Violet gives her recap of this week’s episode of Arrow, “Unfinished Business,” where the Count has returned, and so has a new, improved version of Vertigo! Josh provides his commentary (in the blue font). More after the jump!
The episode begins at the nightclub, which is packed with people. One girl, who is high on drugs, wanders out into the middle of traffic, gets hit by a car and dies. Later, Detective Lance comes to talk to Oliver and Tommy about the girl, because she had been at their club, and questions them about whether the club has a Vertigo problem. Oliver and Tommy don’t know anything about it, and Oliver says they don’t allow drugs. Detective Lance advises them to control their clientele and leaves. Tommy comments to Oliver that he thought the vigilante finished off the Count, and Oliver replies, “I did.” (Back in episode 12, Arrow injected the Count with a large dose of Vertigo, which landed him in the hospital with convulsions, and the doctor was unsure what that much of a Vertigo overdose would do to him.)
An interesting exchange that Oliver and Tommy have after Detective Lance leaves happens when Oliver decides they need background checks on all of the club employees. Tommy seems to hint that he and Oliver would be suspect due to their pasts, basically saying they both partied a little too hard in their former selves. I don’t really understand why Detective Lance immediately assumes the club is distributing the drugs though.
Detective Lance makes his way over to the mental institution to question the Count, but first, Arrow sneaks into the Count’s room, and tries to question the Count about where the Vertigo is coming from. But he soon figures out that the Count is insane, and leaves, as the Count repeatedly yells “You have failed this city!”
You get the first hint at the true villain of the episode in this scene. The camera shot pauses just long enough on the larger doctor that was moving down the hallway in the area. He caught my attention early this episode. The scene with the Count reminded me of The Riddler in Batman Forever after he is jailed.
Flashback to the island, where Slade and Yao Fei’s daughter, Shado are practicing fighting, while Oliver just watches and whines. Slade asks her where she learned how to fight, and she says her dad wanted a son.
Back to the present, Digg is looking at a newspaper with a headline about a sniper, and he thinks of Lawton, the guy who killed his brother. Turns out he is at Carly’s house, and her kid wants Digg to read to him. They look like a nice happy little family, I didn’t realize their relationship was going so well. She tells him she’s there for him if he ever wants to talk, but Oliver calls and summons him to the Arrow Cave.
I am not sure I can get behind the whole, “Hey my brother/your husband died, let me step in and play uncle/step father and husband/brother-in-law”. Has a creepy vibe to me.
Digg and Oliver watch news reports about a new version of Vertigo. Oliver isn’t sure where to begin looking because the Count was the only one that knew the formula for Vertigo, and he’s clearly crazy now. But just then Felicity arrives and shows them the news report that the Count has escaped from the mental institution.
Detective Lance questions the Count’s psychiatrist at the mental institution, who explains that the Count overpowered him, and warns him that the Count is dangerous. Lance’s partner suspects Tommy is a Vertigo dealer, because not only does he have prior offenses, but the last text from the dead girl’s phone was to Tommy, and on top of that, $10,000 is missing from the club’s operating expenses.
Again, I felt the psychiatrist, this time the thinner one, was very suspect in the way he was acting. Clearly the Count is off his rocker, so it had to be someone close to him, which Oliver finds out soon enough.
Digg goes undercover to buy Vertigo. Apparently they have placed a tracking device on the cash that he used to buy the drugs, and they’re going to follow the money to Vertigo’s source. After Oliver leaves, Digg and Felicity discuss the leads she got on Lawton aka Deadshot, which is the first we’re hearing about any of this.
Lance shows up at Laurel’s apartment to question Tommy, who checks his phone and indeed finds a text from the dead girl, asking “Can you hook me up?” Tommy quickly explains it away, saying that he gets hundreds of texts like that every night from people who want his help getting into the club. Lance further grills him, asking why $10K is missing, but Laurel tells him to back off.
I actually think Tommy was being truthful about the text, he probably had no idea he had it. He seems (or seemed before the episode ended) to be on the up and up. Lance seems hell-bent on pursuing his weak lead that he has.
Another flashback to the island, where there’s a bowl of water in from of Oliver, and Shado tells him to hit the water. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” she says. Apparently he splashes all of the water out of the bowl, because she then tells him to fill the bowl and start again.
As most people probably felt, this was clearly a Mr. Miyagi moment, and he would be unknowingly working towards some goal in terms of fighting.
Felicity tracks the money and sends the dealer’s location to Oliver. We see several homeless looking people huddled around a trash can fire, when cars pull up, and a guy gets out to sell Vertigo to them. We don’t get to see the boss, who stays in the car, and we only hear his voice. As the dealer goes to hand over a massive amount of Vertigo, Oliver shoots the Vertigo and green pills scatter everywhere. Gunfire erupts, but Oliver shoots the one of the cars with a special arrow and the car explodes.
