Arrow Season 2 Episode 7 (TV Show Review)

Arrow has been building up a lot of steam for a while now. Till now we’ve been exposed to a lot of character drama in the show and season 2 has given us some new characters and situations to wrap our heads around. Season 2 has proven to be far superior to season 1 in pretty much every single way that matters and its been a hell of a ride. New characters like Brother Blood, Dr. Ivo, Black Canary and others have done really good work, while older characters like Detective Lance and Roy Harper have exceeded themselves. But nothing compares to what this week’s episode did with Moira Queen.

In the previous episodes there’s been an undercurrent of a mystery about the Queen family, something so bad that it could destroy the Queen family. Well guess what, State vs Queen reveals that episode in all its glory, and it pretty much throws Moira Queen’s court case for her complicity in the destruction of the Glades into turmoil. It was a rather unexpected twist, but not all that unexpected either since I had kind of been thinking along the same lines, I just got the scale of the whole thing wrong. And that’s not all that happens in this episode. We get to see kick-ass action on the Island too. And an old character from season 1 makes a return as well. Now that was a cliffhanger.

Arrow Logo 0001Last week’s episode gave us the return of Deadshot as a villain. It also gave us Amanda Waller and ARGUS. And it was set in Russia. And Isabel Rochev got another outing. Its a little bit hard to top something like that. This episode comes very close to topping it throughout, and in its final moments, it goes way beyond the top. It becomes one of the best episodes of the season because of those final minutes. Why? Well, I can’t really say that since doing so involves revealing some pretty big spoilers for this season, and I don’t want to do that.

So anyway, this episode marks the return of two characters, not just the one I mentioned before. One of these (the other going unnamed) is Count Vertigo, drug dealer extraordinaire of Starling who was sent to Iron Heights Penitentiary last season for his involvement in the creation and dissemination of the drug known as Vertigo. During the destruction of the Glades, Iron Heights suffered some major damage, and in the resulting confusion, Count Vertigo broke out and freed the Dollmaker as well. We’ve already seen the Dollmaker in an earlier episode, one that a fairly good one to boot. This episode is much along the same lines, except better.

Now, Count Vertigo as he is in the comics right now is a pretty great villain. He is super-powered, thanks to some experiments that were performed on him as a child. And he is a pretty major villain for Ollie. The show’s version has nowhere the same kind of charisma or excitement to him, but he is pretty decent still. As a friend said elsewhere, the show’s version of the character is very much like the Joker. I can kind of see that. And that’s part of his charm I suppose. He’s back, and this time he’s looking to do some major, major damage to the city, and even to Oliver. The resolution of their big fight-out is pretty epic and very unexpected as well.

And that’s what I love about the show you know. It takes risks, it takes chances and it breaks the rules when it can. And since this is a comic book property, there can be some cliches of sorts involved, but its all about the execution you see. That’s what really matters. Count Vertigo isn’t going to be winning any awards for best villain or anything, but I think he’s a fairly interesting villain still. He isn’t a freak or anything, just a man with a chip on his shoulder who can more than stand up to the Hood.

The other major part of this episode deals with Moira Queen’s trial. This episode is the big moment for this trial since this is the one where the trial comes to a conclusion: is Moira Queen guilty or not. In itself, the trial isn’t anything special. Its pretty straightforward for the most part. Which is fine, since this isn’t a courtroom drama show. Instead, the writers have focused on the character interactions, fleshing those out. On that front, things are pretty tense since Laurel is helping the DA’s office on the case, and her history with the Queen family isn’t really a secret at all. When the ADA collapses in the courtroom because of the sickness that Count Vertigo is spreading through the city, and offering Vertigo as the cure for, she becomes the lead on the case. And she ends up coming across the ADA’s trump card for prosecuting Moira, the big secret that she has tried to keep him Ollie and Thea till now.

This marks one of Laurel’s finer moments on the show I believe. It involves her doing something that she hates herself for, and knows that there isn’t going to be anything that she could do to make-up for it. Secrets of all sorts have been a big part of the show since the very beginning, and this is the point where more of the metaphorical skeletons in the closet are revealed. The fun is in seeing how Laurel reacts to finding out this particular skeleton. And the best part is that there was nothing overtly complicated about Laurel as a character this time around. She wasn’t particularly conflicted about her job or her feelings. She stayed true to both, and she was honest.

Arrow Cast 0001

And finally, we have the Island sequence. We continue to see more of Doctor Ivo’s plans even as Shado and Slade return for some really ass-kicking action that also involves big loud explosions. From previous episodes, we know that Slade is pretty beat up at the moment since he took a shell blast in the face, not to mention whatever internal injuries he may have. There is a strong correlation here between Ivo’s research and Slade eventually becoming the biologically souped-up assassin Deathstroke. And this is referenced at the end of the entire sequence. So that should be something fun to see in the next few episodes.

So, there is a lot of stuff that happens here. The writers keep it all together really well and they pace things appropriately. I don’t really have any complains about this one. It was full of too much awesome for that. And if what the show’s creators have promised is any indication, the next episode is going to be an absolute kicker, something to top all we’ve seen so far in season 2. That’s of course because the next episode, airing on December 4th, is going to star Barry Allen, who is going to turn into the Flash at some point and gain his own spinoff series next year. So much awesome things happening right now!

More Arrow: S2E01, S2E02, S2E03, S2E04, S2E05, S2E06.

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Posted on November 22, 2013, in Arrow, Review Central, TV Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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