'Arrow' recap: Oliver saves his worst enemy's life in 'Dead to Rights'

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In Wednesday night's "Arrow" episode "Dead to Rights," Oliver's mother continues with her plan to destroy Malcolm and the "undertaking." Meanwhile, Malcolm tries to bond with Tommy, and Laurel's mother appears unexpectedly with some chilling news.

A new hit man in town

A hired killer has just touched down in his helicopter when he's intercepted by Arrow. He'd rather fight than give up, and our hero ends up with a dead assassin and only his cell phone as a clue to his target. Oliver drops the phone off with Felicity so she can decrypt the phone's sophisticated security system. The only information she has immediately is the last phone number the hit man called: A Chinese restaurant that's a front for mob activities.

Daddy issues

Oliver hurries from his mission to his date with McKenna, a birthday celebration for Tommy at Laurel's apartment. The happy couples are interrupted by a sudden visit by Tommy's father Malcolm, who drops off a present and asks his son to attend an event where he'll be receiving a humanitarian award. Tommy angrily refuses.

Oliver later takes Tommy to the Chinese restaurant he's investigating, combining his work and personal life. Tommy talks about Malcolm's two-year disappearance and how Mr. Queen was more of a dad to him than his own father. Oliver confesses his own anger issues with his father, but adds he would give anything to have him back. He urges Tommy to consider making peace.

Oliver then takes a quick restroom break and sneaks into the back where the illegal business is going on. He turns out the lights, roughs up a couple guys, and manages to get the information that the Triad is carrying out a hit tomorrow. He phones Detective Lance, who tells him to call back when he has a name. Oliver and Tommy leave the restaurant; everyone's unaware that Oliver was the attacker.

Assassination attempt

Tommy tells Laurel that he's attending his father's award ceremony after all, and tells her it's okay for her to stay home and work. When he arrives at the well-attended event, we see Moira keeping her well-poised facade up while several Triads around her are posing as waitstaff. Malcolm goes up to receive his award and gives a speech about the loss of his wife and how he plans to do so much more with his humanitarian efforts to save the city. He's clearly moved to see his son in the crowd.

The fire alarm suddenly sounds and the Triads spring into action. It only takes Malcolm a moment to realize what's happening, and he grabs Tommy and heads for the stairs. He tells his son that he has a panic room in the penthouse where they'll be safe. They run into opposition on the way, and Tommy is stunned when his father expertly fights and kills the men.

Arrow's rescue attempt

Oliver is on a casual date with McKenna when Digg interrupts, privately letting his partner know that Felicity has decrypted the phone, and they know Malcolm is the target. Oliver knows instantly where the hit will take place and excuses himself from his date to head over to the awards ceremony. He calls Detective Lance to ask for back-up.

Oliver arrives in time to help Malcolm and Tommy get to the panic room. After fending off more Triads, Arrow gets into a battle with China White. He gets the upper hand and is contemplating a final blow when McKenna calls out, her gun trained on the vigilante. He shoots a fire extinguisher to escape in a cloud of smoke.

Oliver helps his friend and unknowingly saves his enemy

Malcolm underestimates the strength of his glass panic room against powerful explosives. He and Tommy survive the blast, but Deadshot is able to shoot Malcolm several times in the chest through the blown-out wall. Arrow arrives in time to see that Malcolm's protective vest has saved him from most of the damage but realizes that a nick from a bullet is killing him. He recognizes the poison from his previous tangle with Deadshot.

Arrow tells Tommy that the only way to save his father is with a quick blood transfusion. Of course, Tommy has no reason to trust him, so Oliver is forced to reveal his identity. Tommy is stunned but agrees to let his friend hook him up. Malcolm is already recovering by the time the ambulance arrives.

The big reveals

In this week's flashback, Oliver gets the plane's radio to work, but they can only hear other transmissions, not send any. Slade decides to use it to spy on Fyers, and the two go to investigate when they hear about a new "monster" on the island. Turns out it's a giant rocket launcher, which Slade says is enough to "start a war."

Back in the present, Malcolm wakes up at the hospital with Tommy at his side. He tells him that in the two years he was gone, he met a man who changed his life and helped give him a purpose. Before he can explain his plan to change the city, Moira arrives. Tommy leaves the room, and Malcolm tells Moira to find the "traitor in our midst."

Out in the hall, Tommy asks if Oliver was ever planning to tell him about his alter ego, and he's clearly upset when Oliver truthfully replies "No."

We then see Laurel leaving her apartment and running into her estranged mother (Alex Kingston). She's not interested in talking, but her mother insists. She has important information and tells Laurel that she thinks her sister Sara may still be alive.

More from this contributor:

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