by Ryan Rigley
Last night's episode of "Arrow" was chock full of big surprises. From the vigilante revealing his secret identity to yet another one of Oliver Queen's closest associates to the reappearance of a villain long thought dead, "Dead to Rights" focused mainly on the budding relationship between Oliver and Detective McKenna and the father/son relationship between Tommy and Malcolm Merlyn, a.k.a. the Dark Archer.
Starting off with a helicopter landing on a rooftop, "Dead to Rights" begins with the vigilante killing yet another assassin-for-hire off of his dead father's list. However, this was no ordinary assassin. Doing some research on his latest conquest, Oliver and company discover that the assassin only eliminates high profile targets. On that note, Oliver tasks Ms. Smoak, his new personal Oracle, with finding out who the assassin's target was and finding them before anyone else can.
The next day, Oliver and McKenna pay Laurel and Tommy a visit for Tommy's birthday. Just as they're about to sit down to a nice, semi-awkward dinner, Tommy's dad arrives and pulls him aside. Malcolm invites his son to an award ceremony held in Malcolm's honor, but Tommy politely tells his father to go to hell.
Meanwhile, at the Bludhaven Hotel, China White talks to a mysterious man with a dead eye. Soon, we discover that the man is none other than Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot, whom we saw Oliver kill earlier this season. Or at least it seemed like he killed him. Floyd is hired by the Triads to help them murder Malcolm Merlyn, as per the request of Moira Queen.
In a flashback, Oliver does four measly pull-ups while Slade scoffs at him from the other side of the plane wreckage. Oliver insists that there has to be another way off of the island, but continues to assure him that there isn't. With that, Oliver tries his hand at fixing the radio found in the wreckage of the plane. He manages to fix it, only without the ability to call out to other frequencies.
As Oliver and McKenna eat a romantic dinner in an empty warehouse, Diggle and Felicity finally figure out who the assassin's high profile target was: Malcolm Merlyn. Diggle interrupts their not-so fancy date, informing Oliver that the IT girl has something for him. Oliver excuses himself from dinner and suits up, with McKenna suiting up only moments after him.
Tommy, who has decided to go to his father's award ceremony after all, smiles at his father from the audience as Malcolm gives a riveting speech to a room full of Starling City's richest people. The triads and Deadshot begin to take their positions. Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off. People begin to calmly evacuate the building, except for Malcolm who almost immediately knows that this is a death trap designed specifically for him.
Grabbing his son, Malcolm and Tommy head up to the safe room in his penthouse. On the way up the stairs, Malcolm reveals to Tommy that he is not only quite proficient in hand to hand combat but that he also has absolutely no qualms with killing a man in cold blood. Just then, the vigilante shows up followed closely by the cops.
As Malcolm is about to show Tommy all of his Dark Archer costumes and weaponry, Deadshot blows a huge hole in the window and shoots Malcolm in the chest several times. Tommy kneels beside his father, noticing that he is bleeding to death. The vigilante appears and informs Tommy that the bullets his father was shot with were laced with curare posion and that the only way to save him is for them to do a blood transfusion.
Tommy holds a gun to the vigilante, asking why he should trust him. It is then that Oliver reveals himself as the hooded vigilante to his best friend. With that, Tommy agrees to do anything that Oliver says. They manage to save Malcolm's life, then Oliver mysteriously disappears. Although the police question him quite thoroughly, Tommy refuses to spill the beans.
Moira goes to pay Malcolm a visit in the hospital, no doubt feeling guilty about trying to kill him in front of his own son. Malcolm, who does not suspect Moira in the least, declares that there is a traitor in their midst. On the other side of town, Laurel's mom shows up on her front door step. She soon reveals that the reason for her sudden interest in her daughter is that she thinks Sarah, Laurel's dead sister, may still be alive.
I'd just like to remind you all that I totally called Floyd Lawton faking his death all the way back when he first appeared in episode three. I can't even begin to express how happy I am to see him not only still alive, but doing some pretty heavy damage to Oliver Queen's friends and family. Here's hoping that he sticks around for a while longer. Especially since it seems like the Dark Archer might be having a change of heart sometime soon.
Previously on "Arrow":