Arrow Round Table: "State v. Queen"

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Welcome back to the Arrow Round Table.

This week, we focus on Arrow Season 2 Episode 7 and that means chatter about the return of Malcolm Merlyn, the real secret Moira has been keeping, the end of the court case and sparks flying between Oliver and Felicity.

Join staff writers Kate Brooks and Carissa Pavlica - along with our friend Hank Otero of Hank's Entertainment Site - and join in the conversation by adding your own thoughts in the comments. Your participation makes these conversations come alive.


Pick a lady to talk about. Laurel's storyline or Felicity's storyline.

Hank: Laurel was actually not bad in this episode but Felicity's my favorite, so I'll go with her. Felicity never fails to surprise me, it's still amazing what Emily Bett Rickards has managed to do with her one little guest spot. Felicity brings out a kind of tenderness in Oliver that we don't see with Laurel, Sara or even Shado.

I know she's crushin' on him big time but from his end, it seems almost brotherly. He wants to protect her, keep her safe. Yes, the Olicity fans want to see them together but like he told her when discussing Isabel, in his line of work he doesn't want to fall for someone he truly cares about. I loved the fact that the first time he kills this season, was to protect Felicity. That was a real nice touch, I think.

Kate: Felicity. Mainly because I love Felicity and everything she has brought, is currently bringing, and will continue to bring to this show. Both as a the brains in the trio as well as the one who has helped Oliver grow and open up. Felicity is a stand alone character, she can own the scene or she can play a damn good part of it. Her whole charcter and storyline is helping this show progress, even the parts that have nothing to do with romantic feelings towards Oliver.

Carissa: Since we have two takers on Felicity, I'll go ahead and tackle Laurel. She really got a raw deal this week and it was completely inappropriate for the District Attorney to put her in charge of the case. However, it does give her yet more to tear apart at her psyche and rip what little self respect she had left down to get to that new awakening we've been talking about. I thought the scene between she and Oliver after she cross-examined Moira was really powerful, and one of the best they've shared.

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What did you think of the final run of The Count?

Hank: All I can say is, good riddance dude. I've said it many times, The Count and The Huntress were the two characters that did not work for me last season. Though I loved Seth Gabel in Fringe, his cartoonish, over-the-top portrayal of The Count felt completely out of place in the Arrow-verse to me. Gabel knows his performance as The Count was polarizing among fans, but he's said he "wanted to take a risk with the character and dare to fail." Unfortunately, it seems to have been a major fail, otherwise he would have made it out alive.

Kate: I think he got what he deserved and I loved the fact that he killed him for Felicity (too morbid?), or just the fact that he killed to protect someone he truly cared about.

Carissa: I didn't enjoy Seth Gabel as The Count at all. Someone pointed out in the comments that he would have fit very well on the 1960s version of the live action Batman program, and I couldn't agree more. Killing him was one of Oliver's shining moments.

What surprised you more, the outcome of Moira's trial or the reason behind it?

Hank: Without a doubt, the reason behind it. I've been hoping John Barrowman would appear at some point, but the Arrow writers always find a way to surprise us, don't they? This season has been excellent so far, but with the return of Merlyn, it's nearing perfection!

Kate: Both. The reason behind it more so, quite frankly I don't enjoy the reason why. Ugh. Merlyn. Ugh.

Carissa: I'm with Kate on this. Ugh - more Merlyn. I love John Barrowman but Merlyn started to lose his villain charm by the end of the Arrow Season 1, and now he's going to be playing Moira like a fiddle again. Oh well, it's her own fault for not coming clean with her children when she had the chance. I knew the trial was rigged after she was so defiant on the stand and the jury stood by her. 

Oliver and Thea told Moira they would forgive her anything that came out during the trial. Do you think they will forgive her for what she withheld when the details of Thea's birth are revealed?

Hank: Hank: That's a tough one, it will probably take some time for Ollie but Thea's going to freak out... Don't you think? Looking forward to this new storyline.

Kate: I guess my first question would be, has Moira known all along that she was Merlin's and not Queen's. If yes, then I am not sure Thea can EVER forgive her. Moira and her secrets, man, I tell ya. DRRAAAMMMAA

Carissa: I don't think she's going to be easily forgiven and I think the secret will come out quickly. Arrow hasn't been dragging things out, and now that Thea's life is going well, it's the perfect time to send her into a spiral to see how strong she has become. As soon as someone seems settled, the rug is pulled out from under them to make sure their strength is the real deal.

