Arrow

Season 1 Episode 12

Vertigo

84
Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Jan 30, 2013 on The CW

Episode Recap

The Hood chases a street dealer through the alleyways of Starling City and finally pins him to a tower as he tries to climb away. The Hood demands to know who is the source of Vertigo and the street dealer finally gives him a name: The Count. Oliver returns to the warehouse and tells Diggle what he's found, and plans to go back out on the streets. Diggle reminds him that Thea's hearing is in a few hours and that she'd rather have Oliver there then looking for the man who gave her the drugs.

Oliver returns to the manor and picks up Thea, who wishes that her father was there. Moira goes with them to the courthouse and their attorney, Alex Salese, informs Judge Brackett that the district attorney has agreed to treat Thea as a juvenile. Brackett refuses, insisting that he should send a message that no one can get away with taking a dangerous new drug. He denies the plea arrangement and insists on going to trial. As the judge talks, Oliver sees Laurel at the back of the courtroom.

When the Queens get home, Moira complains about Brackett but Salese warns them that an appeal probably won't overturn the judge's ruling. Once he leaves, Moira objects and Thea reminds her mother about her affair with Malcolm and walks off. Moira complains to Oliver that Thea isn't taking her trial seriously. Oliver tells Moira that he has something to do and leaves after making sure that she's okay.

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As Oliver sits in the mercenaries' cage, Yao Fei comes to see him. When the Asian says nothing, Oliver asks Yao Fei why he saved his life only to turn him in. He asks Yao Fei to let him go but the man says that he can't and walks away.

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Oliver goes to the station to talk to Detective Hall in Vice. When he gets there, he realizes that the detective is an old girlfriend, McKenna Hall, who is now working Vice. They discuss the days when they went out clubbing together and then Oliver tells her that he has the name of the supplier. McKenna tells him that the police already know about The Count but they haven't been able to track him down or find anything on him. Oliver asks McKenna to let him know if she finds out anything, for Thea's sake, and his friend agrees. Once he leaves, Quentin comes over and asks McKenna what Oliver was doing.

That night, The Count interrogates the street dealer that the Hood talked to earlier. The dealer insists that he didn't say anything and The Count injects him with a full dose of Vertigo. As the dealer screams in agony, The Count explains that the effects of the drug can last for days and drive a victim made with pain. He then gives the dealer a gun with one bullet and says that he can either choose to shoot The Count or himself. The dealer kills himself and The Count walks away with his thugs.

When Tommy wakes up, he finds Laurel in the kitchen review the files on Thea's arrest. Oliver comes by and Laurel lets him in. He asks if she could have Quentin call in a favor with Brackett while he tries to find an alternative. Laurel warns that it won't do any good but says that she'll do what she can. When she goes to the station, Quentin refuses to help. He glad to see a Queen pay for a crime that they've committed. When Laurel reminds him that Sarah broke the law and he helped her, Quentin ruefully admits that if he hadn't then she might never have boarded the yacht and died. Laurel disagrees , insisting that she can see the same potential in Thea that Sarah had, and Quentin reluctantly agrees to make some calls.

Oliver and Diggle go to the garage where Alexi Leonov with the Bratva operates. When Alexi wonders what he wants, Oliver gives him a bag filled with money and says that he wants to move into the drug business. He asks Alexi to arrange a meeting with The Count and says that he can give The Count his police file as payment. Alexi agrees but only if Oliver does him a favor and proves his sincerity. He has his mechanic bring a prisoner out and tells Oliver to kill him. Diggle hesitates but Oliver chokes the man to death and Alexi thanks him.

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Yao Fei takes Oliver to a circle where Deathstroke is fighting one of the prisoners while his fellow mercenaries cheer. Deathstroke easily defeats the man and then kills him on Fyers' orders. Yao Fei then shoves Oliver into the circle and Fyers tells Yao Fei to help build troop unity by fighting Oliver.

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Once they take the "corpse" outside, Oliver revives the man with an acupuncture touch and then punches him unconscious. He tells Diggle to prepare a new identity for the man and get him out of Starling City. When Diggle wonders if Oliver will show up as the Hood at the rendezvous, Oliver explains that he doesn't want to blow his connection to the Bratva. He'll go there as himself and buy the Vertigo. As they leave, Alexi calls The Count and sets up the meeting.

At the manor, Laurel meet with Thea and Oliver and tells them that her father got Brackett to give Thea 500 years of community service and two years on probation. However, Thea will fall under Laurel's legal responsibility for those two years. Thea refuses and Laurel tells her to call if she changes her mind. Once she leaves, Oliver warns Thea that she's in trouble but she says that she wants to go to jail and ruin Moira's life for betraying Robert. Oliver finally tells his sister that their father cheated on Moira. Thea doesn't believe it but Oliver says that Robert told him that he wasn't the man that they thought just before he died. Shocked, Thea tells Oliver to leave her alone and walks off. Moira, who has overheard the entire thing, complains to Oliver. He insists that Thea is old enough to hear the truth, but Moira disagrees. Once she leaves, Diggle comes in and tells Oliver that Alexi called to say that the meeting is on.

