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Recap / Arrow S 1 E 13 Betrayal

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On the island, Oliver finds a wrecked airplane while looking for Slade Wilson. Inside, the man himself beats Oliver in a sword fight and ties him up. Oliver frees himself and finds the Deathstroke mask. Slade lays down his weapon and explains that it's a replica of his the mask belong to his former partner, Billy Wintergreen, who was assigned with Slade to rescue Yao Fei before Wintergreen defected to Fyers. It turns out Fyers lied about Deathstroke being a former prisoner of Lian Yu.

Newly released from prison, Cyrus Vanch goes with Vivian to the house of his lawyer, whom Vanch kills and whose home he takes over. Laurel introduces Thea to Anastasia, a woman on pro bono sabbatical at CNRI. When Laurel learns of Vanch's release, she calls the Hood for help gaining evidence against Vanch. The Hood records that Vanch wants to lead the Triad.

Oliver asks Moira about the book and she pins everything on Robert, ending the conversation by throwing the book into the fire. Diggle spies on Moira by becoming her driver. Moira converses with Malcolm Merlyn, while Diggle records the conversation through the wall. From this, Oliver learns that the yacht was sabotaged.

Tommy has plans with Laurel, but she abandons them after receiving a call from the Hood. Having overheard the conversation, Detective Lance and a squad interrupt the Hood's rooftop meeting with Laurel. The Hood gives her the recording and successfully escapes.

With knowledge from Vivian's police source, two men invade Laurel's apartment. She takes them down, only to be taken down herself by Vanch's taser. Later there, Tommy finds a recording from Vanch demanding the Hood and gives it to Lance. The Hood and Lance rescue Laurel and capture Vanch. Laurel tells her father to stay away. The Hood tells her, "Goodbye," before busting through the window of Moira's office and telling her she "has failed this city."

