Arrow Season 2 Review “State v. Queen”

Seriously with the crazy revelations Arrow?! One of the reveals I had a feeling was coming, but the others I must say shocked the heck out of me. It’s always nice when a show can pull that off.

The Count reappeared and he was just as nuts as ever. Maybe even moreso than than before. The last time we saw this particular villain, he was a mumbling, drooling mess thanks to Oliver causing him to overdose on his own designer drugs. He was locked away in a mental facility where a corrupt doctor was using him to create an even more powerful brand of Vertigo. The Count apparently recovered and escaped from prison during the earthquake so he could resume his business. This time, though, instead of just selling Vertigo, he laced the flu vaccine with Vertigo so that people would become addicted and go looking for more Vertigo. Supply and demand I suppose. The Count made the mistake of kidnapping and threatening Felicity. Let’s just say things didn’t work out exactly the way he’d planned. Vaya con Dios, Count.

I wasn’t overly impressed by The Count when he made his first appearance on Arrow last season. He wasn’t so much an intimidating villain as he was a caricature of a comic book villain. He was too over-the-top for the tone of the show, and he wasn’t necessarily a physical or intellectual match for Oliver. His nefarious plan was no more grand than any other drug dealer, and I found him overall snooze worthy. Needless to say, I wasn’t particularly thrilled to hear that he was going to return this season. He didn’t do anything to change my opinion of him this time around either. I was hoping we wouldn’t get stuck with him too long, and it looks like I don’t have to worry about it any more. Can’t say I’m too broken up about the Count’s demise. One thing that bothered me about The Count coming back though is how simple it was. When The Count was initially sent to the psychiatric hospital, the doctor said that he would suffer irreparable brain damage and would likely never be able to really function again. Cut to about six months later, and The Count is lucid and highly functioning again. Not only that, but he’s able to devise and execute a pretty good plan to get most of the city hooked on his stuff so he can sell them the remedy. The only explanation we get is that he “recovered” from his overdose. That was such an easy out and felt like lazy writing.

It bothers me when they make a normally smart character behave stupidly just to move the plot forward. That’s what happened with Felicity in this episode. After she discovered how The Count was infecting people using the flu vaccine, she went to try to obtain a sample of the drug from one of the mobile medical units administering the vaccine. That made sense because Oliver was tied up in court and Dig was still suffering the effects of the Vertigo-laced vaccine. What didn’t make sense is that Felicity would engage in Arrow activities while wearing her Queen Consolidated ID badge. She knows how important it is that Oliver’s identity remain secret, so why would she be wearing her badge? I know they needed to have Oliver confront The Count somehow, but I just wish they would’ve figured out a different way to do it.

Although the Count wasn’t particularly interesting or threatening, he did force Oliver to reconsider his ‘zero killing’ policy. Oliver didn’t kill The Count when he went to rescue ADA Donner. The Count seemed rather disappointed about that, but Oliver was trying to stick to his new way of doing things. However, when someone he actually cared about was put in danger, Oliver didn’t even hesitate. He put 3 arrows in the Count’s chest without even batting an eye. It’s admirable that Oliver wants to take a different approach to crime fighting. It’s also admirable that he wants to honor his best friend’s memory by becoming a better man. However, sometimes there is no other alternative and this was one of those situations. If Oliver hadn’t done what he did The Count would’ve killed Felicity. If not this time, then next time. Also, since The Count figured out Oliver’s identity, that put everyone he knows and loves in danger. Essentially, Oliver had no choice. I think Oliver should stick to his no killing policy, but maybe he should amend it a bit to include ‘kill only when there is no other choice.’

It’s really getting to the point where I roll my eyes and sigh heavily every time Laurel walks into frame. Moira’s trial began and Laurel was sitting second chair on the case. I already mentioned before how utterly ridiculous it is that she would even be remotely involved with the case, so I’ll just let that go. What totally baffles the mind is that the District Attorney let Laurel take over the case after ADA Donner became incapacitated. Wow. Just wow. Suspension of disbelief straining. Then, Laurel discovered that Donner was going to hit Moira with questions about an affair she had with Malcolm a number of years ago, so she went to the prison to beg Moira not to testify. By this point, my suspension of disbelief had reached critical mass. Then, to top it all off, after Laurel basically called Moira a slut in open court and argued that she wasn’t nearly as afraid of Malcolm as she claimed to be, Laurel found a way to make the situation all about herself and how horrible she felt about the whole thing. Um…what?! Somebody give Laurel something to do that doesn’t require her to be whiny, self-absorbed, and pretty much next to useless. Do it sooner rather than later please.

Several major shockers came at the end of the episode. The first was that Moira was found not guilty on both the conspiracy and murder charges. I kind of saw that one coming because I didn’t think they were going to have the rest of Moira’s storyline take place from prison. However, the verdict in Moira’s case led to the second and third shockers. Malcolm Merlyn is alive AND he’s Moira’s baby daddy. You heard me. Malcolm is Thea’s father. What the what?! It makes sense now why Moira would rather have gone to prison for the rest of her life than have a trial. She figured that information would come out somehow and it would destroy the fragile relationship she has with Thea. I want to know how Malcolm came back, and, more importantly, what does he have planned for Starling City now? The Undertaking didn’t go exactly as he planned, so does he plan to try it again? Is he going to go after Oliver again? Is Malcolm working with Sebastian Blood? So many questions! Although Malcolm is a horrible and dangerous person, I’m glad to see him back. Aside from the fact that I can never have too much John Barrowman on my screen, Malcolm Merlyn was the only adversary that Oliver has faced that could match (and actually best him) physically and intellectually. That made the interactions between The Arrow and The Dark Archer some of the most interesting of the series. I’m looking forward to more confrontations between them.

I haven’t said too much about the Island stuff because I’m not really a fan of how they’re doing it thus far. The cutting is too abrupt and the Island flashbacks don’t really seem to have anything to do with what’s happening in the present. Last season, most of the Island flashbacks addressed an issue that Oliver was facing in the present or it revealed how Oliver developed a certain skill he was using in the present. As such, they felt more relevant than the flashbacks this season. I’m still liking the storyline as it’s unfolding on the Island, but I’m just not enjoying how that storyline is feeding into the present day story. It feels more like someone just plunked down some Island stuff in the episode because they needed to, not because it fit.

Despite my nitpicks, I liked this episode. The last couple of minutes alone were worth the price of admission. Oliver and Felicity had a brief moment of intimacy, and it reinforced how much I want Olicity to eventually become a real thing. The more Roy hangs around, the more I like him. He’s a decent guy, and Thea should be grateful every day that she has him in her life. I’m really looking forward to find out what Malcolm Merlyn has up his well-tailored sleeves, but whatever it is can’t be good. So what did y’all think of this week’s Arrow?

Follow me on Twitter @Eutopia26