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"Corto Maltese" switches things up just enough to maintain the show's steady voice while offering hope for a brighter future.
"Corto Maltese" offered a nice change of pace as it shifted the setting to the titular island nation. Unfortunately, this episode didn't focus directly on Thea and Malcolm as much as it could have.
In "Corto Maltese," we finally see a key character in the Arrow universe revealed for who they really are, even though they're never on screen. And it's so very satisfying.
'Corto Maltese' was promoted as Thea's big comeback, and while we do delve into her relationships with Oliver, Roy and Malcolm, this is also a strong ensemble episode, granting almost every Arrow regular a satisfying sub-plot.
The problem is that the "action mission" involving Diggle doing some quiet work for ARGUS before getting (expectedly) betrayed by a rogue operative isn't just dull...it's really dull.
All it took was a continuous stream of lies and several deaths to start this story rolling in a completely different direction. The future looks pretty bright right now.
The women of Arrow were in a punchy mood this Wednesday, as we saw the lengths to which Malcolm went "temper" his daughter and Laurel got a bit overzealous in doing right by dead Sara's leather jacket.
While the A.R.G.U.S. plotline felt rushed and rather underwhelming, the episode took its time developing Laurel's subplot, which was both compelling and poignant.
As for the overall episode, it was nice to get out of Starling City for a bit, but some weird editing and the whole side-story feel of the plot knocked this one down just a bit.
Palmer's perplexing behavior isn't the only question we are left with, as the episode ends with Nyssa Al Ghul paying Oliver a visit while in search of her lover Sara. With a cliffhanger like that, it's going to be a long week.
There's a cool Mission: Impossible vibe about this one.
There's enough meat in the episode-specific story for this to work as an hour of television, but none of the serialized plot threads have moved far enough that they feel like vital parts of the show's overarching narrative.