For those that don’t know who he is, let me enlighten you. Mr. Miller wrote several episodes of Smallville late in the show’s run and includes some of my favourite episodes like season 8’s “Hex”, season 9’s “Warrior”, and season 10’s “Masquerade” and many more.
Miller is also responsible for Smallville Season 11 in comic book form. It is a continuation of where the show left off and have been enjoying it for over a year now.
Anyways, in this episode, Miller is tasked with an episode that sees the return of the Count (Seth Gabel) but also a more dangerous form of the Vertigo drug is back.
The episode opens with Verdant hopping and we are focused on one party goer, a young woman who seems quite out of it. We see from her POV her vision is blurry and we see her in the middle of the street as on-coming traffic barrels towards her and she eventually gets hit by a car and is killed instantly.
Vancouver filming fun fact: The young lady who was hit by that car was hit on the Burrard Street Bridge.
Tommy and Oliver celebrate the financial success of the club but their celebration is short lived as Detective Lance comes in and informs them that one of their patrons was struck by a car and killed on the Starling Bridge and Vertigo is to blame. Lance wants to know if Vertigo is a problem at the club. Tommy and Oliver replies that they are unaware of any such Vertigo dealings at Verdant. Lance warns them to stop any drug peddling before anyone else gets killed.
Oliver wants Tommy to see if perhaps on their employees brought the drug in and wants their lists of names for Felicity to cross-reference. Tommy thought that Arrow stopped the Count and Oliver replies that he did.
Meanwhile, Lance goes and visits the Count were we last saw him, in a mental hospital. The doctor there tells Lance that it is no use talking to the Count as the overdose of Vertigo he received pretty much damaged his brain.
Vancouver Filming Fun Fact #2: The hospital that Lance goes to visit the Count in was used in Smallville season 6 as the private school that Lex and Oliver both attended, season 8’s “Odyssey” as the Black Creek facility that held Chloe and used again in Smallville season 10’s “Abandoned” as Granny Goodness’ orphanage. Also, the short-lived Alcatraz used it as a YMCA type place.
But before Lance gets to the Count, Arrow confronts him himself and demands to know who is selling Vertigo again. The Count recognizes the Arrow and shows him drawings that he made of our vigilante showing that he has become obsessed with him. As Lance and the doctor arrive, Arrow has fled but the Count keeps repeating over and over Arrow’s catchphrase “You have failed this city.” Lance now believes that the Count is nuts.
In our first Island Flashback, we see Slade and Yao Fei’s daughter, Shado (Celina Jade) are practice fighting and both want to learn each other’s tricks.
Oliver watches from the sidelines, holding a bow, Shado gives some warning that if not used properly, he would end with shrapnel in his eyes. Oliver says cheekily that while Slade and Shado are bad-asses they need to formulate a plan. Shado wonders if Oliver can fight but Slade said while he tried he has failed. Shado wants a crack at teaching Oliver.
Back to the present, Diggle is reading more about Deadshot’s latest victim. He is brought out of reverie by his nephew wanting to read him a story. Carly shoos him back to bed and offers Diggle a shoulder to cry on or talk to as he seemed distracted but their time together is disrupted by Oliver.
To the Arrow cave we go and Oliver informs Diggle about the Vertigo problem that has come up again. This Vertigo drug is now more powerful and more addictive. He tells Diggle about his unhelpful conversation with the Count. With the Count crazy, he is back at square one as to how Vertigo is back.
Felicity comes in and quips how Diggle and Oliver really love being down in the Arrow cave. Anyways, she shows them a news report that notes a disturbed patient has escaped Starling City’s Mental Health Institution. The Count is out.
Vancouver Filming Fun Fact #3: The reporter in the news report is an actual local reporter. She is CTV’s Mi-Jung Lee. She has played similar roles in tons of Vancouver shot shows.
The doctor at the hospital recounts how the Count escapes and warns Lance and his partner (Roger Cross) that the Count is dangerous.
As they leave, his partner tells Lance how the young woman that died, the last person that she texted was Tommy and upon investigating the clubs books, $10,000 is missing that could have been used to fund producing Vertigo. Lance is reluctant to investigate his daughter’s boyfriend as their relationship is still on shaky ground but with all the evidence, he decides to investigate.
We are at a shady building and a hooded man meets another man to buy Vertigo. This man is revealed to be Diggle. The exchange was made so that Felicity can track the drug dealer using the money that Diggle gave.
