Arrow Season 5, Episode 2: 4 ways,’The Recruits,’ explores issues of trust.

Spoilers for Arrow Season 5, Episode 2. 


Thea’s trust in Quentin Lance:

Thea, presumably because of her friendship with Laurel, tries to look after Quentin, and put her trust in him to watch an entrance at Oliver’s Amertek sponsored medical event. Unfortunately, this trust was misplaced, and Quentin turned up late. It was his entrance that Ragman managed to get through.

Afterwards, Oliver told Thea that Quentin is still drinking. Despite this, Thea still offered Quentin a job as deputy mayor to give him a reason to stay sober: to honour Laurel’s memory by dedicating himself to the city that she loved. We will see how successful this is for Quentin: he loved his daughter deeply, and it will either be a motivation to do good, or a painful reminder of what he has lost.

Felicity and her new boyfriend:

Felicity’s new boyfriend, Billy Malone, works for the police force, and is Felicity’s new source when she needs something done that they cannot do at the Arrow cave.

Felicity acts how Oliver did towards her in season one: she shows up at Billy’s workplace and asks him to do random, strange, tasks, and makes up awful excuses that he clearly doesn’t believe. Despite his suspicions, Billy still agrees to help her, and presumably trusts that whatever she is up to, it isn’t a bad thing.

I wonder if his trust in Felicity will eventually reward him with a spot on the team?

Diggle’s trust in the army institution:

Diggle was doing well in the army at first: he reassured a new recruit, and has great faith in the institution. These 5 months away have reassured him that he is where he should be: you get your orders, and you don’t question them, or shoulder blame or responsibility.

Unfortunately, in his next mission, Dig is betrayed by his commander, and his team are ambushed on a mission to recover a WMD. Diggle and the recruit were the only survivors, but when Diggle found his commanding officer, the recruit was shot with Dig’s gun.

Diggle’s commanding officer intended to steal the WMD they were looking for. When his plans fell through, the commander was pleased that Diggle survived, because there was someone to take the fall. The actions of one crooked military man meant that Diggle was betrayed and his trust in the army was not rewarded: he is presumably arrested.

Oliver’s difficulty trusting his new team:

Oliver wore his mask when he started training his recruits, which Curtis warned was a bad idea as they will be starting out on lies. He appeared to be right: the team struggled to make progress.

Despite this, Oliver agreed to take the team to his event to help cover all the exits. The team were told not to engage, but when Ragman attacked, Wilddog interfered and caused Oliver’s trap arrow to miss.

Oliver yelled at the team, and later, after Oliver has reassured the city, Curtis explains that the others quit because they couldn’t trust Oliver, and Oliver doesn’t trust them.

Curtis tried stick up for Oliver and tell the others that the old team were like a family, who stuck together despite Oliver’s flaws, but he realised that it wasn’t true as the last team left. Curtis says that Oliver doesn’t trust people, doesn’t respect people or build them up, instead he tears them down. He leaves too, because he can’t trust Oliver either.

Oliver tells Felicity that it is easier for him to hide behind a mask: he let his last team in and they left, or died in Laurel’s case. No one in the Bratva used real names, or knew about anyone’s past. If there was no personal attachment, there was no loss.

Felicity says that all the recruits saw was an angry, scary guy in a mask, but the original team worked so well because of trust and respect for Oliver, not the Arrow. Oliver makes a good leader. Oliver runs a good team. So Oliver should train them, trust them.

At the end of the episode:

The Amertek executive is attacked by Ragman again. Oliver takes on Church, and takes a risk that Ragman will value heroism over vengeance and come to the Arrow’s rescue.

The risk paid off and the Amertek executive got away. Will she be back? Who knows.

Afterwards, Ragman admitted that his father protected him on Genesis day by wrapping him in the rags he now wears. Oliver opened up about his own father and how he died to save Oliver. They decide to honour their fathers together, and Ragman joins the team. As the last survivor of Havenrock, this is bound to be awkward for Felicity.

Oliver also opened up to his new team and revealed his identity. This show of trust inspires the team to work with him again: being himself, not the Arrow, is what ultimately works out. I look forward to the trouble that Oliver is probably going to have with them!

Oliver’s trust in his team was rewarded. Diggle’s very reasonable trust in the army unfortunately led to betrayal and presumably incarceration. The outcome of Thea’s trust in Quentin remains to be seen. What will Oliver think? How will the public react?

Maybe next time we will also find out more about Prometheus. So far, all we know is that he wants the Green Arrow for himself. I still think that he is someone that Oliver got on the wrong side of in Russia, but only time will tell.

All in all, another really enjoyable episode!

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