Something that struck me as I was thinking about this was how hurt Thea will be when she realized Tommy was her brother and that not only did she crush on him for a while, but she never got to really know him as a brother. That loss will really be a crushing blow.

Grade the episode and state your reason.

Hank: B+, only because there was too much of The Count for my taste LOL. If he were removed altogether, I'd probably have given it an A.

Kate: A+!!! On the account of Felicity and Oliver action, from beginning to end. These two make a great team, hell all three of them make a great team but the two of them make my shipping heart cry, in a good way. You know, I hope they continue to build them up this season and next before we see a possible relationship. I love love love them!

Also, A+ for Laurel this week, normally I cannot stand her but I believed she felt guilty having to grill Moira and reveal her dirty secrets. As Laurel said to her in prison it was a "family matter" and so I, too, felt bad for Laurel. ANOTHER A+, our trio reunites on the island! Or is reunited because technically, it was in the past.

Carissa: B-. There were some really great moments with Oliver, Felicity, Laurel, Thea and Roy - and then the island scenes. But I really struggled with The Count, the trial and the return of Merlyn. At least two of the annoying parts are over, and only one will be left to traumatize me in the future. All the positives will surely outweigh one Merlyn. 

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Malcolm Merlin alive!??!
This just killed the show for me.


1. Horrible Felicity storyline
2. He's great. Why kill him?
3. The reason.
5. C-. Execrable writing. Killed off the Count. Horrible Felicity storyline

Smoak and arrow

Darn. I think my comments somehow got lost somewhere so I'll try again. 1. I'll pick Felicity. I very much like her slow incorporation in to the landscape of Arrow. She's definitely moved beyond the funny little scenes, which I love, but after the last few episodes it's nice to see her getting more dramatic material, which Emily Bett Rickards does a great job with. I'm a big fan of the action/adventure/danger elements of the show and it was fun getting to see Felicity mix it up with a baddie like the Count. I thought she handled herself pretty well. Her relationship with Oliver is developing in surprising ways, I think. The last few moments of them together were really sweet. Felicity's a tough cookie. Goes through all that and she's worried about Oliver's injury while he worries over her. How can I not root for them to be together? Seriously hot. I'm all for Felicity getting trained in some basic self defense (shirtless Oliver, please!) and some history on her character. 2. The final run of The Count. Sigh. I'll miss Seth Gabel. I know feelings are mixed on Count Vertigo but I always had fun with him. I love a smart, complex, manipulative villain as much as the next person and generally I hate the whole "he's a psycho so that's why he does this all" excuse but sometimes? You just like the crazy! Once he figured out Oliver's identity and you realized he was being backed by someone else, you knew he had to go. Bon voyage, Count. I'll miss your crazy! 3. I fully expected Moira to get off somehow. I thought it was be a legal technicality somewhere instead of a bought jury, so definitely the Malcolm reveal was a bigger surprise to me. But I think I echo the comments of eh on this return. I enjoy the character and actor but after awhile, how many times can he come back? Is bringing him back diminishing the impact of season 1? Can his form of nemesis be as interesting and live up to the expectations of that season? Or was it wiser to let it go and keep that awesome memory? We'll find out. 4. I think Oliver will forgive his mom. I think he's way more understanding about people's choices and the situations they find themelves in, for obvious reasons. Thea, on the other hand? No. I'm not sure if they're going to have Malcolm somehow steer/manipulate Thea into discovering the truth or if she'll get curious and discover it on her own, but either way? I don't see her taking it well. I know many saw the Roy/Thea boxing scene as something good but as Roy talked to her about the anger and darkness that would well up inside him, all I could think was: Uh oh! I fully expect Thea to get very, very angry when she finds out the truth. I'm expecting her to go much darker for revenge. She's pretty much been lied to every day of her life. She missed out on knowing her real father (now dead). Now her 1/2 brother is dead too. How's she going to take that? We all know she doesn't exactly deal with anger and betrayal well. My big question is: Who learns the truth first? Thea or Oliver? And if Oliver finds it out first, does he tell his sister or does he keep it from her to protect her? And if he does and Thea finds out... how will that affect their relationship? 5. This is a tough one. I'll give it a B. For me it was a wobbly episode. Just as the Count storyline and the whole Diggle's poisoned stuff would get interesting and rolling, they'd cut in for the trial and everything would get bogged down and I'd start glancing at the clock. I know they couldn't give the trial it's own episode (for that, I think you, Arrow!) because it would have been so boring. But when the secondary storyline has all the drama of illness and crazy and Felicity falling into danger and Oliver having to rescue and that great emotional wrap up with them... I kept thinking: Get back to the GOOD stuff! We know Moira's not going to jail! So while I give the Count part an A, the trial gets a C, so sorry, Arrow... you only average a solid B this week. ~ S&A


