‘Arrow’ 1.16 Recap and Review: Dead to Rights

Great reveals and chilling resurrections on this week’s episode of Arrow!

Hello, sweeties. Let’s jump right in with the recap, shall we?

The Triad is bringing an assassin to take out Malcolm Merlyn at Moira’s request. He’s only on the ground for a matter of minutes before the Hood makes sure he won’t be a problem anymore, but now Ollie’s left with the challenge of figuring out who his target was. He hands the assassin’s phone over to Felicity and puts her to work on hacking it (y’know, like you do when you work in a corporate IT department).

Back in the pretty part of Starling City, it’s Tommy’s birthday! Oliver brings McKenna to a small and surprisingly unawkward birthday dinner at Laurel’s apartment. The party is crashed by Malcolm, who wants Tommy to come to an awards ceremony where Malcolm is being honored as a humanitarian. (Ironic, right?). Tommy declines at first, but Oliver eventually talks him around, telling him that for all his anger, he’d love to have one more day with his own father.

Tommy isn’t the only one planning on attending the awards ceremony, though. China White has managed to get Deadshot back on his feet and out of the Bludhaven Apartments where he currently resides (which is just as well. I hear Nightwing isn’t always a great building super.) The assassination attempt goes south for a number of reasons, including the Hood’s interference once Felicity successfully hacks the phone, and no one other than the audience expecting Malcolm to be a bad-ass. The Hood keeps Malcolm and Tommy safe long enough to get up to Malcolm’s crazy-fortified office, but the mogul takes a poisoned bullet to the shoulder, anyway. The Hood attempts to help, but a scared Tommy holds him off at gunpoint. Oliver is forced to reveal his identity to his best friend in order to save Malcolm’s life. Shock, awe, and life-saving blood transfusions ensue. Tommy’s grateful that his dad’s alive, but he’s not sure what he thinks of Ollie anymore.

Meanwhile, Laurel is on her way to visit Tommy and Malcolm in the hospital when there’s a knock at her door. Instead of a trip across town to see Tommy’s absentee father, Laurel comes face to face with her own absentee mother, Dinah. Mom thinks that Sarah may still be alive, and needs Laurel’s help to find her. Laurel is not best pleased to see her, but is willing to hear her out, or at least she will be next week.

Loved this episode so hard! Deep in my heart of hearts, as much as I like Tommy, I want him to end up as one of the villains of the show. I think this episode was a great step in that direction. Tommy’s now reconciled with his father and isn’t quite sure whether or not he still trusts Oliver, or even knows who he really is anymore. I can see Malcolm using that new connection to bring Tommy into The Undertaking, especially should he find out the Hood’s identity as Tommy has done. Speaking of which, well done Arrow for keeping that reveal under wraps. We all knew Felicity was going to have to be in on the Hood secret, but I saw them keeping Tommy in the dark for the foreseeable future. Well done, indeed.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Alex Kingston’s Dinah Lance has in store for us next episode. What I’m even more looking forward to, no matter how far down the road it may be, is the eventual reveal that Oliver just saved the life of the most dangerous man in Starling City. That’s going to have to cause some self-castigation at some point, especially if any of Merlyn’s plans come to fruition.

Best Quotes:
“Hello, Laurel.” – Dinah Lance

Things to Ponder:

  • So Laurel’s mother’s name is Dinah, and she shows up already dressed in a smart, black outfit. Maybe Laurel isn’t destined for the Black Canary moniker after all?
  • Show of hands, who thinks that Mo is going to throw Frank under the bus now that she’s been tasked with finding the traitor?
  • I’m desperately hoping for a Tommy and Laurel “meet the parents” dinner, because I need to know that there’s a world out there in which Jack Harkness and River Song are trading their signature sexy “hello”s.


  1. Great recap! Arrow always keeps me guessing. I was surprised that Tommy discovered Arrow’s true identity as well. Nice to see Alex Kingston back on tv.

  2. Having Deadshot and China White around on the small screen is sure to make any episode unforgettable. I work at DISH with quite a few Arrow fans who are always talking about the show during lunch, so I like to see what they think about the episodes, too. I always watch them live on Wednesday nights, but I have a lot of other shows on during the same hour. Thankfully my DISH Hopper records up to 6 programs at once during prime time hours, so I don’t have to compromise any show when it overlaps another on my lineup.

  3. Thanks for the recap, I was a bit distracted while watching this weeks episode. Amazing, never saw it coming, with Tommy knowing that the Arrow is his old friend! Looking forward to the next episode!

  4. I’m so hooked on the show now, it’s not even funny. I love watching the episode, then reading the recap here. I’m still shocked at the ending though!

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