Back on the Island
This episode of Arrow doesn’t devote a lot of story telling to these flashback scenes, but what small moments were given were pretty entertaining. Slade and Shado laugh at Oliver’s weak arms and lack of fighting skills (not everyone has a wrongfully accused, ex-military dad to train them to become perfect sons that are both strong and devoting to patiently waiting to be tazed and dragged off to the island where their fathers are being held since their own search was getting no where), and then to add insult to injury she makes him sit there all day smacking water. Maybe if he was an easily entertained baby this might actually be an enjoyable way to spend the day, but Oliver is hoping for something a little more worthy of his time.
Well laugh it up for now, people, because if smacking water really helped Oliver gain the strength to pull that bowstring back then my living room floor is going to be drenched tomorrow. If anything, just to see if it really works at all. Call it dedication, boredom, or disinterest in my dumbbells, but I am willing to embarrass myself on my path to becoming a master bow(wo)man!
Diggle Doing Some Digging
With a headline showing that Deadshot has killed again, Diggle goes out on his own without Oliver’s knowledge to dig up some info on the man. This makes Oliver pretty angry since he did it behind his back, also allowing his own vendetta to keep him from backing up Oliver in a hostage situation, but Diggle is not wrong that Oliver going after The Count puts them both in the same boat. Besides, all Diggle does is hand off his information to an old army buddy with resources to look into Deadshot’s pimp (that’s almost the same as an assassination contract getting person, right?), as opposed to going after him himself. If this story had ended here, it would have been the dumbest subplot ever, but thank goodness eventually Oliver hands out the olive branch by agreeing to help Diggle again. Let’s just hope Deadshot sucks less next time he comes to play in Starling City.
Quote of the Episode
Diggle: “The person of color has successfully purchased your drugs.”
Return of the Count
To start this episode out, a girl way too fascinated by the streetlights shining through her hand reenacts a Dane Cook joke when a Dodge plows her over. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t lose just her shoes.
The drugs in her system turn out to be Vertigo, because E isn’t cool enough for Starling City, nor the patrons of Oliver and Tommy’s club. After his “Darn you, The Count!” reaction, Oliver magically breaks into a well locked and window barred room holding the drug dealer in the psychiatric hospital where he’s being treated. He rambles some incoherent nonsense in that voice of his (though honestly I think I have more trouble understanding Detective Lance most of the time), making it questionable that he has the mental facilities capable of returning to his past habits.
Yet the drugs keep showing up around the city, including in the system of a man who can barely run straight thanks to the fish lens he’s seeing through, yet somehow still has the hand-eye coordination to grab a security guard’s gun at an aquarium, as well as the perfect aim to shoot out a security camera. Eventually he overdoses on the drugs, leading Oliver to find a new ingredient mixed in the cocktail tracing back to the psych hospital, so Oliver must return here once more, with less leniency in mind.
The Man Behind the Curtain
When Oliver gets there he finds The Count strapped down to a chair in the basement, letting his guard down long enough to get knocked upside the head by the orderly who randomly appeared in the background of other scenes, signaling the observant to keep tabs on him. He isn’t the brains behind the operation, though; it’s the doctor that made up a bunch of brain words earlier, as well as a story about being overpowered during The Counts escape. Turns out he’s been reverse engineering the drugs by using a kidney biopsy taken from his patient.
In the end, even after being dosed and strapped down to the chair himself, Oliver manages to escape his restraints and fight back. Sure helped that Diggle showed up to defibrillate half of team evil, though had Felicity been there she would have been upset that Diggle chose comedic timing over safety when he said “Clear” post electric shock therapy to the head. With one down, Oliver still had to deal with the main man by responding to the doctor’s challenge that there’s no way he could hit him while still feeling the after effects of the drugs. His earlier prepared antidote might not have given him complete control of his sight yet, but you don’t need to aim too well when you load a bow with extra arrows. Think of it like a shotgun.
The motivation of money is never the most original reason to go evil, but I was actually glad that the writers went this way because it was looking likely that they were going with a Joker rip-off. The voice was enough for comparisons during The Count’s last episode, as well as the psychotic babbling and view of things, but now he’s even going with the purple and green color scheme on his pills. Come on, now. So you can probably imagine my relief when it was revealed that this villain that seemed to be being formed into a mastermind to haunt Oliver is actually a marionette, manipulated by a man that he would have probably intimidated to no end during his heyday. It just wasn’t expected, making it highly appreciated. Then again, Batman can never bring himself to kill The Joker either, so who knows where this story will take us in the future.
Rift in a Friendship
If the stormy waters between Diggle and Oliver wasn’t enough, Tommy is actually holding way more animosity towards his best friend when Oliver rightfully wonders if Tommy was the one to give the girl the drugs in the beginning. She did text him beforehand with wording that had multiple interpretations, and $10,000 was missing from the club’s books. Turns out that this had actually been used to convince the city inspector to pass the club on good faith that there’s nothing bad going on in the basement, even though chronologically you would think this inspection would have happened before Tommy found out about Oliver’s secret. Other question: how the heck did Lance figure this out? People don’t usually keep records of their crimes, do they? Next question, how long did it take Tommy to redecorate downstairs by clogging the space up with booze? And how bout this: didn’t it used to be a little more challenging to get into the basement? I thought there was a switch that had to be pulled as well as the code. Oh well, questions aside, the point is Tommy is hurt that Oliver thought he was still in to some of his bad habits.
Personally I think Tommy can’t really hold this against Oliver since he had been on an island for 5 years, as opposed to being around to actually see Tommy change into a new man, but really this anger was probably fueled greatly by Tommy’s inability to accept Oliver’s murderous secret. Whatever the cause, Tommy calls it quits and goes to work with his father. Do I smell the beginning of evil Tommy!? Probably not, but I still can’t get past his last name being Merlyn. That has to lead somewhere, maybe to a place where Tommy has something else in common with his dad other than just a name.
So what did you guys think of tonight’s episode? Personally I’m happy with where The Count’s story has gone, but I’d love to hear what you think about this. Let me know this, and all other thoughts on Arrow, in the comments below!