Arrow Episode 19 - Unfinished Business (2013): TV Recap
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A party-goer at Verdant seems like she’s having a good time, but the fun abruptly ends when she moves from dancing in the club to dancing in the street and gets hit by a car. Detective Lance comes to the club to question Oliver and Tommy to see if they are selling the drug to their patrons. Though they deny letting the drug into their club, Lance is still suspicious. Tommy is concerned, because he thought Oliver finished off Count Vertigo. Oliver thought he did, too.
Dressed in his leather togs, Oliver heads straight to the mental hospital here Count Vertigo is being treated. He finds Count Vertigo as he left him, a babbling madman. Detective Lance wants to talk to the Count himself, but upon finding the recently accosted patient repeatedly spouting the vigilante’s catchphrase (“You have failed this city!”), he determines Count Vertigo is too nuts to talk to. So either Count Vertigo is playing at being insane, or someone else has started producing a new version of his drug.
Diggle is trying to get in some quality time with Carly and her son, but he’s too distracted. With his brother’s murderer still at large, Diggle can’t rest. He can’t move on with his life, so he’s actually having Felicity trace down Deadshot without telling Oliver about it, declaring it a “personal problem” unrelated to Oliver’s crusade. This is his “unfinished business” to deal with this episode, whereas Oliver must face the ramifications of leaving Count Vertigo alive when they last faced off.
As Oliver and Diggle discuss the city being flooded with a new version of vertigo, Felicity rushes in to show them the latest news: Count Vertigo has escaped!
Detective Lance and his partner are back at the mental hospital, questioning Vertigo’s doctor, who warns them not to underestimate the escaped patient, despite his appearance the other day. As they leave, Lance’s partner reveals some incriminating evidence about Tommy. Even though he claimed not to know the girl who died after leaving the club, he was the last person she texted before she died. The club’s bank statements are also showing an unaccounted for $10,000, certainly enough to buy a nice stash of Vertigo. Lance takes this information to Laurel’s apartment, where he confronts Tommy. Laurel the lawyer advises Tommy not to say anything, which does nothing to assuage Lance’s suspicions.
A dealer is handing out Vertigo to a group of bums. His first sale of a few pills is at a discount, which his hidden boss thinks is “good for business.” His second customer hands him a fat roll of bills, which is enough to buy a full “brick” of Vertigo. Considering these customers are a bunch of stereotypical bums, where are they getting this kind of money, especially the guy with the roll of bills? Is this not suspicious? I’d think a bum walking around with enough drugs for distribution would make himself a he target in such a bad area of town. It seems more likely that this would be some kind of police sting than a bum somehow acquired a clean stack of large bills and wanted a ton of drugs for his own personal use. Instead, it looks like it’s just an excuse to get a cool shot of Oliver shooting an arrow into the brick as the dealer throws it to the bum.
Although the brick didn’t get past Oliver’s eagle eye, the first bum escaped to the Starling City Aquarium, where he finds himself taking a bad trip. He scares the patrons, and steals the security guard’s gun, creating a dangerous hostage situation.
Before leaving the arrowcave, Oliver pauses to whip up an herbal antidote to Vertigo. Felicity wants to know if Oliver plans to kill this guy, but he has no intention of doing that. He says this bum didn’t fail the city; it was the city that failed him. Felicity calls Diggle so he can back up Oliver at the aquarium, but Diggle ignores the call. He’s meeting with his friend, Lyla Michaels, who works for A.R.G.U.S. He’s passing along crucial information about Deadshot that might lead to his capture. Oliver as to face the drugged-out bum by himself, but before he can administer the antidote, the bum dies in front of him.
Detective Lance has done some more digging, and discovered that the missing money was used as a bribe to have the club’s inspection skipped. Tommy is unfazed by this news, and tells Lance he’s welcome to look around once he has a search warrant. Lance does just that, coming back later when Laurel and Oliver are at the club. He’s discovered a discrepancy between the inspector’s floor plans and the county records. There’s something in the basement he’s determined to see. When Oliver lets him in, only chairs and booze take up the space once occupied by the arrowcave. Though it’s now clear that Tommy bribed the inspector to keep him away from Oliver’s secret life, he tells Lance he didn’t want the inspector to discover their outdated ventilation system.
Oliver and Tommy should be celebrating their narrow escape from the police, but instead they get into a fight. Tommy is insulted that Oliver would think he could be selling drugs out of the club, even though he has a history of partying hard and getting mixed up with bad people. “So did you, Oliver,” Tommy sneers, “but I’ve changed, just like you did.” Now Tommy wonders if the vigilante who puts arrows into people who do illegal things might harm a club manager who bribed a city official. Oliver is shocked that Tommy thinks he could hurt him, even though there is more recent evidence that this is true than there is that Tommy would be a drug dealer. Tommy has no idea what to think of Oliver any more, and how he can kill so easily. “The next time that you decide to think the worst of me, imagine what I now think of you.”
Felicity finds the autopsy results of the aquarium bum, which declare that he died of an allergic reaction to an antipsychotic called chlorpromazine, not a Vertigo overdose as Oliver assumed. Chlorpromazine was also found in the dancing girl’s system as well, tipping Oliver to the fact that the new batches of Vertigo were probably being mixed at the mental hospital. It seems that Count Vertigo faked being insane and faked his escape, staying at the hospital to work on his product. Oliver sneaks into the mental hospital and finds the Vertigo lab, but the Count is sedated and restrained. One of the orderlies smashes him in the head with a pipe, while the main doctor checks under his hood.
Oliver awakens, strapped to a gurney. The doctor admits to reverse engineering the drug based on Count Vertigo’s toxicology reports, and enhancing it with chlorpromazine. He wasn’t trying to be a criminal mastermind; he just needed the money. He whips up a quick batch of Vertigo and pours it down Oliver’s throat, but before fully succumbing to the drug’s effects, Oliver is able to use a remote to detonate an exploding dart. The blast knocks his gurney over, allowing him to escape his bonds and use on himself the antidote he didn’t get a chance to use at the aquarium. Diggle arrives in time to take down the orderly, while a reeling Oliver chases after the doctor. Since no one can be left alive to reveal Oliver’s identity, there’s no doubt that Oliver’s shaky aim will still dispatch his target. Good thing he used three arrows instead of one! He heads back to the lab, planning to kill Count Vertigo once and for all, but he can’t bring himself to do it. Count Vertigo is out of his mind, and what happened with the second round of Vertigo really isn’t his fault. Killing him now would just be an execution. Up to this point in the series, Oliver’s moral code would certainly allow him to kill the Count for the greater good of the city, but Oliver has changed. He’s morphing into a hero in a more traditional sense. Still, there are some people that don’t deserve that type of mercy, including Deadshot. Oliver is ready to take down the assassin to help Diggle put that part of his past behind him.
Back at the club, Oliver tells Tommy that they won’t have to worry about Vertigo anymore, and tries to apologize for his behavior. However, Tommy has put the club’s books in order and walks out, refusing to continue protecting Oliver when Oliver is willing to believe the worst about Tommy. Will his quitting force Oliver to see the obvious double standard he’s living? Maybe not, but Tommy’s next action may prove that Oliver was right to believe Tommy has a spark of badness in his soul: he immediately heads to his father’s office asking for a job. Instead of working things out with Oliver or trying to find something through Laurel’s firm, he walks right back into the hands of a man he’s been trying to avoid, someone he’s trying hard not to become. He does this under the guise of finding work that’s more stable, more nine to five, but this could be the beginning of Tommy becoming yet another nighttime archer if his father has anything to say about it.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm Eastern on CW. Unfinished Business originally aired 4/3/13.