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Arrow “State v. Queen” Review (2×07)

21 Nov

ar207a_059b-jpg-a9c28c58-t3-630x419I haven’t yet covered Arrow this season, but I’m loving what I’m seeing so far. Season 2 has brought us a marked improvement over the first season, delivering action, character chemistry, and downright fun through the integration of flashbacks and present day sequences.

As for this episode, it’s yet another solid installment that paves the way for some intriguing future storylines. It revolves around Moira’s trial and the return of Count Vertigo (Seth Gabel entertainingly hamming it up), and it’s a showcase of both the strengths and weaknesses of Arrow.

Let’s start with Vertigo. Back when he was used in season 1, as much as I love Gabel, I really disliked the character; he didn’t seem to fit in with the show and was way too over-the-top, emulating the Joker most of the time. Here, though? His motivations are clearer and his vendetta makes sense; he’s still cartoonish, but he serves his purpose.

Of course, this leads into Oliver breaking his “No kill” rule, an act that’s handled extremely well by the show. He can make the distinction between a strict rule and a strict guideline, and he doesn’t spend time beating himself up over it because what he did was necessary. He needed to save Felicity. On that note, I’m happy the writers expand on the Oliver-Felicity connection and do it in this fashion; a lesser show would find a way to shoehorn in some deep discussion about it or just throw it in a random place, but here, that last scene between the two arises organically and makes sense after the events that have transpired. She cares about Team Arrow and he cares about Team Arrow, so they’re looking out for each other. It’s very simple.

Now as for the weaknesses, this show just isn’t very good at writing for Laurel; first of all, the court sequences are absolutely ludicrous, and second, she isn’t that great of a character. The concept of her is fine, but the execution comes across as soap opera-esque.

That’s really the only complaint I have about the episode, though, and with the reveal of Malcolm Merlyn’s “alive” status (this was an extremely well kept secret, show. Kudos), we’re sure to be in for a ride in the last two episodes of the year.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Less workout scenes this season.

-I really like the Thea-Roy boxing scene, which just speaks to how great this show is; this relationship has actually developed into something endearing, and it ties in nicely with the other characters. Thea-Roy is everything SHIELD wants Skye-Ward to be.

-We also get some brief island flashbacks; I’m enjoying the portrayals and teamwork of Shado and Slade, and this episode leads to some intriguing questions.

Credit to The CW and Arrow for all pictures. I own nothing.

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