Arrow: “State v. Queen” Season 2 Episode 7 Review

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Well they certainly pulled a fast one on us didn’t they?

But before we get to the end twist (mostly so I can stop screaming in giddy delight), we need to talk about Count Vertigo.

Introduced last season and appearing in a handful of episodes, the Count became one of Arrow’s most significant rogues. Unfortunately, the way the show portrays him makes him a Joker ripoff and just another point in the argument that Green Arrow is Batman with a bow. Doesn’t help that Seth Gabel totally fails at selling him as menacing in the slightest.

It also didn’t help that with Arrow’s “no killing” rule, every confrontation they had in this episode felt like it was taken straight out of The Dark Knight.

Except for that last one.

When Felicity goes to investigate how the city’s population is getting infected with Vertigo, she gets captured. She’s wearing her badge to Queen Consolidated, leading the Count to figure out who the vigilante is. He makes a personal call to Oliver’s cell phone in the middle of his mother’s dramatic day in court (more on that later, obviously).

But with the villain holding a syringe of the drug to Felicity’s neck, what’s a superhero to do? Then three arrows flew into the Count’s chest and he went crashing down the window. They even showed the body so there was no confusion.

Merely seven episodes after declaring his new rule, Oliver broke it, slaying a man because there was no other way. This is a fundamental flaw in Batman that Arrow just overcame. How many people could Batman have saved had he just killed the Joker? Oliver made that judgement and decided there was no other way. There is now a thick line separating Green Arrow and Batman. It was necessary, and it was done on a villain I really didn’t want to see again. Well done.

Ok, onto Moira’s trial. Turns out she had an affair with Malcolm Merlyn that could totally ruin her defense. It was slightly bothersome to see Thea totally freak out again, but at least she collected herself well enough (I’m not even going to mention the absurd boxing scene she shared with Roy, even though I just did).

What was strange was that Moira was acquitted, quickly even. At first I thought “I guess she couldn’t be in prison forever” and that it was a TV miracle (in a bad way). But then Arrow did something really interesting: Malcolm Merlyn is alive. I knew they couldn’t kill off Arrow’s archnemesis in season one! Especially when John Barrowman plays him. Oh it is so good to have you back Mr. Merlyn.

The island flashbacks were surprisingly compelling this week. Slade has essentially painted on the Deathstroke mask. Meanwhile, Oliver and Sara manage to escape Professor Ivo. Wonder how Sara will interact with Shado.

All in all, State v. Queen set itself up to be a lesser entry of Arrow‘s second season. But then it offered surprises no one could have seen coming that maintained some frame of logic in this superhero world. This is hardly the best episode of the show, but it is one that demands respect for making statements about its hero and not giving the audience an easy way out. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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