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A Tale of Three Villains, Arrow “State v. Queen” 

State v. Queen
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

Warning: Spoilers for the latest Arrow

Tonight’s episode was all about the villains. As a big fan of the Count (after all, my first article did coincide with his debut), I had planned to write all about his cunning yet charismatic debauchery and why I so enjoyed his return to Starling City, but then, as Arrow does, it threw something bigger in my path…Malcolm Merlyn.

Don’t worry, I’ll get back to the Count, but first, the return of our big, bad, season one foe. I’ve mentioned in previous articles that I have doubted that he was truly dead, so this wasn’t a total surprise. But the way he’s continued to manipulate and maneuver from beyond the grave reminded me of what made him such a great bad guy. Although we didn’t actually see him until the very end, his presence was felt throughout the episode as Moira was forced to admit that she’d had a brief affair with him in the past. All of this came out in court and according to both DA ‘s office and Oliver, this should have sealed her fate. However, Moira was found not guilty and it was only when she was driven to an abandon parking lot and Malcolm revealed himself to be very undead that we found out why she was now shackle-free.

Malcolm: “There are parts of the world where death is an illusion. I’ve been to one. Death can be very convincing but I returned because you needed my help.”
Obviously, Malcolm still has a plan up his sleeve and after threatening the jury, he’s now got Moira back under his control. But the real reveal came at the very end, when Malcolm enlightened us with his most recent discovery…Thea is his daughter. To be honest, I saw this coming as soon as Moira admitted to the affair in the courtroom; however, what I didn’t see coming was that Malcolm was not privy to his daddy-status. Clearly, this will only give him more leverage when it comes to manipulating Moira and forcing her to assist in his nefarious activities. But my real concern is for Thea. The girl has been through so much and is so broken already that I can only imagine what this revelation will do to her. Nevertheless, while I am slightly worried that this could potentially begin to feel like deja vu back to season one (Malcolm manipulates Moira! Malcolm tries to take down the city! Malcolm fights the vigilante!), I’m still hopeful that the addition of other villains will potentially put a new spin on the season and the relationship between the Arrow and the Hood.
Speaking of other villains, this episode brought us the return of Alderman and his top secret soldier mission. Apparently, he finally hit success when one of his test subjects didn’t bite the bullet after going all bloody-eyed. I’m still not sure exactly what he’s after or his agenda, but from the info we’re gaining in the flashbacks, I can’t help but feel that it has something to do with the Japanese submarine and whatever magical elixir is on board. Sarah says it will save the human race…but seeing as how I cannot imagine the creepy tanker people wanting to save humanity, I imagine it has potential for other, less optimistic endeavors. Looks like the next episode will bring us more Alderman and the unveiling of his new Bane-like super soldier…and along with that, hopefully a few answers.
And last but not least, the Count. From taunting his fellow inmates to taking poor Felicity hostage, Seth Gabel never fails to deliver on all counts. Pun intended. His twitchy mannerisms, his sing-songy voice and his snappy dialogue make him an enemy that is undeniably entertaining to watch.
Count: “I’m Count V and I approve this high.”
That being said, I understand that Oliver had to shoot him in order to save Felicity (and in order to give us a few great moments between these two afterwards), but I”m actually disappointed to think that this could potentially be his final appearance. Granted, with this show you never know, but seeing him dead on the hood of a cab after falling 50+ stories felt pretty final. Nevertheless, before he took his final swan dive, we learned that his recent reign of terror was about more than just pumping Vertigo or exacting his own personal revenge.
Count: “You poisoned me and put me in a hole, you have no idea how much I hated you for that. Turns out, someone else hates you too. He’s a man of means. Set me up so I could draw you out.”
This “man of means” is clearly Alderman, who’s ultimate goal was to take down the Arrow. But one thing strikes me curious…for a man who clearly has no trouble killing people, why does he seem so put out by “reigniting the vigilante’s killing spree?” Does he want to be the only bad guy? Or does he actually think he’s doing good? And most importantly, now that Malcolm is back, are the two of them in cahoots or will they be adversaries?
And finally, since we’re talking villains, is it just me or with his new half-mudded look, does Slade bare an uncanny resemblance to Two-Face aka a potential future villain? I can’t tell if this show has just made me suspicious and I’m looking at everyone with “bad guy glasses” or if they’re subtly setting us up for another big reveal. Guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.

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