Merlin's proof of life isn't.
In addition to that technical flaw, the shock, horror and grief over Moira's supposed infidelities and Robert's alleged infidelities don't go down very well given the show's lipsmacking over bloodshed.
The desire to complicate the plot is threatening to shred it instead. I've already lost track of the island timeline. To be honest, the insistence that Oliver's virility is proportional to the stubble on his face made it a little hard to take seriously. But I seem to remember Mentor being tortured and rescued by Oliver once already. Mentor could and should have done the betrayal thing already, sans getting tortured. And it can't be to get the book because Oliver couldn't have passed the book along to anyone. All they need to do is kill Oliver.
And they are also doing peculiar things to my sweetheart's character. Moira had apparently quarreled with Robert over the Plan. She agreed with Merlin that Robert (and Oliver too!) should be deepsixed. The speed with which the ship was sunk meant there could not have been any preconcerted plan to pull out Robert and Oliver for interrogation. After all, it could just as easily have been Oliver instead of Bimbo Lance sucked out into the vacuum of...the Pacific Ocean?
But how can such a heartless bitch be the Moira Queen we see and drool over? And why raise the Queen's Gambit as leverage on Merlin, then not ever use it? I suppose we can try to reconcile it as Moira only agreed to interrogation (as in the interrogation of Oliver that led to Hoodie's first kill.) But then Merlin double-crossed her, and just tried to kill the Queens. Raising the Queen's Gambit then would be an effort at insurance, but her hostages to fortune (Thea, Walter and the rescued Oliver) would still leave her relatively helpless before Merlin? But this is getting really contorted, no?
Totally with you.
I think the writers are kind of like Al Gore to Smallville's
Clinton. They're trying so hard to distance the series from its predecessor that they're seriously over-thinking the problem.
The show lacks focus and has yet to establish a defined thesis.