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Arrow Conversations: Laurel and Her Dad, “Vertigo” 

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

First off, I know what you’re thinking. If this episode of Arrow gave you a nagging sense of deja vu, you’re not alone. I couldn’t help but feel like like I was watching Batman Begins on the small screen. That being said, I was totally okay with it. It’s undeniable that The Count (Seth Gabel, Fringe/Dirty Sexy Money) bears an uncanny physical resemblance to Batman‘s Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) but add to that their melodic speech patterns, attempts to introduce a drug epidemic and their screaming descent in to drug-induced insanity — and it’s hard to deny the similarities.

However, Oliver’s reasons for taking down The Count show us that he is no poor man’s Bruce Wayne. They may have both fought the bad guys through a Vertigo-riddled haze (you couldn’t help but be in awe as Oliver struggled up the stairs, knocking out each and every henchman as they appeared), but it was Oliver’s personal vendetta to take down The Count that made him stand out.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW


Sure, he wanted to protect the city from a ruthless drug-dealer gone mad, but this battle all started because Ollie wanted to save Thea and he was willing to pull out all the stops (including faux-killing a complete stranger) to make sure she got a second chance. After all, as we saw in the island flashbacks, Oliver got a second chance when his mentor “killed” him to set him free and his playboy-to-vigilante 180 has proven that even a self-indulged tiger can change his stripes.

That being said, my one-on-one of the week for once did not include Oliver. I won’t deny that Laurel and her father have never been two of my favorite characters; however, their parking lot interaction this week had me riveted. As Laurel plead for her father to pull some strings to lessen Thea’s DWI sentence she couldn’t help but compare the troubled teen to her own sister, Sarah, who perished in the shipwreck. Up until this point, Laurel has vehemently defended her sister and honored her memory, showing us that she refused to see the world as anything but black and white. But as she confronted her father with “you remember her the way you wish she had been, not the way she was. She’s not the saint you make her out to be”, you could see her start to accept the shades of gray.

Now, I have to believe she had only recently recognized these truths herself, but it’s nice to see that in trying to give Thea a second chance, she too is giving Oliver a second chance. Although the line, “For so long, you and I have blamed Oliver for Sarah’s death, but Sarah is to blame too” may have been hard for Detective Lance to hear and clearly won’t change his actions immediately, you have to hope that they’ll eventually sink in and allow him to see the truth he’s long been denying.

Fortunately, as we see, Laurel’s plea works, giving Thea a get-out-of-jail-free card under the conditions of community service and probation, as well as mandatory grunt work at Laurel’s office. I, for one, am eager to see the upcoming dynamic between Thea and Laurel and hope that Thea follows in her brother’s footsteps and makes the most of her second chance. And with so many “Speedy” references this week, I can’t help but wonder if Oliver isn’t the only one whose second chance involves an alter-ego.

Arrow airs Wednesday at 8/7c on the CW.

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