Arrow: State v. Queen (2×08)

Synopsis: Count Vertigo escapes from prison and people of Starling City start falling under the effects of Vertigo.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Hello fellow Arrow fans! It’s been a while since I’ve done a recap hasn’t it. Sorry about that, I’ve just started university (or college for my American readers) and it has not been easy to manage my time between uni stuff and my recapping. Even worse I haven’t had time to watch my favourite CW show but now that the Christmas holiday have begun and I can right that wrong.

I couldn’t ask for a better episode than ‘State v. Queen’ to get back into the show and remind me why I love it so very much. What an intense rollercoaster this episode was from start to finish.

Count Vertigo is a free man after escaping jail when the earthquake hit The Glades. He goes right back to producing Vertigo, but this time it’s more advanced. Somehow finds a way to poison many of the citizens of Starling City with it, including Diggle (noooo, my poor baby). Worse still the only way for the pain caused by the Vertigo to momentarily subside is by another shot of it. Count is kind enough to inform the entire city of this cure when he taps into all the TVs. He even gives a live demonstration using Adam, who he kidnapped, as a guinea pig.

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Oliver, of course, is determined to stop The Count but he also has some personal matters to deal with, what with it being the day of his mother goes to court. And things are not looking good for her when Laurel, who has to take over Adam’s place since he’s not there, reveals a secret of Moira’s in front of everyone: that she had an affair with Malcolm Merlyn (dun dun duuun, I did not see that coming. Come on, Moira you can do so much better than that creep). This does not paint Moira in a positive light and from the reaction of the jury it doesn’t look as if they’ll be on her side. All of this makes the Queen’s uneasy but it’s the effect it causes on Laurel that’s really intense. She’s devastated to be the one that had to attack Moira like that she can hardly understand Oliver when he shows no animosity to her when she even she doesn’t seem to be able to forgive herself.

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When Hoods-up and goes after Count Vertigo he isn’t successful in stopping him but he does manage to save Adam. Felicity and Diggle, meanwhile figure out that The Count has been using a flu shot truck to poison the people in the city. As Diggle’s still too ill Felicity decides to go check it out herself which ends up not being the smartest move as The Count finds her.

While Thea and Oliver are waiting for the Jury to make a decision he get a call from the Count who tells him that he’s not only discovered the Hood’s true identity but he’s also captured Felicity as he knows that she’s close to Oliver. Furious Oliver quickly leaves the court much to Thea’s bemusement.

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Oliver tries to appease the Count and get him to let Felicity go but he’s determined to get pay back for being sent to jail. With Felicity in his grasp The Count is about to inject her with vertigo but Oliver shoots three bows into his heart before he can, killing the count.

Back at Arrow HQ with all three of them safe and healthy Felicity thanks Oliver for saving and apologises since he had to break his promise to Tommy and kill for her. But he reassures her and tells her that “he had you and he was going to hurt you. There was no choice to make,” while holding onto her hand. And I’m sorry but if the writers and producers wanted to sell Oliver and Laurel at all to us why would they create such perfect scenes between Oliver and Felicity? They’re fuelling this fire and I don’t care how many seasons it takes we’d better get something good in the end.

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In the flashbacks to the Island Oliver takes Dr Ivo, Sara and their men to the airplane that he, Shado and Slade had been hiding out. Dr Ivo commands the men to shoot the place up, leaving a bomb there to finish the job. Luckily Slade and Shado get away to safety and when they return she detonates the bomb. Later the two of them manage to save Oliver from Dr Ivo’s evil clutches, and they run away along with Sara, who Oliver doesn’t want to leave behind. Shado tells Oliver that she has the arrow head that Ivo has been looking for and the four of them decide to find the Japanese submarine themselves.

When the trial resumes and the jury reads out their verdict the Queens are shocked and elated when Moira is found not guilty off all charges. But just when you think that it’s all over Moira is mysteriously taken to an empty car park where Malcolm Merlyn meets her. He tells her that it’s because of him that she wasn’t acquitted in the first place. What’s more he confronts her and tells her that he knows Thea is his child (plot twist!)

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‘State V. Queen’ has brought the show right back up to its usual high standard. All the Felicity and Oliver moments almost killed me and I had to rewatch the scene where she thanks him and apologises to him again and again because you just can’t fake that kind of chemistry. More seriously though, Laurel’s inner conflict during the trial was heart-breaking to watch, can someone please check up on her because she is most definitely not doing okay.

I’m not too thrilled to find out about Thea being Malcolm’s daughter though I am interested to see where this storyline goes. And wow, the fact that Malcolm Merlyn isn’t dead in the first place was a bit of a shocker, but I’m also a bit weary of this too. Yes the ‘[insert name here] isn’t really dead’ trope can be interesting but if the same bad guy always defies death it just gets boring (case in point Crowley from Supernatural).

The next episode looks like it’s going to be brilliant what with the arrival of Barry Allen (a.k.a The Flash) in town.


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