Arrow Review: “Dead to Rights”

I’ve got the review for this week’s episode, in which more characters deal with more secrets and someone else learns Ollie’s identity.

Title: “Dead to Rights”

Cast and Crew
Director: Glen Winter
Writers: Geoff Johns

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green arrow
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicty Smoak
Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn
Janina Gabankar as McKenna Hall
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
Kelly Hu as China White
Michael Rowe as Deadshot
Alex Kingston as Dinah Lance
Colin Salmon as Walter Steele

Full cast and crew information may be found here.


The Arrow kills one villain seconds into the episode, but a past menace returns, and he seeks Malcolm Merlyn.

Mostly, this week concerns Oliver’s relationship with Tommy, and Moira’s increasingly problematic circumstances.

High Points

They kept the island flashbacks from overwhelming the episode this week. Sometimes I think they should have a couple present-day eps and then one island-time ep, unless they can really make the two work together. This week, they worked fairly well together, despite having only loose connections.

Deadshot is back… And he looks like Deadshot.

Low Point

I know, I know, I know you can only question so many conventions in a superhero show without the entire thing collapsing, and so I won’t discuss how this episode trips over itself to call attention to the general idiocy of the disguises. Still, a couple of other things beg comment. I’ll accept Ollie’s ability to outshoot two guys with automatic weapons because, you know, he’s the Green Arrow, but two guys with automatic weapons who can’t hit a couple of nearby targets in a small enclosed space? Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise.

Then there’s the matter of the convenient blood transfusion equipment and expertise.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 This feels like the basic Arrow episode, with a bit more subtle character development than usual. Oh, and someone else learns Ollie’s other identity. Between the number of people learning his identity and his heavy act in the Chinese restaurant, it’s a wonder if anyone will be left in Starling City who doesn’t see through his dis… Oh, right.

Effects: 5/6. As always, what effects the show has work well.

Story: 4/6. Much of the review addresses story. In Johns’ favour, this ep had generally quick pacing and a brief, effectively handled island arc. Less impressive: incompetent, elaborate, over-the-top assassination attempt by villains whose toadies (Deadshot excepted) can’t hit the broad side of a Vancouver skyscraper.

Perhaps that’s why they needed to hire Deadshot, despite the fact that they were able to get several armed men inside the building, a short distance from their target– any one of whom should have been able to shoot Malcolm at any point during the ceremony.

Acting: 5/6 Unlike many online reviewer, I’m finding the characters fairly superficial, but at least the show tries to develop characters, and the actors show some credible chemistry this week.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 6/6. That a show with a relatively little-known hero (outside of comics) can afford this budget bodes well for future and, perhaps, better series of this nature.

Overall: 4/6 The episode continues with the DCU references, including Nanda Parbat and Blüdhaven. Did anyone else hope that Dinah I’s secret was going to be, “I was once a costumed vigilante, and I believe you, daughter, can inherit my secret identity”?

In total, “Dead to Rights” receives 30/42

10 replies on “Arrow Review: “Dead to Rights””

  1. I thought they threw a little *too* much into this one, and making it a bit soap opera-ish as well. I really hope that Tommy isn’t so pissed off at Oliver’s last answer that he joins his father, though they have another bad track record of making up too quickly after major spats.

    I’m just waiting for Laurel to turn out to be Dinah’s mother…

    • I don’t know where this is going. Everyone will know soon that Oliver is GA then what? I really hoped that Oliver would let Malcolm die to save his secret. This would have setup an interesting tension.

  2. At this point, what’s the over/under on when one of the Doctors is going to show up?

    I’ve never watched Dr. Who, but Arrow seems to be full of former Who-verse alums. Maybe they saw an opportunity to cater to a certain extra fanbase that may not have tuned in otherwise.

    Anyhow, as for this episode, I’m a little disappointed by the reveal, seems to be happening too often, too fast.

    As for the transfusion supplies, I’d be willing to buy that someone who has a panic room in their office might have an overabundance of medical supplies in it.

  3. I don’t know the character from the comics but they’re setting up a lot of parallels between Malcom and Oliver. I’m beginning to get the feeling that the undertaking is just a more extreme and larger scale version of Oliver’s vigilantism. I honestly can’t remember all of what Malcom has done, but he has links to bad guys, so does Oliver (Russian mob), he killed some bad guys (same as Oliver), has some connection to the list (but apparently isn’t on it), etc. We have hints he was associated with the shipwreck but only hints, and the only unambiguously good person we’ve seen hurt by Malcom is Walter but he’s likely still alive and unharmed, and he was a threat to the plan. Note we’ve also seen Oliver imply that he would threaten anyone who knew his secret and threatened to betray him.

    I don’t know if they’ll eventually become allies, but their methods aren’t that different.

    • Yeah, I have a suspicion about who the man who helped Malcolm figure things out is, and I do NOT think it was David Tennant.

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