Previously, on Arrow: “Keep Your Enemies Closer”
This episode starts six months previously, as The Glades are about to get turned into rubble. At the prison, the guards show the level of competency and moral standing that I’ve come to expect from Starling City employees, and leave the prisoners in their cells to die.
One prisoner is of particular interest, The Count, aka the insane drug kingpin that Oliver put away in season one, aka Seth Gabel from Fringe. He is just chilling in his cell reading a book when everything starts to go to hell. He is conveniently left unharmed by the falling debris that kills a guard and opens his door, so he grabs the keys and gets out of there, but not before choosing his favourite fellow prisoner to gift the keys to. Obviously prison has done little to improve his mental health.
Back to the present day, Oliver and Thea are ambushed by reporters as they head into the courthouse to begin Moira’s trial. Laurel finds this whole business uncomfortable. The ADA Donner hints to her that he has something big up his sleeve to get mamma Queen. Ruh roh!
We flashback a bit further now, to Oliver on the island. Ivo and his men lay down some fire on Shado and Slade’s plane shelter, but after a cursory glance decide that there is no one there. They leave a detonator and get out of there. They probably should have had a better look, for as soon as they leave Shado and Slade crawl out from their hiding places and disarm the bomb.
Diggle has a cold (or something), and Oliver sends him home. They head in to the courthouse, where the ADA plays a tape of the press conference where Moira warned everyone about what was to happen in the Glades.
Diggle swings by Queen consolidated to say hi to Felicity and hire a temp bodyguard for Oliver (which seems kind of unnecessary if you ask me), when he collapses. This is no ordinary cold!
The Count meets up with a shady doctor, who tries to hustle him out of some extra money for the work that he has done, in exchange for keeping quiet. Unfortunately for him, The Count is not particularly subtle, nor particularly sane, so instead of cash he gets a needle in the arm.
At the base, Oliver arrives to check on a very unwell Diggle. Felicity tells them that he tested positive for Vertigo, The Count’s drug of choice. They look up The Count in the prison database and find out that he escaped during the quake. This does not a happy Oliver make.
Back at the courthouse, Thea is on the stand getting grilled by Donner. He lays into her about why it took her so long to visit her mother in prison. Just as he finishes his questioning he collapses.
Back on the island, Oliver has taken Ivo to the cave with the Japanese corpses. Ivo is upset with Oliver because he can’t find the stone arrowhead from the cave, which is apparently pretty important. He takes him outside to teach him a lesson, but before any beatings can ensue, Shado and Slade arrive to save the day.
The ADA is taken out of the courtroom on a gurney. Unfortunately for him, the ambulance he is taken into is being driven by none other than The Count. Upstairs, Moira discusses Thea’s testimony with the lawyer. She doesn’t want to testify, but Oliver and the lawyer insist upon it.
Diggle has the shakes. The Count has changed up his old Vertigo recipe, and the old antidote doesn’t work anymore. The Count hacks the news! He shows everyone a very unhappy Donner tied to a chair. He says that the only cure to the sickness is Vertigo, and gets the ADA to ask for it. He tells people who are feeling sick to head down to their local Vertigo dealer if they want to feel better. Now that’s some Mad Men quality advertising right there.
At the DAs office Laurel is put in charge of prosecuting Moira. How that is not a conflict of interest I don’t know. She finds Donner’s silver bullet in his notes. If her expression is anything to go on, it’s a doozy!
Thea is sitting around looking glum. Roy comes over to cheer her up. He makes her put on boxing gloves so that she can work out her anger. On him. Looks fun. Felicity does her techno magic and figures out where The Count is hiding. Oliver suits up and heads out. Laurel visits Moira. She tells her that she can’t take the stand tomorrow, because she really doesn’t want to be the one to fuck over the Queen family.
Oliver crashes into The Count’s lab. Instead of the killing The Count, Oliver settles for blowing up some gas bottles. He grabs Donner, and they slip out of there in the commotion.
Moira brings her kids together to tell them her terrible secret. She cheated on their dad with Malcolm Merlyn! That really wasn’t as bad as I expected.
On the island, Shado and Slade make off with Oliver and Sara. They leave an explosive behind to slow any pursuit. And by slow I mean brutally kill.
Felicity and Diggle sit down to try to figure out how the Vertigo was spread to all the victims. Not at all surprisingly, given the conversation Diggle had with Oliver about getting his flu shot earlier in the episode, it is being spread through flu vaccinations. They figure out where the flu truck is, and because the boys are busy, Felicity goes to check it out.
The truck is parked in a dark alley, and isn’t locked. Like the badass she is, Felicity just walks straight on in. Unfortunately, due to the laws of TV, just as she finds the Vertigo, The Count appears behind her.
The verdict is in! That is very quick to decide if someone lives or dies. The Queen kids prepare for the worst. Oliver gets a call from The Count, on Felicity’s phone. He has her tied to a chair, and, despite being literally insane, has managed to figure out what no one in Oliver’s family or the police have figured out, that Oliver is Arrow. Oliver rushes off, leaving Thea alone to find out the fate of her last remaining parent.
The Count has Felicity held in Oliver’s office at Queen Consolidated. He tells Oliver that someone rich is funding his whole operation out of their mutual loathing for him. He pulls out a gun to dispose of him, but Oliver dives out of the way. He puts a needle to Felicity’s throat and gets Oliver to lower his bow. He then makes the mistake of going to inject her anyway. This gets Oliver mad enough to abandon his newfound pacifism and put three arrows in his chest, sending him crashing out the window.
Oliver rushes back to his sister’s side. She is ready to be mad at him, but notices that he is looking a bit shell-shocked. They head in for the verdict. To the shock of many, she is found not guilty!
Oliver heads back to base to check on the gang. They are a-okay. Felicity apologizes for forcing him to have to make such a difficult choice to protect her. He stares soulfully into her eyes and tells her there was no choice. Jesus, this ship sails itself!
Back on the island Shado, Sara, Slade, and Oliver stop for a chat in the middle of running away. Shado pulls out the Hozen and they figure out that it has the coordinates to a grounded Japanese sub on the back. Ivo pulls a typical bad guy move and shoots his wounded captain in the head.
Sebastian Blood was the one that set the count on arrow! With a name like that there really was no way he could be a good guy. He opens up the cupboard behind his desk and pulls out a creepy super villain mask. It looks like he is continuing Ivo’s work on a super soldier serum.
Moira makes her way out the back of the courthouse among a throng of reporters. She gets into a car and drives off, but the driver takes her out to an abandoned car park instead of home. That’ll teach her not to get into cars with strangers. Malcolm Merlyn appears behind her, shooting the driver. He’s alive! He tells her that he came back to ensure that her trial went okay. He also wanted to do a paternity test. Thea is actually his daughter!