not a teacher
The baddie might well turn the tables in that he changes the situation to his advantage, but "turning the tables" doesn't necessarily mean gaining an advantage by acting first against an anticipated problem, which is the point of a preemptive action.
The victim was beaten to the punch when the company sued him first.
The company got the jump on the victim by suing him first.
The victim was going to sue the company, but the company got in first.