When a young woman dies on the street after leaving their club where the police believe she scored the Vertigo which led to her demise, Oliver (Stephen Amell) pays The Count (Seth Gabel) a visit in the loony bin hoping to discover who has taken up production of the drug. However, neither he nor Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne), who makes his own trip to the mad house, get any answers out of the crazed former drug lord. Once the villain escapes the mental institution both men are forced to reassess their opinion of just how crazy The Count truly has become and what his end game might be.
With Diggle’s (David Ramsey) help, Green Arrow follows the drugs on the street back to the supplier but only runs into another dead end. Analyzing the new drug Felicity’s (Emily Bett Rickards) discovers a high level of anti-psychotics which lead the archer back to the mental institution in search of The Count only to find the crazed man’s doctor (Darren Dolynski) is the true mastermind of Vertigo’s return to Starling City. Meanwhile Diggle enlists the help of Felicity and an old army buddy (Audrey Marie Anderson) to find Deadshot (Michael Rowe), but returns soon enough to save Oliver’s life when he’s dosed by the doctor with an extra-strong batch of Vertigo.
When Lance’s partner (Roger R. Cross) ties Tommy (Colin Donnell) to the victim the police detective is forced to investigate his daughter’s boyfriend which leads Laurel (Katie Cassidy) to defend him but causes new tension between Oliver and Tommy and eventually pushes Tommy back into the waiting arms of Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). This week’s flashbacks to the island focus on Shado (Celina Jade) attempting to train Oliver. Much to both Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) and Oliver’s surprise her unorthodox methods work and put the spoiled billionaire’s son on the path to becoming an archer. She also provides Oliver with more information on her father’s (Byron Mann) past and how he fits into Fryers’ (Sebastian Dunn) current plans.
Although Tommy’s distrust of his friend has been brewing, the blow-up and his abandoning the club to return to his estranged father feels rushed and somewhat out of the blue. The dynamic between Laurel and her father works better than some of the previous episodes’ flare ups between the two who seem finally able to understand where the other is coming from. Although the sequences with Oliver’s “water slapping” are a bit goofy, it’s a nice way to begin to introduce him to archery and the choice of Shado to be his teacher is one which I heartily approve of.