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S01.E16: Dead to Rights

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Oliver and Diggle learn that Deadshot is still alive and his next target is Malcolm. Malcolm invites Tommy to attend a benefit honoring Malcolm for his work with Starling City but Tommy refuses to attend. Oliver encourages his friend to mend his relationship with his father while he can. Meanwhile, Oliver struggles to balance his new relationship with McKenna and his duties as Arrow.

 

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Oliver/Slade

 

After Oliver does his pathetic chin-ups and Slade laughs at him.  "I'm more of a runner" (As a side note, I'd be totally okay with Slade doing the all the rest of his island dialogue while doing chin ups)

 

Oliver saying his dad did airplane maintenance.  "And what you think airplane maintenance is genetic?'

 

Slade carrying a boar (I guess that's what is was) on his shoulders "That radio will work when pigs fly" cue radio turning on and Slade flings the boar 'You've got to be kidding me"

 

Oliver/McKenna

 

"Is Fall Out Boy still cool?"  "Never" "So, I guess someone else will be picking the music for the club"  How is it that Oliver got such a reputation as a playboy/player because when he's with McKenna, the boy is just dorky and silly... in a good way, but still.

 

Oliver/Tommy were so good this episode

 

I'm so glad you're back Oliver"  then later talking to the Hood "Why should I trust you?"  "Because you always have before" pulls back hood. "Oliver?" and finally

"Tommy I know you have a lot of questions?"  "Yeah for now just one…were you ever going to tell me"  "No!"

 

Felicity/Diggle

 

I liked seeing them working together to find out the target.  "Do you speak Spanish?" "Nope, Arabic" And I really appreciated that Felicity didn't figure it out immediately.  If this guy was an international assassin, he would have safeguards to protect his communications so seeing her really work to get the information was more realistic or as realistic as you can be on a show about a guy who shoots people with arrows.

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"Is Fall Out Boy still cool?" "Never" "So, I guess someone else will be picking the music for the club" How is it that Oliver got such a reputation as a playboy/player because when he's with McKenna, the boy is just dorky and silly... in a good way.

Maybe dorky and silly was a part of his charm? I've known players like that - one of my best friends was that type of player before he settled down. I called him on it when we met, but I saw it work too many times to discount it. Oliver had a little sister who adored him pre-island so I can see it. And I really liked McKenna. I never got invested in the character because I had a feeling she might not stick around, but I liked her.

Oliver and Slade had the best island bromance lol. I always forget how much I liked the island scenes in S1 because of Slade until I watch them again.

Edited by poetgirl925
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Maybe dorky and silly was a part of his charm? I've known players like that - one of my best friends was that type of player before he settled down. I called him on it when we met, but I saw it work too many times to discount it. Oliver had a little sister who adored him pre-island so I can see it. And I really liked McKenna. I never got invested in the character because I had a feeling she might not stick around, but I liked her.

 

Honestly, the minute Felicity was let in on the secret, I never trusted any female love interest of Oliver to stick around. I mean no one else except Felicity makes sense to me but then that is just me.

McKenna was quite likeable though. I mean EVERY girl that Oliver has interacted on the show was better than the supposed epic love but McKenna was alright.

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I got behind on the rewatch, but this episode is where the show really started ramping up and getting awesome, so I wanted to go back to it anyway.  

 

1. I like Oliver's "we're going to ignore the fact that I just killed an assassin and Felicity is upset about what verb tense I'm using and also we're not going to discuss why exactly said international assassin who lives in Europe, not Starling City, just happens to be on this list. HACK PHONES NOW thanks."

 

2. Shirtless Slade! Yes! I like it when this show remembers its priorities. YAY!

 

3. Tommy versus Merlyn.

Oh, this gives me hope for Thea/Merlyn.  And wow, this show does think that hallway is a great place for highly emotional moments, doesn't it?

 You know, did anyone actually open the birthday present box to find out what was in it? I figured given the size it was probably a Rolex or something but Talk About a Mystery.

