Holy crap, did a lot of stuff happen in this week’s episode! There were something like four or five storylines going on, and they were all really compelling. This means nothing to you, but this is the first episode in which I took over a page of notes, just because there were so many plot points. I mean, that’s pretty nuts. And this is only the seventh episode. What the hell else are they going to throw at us?
We start with a flashback to the night Moira Queen held the press conference and confessed to being a party to Malcolm Merlyn’s Undertaking (which is the name of my early-’80s Prog Rock band). It’s being watched by guards at the mental asylum that housed the Count (Seth Gabel). When the earthquake happened, the Count’s cell got busted open and he was free to leave. He’s even the one who freed the Dollmaker. (Fun cameo.)
As Moira Queen’s trial commences back in the present, prosecutor Adam Donner (Dylan Bruce) smirks because he has a trump card. Laurel has no idea what it is. Diggle is very sick as he escorts the Queen children into the courthouse. He says he shouldn’t have the flu because he had a flu shot. Oliver sends him home because he looks like death boiled over. Roy shows up for the trial as well. What a good boyfriend.
At Queen Consolidated, Diggle collapses. Felicity does some bloodwork and finds that Diggle’s been poisoned with Vertigo, leading me to immediately figure out where he got it. Oliver finds out that the Count escaped, just as the Dollmaker did, and that the prison system covered it up like the jerks they are. Felicity is worried Oliver’s going to go kill him, but he said he spared him for a reason. He hands her the antidote he’d made the last time to give Dig.
On the stand as a character witness, Thea is cross-examined by Donner, and it doesn’t go well. He knows that she didn’t go visit her mother for five months after she was arrested. She said she needed time to process things and to get her head around it, but Donner spins that to mean she knew what her mother did was wrong and why should the jury believe any different? Luckily for the Queens, Donner collapses in the courtroom, and a recess is called. Also unlucky for Donner, the Count is in the driver’s seat of the ambulance. Oooh, tough break.
Back at the Arrow Cave, Oliver is dismayed to find out that his home remedy didn’t work on Diggle. Just then, the Count breaks in on the TV, having hijacked the airwaves, and says that the people experiencing what Diggle and Donner have are actually in Vertigo withdrawal. He makes the counselor admit on television that he wants a hit of Vertigo to stop the pain, which the Count happily obliges.
Laurel gets named lead prosecutor of the Queen trial, and she finds her boss’ trump card. She goes to see Moira in prison, even though she could get disbarred for it, and tells her that if Moira testifies, she will HAVE to do her job, and she doesn’t want to.
Elsewhere, Roy teaches Thea to exercise her anger through punching him with boxing gloves on. So that’s what they were up to.
The brilliant and tech-savvy Felicity is able to see from the Count video a reflection in Donner’s eye of the symbol for the Starling City Municipal Building. That’s REALLY impressive. I like how when the writers get a bit stuck or need to speed things along, they have Felicity do something on the computer that may or may not be possible in real life. That’s why this show rules. That and many other reasons.
Arrow goes to free Donner and sees the Count’s Vertigo-making operation. The archer refuses to kill his nemesis, which gives the psychopath a new thing to hold over him. Arrow does, however, set the lab on fire as he gets Donner away.
Moira meets with her kids and tells them the truth before they hear it in court first: She had an affair with Malcolm Merlyn many, many years ago. She claims it happened once and she came to her senses. When Laurel brings this up at the trial, she pretty much alludes to the fact that Malcolm couldn’t possibly have held her family ransom because Moira clearly held sway over him. Hence, not coercion; hence, she’s guilty. Laurel is almost as upset about this as anyone else, and is shocked and sort of wigged out when Oliver asks if she’s okay afterward.
Back in the Arrow Cave, Diggle and Felicity FINALLY figure out that the Count was using the flu shots as a means of dispersing the drug. Remember how we all figured that out in the pre-credit sequence? Diggle’s still too weak to investigate, but Felicity goes and finds the flu shot truck. Guess who’s there: the Count.
