This week’s episode of Arrow, “Dead to Rights” wove an intense web of intrigue and deception as Moira’s plot to permanently remove the threat of Malcolm Merlyn went into action. In ordering Malcolm’s assassination, Moira unknowingly set off a chain of events that would put Ollie back into the line of fire against a number of his earlier Starling City antagonists.
I really have to give Arrow props for being able to weave so many character secrets and complex relationships into the assassination attempt without the plot getting too confusing. To break it down, Ollie’s mother, Moira, hired China White to kill Tommy’s father, Malcolm, because she believed it was the only way to keep her family safe. In turn, China White hired Guillermo Barrera and later, Floyd Lawton to assassinate Malcolm. Ollie had previously fought against China White, Floyd Lawton (who had killed Diggle’s brother) and Malcolm Merlyn as the Dark Archer. Ollie’s greatest nemesis at the moment is the Dark Archer, but he doesn’t realize that the Dark Archer is Malcolm, so he saved Malcolm’s life, which also meant that Ollie unknowingly spoiled his mother’s assassination plan. Malcolm Merlyn is pretty much willing to kill everything except for Tommy, while all Tommy ever wanted to do was live happily ever after with Ollie’s ex-girlfriend, Laurel. So, basically what we got was an action-packed, superhero soap opera.