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Arrow Episode 16 “Dead to Rights” Review

Dead to RightsFamed DC Comics’ writer Geoff Johns penned tonight’s episode. He also penned some of Smallville best episodes like “Absolute Justice” and “Booster” (one of my favorite Smallville episodes). Earlier, this year he co-wrote the Arrow episode “Muse of Fire.”

Oh Arrow I really love how Starling City looks so much like Vancouver and how you have something in your city that looks exactly like Canada Place.

Anyways, the episode opens with McKenna Hall and the police making its away, sirens blazing towards a helipad it seems to intercept someone.

When this helicopter lands, an accented man steps off and speaks on the phone to someone about receiving half payment now and half payment when it is done. We see the person get his money but before we can find out what this job is Arrow intervenes and tells him that he has failed this city. Both men then fight it out with Arrow sticking an arrow in his chest. He is dead and Arrow makes off with is cell phone. The police arrive and McKenna finds an arrow on the scene.

At the Arrow Cave, the ever awesome Felicity is undergoing some physical training with Diggle. Because Felicity is now part of the Arrow Gang, Diggle will rest easier if Felicity knows how to defend herself.

We find out the man that Oliver fought and killed is a hired assassin (his name really isn’t important it was something like Guillermo something). Anyways, Oliver asks Felicity to hack his phone so he can find out Guillermo’s intended target.

Oliver then says he has go meet McKenna and Diggle jokes that at least they didn’t meet on the helipad and that it must be hard dating someone that has been hired to capture his alter ego. Oliver quips back that it is slim pickings for vigilantes to meet someone.

In our first island flashback, we see Slade training to train Oliver to do pull ups. Oliver can barely manage to do four. Slade easily does pulls up and Oliver asks why is he working out and not thinking of a way off the island. Slade says there is now way off but Oliver is not so defeatist and doesn’t want to stay where they are and wait for Fyers to kill them. Slade said what Oliver can do is go into the forest and collect bamboo so they can build a raft like they did on Gilligan’s Island. Slade’s sarcasm isn’t appreciated by Oliver. Oliver wants to get Slade’s radio to work but Slade wants him to train for the fight that is coming.

Back to present, Oliver goes to meet McKenna for their date which apparently involves them going to Laurel’s apartment to celebrate Tommy’s birthday. It seems such an awkward double date with everyone having a history with everyone else. And in a wink to Laurel’s future, McKenna picks up a photo that she has of Sarah as a child with her pet black canary.

And it looks like Laurel has something in common with Smallville’s Lois Lane – they both can’t cook. So when Laurel goes to open her door to get the food, we find instead Malcolm Merlyn. He has come to give Tommy a birthday gift from what looks like Tiffany’s and to invite him to attend a ceremony where he is getting a humanitarian award. Malcolm said that he will turn back on Tommy’s trust fund if it will help make them closer but Tommy doesn’t need his money. Malcolm still wants his son to attend the ceremony. Tommy rejects the invitation.

With a particular focus that some man is entering the Bludhaven Aparments, we see this man being visited by China White. This man is Floyd Laughton aka Deadshot (Michael Rowe), who isn’t so dead as we thought he was. China gives him a new “eye” and has officially been hired to take out Malcolm, whose hit was contracted out by Moira.

Before a meeting with the Undertaking, Frank and Moira discuss when the hit will take place. It will be during Malcolm’s humanitarian award ceremony as it would be unexpected.

Malcolm tells the group that the vision of the Undertaking is coming within a few months and Moira tells him that they are with him.

Felicity is busy trying to break through Guillermo’s security on his cellphone and has managed to find out trace his last phone call, a restaurant in Chinatown that is a front for the Chinese mafia.

Oliver and Tommy have dinner at this restaurant but Oliver pretends he is doing this for Tommy birthday and discuss his father’s visit and Tommy talks about his relationship with his dad. He shares how Oliver’s dad was more of a real dad to him than his own. Oliver shares his own relationship with his dad.

Oliver then notices a member of the Chinese Triad enter the restaurant and he follows and goes to the back room where Oliver takes out the first guy and then confronts another man who is counting money to tell him who the hit is on. This man, blinded by what seems to be hot sauce, tells Oliver he doesn’t know who but that it is happening tomorrow. The first man comes through and asks who it was but the other guy doesn’t know but he spoke with a perfect accent. The first guy storms out of the restaurant and Oliver is back at his table, asking for the check.

In the second island flashback, Oliver is still trying to fix the radio when Slade comes back with dinner that he has hunted. Slade doesn’t believe Oliver can fix the radio but low and behold he does.

