Paul Blackthorne (Quentin) is great in this episode as he tries to walk the line between good cop and good father. His final scene with Katie Cassidy (Laurel) is particularly noteworthy. Laurel finds her father drinking in a bar, but he’s only having a soda – no scotch. She remarks that people can change. For his part, Quentin admits that he can be obsessive, but he has to follow the evidence. But he is trying to be a better father, and his concern over maintaining his relationship with Laurel shows his desire to put her first.
Unfortunately, the evidence lead Quentin and everyone else, except Laurel, to draw the wrong conclusions about Tommy (Colin Donnell). Because of his former run-ins over drugs and his playboy past, Quentin and Hilton (Roger Cross) suspect him of dealing Vertigo out of Verdant. Tommy is most hurt by Oliver’s apparently considering that Tommy might be involved. Both Tommy and Oliver are basing the present on what they know of each other from the past. Oliver remembers Tommy as undependable and irresponsible as “playing hard.” Tommy can’t seem to accept Oliver as the Hood. It’s telling that at the beginning of the episode, Tommy actually refers to him as the Vigilante. I did find the tension between Oliver and Tommy to be slightly contrived and not exceptionally well plotted – it really seemed to come out of nowhere, particularly in light of the end of the last episode when it seemed that Tommy had accepted Oliver’s new role. It also doesn’t seem to follow that Tommy would quit after he’d gone to the lengths of bribing the building inspector to protect Oliver. I can, however, accept Tommy’s frustration in light of everyone believing that he couldn’t change. The success of the club due to all of Tommy's hard work and dedication should have been proof that he had changed. I was really disappointed when he went back to his father (John Barrowman) and asked for a job. I hope that he will be back on team Oliver sooner rather than later even if he has to find out that his father is much more of a killer than Oliver is.
Another well written episode with some great action. I would have liked to have seen more of Seth Gable, who was terrific as the mad Count, a potential Joker, if you will, for Oliver. The strongest aspect of the episode is that it examined how the past can be problematic when people want or need to change. “Nothing is as it once was” resonates through the episode. Change is not always a bad thing; sometimes it is better that things aren’t what they once were. Oliver is better for his changes, but at the same time, he’s relying on people not seeing those changes, he’s relying on those preconceived notions of him hiding the truth of who he is now. For Tommy, everyone’s preconceived notions of him were finally too much for him. What did you think of the episode? Do you think that Tommy will simply revert back to his old ways? Is there hope for Tommy and Oliver’s friendship? Let me know in the comments below.