One of things that blow me away is their acting skill, especially stephen and emily. They've improve a lot, they don't have to say a word, their expression told the story Amazing! Really love this season


Oliver did nothing but stare at that photo of Laurel for five years on the island. He credits her for his survival. I don't think all that setup on the writers part will be wasted. There's an endgame for Ollie/Laurel, whether we fans like her or not. Honestly, I hope they find a way to make Laurel likeable and give her more interesting storylines.

Fearless diva
@ Henry A. Otero

Exactly but that could be attributed to Ollie being in love with the idea of Laurel not Laurel itself. He had to cling to something during those five years of hell. It's not that we fans dislikes or that she doesn't get more interesting storylines. I in fact like her downward spiral arc because if she is going to take over as Black Canary, then she kind of needs a push to do it. She';s a lawyer and to go from that to a vigilante... something has to make her snap. The point here is that Stephen and Katie just dont have chemistry and you can't force that. Which is why it seems their deviating from actually making them endgame.

@ Henry A. Otero

The only problem with that is it's total BS. We've seen in S2, that Oliver is in a loving/caring relationship with Shado and that Sara popped up back alive and is now on the Island with Oliver/Slade/Shado. We also know that the whole, 5 years on the island was BS too. Oliver blatantly tells Diggle in S1 he got off the island before the 5 years and I doubt he's talking about his brief time on the Amazo. The way I see it, there's 2 possibilities here, either Oliver was lying to himself and Laurel in S1 or the Writers are re-writing history to move away from Oliver/Laurel as end game.

Fearless diva

What else are you hoping we get from season 2? I was reading some comments about the latest episode of Arrow and a lot of them are saying that they thing the cliffhanger this season will be Slade as Deathstroke will show up in the present day. Which now that I think of it, would make sense and I'd finally understand why Manu Benett was promoted to series regular. I think they most likely will make Thea Speedy and Roy either Red Arrow or Arsenal. Did you also hear that in addition to The Flash another two DC comics are being produced to hopefully be included in the CW?