 

4. You know, I keep accusing China White of having zero personality other than, "Hey, we need an evil hot chick," but I have to hand it to her: paying an assassin with a new Evil Eye is pretty creative.  

 

5. "I've been living this lie for five years. Five more minutes doesn't matter." Among the many things I love about Moira Queen is her ongoing ability to keep a sense of perspective about stuff.

 

6. McKenna and Oliver really are cute together, and it's nice to see that Oliver can have a romantic streak. Slightly less nice to see that Felicity is working during this bit, but

she will later call hacking a hobby

, so maybe this is fun for her.

Also: Oliver and McKenna chatting about balancing life, work, friends, and Oliver saying he's struggling with it: foreshadowing for season three, I'm guessing. McKenna's "I just think we have to be really honest with each other" may play a role here.

 

7.  And then things amp up. I love it. Let's check:

 

- Moira suddenly realizing that she's about to have Tommy's father killed right in front of him. Does she make any attempt to stop this?  No. Moira Queen, everyone, has fabulous earrings on and knows what's important. I LOVE MOIRA.

 

- China White, suddenly deciding to forego the whole killing Malcolm Merlyn thing for the chance to kill Oliver. 

 

- McKenna confronting Oliver in the hallway, which means -

 

- A poor, innocent fire extinguisher that has done nothing to deserve this gets killed AND

 

- China White gets away, which honestly, in this case, after fighting while managing to keep that gown on, I really feel she earned.

 

- Tommy learns that his father can kill!

 

- Deadshot fires! Deadshot hits! Deadshot has a really obvious red eye that is going to get him into trouble some day.

 

- which means it's DEADSHOT, not Oliver, who takes the Evil Archer down, which means 

 

- Oliver ends up SAVING HIS ENEMY 

 

- Tommy gets slammed with everything.

 

THIS IS AWESOME.

 

Seriously, I loved the twist of having someone not the protagonist shoot the season's Big Bad and having the protagonist save the life of the Big Bad, not to mention the reveal to Tommy.

 

8. Tommy, denying that he knows the vigilante at all. So true on so many different levels.

 

9. Hospital bit: Moira, as always, brilliant here.  Not a trace of "So sorry I had you shot with curare." YAY MOIRA.

 

10. Interesting that post their earlier hallway confrontation, Oliver decides to make a go with it with McKenna,

mostly because I'm sensing that the direct opposite is happening this upcoming season, even though Felicity (probably) won't be trying to shoot him (right?)

 

Also, this show loves its hallway scenes.

 

All that said, Laurel is also in this episode. Once again though, she's completely marginalized: since Thea isn't in this episode, Laurel and her mother (who only appears at the end of the episode) are the only two onscreen characters with absolutely no connection to the main plot. She's even deliberately left out in script: Tommy tells her not to come to the event. This is to ensure, of course, that Laurel will be kept in the dark regarding Oliver's identity, although I suppose the show could have knocked out her and Malcolm at the same time - but that would have been a distraction from the main emotional beat of this episode, not to mention that it's not at all clear whether or not Malcolm would be interested in saving her.

 

It's great for the story and the focus on Tommy, but it results in two things:

 

1. This is now four people (Diggle, Helena, Felicity and Tommy) who have found out Oliver's secret identity before the main love interest.  A number which is only going to go up.  Although sometimes the long term best friend finds out first (hi, some versions of Superman), this is fairly rare.

(To the point where with this episode, several people began to speculate - correctly - that Laurel would be dropped as the main love interest.) 

 

2. Even with what should be a major scene with her mother, she has fewer than two minutes of screentime, less than China White, Moira Queen and McKenna, if slightly more than Felicity. 