At the courthouse, the Queens’ attorney tells Oliver and Thea that the jury has already reached a verdict. This is not good. The judge wants everybody to stay until the verdict is read. Oliver gets a phone call from Felicity, except it’s really the Count who has figured out that Oliver is the Arrow based on very basic deductive reasoning. So, good for him, really. Oliver leaves the courthouse, much to his sister’s consternation.
Oliver goes in to Queen Consolidated to get Felicity. The Count mentions that a man of means “who really hates Oliver” helped get his operation back up and running. When Oliver asks who, the Count tells him he’ll be very surprised when he finds out.
The Count opens fire on Oliver, who dodges, but gets winged in the arm. The Count then threatens to dose Felicity with Vertigo if he doesn’t drop his arrow, which of course Oliver complies with. Except, now the Count’s going to dose her anyway, as “punishment” for Oliver’s crimes against him. Oliver quickly lets three arrows fly, all of them hitting the Count in the chest, and the villain crashes through the high-rise window and falls to his death on a cab.
Oliver returns to the courtroom, very shaken up about having just killed again. Luckily, he didn’t miss the verdict. On the count of conspiracy in the first degree, the jury finds Moira Queen…Not Guilty! And on the 503 counts of murder in the first degree, the jury finds Moira Queen…Not Guilty! Whaaaaaat?!?! That doesn’t make any sense at all, right?
Oliver goes to the Queen Cave and sees that, miraculously, Consolidated’s applied science division was able to fast-track a proper anti-toxin and cure all the flu shot-ees. Felicity and Oliver share a tender moment; she apologizes for getting herself in a situation where he had to make the choice to break his no-kill vow. Oliver replies that she was in danger, so it wasn’t a choice at all. Awwwww.
In a bunker somewhere, Brother Blood is upset that the Count has died, since he’d paid for the madman to take out the Arrow. Yeah, it was him, of course. Why wouldn’t it be? He puts on his mask and goes into a room with a row of six dead guys in chairs with blood coming out of their eyes. The seventh guy, whom Blood calls “Brother Cyrus,” has blood coming out of his eyes, but he says he’s feeling better. This is not a good thing.
As Moira is driven out of prison, her driver takes her somewhere she’s never been before… to meet someone… and it’s Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). He’s gone to places where death is merely an illusion, and he’s very good at that trick. He admits to rigging the verdict in Moira’s favor, but he’s furious with her because now he knows the truth about what she lied to him about. He did some digging and found something else out following their affair: Turns out, Thea is Merlyn’s daughter!! Double-You Tee Fuck?!!?!?!?!
ON THE ISLAND
Oliver is led by Ivo, the Captain, Sara, and a bunch of other baddies to the plane where Shado and Slade were. They’re gone, but Ivo puts an explosive device in there so they can’t return. Slade and Shado WERE in there, though, and are able to defuse the device before it blows. Slade’s whole right side is charred. A bit Two-Facey, or, dare I say, Deathstrokey.
Oliver leads them to the graveyard where Ivo is furious when he sees what he’s looking for, the arrowhead Hosen that they found last year. It’s not there, so they toss him out in the dirt. Just then, Slade and Shado arrive and there’s a bit of a standoff. They claim not to know where the hosen is and want Oliver in exchange leaving the pirates alone to look for it. They agree, but Oliver punches the Captain in the face, grabs Sara, and they all run off.
As the pirates give chase, Shado tosses the explosive and it goes off, getting the lower half of the Captain. Ivo, irritated by the setback, shoots him in the head, and makes another pirate the Captain. I hope they call him “Captain Two: Electric Boogaloo.”
Shado does, of course, have the hosen, and on the back side of it are numbers. Sara says they’re coordinates to a sunken WWII Japanese submarine, the contents of which could save the world. But could it save Slade?
It’s super soldier stuff, you guys.
So yeah, that was this week. Nuts, it was. Insane, even. So much going on. Malcolm back! Count Vertigo dead! Thea Merlyn! Oliver and Felicity! STUFF!! Oh, and also, there was a throwaway line about Star Labs having perfected a particle accelerator. That comes into play in the next episode, airing on December 4th, beginning the two-part mid-season finale featuring Barry Allen. THE FLASH!