They hear people on the radio like other airplane pilots talking to each other or to an air traffic control tower but Slade can’t call out to them to rescue them.

Back to the present, Lance receives a call from Arrow who tells him that the Triad have put a hit on someone and the assassin that he stopped was hired to do that job and if they hired him they are going to hire another, he tells Lance. Arrow wants Lance to put his people together to find out the target is. Lance is reluctant but Arrow convinces him in order to save a life.

China White gather her Chinese Triad gang and Deadshot to plan how to assassinate Malcolm Merlyn.

Here we get a series of shots: 1) Oliver looking worried about not knowing how the Triad is targeting 2) Felicity is still having a hard time encrypting Guillermo’s cell. 3) Tommy looking at a photo of him and his father during happier times and contemplating on whether or not to go to this award ceremony 3) Moira calmly getting ready for said ceremony knowing that Malcolm will die.

After this we learn that Tommy is going to go this his dad’s ceremony. And Laurel gets a call from her mom, the one that left her family shortly after Sarah died. Laurel ignores her call.

At the ceremony, Moira and Malcolm have a conversation about getting together for dinner after the ceremony is over. After Malcolm leaves, Frank wonders how Moira can carry a conversation with him knowing what will happen to him. She replies that she has been under his thumb for five years that five more minutes won’t hurt.

The ceremony starts and we see a very lovely China White enter and all the waiters/servers at the event are the Chinese Triad, who have killed the original servers.

Meanwhile, Oliver is having a date with McKenna at his still under construction club. McKenna notices something is bothering Oliver and he tells her how he is having a difficult time fitting in work, friends, family and McKenna. She tells they can work around that by being honest with each other. Wow, McKenna is starting to sound like Lana where she kept on pleading with Clark to be honest with her. And we all know how that relationship ended.

Felicity has finally cracked Guillermo’s cellphone and it is in Spanish but she manages to translate it and both she and Diggle manage the find the information that Oliver wants and both seemed surprised.

Diggle interrupts Oliver’s date and tells him how the IT department has the item that he has requested. Oliver leaves his date to find out the target is Tommy’s dad. He cuts short his date to take care of this but tells McKenna that he needs to take care of some unexpected business.

Arrow gives Lance a call and tells him the target is Malcolm Merlyn but tells the police to keep their distance as he doesn’t want them caught in the crossfire.

During his speech, Malcolm talks about how he has failed the city but promises to do more for Starling City. After his speech is over, China White remotely triggers the fire alarm and shuts the power and the Chinese Triad start taking down Malcolm’s security team. Concerned for Tommy’s safety, Malcolm goes and tries to find him. All the while, Deadshot is at a nearby rooftop, ready to take aim. Unable to get to Merlyn within the crowd of people leaving, Deadshot tells China White to drive Malcolm to his penthouse office so he try and kill him there.

Malcolm finds Tommy and both make their way to another exit in the building on the second floor. We then see the police (that includes Lance and McKenna) making their way to where the ceremony is taking place.

When Tommy and Malcolm make it to the second floor, the Chinese Triad is there waiting and open fire. Then Arrow comes on the scene and tells Tommy and Malcolm to run while he takes care of the Chinese Triad.

Both keep on going further up the building and Tommy wonders who wants to kills his dad and why aren’t they getting out of the building. Malcolm asks Tommy to trust him and that he has a panic room in his penthouse office and if they make it, they will be safe. China White tells Deadshot that Malcolm is on his way to the penthouse.

While Arrow dispatches with some of the Chinese Triad members, he comes face to face with China. He asks her why she wants Malcolm dead but she replies that she will settle him being dead and then they fight it out with Arrow winning. And just as Arrow is about to kill China, McKenna comes on the scene telling Arrow to put his bow down. Arrow escapes by blowing a fire extinguisher up.

As Malcolm and Tommy continue to make it to Malcolm’s penthouse office, they encounter more of the Chinese Triad. Malcolm quickly dispatches them and shoots one of them dead in front of a stunned Tommy.

They make it to Malcolm’s office that seems to withstand any attack. Tommy asks his father where he learned to fight and kill. And just as it looked like Malcolm was going to reveal to his son that he is the Dark Archer (seen in “Year’s End”), Deadshot takes aim and blows up a window. Both Tommy and Malcolm are alright and when Malcolm goes to check Tommy, Deadshot takes some shots and Malcolm is hit for real this time but again he is okay because he was wearing a bullet proof vest. However, Tommy notices his dad is bleeding and Malcolm passes out.