 

Despite the sidelining and limited screentime - or maybe because of the sidelining and limited screentime, this is actually an almost decent episode for her. She's a little stiff with Oliver when he enters, but she's friendly and polite to McKenna - maybe she learned something from that dinner with Helena.  She offers to go with Tommy even though she has work to do - for her, an unselfish act - and she's very supportive of him. (Though it's interesting that he doesn't bother to call her for a bit and she initially gets the whole story from the news.)  Even her scene with her mother -

ok, it establishes that Laurel tends not to be very welcoming to loved ones when they reappear after long absences and she thinks she has an issue with them

- isn't too bad; given that she hasn't heard from her mother in awhile and her boyfriend's father is in the hospital, although it would be nice to mention that quickly Laurel so your mother is aware of why you need to leave.

Seriously, what is it with Laurel and failing to get to the point?  At least Felicity has the babbling excuse, but even she gets to the point more quickly.

And she even triumphs in the usual countdown: 

 

Number of times Laurel fails as an attorney this episode: None!  She even stays home and works instead of attending a shindig with free booze.

 

Number of times the show/characters comments negatively on the Oliver/Laurel relationship: None! Sara is brought up, but for once, nobody connects Oliver to Sara's death or points out that's the reason for the Oliver/Laurel breakup.  Otherwise, despite a bit of awkwardness when Oliver enters the apartment with a new girlfriend, the relationship is never brought up.

 

Maybe that's another reason I like this episode.

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This is such a good episode. There's a ton of stuff happening, but everything just flows together.

 

There's resourceful Oliver with using the sauce to blind the Chinese guy and rigging up a transfusion in the field. Plus he manages to at least partially fix the radio in the flashback and think back to the Odyssey. They really allowed him to be smart in this one.

 

Moira just tangled with 75% of Oliver's nemeses, didn't she? There's Malcolm, natch, but I completely forgot about her contracting China White and, vicariously, Deadshot. Then she set Ra's on Malcolm in S2. If she were alive today, I fully believe she would have managed to get involved with HIVE in some shape or form.

 

Poor Frank, about to bite the dust.

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It occurs to me that technically, Moira in letting the LoA know Malcolm was alive, set in motion all of the season three Ra's crap. 

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Frank told Malcolm about Robert's plan to fight him, and he was the one who set the bomb on the Queen's Gambit that killed Robert and put Oliver and Sara into years of hell.

 

I can't feel too sorry for him.

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Frank told Malcolm about Robert's plan to fight him, and he was the one who set the bomb on the Queen's Gambit that killed Robert and put Oliver and Sara into years of hell.

 

I can't feel too sorry for him.

Rule 1, never tell the evil mastermind behind a plot that you are going to stop him.  Just do it secretly behind his back.  Don't give him the chance to blow up your boat and blackmail your wife. 

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Robert thought that's what he was doing, secretly behind Malcolm's back.  Unfortunately, he trusted Frank who then went right to MM and told him the story. And set the bomb on the Queen's Gambit when Malcolm told him to.

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I forgot how it went down.  So often the poor fools get all self righteous and tell them off to their face. 

 

Yeah, that doesn't go over so well. 

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I enjoyed this episode! It was very well written, the suspense was heightened and for the first time I genuinely feared a main characters death (Tommy’s). Although I had to roll my eyes at a second potential “oh we thought they were dead, but whoops nope they’re still alive” plot. We’ve been there and done that with the main protagonist. Do we really need to do it again? Lol 

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This is a good episode.  It's ironic that had Oliver not made it home, his mom would have stopped Malcolm and conceivably, the Undertaking.  So much for the city needing Oliver to save it.  Lol. 

Did you also watch the previous episode Dodger?  That's a pretty good one too but for being a contained stand alone than for moving the season's plot along.

Edited by BkWurm1
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I just love this episode. It's probably in my top 10 Arrow eps ever. I remember being SHOCKED. Like actually legit shocked that Oliver revealed himself to Tommy. And Tommy's later heartbreak at learning Oliver wouldn't have told him.

That hallway scene between them had more emotion and chemistry between SA and CD than ANY scene between SA and KC thus far.  Such great work.

Poor Tommy. What a day he had. Talk about a mind fuck for him between Oliver and Malcolm.  I love Tommy.

