Huge twists and turns emerge as Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) returns to Starling City and OH DEAR LORD WHY IS LAUREL (Katie Cassidy) WEARING A RED ONESIE???
Let’s bitch it out…
Oh Arrow, what you do to me. There are so many big moments in this episode and yet those reveals are undermined by a pervasive “oh come on!” feeling. Overall ‘Dead To Rights’ will go down as one of the most important episodes of the hit show’s first season, but that doesn’t prevent me from wishing that the writers had cleaned up some of the “woh woh” elements.
We know, for instance, that Malcolm is whip-smart and super capable of kicking some serious butt (revisit 1×09 ‘Year’s End’ for a sample). So why isn’t he the slightest bit suspicious that he’s won a humanitarian award out of the blue and the waiters are a horde of thuggish Chinese waiters? Maybe he doesn’t notice, but the suggestion is that he’s on the ball and yet he’s taken unaware first by China White’s (Kelly Hu) attack and then nearly taken out by Deadshot’s (Michael Rowe) sniper attack. It seems like a stretch.
Thankfully the good far outweighs the bad. After Moira (Susanna Thompson) makes her big move bringing in the Triad, China White takes over and calls Deadshot out of commission, giving him a Kano-esque red eye-patch to get him back into the murder game. Fun times. After Malcolm goes down, Oliver (Stephen Amell) is forced to reveal his true identity in order to convince Tommy (Colin Donnell) to trust him to save his father’s life. Of all the people that Ollie could have let into his inner circle, I certainly didn’t expect Tommy to be the next. And yet it makes perfect sense. Thus far the people that know his secret are the people he’s least close with, so obviously his family and Laurel will be the last to know. That’s called upping the dramatic ante.
What does it mean for the series now that Tommy knows?
That’s really up in the air. Thus far Tommy has proven completely useless as a character. He’s important in the comics, but on the show he’s proven to be narrative dead weight. This development should open up new avenues, but the character himself hasn’t changed. He doesn’t bring anything to the group, whereas Diggle (John Ramsey) has field ops and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) has tech skills.
My guess: Tommy will bring conflict. With only six episodes remaining in the season, the truth that Malcolm is the Dark Archer is going to come out (we were oh so close with that panic room!), at which point Tommy will be stuck in the middle between his friend and his father. MAJOR drama.
- Although I’m happy that more people know Ollie’s secret because it opens up new storylines, did anyone honestly believe that Oliver couldn’t simply disarm Tommy?
- The other big whaaa factor? The arrival at episode’s end of Laurel’s mother (Alex Kingston) who shows up with a belief that Laurel’s dead sister is not, in fact, dead. This would be more of a surprise had Sarah not been name-dropped earlier in the episode (and with a reference to a Canary? Not too subtle, Arrow)
- Did we know that Deadshot killed Diggle’s brother? More importantly, did we care?
- Now that Purgatory Island is on the backburner, there’s only a smidget of development: namely Slade (Manu Bennett) learns Fyers has a missile launcher capable of shooting down planes or starting a war. Good to know
- (Update) Everyone is far too excited about Malcolm name dropping Nanda Parbat during his 2 year sabbatical. Yes, this is where Batman‘s Ra’s al Ghul resides and no, it likely does not mean that he will put in an appearance
- Finally, the Hood vs China White battle is better than their original scuffle in 1×02 ‘Honour Thy Father’ but I still want more. One broken bookcase isn’t nearly enough!
- Felicity (trying to decrypt the assassin’s phone): “Code breaker is my middle name. Actually it’s Meghan”
- Moira (when asked how she can talk to Malcolm): “I’ve been living this lie for five years. I can do it for five more minutes.”
- Janina Gavankar’s McKenna (when Ollie asks if Fall Out Boy are still cool): “They broke up. And never”
What did you think of all of the twists and turns? Are you more intrigued by Tommy learning Oliver’s secret or the mysterious appearance of Laurel’s mother? Were you hoping for more from the Hood vs China White battle? Do you think that Malcolm should have been more aware of his surroundings? Fire away in the comments below
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW