Maybe we can chalk it up the seven-weel itch or something, but Arrow Season 2 Episode 7 was seriously lacking.
I'm sure die-hard Arrow fans will toss snowballs at the back of my head, but the entire hour was so predictable as to be borderline boring. Even the big reveal that Malcolm Merlyn escaped a death that his son could not did not make the installment special.
That doesn't mean it was a complete loss, as what happened here will most assuredly drive story forward.
It also stops the conjecture we've all been doing as Moira languished in prison. Was the big secret that Thea was Malcom's daughter? Yep, but Moira didn't want to give away all of her secrets to save her skin. She didn't have to. The trial was a farce.
Poor Laurel. Yes, I said it. Poor Laurel. After Adam went down in the courtroom with Vertigo poisoning, she was made lead counsel on the case, tasked with grilling Moira on the stand. She was in such pain afterward, she tried to avoid Oliver and could not believe he was concerned about how it made her feel. She'll feel even worse after losing such an easy case.
Moira was defiant on the stand. There was absolutely no way the jury was going to side with her after her testimony. Even Oliver knew it. Who else would have had the means or desire to help Moira than Malcolm? Oliver and Thea told Moira they would forgive her any of her past indiscretions as long as she told them the truth.
She did not. The family will face a lot more pain.
Seth Gabel made a return appearance as The Count, as he escaped prison during the earthquake (thanks Moira!). It was so unlike Felicity not to pick up that Diggle got Vertigo from the flu shot as soon as he said he got one that I lost track of things from then on. Who didn't think it was in the flu shot? They should have purposefully ensured it was not related to the flu shot just so it would act as a red herring.
Of all the people who have come within inches of Oliver and The Arrow, it was The Count who sussed out the two were one and the same. Not a detective, not the woman who loved him for 15 years. The Count. Sigh.
So what was good? Oliver will kill if someone he loves is in harm's way. The Count won't be making a return engagement. As much as I love Gabel... thank goodness. His death lead to another sweet moment between Oliver and Felicity. That's always welcome.
The scene between Roy and Thea as he gave her a way to let go of her stress with boxing gloves was adorable. She's going to make good use of those gloves in the future, as I don't think the secret of her birth is going to be one for long. Roy may soon feel like her only salvation.
Although the island scenes were short, Oliver did ask if whatever is on the submarine could save Slade's life. Now we know how Sara got initiated into the group and possibly how Slade gains his ultra strength, speed and agility. Come to Starling City, Slade!
The Count tried to give Oliver hints about who helped him gain his footing again with his operation, but I doubt the clues will lead Oliver to Sebastian Blood. That's too bad, because Brother Blood's minions seem to be coming to life. Whatever that means. Whatever process he subjects them to is making them stronger and... something. He won't be an in and out criminal of the week with all this build up, surely.
Overall, I'm disappointed that what could have been a huge episode sort of failed in its delivery. Nothing really shocked. The two most emotional moments were Laurel facing Oliver and Felicity apologizing to Oliver for putting herself in danger. Maybe those were the intended takeaways. If so - bravo!
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.