ARROW Season 1 rewatch, Ep. 12, “Vertigo” / Ep. 13, “Betrayal”

24 Jul

Welcome back to the rewatch, Arrowheads! When last we checked in on season one, Ollie was recovering from his brutal encounter with the Dark Archer, and dealing with a whole new set of problems. One being Walter Steele being kidnapped, unaware the kidnappers were Malcolm Merlyn and Ollie’s mom, Moira! Thea thinks Moira is having an affair with Malcolm, and gets into a drug-fueled car wreck, and now facing drug possession charges. Quentin is using his daughter’s new connection with The Hood to spring a trap to capture the vigilante. And Tommy…well, he’s still got to open that nightclub with Ollie, so…that’s taking some time. Anyhoo, let’s jump back into things, shall we?

American Ninja Warrior training seems to be off to an extreme start.


In the flashbacks, Ollie is trying to figure out what his mystery buddy Yao Fei is doing now aligned with Fyers. Then, Fyers decides to put Ollie into a gladiator fight to the death with his buddy, and Yao seemingly chokes him to death. That same buddy is tasked to get rid of Ollie’s body, and much later, Ollie comes to, very much alive! Also, he’s been left a map of the island with a location to go to. What will he find there?

Ollie is out beating up Vertigo dealers as The Hood, and finally comes up with a name to the big supplier: someone called The Count. At Diggle’s insistence, Ollie takes a break to counsel Thea as she faces an arraignment hearing for her drug charge. Well, the judge is really up for making example of someone during this epidemic of Vertigo in the city, so he decides to take this straight to trial! Ollie thinks maybe finding the Count and destroying his operation might help Thea’s case, and so he contacts a familiar face he didn’t know was in the police force: an old party friend, McKenna Hall. She has little to report about this Count either, so she has to reach out for Laurel, and by proxy, Quentin, for help in talking to the judge. Thea gets a plea deal to serve probation and community service working under Laurel at her law office, but she’s still upset about thinking her mom is having an affair with Malcolm Merlyn. And Ollie telling her dead old dad was cheating on her first doesn’t help too much.

Ollie decides he has to reach out to other sources: mainly the Russian Mafia, the Bratva, of which he is a captain in! I’m sure Diggle is curious why Ollie is connected to them, but for info on the Count, the Bratva want Ollie to murder someone. He does that, of course not really killing him but faking the man’s death (that little trick that happened to him at Lian Yu comes in handy again), and using the Bratva to contact The Count for a drug deal with…Oliver Queen! Ollie and Diggle arrive for their meeting with The Count, only to discover the SCPD has also dropped in. Everyone runs, and in all the confusion, Ollie chases the Count, only to get a dosage of Vertigo in him! Diggle gets him back to the lair, gives him some of those magical healing herbs, and Ollie gets to spend the rest of the night chained to a table in a drugged haze. Fun times.

After Ollie has recovered, he heads home to find Quentin and McKenna there, aware that he was at that drug deal. He has a convenient excuse of helping out Thea by luring out the Count, but that excuse only saves him from getting arrested, not the aftereffects of Vertigo. Ollie takes a sample of the stuff to Felicity to analyze and find a lead on where it’s being made, and gets a lead where, but Diggle doesn’t want him to go, considering Ollie’s current health. But Ollie does go, and confronts the Count at his warehouse, injecting him with some of his poison drug before leaving the cops to deal with the Vertigo warped mess the Count has been left as. Later on, Felicity comes to see Ollie, and reveals what Walter was investigating: the secret book Moira had! Well, it looks like he’s going to have a little “chat” with his mom next time!

“You feel the Vertigo chewing at your brain? Its like me chewing the scenery!”

–Comic book connections: Count Vertigo is a DCU villain, but generally doesn’t use drugs, but superpowers, to throw his adversaries out of whack.

–The first mention of Anatoly in the show. He would become a bigger player in recent seasons, and for good reason, as we see starting in season two.

–Oh, McKenna Hall. I almost forgot you were meant to be a romantic foil for Ollie for a few episodes.

–Look, Yao Fei might be really good, but I just imagine the bad scenario where unconscious Ollie is thrown off that cliff into that river, hits his head fatally on some rocks, and the series is over right there. It’s a stretch, and considering the next five seasons after this, that’s saying something.

–Obviously this is not the last we see of this Count Vertigo.

