‘Arrow’ Recap: Episode 1.12, ‘Vertigo’

by Ryan Rigley

Picking up exactly where last week’s episode of “Arrow” left off, “Vertigo” opens with a furious and hooded Oliver Queen chasing a low level drug thug through an alleyway. Pinning him to a nearby ledge with an arrow stuck in his wrist, the thug tells Oliver of a maniacal drug lord known only as the Count. He’s the one that’s been supplying Starling City with the deadly Vertigo drug. He’s the one responsible for Thea’s arrest.

The next day, the Queens and Laurel show up in support of the accused: Thea Queen. But despite the best efforts of the best lawyer in town, the judge moves the case to trial and deems Thea the new poster child for drug abuse in Starling City. With nowhere left to turn, Oliver pays a visit to the Starling City Police Department and bumps into an old friend, Detective McKenna Hall.

Unfortunately, Oliver’s visit was a waste of time; the police have known about the Count for a while now. On the other side of town, the crazed Count confronts the thug that gave him up to the Hood. Injecting him with Vertigo in its purest form and then handing him a gun, the Count forces the thug to decide whether to use the last bullet to take his revenge or his own life. The thug decides to shoot himself.

Unable to get any help from the police, Oliver once again turns to his lawyer ex-girlfriend, Laurel Lance, who, in turn, goes to her detective father for help. The next day, Oliver and Diggle pay the local Russian mafia outfit a visit; asking questions about Vertigo and the Count. He hands them a file filled with everything the police have on the Count and tells them to consider it a present.

In a flashback, the mysterious bearded Asian man (Yao Fei) pays a caged Oliver Queen a visit. Pulling him out of his cell and dragging him over to a brawl, we see Deathstroke completely destroying a guy with his fists and ultimately his sword. Next, Oliver is pushed into the ring with Yao Fei.

At the Queen household, Laurel offers Thea a pretty sweet deal in exchange for doing some office work for her. Thea, however, turns the offer down stating that she doesn’t want to be an office monkey and that she’d rather go to jail and completey ruin her mother’s life.
Oliver tells Thea that their father, Robert Queen, wasn’t the man that she thinks he was.

Later, Oliver, Diggle, and the Russians go to meet with the Count and his henchmen at a remote location. The Count hands him a briefcase full of Vertigo and claims that 56 men died perfecting its high. Suddenly, the police show up; shooting up the place and completely ruining Oliver’s plan. As the Count runs off, Oliver chases after him getting injected with half a syringe of Vertigo.

Diggle, who rescues Oliver and drags him to the Arrowcave, mixes up a mysterious remedy and straps a wriggling Oliver to a table. Oliver, who is tripping balls, passes out and wakes up the next day feeling more hungover than he ever has in his entire life. But while at first he seems completely recovered, it’s later revealed that there have been some lasting side effects, i.e. the Vertigo Effect.

Stumbling over to Queen Consolidated, Oliver asks Ms. Felicity Smoke to analyze the syringe that the Count injected him with to see where it came from. Soon after, Felicity sends Oliver some coordinates and Diggle is able to triangulate the Count’s exact location. Without a moment to lose, Oliver picks up his bow and arrows. Diggle, however, stops Oliver claiming that he’s still too drugged up to shoot. Oliver leaves anyway, leaving his bow and arrows behind.

Slowly making his way through a barrage of thugs, the Hood bests each and everyone of the Count’s men in combat as he makes his way up the stairs to his lair. Then, as if on cue, the police arrive. Just as the Hood injects the Count with a full syringe of Vertigo and gets him in a headlock, Detectives Lance and Hall bust through the door. Oliver tosses the Count to them and makes a run for it.

Coming to a change of heart after learning the truth about her father, Thea decides to take Laurel up on her offer after all. Detective Hall calls Oliver and informs him of the good news; they captured the Count. He’s somehow survived the Vertigo overdose, albeit with major damage done to his brain and nervous system. In a flashback, we see Yao Fei pretend to kill Oliver and toss him in a river. However, later it’s revealed that he’s translated Oliver’s map of the island for him and helped him escape from the Island baddies.

Lastly, Oliver and Felicity finally meet for that cup of coffee that Oliver promised her weeks ago. Felicity tells Oliver that even though she knows that he’s been lying to her, she feels like she can trust him. She then proceeds to hand her a notebook identical to Robert’s and informs Oliver that it belongs to Moira and that Walter was very suspicious of her right before his mysterious disappearance. With that, Oliver finally realizes that his mother isn’t all that she seems.

There are three things that I have to say about “Vertigo.” First and foremost, I’m really glad that the Count is still alive. He’s the most interesting and dangerous villain that Oliver has faced thus far, and I can’t wait to see how much crazier he is now with all that brain damage! Secondly, Deathstroke is awesome. And last but not least, IT’S ABOUT TIME! Moira, who we’ve all known to be nefarious since the end of the pilot episode, has had this coming for quite a while now. But how will Oliver go about confronting his own mother? Guess we’ll just have to watch next week’s episode to find out!

Previously on “Arrow”:
» 1.11: “Trust But Verify”
» 1.10: “Burned”
» 1.09: “Year’s End”
» 1.08: “Vendetta”
» 1.07: “Muse of Fire”
» 1.06: “Legacies”
» 1.05: “Damaged”
» 1.04: “An Innocent Man”
» 1.03: “Lone Gunman”
» 1.02: “Honor Thy Father”
» 1.01: “Pilot”