One of the homeless dudes shows up at the Starling City Aquarium high on Vertigo, takes a gun from a security guard, and knocks him out. Felicity hacks into the aquarium’s surveillance system and we see the guy shooting up the place and that it’s turned into a hostage situation. Using knowledge he gained from the island, Oliver concocts some medicinal drugs that should counteract the effects of Vertigo. Oliver second guesses his decision to let the Count live, now that the city is falling apart due to that decision. He tells Felicity to get in touch with Digg to help him out at the aquarium. But Digg ignores Felicity’s call, as he is meeting up with a woman that can apparently help bring down Deadshot. Geez Digg, can’t even pick up the phone? Lives could be at stake! Meanwhile, your brother is already dead!
Not mentioned was Diggle’s meeting with some lady that’s with some military organization called Argus. Diggle provides some information to this lady (who seems to maybe of had a personal relationship with Diggle in the past) regarding capturing Deadshot.
Lance shows up at the nightclub and tells Tommy he knows that he paid off the inspector to skip the inspection of the nightclub. Lance says he wants to look around, and Tommy says he can when he comes back with a search warrant.
The guy at the aquarium fires more shots and takes some more Vertigo. Arrow shoots him in the hand, and he runs off. He chases the guy down and is just about to stab him with the medicinal drugs, but the guy dies.
Another flashback to the island. Shado is doing yoga and talking to Oliver about her father, who she says was a general, and he didn’t murder people, but someone had to take the blame for the Chinese massacre, and that’s why he got sent to the island. Shado is worried about the kind of man her father has become after being on the island for so long, but Oliver assures her that he’s still a good man because he saved Oliver’s life. It seems like this description of Yao Fei is supposed to also parallel to Oliver’s situation, and bring into question what type of man Oliver has become after his time on the island.
If Shado’s actor was really doing that weird cross legged hand stand, that was awesome! That looked really tough.
Laurel shows up at the club and tells Tommy that she believes him. Oliver returns, and Lance comes back with a search warrant. Lance wants to check out the sublevel of the club, where we know the Arrow Cave is located. Oliver tries to dissuade Lance from going down there, but eventually gives in and enters the code (141 – any significance?). They all head downstairs and instead of seeing all the fancy Arrow Cave equipment set up, we see stacked chairs and boxes of wine everywhere, and Tommy says he’s been using the area for storage. So that must mean Tommy knows the code and could have gone down there any time he wanted. How long has he had access to the Arrow Cave? Could he have just stumbled across it at any time even before he knew that Oliver was the vigilante? Two episodes ago, the Huntress accosted Tommy down there, and the show wasn’t really clear as to how the two of them actually got there. Anyway, so Lance wants to know why Tommy would bribe the inspector if there was nothing to hide down there. Tommy and Oliver exchange a knowing glance, and Tommy makes up an excuse about the ventilation system.
I have a couple additional questions. One, where did Tommy put the stuff? I am sure he had time, but it would seem weird moving a bunch of computer stuff out if anyone saw him do it. Another thing that bothered me is how does Oliver leave the hideout as Green Arrow when the club is full? Seems like he would be spotted on the way out if that is the only exit/entrance. It was quick thinking and awesome of Tommy to help Oliver out though.
Everyone leaves, and it’s just Tommy and Oliver left. Oliver wants to know why Tommy wouldn’t just tell him about the bribe. Tommy says that he doesn’t tell Oliver everything about the club, and is upset about Oliver insinuating that he had something to do with the drugs earlier. He emphasizes the fact that he changed, just like Oliver changed. Apparently Tommy is still not over the fact that Oliver is the vigilante and kills people, even if he only kills people who do illegal things, and implies that Oliver would kill him for bribing the inspector since it’s illegal. Digg shows up, and Oliver’s mad at him for not answering his phone earlier. When Digg tells him he was after Lawton, Oliver gets more upset about the fact that Digg was too busy carrying out a personal vendetta to help save the city. Digg points out that the Count is a personal vendetta for Oliver, and that he thought Oliver would have understood, but apparently not.
In this scene, we kind of see OIiver pushing everyone away rather quickly. He ticks off both Diggle and Tommy in the matter of a couple minutes. With Diggle he should be more understanding, and with Tommy, he should take it at face value that Tommy wouldn’t be getting back into trouble. Like Tommy explained, he has changed too.
Felicity returns to see the remodeled Arrow Cave. Oliver asks her to check the toxicology report from the autopsy of the Vertigo guy from the aquarium. Turns out he didn’t die from a Vertigo overdose, he died of an allergic reaction to an anti-psychotic, and that the girl that got hit by the car also had the same anti-psychotic in her system, so this must be the new Vertigo ingredient. Wow, they sure get toxicology reports done quick in Starling City. I thought it took weeks or months! Oliver realizes that the only place the Count could have access to that much of the anti-psychotic is at the mental institution, and concludes that the Count must have faked his escape the same way he faked being insane.
While the toxicology report was pretty quick, this again shows Oliver and Felicity using investigative work to figure out their answers. I really enjoy the sleuthing they have been doing. It makes their investigations that much more believable.
