Cold open of a thug in a brown leather jacket running through puddles. Somehow, he gets pinned to a platform by one of The Hood’s arrows, and dangles there for their ensuing talk, wherein he gives up the name of the Vertigo distributor. Ollie shares this info with his bodyguard/sidekick.  Diggle’s got some of the best lines on this show. “The Count? That’s worse than The Hood!”

So, Thea’s heading to court for a hearing on her DUI arrest. She asks Ollie for advice, which makes sense, because he’s probably got plenty of court experience to offer. They even have an arrangement for community service since the arrest happened when she was still a minor.  But Vertigo has become a city-wide plague, so the judge wants someone to make an example of, and he throws out the arrangement and declares there’ll be a trial. Thea looks back at Ollie, shaken.  When they get to the house, however, Thea decides she’s happy to go to jail if it will punish her mother for all the (imagined) wrongs she’s done.

Ollie heads to the police station with the name. He runs into an old flame, McKenna Hall, now a detective on the vice squad. Of course, they have the name, but not much else. For some reason, she hands him the folder of the info they collected.  They make nice some more, then he leaves, which prompts Detective Lance to query Detective Hall as to Ollie’s purpose in being there. She calls him Sergeant, though, so I guess he didn’t get repromoted after all.

The Count has Leather Jacket in some kind of lair, and injects him with something that makes his brain think all his nerve endings are on fire, then gives him a gun with one bullet. He says the guy can either kill him or himself, and since the guy’s brain thinks he’s in massive pain, he chooses to end it.

Ollie shows Diggle a copy of the police file. He had it for about 30 seconds and didn’t even open it, how the hell did he get a copy? He figures his Russian connection can hook him up with The Count, so the two head there.  Despite his ranking as captain in the Russian gang, the local leader doesn’t trust him, so he tells him to kill someone who’s been giving him trouble. Ollie goes over to the guy, and, despite Diggle’s protests, puts a sleeper hold on the guy that evidently stops his heart.

Through flashbacks, it is revealed that Ollie’s Chinese frenemy got him out of the cage he was being held in by the simple expedient of dragging him along to where the head of the prison is encouraging Deathstroke to “educate” a transgressor by killing him. When he asks for the next volunteer, Chinese guy (possibly named Yao Fei) shoves Ollie into the center, then walks in after him. After a short fight, he puts the same move on Ollie we just saw Ollie use. Later, they’re about ready to drop Ollie’s lifeless body off the edge of a cliff, when Yao Fei offers to do it. He rolls him off the cliff, and somehow Ollie avoids all the rocks and lands in the river in a dead man’s float. Of course, we know Ollie’s not dead, just like we knew he didn’t really kill that Russian mob guy, and it’s revealed that just before he pushed him off the cliff, Yao Fei stuffed a map into his pocket and touched him at the temporomandibular joint. Shortly after he hits the water, Ollie wakes and somehow manages to avoid aspirating water even though he probably gasped while face-down in it. He struggles to the shore and immediately reaches into the pocket with the map.  It’s marked with a trail, a red X, and the Chinese phrase for “Survive!”

OK, now that all the flashbacks are done with, we can get back to Starling City. Russian leader dude is contacting The Count to set up the meet, Diggle and Ollie are walking to the car. Ollie has the “dead” guy over his shoulder, and surprises Diggle when he revives him after stuffing him in the trunk. He immediately cold-cocks the guy, and tells Diggle they’ll have to get him out of town.

Somewhere in there, Ollie asked Laurel to talk to her father about interceding with the judge on Thea’s behalf, and he did.  Now Laurel and Ollie are presenting the new plan to Thea, who reacts badly. When Ollie tells her she doesn’t have a choice, she says she does, because she’s 18 now and can choose to go to jail to spite her cheatin’ mother. Laurel exits, and Oliver takes this opportunity to set little sis straight on which of their parents was running around on the other one. Mommy Dearest comes in at the end of all this, and she’s not very happy that Thea now knows what’s what.

Ollie has to split so he and Diggle can become druglords.  In the middle of the meet, though, the cops show up. The last thing Oliver needs is to get caught by Sergeant Lance. Everyone runs for cover, except for Ollie, who goes after The Count. OK, I changed my mind. Getting a double dose of Vertigo straight in the heart is the lat thing Ollie needed.  Diggle gets him back to the Arrowlair and whips up a batch of what I presume is the same poison antidote Ollie once made for him. It appears to work, so they head back to the house, where they’re met by a double-dose of cops: Lance and Hall.  Lance explains they have a witness who spotted him at the drug drop. Ollie denies it, but it turns out the witness was Detective Hall.  Ollie covers, and since Lance doesn’t really have grounds to arrest him, they head out. Ollie calls “Detective” Lance back and thanks him for going to bat for Thea.  Quentin (that’s his first name, and I’m going to use it from now on since I no longer know what rank he holds) tells him he did it for Laurel.

Ollie’s mother is understandably upset at his getting involved with the Russian mob, and he retorts that she’s just mad because Thea now knows the truth. When Moira yells at him he shouldn’t have done it, Thea comes back in and says yes, he should’ve.  She can’t believe that her mom still didn’t tell her the truth even after Thea spitefully told her she wished Moira’d been the one to die. Moira says maybe one day she’ll have a daughter and then she’ll understand. They hug.

Diggle and Ollie head off to Queen Industries and recruit Felicity to run a spectrum analysis on a sample of liquid Vertigo (which The Count foolishly left in Ollie’s chest), claiming it’s an energy drink with a secret formula that Ollie wants to know about before he invests. I really want those two to get together. Talk about going above and beyond! I’m quite sure that analyzing a “sports drink” in a syringe is well out of the realm of the job description for an IT flunky.

Once the results are in, they’re able to narrow down the probable location of The Count’s headquarters. Ollie’s still experiencing lingering effects, though, so Diggle doesn’t want him to go. He tells Ollie if he can shoot a tennis ball out of his fingers, he can go. Ollie can’t even draw a bead on the ball, but he tells Diggle he doesn’t need a bow and leaves anyway. No, Ollie, you may not need the bow, but you do need all your faculties when going up against a dangerous criminal.

He manages to ninja his way to the center of the crimelord’s lair, and he’s fighting The Count when the cops show up.  I wonder who the SCPD’s CI is? He sure seems to be right on top of things.  Quentin gets there in time to prevent The Arrow from completely emptying a syringe of Vertigo into The Count, but at the hospital he’s told that the doctor’s never seen anyone survive that big an overdose.

At the end, Ollie and Thea show up at Laurel’s job.  He tells her he’ll pick her up at five. Laurel corrects that to six, as they have a lot of work to do. Ollie says to be safe, he’ll see her at seven. Laurel puts her to filing right away. I rewatched this after seeing the following episode, and I really want to know why then she still has 499 hours to go.

Nina Lisa