Reviewed: by Tyler Olson
***The review below contains minor spoilers.***
There are some episodes of Arrow that are made for the action-junkies, others for the touchy-feely types, and rest must be for the bat-shit crazy, but "Dead to Rights" seemed to have something for everyone.
The opening sequence set up the pace for the episode amazingly well; lots of fighting and excitement. Sure, many episodes of Arrow start with a fight, but this week's fight wasn't just Oliver knocking down a one percenter. All the fighting sequences were very well done, but the fight with Guillermo Barrera at the beginning felt better due to it being less choppy. I don't understand why the camera angle had to change so frequently during the other major fight.
Most of the character advancements took place in Tommy and Malcolm's story, which included Tommy's birthday, Oliver revealing multiple secrets, and the hit on Malcolm.
Tommy's birthday was going so smoothly until daddy showed up. Why is it that disliked family members always find ways to ruin happy occasions? I knew Tommy was bitter over his father's "love", but he really lathered on the hate this week, until Oliver talked to him at the Jade Dragon. Their conversation about their fathers was very touching, but it couldn't have happened at a worst time.
After the events at the ceremony, and the reveals, I can see Oliver and Tommy's relationship really changing; I only hope it isn't for the worst. Will this be the beginning of Tommy joining the gang, or will this be the beginning of a less cheery Tommy, thanks to Oliver deciding not to lie at the hospital? I really hope that Tommy keeps the wise-cracks coming since he is currently the only source of reliable comedy in the series.
These events may also change Malcolm's feelings toward the vigilante, too, and like Tommy, this may not be good news. On the bright side, Malcolm may decide to call a meeting of archers again, but this time to try to recruit him. Sometimes it takes the hero to save the villain to create a new alliance, which could drastically change the dynamic of the series. Although, I believe it is more likely that he will use Tommy to draw him out, much like Quentin did with Laurel, or twist Tommy into a weapon against him.
Quentin is still crazy though, and now bordering on despicable. For a cop, he seems to care more about harming people instead saving people. All Oliver tried to do was to get him to help but instead he tried to use an assassination to draw the vigilante out, instead of trying to protect the target. I really hoped that McKenna would take a stand against him this week at least, but she was almost just as bad when she tried to protect a known member of the Triad from him. Perhaps it would be a good idea for him to double check the list to see if contains the SCPD.
This episode was also full of some very welcome surprises too; mainly the upgraded Deadshot and the introduction of Dinah Lance.
I, like many fans, were very disappointed at Floyd Lawton's last fight with Oliver, and even though he didn't get to test out his upgrades on him yet, just knowing that a rematch is likely coming is more than enough right now. Of course, I sense that Diggle will be the next person to take him on, which may be even better since the fight will likely be up close and personal.
Unless viewers are fans of the Green Arrow comics, it is likely that they have no idea how significant Laurel's mother, Dinah, showing up at her door is. In the comics, Dinah was the original Black Canary, who passed down the identity to her daughter, Laurel. Although, with the mention of Sarah I wonder if things will work slightly different in this series. Could Sarah be the Black Canary?
The flashbacks were very brief again, and barely progressed the story, but there were a few improvements made on them, especially the transitions. The ways the scenes faded into them before worked, but having scenes blend together through a seamless slide feels so much more dramatic. They could lower the volume on the swish though.
Without a doubt, this was my favourite episode of Arrow so far. Let's hope that they keep this pace going when the Huntress returns on March 20th. That's right Arrowheads, we have to wait almost a full month for the next episode. Hiatus' suck!
Reviewer's Rating: 5/5