Arrow Season 7 Episode 7 Review: The Slabside Redemption

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Welcome to Shawshank ... I mean Slabside! 

Oliver Queen channeled his inner Andy Dufresne and went all Shawshank on not only Diaz's ass but multiple inmates asses as well. 

As soon as I learned what the title was going to be for Arrow Season 7 Episode 7, I knew I'd be in trouble. Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies of all-time, and "The Slabside Redemption" was going to be received in one of two ways. 

It was either going to infuriate me by not doing the cinematic masterpiece justice or keep me captivated from start to finish. Fortunately, it was the second one, and as soon as Diaz arrived at those prison doors, "The Slabside Redemption" had me hooked.

Shawshank (Tall) - Arrow Season 7 Episode 7

Oliver's journey as Inmate 4587 has been one of Arrow's best-told stories so far, and "The Slabside Redemption" was the perfect way to culminate it. 

Diaz raised hell, alliances shifted, a psychopath had been hiding under our noses all along, and Oliver Queen did what he does best -- kicked some ass. 

Oh my god, you're "Shawshanking" out of here.


Before I dive in, I have to give a shout out to my fellow Arrow Fanatics. Many of you predicted the outcome of storylines that occurred on this episode. Don't doubt TV Fanatics people! We're not just pretty; we're smart too. 

A majority of Arrow fans have agreed that Diaz has long overstayed his welcome, and while he hadn't added much throughout Arrow Season 7 to dispute that claim, "The Slabside Redemption" showcased the Diaz we've been waiting for. 

The Ultimate Stair Climb  - Arrow Season 7 Episode 7

The man's completely lost it, folks. It felt as though he had gotten to a point where many of us had been before. He has spent so much of his time hating Oliver Queen that he doesn't even remember why he hates Oliver; he just does. 

Come on, we all have that one person we despise for absolutely no reason; we just aren't nearly as psychotic as Diaz. 

Diaz: They don't see you as Green Arrow in here. You're just a number. It's pretty dehumanizing, isn't it? Bet you weren't thinking about that when you were locking these people up in here.
Oliver: Well, I'm not going to do that to you. I'm gonna end you.
Diaz: You're gonna die today and I'm gonna be the one who's gonna do it.

Diaz finally became the monster Arrow Season 6 tried to build him up to be. He never reached the level of scary that other Arrow villain's had done before him. However, his visit to Slabside paid off for not only the show but the Diaz character. 

His inability to destroy Oliver and take over Star City has turned him into something so dark and vile that it's hard to imagine Laurel could have once loved him. 

Related: Arrow Season 7 Episode 6 Review: Due Process 

Unfortunately for Diaz, as soon as he reached his peak as a villain, he was taken down -- and possibly killed? If I've learned anything from horror movies its that whenever you don't see a body, it means the killer isn't as dead as our hero thought they were. 

"The Slabside Redemption" may be the last we see of Diaz for a little while, but he will return. I can almost guarantee it.

Hopefully, assuming Diaz does return, he comes back even more psychotic and twisted then ever because if this was the Diaz Team Arrow had been dealing with the whole time, I wouldn't have so desperately wanted him leave. 

Guard: You have failed this city, Oliver Queen.
Oliver: Diaz that's enough! Let him go!
Diaz: You speak and people do as you say. That's how it goes? Doesn't matter if you're right or wrong? Not this time. Not anymore. [Slits guards throat] How's that feel? How's it feel, somebody else playing god?

Diaz wasn't the only thorn in Oliver's side during his last day at Slabside. It turns out the man I've been lamenting as adorable and a great BFF for Oliver is a serial killer. 

Apparently, Oliver attracts the attention of serial killers. He must have an underlying character flaw that we'll get to unpack another time. 

I probably should've seen Stanley being evil coming. You know what? I kind of did and have been in denial about it up until now. 

Friend or Foe?  - Arrow Season 7 Episode 7

Exploring this bonafide psychopath is going to be a ton of fun because it's uncharted territory -- every Arrow villain that came before Stanley was someone who had a lot of means or power. 

Stanley is the first Arrow villain as far as I can remember who seems to be a run of the mill, scared, lonely, murderous psychopath. There may be more to him than meet's the eye, though. 

Related: Get HBO via Prime Video Channels for Addictive Dramas, Hilarious Comedies & Hit Movies! 

And now that he's killed Brick and escaped Slabside, Oliver's going to have another psycho to deal with. It's like they always say: when one psychopath leaves your life, another one enters. 

Stanley: That whole Dunbar thing, I didn't have a choice! I didn't have a choice! And all those other people had it coming!
Oliver: You killed other people before Dunbar?
Stanley: Honestly, what you and I do is not so different, right? So, like we make such a great team.

The difference between Diaz and Stanley is Oliver had grown fond of Stanley before learning he murdered. Will he have the strength to stop Stanley after everything he's gone through?

Whether he's able to stop Stanley or not, one thing is certain, the Oliver Queen that left Slabside is not the same man who entered. 

Related: Arrow Season 7 Episode 5 Review: The Demon 

The same could be said for Ben Turner. While everyone else at Slabside was too busy following Diaz's orders like puppets and beating up a bunch of guards, Turner turned his life around in one swift motion and helped Oliver rescue as many guards as they could. 

Oliver could have been super alone during this whole ordeal, but it was nice to see him ally with a man he judged so harshly previously. 

Oliver and Turner  - Arrow Season 7 Episode 7

Turner is a prime example of the message Arrow tries to send -- if you give someone the opportunity to change, they could very well do it. 

While Oliver as per usual will get all the credit, Turner was just as much of a hero. If Oliver can keep his promise and help Turner get out of prison, it might not be the last time we see him. 

There may be a role for Turner either on ARGUS or even on Team Arrow, assuming that the team will eventually reunite now that Oliver's free. Arrow Season 7 Episode 9, also known as "Elseworlds," is coming up, and the Green Arrow's going to need as many superheroes as he can get. 

From Foe to Friend  - Arrow Season 7 Episode 7

For the first time in a long time it seemed as though Arrow was going to end without me questioning anything, but then that reunion happened. 

Don't get me wrong; I love Olicity and the original Team Arrow trio. The passionate kiss between them was beautiful, and I was even looking forward to an Oliver and Diggle bromance hug. 

Related: Arrow Season 7 Episode 4 Review: Level Two 

However, Diggle went from being there to all of a sudden vanishing when Olicity started kissing. 

Where did he go? Did he get sucked into a time portal or something? Did he hide behind one of the walls because he didn't want to watch them kiss? Seriously, what happened to Diggle? 

And here I thought I could finally watch an episode without having questions afterward.

What did you think of "Slabside Redemption"?

Do you think that's the last we saw of Diaz? 

How do you feel about Stanley being a serial killer?

Do you think Turner might eventually join ARGUS or Team Arrow? 

Do you know what happened to Diggle? 

Let us know in the comments below and if you need to catch up, make sure to watch Arrow online right here on TV Fanatic! 

The Slabside Redemption Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (25 Votes)

Brandon Viera was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in May 2019..

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Arrow Season 7 Episode 7 Quotes

Diaz: They don't see you as Green Arrow in here. You're just a number. It's pretty dehumanizing, isn't it? Bet you weren't thinking about that when you were locking these people up in here.
Oliver: Well, I'm not going to do that to you. I'm gonna end you.
Diaz: You're gonna die today and I'm gonna be the one who's gonna do it.

Oh my god, you're "Shawshanking" out of here.