The Slabside Redemption paid off the Oliver prison arc in a major way.
This really would have made for a highly effective season finale based off all the plot threads that got resolved.
There’s certainly a question of what’s next now that Oliver is out of prison and one of his deadliest foes is behind bars. Sure there’s the Longbow Hunters, the mysterious new Green Arrow and the future subplot, but the major one concluding now paves the way for the emergence of a new threat.
Oliver was a short-timer at Slabside and was making the fatal villain mistake of gloating before he walked out. He called Stanley out for killing the guard, manipulating him into getting Ben Turner thrown in the hole and told Sampson and Brick he’d never see them again. If Oliver were a supporting character on Felicity, he’d be in serious danger of getting killed.
At least Oliver has the good sense to make amends with Turner vowing to explain he was set up. Oliver thinks Turner deserves the chance to be a hero. This was some solid foreshadowing. It was also nice to see Arrow taking steps to actually position Turner to be Bronze Tiger.
Diaz must have a crazy bankroll as he bribed a guard with dreams of some massive payday. Prisoner Diaz is now ready to invade Slabside and get revenge on Oliver. This payback plan seems a bit shortsighted since Oliver’s imprisonment essentially meant Diaz already won.
After Diaz threatens Felicity and William, Oliver is fired up and attacks the guards to prepare for his arch-enemy. I kinda wish Diaz just visited Oliver without actually going inside. That would have cost Oliver his early release over a smart fake out. But Diaz is just as big a hothead as Oliver.
Diaz is charismatic though and rallies the prisoners to strike out against the guards. Sampson and Brick use the chaos to go after Oliver. It was nice to see Oliver actually fail to beat two of his biggest foes as it made for a nice dramatic rescue from Turner.
I’ve been waiting on this face turn for awhile and I didn’t disappoint. Oliver and Turner’s multi-level prison fight scene was easily the best of the season and the series in general. This was vintage, top tier Arrow.
Stanley finally snapped and knocked out Oliver with a sedative. I was hoping for more of a dramatic reveal other than Stanley is crazy, but it was still effective.
Diaz starts an electrical fire, which doesn’t end up so well for his lackeys. Sampson gets roasted — literally — when trying to battle Turner. Diaz managed to pummel Oliver for awhile, but got too cocky once again and took a shiv to the stomach for his trouble. Nice to see that super serum tipped the odds in Diaz’s favor…
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Brick thinks he’s taken advantage of the distraction and can escape, but he makes the fatal mistake of turning his back on Sycho Stanley. With Brick and Samson killed off two recurring B-Level villains are off the board. Stanley’s escape ensures he’ll be back to cause problems for Oliver on the outside.
When the dust settles, Turner returns to his cell with The Count of Monte Cristo book awaiting — a thank you of sorts from Oliver.
A guard does thank him ensuring Turner’s stay probably won’t be so awful now. Oliver makes his dramatic exit from Slabside to find Felicity and Diggle waiting. That made the most sense since they’re his Day 1 crew. It was super weird that Diggle vanished in the dramatic pan out.
Oliver is out of prison. Diaz is done. I liked this Agents of SHIELD approach where the entire season wasn’t focused on one big bad. I’m looking forward to seeing who emerges as the next threat for Oliver and Team Arrow.