Arrow goes to the mental institution and finds the Count, but it turns out he’s all drugged up and strapped to a chair. An orderly hits Oliver from behind, and he falls to the floor unconscious. The psychiatrist from earlier walks in and discovers Arrow, pulls back the hood and realizes it’s Oliver Queen. Oliver awakens strapped to a chair, and quickly realizes that the Count didn’t fake losing his mind, and that the psychiatrist was behind the new Vertigo the whole time. He got the formula by reverse engineering it from a biopsy he ran on the Count’s kidneys. His excuse was that he needed the money. The psychiatrist then pours some green liquid, presumably Vertigo, down Oliver’s throat. But Oliver remote detonates one of his arrows and is able to escape from the chair. Just then, Digg shows up and fights them off, while Oliver stabs himself with the medicinal cure arrow, which causes him to immediately vomit the green stuff. Digg uses the defibrillator paddles to kill the orderly, while the psychiatrist runs off. Oliver catches up to him, and the psychiatrist says, “You don’t look so good. I doubt you could aim a single arrow.” Then we see that Oliver has not one, but 3 arrows sheathed, which he proceeds to shoot at the psychiatrist. Two arrows miss, but one is a direct shot and kills him. Oliver goes back to the Count, who is still strapped to the chair, and draws his bow on him, as the Count is babbling craziness. We see in Oliver’s face that he’s struggling over the decision whether or not to kill him, and in the end he decides not to.
This was a well played out scene I felt like. I especially enjoyed Diggle getting some action finally, and Oliver realizing how valuable Diggle is. The whole 3 arrow scene was just awesome in a cheesy kind of way. I am not sure why the doctor thought a scalpel would be effective even against a drugged Vigilante…
Oliver returns to the nightclub, and Tommy contemptuously asks if the Hood got his man, to which Oliver replies that they won’t be having Vertigo problems anymore. Tommy goes off on a spiel about how the club was so important to him, but to Oliver it’s just a front, and how Oliver expects him to keep his secrets but refuses to see the man that Tommy’s become. Tommy says he’s got too much self respect for that and quits.
I don’t understand Tommy’s logic here. He cares about the club, but immediately quits. Either he was throwing a tantrum, or Oliver’s alter ego has been eating away at him too much. Either way, I felt that was an uncharacteristically brash move for Tommy.
One more flashback to the island. Shado hands Oliver a bow, which he is now able to easily draw back. At the beginning of the episode, he was not strong enough to do so, but apparently slapping the water made him strong enough. Next they’re going to teach him to shoot.
Now sure how slapping water for a few days helped him draw a bow string better, but I will go with the Mr. Miyagi-ing I suppose.
Laurel meets up with her dad at a bar, where he’s drinking soda with no alcohol in it. He tells Laurel that the girl who died had gotten her Vertigo from a co-worker, and worries that by going after Tommy he screwed up things between him and Laurel again. Laurel tells him no, and comments that “people can change.”
If I was Laurel, I would probably be pretty ticked at my dad still. I guess Laurel may feel closer to her dad now after their previous events with regards to Sarah and her mother.
Digg and Oliver are back at the Arrow Cave, as Oliver brings up the fact that Digg killed the orderly, and Digg says that he’s killed before, it’s just been awhile. Oliver comments that he himself is supposed to be the killer, and Digg points out that the Count isn’t dead. Oliver says it’s because “People change,” meaning himself, not the Count. But he then says that not everybody deserves mercy and brings up a screen of Deadshot, who is now a priority to Oliver since it’s a priority to Digg. Looks like they’ll be going after him very soon.
I am curious about Oliver’s “code”. How will he choose who lives and dies? Are there rules? Or does he make it up as he goes along? I guess we will find out.
We end the episode with Tommy talking to someone about how he needs a more boring, stable, 9 to 5 type job. Turns out he is talking to his dad, who he then asks for a job. They hug, and Tommy gets a creepy, evil grin on his face.
The big theme of this episode is “People can change.” It’s not a subtle theme either, as several of the characters come right out and say it in different contexts and scenes. There was so much going on in this episode that I had a hard time keeping up when I was taking notes, specifically when Lawton/Deadshot was brought in out of nowhere. I’m a little disappointed in Tommy. He seems like a nice guy, and I want to root for him and Laurel, even though I’m sure the show is always going to be quietly pushing Oliver and Laurel together. I can kind of see where he’s coming from, tired of always playing second fiddle to Oliver. But now that he’s going to work for his dad, it seems like his whole speech about not knowing Oliver anymore because he kills people is going to turn Tommy into a hypocrite. Too bad we’re going to have to wait awhile to find out what happens next, since the next episode doesn’t air until April 24th.
My final thoughts this episode: This was probably my favorite episode of the season. The twists were predictable, but still fun to see how they played out. We are seeing a change in Tommy, which I feel is going to become more intensified if the Dark Archer has more confrontations with Oliver (Green Goblin and Harry Osborn from Spiderman anyone?). I also enjoyed Diggle’s scenes, especially when he comes to save the day. I also wonder how far into the family business Tommy will be getting, as it looks like it could get pretty dark. I hope to see Diggle get his hands dirty a little more in the show. I am actually pretty excited to see what happens April 24th!