That night, Oliver and Diggle wait with Alexi, who explains that The Count got his name from leaving puncture marks on the necks of the runaways and prostitutes that he used to develop Vertigo. The Count arrives and thanks Oliver for the file, but says that the police are of no concern to him. Oliver explains that he wants to have a drug to sell to the guests at his new night club. The Count agrees to make the deal and takes out the drugs. He explains that 56 people died developing the drug and takes the money. Quentin and his men pull up and order everyone to surrender. Diggle and Oliver take cover while The Count shoves past his men and runs for the subway entrance. Oliver goes after him and The Count jabs him with two syringes of Vertigo. As Oliver collapses, Diggle runs to him while McKenna drives by and cuts off Alexi as he tries to escape. While the police arrest the Russians, Diggle gets Oliver away.

Back at the warehouse, Diggle gives Oliver an antidote from his island crate. Oliver tries to choke him until Diggle manages to pry his hands loose and give him the antidote.

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Yao Fei easily defeats Oliver, kneels next to him, and confirms that he's dead.

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The next morning, Oliver discovers that Diggle handcuffed him to the table. Diggle unfastens the cuffs and explains that The Count only managed to inject one of the two syringes. He suggests that Oliver take it easily but Oliver says that he can't abandon Thea and leaves. However, he's surprised to discover that Quentin and McKenna are there. Quentin explains that McKenna saw Oliver the previous night and they demand to know why he was there. Oliver claims that he spend enough money to set up a meeting so he could see The Count's face and give his description to the police. When Quentin asks if he saw The Count's face, Oliver says that he didn't. Disgusted, Quentin refuses to press charges but warns Oliver that the next time he'll go to jail. Oliver thanks Quentin for helping Thea but the detective says that he only did it for Laurel. As McKenna goes, Oliver assures her that he knows she was just doing her job. Once they're alone, Moira complains about what Oliver is doing. He points out that she's only mad because he told Thea the truth about Robert. Moira admits that she wanted to preserve Thea's memories of Robert and Thea apologizes, saying that she understands.

As Oliver goes downstairs to meet with Diggle, he passes out from the drugs.

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The next morning, the mercenaries take Oliver's corpse to the edge of the cliff. Yao Fei volunteers to throw it over the cliff into the river below and Fyers agrees. The Asian kneels next to Oliver and then shoves him off the edge.

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When Oliver recovers, he and Diggle go to Queen Consolidated and meet with Felicity. Oliver asks her to analyze the drug and determine where the water used to make it came from, claiming that it came from a friend who wants him to invest in an energy drink. Felicity points out that it's in a syringe and Oliver makes up a lame excuse.

That night, Felicity sends the results to Oliver. She tells him that it came from an abandoned juvenile delinquent center in the East Glades. Oliver is ready to go immediately but Diggle points out that the drug has left him in no condition to shoot. Diggle refuses to let him go unless he can shoot a tennis ball. Oliver tries to draw a bead on it but can't. However, he goes off anywhere, saying that he can still fight without his bow.

At the center, Oliver fights his way past The Count's men, weakened by the drug but still able to hold his own. Meanwhile, the police pull up outside. as they go in, McKenna tells Quentin that her CI has confirmed that The Count is inside.

Oliver make it to the main lab and goes after The Count. The drug supplier insists that he's just doing a public service, and Oliver says that he's doing the same. He knocks The Count's out of his hand with a throwing dart and they fight hand-to-hand. Oliver finally manages to jab The Count with his own drug. Quentin runs in with his men and sees the Hood, and the detective figures that the vigilante is a killer, not a hero. After a moment, Oliver shoves The Count towards them and slips away into the shadows.

The next morning, Oliver drives Thea to CNRI so she can start working there. Thea thanks Laurel for giving her a chance and Laurel puts her to work. Once they're alone, Oliver thanks Laurel for her help and admits that Thea needs a better role model than him. As they talk, McKenna calls Oliver and tells him that The Count will be gone for a long time. They both admit that it was good seeing each other and ring off.

At the hospital, the doctor informs Quentin that The Count has taken a higher dose of Vertigo than anyone has and survived. Despite that, he's still alive… but his brain was irreparably damaged. She admits that she has no idea what the long-term effects might be as the orderlies take the raving Count away.

That night Oliver waits at a diner and thinks of his past.

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Oliver wakes up when he hits the water and swims to shore. He remembers Yao Fei tapping him on the chest and reviving him, and finds a map with directions hidden in his jacket.

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Felicity arrives for the meeting that she arranged and tells Oliver that she trusts him even though she knows that he's been lying to her. Oliver tells her that she can trust him and she shows him the book that Walter found in Moira's belongings. As Oliver thumbs through it, Felicity tells Oliver that Walter gave it to her right before he disappeared, and she worried that doing so may have cost him his life.

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