‘Arrow’ 1×19 Photo Recap: “Unfinished Business”
If you’ve ever read any of my Fringe photo recaps, I think you all know what’s going to be the central theme of this recap. No, it’s not the chemistry between Slade and Shado, or the fact that Laurel’s role seems to have been reduced to nothing more than convenient legal advisor and perpetual middlewoman in various conflicts between her loved ones. No, this episode’s most important feature was the return of a very special guest star, the one and only SETH MOTHER-EFFING GABEL. You may know him from Fringe, Dirty Sexy Money, or from my dreams. Fortunately for everyone (and particularly my dignity), I’ve moved past the point where just seeing his face is enough to send me into a fit of sobs while clawing at the wall screaming, “LINCOOOOOLN!!!” but I still can’t look at him without hearing Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be in My Heart” playing in my head. So yeah… Baby steps.
Seth was back this week as the super-psycho drug dealer known as “The Count,” but you might as well just call him “Unfinished Business,” since that’s what he was to Oliver, who has a personal vendetta against the Count since his dangerous club drug Vertigo almost cost Thea her life. Speaking of Thea, she was conspicuously absent this episode, which was disappointing considering it meant we didn’t get to see any of her adorable beau and his glorious torso charming personality. It’s very possible that Colton Haynes and Felicity have become my favorite parts of this show. Also, Oliver and Dig’s bromance, which was on the rocks this episode. In the end, though, they were there for each other when it mattered most—because THAT’S WHAT LOVE IS.
Anyway, back to admiring Seth Gabel’s crazy-eyes…
The episode started off like an episode of Castle, with some random party girl getting hit by a car. Let this be a lesson to you: don’t take hallucinogenic drugs and stand in the middle of oncoming traffic at the same time. One or the other is totally fine though.
Detective Lance immediately went to pay a visit to his two favorite ne’er-do-wells that have slept with his daughter, excited to have another excuse to accuse them of nefariousness. (To be fair, there is some precedent.)
Even though Oliver’s face may have said, “DERP,” his brain said, “WTF IS THIS I MUST INVESTIGATE,” so naturally he went to see Count Crazycakes, AKA my future husband, who it quickly became apparent was indeed still very crazy. Oliver stayed just long enough to stir him into a frothy state of nuttiness for Detective Lance to deal with.
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how great Seth Gabel is at playing crazy? Also, in case you’re wondering why this recap took so long for me to post, it’s definitely not because I kept stopping to go watch old clips of Seth on Fringe…
In non-Seth Gabel news, it seems like they might have actually found a way to make me care about the Flashback storyline: add a badass personal trainer for Oliver! Shado has the wisdom and discipline of Mr. Miyagi and the body of Lara Croft. I have a theory that she and Slade will have beautiful, buff babies who grow up to become the Others on Lost. (Stay tuned for theory #108 of why I think Arrow is actually a prequel to Lost.)
Poor Oliver…he’s even the third wheel in Flashback World! Maybe he should just adopt some cats and call it a day. Or, more likely, hook up with Felicity, who met up with Mopey and Mopier to talk about uniform colors for their recreational dodgeball team.
It was bad news/bad news time: the Count had escaped (no doubt trying to find his way back to the Blue Universe to see Peter—which reminds me, my other theory is that Arrow is actually a secret Fringe spin-off and this is the Green Universe), and there was a new variation of Vertigo on the market that was even MORE super dangerous. This news elicited a slightly less than calm reaction from Oliver.
Looks like Oliver has been watching too much Real Housewives.
At least now Detective Lance had someone to be upset with other than Oliver and Tommy. He went back to the mental hospital to try to uncover just how someone with the mental stability of a Vampire Diaries fan during May sweeps managed to break out of a secure mental facility.
Oliver and the gang opted for a more hands-on investigation method: Diggle went undercover to buy some of the new Vertigo because, you know, he’s black, so obviously he would be the best choice to impersonate a drug addict.
I love that they acknowledged the inherent racism in having the only black character (at least the only one currently not missing) acquire the illegal drugs. That’s one of the things I really admire about this show: its ability to wink at itself. Well done, show! Keep it up.
Speaking of winking, Oliver’s two potential lovers had their own secret project this week: Felicity was helping Diggle dig up some info on his brother’s killer, which meant he wasn’t around to be Oliver’s guardian angel/conscience/backrub giver/Yahtzee partner.
