'Arrow': Count Vertigo killed, Malcolm Merlyn comes back from the dead in 'State vs. Queen'

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Wow.

"Arrow" packed how many revelations into a single hour of "State vs. Queen." The return of Malcolm Merlyn ( John Barrowman) from the dead may have been the biggest but what about ...

  • The question of Thea's paternity?
  • The importance of that Buddhist arrow?
  • The death of Count Vertigo (Seth Gabel)?
  • Whatever Sebastian Blood is up to?
  • The Olicity of it all?

So many questions! What few answers we have can be found in this recap.

Last things first

To not talk about how Malcolm Merlyn is alive and fixing juries would be to ignore the arrow-shooting elephant in the room. Impressively, the villain even has an excuse for that:

"There are parts of the world where death is an illusion. I've been to one. I've become very convincing."

We don't know much about how Malcolm turned himself from an irritated billionaire into a lethal archer, but it does seem likely that he would have picked up "faking death" somewhere along the way. Obviously, that's what he did in the fight with Oliver.

So now he's back and cheerfully saving Moira from the death penalty. That's awfully nice of him, considering how Mrs. Queen ratted him out on the destroying-the-Glades thing.

Could Thea have something to do with this mercy? Is Malcolm the girl's biological father? How creepy would that make young Thea's schoolgirl crush on Tommy last year?

You can't keep a good Count down!

Leaving aside the mysteries that are all things Merlyn, the driving force in much of this episode is Count Vertigo. He seems to have recovered (slightly) from that Vertigo OD of last year, a good thing for him since the Glades earthquake broke the drug dealer out of his prison cell.

The Count has made excellent use of his time since then. He has gotten some scientist with really poor judgment to make a flu "vaccine" that mimics Vertigo withdrawal. Thus, the only way to ease the rather awful pain and shakes is through taking more drugs.

It's really a brilliant business strategy when you think about it.

As it turns out, the Count isn't just out to make a few bucks. He also wants revenge. And someone is funding all of this with the idea that Count Vertigo can remove the vigilante from the picture altogether.

Who is behind Vertigo's big plan? That would be Sebastian Blood and his not-so-merry band of strength-enhancement-seeking men. But even though Brother Blood doesn't get his way with the vigilante, one guinea pig actually manages to survive the weird test. This cannot be good.

Justice ... Has no place here

Moira Queen's mass-murder trial has finally arrived, and it's not looking good for the semi-repentant woman. When even her own daughter can't fully admit to being OK with Mom's actions, how could the trial go well?

Adam the DA's felling via the Vertigo flu gives everyone some brief hope -- but Laurel, it turns out, is really serious about her job. Although she does warn Moira not to take the stand (a total breach of law ethics), Laurel does not hesitate to bring up Moira Queen's one-time affair with Malcolm Merlyn in front of the jury.

To say this is damaging is an understatement.

But none of this matters. Somehow and for some reason, Malcolm has managed to buy Moira a not-guilty verdict. The whole trial was just for show.

You cannot resist the power of the Olicity!!!

It's best not to get invested in a potential romantic relationship between Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak. After all, Oliver is emotionally damaged up the wazoo and Felicity is too good for him to play with. Maybe someday they'll stand a chance, but love is a distant hope.

That's why "Arrow" is so very mean. We may not want to 'ship Olicity, but the show makes us need to 'ship the couple!

How can we not when Oliver dashes away from hearing his own mother's court verdict in order to save Miss Smoak? What chance at cold-heartedness do we have when Oliver breaks his own no-kill rule in order to spare Felicity from harm? Can anyone not swoon when Oliver says the following?

"He had you and he was going to hurt you. There was no choice to make."

You're a cruel TV show, "Arrow." And oh do we love you for it. Olicity forever!!!

There was some island stuff too

Dr. Ivo and his crew take Oliver back to the wrecked airplane. The bad guys reveal that the key to everything is on the hozen, that Buddhist arrow Oliver ends up with. They also shoot up and try to explode the plane in order to kill Shado and Slade.

That doesn't work out so well. Instead, Shado disarms the explosives. Then she and Slade ambush the boat group and save Oliver -- who in turn saves Sara. Turning their own explosive back on Ivo and the gang, the good guys escape.

It turns out that Shado has been wearing the hozen, so they all inspect it. There is a Buddhist phrase on one side, but the other has the numbers "30 31 75 12" inscribed. Could these be coordinates? If so, that's where the sunken Japanese submarine is located.

And if that ship does indeed hold the key to humanity's survival, then it might also save the life of a badly burned Slade Wilson.

And a few quotes to end it all

  • "Don't take this the wrong way, but you look disgusting." - Felicity to Diggle
  • "I have this aversion to needles ... All pointy things, actually. Which is ironic, considering who we work with." - Felicity
  • "I'm Count Vertigo and I approve this high!" - Count Vertigo
  • "You're really on the no-killing train? Shame. You're letting one of life's true pleasures pass you by." - Count Vertigo
  • "I'm really starting to wonder what it's going to take to impress you guys." - Felicity
  • "Quiet please! I'm threatening." - Count Vertigo
  • "You were shot." - Felicity
    "It's nothing." - Oliver
  • "She should have lost. She should have been convicted." - Oliver
  • "He had you and he was going to hurt you. There was no choice to make." - Oliver
  • "There are parts of the world where death is an illusion. I've been to one. I've become very convincing." - Malcolm



Photo/Video credit: The CW
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