Moira Queen’s (Susanna Thompson) day in court has come. Will she fry for the 500+ innocent people she had a hand in murdering, or will she walk free? The earthquake only hit six months prior, which means her case is moving ahead at lightning speed, and in a flashback we witness the Arkham-like prison break it caused at Iron Heights. We see the guards escaping, leaving the inmates to fend for themselves (jerks), and we see The Dollmaker freed, by Count Vertigo (Seth Gabel), no less.
Yes, The Count is back and Gabel’s gleeful, overwrought performance still reminds me too much of a poor imitation of The Joker. Maybe lazy writing is to blame for this pathetic Joker facsimile, but whatever the reason, I was over it the first time and I’m beyond over it now. Nothing this villain does is original. Even when he discovers The Arrow’s (Stephen Amell) secret identity he doesn’t put it towards anything useful.
Actually, I’ll admit I was impressed The Count put it together at all. He does a surprisingly good job of connecting those dots between Felicity’s (Emily Bett Rickards) Queen Consolidated badge and that time Oliver Queen once tried to score Vertigo. It’s a stretch, surely, but I have to give him credit for figuring it out when dozens have had far more obvious evidence thrust in their faces and only ignored it. Perhaps this is why Oliver invests in a mask?
At the very least this episode is The Count’s last. And I appreciate that while the show explores this “The Arrow doesn’t kill” line of thought they aren’t being so foolish as to show him abstaining from killing someone when it’s absolutely necessary. And The Count is for sure dead as I can’t imagine how he’d survive two arrows in the chest plus a fall onto a parked car from several stories up. In fact, he should have appeared partially liquefied judging by how far he fell. Not that a clearly evident death should mean anything considering this episode’s final reveal, but, I’m getting ahead of myself.
While I’m here, though, can I ask we please stop with the Olicity!? It’s a cute ship with a cute shipping name, but there’s no reason for every girl on Arrow to go weak in the knees over Oliver. He’s a player, yes, but it’s getting to be too much.
During The Count’s latest Vertigo, Moira is fighting for her life in court… against Laurel (Katie Cassidy). The lead prosecutor fell victim to The Count’s Vertigo forcing Laurel to take over the case. Yes, this egregious conflict of interest where the prosecuting attorney is closely connected with the defendant is actually allowed to happen. Only on the CW, folks. Laurel does her fair bit of law breaking, too, when she visits Moira in prison and presents her with some of the evidence the prosecution has collected against her. Again, one of those things lawyers shouldn’t be able to get away with so easily, but, eh, television, I guess. Laurel tries to talk Moira out of testifying, telling her she’ll have to use this new, damning evidence against her.
It’s no good, though, and when Laurel cross examines Moira she drops the bomb: Moira and Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) had an affair! Way to go Moira–I mean, no, bad. What? Her husband repeatedly cheated on her, why not get some of that fine, Barrowman ass? Sure, he’s a madman, but who doesn’t have their eccentricities? The revelation is something of a nail in coffin for Moira’s defense, making her appear all the more culpable of murder. Yet, she’s found… not guilty!?
It’s obvious the law is broken in Starling City. First allowing Laurel to lead the prosecution, her gross misuse of her position once in charge, and then the jury clearly being bought in order to deliver a not guilty sentencing? Who could be behind all this? Initially suspicious is Brother Blood, the alderman’s criminal alter ego who may or may not be starting a cult. He was behind Count Vertigo’s return, supplying and aiding his production of his new Vertigo, but not bribing Moira’s jury.
Responsible for rigging the jury is Malcolm Merlyn! Who is most definitely not dead and also, by the way, Thea’s (Willa Holland) real father! What!? Man, did this show just dive headfirst into Grade A soap opera territory. What was a mostly lackluster episode, with its terrible villain and boring courtrooms scenes, is saved by an eleventh hour return from Malcolm. Presumed dead at the end of the last season, Arrow clearly couldn’t continue without him. This season, while overall better than the first, has been suffering from its lack of a main villain. Brother Blood will likely prove bad news, but that plot’s developing too slowly. There’s been lots of ominous mumbling about the League of Assassins, but since Sarah’s left town that’s come to nothing. Arrow needs Malcolm, and I cannot wait to see the shit he’s gonna stir up, especially since learning he’s got a daughter.
Last few observations, Roy (Colton Haynes) encouraging Thea to beat on him, with boxing gloves, to release her anger was weird, slightly kinky, but mostly just weird. Back on the island it’s good to see Shado (Celina Jade) and Slade (Manu Bennet) are still a formidable team, even if half of Slade’s body is burnt all the fuck up. Sure gives him a very Deathstoke look, though, with half his face blackened. We also discover the importance of that arrowhead Oliver discovered on the Japanese soldier, and later gave to Thea; it has the coordinates to where the Miracle-laden submarine went ashore. Not a startling development, but at least we’re getting developments from this ever-more-intriquing Professor Ivo/Miracle drug plot line.
Arrow airs Wednesday at 8pm EST on the CW. (But next week is an off week due to the holiday.)