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ARROW Puts a New Spin on Vertigo


Episode 112 “Vertigo”

[photos: Jack Rowand/CW,]

This week, Thea becomes the poster child for out-of-control teens, and Oliver gets a new cop to recruit?



This episode picks up from the last, with Thea facing a judge who decides he’s not going to stand by and let the lawyers do their jobs. Instead, he’s going to make Thea an example for all those poor wretched souls who want to try this new “Vertigo” drug. Now, although this is a decent way to get us into the Vertigo story line, frankly I’m getting a little tired of One-Note Thea always going back to the “Mom’s a liar” block of dialogue. We’ve gotten some version of it every episode for the past few weeks, and it doesn’t age well. Even though it seems like we get some reconciliation here between Thea and Moira, I hope the temptation to re-tread is easy to resist.


Meanwhile, Oliver gets it in his head that he’s going to go after “The Count” — so named because of the body count his drug has left — and put a stop to his drug trade. By getting into the drug trade? Uhm, Oliver? You know that’s illegal, right?


I still question the believability of Ollie’s connection to the Russian mafia. It’s too convenient, too pat, and really… who’s going to believe that rich kid Oliver Queen is connected to any kind of mob operation? Even the Russians have a tough time buying it. The test they give him — killing someone not named — offers the path to the flashback, where Yao Fei “killed” Oliver in a similar fashion, essentially making him appear dead long enough to dispose of his body in the river with a marked-up map to safety. So, Yao Fei is more than what he seems, not just a new recruit in the criminal enterprise on the island…


And this week also gives us a new minority character to replace the other minority character: Vice detective McKenna Hall comes in, filling the spot vacated by Laurel’s buddy at the law firm. (And let’s not assume the name Hall is an accident.) Hall is sharp, and she’s also one who doesn’t have patience for Oliver sticking his nose into police business. But at least she’s polite about it. And of course, she’s a new love interest for Ollie, and that will play on the whole Ollie-Laurel-Tommy triangle, like everything else does when it involves a girl from Ollie’s past. The producers have teased that Detective Hall is going to make things complicated for the Hood, but how does that work, since she’s Vice? She mentions a “joint task force” in response to the Vertigo drug, so that could be still in effect through subsequent episodes.


Speaking of which, Laurel seems to be getting past the notion that Oliver is solely to blame for her sister’s death. Her efforts on behalf of Thea show us more of her ability to see the good in everyone. Laurel is still channeling Skywalker energy, it seems, willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. And since Thea is now going to be Laurel’s shadow at the law office, she’ll be privvy to legal-type stuff, which gives her a little more knowledge on her way to become Speedy? Either that, or it places her in a position to be an information source for Roy Harper when he takes up bow and arrow…


Let’s just cut to the chase with Felicity Smoak and make her Oracle already. I know her history is in the Firestorm universe, but she’s in Ollie’s world now, so there are no rules for this iteration of the character. I mean, really, why would you ask an I.T. person to run a spectrograph analysis? Like she’s got one of those machines just lying around? Come on… I get that she’s the go-to tech girl on this show, but we’re starting to stretch believability here beyond Glad Force Flex limits… And now that she drops a bomb on Oliver by handing him the copy of the list Walter had her investigating, she’s becoming much more than just the I.T. girl. Of course, this turns Oliver’s belief in his mother’s integrity on its head.


And what of Vertigo? The actual main plot of this episode seems more like a way to broaden the in-show universe, rather than highlight a particular villain. Although the last scene gives us the setup that Vertigo will become more of a threat later, as his reaction to his own drug puts him in the same category as the Joker — completely off his rocker. We’ll definitely see more of him later. Perhaps in connection with Malcolm Merlyn’s Dark Archer?

And “I love how everyone on the show has the same kind of computer… like, the very latest one in a shameless Product Placement moment,” said no one. Ever.


[Official Show Site at CW]     [Previous Recap: “Trust But Verify”]

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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