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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.

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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 a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Fearless-diva

For me personally, when I first heard about Arrow last year I was curious. What initially drew me in to check it out was Katie Cassidy because I watched most of the other shows she had been on. However, it's not that I think she is bad actress but she just has 0 romantic chemistry with Stephen and doesn't really mesh well with the rest of the cast(besides her dad and Tommy). Putting my favoritism to Emily/Felicity aside, you have to hand it to her. Emily was initially only hired to be in that one scene and that was it. But then she was asked for more and then in addition to her talent and the fans liking her, was promoted to series regular. She has had scenes with Stephen, Paul( Quentin), Caity(Sara), Roy and Summer ( Isabel) just to name a few and has killed it. But honestly, I hope the writers aren't playing with us when it comes to Ollicity as potential romance and new endgame. Last episode confirmed that Ollie might feel the same for Felicity and this episode further proves that. More and more it seems that Emily is becoming the leading lady and Katie is fading into the background.Even if I wasn't an Olicity fan... I'm the type of person who likes a relationship for its chemistry. Ollie and Laurel have 0. Frankly I don't think its Stephen's or Katie's fault. Stephen had chemistry with Jessica(Huntress) and Celina (Shado) in addition to Emily, while Katie had chemistry with Tommy and now the new DA. So its just when they get put together that I feel nothing personally. They work better as friends and when Laurel becomes the Black Canary, they could work as teammates. Frankly, I'm hoping that the writers have seen that they can't force the chemistry between Katie and Stephen just for the sake of having Canary and Arrow as endgame. P.S.: So Thea had a crush on her half brother in early season 1 and Tommy thought she was hot in the pilot? Talk about creepy. Also, Idk if I was the only one who noticed but Felicity was wearing pink on this past Wednesday's episode and you know... according to the Plastics: " On Wednesdays we wear pink!"

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@ Fearless Diva

Hi!!! I totally agree with you. I was curious at the beginning when Arrow started. I really liked Katie Cassidy in Supernatural but when Istarted watching, I did not like the show at all, everything seemed so forced. Then I saw a lot of comments and reviews talking about Felicity what make curious again and that's what make see it again. So I have to say that obviously it's not Katie or Stephen's fault at all, sometimes you have chemistry, sometimes you don't; so I do hope they don't force this realtionship on us too much. Nevertheless, I would love a slow burn for Olicity and training Felicity would be a nice addition too.

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Carissa came the closest to getting the grade right. This was my least favorite episode of the entire series. I will throw out some supposition about Laurel. Since Merlyn is alive, and he knew Laurel broke Tommy's heart, and probably figured Tommy died trying to save Laurel (given where Tommy died) I think he used his friends in the DA's office to manipulate Laurel into the position where she was the one to prosecute Moira. I keep remembering Laurel's mom saying last season she chose Quentin over someone else to everyone's surprise. I wonder if it was Merlyn? If so, the saving and turning of Sara into an assassin, Lance's demotion in the corrupt police force after stopping one earthquake machine and sounding the alarm to evacuate the glades before anyone else, and Laurel's downward spiral make sense. After all, if law and order Lance (as he was at the start of the show) did steal Mrs. Lance away from Merlyn what better revenge than to turn his daughter into an assassin once he found out Sara didn't die in the sabotaged Queen's Gambit? The fact the assassin didn't kill Laurel, and instead left a knife in her place adds to the possibility that Laurel is being tormented by Merlyn. I half expect to learn that Laurel is being "haunted" by Tommy blaming her for his death after her line to Oliver this week questioning how he could forgive her.

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@ Queensgambit

What a wonderful analysis of Laurel's character! I am excited to see where the writers go with her character. I know that there are a lot of Olicity shippers out there, but I only see Ollie treating her like his sister. I can't see any romantic feelings from his side. However he is aware of how she feels about him and is respectful and protective of her feelings. He cares a lot about her, but the way he looks at Laurel. There is longing and pain. I don't know if it's his own guilty feelings about running off with Sara and the consequences of that tragedy, but I can't really see Ollie moving on until he sorts out his feelings for Laurel. I really would like more backstory on the whole Laurel/Ollie/Sara triangle. How long had Ollie and Sara been sneaking around behind Laurel's back? She told Ollie in season 1 that she couldn't even be mad at Sara because she was dead. How will Laurel react when she realizes that Sara is alive? This is going to be a good season!

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@ Queensgambit

First, I'm overcome with emotion that ANYONE would dare agree with me in anything. Bless you. :-) Second, I like all the thought you put into Laurel's condition. If part of Merlyn's return plays out as you suggested, I will find it much more interesting. Nice theories!

Joyeful

1. If I HAD to talk about Laurel, I will say that the kick-her-while-she's-down storyline is progressing nicely (assuming that's what it's supposed to be). However - and I'm sorry - but I just don't find Katie Cassidy that convincing as a broken woman. At all. Felicity's storyline - I think it was silly of her to go to the trailer herself. However, I think it was huge that she was willing to die rather than be the reason that Oliver killed someone again. I respectfully disagree with Hank - I don't see "brotherly" at all. They even change the score when the two are interacting. That final scene where Ollie goes to check on his friends, there's no background music when Oliver says he's checking on Diggle, and as soon as he turns to Felicity...strings!!! 2. So glad the Count is officially gone. He was a pretty bad villain. He was too much like the animated version of the Joker, but even the animated Joker was more menacing in his mania. 3. The "who" behind the outcome was a huge surprise to me. Was surprised to see Merlyn back so soon. Arrow doesn't waste time! 4. Thea will NOT get over it. And Carissa has a great point - she will now have lost 2 brothers at some point in her life. Even worse. 5. A(-) : losing points for the Count and for Katie Cassidy's acting. The reveal at the end and the Felicity/Oliver excellent interactions outweigh those though.

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I loved the Count i thought Laurel was written well loved the Island stuff,and love that Malcolm is back.P.s Carissa you have terrible taste

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@ Ackerlover

Hmmm. Everyone dislikes The Count but you.

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Hello,
I loved this episode. The Malcolm twist at the end was just pure soap. I positively adored the Oliver & Felicity stuff and I too loved that his first kill was to protect her...although, come on, one arrow would have sufficed, but loved that he went the extra mile and put three arrows in him for effect. :-)
As for Laurel, I've really given up on the character. I was a fan at the beginning for a while and then she just lost her appeal for me. Unfortunately that did not change within this episode. Katie Cassidy has been phenomenal in so many other shows but I have yet to truly connect with her character on Arrow.

Spindae-2o

Hello! Nice Arrow RT day!
1.Lady of my choice? Laurel, her scenes were really powerful this week. The scene with Oliver was really nice, despite not having so much personal growth her scenes with Oliver were always great. She really struggled in this episode I really hope for some growth with Sara coming back.
2.The COUNT? I agree with Hank he shouldn't even appear. The episode would be much better and simpler without him
3. Moira's trial? I really was shocked with Malcolm have that much of input. I knew Moira would get free but this was a shocking way to get there.
4.Secrets? First of all I must say it's completely out of character for Malcolm to cheat. He loved his wife so much he went all Godzilla on the Glades that type of man doesn't cheat. Second, I completely forgot Thea crushed on Tommy. That's creepy. Oliver will forgive Moira he has bigger sins on his back, he won't like it but he will forgive. For Thea this could be the breaking point to sent her to Central city to redo HER life. Cause I honestly think they will hitch a character to the Flash.
5. Grade? Clear B! The count ruined the flow of the episode and it was the first time I felt the force OLICITY into our face. Usually the are more suptile.