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19 minutes ago, catrox14 said:

That hallway scene between them had more emotion and chemistry between SA and CD than ANY scene between SA and KC thus far.  Such great work.

Seriously. I will never stop loving the Tommy/Oliver friendship. The actors have amazing chemistry Tommy should have been Oliver's LI. ?

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This was the first episode of Arrow I ever saw. I knew the show existed, but I was bored and flipping through the channels one night and ended up watching from start to finish. Even though I didn't know all the backstory, I was instantly intrigued by Oliver and Tommy's storyline. But I was most intrigued by the OTA scene at the end, wondering what the deal was with Diggle, his brother, and Deadshot. That should have been my first indication that OTA — collectively, individually, and in their various pairings with each other — was going to be my favorite thing ever.

Also, Oliver and McKenna were never going to set the world on fire, but I always thought they were cute together. They rank behind

Barry (Arrow version only) and Felicity as my favorite non-Olicity pairing.

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6 hours ago, BkWurm1 said:

This is a good episode.  It's ironic that had Oliver not made it home, his mom would have stopped Malcolm and conceivably, the Undertaking.  So much for the city needing Oliver to save it.  Lol. 

Moira was so genuinely surprising that I would find myself laughing out from sheer shock in the first season. If this episode contained what I think it did, it was such an occasion.

While the pairing was never really interesting, the thing I found refreshing about Oliver and McKenna at that point was the fact that it was the first time we saw Oliver going after a woman who liked him. After Laurel and Helena it was a nice change of pace.

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116 (Dead to Rights) – Oliver Queen’s voiceover intro:
Oliver (voiceover): "My name is Oliver Queen. For five years I was stranded on an island with only one goal... survive. Now I will fulfill my father's dying wish... to use a list of names he left me, to bring down those who are poisoning my city. To do this, I must become someone else. I must become something else."

116 (Dead to Rights) – Felicity trains with Diggle in the Arrowcave:
Felicity: “Ahh! Ow! 
Diggle: “Now the trick is to keep your weight evenly distributed.”
Felicity: “I thought the trick was to avoid getting into fights.” 
Diggle: “Yeah, well, Starling City's not the kind of place where you can talk your way out of trouble. Besides, if you're going to be working with us, I'll sleep a lot easier knowing that you can handle yourself At least a little bit. (Oliver enters) How'd it go?”
Oliver: “Badly for him.” 
Felicity: “Who him?” 
Oliver: “An assassin for hire with an affinity for knives. His name was Guillermo Barrera.”
Felicity: “Was?” 
Diggle: “So we can't ask him about his intended target?”
Oliver: “No. Which is why I need you to hack his phone. Barrera's world class. He kills high profile targets. And whatever job he was hired for isn't finished. We need to figure out who he was here to kill, and fast. They are probably still in danger. Ok?”

116 (Dead to Rights) – We learn Felicity’s middle name is Megan:
Felicity: “Jeez, this is one paranoid assassin. Barerra's got Cobalt-level encryption on his phone. It's not going to be easy to break. But… Codebreaker is my middle name. Actually, it's Megan —“
Oliver: “Felicity, can you get anything off of it?”
Felicity: “Just the last number he dialed.”
Oliver: “Which was?” 
Felicity: “A restaurant in Chinatown. Jade Dragon. I guess even hired killers enjoy the city's best chow mien.”
Diggle: “Yeah, Jade Dragon is a front - for the Chinese mafia.” 
Oliver: “Call the restaurant, make a reservation for two for tonight. You need to decrypt that phone.”
Felicity: “I'm kind of in the mood for Chinese now.”

116 (Dead to Rights) – Oliver tells Felicity that Floyd Lawton killed Diggle’s brother:
Oliver: “Lawton's alive. I'm sorry, John.” 
Felicity: “This Lawton kick his dog or something?”
Oliver: “No. He killed his brother.”

[tv echo: This Floyd Lawton scene is also in the tie-in comic book, Arrow Volume 2 (Chapter 28 (Aftermath)).]

Edited by tv echo
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