–“I’ve noticed. I said, ‘not noticed’. Right?”

–“Looking forward to my new and exciting career as a drug dealer.”

–“I ran out of sports bottles.”



In this episode’s flashbacks, Ollie heads to that location on the map he was left by Yao Fei and finds the wreckage of a plane. He finds a rather determined black ops operative by the name of Slade Wilson, a man who knows Yao Fei, and was planning to escape the island with him. Originally, Slade and his partner were sent by the Australian government to recover Yao, but Slade’s partner betrayed him, and as we and Ollie learn, is the same guy who tortured Ollie at Fyers’ camp earlier. The two had been stalking out an airstrip that Fyers was using, but with Yao Fei missing, it seems Ollie was sent to help Slade. Of course, Slade is unsure Ollie is up to the challenge, so he wants to train Ollie to be ready for taking the airfield.

In the present, Ollie talks to Diggle about the book Moira has, being identical to the one with Ollie’s list. Ollie would rather not believe his mom is involved in whatever is going on, but when he tells his mom he found this book (of course not what he really knows about it), she burns it and suggests they don’t pursue it any further. Diggle says this isn’t really a sign of innocence on Moira’s part at all, but that discussion gets shelved when Laurel calls Ollie on that secret phone. She learned a very dangerous criminal, Cyrus Vanch, has been let out of jail for insufficient evidence, and needs The Hood to gather evidence to help put him back in prison. What she doesn’t know is Quentin, still obsessed with bringing down The Hood and trying to avoid being taken off the investigation on the vigilante, hears about this since he tapped the phone. And of course, when hearing they are going to meet after The Hood gather’s some evidence on Vanch, he is ready to grab the Hood at that meeting place.

Ollie arrives at a parking lot to meet Laurel, and realizes that it’s a set up. He escapes the police, and now Quentin has to deal with a rather angry daughter. Of course, when Tommy finds out she’s been in contact with The Hood, he’s pretty pissed off too. This also lays out another disturbing turn: Vanch hears that Laurel has been in touch with The Hood, and figures she might be the key to lure The Hood out to get killed. And unfortunately, she does get kidnapped. While this is going on, Diggle has been filling in as Moira’s driver, looking to investigate her. And while Ollie is not happy about this move from Diggle, he’ll be less happy about what Diggle finds out. He presents Ollie with a taped conversation with Malcolm (who by luck, can barely be recognized on the recording) and Moira about sabotaging the Queen’s Gambit. And then he gets a ring from Quentin, who had Tommy arrive with a message from Vanch left at Laurel’s place, that he wants to “meet” The Hood or she dies.

Quentin has to grudgingly align himself with The Hood to break in to Vanch’s fortified home, and by luck, they arrest Vanch and save Laurel. Well, she’s thankful for her dad saving her, but would still like some space because she’s still upset about being spied on. Even Ollie is not okay with staying in contact with Laurel anymore, and lets her know as much. Needing some answers to that audio of Moira discussing “the Undertaking”, he decides to have another chat with mom. So, Moira gets an unexpected visitor at her office…from The Hood!

I like to believe no one shows off to their mom their new Halloween costume like this, BUT…

–Comic book connections: Slade Wilson in the comics is of course known as Deathstroke, who would start out as a villain of the supergroup, The Teen Titans. In fact, his scheming to destroy this group would be the basis of one of the best Titans stories, The Judas Contract.

–Nice to see David Anders pop up as our bad guy Vanch for this episode. Of course I remember him as Sark from Alias, but he’s apparently on iZombie as a regular right now. Maybe I’ll have to watch that…at this rate, probably next summer.

–Tommy is a little upset about Laurel lying about her talks with The Hood, but he forgets that when he remembers he’s dating Laurel Lance, so…he knows it’s best to not complain.

–Diggle has some fun trying to defuse his awkward spying on Moira. Once stumbling into a fancy dinner, the other explaining why he’s hanging in a supply closet. The things you do when you have to do surveillance.

–I can’t recall if this is the first time we see Pike, one of the only other semi-regular cops that was on the show.

–“I even put my fat pants on.” “Do I want to know what those are?”

–“Have you considered a sword? I like swords.”

–“I need to have another chat with my mom.”

That’s it for now, but come back next time for the rewatch of “The Odyssey” and “Dodger”…

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