Arrow Season 1 Review “Unfinished Business”

Ollie was crabbier than usual in this week’s episode of Arrow. The news that Vertigo was back on the streets of Starling City put Ollie in a bad mood until he could take care of the “Unfinished Business” linked to the street drug that almost killed his sister.

Although Ollie had dealt a mind-crushing blow to The Count the last time the two crossed paths, it seemed as if The Count was back in business on the streets. From the start, it was pretty clear that something was amiss in that mental hospital so when The Count’s doctor gave his statement to Detective Lance about the escape, it seemed pretty obvious that he was involved.

There was something off about the way this story was told. There were a lot of inexplicable and incredibly convenient entrances and exits. For example, how did Ollie get in and out of The Count’s room at the start of the episode? Later, how did Digg find his way to the doctor’s secret laboratory – using only a directional tip from Felicity – and make it just in time to save Ollie? Normally we get to see Ollie or Digg going through a gauntlet of guards or crawling along the ceiling ninja-style to get into these high security areas, but this time it seemed like Ollie just opened a window and crawled in, and Digg just opened a couple doors to get where he needed to be. This was supposed to be a high security institution. Even with the cameras and guards at a minimum thanks to budget cuts, how did they get around bars on the windows and alarms on the doors?

I expected that the doctor was behind the new modified version of Vertigo on the streets, but I wasn’t expecting to see The Count cuffed down and drugged up in a surgical chair. As far as developing a comic book style villain, it might have been more interesting if The Count was actually running things from the inside. The Count being a virtual vegetable and the doctor simply being a copycat drug lord was a little disappointing in that regard. Since Ollie decided The Count deserved “mercy” in this case, I suppose there’s always a very slim possibility that this was all a ruse and that The Count will end up being more than just a one-time antagonist for Arrow.

Perhaps my favorite plot line of the night revolved around the accusation that Tommy was supplying Vertigo to his club-goers. Detective Lance’s investigation revealed that Tommy had paid the building inspector to skip the inspection of their building, which was something Tommy only had to do because he was covering for Ollie. Tommy had been conflicted about Ollie’s alternate identity and was harboring serious doubts about the ethical implications of Ollie’s actions but up until this point, he felt compelled to help cover for his friend.

When it became clear to Tommy that Ollie still saw him for the person he was five years ago, Tommy finally had it out with Ollie and walked out of their partnership at the club. Tommy made some very valid points during his final blow out with Ollie and while I’m not thrilled about Tommy going to work for Malcolm, I hope Tommy’s words and actions function as a huge wake up call for Ollie.

The flashbacks in this particular episode weren’t all that exciting. We got a lot of Ollie slapping water, then complaining about slapping water, and then finding out that slapping water is apparently a great primer for archery. Yao Fei’s daughter knew much less about Fyers’ plan than she originally led us to believe. She knew the history about why her father was on the island, but all she really knew about Fyers’ scheme was that he was trying to get her father to be a scapegoat.

All in all, this wasn’t my favorite episode of Arrow this season. The action wasn’t as intense as it usually is, the main story line was rather predictable, and the flashbacks took a lot of time to give us very little new information. Still, the conflict between Tommy and Ollie added an incredible complexity to their relationship and developed Tommy as as a genuinely multidimensional character which alone was enough to make this episode worth the watch.