Felicity is also helping out Diggle track Floyd Laughton aka Deadshot but Felicity is not having much luck except that Laughton keeps on calling someone named Alberto Garcia, a talent scout that books all of Deadshot’s hits. Felicity wants Diggle to tell Oliver but Diggle says that his beef with Laughton is personal.
Lance drops by Laurel’s apartment to question Tommy about the young woman who died. Lance informs Tommy how she texted him. Tommy notices his text history shows that the woman did indeed text him asking him “Can you hook me up?” Tommy replies that he never texted her back.
Side note: In Tommy’s text history, it shows the following names: Todd Pitlson, Oliver Queen, M. Bunting, V. Sparks, Felicity Smoak, Thea Queen, Laurel Lance, B. McGuire and Michael Offer (the director of tonight’s episode).
Tommy believes her text is about trying to get into the club as Tommy gets text like these all the time. Lance also asks about the $10,000 that is missing from the club’s books and practically accuses Tommy of using the money to buy Vertigo and give to the club’s patrons. Laurel interrupts her father interrogation and becomes Tommy’s lawyer. Lance tells Laurel that he knows that he looks like a disapproving father but he is just doing his job.
Island flashback two and we Shado teaching Oliver how to fight by getting him to keep on slapping a bowl of water repeatedly.
Felicity has found the drug dealer and sends Oliver the address. We see a whole bunch of Vertigo deals go down until Arrow swoops down and stops it but the car containing the Count escapes.
At the Starling CIty Aquarium, we see on of the recipients of the Vertigo drug. He, like the young woman at the club, is not doing so well. He grabs a security guards gun and starts waving and shooting it around frantically and taking hostages.
Vancouver Filming Fun Fact #4: The interior of the Starling City Aquarium is the Vancouver Aquarium.
Felicity wonders why Oliver is isn’t arrowing it up to take down the guy high on Vertigo. Oliver tells Felicity that he is making a concoction from herbs from the island that may help counteract the drug and he won’t kill the druggie because Thea almost died from it and Starling City has failed him and not the other way around. Oliver also feels guilty for going easy on the Count and if he didn’t then this mess wouldn’t be happening right now.
As he leaves, Oliver wants Felicity to call Diggle to be his backup. But Diggle ignores Felicity’s call. Diggle meets up with an old army buddy and mentions to her that Deadshot is on A.R.G.U.S list and gives her information on how to locate the person giving Deadshot’s targets. He warns the dangers of Laughton but feels that A.R.G.U.S is the organization that can take him down.
Lance once again visits Tommy this time Eric Meisner, the corrupt zoning commissioner that Tommy paid off to skip the inspection. Lance wants to know what the club is hiding. He lets Lance search the club as long as he has a search warrant. Lance sneers at Tommy at how Laurel sure knows how to pick her boyfriends.
Back at the aquarium, the young man is still behaving erratically and he takes even more Vertigo. Arrow comes to the scene and shoots the gun out of his hand. The young man flees but before Arrow can help him, he dies.
Island Flashback three sees Shado doing some yoga moves. Oliver asks Shado what is Fyers plans in how he wants to use her father. Shado goes on to explain to Oliver her father’s history. He was a general with the People’s Liberation Army. Fyers wants Yao Fei to be the scapegoat and conceal his involvement with that movement. Yao Fei also took the blame for a massacre done by the Chinese Military that sent Yao Fei to the island. Shado looked for her father and after a man came with information about him, he instead kidnapped her and brought her to the island. She worries about her father and how the island changed him. Oliver tells Shado that her father is still a good man.
Laurel comes to the club in search of Tommy who stood her up. She offers to be there for Tommy. Lance comes in with a search warrant to search the club. Oliver asks Lance on what grounds does he need to search the club and Lance tells Oliver who Tommy bribed a city official to not fully inspect the entire building. Lance still believes that Vertigo is being sold at the club. He wants to see the sublevel of the club despite how the initial club plans said it didn’t have one but official city plans shows there is one. He comes across a door with a code on it. Oliver tells him that Lance is making a mistake but Lance tells him the opposite.
Oliver opens the door and as he heads down the stairs we see not the Arrow cave but the club’s storage unit of inventory. Oliver seems surprised at this. Lance now questions if there was nothing to hide then why bride the inspector. Tommy smoothly lies and says that the ventilation system is from the 1960s and they really shouldn’t be open. Lance buys the lie.