Back on the island, Oliver was beginning his BAMF training with Shado, who started him off with an opponent that he actually stood a chance of beating: water.
In present-day Starling City, Oliver proved how far he’s come from that shaggy-haired weakling by going up against some Vertigo-dealing scumbags. It didn’t end well for everyone.
One of the guys who escaped with some Vertigo in his possession created something of a scene at the aquarium, where he decided to hold some innocent bystanders hostage at gunpoint. I seriously thought he was going to shoot the glass of the aquarium and massacre all those poor fish, but luckily no fish were harmed. Oliver showed up with the intention of giving the guy an antidote for Vertigo, but things did not go as planned.
Oliver showed up at the club, where Tommy and Laurel were being all lovey-dovey, just in time for a visit from his #1 fan, Detective Lance.
Detective Lance had returned with a warrant (thanks for confirming its validity, Laurel—I’m so glad you were there to contribute that invaluable piece of information) and demanded to see their secret basement. GASP!
Well played, Tommy! That was legitimately awesome. Also, how did he manage to pull off that Extreme Lair Makeover all by himself? Did he have help? I guess he could have cleared out the superhero crap and hired twelve other people to put all the chairs in the entire city down there instead. In any case, good job Tommy. (Except you could stand to be less of a dick to Oliver about it.)
Oliver was only left alone with his thoughts for a couple seconds before Diggle showed up.
Yikes… There were a lot of man feelings flying around in this episode, and most of them were some form of hurt. But you know what they say: you always hurt the ones you love.
While the guys were all stewing in their own emotional crockpots, Felicity came home to find that all of her high-tech computers and gadgetry had been replaced by chairs.
Even without her elaborate IT setup, Felicity was able to access the autopsy records for the guy who had died at the aquarium. She figured out how the Vertigo had been altered, deducing that it would require massive amounts of psychiatric drugs found in, say, a mental hospital. So Oliver grabbed his color-coordinated glow sticks and went back to the loony bin to bust s**t up.
When he finally found the Count, Oliver was a little surprised at the…passive state of the criminal mastermind.
Evil doctors! Of course! That’s inconvenient, seeing as they have access to dangerous amounts of weird green drugs.
Things were looking pretty bad for our hero until his hero showed up: ladies and gentlemen, the king of good timing, Mr. John Diggle!
Nice try, evil doctor. But you can’t escape from Oliver Queen that easily—even if he is still high on Vertigo.
Oliver went to continue his murderous rampage of vengeance and finally put the Count down for good. But the guy looked so pathetic, it just didn’t seem fair. Also, you can’t kill off Seth Gabel. Oh wait… *cries in a corner*
But he couldn’t go through with it. Maybe he heard Dig’s voice in his head telling him not to do it. Maybe he was hypnotized by Seth Gabel’s hauntingly beautiful eyes. Whatever it was, it didn’t improve Oliver’s mood, or Tommy’s perception of him.
While present-day Oliver was contemplating human beings’ capacity for change, Flashback-Oliver was experiencing a life-changing moment with a bow and arrow for the first time. I guess we all know who Oliver’s real true love is…
I’m really curious about that whole water-slapping training thing. Is that real? Does that work? Can I become a professional archer by slapping a bowl of water for a few weeks? I’m going to Wikipedia it.
Anyway, the important part of this episode was the adorable make-up between Oliver and Dig.
Alas, as Oliver and Dig grew closer, the rift between Oliver and Tommy caused Tommy to seek out companionship from another source…an evil one.
Why, Tommy, why?! I thought we were clear on the whole your-dad-is-evil thing? No? I know it’s hard to accept that your best friend is now a homicidal vigilante who offs bad guys sometimes, but that’s no reason to go crawling back to your emotionally distant, morally corrupt father. Upside: maybe this will give Laurel something to do. (Poor Laurel—I really like her, but for the past few episodes she has been next to useless. Not that it’s her fault.)
My overall impression of this episode was, of course, that it could have used more of Seth Gabel. But that’s just my general motto in life. Also, I finally figured out who Colin Donnell (Tommy) reminds me of—he looks like the lovechild of Matthew MacFadyen (Darcy from Pride and Prejudice) and Jon Hamm (Mad Men). Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go write some fan fiction about how that scenario might actually occur…
Feel free to share your thoughts on Jon Hamm and Matthew MacFadyen’s lovechild, Seth Gabel, Lost theories, or anything else in the comments section! Thanks for reading!
*All images are property of The CW