We finally had an hour where it felt like we were watching an adaptation of a comic book on "Vertigo," thanks to Seth Gabel's excellent portrayal of The Count.
He was just campy enough to draw out the comic feel and yet still a mean and frightening bad guy threatening Starling City. He was a fun opponent for Oliver and Arrow and 60 minutes just zoomed by.
Alright, raise your hands: How many of you really thought Oliver would kill a guy to get to The Count? If Diggle could fail the test, then I'm guessing some viewers did, too. I knew there would be some trick involved and was wondering how the deal would go down once the guy woke up. I didn't realize it was a take your kill with you kind of situation. That was odd. It couldn't have ended any other way, but that was the one snag I couldn't explain. Arrow is so full of fun surprises!
I loved how Diggle didn't trust Oliver not to kill some random dude with the Russians, but totally trusted him not to shoot the arrow at the tennis ball when he was still high on Vertigo. Thankfully, their relationship is getting stronger. Each week it gets more enjoyable to listen to their banter and know they're growing closer as a result of it.
Another hand raiser: Number of people thinking, "Hey, Diggle, just suck the venom out of Oliver's chest!" Like I said in last week's review of "Betrayal" about the flashbacks, it's hard to get overly upset when Oliver is in danger, either on or off the island. The Count stabs two vials of Vertigo into his chest and I'm not worried. Oliver is tossed into a fight or die situation with his buddy on the island, and I'm not worried. Oliver Queen is not going anywhere. That's probably my biggest complaint with Arrow.
There is so much to love, but they need to stop with the Oliver-in-peril situations because while everyone else could take a tumble, Oliver is set in stone. He's the Green Arrow. Or,The Hood. Whatevs.
Thea's near miss of heading to trial thanks to a judge who was willing to use the Queen family as an example to show just how bad it is to do drugs (mmmkay), gave Oliver an immediate need to get to The Count. It didn't stop him from pulling out all the available cards, including imploring Laurel to ask her dad to speak to the judge on her behalf. That's what worked, but once Oliver knew what kind of a man The Count was, and was pumped full of Vertigo himself, getting a first hand reference of what The Count was pushing, he wanted to take him down at any cost.
During Oliver's quest, we were finally introduced to a cop who didn't have a bone to pick with Oliver or the Queens, his old high school friend, McKenna Hall. She was really great and had some nifty moves. I hope she sticks around for future episodes. We need someone who won't automatically jump to conclusions regarding Arrow like Det. Lance does. Can someone tell me why he was so upset to see The Hood with syringes to The Count?
According to the judge in Thea's case, Vertigo was the worst thing to hit Starling City in ages and stopping it was imperative. Instead of being even mildly grateful that The Hood (I hate that name) had captured and was going to incapacitate The Count, Lance laid into him about being a murderer. What the hell? That was such a stretch, even for his expected high and mighty routine. So the pusher was being pushed, it hardly made the guy who captured the immense criminal he couldn't a murderer.
Now that Oliver gave The Count a dose of his own medicine, will he make it back to the streets of Starling City? Reading this interview with Seth Gabel, and seeing The Count being wheeled down the hospital flipped out of his mind, it would appear to be a stretch. That would be too bad. The loss of a fantastic actor and a wicked villain continuing to tear up the streets would be a terrible in the long term. What do you think, will he be back?
Finally, while Felicity wasn't the next person to be in on the identity of The Hood, she did take a chance and turn to Oliver with what Walter had entrusted her to research. She thinks it got him killed. Felicity felt she could trust Oliver by his face. Was she also able to read the many emotions that ran across it when he saw the book? I wonder what she'll take away from that conversation and what Oliver with do with the new information.
Let's get Felicity more airtime!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.