This week’s episode of Arrow was a rarity. When’s the last time the series spent the entire hour on a single plot without a side story, a flash forward or a flashback? Last week’s episode seemingly wrapped up the conflict with Ricardo Diaz. Team Arrow finally caught with the Dragon, and Felicity was talked out of killing him. In return, Felicity was told that Oliver would be released from prison if he helped the government put Diaz away. In Arrow season 7 episode 7, Oliver’s release was at hand. But Diaz had one last move to make.
Last Day In Hell
Oliver was eager to leave Slabside behind, but he was still very upset about the murder of Officer Dunbar. When Stanley asked him to get help with his case, Oliver not only refused, he said that he knew Stanley was behind Dunbar’s death. He also told Stanley that he’d make sure he’d face justice for that. Additionally, Oliver visited Bronze Tiger a.k.a. Ben Turner, and pledged to get him clear of the murder charges, but Turner didn’t quite buy Oliver’s contrition.
Outside the prison, Diaz bribed his escort into helping him kill a few prison officials. Diaz then snuck into the prison as a visitor for Oliver, and taunted him from behind the protective glass. Oliver was so incensed to see Diaz that he fought the guards and even escaped from his cell. But Diaz initiated a full prison riot, and won over Brick and Sampson to his side.
Stanley and His Monster
In the midst of the riot, Oliver had a tense reunion with Stanley. Oliver was drugged, and when he woke up, he was bound by Stanley, who wanted to escape the prison with him. Stanley finally admitted that he was in Slabside for murder, and he was angry that Oliver was going to abandon him. Oliver lulled Stanley into a false sense of security before knocking him out and escaping.
Near the end of the riot, Stanley encountered Brick near the morgue. Brick made the critical mistake of turning his back on Stanley, who subsequently murdered him. Stanley then successfully made his getaway, which insures that he’ll be back at some point.
The Bronze Arrow
During the riot, Oliver had only one real ally: Ben Turner. Oliver was nearly beaten by Brick and Sampson before Turner’s timely arrival turned the tide. Although Turner only wanted Oliver’s help clearing his name, Oliver convinced him to save the guards. They even made a pretty good team against their fellow inmates.
Turner ultimately confronted Sampson, who subsequently burned to death. Meanwhile, Oliver managed to get close to Diaz. However, he wasn’t in time to prevent Diaz from starting a fire that threatened the entire prison.
Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying
Oliver finally had his showdown with Diaz, and it was largely one-sided. However, Oliver fought through the pain and exhaustion to turn the tide against Diaz. As an added measure, Oliver even locked Diaz in his old cell. As the riot died down, one of the guards personally thanked Turner for saving their lives. Meanwhile, Oliver basically marched out of prison without getting medical treatment or even a few words with the prison officials.
Naturally, the show couldn’t resist giving Oliver his Shawshank Redemption moment when he became a free man. Outside the prison, Diggle and Felicity were waiting for Oliver when he officially reentered society.
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