After the cops and Laurel leave, Tommy and Oliver have a fight about Oliver believing that Tommy would sell drugs at the club based on his past. Tommy throws Oliver’s past in his face and also how the Arrow hurts people that do illegal things and asks since bribing someone is illegal how can Arrow hasn’t gone after him. Oliver says that he could never hurt Tommy. Tommy once again throws up the fact that Oliver has killed people as Arrow and that Oliver shouldn’t judge him as he judges him.
Still steamed, Oliver gets pissed at Diggle for not being his backup at the aquarium. Diggle tells Oliver the truth in how was looking into finding Deadshot. The men continue to argue about this and Oliver tells him with Vertigo, now is not the time to go after a personal Vendetta. Diggle throws back to Oliver that going after the Count is personal and tells him that he can’t move on with his life knowing Deadshot is out there. Diggle thought that Oliver would understand.
Felicity is surprised at the changes at the Arrow cave but there is some juice in the Ethernet cable that she uses to power up her tablet. Oliver tells him the hostage taking druggie is the only link to the Count. Felicity finds the ME report and learns that the guy didn’t die from an overdose of Vertigo but to an allergic reaction to an anti-psychotic drug. Oliver gets Felicity to pull up Veronica Sparks’ (the young woman who died at the beginning of the episode) toxicology report and she also had this drug in her system. Oliver believes that the Count has added that to Vertigo and most likely received this drug from the mental institution that he was staying at. Oliver now believes that the Count faked his escape as well as being insane.
Arrow returns to the mental institution and Arrow hears whispers of the Count and find him seated in a chair attached to a whole bunch of machinery looking quite spaced out. Arrow is knocked out by an orderly and we see the good doctor from the mental institute pull back the hood and sees that Arrow is Oliver Queen.
Oliver is now strapped to a gurney with his gear out of reach. He now realizes that the Count didn’t fake his insanity but the doctor was the one behind the new batch of Vertigo. The doctor figured out the Vertigo formula based on the biopsy of the Count. The doctor improved the drug with the anti-psychotic because he needed the cash. Just as it looks like Oliver is going to escape, the doctor forces some green liquid down his throat. It looks like the doctor gave him liquid Vertigo that would make it appear that Oliver Queen died of a drug overdose but Oliver presses a button that detonates one of his arrows and everyone is down for the count (pun not intended).
As everyone starts to get back on his feet and Oliver trying to reach of the serum that he concocted earlier the orderly tries and grab Oliver but Diggle comes to the rescue. Oliver then plunges the serum into his chest and promptly vomits out what he drank.
Diggle takes down the orderly while Arrow goes after the doctor. Still drug addled, the doctor taunts him that in state he could shoot a single arrow. With three on his bow, one hits its mark and the doctor is dead and his identity safe. Arrow goes to visit the Count once again and he continues to ramble. Arrow aims an arrow at the Count ready to kill him, the Count seems to welcome it but doesn’t and leaves.
Back at the club, Oliver informs Tommy that Vertigo won’t be a problem anymore but Tommy is still cold towards him as he tells him about the club’s financials. Oliver wants to know why Tommy is telling him all this and he replies Oliver that the club is something real to him and not a place to hide is Arrow activities. He wants Oliver to see who he as become and not what he was. He quits as the general manager of the club.
In our final island flashback, Slade finds Oliver still slapping the bowl of water. He wants to do more. The slapping water, Shado tells him, actually helps him properly draw a bow. Shado tells him the next step is to teach him to shoot.
Detective Lance is at the bar when Laurel comes in and Lance tells her that Veronica Sparks got Vertigo from a co-worker and now owes Tommy an apology. He worries that he might have screwed things with her but Laurel says that he did not. He also worries that his tendency to not let things go has ruined his relationships. Laurel believes that since he isn’t drinking booze that people can change.
Oliver thanks Diggle for having his back. Diggle asked why he didn’t kill the Count. Oliver said the way the Count is there didn’t seem to be a point but says that no everyone deserves the same kind of mercy and show Deadshot as an example. Oliver is going to help Diggle get him.
Since he has quit the club, Tommy turn to his father for a job, which Malcolm happily embraces his son and Tommy as almost a villain smirk to him.
And so it begins, I think, of Tommy becoming a villain. What do you think?