Here are the Top 6 Developments from the last 2 weeks of the hot new CW series Arrow.
The modern-day story focussed on Batman villain Firefly tangling with Oliver Queen’s hooded Arrow. He is a thought-to-be-dead firefighter Garfield Lynns on a mission of revenge against his old firefighter platoon. Lynns thought they left him for dead in a big fire years ago, but they just thought the fire was too dangerous to re-enter the building. A few firefighter deaths under Firefly’s belt culminates with a face-off with Arrow that ends with the hero prevailing and with another dead villain. Not too many live villains in Oliver Queen’s Rogues Gallery.
Beyond that, there were some developments in the ongoing subplots of the series. Here are some from this episode.
In Episode “Year’s End“, Walter Steele the current head of Queen Consolidated and step-father to Oliver Queen was kidnapped by Malcolm Meryln’s henchmen. He did so as the cabal that Malcolm and Oliver’s mom Moira Queen are part of – the one Oliver is hunting to honor his dead father’s Robert redemption request – with a major plan set to culminate by season’s end. Moira loves Walter, knows he’s kidnapped and why, but tells no one. She swings from fits of various emotions, but in the end assumes Walter’s role as the head of Queen Consolidated during his absence the way Walter did when Robert Queen went missing with Oliver 5 years ago.
Oliver’s Hood gave Detective Lance a smart phone to contact him a while back. Lance is still trying to trace it back to the Hood to no avail. His daughter Laurel, Oliver’s former love and Malcolm’s son Tommy Merlyn’s current girlfriend, visits her dad at the precinct and swipes it when her dad indicates he won’t look into whether the firefighter that died to open the episode was murdered. That firefighter was related to a colleague at the legal clinic Laurel works at. Laurel calls the Arrow a few times in the episode to advance the main plot that culminates as I noted at the opening of this piece. The episode ends with Detective Lance asking for the phone back. As he walks away, he does something to it and hands it back to Laurel. He indicates that since the Hood seems to get between Laurel and danger, that she needs it. He gives the impression he supports the Hood / Arrow, but in fact there is some kind of tracer on the phone and he’s using his daughter to bag the Hood. A cop working for Lance calls him “cold” for doing so.
In flashbacks to Oliver’s formative vigilante years on the mysterious Asian island called Purgatory, Oliver plans to follow and free his green garbed savior and island mentor Yao Fei after he was captured by Deathstroke. He ambushes an armed masked soldier with a knife, they struggle and roll down a hill. Oliver lands in the water and the soldier lands on the rocks and seemingly dies. Oliver dons his garb and finds a map of the island in a pocket. Now he has a game plan and knows where to set his plan into motion.
Diggle, Oliver’s partner, is surprised that his former Afghanistan mission military mentor is in Oliver’s book – the one he uses to hunt down the parasites of Starling City on his redemption request for his dead father – and also appears to be involved in aromored truck heists. Diggle’s mentor, Ted Gaynor played by actor Ben Browder of Farscape fame, runs a security firm called Blackhawk manned with other veterans. In comics, Gaynor was an actual character introduced as a short-term member of DC’s Blackhawk veteran heroes in the 1980′s. In CW Arrow, the Blackhawks are not heroes, but still veterans. Through the episode, there is tension between Diggle and Oliver because they disagree over Gaynor’s guilt. Diggle infiltrates the Blackhawks to prove Ted’s innocence. Unfortunately, Ted is running the heist operation and turns on Diggle. He blackmails Diggle to help with their last heist, by kidnapping, I think, Diggle’s niece. Diggle gets armed with grenade launcher and instead of using it on the armored truck, uses it on the Blackhawks. His niece runs free, and before Ted can kill a hesitating Diggle, the Arrow saves the day with another fatal arrow. Yet another character that doesn’t survive to join the Hood’s Rogues Gallery.
In addition, there were further developments in the ongoing subplots of CW Arrow. The key ones are below.
Malcolm Merlyn, played by Torchwood actor John Barrowman, returns in this episode. He doesn’t don his Dark Arrow “Sagitarrius” costume in the episode, but we do so it in his lair. Also, during a dinner with Tommy and Laurel, we learn that Tommy’s mom was murdered when he was eight years old. After that, Malcolm went missing for a year, but returned. Since then Malcolm has been different.
In the episode Moira asks Malcolm for proof that Walter is still alive. Malcolm shows her a phone pic of a haggard, but alive Malcolm. The quid pro quo with Malcolm is that Moira must get a friend of hers to stop development in the Glades. That development will hinder the bigger plans Malcolm’s cabal and his unnamed boss have.
We learned earlier in the season that Oliver’s younger sister Thea was nicknamed “Speedy”. In the comics, Green Arrow’s first sidekick was Roy Harper, called Speedy, and had a drug addiction that he overcame over time. Well in this episode, Thea has an 18th birthday party at which he gets an expensive car and a big house party. At the party, her friends give her a bag of the newest drug in Starling City’s poorer Glades area: Vertigo. Thea thinks her mom is having an affair with Malcolm while Walter is missing – not knowing the relationship is more nefarious – and as a result uses the drugs and takes her new car for a spin… into a tree.
At the hospital she recovers somewhat, but is arrested to end of the episode as the toxicity screen came in and showed her impairment through Vertigo use. Oliver is with her and stunned.
Why is Vertigo significant? Well, Fringe alumni Seth Gabel has been cast to play a character, based on the DC Comics villain Count Vertigo, just called “The Count” on CW’s Arrow website. He debuts in the next episode.
In an island flashback, Oliver infiltrates the mercenary group on the island to free his island archer mentor Yao Fei. Eddie Fyers, the merc in charge, leads an unsuspecting and masked Oliver along to presumably the cage where Oliver’s friend is. He unmasks Oliver, but also unmasks a nearby mercnary henchman who turns out to be… Yao Fei. The “friend” and archery mentor he was hoping to free! Wha…??
Next week on January 31, 2013 we get the episode called Vertigo. Here is CW’s synopsis of the episode:
SETH GABEL (“FRINGE”) GUEST STARS WHILE THEA FACES PRISON TIME — Thea is in trouble with the police after she gets caught using a drug called “Vertigo.” Oliver thinks the only way to keep her out of jail is to find the dealer, a man who goes by the name of “The Count” (guest star Seth Gabel). Oliver turns to McKenna Hall (guest star Janina Gavankar), an old flame and current Vice cop, for help. Meanwhile, Laurel steps in to defend Thea, and Felicity (guest star Emily Bett Rickards) gives Oliver some disturbing news about Moira. David Ramsey, Colin Donnell and Paul Blackthorne also star. Wendey Stanzler directed the episode written by Wendy Mericle & Ben Sokolowski.
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Tags: Arrow, Batman, Ben Browder, Blackhawks, Count Vertigo, CW, DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Deathstroke, Eddie Fyers, Farscape, Firefly, Fringe, fryer, Green Arrow, John Barrowman, katie cassidy, new 52, Sagittarius, Seth Gabel, Stephen Amell, the cw, Torchwood, Torchwood: Miracle Day