Tropes applying to this Episode:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Tommy notes Laurel's liking for dangerous rulebreakers and thinks this is why she's working with the Hood, who's currently the most dangerous rulebreaker around.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe when Oliver hands the book containing the List to his mother, only for Moira to throw it on the fire. Oliver prefers to believe her explanation that she's protecting her family from digging into something that could harm them, while Diggle thinks she wants to Destroy the Evidence.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Cyrus Vanch certainly feels that killing the Hood will bring him authority in the crime world. We never get to see if he's right or not since he failed the asskicking part.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Turns out the man in the Deathstroke mask and bandolier was actually Slade Wilson's renegade ASIS partner.
  • Batman Gambit: Initially pulled off by Vanch, relating to the Counting Bullets example below. Had Oliver retrieved one of his arrows before entering the house, or taken down one henchman without an arrow or flechette, or simply decided the elevated security at the mansion demanded more ammo, he'd have entered the building with an arrow, and Vanch wouldn't even have had a chance to hold even a temporary standoff. Still foiled in the end, though, as he didn't anticipate Oliver bringing backup in the form of Quentin.
  • Bat Phone: Quentin has the mobile he gave to Laurel bugged, and is waiting when she contacts the Hood and sets up a meeting. Later he has to use the phone for real when Laurel is kidnapped and he realises one of his own men works for Vanch.
  • Blinded by the Light: Vanch has two sharpshooters waiting for the Hood, so he fires a pyrotechnic arrow and the resulting explosion blinds them temporarily so he can shoot them both.
  • Broken Pedestal: When Oliver discovers his mother is covering up for the sabotage of the Queen's Gambit, he goes to confront her as the Hood.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The bug that Quentin planted in the Bat Phone in "Burned" finally bears fruit.
    • The Hood fires his bugging arrow into the wall near Vanch, but he finds it and leaves it stuck in the wall of Laurel's apartment with a recorded message for the Hood.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Being able to dislocate your thumb to escape from your bonds is another skill Oliver learnt on the island that will come in handy years later.
  • Cliffhanger: Oliver ends the episode crashing through a window and aiming his bow at his own mother.
  • Cops Need the Vigilante: Quentin is taken off the Vigilante case by his lieutenant, who points out that maybe they don't really want to stop him given that he's doing them a lot of good. Quentin needless to say is not happy.
  • Counting Bullets: Or Counting Arrows in any event. Vanch knows the Hood only had 24 arrows in his quiver, so he sends 25 henchmen to guard his house, leaving the Hood defenseless by the time he reaches Vanch and his hostage. Unfortunately for him, the Hood anticipated this and got Detective Lance to back him up.
  • Deadly Hug: Vanch killing his lawyer. He then helps himself to his house.
  • Debut Queue: Our introduction to Slade Wilson.
  • Dramatic Dislocation: Oliver's first when he dislocates his thumb in desperation to free himself from his bonds to stop Slade killing him. He's bent over in agony for a moment before he recovers enough to take a swing at Slade, but that's enough to convince Slade he has what it takes.
  • Dynamic Entry: Our introduction to Slade Wilson involves him leaping down through a hole in top of the crashed aircraft and holding a sword to Oliver's neck.
    Slade: Twitch, and I will open your throat!
  • Establishing Character Moment: Vanch casually murders his lawyer within the first five minutes of his screen time to set him up as just ruthless enough to stand a chance at stopping Oliver.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: When Vanch gets out of prison, he tries to earn the respect to take over by killing Arrow since after the Huntress' murder of the Triad boss, and Frank Bertinelli's arrest, the leadership of Starling City's organized crime is up for grabs.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The bugged conversation contains a reference to The Undertaking.
    • Diggle says that if it was anyone but Oliver's mother, he'd be hooded up for an arrow-side chat with them. When Diggle presents Oliver with uncontestable evidence of her involvement with the List, that's exactly what Oliver does.
  • I Have Your Wife: Quentin uses his daughter as The Bait to capture the Hood, but that just lets Vanch know there's a connection between the two, so he kidnaps Laurel and leaves a message saying he'll kill her if the Hood doesn't free her.
  • I Made Copies: Moira burning the List makes no difference as Oliver already has his father's book.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: Vanch is pondering how he might convince everyone he's the biggest fish in the pond when the Hood turns up and starts sticking arrows in everything and everyone. This gives Vanch the "Eureka!" Moment he needs.
  • Infraction Distraction: Diggle is caught by Malcolm's bodyguard pressing a listening device against the wall. He slips the bug into his pocket but is seen doing so, so he then produces a lighter from that same pocket, pretending he stepped away for a quiet smoke.
  • Insult to Rocks: Slade gives Oliver a sword and tells him to fight. He's not impressed with the result. "To say you fight like a girl would be a compliment!"
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: The Hood cuts off contact with Laurel after she's used as The Bait to trap him, first by her father and then by Vanch.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Invoked; on finding the Deathstroke mask, Oliver naturally thinks that Slade is the same man who tortured him, but Slade explains that ASIS operatives wear these masks to hide their identities, and Oliver was actually tortured by his Rogue Agent ex-partner.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Hood meets his civilian contacts on top of the Winick Building. Judd Winick is a prominent writer of Green Arrow comics.
    • A newspaper headline refers to "Wolfman and Perez." This is a nod to the two creators of Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke.
    • Laurel notes Cyrus Vanch is connected to 52 different homicides.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Tommy complains to Oliver about Laurel keeping secret her meeting with the Hood for months, when Oliver is the Hood himself and keeping that secret from Tommy.
  • Nothing Personal: Slade tying up Oliver and threatening to kill him so he won't give his position away under torture. Turns out it was a Secret Test of Character to see if Oliver had what it took to escape from the island, which he demonstrates when he dislocates his thumb to break free of his bonds and attack Slade. Of course, that's not to say that Slade wouldn't have gone ahead and killed Oliver if he hadn't tried to escape...
  • Papa Bear: When the Hood grabs his daughter as a Human Shield, Quentin threatens to drag the Hood down to hell personally if Laurel is injured, and recklessly chases after the Hood without the other officers. Later the Hood has to stop him from murdering Vanch.
  • Save the Villain: When Quentin goes to shoot Vanch for endangering his daughter, the Hood knocks the gun from his hand.
    The Hood: I'm the vigilante. You're the cop.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Vanch is always wearing a fancy suit of some type.
  • Taken Off the Case: Quentin is taken off of the search for the Hood because public support for his arrest is beginning to wane. It makes him desperate enough to bank on Laurel arranging a meeting with him so he can use her as bait to draw Hood out.
  • Taser Tag Weakness: Laurel does well against the two goons set to kidnap her, only to go down when Cyrus tasers her.
  • Teach Me How To Fight: Slade has to train Oliver up and starts right away. With swords.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Quentin has to ally himself with the Vigilante to save Laurel. In the flashback, Slade needs help to take the airfield, but the only help available is a shipwrecked playboy with no combat training who so far has only killed someone by accident.
  • This Cannot Be!: Oliver refuses to believe his mother is involved in anything criminal until Diggle hands him the recording of her voice in which she talks of coercing people on the List and the sabotage of the Queen's Gambit.
  • Unfolding Plan Montage: Vanch bragging to Laurel about all the men he has waiting for the Hood is intercut with the Hood taking them down.
  • Villains Never Lie: Averted; Fyers told Oliver the man in the Deathstroke mask was a prisoner on the island. Turns out he was an ASIS operative sent with Slade to rescue Yao Fei, who turned renegade.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Laurel tears into her father for blatantly using her to get the Hood, points out his alcoholism and how blaming the Hood for everything won't fix his mistakes. Tommy later gives her a milder version when he realizes that she's been keeping her meetings with the Hood a secret from him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Vanch uses a taser on Laurel to take her hostage.