‘Arrow’ 1.19 Episode Recap and Review: Unfinished Business

Vertigo is back on the streets in this week’s episode of Arrow!

Verdant is in full swing, but more than the music is intoxicating. One of the club’s patrons is tripping (rolling? Whatever you kids call it nowadays. Now get off my lawn) on Vertigo. She trances her way out into traffic in front of a couple of moving vehicles. Detective Lance looks into her death, which leads him right back to the club. Detective Lance investigates and is of the opinion that she bought the drug at the club. Neither Tommy nor Ollie have ever met the girl, but Tommy has a suspicious text message on his phone from her asking him to “hook her up.” He explains it as a request for club access, but Quentin is still of the opinion that Tommy’s dealing. It doesn’t help that there’s about $10,000 missing from Verdant’s books.

The Hood is trying to track down the main source of the Vertigo. The Count is still in a mental institution and pretty far out of his mind, or at least that’s how it seems. That’s drawn into doubt when he escapes the institution shortly after the Hood’s visit. In the meantime, Digg heads to the Glades to buy some Vertigo in order to get tagged money into the drug circulation. The Hood is able to break up a major buy, but a good amount of product still gets out. One buyer in particular loads up and holds the local aquarium hostage. Ollie calls Digg for backup, but he’s out on personal business, passing information on Deadshot to an old Army buddy. The hostages get rescued anyway, but the suspect ODs on Vertigo before Ollie can question him.

Meanwhile, Detective Lance is still trying to pin the Vertigo dealing on Tommy. It turns out that the $10 grand went to pay off a corrupt building inspector to overlook the Arrow-cave. Lance gets a search warrant to check out what’s down there, but Tommy has filled the Arrow-cave with spare tables, chairs, and booze to make it look like a storage area. Quentin leaves the club alone from then on out, but it was pretty clear to Tommy that Oliver wasn’t exactly confident that Tommy was on the up-and-up.
Analysis of the Vertigo that the aquarium hostage-taker was carrying shows that there’s a new ingredient: an anti-psychotic that can only be found in large doses at, you guessed it, mental institutions. Ollie figures that the Count faked his escape and is still holed up at the hospital. He’s half right. The Count is still in the hospital, but he’s not the one behind all this. It’s the doc and his orderly. The Count’s doctor was able to reverse engineer the chemical makeup of Vertigo by analyzing studying the Count. Oliver gets captured, but is rescued in the nick of time by Digg. Digg takes out the orderly and Ollie puts an arrow in the doctor, but he can’t quite bring himself to put the Count out of his misery.

When Oliver makes it back to Verdant, Tommy has all of the books in order and ready for Ollie to take over. Tommy’s had it up to here with Ollie’s hypocrisy and quits the club business. He storms out and heads straight to his father to ask for a job. Malcolm, of course, accepts him with open arms and ominous theme music.

I’m honestly not sure what I thought of this episode. I like where it ended, with Tommy working for Malcolm and Oliver in a bit of a stew about his less-than-friendly behavior throughout the episode, but parts of it felt like the show was straining to get there. I’ll grant that Vertigo might be a sore spot for Oliver, what with Thea being involved last time it showed up on the streets. That, to me, doesn’t really explain Oliver’s behavior regarding both Tommy and Digg. Ollie’s been much better about having solid reasons behind his actions, and suspecting Tommy and reaming out Digg seem a bit out of character for him. I get that the endgame was to push Tommy towards his father again, but I feel like there are better ways that could have happened. Your thoughts?

Arrow is going on hiatus for a couple of weeks. We’ll see them again on April 24th, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

Best Quote:
Ollie: What sort of business has a lost and found that’s just filled with women’s underwear?
Tommy: The best business ever?

Things to Ponder:

  • So Tommy’s working for his father now. Do you think Malcolm is going to bring Tommy into the Undertaking?


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  1. Thanks for the review. I am not sure about Malcolm bringing Tommy into the Undertaking, I wonder if he won’t go back to working at the club (after learning some important info from his dad) … Tommy did protect Ollie and the Arrow lair. I am sure that not killing the Count will cause problems for Ollie and the gang, still nice to see Ollie make the morale choice not to kill the restrained, ranting Count. Loved the flashback with Shado teaching Ollie to fight via slapping water to build strength. Still a lot of things that just do not quite work in the show, hope they get it to gel. I think reducing the number of people in the cast might help. Will kind of miss it for the next couple weeks, appreciate the heads up on that. Another good quote this week was with Diggle buying the drugs – “Person of color has successfully purchased your drugs.”

  2. Shado’s training has definitely put Ollie on the path to becoming the Hood, moreso than Slade’s training, IMHO. I might be biased on Tommy’s account. I’ve been waiting for him to go bad since he saw Ollie fighting in the pilot episode. Loved that quote, too. 🙂