Fearless diva

Exactly! It's not just us Olicity fans being delusional and twisting certain scenes to make us believe they are heading into a potential Olicity romance. Last week's episode was kind of vague when it came to Olicity but if you looked at their reactions... it was implied. This episode shows us the first time Oliver has killed this season and it wasn't a coincidence it was for Felicity. Think about it, even if he was going to kill him solely because he was threatening a friend... why
over do it with three arrows? My guess is in that moment, Oliver's only emotions were fear of loosing someone he cares about again and rage at the fact someone was threatening Felicity. He literally is doing what he did with Laurel last season, which could further imply like you posted Martina that while he hasn't voiced it... Ollie feels something for Felicity. I think that in that regard, Felicity does have a crush on him and is attracted to him on a sexual level(who wouldn't right?) but she hasn't let herself fall head over heels for him.The rage clouding his judgement. Yeah, I really hope they have taken notice of the potential with Olicity and aren't just throwing us a bone. Cause, if they did... I rather they put a halt now and just make them into really good friends. Although that would be an opportunity wasted. Also, another thing to throw at the Olicity haters and hardcore comic book fans... Shows do have a creative licence and as long as they dont completely deviate from the source material, then changing something as small as Ollie's endgame isn't a big deal. Unless their name is Lois Lane and Clark Kent, none of the other DC super heroes have to end up with a designated love interest. Batman for example is shown to have this on/off with Selena Kyle AKA Catwoman but has also been involve with other women. That's why Man of Steel really had to bring their A-Game when it came to casting Clark and Lois, cause you can't just pair up anyone with Clark... Lois is his soulmate. In regards to Oliver, thanks to the New 52, in the comics both Oliver and Dinah have divorced and the writers of both comic series have said that they have no plans of bringing them together in the foreseeable future. I think so far Shado is the only of Ollie's other women who got him so far but in no way is on the same level as Felicity. Laurel and McKenna were naive and only saw regular Ollie, while Helena just loved the vigilante and Sara is all kinds of complicated. Felicity, knows all the sides to him and still accepts him. I really hope they go with the slow burn route and maybe season 3 finale we get a glimpse of a possible relationship and season 4 can be them actually becoming one. Idk about you but I think it was stated by Stephen himself that after his first scene with Emily he went to the producers and told them they needed to bring back Emily. Then they saw the potential with her and didn't let her go by making her a series regular. I know both of the actors woudn't mind Olicity and I like the fact that since season 2, we've been seeing bits and pieces of what could be. On another note, with Malcom being alive... Wouldn't it be awesome if they had Tommy/Collin, guest stars this season via hallucination or something along those lines. Like either for Laurel, who is going down a path of self-destruction or for Malcom. I thought that Roy and Thea scene was cute but couldn't help but think... Roy just wants to show he has abs of steel. :P In regards to the episode " The Scientist", I think most of us Olicity shippers are on board with Belicity solely because this will give us jealous Oliver and perhaps push him that much closer to giving in and asking her to be with him! Cause let's face it Ollie is definitely possessive and won't like sharing Felicity. You know one thing that bothering about season 2 though? The fact that Isabel Rochev is on the list and neither member of Team Arrow has address this. I kind of hope to see a take down soon! Also, realistically Moira can't really go back to being CEO but it be cool if she drop by daily to kind of advice Ollie and slowly started forming a friendship with Felicity. But that's me.

@ Fearless Diva

Hey Fearless Diva, would you be so kind as to send me an email or a DM? Thank a bunch girl!!


Oliver POV: And then comes Oliver and kills me with his line and his everything. First, I want to point out something that I already made a post about, but lemme repeat myself: “But there’s a good reason why Oliver hasn’t had a serious relationship yet — with anybody — since he got back from the island, and we address that towards the back half of our first 9 episodes —specifically as it pertains to Felicity.” Stephen Amell referred to the serious reason that would be addressed in the first half of S02 as related specifically to Felicity. So, the way he delivered the killer line was completely about Felicity and no one else. “Because of the life that I lead, I just think it’s better to not be with someone that I could really care about.” Felicity nods like it wasn’t a surprise and she gets up. While she’s not looking at him, Oliver takes a deep breath and closes his eyes as he’s honestly in true pain after that admission. See, if Oliver was referring to Laurel as I saw some people say, he wouldn’t have said ‘I could really care about’, because everyone knows Oliver thinks he is in love with Laurel (or at least we thought so before last night episode, he didn’t sound like a man in love). It’s all about the way they worded the scene. The writers could have gone with other ways to give the same idea, but the line was the possibility of Oliver being with someone he could start loving in a very serious way and that would be risky because of the Hood life. If he was thinking about Laurel, he would have said ‘I can’t be with the woman I’m love with’ or even a Damon type line like ‘I love a woman I can’t never have because too much story between us, so I need to be with people that won’t matter’. Seriously, many ways to deliver the reason Oliver couldn’t be in a relationship with someone and they chose the one that implied he’d want to pursue a relationship with Felicity if he wasn’t the city’s vigilante. There’s no room for argumentation, plus the fact Stephen said when the serious reason Oliver wouldn’t get involve with someone was related to Felicity, it was pure math. The “it’s better to not be with someone that I could really care about” turns into “it’s better to not be with you, someone that I could really fall in love”. And then Felicity response to this admission was: “I think you deserve better than her.” This is a friend saying someone is not good enough for their dear friend. Felicity is the most empathic character of the show; she will care about someone’s pain. Oliver telling her that made her upset of the way he sees things. A few weeks ago, Felicity had a real glimpse of how awful these five years were to Oliver. This line is Felicity wanting Oliver to get a happy story. She knows Oliver giving up meaningful relationships because of his Hood life is just another way to keep sad notes. I mean, no one wants to be lonely and Oliver isn’t different. That line Felicity said wasn’t about her or her feelings at all. She was worried and heartbroken over Oliver’s pain. Now makes sense what Emily said about Olicity: “If he were to crack Felicity would crack too. They’re that connected. They rely on each other to that extent.” His pain became her pain and she wants him to be happy. And now my Olicity meta moment. After watching last episode, I understood that regarding the romantic aspect of Olicity at this point, Oliver is aware and he feels more for Felicity than she does for him. When Oliver talked, he was talking to a woman he’d want to share a romantic relationship and fall in love with in this alternate life where he wasn’t the damaged city’s vigilante and just a survivor. When Felicity answered, she was talking to a friend she truly wishes he would want more than what he settles for (someone he won’t ever care about instead of pursuing someone good and nice). I see then in an uneven level right now and it’s understandable.
Is it really surprising Oliver is aware of his feelings for Felicity first? No, it’s not. He spent five years alone and suddenly he has someone like Felicity in his life and he isn’t supposed to wonder and even want to be with her? It’s almost impossible! Especially because she offers so much of herself to him because she’s genuinely a kind person. Oliver is completely under the Felicity Smoak effect and he won’t ever snap out of it. He will only get more and more drawn to her to the point he is irrevocably in love with her. Right now, he knows he can seriously rfall for her if he lets himself, but I don’t think he understands the depth of his involvement with her. He knows the possibility is close, but he doesn’t know what that means. And right now, he doesn’t want to find out. He’s not ready. But he knows it’s there, which is a step closer toward the right direction than where Felicity is right now. thats how i see it too! sorry for the long text.