Arrow arrives on scene and scrambling his voice, Tommy confronts him with Malcolm’s gun. Arrow tells Tommy that his dad has been shot with a poisoned bullet by Deadshot and that he has dealt with him before and can help him before real help can arrive. If not, Malcolm will die. Arrow tells Tommy the only way he can save his father is if he gives him a blood transfusion.

Tommy asks why he should trust Arrow. This is when Oliver unscrambles his voice and reveals his identity to Tommy and both work to save Malcolm.

Tommy wants to know why he is Arrow but Oliver will explain it to him later and tells Tommy that his dad will still need medical attention after cleaning out his blood. Malcolm wakes up and Oliver disappears.

When Malcolm gets medical attention, McKenna pretty much yells at him how he let Arrow go and how he talked Tommy into a blood transfusion. Tommy said he didn’t stop him because his father’s life was at stake. Lance finds it strange how Arrow is around to rescue him and his dad and wonders if Arrow is a friend. Tommy tells Lance he has no idea who Arrow is. It looks like Tommy is protecting Oliver’s secret.

Moira doesn’t look very pleased that Malcolm survived.

Meanwhile, back on the island. Oliver whines how no one on the radio can hear them but Slade says that Oliver managed to tune into Fyers frequency and can hear all that is going on. They believe that Fyers is talking to his benefactor. Both set forth to confront whatever Fyers is up to.

Back at the Arrow Cave, Oliver tells Felicity and Diggle how Malcolm was poisoned by the same poison that Diggle had. He realizes that Deadshot is still alive. I predicting that Diggle has some revenge up his sleeve because, as Oliver tells Felicity, Deadshot killed Diggle’s brother.

In our final island flashback, Slade and Oliver find that Fyers has brought to the island a Russian rocket launcher vehicle that can take down planes and also start a war.

At the hospital, Oliver goes to McKenna to apologize to her for running out on their date but she said that she probably would have run out anyways. She bemoans how their lives are complicated but she is willing to work at their relationship.

Tommy explains to Malcolm how he was poisoned and how it was Arrow’s idea to give him a blood transfusion in order to save his life. Malcolm seemed surprised at this. Father and son have a heart to heart. Malcolm tells Tommy where he went after Tommy’s mom died. He tells how he met a man that help make sense of things, a purpose to his life and how to make Starling City and Tommy better.

Moira visits and Malcolm wants to have a private talk with her. Malcolm tells Moira that they have a traitor amongst them and tasked Moira to find out who and chillingly tells her that this traitor has made his last mistake.

Outside of Malcolm’s room, Oliver visits and while both know that Tommy has a lot of questions for Oliver, Tommy asks just the one: Was Oliver ever going to tell him that he is Arrow. Oliver shakes his head and Tommy walks away.

As Laurel goes to Tommy, outside her apartment stands her mother who has something important to discuss with her and that Sarah might be alive.

As much as I love Arrow this show is moving really fast to how many people know Oliver’s secret. In its very first season, three people already know that Oliver is Arrow. In Smallville, aside from Clark’s parents who knew from season 1, episode 1, Clark’s secret, it took like 7 seasons before three main characters knew his secret. In season 2, Clark’s best friend, Pete finds out Clark’s secret that he is an alien. I equate Tommy to Pete in two ways: 1) he is the hero’s best friend and 2) both don’t take knowing well -I mean Pete leaves the show after season 3. So it takes 24 episodes for Pete to find out versus 16 episodes for Tommy. At the same time, Tommy can be the Lex of Arrow – a friend turned enemy.

In season 4, Chloe finds out Clark’s secret that is like 80 odd episodes give or take but it takes Felicity 14 episodes to know. I equate Felicity to Chloe.

And it takes three episodes for Diggle to find out. Not quite sure who is the Smallville equivalent to Diggle.

The third series regular to find out Clark’s secret is Lana and she finds out late in season 6 and that is about 130 odd episodes.

So it is hard to say when Laurel will know because it takes over 130 episodes for Clark’s first love interest to find out his secret but if you take into account how it was almost 200 episodes before Clark’s true love found out then Laurel might be waiting forever.

Smallville Connection: Aside from Geoff Johns, tonight’s episode was directed by Glen Winter who is the show’s Directory of Photography and was the same for Smallville and directed several episodes like season 6’s “Crimson,” season 8’s “Legion” (also written by Geoff Johns), season 9’s “Idol” and “Absolute Justice, Part 1” (also penned by Geoff Johns).

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About Vanessa Ho (931 Articles)
Pop culture addicts' view of the world of TV

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