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Recap / Arrow S 3 E 3 Corto Maltese

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Oliver, Diggle and Roy head to Corto Maltese in order to bring Thea home. Meanwhile, Laurel starts on her path to being a hero, and Felicity starts her new job with Ray Palmer.

Tropes Present In This Episode:

  • Age Lift: Ted Grant is depicted around the same age as Laurel/Dinah, when in the comics, he was old enough to be her father, had a surrogate father-like relationship with her, and was even previously romantically involved with her mother.
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  • Angry Black Man: Diggle is so enraged at Agent Shaw who would sell out A.R.G.U.S. agents (that includes Lyla) for a quick buck, so Diggle gave the rogue agent one hell of a major beatdown.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Oliver's brief conversation with Thea's gardener is mostly in non-subtitled Spanish.
  • Book-Ends: The beginning and ending of Thea's training on Corto Maltese has her with boiling water poured on her hand. At the beginning, it's tea by Merlyn; at the end, a random tourist spills his coffee.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Nyssa showing up in the Foundry, demanding to know where Sara is.
  • Continuity Nod
    • Felicity discovers information about "the Streak" in Central City, and heads off to see Barry at the end of the episode, setting up her appearance in the following episode of The Flash.
    • Milo Armitage was the man who sent his agents to purchase the stolen A.R.G.U.S. files.
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    • Ray brings up the incident where "some wacko" blew up Queen Consolidated's Applied Science Division warehouse, to which Felicity says they probably had their reasons.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Though in completely different circumstances, both Oliver and Thea both had their Training from Hell on islands. Diggle even gives it a Lampshade Hanging.
    Diggle: What's with your family and islands?
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: After running out of makeshift arrows, Oliver makes use of Diggle's sidearm to take care of three mercenaries. He even Lampshades this by pointing out he never said he didn't know how to use guns.
  • I Let You Win: While Thea does excellently in her duel with Malcolm at the end of the episode, she figures out pretty quickly that he let her win.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Roy tells Thea that's all he ever wanted for her. If she's happy in Corto Matlese, she should stay.
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  • Improvised Weapon: Diggle and Oliver make a makeshift bow-and-arrow ensemble with the materials in their hotel room.
  • Internal Reveal: Oliver telling Thea how their father killed himself so that Oliver could survive.
  • Kubrick Stare: Ray Palmer looks through schematics of top secret advanced weaponry... then looks off camera.
  • Mythology Gag
    • Mark Shaw was the 70s Manhunter.
    • Thea uses the alias Mia in Corto Maltese, referencing the character she was based on, Mia Dearden.
    • Ted Grant's gym where he teaches boxing is "Wildcat's Gym". In the main DCU, Ted Grant's superhero name is Wildcat.
    • The files that Felicity recovered are weapons labeled O.M.A.C.
  • Not Named in Opening Credits: Katrina Law (Nyssa), who appears at the end of the episode.
  • Papa Wolf: Fathers around the world likely cheered when Diggle suggests going for the gun when his daughter discovers boys.
  • Shout-Out: Felicity's assistant is named Conway, after Marvel and DC writer Gerry Conway who among other things killed Gwen Stacy and co-created Firestorm.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Laurel is hoping to. She's stated she's taken self-defense classes in the past, but when she decides to take up Sara's legacy of heroics by going after the abusive boyfriend of a woman in her meeting, even armed with a baseball bat, the guy overpowers her and puts her in the hospital. After Oliver refuses to help her, she goes to Wildcat Gym to get Ted Grant to teach her how to fight. Thea, on the other hand, has been a little more successful.
  • Training from Hell: Malcolm's first lesson to Thea is how to handle pain, involving pouring boiling water on her hand. The second lesson is beating the crap out of her until she pulls out one of his swords to defend herself. So far as training goes, it's a kind of polar opposite of Oliver's training: He began with "beat him up" and then went to slapping water that was likely lukewarm if not cold, while she began with hot water poured on her hand and ended with a beatdown.
  • Turn Coat: Agent Shaw betrays A.R.G.U.S. because he's sick of the horrible things Waller has made him do.

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