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TV Review: Arrow: Season 1 – Vertigo

By: Kyle Shultz

Arrow Title Card

Ever since it was announced that Count Vertigo was going to be in Arrow, I’ve been excited for this episode. I knew we, the viewers, wouldn’t exactly see the Count Vertigo that is from the comics or the versions we have seen in Batman: The Animated Series, The Batman, Young Justice, & DC Showcase: Green Arrow (With that said, can we get a Green Arrow animated film already?) Each interpretation of Count Vertigo has differed from one another. In The Batman, Vertigo was an ex-employee of Queen and later caused Oliver’s yacht to crash, stranding him on an island. In Young Justice, he was the leader of the Injustice League portrayed as a ruthless and power hungry man, who’s willing to kill Princess Perdita (his niece) for the crown of Vlatava. In DC Showcase, he hired Merlyn to kill Princess Perdita (again his niece) to gain the crown of Vlatava, same premise as the episode of Young Justice, this just involved Black Canary, Merlyn & Green Arrow. I’m honestly not sure how he was portrayed in Batman: The Animated Series, because I have not seen that show let alone that one episode in years, so I don’t really remember it too well.

In “Arrow”, they go with a much different take on the character, obviously a much more realistic approach, but a smart one. They honestly surprised me with how they treated him, and I was pleased. Seth Gabel did a great job with The Count as did the writers of the show. Most people I know get a Heath Ledger/Joker vibe from him; I think that he is sort of a combination of the personalities of both Ledger’s Joker & Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow from Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Trilogy.” The reason I believe that he has this Scarecrow vibe to him is because The Count is intelligent, as we saw in a scene where he explains to an associate of his how the drug Vertigo works, just after injecting his associate with the drug in its “purest form” as he calls it.

Count Vertigo

With this show being “set in reality”, there was bound to be a major curveball with how they’re treating this character. When they revealed that Count Vertigo was going to be a drug dealer by the name of “The Count” & that there will be a drug called “Vertigo” that gives the same famous “Vertigo effect” fans know of, all I could think was “That’s actually pretty smart thinking & cool” I had no idea how they would treat him, and I’m pretty comfortable with how he is portrayed in the show.

One thing I’m glad they did was having Green Arrow fight without his bow for once. It was nice to know that he has some skill without the bow. We have seen him fight on more than one occasion, but all times with a bow, the second fight in this episode we saw him actually hold his own without it, though he about lost a couple times, though it doesn’t help he was still feeling the effects of Vertigo, which I thought was a real & surprising touch to throw in there. Just when we thought he was feeling better, wham he starts feeling those effects of the Vertigo drug once again. Another nice touch was Diggle helping Oliver out on the table & pulling out Oliver’s medicine bag to cure him from the effects of the drug. It was almost scene-for-scene to what happened to Diggle in “Lone Gunman” when Oliver had to help cure him of Curare poisoning from Deadshot’s bullets, ending in Oliver’s revealing himself as the vigilante to Diggle.

Arrow - The Count

One other thing that I loved about this episode was that not only did it focus more on Thea than previous episodes have, but we sort of get a glimpse into what Ollie might’ve acted like when he was a teen and before the island, Thea seemed like she was headed down that path in this episode.  I actually liked & cared for her character a bit. In the past it felt like she was just this bratty spoiled girl, but this episode she was in actual trouble and at first resented any help that was handed to her, but in the end she did take the help that was offered by Dinah being her, in Thea’s words, “office monkey”. Hopefully from now on she’ll straighten up and have some importance in the show, after all we did learn in the court room that Thea’s full name is Thea Dearden Queen…come on, say it fast enough it sounds like “Mia Dearden”…okay sort of, maybe the nickname of “Speedy” is more than JUST a nickname? This show offers tons of questions & mysteries, with little answers.

The relationship between Felicity and Oliver keeps growing & growing with each episode. In this one, we saw while Oliver was coming down from the Vertigo, he couldn’t concentrate making up a stupid but funny excuse, to which Diggle even told him that his excuses are getting more ridiculous. Just the fact that Felicity keeps putting up with Oliver’s lame excuses for what he does shows us that she may in fact be the next person to join Team Arrow. The ending revelation of Felicity showing Oliver that copy of the notebook she obtained from Walter and saying he got it from Moira, sort of proves that Felicity probably knows something is up with Oliver to trust him with this, when Walter couldn’t. All I can say is that I’m looking forward even more now to each & every episode of “Arrow”, can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the season!

Arrow & The Count in a standoff!


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