Arrow S2 Ep7 – State v. Queen

Arrow S2 Ep7 - State v. Queen

“State v. Queen” kicks off with a bang, literally, as the clock dials back to events that happened in last season’s finale. The destruction of The Glades is revisited this time through the eyes of Count Vertigo, who has since recovered from his Vertigo overdose from season one. As a result of the destruction The Count is freed from his prison cell, and in turn frees The Dollmaker, who was recently introduced in the season two episode “Broken Dolls.” This was a nice way to start the episode, giving us a glimpse of our hero’s villains escaping prison, while simultaneously reminding us of the carnage Moira Queen was implicated in.

Arrow S2 Ep7 - "State v. Queen"

Seth Gabel returns as Count Vertigo

We then jump forward to the present. Moira Queen’s trial is beginning. She is accompanied into the court room with her family, while Ollie’s former lover, Laurel, works with the prosecution. So, a lot of Ollie’s attention is focused on this trial, making it the worst possible time for Count Vertigo to resurface. And resurface he does, with a sinister plan that will potentially make the citizens of Starling City hooked on his drug.

“State v. Queen” was another great addition to this season, but it felt vaguely familiar. Some scenes felt reminiscent of Tim Burton’s Batman films. At one point Count Vertigo makes his way onto everyone’s TV screens and informs the citizens of Starling City that he is getting them hooked on Vertigo. He continues to say that the only way to counteract the effects is to visit their local Vertigo dealer. This felt much like the scene in Batman (1989) where Joker informs the citizens of Gotham about Smilex. Of course, this same trope was used in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, but I’m not complaining. It’s a classic comic book trope that works well when used right, and Arrow uses it right. In addition to that, the opening scene where Count Vertigo meets The Dollmaker felt reminiscent of when any villain meets another villain in a comic book movie or television series. Both characters speak in their sinister, villainy voices while measuring each other up. It’s just nice to see these interactions, even though actor Seth Gabel’s accent is a little too gimmicky.

Arrow is faced with some hard decisions involving killing in this episode. Since the beginning of season two he has vowed never to kill again, in order to honor the memory of his friend Tommy who died during the attack on The Glades. It seems his villains have caught wind of this, and as a result Count Vertigo is no longer afraid of him. We get to see Arrow struggle with finding ways around not killing The Count when he has to rescue the District Attorney from The Count’s grasp. By the end of the episode Count Vertigo captures Felicity and also discovers the true identity of Arrow. By using Felicity as a human shield with a Vertigo needle to her neck in Ollie’s highrise Queen Industries office, The Count doesn’t give Arrow much of a choice. Arrow is forced to shoot two arrows into The Count’s chest who then falls out of the window to his death. I thought this added a nice dynamic to the character. He’s realizing that yes, killing is wrong, but there are times when it may be necessary. This is something that a hero like Batman would never do. I like that Arrow may be willing to cross that line, despite how it may effect him emotionally.

Arrow S2 Ep7 - "State v. Queen"

Moira Queen on trial

Moira Queen’s trial concludes with her being founded not guilty, despite Laurel revealing to the jury that Moira had an affair with Malcolm Merlin, the man behind the attack on The Glades. It all seems to be too good to be true. Guess what? It is. The twist at the very end was shocking. It turns out Malcolm Merlin, who was apparently killed last season, has returned. He reveals to Moira that he paid off the jury and then drops another huge atom bomb for the audience. He is Thea’s father.

What does this mean? It was revealed earlier in the season that Merlin was a part of The League of Assassins, who as we know is run by Ra’s al Ghul. In the comics, Ra’s is an immortal who stays alive by bathing in what they call Lazarus Pits. Could Merlin have been revived by The League of Assassins via the use of a Lazarus Pit? I sure hope so. This would add a supernatural and fantastical element to Arrow, which thus far has been grounded in reality.

The next episode, “The Scientist,” will introduce us to Barry Allen, played by Grant Gustin, who will eventually become The Flash in his own CW spin-off series. I’m really looking forward to this episode, which unfortunately won’t premiere until December 4th. Still, I’m happy knowing that The CW isn’t afraid to expand on the DC Universe.

 

You can watch “State v. Queen” on Amazon Instant Video.

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