Sunday, February 10, 2013

Arrow.1.12: "Vertigo"

“You should always remember one thing, Dig. I don’t need the bow.”
- Oliver

After the rather shocking ending to last week’s episode, we find Oliver hunting down a Vertigo dealer and finally gets a name for the supplier; The Count. Diggle remarks it is worse than the Hood (I have to agree and makes me think of Sesame Street). Oliver is just really pissed about the whole situation. I think part of it is this guy is screwing with his city and the other part is it is affecting Thea. Speaking of, Oli has to go be a good supportive brother and stand behind Thea in court. Unfortunately, things aren’t going to be easy for Thea. The judge wants to make an example of her and denies the plea agreement. They are going to trial and defense counsel is right, they’re probably going to lose. Of course, if Oliver has anything to say about it, he’s going to take the Count out first. Thea is being bratty, still thinking Moira cheated on her dad and Walter with Mr. Merlyn (and while I’m sure any woman would be drawn to John Barrowman, it’s just not the case for Moira).

We jump back to the Island where Oliver is still locked in the cage. He begs the Archer to let him go and help him escape but his sort-of ally just isn’t cooperating. In the present, Oliver pops off to see Detective McKenna Hall, an old clubby buddy turned vice cop. He tried to get anything he can about the Count out of her but all he gets is a really thin file. Oliver asks McKenna to keep him in the loop but she tells him to let the police do the policing. With a dashing smile and a whispered “ok” he’s off. Enter Detective Lance. Never happy to see Oliver’s face, he questions McKenna but she says he’s just an old friend whose sister is caught up with the law. Across town, somewhere in the Glades, we finally meet the Count. He’s not too happy that one of his drug pushers told the Hood about him (granted it was just a name). So the Count injects pure Vertigo into the guy’s neck and after letting him flail in pain (that wasn’t real) he lets the guy kill himself to end the pain. And now he’s intrigued by the fact he’s gained the vigilante’s attention.

The next morning, Oliver goes to Laurel to ask for help. He wants her to ask her dad to cash in any favors to get the judge to not throw the book at Thea. Laurel doesn’t make any promises but says she’ll try. Ultimately, she crushes her father’s idealistic memory of Sarah and he agrees to make a call. Kind of interesting that Sarah and Thea weren’t that different. Meanwhile, Oliver and Diggle pay a visit to the Russian mob. In exchange for a duffle full of cash and Oliver killing a guy, they walk out with a meeting to be set up with the Count. Of course the guy isn’t really dead. Oliver just made it look that way. Now Diggle has to get the guy out of town with a new identity. Not sure that’s part of his job description, Oli. Back on the island, the Archer lets Oliver out of the cage and into a fighting circle. Deathstroke is beating the shit out of some guy and Oliver’s next. He faces off against the Archer.

The next day, Laurel comes to Thea with a new plea agreement: two years’ probation and 500 hours of community service. Thea’s not interested. Oliver is pretty pissed with her since he went out on a limb (and Laurel went even farther) to get the deal. It seems Thea wants to go to prison to spite her mother for her perceived wrongdoings. Oliver tries to tell Thea the truth but she’s not having any of it. Moira’s not too pleased by the turn of events either. But Oli doesn’t have time to worry about the family drama because the Russians have set up a meeting. He finally gets to see the Count face to face. We learn that he tested his drug on homeless people and prostitutes before perfecting it. Fifty-six people died for his drug. Filthy creep. Unfortunately, the meet gets busted up by Starling City PD. Thank you Detectives Hall and Lance. As Oli tries to chase down the Count, he gets two syringes full of Vertigo jammed into his chest. Things are not going to end well for our hero.

Oliver is fighting through a drug overdose and simultaneously flashing back to the Archer beating the crap out of him in the circle. He finally comes to the next morning to find Diggle has handcuffed him. Guess it was to keep him from actually killing his bodyguard. Diggle is surprised that Oliver is on his feet. Oliver says that Thea needs him. They get back to the Queen mansion just in time to find out that Detective Hall saw Oli at the meet the night before. Oliver whips up a cover story about why he was there and it’s enough to get the cops to back off. Moira is not pleased that her son is gallivanting about with drug dealers and mobsters. But it’s enough to get Thea to realize Oli was telling the truth. With mother and daughter reunited and moving past the drama, Oliver is going to try and analyze the Vertigo. Unfortunately he’s still suffering symptoms and passes out on the stairs. We see the Archer push him off a cliff into a waterfall.

After coming back around, Oliver enlists Felicity’s help to determine where the water used in the liquid form of Vertigo came from. I swear she just needs to find out his secret identity already. She’d still totally help him. She comes through and Oliver is all set to charge off and take down the Count. But Diggle says he can’t leave since he’s still suffering the effects of the drug. He then makes Oliver a deal, if he can hit a tennis ball out of Diggle’s hand with an arrow, he can leave. Oliver’s vision isn’t up to snuff yet but he reminds Diggle that the vigilante doesn’t need the bow to do his work. So Oliver takes off for the abandoned juvenile detention center in the Glades.

I have to say Oliver is pretty impressive even without his bow. He takes out all the guards and only has a minor fainting spell. He finally gets to the Count and is ready to kill him when the cops show up. Seriously, they should just let Oliver do his thing. Oliver managers to escape and lets the cops arrest the Count. Thea has come to her senses and agreed to Laurel’s terms for the plea agreement. So she’s going to be working at the legal aid office. It seems Oliver is happy that the arrangement has gone through, too. We cut back to the island to find that the Archer hasn’t completely betrayed Oliver. He wanted to be the one to push Oliver over the edge so he could slip a map into his pocket with the Chinese word for “survive” written on it. At the end, Felicity and Oliver have a rendezvous in a coffee shop where she reveals that Moira had a copy of the notebook with the names in it that Oliver’s father left for him. Things are going to get complicated!

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