The Count has returned to stir up more trouble in Starling City — and this time, his quest for vengeance against Oliver will put Team Arrow in the line of fire.
On Wednesday's episode (8/7c, The CW), viewers will discover that The Count (Seth Gabel) escaped from maximum security prison during the Undertaking and has set his sights on making Oliver (Stephen Amell) pay for using his own drugs against him. "The Count has learned from his past mistakes and he's spent countless days replaying in his mind the last confrontation that they had and the vulnerability that he showed. So he's very excited to make up for that and really strike the Arrow where it hurts most, which is his loved ones," Gabel tells TVGuide.com. "He wants to make him suffer as much as possible before he ultimately destroys him."
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Gabel promises The Count will stop at nothing to make Oliver pay — which is an especially scary threat since Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) will fall right into The Count's trap. "By having Felicity, he can make Arrow defenseless and drop his guard," Gabel says. "If he can get [Arrow] to open up that window where he'll show that little bit of weakness that The Count did last season, then he can get his revenge on him."
Starling City will also enter the line of fire as The Count concocts a plan to give the residents a taste of his drug, Vertigo, in order to get them hooked. "In The Count's mind, Vertigo is a gift to the world," Gabel says. "In his mind, people want an escape. He's fully justified in being the King of Starling City and anyone who gets in the way of that needs to be killed." Surely other villains roaming Starling City might not be too happy about The Count trying to be king, but Gabel played coy on whether that meant The Count would be at odds with Brother Blood (Kevin Alejandro).
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In addition to facing his nemesis, Oliver will also have to face the possibility of losing his mom. This week marks the beginning of her trial, which could result in the death penalty if she is found guilty of being involved in the Undertaking. Moira (Susanna Thompson) initially tried to steer clear of court because she thought secrets from her past with Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) would be unearthed, but her children refused to accept that route.
"She's created such a great place of honesty now, but she still can't bring certain information forward," Thompson says. "In the same way that she protected her children and their lives in the first season, her resistance to share certain aspects and certain bits of information are related to a sense of survival." Reacting to a popular theory that the secret could be that Thea (Willa Holland) is actually the daughter of Malcolm, Thompson was also radio silent, though she did say the producers have only told her bits and pieces of the truth.
To make the trial even more difficult, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) must try Moira when ADA Adam Donner (Dylan Bruce) collapses in court with symptoms stemming from Vertigo. "She's caught between a rock and a hard place," Cassidy says. "This is her job. She feels bad doing it, but she is so good at her job that it's almost like she knows she's going to win and she feels bad about it."
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As if Oliver didn't have enough problems, his flame Shado (Celina Jade) may actually be falling for Slade (Manu Bennett) in flashbacks since the two are helping each other heal on the island after Dr. Ivo's ship attacked them. "[Slade has] been on this island for Lord knows how long," Bennett says. "He's spoken of a son, but never spoken of a female influence in his life at all, so we don't really know what stirs beneath the surface with Slade when it comes down to how he would objectify a woman on the island. Shado is obviously been stirring something there. There have been shades of what could be termed as competitiveness. At the end of the day, two men around a beautiful woman are always going to be somehow primitive."
Do you hope Oliver takes down The Count once and for all? Do you think Slade and Oliver's competitiveness over Shado could lead him to becoming Deathstroke? Hit the comments!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
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