Arrow friends and foes unwittingly worked against their own interest on “Dead to Rights.” Moira (Susanna Thompson) and Frank’s (Chin Han) decision to hire China White (Kelly Hu) to kill Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) in order to stop the Undertaking had far reaching consequences. Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Tommy’s (Colin Donnell) lives were both forever altered.

Malcolm: Bad Guy or Misunderstood Good Guy

Up until now, Malcolm has been a nefarious, but well-dressed man. As part of the Undertaking, he helped down Robert’s boat, had Walter abducted, and threatened Moira numerous times. Plus, he’s the Dark Archer that fought Arrow putting Oliver in the hospital.

Though, at the Undertaking meeting and again at his awards ceremony, Malcolm talked about his love and desire to improve Starling City. He said, “This city will be better for all of us.” Does he have a split personality? Or, does he have a misguided idea of what “better” would be for the city’s residents?

Whatever his plan entails, Moira thought it was harmful enough to the city to finally try to take care of Malcolm in a very final and deadly manner. 

Malcolm Does Care About Tommy

No matter what Malcolm’s plans are for Starling City and the people’s lives that he has ruined, he loves his son. He hasn’t always shown it in the best way, but his words and actions proved it.

After cutting off Tommy from the family fortune and then wanting his son to help close down his mother’s charity, Malcolm seemed entirely disconnected about what being a father was all about. Did he come around because Tommy pushed him away?

I have to wonder if Malcolm has ulterior motives for trying to draw Tommy closer to him, but for now he does seem to care about his son. When Malcolm’s life was on the line at the awards ceremony, he worried more about protecting Tommy than his own life. That action was noble and out of love.

He also started to reveal his secret identity as the Dark Archer, but the window was shot out before he could. At the hospital, Malcolm started to let Tommy in by talking about his two-year disappearance. He traveled to Nanda Parbat and met a man who helped him make sense of the world. Good or bad, though? At that point, it seemed more about something bigger than just love. Could he be setting the stage to recruit Tommy into the Undertaking? Or, to help him as the Dark Archer? 

Just when Malcolm started to appear noble and perhaps not as evil as before, he changes it up to make his actions questionable again.

Will Tommy Ever Trust Oliver Again?

These best friends will never have the same relationship again. Oliver could have kept his identity secret, but with Malcolm’s life threatened he did the right thing to help his friend. It’s unfortunate, but Tommy probably won’t ever consider or accept that in Oliver’s favor.

The betrayal of the secret was too much and even more so Oliver’s simple answer of “no” that he never planned on letting Tommy in on his secret identity. The pain of that admission was written clearly on both men’s faces. It was a heart-breaking moment.

Where do they go from here? Tommy is running Oliver’s bar and I don’t foresee that changing, but circumstances will be strained between the two of them. And, now that Tommy is in the know, it could easily extend to a troubled relationship with Laurel. A secret that big is detrimental to relationships.

The Lances and Their Canary

Laurel’s mention of her sister’s black canary that “chirped all day and night” was nice foreshadowing for the return of her mother. The big surprise was that Dinah believes that Sarah could still be alive.

Will Dinah’s appearance help push Laurel to repair her relationship with her father? And, how is it possible that Sarah survived after being sucked out to sea? These new revelations in the Lance family will certainly add to the drama.

What’s Next?

The events of the evening launched several new and dangerous quests. China White may have made a mistake in hiring Deadshot for the job. First, he failed to kill the target and then his use of Curare gave away the assassin. Not smart.

Malcolm is determined to find the traitor within the Undertaking and who wanted him dead. He didn’t know who to trust, but let Moira in and asked her to find the person responsible. Oops. It’s her! Could he be playing her? Perhaps, but he seems to think she’s weak. He wouldn’t ever think she had the tenacity to betray him.

Now that Diggle knows that Floyd Lawton is still alive, he will make it his mission to find and kill Deadshot. Whether Oliver helps or not, it will be Diggle’s priority going forward.

While the events mostly lead to negative consequences and outlook to the future there was one positive that came from the night: McKenna and Oliver are willing to try a romantic relationship. It seems a bit odd that McKenna didn’t consider what Oliver’s emergency was and if it was connected to her own though.

With Lance convinced still that Oliver is “The Hood,” is it possible McKenna is playing Oliver? At this point, I’d be disappointed if she didn’t consider it. Though, they do make a cute couple!

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(Image courtesy of The CW.)

Carla Day

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Contributing Editor and Writer for Collider, BuddyTV, TV Fanatic, CliqueClack, and other publications. TV criticism, reviews, interviews with actors and producers, and other related content. Founder of TV Diehard.