Arrow S3E3 – “Corto Maltese” Review

I hate Thea Queen. I have hated Thea Queen since the pilot episode of Arrow and have continued to hate her since that day. Everything with her is so overly dramatic, so whiny, and so god damn annoying. So imagine my dismay when I find out that episode 3 of the third season is all about her. Oh goody.

I have to admit, after watching “Corto Maltese,” I don’t hate Thea quite as much. Her time in Corto Maltese with her real father, Malcolm Merlyn, seems to have done her some good. A new haircut isn’t all that’s different about Ms. Queen; she’s suddenly a badass. Still a little annoying, but hey, baby steps, right?

This is the ex-junkie that tried to bang (who she didn’t know at the time was) her half-brother we’re talking about, after all.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of “Corto Maltese” was seeing Laurel’s official transformation into the costumed crime-fighter comic book fans know her as. After being implied last week, Laurel goes full-on Black Canary by chasing down a drunk who beats his girlfriend. And getting her ass kicked. After Oliver refuses to put her in harm’s way by training her, she seeks out Ted Grant (yes, that Ted Grant) and begins her transformation. I never get tired of Arrow and Flash teasing so many DC characters; it’s actually really refreshing to see in an age where so many comic book properties try to distance themselves from their colorful roots.

Ollie, Dig, and Roy chasing down the A.R.G.U.S. traitor in Corto Maltese felt completely shoehorned in, seemingly to exist solely to make sure the episode had enough action. Which, don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with; as is the norm, the action sequences were amazing. Seeing Oliver and Roy take down a small army with nothing but fighting skills and weapons fashioned from a hotel room while Diggle turns a guy into human pulp will get the adrenaline pumping. If it wasn’t obvious before, after seeing him use a gun, I think it’s fair to say that Stephen Amell will end up being one of the great action stars of our generation. That being said, the whole reason behind this badassery is flimsy at best. As in, there just happened to be an A.R.G.U.S. agent go dark when Oliver finds out his sister is there and goes to get her? A bit too coincidental for my taste, but whatever. I’ll deal with it if it means getting more Team Arrow ass-kicking.

Overall, “Corto Maltese” was a good episode in Oliver Queen’s saga. Not as great as the show has proven it can be, but still pretty good. I’ll be interested to see what DC character they turn Thea into, as seems to be the trend. If Oliver is Batman, Diggle is Nightwing, Felicity is Oracle, and Roy is Robin, then… who the hell is Thea?

By the way, am I the only person getting the vibe that Lyla is cheating on Diggle? Asking him to leave the country for a few days, going into “work” in the middle of the night immediately after he comes back from a trip where he could have died… Just saying.

Jordan Barbeau

A simple man with simple tastes. Games, comics and movies are all I need to be happy.

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