Arrow Review: Unhooded

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"Dead to Rights" had a bit of everything for Arrow fans.

There was a nice dose of Slade on the island, a generous helping of father/son angst with Tommy and Malcolm and sneaky hints at the proposal of a Canary sighting coming to Starling City. What else? Let's check it out...

Malcolm in Trouble

Alright. I've had it. I'm done with Detective Lance. Absolutely finished. The Hood called him to tell him there was a hitman out to kill someone high profile the next day, requested his men put someone on it and his answer was to enlist McKenna to aid him in taking down the vigilante?!?

At that moment my wish was for the blind dude hired by China White and his refreshed eyes (an assumption) to shoot at Malcolm and take down Det. Lance. Just kill him already. He is not worth my time. I had to get that out.

Two interesting things happened relative to DC Comics Green Arrow canon tonight:

  1. The reference Laurel made to the canary her sister was given by her father.
  2. The introduction of Dinah Lance.

In the comics, Laurel was passed the helm of the Black Canary from her mother, Dinah. And, waddya know, mom gave her a ring during the episode. Alex Kingston (ER, and most recently of Doctor Who) was cast as mama Lance, and she made her first appearance by knocking on Laurel's door with the news that Sarah may be alive.

What?! In the comics, Laurel had no sister, so it's possible some of her birth story might be mish-mashed with Sarah's to make a complete character, one who will take over for her mother. I'm merely theorizing, of course, but it would flesh out the family history a bit more and tie Sarah into the lore. After tonight, I have no doubt they're fully intending to explore the Black Canary with either mama or daughter originating the thematic character.  

With Dinah's supposition that Sarah is alive, that might mean she has been in the super hero business and is ready and willing to pass the torch to her daughter. We do know, from the kick-ass scene in "Betrayal" when Laurel's only trouble with Cyrus Vanch's henchmen turned out to be an aversion to tasers, that she's ready for the job.

At the heart of the episode was the relationship between Oliver and Tommy and their respective fathers. While Tommy still struggled to find some sort of common ground with Malcolm, Oliver expressed his deep anger with his own father, yet admitted he'd give anything to have him back in his life. It's really hard to understand, while you still have a chance to rectify things - even if you don't think you'll ever take it - that one day that opportunity will cease to exist. Tommy almost lost his chance to forgive and get to know his dad.

When the hit on Malcolm was in progress, Tommy got to see a different side of his dad. He was dumbfounded at his father's ability to fight and just as Malcolm opened the door to reveal his secret as the Dark Archer to his son, he was shot.

Even though I predicted something would happen to Malcolm because I expect Tommy to eventually be pitted against Oliver - a la Peter Parker and Harry Osborn in Spider-Man - I still didn't imagine it would be quite as violent as it was, and I never expected it would lead to the conclusion it did.

Oliver revealed himself to Tommy.

Tommy: Why should I trust you?
Oliver: Because you always have.
Tommy: Oliver. | permalink

We ran into a little snag after that because when Tommy asked Oliver if he'll ever tell him what happened to him on the island, he said no. No. Not maybe or some day - a flat out no. As much as Tommy trusts Oliver, and is no doubt grateful for saving Malcolm's life, something tells me that "no" will pound away at him. Each time Malcolm talks to him, he'll question what he knows and believes and since Oliver won't fully share with him, and has told him that, he'll start to side with his father, who he'll start to trust.

Thoughts on that?

A few more things to mention:

  • Felicity is in the gang for good, it seems. She's taking combat lessons from Diggle and continuing to verbally spar with the boys. It's so refreshing!
  • The island scenes didn't add too much to the overarching theme of the night, but Slade was good for more noteworthy Arrow quotes. Every time he opens his mouth, gold slips out. I can only hope that he makes it to Starling City soon and that his wit has remained in tact!
  • The romantic path with McKenna just isn't cutting it. There is no spark between her and Oliver. When I thought she would be an Arrow ally, I was excited for her arrival on screen. Now? She's just a barrier between Oliver and someone he can really relate to. 

Suit up and hit the comments. Did this week shine as the promos promised? Post away!


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (123 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


@Ilk_vomit: AMEN!


Dinah to Laurel to Dinah, rather. Felicity is still awesome, and Sidekicks United time is best time. I hope that some of that self defense training takes. Maybe then she can build some techy sonic weapon and become the Black Canary, and Dinah Laurel Lance can go die in a "tragic" car accident or something.


Great episode. This is an amazing show.


This was actually the first episode where I thought there was romantic chemistry between Ollie and McKenna. She's probably a disposable love interest, but I'm okay with her now. Casting Alex Kingston as Laurel's mom just isn't fair. Each time they cut from Laurel to Dinah to Laurel and back I kept on going "Not acting, Acting, not acting, acting". Can Katie Cassidy just not move her face or something? There's no soul there.


Hi Cornell...nope, I don't want a Felicity/Oliver pairing. If they aren't going to pursue Laurel for a while, I think there is someone else out there for Oliver. He had more sparks with the per archer chick who's name is escaping me as I'm about to fall asleep than he does with McKenna. They make great friends, but his attempt to do more seem forced. Whoever it is would be unknown at this point to me, at least.


Great episode. Oliver revealing to tommy that he's the hood was the best part. I am now wondering what Tommy's going to do since he knows I mean he's keeping the secret so far but what's going to happen to his and Oliver's friendship. I kinda thought Tommy's dad was going to die in this episode and was surprised when he didn't I was also very shocked when Oliver revealed himself to tommy. Can't wait till the next episode. Tr how's getting better every episode.


River Song and Captain Jack in one episode? cherry on the ice cream of this awesome ep.


[The romantic path with McKenna just isn't cutting it. There is no spark between her and Oliver] Ok chemistry is subjective but think Oliver/mckennna have tons of chemistry. They are cute together And it makes sense to the story why they are exploring this relationship. The writer want Felicity/Oliver by any chance? Yeah seen a lot of those fans hating on Mckenna, Mckenna and Oliver. Sorry to burst the bubble, but those two Ollie, and Felicity are meant to be a friendship pairing, they have zero romantic chemistry IMO, so that doesnt exactly help. Would rather see her and Digs together as there is a lot more there, but hey men and women can be friends and its a good idea to keep the trio as it is. And I think the show is doing a good and should keep on doing what they are doing instead of being pressured by some internet fans and media.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Well. This show just became the only damn thing worth watching on CW. Top-notch quality television and the episode that would triumph thousands of best season finale episodes that aired.


MAtt wasnt kidding when he said to not miss this episode. This was by far my favorite episode of the season

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Arrow Season 1 Episode 16 Quotes

So you're hoping aircraft maintenance is genetic?


Slade: I do have one idea. If you go into the forest and gather as much bamboo as you can find...
Oliver: Yeah?
Slade: We can build ourselves a boat, like they did on Gilligan's Island.