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Arrow Episode 12 - Vertigo (2013): TV Recap

Updated on January 31, 2013

Watch "Vertigo" Now!

In light of Thea’s recent arrest for driving under the influence of the new drug Vertigo, Oliver is on a rampage trying to find out who supplies it. As the hooded vigilante, he finally catches a dealer who is willing to spill the only detail he knows: it comes from someone called “The Count.”

Diggle manages to convince Oliver that he needs to put his search on hold for a bit. Instead of being out on the streets, he needs to be there to support his sister at her hearing. What could have been a simple plea deal turns nasty, though, as Judge Brackett decides to make an example out of Thea, and sends her case to trial. Perhaps if the public sees that even the Queens can’t get away with taking Vertigo, it will deter them from trying it.

Janina Gavankar as sexy vice cop McKenna Hall.
Janina Gavankar as sexy vice cop McKenna Hall. | Source

Oliver thinks he can take the heat off Thea if he can track down the Count. Maybe if he brings the mastermind behind the drug to justice, his sister will no longer be needed as a scapegoat. He heads to the police station looking for a vice cop named Hall, not realizing it would be the young, attractive McKenna Hall (Janina Gavankar), someone he used to pal around with during his partying days. The police have known about the count for months, but there’s not much on him. Still, she shares the file with Oliver.

Elsewhere, the dealer who gave up the Count’s name has to face the music. The Count injects him with the drug in its purest form, which makes your body think it’s feeling excruciating pain. He hands the dealer a gun with one bullet, allowing him to either take his revenge on the Count or take his own life and end his suffering. Predictably, he shoots himself rather than endure any more pain.

Laurel is a big fan of the Microsoft Surface!
Laurel is a big fan of the Microsoft Surface! | Source

Laurel wakes up early to get her product placement of the new Microsoft Surface, both attaching the easy-to-snap-on base and swiping her finger across the giant touchscreen to get more information on Thea’s case. Oliver comes to the door asking for a favor: can Laurel get her dad to convince the judge to accept a plea deal? Initially, Detective Lance thinks Thea should take her medicine and go to jail, but Laurel reminds him that her sister Sarah was once a troubled teen whose shoplifting arrest disappeared. “She doesn’t need prison; she needs help.” Detective Lance decides to make some calls.

Oliver devises a new plan to find the count. He uses his status as a bratva captain to set up a meeting with the Count under the pretense of investing in drugs. The Russian mechanic, skeptical that Oliver’s interest in the organization is genuine, agrees to set up the meeting if Oliver will kill someone for him. No problem! Oliver just puts the guy in a fake-looking sleeper hold, and the victim slumps to the ground. As Diggle and Oliver take the body out to his car, Diggle says, “I can’t believe you killed that guy.” Ah, but he didn’t really! Oliver touches him under the chin to wake him up, then punches him in the face to knock him back out. He apparently knows a secret technique for making people appear to be dead, which is very convenient. Oliver then orders Diggle to get this man a new identity and get him out of the city. If the bratva were to learn that he was still alive, it would jeopardize an important relationship in his crime-fighting.

Laurel’s dad was able to convince Judge Brackett to back off from his original stance if Thea will do 500 hours of community service and serve two years of probation with Laurel taking responsibility for her, but Thea turns the deal down. She’s so furious at her mother that she would rather go to jail to spite her mom than take a cushy plea bargain. Oliver tries to explain that their dad wasn’t that great of a guy, but Thea’s not buying it, and Moira is furious that he tried to diminish the idealistic version of Robert Queen that Thea believes in.

Count Vertigo wants to expand his drug empire.
Count Vertigo wants to expand his drug empire. | Source

With Oliver’s drug deal in place, the Russian mechanic warns Oliver that the Count got his name from leaving vampire-like puncture wounds on his unfortunate test subjects, including prostitutes and the homeless. Oliver claims to want the drug to use in his new nightclub, which sounds good to the Count, as he was planning to expand his drug empire. The deal gets broken up when cops, including Detective Lance and McKenna Hall arrive on the scene. Oliver tries to chase down the Count, but is rewarded with a syringe full of Vertigo to his chest. Diggle is able to grab Ollie, get him back to the arrowcave, and try to cobble together an antidote. Unfortunately, when Oliver wakes up, he feels like he’s got a terrible hangover and still suffers from LSD-like delayed Vertigo flashbacks.

To pinpoint the Count’s location, Oliver takes his remaining Vertigo sample to Felicity and asks her to run a spectroanalysis on his friend’s new “energy drink” to figure out where in the city it’s made. This blatant lie doesn’t stop her from figuring out where the water came from, but I have a hard time believing you can narrow the water to a 10-block area like that.

I doubt Oliver can hit such a small target without taking that bulky shirt off.
I doubt Oliver can hit such a small target without taking that bulky shirt off. | Source

Diggle doesn’t think Oliver should go out in his condition, so he challenges Oliver to shoot a tennis ball out of his hand. Oliver is normally very good at shooting tennis balls, but can’t focus well enough to be sure he wouldn’t hit his friend. Instead of staying home, he just decides to confront the Count and his men without his bow. As he takes out thugs on his way to the Count, Lance, Hall, and other cops are arriving on the scene. Oliver uses a throwing knife to knock a gun out of the Count’s hand (if his aim is that good, why couldn’t he take his bow?), then grabs him and injects him with a huge amount of pure Vertigo. Lance arrives at the top floor and prevents Oliver from giving him the full dose. Oliver escapes, but Hall picks up the syringe. Might she check this piece of evidence for fingerprints and discover Ollie’s secret?

After learning that her dad wasn’t that great a guy, Thea apologize for her behavior toward her mother and decides to accept the plea deal and spend time working at the law office under Laurel’s supervision. McKenna calls Oliver to let him know that they captured the Count. However, the Count has to be hospitalized after Oliver’s actions. The doctor treating him has never seen anyone OD on this much Vertigo, so there’s no way of knowing what kind of damage there might be to his brain and nervous system. Could this be the origin of some true super powers for him? Will his altered body chemistry allow him to induce a Vertigo effect by touching someone or looking people in the eyes?

In Oliver’s flashbacks, he remembers being betrayed on the island by the man he thought was his savior. Now, he takes Oliver out of his cage and brings him to a ring of the bad guys watching fights. His friend drags Oliver into the ring and makes short work of him, ultimately using a chokehold on him to make Fyers think Oliver is dead. As they are about to dispose of his body by dumping it in a river, Oliver’s ally stuff a map in his pocket so he will know where to go when he awakens.

Moira's copy of the list of names. Has she noticed that it's missing yet?
Moira's copy of the list of names. Has she noticed that it's missing yet? | Source

Felicity meets Oliver outside the office to tell him something important. She’s not an idiot, so she knows he’s been lying to her for weeks, basically every time he’s asked for her help with something. But she also feels that she can trust him, so she shows him the book with the list of names Walter had asked her to analyze. Walter found it among Moira’s possessions when he was trying to figure out what she was hiding from him, and asked Felicity to look into it, but then he vanished. Felicity is worried that this book may have cost Walter his life, but it may also have shattered any illusions Oliver still maintained about his mother.

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm Eastern on CW. Vertigo originally aired 1/30/13.

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