Arrow: Unfinished Business Season 1 Episode 19 Review

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Unfinished Business saw the return of the drug Vertigo on the streets of Starling City.

The Count (Count Veritgo to comics fans) was one of the more exciting villains from the past on Arrow and the trend continued as he had an Arkham Asylum style confrontation early in the episode. It became even more mysterious when the nut job escaped.

He then spends his time sitting in the backseat while hie men deliver the drugs. But Arrow intervenes in one of the more ridiculous action scenes on the show yet (That henchman had worse-than-Stormtrooper aim. Plus an arrow causing a car to explode? Let’s make this a little plausible guys…).

But then we got one of my favorite scenes on the show yet. When a high bum grabs a security guard’s gun at an aquarium, and Oliver prepares to stop him with some herbs from the island. “He didn’t fail this city, the city failed him, and it’s my fault,” he says. By giving this playboy superhero guilt, the writers have layered Oliver in the same ways that Stan Lee has been credited with doing for Spider-man. It helps that Stephen Amell is becoming the capable young actor we all hoped for.

It doesn’t help much that Quentin Lance suspects Tommy of letting the drugs be sold in he and Oliver’s club. He even goes so far as to search the grounds, coming dangerously close to Oliver’s secret superhero lab. Luckily Tommy hid everything, but he still bribed a guy. Then came the shocking argument between Oliver and Tommy as the best friends tore each other apart.

Meanwhile, Diggle is hunting Deadshot behind Oliver’s back. Once Oliver finds out, they don’t exactly have a nice conversation either. With so many confrontation scenes this episode I noticed something. The dialogue and acting isn’t perfect, but it’s no longer something to really criticize. These scenes were all well crafted and believable. No long soap opera pauses. No melodrama. What a long way the writers have come.

Eventually Oliver figures out that the Count never actually left the mental hospital. But it turns out the Count isn’t behind it after all. Instead, the doctors at the mental institution have harnessed the formula for the drug. I’ll admit, I prefer supervillains to these half-assed goons. But they were pretty fierce as they poured the drug into Oliver’s mouth. But then Diggle saved the day! We even got an intense moment where Oliver considers killing the Count, but leaves him alive.

I suppose Tommy asking how he could kill so many people struck a chord. Too bad Oliver’s best friend has given up on him, leaving the club.

We got very little of the island this week, mostly just comic relief involving Oliver’s training. But it did amount to our hero becoming strong enough to flex a bow properly.

The episode ended with Laurel and her father making amends, Oliver letting Diggle go after Deadshot, and Tommy working for his father. The end of the season is upon us and a ton of things have been set into motion. This was an excellent episode the made a few mistakes, including a bad action sequence and sort of an anticlimax concerning the villain. But Oliver has become a more compelling character than ever, while Diggle and Tommy get further involved. Well done. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty


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