We’re back with another episode review podcast. This one is focused on ‘State v Queen’. We talk about Moira’s verdict, the return of Malcolm, his revelation about being Thea’s father, and a whole lot of other things – most of which not related to Arrow in the slightest. We’ve also got a short look-ahead to ‘The Scientist’, in which Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) will be introduced.
The revelation train picked up speed in Arrow’s seventh second season instalment with a real shocker, while The Count (Seth Gabel) was back with a new Vertigo driven plot and Moira was up against it in court.
It may have been the last scene in the episode but it seems the most logical place to start – Malcolm. Merlyn. He dropped one bombshell: he was alive. He then dropped another bombshell, he’s Thea’s father. Arrow seemed to stray into the realm of soap opera revelations in that regard! In one of our podcasts we were pondering what could happen to Moira on the outside world should she get a ‘not guilty’ verdict – where exactly would she go? What should we do? If anything this episode firmly answered that. She has two big secrets to keep one would assume. I can’t see her unveiling Malcolm is alive, most simply as it’ll like see the truth about Thea come out as well.
The pleasing thing is we know it will have a purpose, we know it will come to a head in episodes to come – Merlyn’s new role, Moira’s secrets. Arrow doesn’t simply do things for ‘shock factor’, of course they’re mighty good at shocking us, but this will play into what has already been a stupendous second season thus far.
In an interview Marc Guggenheim said there will be ‘two big bads’, clearly Brother Blood appears to be one and have we found the second in Malcolm? With the magnitude of the Thea revelation, it would seem unlikely his return will last just a few episodes. Also… is John Barrowman simply immortal? Captain Jack can’t die. Now it seems Malcolm Merlyn can’t die. Maybe he’ll end up leading the human race into the next century.
The comic book reference to be seen in Merlyn’s return is that of the Lazarus Pit which are said to bring people back from the brink of death. They’re used by Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassins. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of them in this season.
Away from that revelation, how was this week’s story? Personally I felt it was an improvement on last week. The use of Vertigo was different compared to its previous two episodes. Comic book fans may have noticed The Count’s name changed to that of his comic book counterpart ‘Count Vertigo’. Seth Gabel’s deranged drug lord was seeking to get people hooked on his drug while luring the Arrow into a trap to end him once and for all. As per the last few episodes, the villain was very over the top and clearly inspired by the Joker. At times it didn’t quite work, other times it did. A nice touch was his grudge against the Arrow, he felt a tad more fleshed out than previous appearances but killing him off was something I’m fairly comfortable with. Sometimes villains have been killed off too early, Mr Blank (1×20) being a good example of that, sometimes they’ve had other places they could be taken – Vertigo will always offer the same threat. He’ll distribute his drugs and he’ll babble like a mad man. Plus it’d make the cops look a little incompetent if he ended up breaking out of prison again and flooding the city with his ‘high’ once more.
The killing of Count Vertigo brings me on to my next point of discussion. Oliver has stuck by a vow to honour Tommy’s memory with ‘no more killing’ throughout this season. But obviously he broke it this time out in some style, sending a trio of arrows into Vertigo’s chest causing his foe to promptly fall out of the window. Early in the episode Oliver had told Felicity he made the right decision not to put an arrow in Vertigo when he had the chance. One thing Stephen Amell is superb at (well, there are many things he’s superb at) is conveying various emotions just through facial expression. He can look as cold as he can fragile. After killing Vertigo, he looked deflated and a little in shock at what he had done. It really shows the way Oliver has progressed in the one and a bit seasons so far. Killing was simple to him in early episodes, he didn’t care. Take the Count’s last appearance in ’1×19 Unfinished Business’, Oliver killed Dr Webb with ease, he walked away and it seemed to barely affect him. However after downing Vertigo, even after he’d put Felicity in danger, Oliver clearly seemed conflicted by his actions.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see what happens next. How affected will he be by his actions? He’s been doing his best to change from hooded vigilante to green clothed hero. There’s no doubt he made the right call in killing Vertigo, Felicity’s life was in danger. In Season 1 he even said it himself, “But not everyone deserves mercy.”
