Arrow 3×03 ‘Corto Maltese’: Trouble in paradise


While the hunt for a killer leads to multiple dead ends and cold trails, Oliver decides it’s time for Thea to come home to Starling City. Lyla asks Diggle to check on an A.R.G.U.S. agent down in Corto Maltese. Laurel tries her hand at domestic justice.

Spoilers Below

It looks like my concerns about the mystery behind Sara’s death being sidelined won’t last long! The episode ends with Nyssa returning to Starling City asking where she is. I’m glad we didn’t just forget about that during this little excursion. And what a fun little excursion it was!

It almost felt like a mix of Burn Notice or a globe trotting 24 type adventure with Oliver, Diggle, and Roy teaming up to stop terrorists from leaking information about A.R.G.U.S. operatives. We got some cool spy/comedy action with Oliver and Roy using bows and arrows against a military team before Ollie just decides “screw it” and shoots them with a pistol. “I never said I didn’t know how to use a gun.” HA. I’m glad the show can have a sense of humor about itself.

I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see much of Malcolm’s training of Thea beyond the Fight Club homage. Then again, there are 20 episodes left. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of the training beyond that bit (like the final challenge between Thea and Malcolm). For now let’s just focus on the positives because this episode was full of them.



For one thing, this was the lightest and most fun episode of the season so far. The action was mostly saved until the end but it was fun to see Team Arrow work out of costume and still save parts of the world outside of Starling City. Roy continues to be a little underdeveloped outside his relationship with Thea but since it was the driving force of the episode, it all makes sense. Now let’s see him continue to interact with even more of the cast!

Continuing the personal themes of the season, the threat of the week was about exposing the families of those in A.R.G.U.S. and what Lyla’s friend said to Diggle might eventually come back to haunt him. This guy was just trying to get away from Amanda Waller. His methods were endangering innocent people so he needed to go down, but his reasons are understandable. It’s only a matter of time before Amanda becomes a bigger player in this DC TV universe.



And finally, what a way Laurel has come. She and Thea had an unfortunate side effect of “Writers Not Knowing What To Do With Me” but I’ve always liked the character. And now she’s got a purpose aside from her credible DA life. She’s going to try and be the hero that Sara became. She’s going to try and make her sister proud.

Felicity took a backseat this episode but we find out she’s going to meet up with Barry next week! She’s probably going to take even more time off next week as well (the show’s tend to film at the same time) so we’ll get to see what Ray Palmer is up to. Was it jsut me or did he look more serious while looking at those schematics? A viewer was apt to point out something that may or may not be true…

But what does Malcolm gain from letting Thea go home with Oliver? And how did Nyssa not know where Sara was? So many questions. They’ll be answered in due time. Let’s hope they don’t string us along for too long.

Diego Crespo

Diego champions fallen TV shows that never had a chance to shine. LOST ruined his life for the better. Diego spends his days trying to convince strangers that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the best shows ever made.

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