ARROW S1E16 – “Dead to Rights”

Posted on 27 February 2013 by Mike-EL

Colliding plotlines make for another exciting chapter of CW’s ARROW.

The action doesn’t stop this week as fan-favourite comics writer Geoff Johns tries his hand at writing an episode. John’s previous TV work has been lacklustre (see his work on Smallville), but he has delivered the goods this time. ‘Dead to Rights’ successfully juggles several plotlines and climaxes in a change in status quo.

There were a few weak spots of course: the ‘island’ flashbacks were slow and meandering, adding nothing to the main plot and giving the episode an odd pace, feeling as though it was always just about to end (I noticed this trend with FRINGE as well; the expected ‘climax’ would come about 3/4 of the way through, then the episode would play out with a another act that further developed the shows subplots. Is this a new trend?).

I snickered when the Triad fellow shouted out “He had a perfect accent. He must be Chinese!” in regards to Oliver’s sneak attack. Now I don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese or anything of the sort, but Stephen Amell sounded like any other Anglo-Canadian actor trying to speak an Asian language: he sounded Canadian.

With Geoff Johns taking the reigns I admit that I expected things to get a bit ‘cheesier’ but he actually toned down China White’s usual posturing and managed to avoid the pitfall of CW soap opera-ing (eg: by avoiding Willa Holland altogether!)

I’m still waiting for the show to embrace its comic book roots a little more proudly: I expect to see GREEN Arrow in his full suit and mask by the end of the season (okay, I WANT to, but I don’t “expect” it). For all its TV trappings, I still find Arrow more satisfying than most superhero film adaptions. Another solid delivery.


About Mike-EL

Mike-EL is a Co-Producer and Founder of the Comic Book Syndicate TV series. He is an independent filmmaker, professional videographer and holds a PhD in Superhero Fun.