Also! (So hard to establish any order here, so many things happened, my brain is practically exploding!) Brother Blood’s serum seems to have worked, making Brother Cyrus stronger. (DC Comics fans may recognise the name Cyrus Gold, also known as Solomon Grundy – a zombie supervillain) It appears his master plan has taken a step forwards, while he’s seeking to take down the Arrow already – hiring the Count to do so. Perhaps his serum and the ‘something’ Ivo is looking for do similar things. No doubt it’s a case of wait and see but with that mask, he’s already seeming as if he could be quite a foe to Oliver.
Of course the other big plot point in the episode was Moira’s trial. Clearly it didn’t go quite so well. Thea was made to sweat as Donner made everyone see how long she took to forgive Moira, before he fainted and Laurel took charge. The writers are awfully cruel to Laurel so far this season. She was bewildered that Oliver could be okay with what she was having to do, it seems she’s still not all that okay. In fairness, she tried to help Moira by revealing to her Donner knew about her affair with Malcolm, but she was put in a position she wasn’t all that comfortable with. She’s clearly lost and surely something will swing for her soon.
The trial obviously made it seem as if Moira was in serious trouble, though she got the ‘not guilty’ and everyone on the screen and viewing was left scratching their heads at the outcome. Oliver had no idea how she’d been cleared. Then obviously it all came out at the end of the episode. It was a pleasing twist and must fit into the Arrow master-plan. For her to be found not guilty, it was clear something pretty big would have to happen and obviously we know it did. The fallout from the trial and what happens next will certainly make for interesting viewing.
The Island flashbacks returned to form, with plenty to sink our teeth into. Oliver was made to find the skeletons Ivo is seeking after watching the plane supposedly housing Slade and Shado get peppered with bullets. Though the disturbing doctor was outraged when he couldn’t find the Hosen he so desired. Ivo really is already becoming one of my favourite villains on the show, he’s got this real creepy presence and his aim to ‘save the human race’ stinks of a lust for power (plus he killed off the Captain which definitely establishes who is in charge). It was awesome for Slade and Shado to return. Slade can still fire a gun despite only having half a face (which oddly looks like Deathstroke’s mask in some respects…) but it appears he’s in big trouble. Oliver took Sara off with them as they escaped, Shado found the numbers on the Hosen which are coordinates to a submarine – “What’s on it, it’ll save the human race.” said Sara. I think we now know how the flashbacks are going to progress this season, whatever is on the sub seems likely to shape the plot.
A bit of digging into comic book origins has made me discover Deathstroke has almost superhuman abilities. Now, adding things together – Slade’s deteriorating state, whatever is on the sub capable of saving the human race and Oliver asking whether it could save Slade – perhaps his steps towards his comic book counterpart are nearing their start…
We now have a bit of a break until episode 8! But I think we’ll need that to get over this revelation packed instalment. Catch the promo for episode 8, ‘The Scientist’ below:
Here’s a sneak peek for ‘State v Queen’, featuring Diggle on Vertigo. This looks fun.
We have a press release for ‘Three Ghosts’. This will be the final episode to air before Christmas – on Monday 16th December.
OLIVER IS VISITED BY GHOSTS FROM THE PAST — After a fight with Cyrus Gold AKA the Acolyte (guest star Graham Shiels), Oliver (Stephen Amell) is drugged and left for dead. Determined to cure him, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) makes a risky decision. The cure causes Oliver to hallucinate, and what he sees forces him to confront his past. Meanwhile, Barry (guest star Grant Gustin) continues to help Felicity, and their connection grows stronger. The Arrow asks Lance (Paul Blackthorne) to look into Gold, but when the stakeout on Gold goes bad, someone is killed. Roy (Colton Haynes) is captured and tortured by Brother Blood (guest star Kevin Alejandro). John Behring directed the episode with story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kresiberg and teleplay by Geoff Johns & Ben Sokolowski (#209).
We have 10 teasers for ‘State v Queen’.
1. “You don’t have to do this.”
2. “You look disgusting.”
