Vertigo is back on the table as The Count (Seth Gabel) returns to wreak havoc on Arrow. But all is not what it seems in an episode that’s really interested in exploring the personal vendettas our characters carry and how they affect their relationships.
Let’s bitch it out…
People are carrying grudges on Arrow this week. Lots of ’em. Oliver (Stephen Amell) is distraught that he missed his chance to put down The Count when he had a chance, Tommy (Colin Donnell) wants to be a taken seriously as a business man and Diggle (David Ramsey) just wants to read a damn kid’s book! It’s serious business, folks, and we’ve got the furrowed brows and smashed tables to prove it.
If ‘Unfinished Business’ proves anything, it’s that our characters are in the midst of a transition. Diggle isn’t merely content to be The Hood’s lackey whenever Oliver needs back-up; he’s got his own private vendetta against Deadshot and he wants to pursue it. It’s not surprising that he’s disappointed and angry that Oliver doesn’t support this – the billionaire playboy has spent months exacting his special brand of vengeance under the guise of cleaning up the city, but we all know it’s personal. So while I’m not a fan of Diggle (too two-dimensional and judgmental), he’s got a point. Oliver is incredibly hypocritical when it comes to the extracurricular nightwork he’s doing and he can’t tell his employees to tackle their REVENGE schemes on their own time. It’s nice to see the two come back together at the end of the hour and plot to take out
This same ambivalence is what affects Oliver’s relationship with Tommy, though this storyline is less well executed. It’s never clear that Oliver actually believes Tommy is responsible for the bribe, or that he’s peddling the sudden influx of Vertigo, so for Tommy to go off the rails on him seems unfounded. Could the two bros have talked it out before Tommy pulls the plug and walks away to join his father’s Merlyn (John Barrowman) corrupt business? Yes. But it’s not in the nature of these two to do anything other than glower at each other. Guess learning Oliver’s secret hasn’t helped their relationship after all. Oh Tommy…you sure do bring the suck to this show.
This leaves us with Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and his inadvertent crusade to stick a fork (arrow?) in his relationship with his daughter. In a way, he shouldn’t have to apologize for pursuing his gut instinct that there’s something off at the club, especially when occasional partner Detective Hilton (Roger Cross) discovers that 10 grand has been swept under the rug. Unfortunately Detective Lance remains, shall we say challenged in the arena of diplomacy. Ambushing your daughter’s new BF at home and at the club and barking orders isn’t exactly subtle. Naturally Laurel (Katie Cassidy) forgives him, but dropping the scotch out of your drink of choice hardly means the leopard has changed its spots (it just means you don’t need to schedule a liver biopsy just yet) Hurray for change?
- In his second appearance on the show, Gabel is even more Joker-esque than before. And, like the Huntress, he hasn’t been killed so there’s a strong chance that he’ll return to cause more mayhem and destruction – for both Starling City and for Oliver
- The island scenes are heating up, thanks to guest star Celina Jade. This week Shado, Yao Fei’s daughter, teaches Ollie the mythical art of water slapping, which begets the ability to draw his first bow. Progress people!
- I’m interested to hear what people think of Emily Bett Rickards’ role as Felicity. Now that she’s been incorporated into the team and her one-liners have been toned down, is she anything other than Basil Exposition? Her role now seems to be limited to appearing – magically – to pull up Windows 8 (holy hell, the product placement!), perform random hack jobs, then disappear into the ether. Is she even a character at this point?
- Oliver (when Lance asks if they have a drug problem): “We don’t allow drugs in here, Detective.” Bwah ha ha!
- Felicity (entering the lair): “Good, you’re here. Of course you’re here. You love it down here.”
- Oliver (refuting Felicity’s claim that he’s protected them from The Count): “And now the city is on fire!” Holy melodrama Batman!
- Island Oliver: “I’m almost out of slapping water.”
- Tommy (pouting): “I run the club, Oliver. I don’t tell you a lot of things.” Like a 10 grand pay-off? That’s kinda significant, Tommy
What do you think of these interpersonal issues? Are you excited to see Tommy join his father’s company (Evil Inc?) Do you want to see Detective Lance try to change? Is Oliver really growing or does he just have a soft spot for tortured psychopaths? And finally, did you miss Thea and Moira this week? Hit the comments with your take
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW