Seth Gabel returns in this week’s episode as recurring villain Count Vertigo, and Moira’s case goes to trial. The two are related, as it was Moira’s involvement with the undertaking to destroy The Glades that was partially responsible for the quake, and it was that very quake that freed The Count from his cell at Iron Heights Prison. Of course that can’t be good for Starling City, as The Count enlists aid to infect the population with the drug Vertigo. Things hit home for Oliver and his crew when Diggle falls victim to the villain’s poison. Not a good time for one of Ollie’s people to be down, as Oliver is partly preoccupied with his mother’s trial. The episode does a nice job going back and forth between the two story lines, while also giving us more glimpses of what happened when Oliver, Sara, and Ivo returned to the island from the Amazo.
Even Moira’s trial isn’t safe from the effects of Count Vertigo’s scheme, as ADA Adam Donner collapses while grilling Thea on the stand. Things don’t improve for Moira either when DA Spencer appoints Laurel as lead counsel on the case, and tells her to get a conviction. Laurel discovers that Adam had found a trump card, and Laurel uses that to get Moira to testify on the stand, revealing that Moira had an affair with Malcolm Merlyn. Laurel uses that against Moira, and tries to convince the jury that the relationship proved her complicity in the destruction of The Glades.
The Count, meanwhile, has taken ADA Donner hostage, and Oliver goes to rescue him. He springs the ADA, but is unable to take down The Count. Felicity works out a method for tracking the villain, and with Diggle being incapacitated she goes off to find clues to The Count’s whereabouts. Of course, this gets her captured, and Ollie needs to leave his mother’s trial just as the jury goes in to deliberate a verdict. In a tense stand-off, Ollie confronts The Count, and puts three arrows in him to prevent him for shooting Vertigo into Felicity’s veins. The arrows propel The Count through a window to his death far below on the street. Stephen Amell does a nice job conveying the anguish on Oliver’s face as he realizes he has just broken his vow not to kill again. Felicity later apologizes for putting him in that position, but Ollie tells her it had to be done, that he would keep his friends safe, no matter what the cost.
After his stand-off with The Count, Oliver arrives back at the courthouse in time to hear the verdict in Moira’s trial. To everyone’s surprise, she is acquitted of all charges. We soon find out that strings have been pulled behind the scenes, and in a nice twist at the end of the episode, Moira is confronted by a living, breathing Malcolm Merlyn, who hits her with a bombshell: That Thea is his daughter. The ramifications for that reveal should prove interesting as the series moves forward, and it was definitely a reference to the Lazarus Pit when Malcolm told Moira there are places that render death meaningless. It was nice to have that and the other nod to the DC universe as we heard on a news report that the particle accelerator was scheduled to be turned on at S.T.A.R. Labs. Back on the island, Shado and Slade rescue Ollie from Ivo, and Ollie grabs Sara in the process. They discover Shado has what Ivo is searching for, and that coordinates are printed on the object, coordinates of the Japanese sub.
There wasn’t a ton of action in this episode (though what there was, was done well) but there was plenty of moving forward with the overall plot. Malcolm’s return will only spell further trouble for the Queen family. The plot being moved forward was a good idea, rather than drawing the trial out over several episodes. It was another solid episode, and we definitely have something to look forward to when Arrow returns on December 4 with a new episode featuring none other than Barry Allen. The DC universe is about to be expanded, and if things are handled as well as this second season of Arrow, that will be a very good thing for fans indeed.
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