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. (more…)
When Arrow returned from its hiatus the episodes were weaker than where we left off. “The Huntress Returns” was fun only due to another appearance of Jessica de Gouw, and “Salvation” was such a bloated episode with much going on that I cared so little about. Last night’s episode, “Unfinished Business” was a return to the more cohesive, solid storytelling of Geoff John’s “Dead to Rights.” And, huh?, what do you know, Bryan Q. Miller wrote this episode, along with Lindsey Allen, and I wonder if there’s any correlation between a strong episode and whether or not there’s a comic book writer behind it? I don’t know, maybe, but here’s our evidence.
There’s a new, stronger version of Vertigo on the streets of Starling City and Tommy (Colin Donnell) and Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) club, Verdant – which I’ll add just looks like a club you’d only be at if you were on high-end, expensive, party drugs – is connected to the case of young woman’s death at the hands of the drug. Of course, Vertigo’s involvement leads Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and The Hood to suspect The Count’s (Seth Gabel) behind the drug’s reappearance. Only problem is, he’s completely mad and locked away in Starling City’s very own Arkham-lite. But The Count isn’t Lance’s only suspect; with little, but compelling evidence Lance suspects Tommy of dealing Vertigo out of the club and begins an investigation. And, if you thought having your dad accuse your boyfriend of being a drug dealer is bad, think how much it sucks for Laurel (Katie Cassidy) when your dad’s a cop and your boyfriend’s a nightclub owner.
Last week Arrow left off with Thea (Willa Holland) arrested for driving under the influence of Vertigo, Starling City’s newest party high, bringing the drug and its nefarious dealer, The Count (Seth Gabel), center stage. It’s another neat twist on DC lore turning the austere Count Vertigo into a drug dealer peddling a substance that when over imbibed leaves the user suffering from some dizzying effects. With Thea facing jail time because Judge Jerkface wants to see her made into an example for the drug-addled youth of Starling City, Ollie (Stephen Amell) sees his only option as bringing in The Count to take the heat off Thea.
Since it’s his sister on the line, Ollie uses every available means to hunt down The Count. As Oliver Queen he visits an old flame from his partying days, McKenna Hall (Janina Gavankar), now a vice cop, who provides him with a couple leads including “The Count” alias. And do you want to know how he earned such a moniker? You sure? Because I’m sorry, it’s pretty dumb. See, Vertigo is a very potent substance and required quite a bit of testing before it was street safe. Testing done on homeless bums and destitute prostitutes. When those poor souls were found overdosed there would be two puncture marks on their necks from the syringe. Vampire bites, get it? Vampire bites, The Count, isn’t that funny!? Yeah … umm, clever.
Arrow has had itself a pretty solid start. It’s not perfect, but it’s proved to be an interesting take on DC‘s emerald archer and I believe has been a pleasant surprise for comic book fans and non-fans alike. Sure, he’s never referred to as Green Arrow but rather, The Hood, which is a little irritating, but there have been plenty of winks and nods to classic DC lore to calm the nerd rage.
We learned last week Count Vertigo would be joining the cast as a, “truly scary and nightmarish,” villain early next year, and there was a lot of speculation this would turn out to John Barrowman’s mysterious “Well-Dressed Man.” Nope! Because today TVLine reported Fringe‘s Seth Gabel has been cast as Vertigo. It’s still unclear how like his comic book counterpart he’ll be, but we do know his appearance coincides with a new party drug, called Vertigo, hitting Starling City.
Speaking of all the changes, something they’ve amped up on Arrow has been the casualty count. The Hood kills, and it’s not like Green Arrow never did, but it’s happening far more frequently in Starling City than it ever did in Star City. Oliver Queen himself, Stephen Amell recently spoke to SFX Magazine and was asked why his hero is also a killer?
The central character of all the great shows on television, and I don’t list these names to draw comparisons, but as an example – Tony Soprano, Walter White, Don Draper – these are all incredibly flawed people that do regrettable things, terrible things, unforgivable things. But as long as they’re pursuing an overall goal, and as long as they engage the audience, that’s why those shows resonate. I’ve always wanted to play somebody who was unflinching, who set up for something and followed through with it. That’s why we have to kill people on the show, because he’s trying to clean up the city. To think that there wouldn’t be collateral damage, that would be farcical.
I think he raises a good point, shouldn’t our heroes be more realistic and flawed? This way they can be more relatable, and just maybe, their heroic actions will appear more heroic in contrast. I don’t know, just throwing some thoughts out there, but I know the high kill count on Arrow did catch me off guard at first.