Arrow: Vertigo Review (

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Friday, February 01, 2013




Ok, quick show of hands.  How many of you wanted to see Thea tossed in prison and the key thrown away?  No such luck.  This week’s Arrow piggybacked on last week’s episode.  After having been arrested for possessing the illegal drug called Vertigo Thea has her day in court.  The judge is looking to make an example of her and rejects her plea agreement, sending her case to trial, almost guaranteeing jail time.  Oliver seeks to save his sister by bringing down the man responsible for distributing the drug, who is known as “The Count”.

Ok, see how cute the writers are?  DC comics has a villain called Count Vertigo, and here we have a villain known as The Count who deals a drug called Vertigo…get it?  And hopefully you get the sarcasm because I’m laying it on pretty thick.  Arrow continues to dip its toe into the comic book mythology but refuses to jump in.  I think most would agree that Smallville became more enjoyable when they did away with the Kryptonite mutant of the week and started bringing in more characters from the comic book.  This should be a no brainer for Arrow as his villains are more street level and would not require a good deal in the way of visual effects (and money) to pull off.  The one saving grace here is that The Count did not die at the end.  We see him being carted off to the loony bin driven crazy by his own drug.  This could work similar to the comics where Count Vertigo was affected by drugs given to him.  Let’s hope I’m not giving the writers too much credit and the character returns in a more dangerous form down the road.

Now I do hate to nitpick but one thing annoyed the hell out of me in this week’s episode.  Oliver walks into the Starling City police department and happens to run into an old friend who is now a detective in vice squad.  When Oliver tells her that he’s trying to track down the Count in order to help his sister, she hands him a folder saying “Here’s everything we have on him,” as casually as if she was handing him a napkin.  Come on.  In a show where were supposed to suspend belief and believe in costumed heroes and villains, this is ridiculously far-fetched.

In flashbacks to the island, Oliver has been captured and apparently betrayed by his friend Yao Fei.  However this turns out to be a ruse so Yao Fei can fake Oliver’s death and allow him to safely escape the mercenaries, and apparently teaching him a cool Asian death move in the process.

This was a tepid episode of Arrow.  Thankfully the dull Merlyn saga was left off the menu and Oliver does make a discovery at the end that could change everything he knows about his parents.  If this was a setup to bring Count Vertigo back at a later date then I applaud the episode.  If it’s just another example of the show’s carefree dispensing of Green Arrow villains then I might have to come back and knock this one down a grade.

Mania Grade: B-
Episode: Vertigo (Season 1, Episode 12)
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Willa Holland
Written By: Greg Berlanti (developer), Marc Guggenheim (developer)
Directed By: Wendey Stanzler
Network: The CW