There seems to be a trend in Starling City. Unless the Hood manages to eradicate his “objectives”, they tend to return to cause more havoc. We’ve seen it happen with Cyrus Vanch, China White, and Deadshot. Now add The Count to that list. Remember him? He’s the crazy drug dealer who was pushing Vertigo on the streets of Starling City. When the drug begins to make an appearance again, Oliver and his team make it their mission to track him down. But, in the process of stopping the person who is getting the drugs on the street, events lead someone close to Oliver down an unexpected path.

Intrigued? Then let’s get to the recap!

The episode opens with a pretty club goer, who was just at Verdant, and gets hit by a car because she was too high to notice she was walking down the middle of the highway.

It’s after hours and Quentin comes to talk to Tommy and Oliver who are closing up the club and tells them about the girl. He shows them that she scored some Vertigo and warns them about drug dealing in Verdant. Oliver is upset (and in the process questions Tommy if it could be true) and wants to get to the bottom of this mess. He thought he had taken care of The Count who should be too looped up on his own drug at the state mental institute to be dealing.

Quentin heads to the institute to visit The Count, but the Hood gets there first. He finds the drug dealer to be insane from the vast amount of Vertigo that he injected the dealer with but he exhibits the kind of insanity that is reserved for the likes of a villain like the Joker. (Side note: Seth Gabel is excellent in this role and very convincing in his rather lunatic state. Kudos to the casting department on this one!) Oliver seems satisfied that the drug is not coming from him.

Diggle is still haunted by the fact that Deadshot got away and is determined to get the guy who killed his brother. He keeps the fact that he’s trying to locate him from Oliver as he helps the vigilante find out who is dealing this more intense version of Vertigo. Felicity comes in and shows them that The Count has escaped from the psych ward.

Quentin’s partner, Detective Hill, thinks Tommy is the one dealing Vertigo. He tells Quentin that the dead girl’s last call was to Tommy, that he already had a prior and that $10,000 was missing from the club’s ledger. Maybe Tommy embezzled the money to buy the drug and is dealing to keep up his lifestyle since Daddy cut off the gravy train. The circumstantial evidence against Tommy is mounting.

Quentin heads over to Laurel’s apartment to question Tommy and confronts him with the evidence that Hill presented. Laurel goes into attorney mode and tells him not to answer as she glares at her father. Tommy, on the other hand, is disappointed that his girlfriend’s dad doesn’t think he’s innocent.

When more and more incidents involving the use of Vertigo make the news, Oliver gets extremely upset. He feels that he let the city down by not killing The Count when he had the chance. While Felicity tries to reason with him that it’s not his fault, he tells her it is because he should have finished him off instead of letting him live to deal another day.

Meanwhile, Diggle has his own agenda and give his friend Lyla (who is a member of ARGUS) a flash drive with info on Deadshot. She doesn’t quite believe that his story of just wanting to help but hey, anything to get the assassin off the streets, right?

In the Glades, Quentin finds out what Tommy did with the missing 10 grand. He used it to pay off the zoning commissioner to skip the inspection of the nightclub. Quentin wants to know what Tommy is hiding and proceeds to go into Verdant but Tommy tells him he needs a search warrant first. Quentin is none too happy with his daughter’s boyfriend right now. Of course, Quentin does get the search warrant which includes the sub level of the club where the Arrow lair is located. He demands that Oliver unlock the door to the lower level but surprise! That door leads to their storage area where Tommy keeps the extra booze for the bar.

The beginning of the end of this friendship?

I guess Tommy thought this was a better time than any to confront his best friend and ask why Ollie would believe he would deal drugs. Oliver tells him that his past led him to believe the possibility, but Tommy tells him he changed since then – just like Oliver did. How can Oliver think the worst of him when he goes around easily killing people who do illegal things with arrows? Pot…kettle…black? Yep, this friendship has just received its pink slip.

Oliver is angry and decides to take it out on Diggle. He castigates his bodyguard for not being there to help resolve a situation that occurred at the aquarium earlier that night and tells him he needs to deal with his personal vendetta against Deadshot on his own time. Diggle comes back swinging and counters that isn’t finding the Count a personal agenda for Oliver at this point? Again…pot…kettle…black. Not a good night for Oliver when it comes to arguing points. He can now add Diggle to the list of people who are disappointed in him.

So I guess I must have missed this but somehow Oliver was able to move all the stuff around his lair before Quentin’s search warrant because when Felicity comes in, she is as surprised as I am on the whole remodeling look of the place. I originally thought the door to the sublevel was a different door that led to a different area of the basement, but I guess not.

Anyway… Felicity pulls up the autopsy reports on the Vertigo victims and they show a high level of an anti-psychotic drug in their system. A light goes off in Oliver’s head! The Count never really escaped from the mental institution. He faked his escape just as he faked his insanity! How brilliant is that.

Since sublevels are such a hot thing with the show, the Hood heads to the institution’s sublevel to find the Count – and find him he did… unconsciousness after a dose of electric shock therapy.  The Hood gets knocked out by an orderly and we find that the Dr. Webb is behind it all. He lifts the Hood’s hood and sees that it is Oliver beneath it. Yep, Dr. Webb just signed his own death certificate finding out who the Hood really is.

Oliver wakes up strapped to a table (sorry kids, he was not shirtless in this scene) and we find out that the good doctor took a biopsy of the Count’s kidneys to reverse engineer the Vertigo formula in order to make the drug himself.  The Count really was crazy and, hey, Dr. Webb needed the money. He forces Oliver to drink some Vertigo to make it look like he overdosed but Oliver still had a few tricks up his sleeve. He detonates a small explosion dart to get out of his restraints. Unfortunately he’s still under the influence of Vertigo so he didn’t see the orderly that was about to smack him from behind. But Diggle did as he comes running in for the rescue! Love me some Diggle action! Finally the man is showing off some skills as he manages to put down the orderly by using a defibrillator to his head.

Oliver manages to stick himself with an island antidote that he kept with him and chases after Dr. Webb. But the doctor is not afraid. Knowing that Oliver is still under the influence, he comes after the archer with a scalpel taunting that he doubts Oliver could aim a single arrow. Well, Dr. Webb, how about 3? The Hood shoots and one arrow scores as the doctor falls down dead. Well played Oliver.

He walks back and the Count is now conscious babbling away. Oliver aims his arrow right at the Count’s head but can’t seem to let go of the bow string. He tells Diggle they are finished here and walks out.

Oliver returns to Verdant to try to make amends with Tommy but he is still angry that Oliver can’t see that he’s changed and quits.

While he couldn’t make up with Tommy, down at the lair, Oliver tries with Diggle. While he apologizes without really saying he’s sorry to his friend, he tells him that since Deadshot is a priority for Diggle, he will make it a priority for him too and they set out to get the assassin.

Have we just witnessed the beginning of the creation of a supervillian? If the series follows the comic books, we just may have! Tommy, now without a job, has decided to go home and ask his father for help and this makes Malcolm very very happy.

Lots of juicy going ons in this week’s ‘Arrow’, don’t you think? If I had to pick a theme for this week, it would be beginnings. The beginning of Oliver developing a conscious with regards to his killings and in the flashback, we were entertained by the beginning of his fight and arrow training by Shado with her wax-on-wax-off teaching style but this time around she uses a bowlful of water. We also saw the beginning of Tommy’s descent into the seedy world his father is involved in. Luckily, what we haven’t seen is the beginning of the end as ‘Arrow’ and we have 3 more episodes until the season finale! Too bad we have to wait until April 24th for the next episode. Until then, chime in about what you thought of last night’s ‘Arrow’!