@ martina

You're definitely passionate. ;-)


oh and olivers "it's better to be not with someone i could really care about" was not about oliver being friendly/brotherly towards felicity, it was actually a major step into a romantic direction. cause he actually says if he wouldn't lead that life, he would totally fall for felicity. here a review from a friend cause she put it perfectly in words: Felicity POV: She’s a genuinely nice person, she doesn’t judge someone based on her background info, but rather how the person acts with her. The evidence of that was the fact she treated Sara as someone normal instead of a murderer. The same thing applies to Oliver after he trusted her with his secret. See, the thing about Felicity is that she’s a loyal person. She’ll stick and respect Oliver’s feelings and the people whom he cares about, just like she’ll defend him from people who think he’s not good (Felicity calling the Hood hero to Lance anyone?!). The fact Oliver slept with Isabel, a woman they were fighting against and that mistreated her, it settled badly on her. I think her hurt feelings came from a place where she saw Oliver sleeping with Isabel kinda hurting the loyalty of Team Arrow. It wasn’t about jealousy, you know? It tasted a bit like betrayal of the principal of sticking together. I think everyone is reading this scene wrong when they reduce Felicity’s reaction to jealousy. It doesn’t sound like that for me. (to be continued)


really, really loved that episode! the olicity interaction was a huge A+ this episode! and i really would love to see their realationship grow deeper! can't understand why people continue to say they only see brotherly chemistry btw this two especially from olivers point of view!? when my brother would look at me/talk to me and act around me like oliver does with felicity ... it would creep me out! haha :) theres totally romantic chemistry! and tbh i totally see oliver falling for felicity first. true felicity has a crush on him but thats it. a crush! i mean how could he not fall for felicity ... she's smart, warm, funny and so beautiful! she makes him smile and i totally believe she would make him soooo happy! i'm all in for olicity.
the malcom twist: i totally expected for him to come back at some point ... but i was suprised it was that soon! just love him as villain! barrowman rocks! MORE MORE MORE! since they pointed the affair out at the trial i expected that one of the queen-children not being a queen :) but still ... really thrilled thea is a merlyn XD can't wait for her to find out!
for laurel: yeah everything is so difficult for her and i really get that but i must admit i don't care that much! care more for the other lances aka quentin and sara. hope to see more storyline for laurel.
the count is gone ... good.
so now that olicity is in a good place (the writers totally know what they are doing!) I really need some felicity backstory :) ALL IN ALL GREAT EP.! ARROW IS MY FAVE SHOW!

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Arrow Season 2 Episode 7 Quotes

I made a choice not to put an arrow in this guy, and it was the right choice. There's no more killing.


Mom, secrets are what put you here. Secrets and lies. Now is the time to give the truth its day.