3. “Here, there, everywhere.”
4. “Where is it?!”
5. “Hello Starling City. Missed me?”
6. We encounter an abusive relationship.
7. “You’re really letting one of life’s true pleasures pass you by.”
8. “I don’t understand how you could forgive me after what I just did in there.”
9. “The defendant is found….”
10. “Hello Moira.”
Do not miss ‘State v Queen’, Sky 1, Monday 25th November at 8pm.
Moira’s trial is here and it’s time to see if she can really be found ‘not guilty’ for the sizeable case against her. Oliver, Thea and Roy are in court to support her. But as with Arrow, things are never straightforward, especially for Oliver. The Count has apparently returned and a mysterious virus is spreading across the city, Diggle being affected.
Oliver is forced to face a former foe once more and has a difficult choice to make. On the island his friends are in danger from Ivo, while Oliver is forced to lead the mad doctor to the skeletons he so desires.
Moira’s trial sees both Thea and Laurel put in uncomfortable positions..
Also prepare for bombshells and revelations. That’s all I’ll say.
Don’t miss State v Queen, airing on Sky1 at 8pm on Monday 25 November.
Susanna Thompson has had a less glamorous role in Arrow’s second season thus far, she’s been behind bars rather than in fancy clothes running Queen Consolidated. Thompson spoke to TV Fanatic about what’s to come for Moira…
TV Fanatic: Moira has seemed so at peace with the decisions she’s made. Is that true in her heart or is that more of a front than she’s let on?
Susanna Thompson: I think that to a great extent there is a liberating quality about coming forward in the end of the season one and attempting in a very big, large way to take responsibility and to say ‘I don’t cross this line anymore’ and now, while she’s in prison, she can be more present with herself, with her family.
She still has her daughter and her son and I think being so isolated from the world as she knew it makes those moments with her children even more heightened and even more pleasurable. Marc [Guggenheim, Exec Producer] and I were chatting about this but anyone coming forward and saying ‘I’m going to be honest, I’m going to stop the lies,’ has to also be aware that along the way there were many skeletons in the closet and at what point do you share all of them or do they get revealed or do they ever.
A great burden has been lifted but she still is impacted by the reality of what actually did happen and that holds its own gravity and its own weight and its own responsibility so I do believe there’s still a tremendous amount of guilt and that she’s subjected her family to her journey basically.
TVF: We saw this a lot in season one where Moira knew a lot more than we realized that she knew. Do you think she’s still in that position?
ST: It’s a great question and I asked it all last season. I have a feeling, because I asked the question, I weave it into the pattern of who Moira is. Whether the writers weave it in or not I’m not sure. I do believe in many ways that women are very intuitive. That women know more then men give them credit for. I’m sorry to say that to a man but I do believe that women really do have bigger fields of intuition then men. So I naturally build that into female characters.
I think it would be juicy if that were true. You know, at the end of the pilot, I always go back to the pilot, she was much more than I ever thought she was. So I like that she is more resourceful than maybe I even think she is. I do think she does have a pulse on her life regardless of whether she’s in prison or not and while she is here I think she does have resources. They may not be revealed to us as an audience but I certainly build them into this billionaire woman.
For the full interview, visit TV Fanatic.
Arrow’s latest guest star has been announced, Katrina Law will be heading into Starling City!
The daughter of Ra’s al Ghul is coming to Starling City — but it’s not exactly who you’d expect.
Spartacus alum Katrina Law has been tapped to play Ra’s al Ghul’s other progeny, Nyssa al Ghul, on Arrow, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively.
On The CW series, Nyssa is a powerful member of the League of Assassins who comes to Starling City in pursuit of The Canary (Caity Lotz).
We have some promotional images for Monday’s episode, ‘State v Queen’. Check them out below:
Here is the latest episode review podcast. This one focuses on episode 6, ‘Keep Your Enemies Closer’! We talk about Diggle in Russia, Oliver and Rochev, the amount of characters who know Oliver’s identity and my incredibly sad love for the soundtrack. There’s also a short look ahead to next week’s ‘State v Queen’.