Remember when I said that it seemed like Arrow had really turned a corner? Tonight's terrific episode confirmed that it has. From big revelations to an attempted assassination and even some not-so-cheesy heartfelt moments, "Dead to Rights" had just the right balance of action and emotion. Let's dig in below...
The episode opens with Det. McKenna and Co. rushing to get to the site of a helicopter landing, where a Spanish assassin has just touched down. As usual however, Oliver gets there first. After knocking down the assassin's phone, our multilingual vigilante tells him that he has failed this city in Spanish and English. As if the catchphrase isn't bad enough in one language, right? By the time the cops get to the scene, Arrow has already killed the assassin and made off with his phone.
At the hideaway, Arrow asks Felicity -- who has been busy picking up combat tips from Diggle -- to hack into the assassin's phone so they can figure out who he was hired to kill. Then he ditches the duo to go meet up with McKenna. Before he heads out, Diggle tells him that it might not be such a great idea to date the cop who's trying to hunt him down. "It's slim pickin' for us vigilantes," Oliver retorts. Truth.
Before we get to the date though, a flashback! On the island, Oliver collapses after four -- yes, four -- exhaustive pull-ups and Slade -- shockingly -- holds back from telling him that he's worse than a Girl Scout again. While Slade shows him how to do a real pull-up, Oliver decides to tinker with a damaged radio. He's determined to find another way off the island.
Back in Starling City, Oliver and McKenna manage to stop making out just long enough to make it to Tommy's birthday party, which is being hosted at Laurel's place. Of course, considering the fact that the only people at dinner are Tommy, Laurel, Oliver and McKenna, it's less a "party" and more an awkward double date. (Though not Helena awkward). Before the small-talk can get too painful though, the group is interrupted by Tommy's dad, who stops by to drop off a present and an invite. Malcolm asks Tommy to attend Starling City's annual municipal group gala, where he's being honored with a humanitarian award. He even offers to reinstate Tommy's funds to help allay the tension between the two of them, but Tommy declines on both counts.
Meanwhile, China White decides to visit Floyd Lawton. Now that her Spanish assassin is dead, China needs another hired gun, and who better than Deadshot right? There's just one catch. Deadshot's eyes are damaged -- though it's nothing some high-tech glasses can't fix. So, who is Deadshot supposed to kill? Those who paid attention to last week's episode will recall that Moira hired China White to takeout Malcolm Merlyn. It looks like her plan is finally moving forward.
While heading to a meeting with Malcolm, Moira informs her colleague Frank that she's arranged the hit to take place at the Starling City Municipal Group gala. Nice of her to think about all those innocent people that could be caught in the crossfire.
NEXT: Oliver and Tommy have a heart-to-heart...