Arrow: Dead to Rights Review (

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Friday, March 01, 2013


This week’s episode opens with Oliver killing a high priced assassin who has just arrived in town.  Oliver takes the assassin’s phone to Felicity so she can decrypt the information and find out who was the target.  Of course, we already know this.  Moira Queen has contacted the Chinese Triads to take a contract out on Malcolm Merlyn.  China White subcontracts Deadshot, who is revealed to be still alive after taking an arrow to his right eye.  The Triads outfit Deadshot with a new artificial eye scope giving him his more traditional comic appearance. 


The hit on Merlyn is to go down during an award ceremony in his honor.  Malcolm urges Tommy to come to the ceremony but Tommy at first refuses.  After talking with Oliver Tommy changes his mind, hoping that he can mend the strained relationship with his father.  Several assassins in the guise of waiters begin the attack with Deadshot poised on a building across the street, ready to line up Malcolm for a kill shot.  Arrow arrives to take out most of the assassins but cannot stop Deadshot from shooting Malcolm with a poison-tipped bullet. With only moments to live Oliver has to make a drastic decision in order to save Merlyn’s life. 


In flashbacks to the island, Slade Wilson is preparing for a fight and urges Oliver to do the same.  But Oliver proves his worth in another way by repairing the downed airplane’s radio.  While the radio will not allow them to call out, they are able to eavesdrop on the communications going on in Fyers’ mercenary camp, giving the pair intel on their plans. 


Lots of action this week which is not surprising considering the episode was penned by longtime comic writer, Geoff Johns.  This episode had a strong comic book like feel in terms of its pace.  Oliver’s fights with the assassin at the beginning and later with China White were nicely choreographed.  This episode creates several new dynamics.  Oliver is almost certainly going to regret his decision to reveal himself to Tommy.  Tommy also made the discovery that his father was the Dark Archer so he finds himself caught in the middle between Oliver and his father.  Now that they have mended their relationship will Malcolm now bring Tommy into his shadier activities?  Moira also finds herself in a precarious situation.  Merlyn wants her to find out who betrayed him and put out the contact on his life.  


There were a few things in the show that were sloppy such as Oliver killing the assassin without finding out whom he was targeting  One would think he’d be a bit more careful.  Then there was the issue of Oliver somehow getting into Merlyn’s locked down office when we saw him out in the hallway just seconds earlier.  Those minor gripes aside, this episode opens up several new plotlines.  Besides those already mentioned we have Diggle dealing with the knowledge that the man who killed his brother is still alive, as well as Oliver and Slade Wilson making a potentially deadly discovery in the mercenary’s camp. 


Strong showing this week, lots going on, good action, and of course no Thea is always a plus!

Mania Grade: A-
Episode: Dead to Rights (Season 1, Episode 16)
Starring: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Manu Bennett
Written By: Geoff Johns
Directed By: Glen Winter
Network: The CW
Studio: Warner Brothers