his alter ego.
Some of what this episode did a little more successfully was give us a few more likable, adult moments for Roy Harper, show Laurel getting completely embarrassed in her first “mission” as a crime-fighter, and watching Felicity struggle somewhat in her new job. Most of the side stories were more successful than the main one, even if it was interesting to see Team Arrow kick butt using things that were in their hotel room. It actually felt more like “Burn Notice” than anything else.
Anyhow, tonight’s episode ended with what was a reminder that Nyssa al Ghul is in town and seeking answers, while Felicity has her excuse to bid adieu over to Central City for the next new episode of “The Flash,” which is the first featuring a major crossover beyond the Oliver Queen cameo in the premiere.
“Corto Maltese” had its moments, but we also wish that it had done more to further along some major stories, and also made the backstory into ARGUS a little less murky. We almost wish that there was more of Malcolm Merlyn and Thea’s training, and that the rescue mission either happened later or lasted longer. Grade: C+.
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