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Recap / Arrow S 7 E 7 The Slabside Redemption

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Just before Oliver is to be released from Slabside, Diaz invades the prison with only one goal in mind - to finally kill Oliver Queen.


  • Absentee Actor: Oliver and Diaz are the only regulars to appear for most of the episode. Diggle and Felicity make brief, silent cameos at the ending.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Stanley tries to justify his deeds by saying his victims all deserved it. Oliver doesn't buy it.
    • Sampson and Brick are unambiguous examples.
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  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Oliver and Turner throughout much of the episode, highlighted in the scene where they smash their way through the other prisoners to rescue two guards.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Oliver's final showdown with Diaz takes place amongst the electrical fire Diaz started to burn the prison down.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Turner saves Oliver when the latter is being overwhelmed by Sampson and Brick.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Felicity and Oliver share one after being finally reunited.
  • Break the Haughty: The guards are very dismissive about Oliver's warning about Diaz. It costs them dearly when Diaz takes the prison over and unleashes the inmates against the men who've been mistreating them for years. But luckily for them, Oliver doesn't hold a grudge and they forced to swallow their pride and follow his lead if they want to survive.
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  • Canon Character All Along: As evidenced by Brick calling him by his last name, Stanley is actually Stanley Dover.
  • Character Death:
    • Derek Sampson has his muscles sliced by Oliver yet again and later falls off a ledge, before burning up in an electrical fire started by Diaz.
    • Brick is seemingly fatally stabbed by Stanley.
  • Character Development: Turner lampshades Oliver’s.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Although the coldly rational thing to do is get to Diaz as fast as possible, Oliver finds it impossible not to stop and save guards who are being attacked by the prisoners.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Oliver escapes his cell with a deodorant, a towel and a lighter hidden inside a piece of soap.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Thanks to his newly acquired enhanced strength, Diaz's fight with Oliver is largely one-sided in his favor. The only reason he ends up losing is due to Oliver's refusal to stay down and a very lucky blow.
    • Any time Oliver and Turner face unnamed prisoners they fairly easily roll right over them even while dramatically outnumbered.
  • Defiant Captive: The guard Diaz forces to say 'You have failed this city!' over the com initially refuses to do so. It gets him his throat slashed.
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  • Dirty Cop: One of the convoy guards gets bribed by Diaz to help him and murder 3 prison guards.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Diaz, after being built up to be the Big Bad of this season as he was in Season 6, is finally defeated for good here.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • Turner is all too happy to turn on Brick due to the latter threatening him in the past.
    • Stanley kills Brick, telling him he shouldn't have been so mean to him.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Brick and Sampson help Diaz, but for their own reasons.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Oliver has gone through hell, but is finally out of prison with Diaz seemingly defeated for good.
  • Exact Words: The only way out of the prison is through the morgue... but you don't have to be dead for it.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Naturally, the prisoners take their anger out on the guards, in extremely brutal ways.
  • Final Battle: Between Oliver and Diaz.
  • Friendship Moment: Brick and Diaz bonding over their mutual hate of Oliver Queen.
  • Genre Savvy: Diaz runs a compressed version of Bane's plan from Knight Fall; take some kind of Super Serum, get the hero to exhaust himself fighting released inmates and protecting innocents, then take on the battered, bruised, and abused hero. When they finally do fight, Diaz beats Ollie like a bongo drum.
    • Genre Blindness: ...Right up until he kicks the on-the-ropes Ollie into Ollie's cell, monologues, threatens William and Felicity by implication, and says Ollie made her into a person who'd put a gun to Diaz's head. Which gives Ollie a second wind and the motivation to get up and introduce a shiv to Diaz's lung.
  • Good Feels Good: Turner seems quite gratified when a guard thanks him for helping to save the guards' lives.
  • Hero Insurance: Oliver escaped his cell and assaulted multiple prison guards but is still released on time. That he did so in a desperate attempt to save their lives seems to be sufficient reason for them to overlook it.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Combined with Berserk Button. Oliver is already on the ground, when Diaz taunts him about going after Felicity and William next, even ripping apart Oliver's picture of them. This gives Oliver sufficient enough motivation to get back up and put him down.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Oliver laments that he's lost his ability to properly judge people: he believed Turner was irredeemable and thus was willing to believe he'd killed the guard, while he thought Stanley was mostly harmless and friendly and he turned out to be a serial killer.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Stanley tries to justify himself with killing the prison guard that prison changes people. However, it later turns out that he was a killer even before that.
  • Ignored Expert: The guards ignore Oliver's warnings about Diaz until its too late.
  • Implacable Man: Oliver, already a Determinator of the highest order, goes above and beyond here. Nothing stops him from reaching Diaz, and even taking a savage beating from the man himself only keeps him down temporarily. As soon as he gets his second wind, Oliver brutally subdues Diaz and leaves him to rot.
  • Improvised Weapon: Oliver uses half a pair of scissors and later a bag with a can of soda as weapons.
  • Kick the Dog: Diaz is extremely petty throughout the episode.
    • He kills a prison guard over the com for Oliver to hear.
    • He starts a fire, not caring about all the other prisoners he just promised freedom.
    • He rips apart Oliver's picture of Felicity and William.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Brick and Sampson subject Oliver to a brutal series of kicks in the stomach after getting the drop on him.
  • Kill It with Fire: Diaz starts a huge electrical fire in a desperate attempt to kill Oliver.
  • Knife Nut: Somethings never change,eh Diaz?
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Diaz is locked in Oliver's own cell at the end.
  • Man on Fire: How Sampson dies.
  • Mask of Sanity: Stanley's falls off completely. The results are not pretty.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: When Turner finally sees the chance, he immmidiately turns on Brick, who threatened him in the past to get him to comply.
  • Must Make Amends: Oliver vows to do this for Turner after realizing he helped frame him. Turner doesn't buy it... until he realizes Oliver was serious.
  • Never My Fault: Stanley seems to think that believing his victims deserved it makes him an innocent man. When Oliver slips his restraints and knocks him out, Stanley gives a genuinely confused "why did you do that?", apparently feeling that drugging Oliver and tying him up was a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Oliver is on the receiving end from a brutal one by Diaz. When Oliver turns the tables, he returns the favour.
  • Noble Demon: Turner repays Oliver's promise to clear him by helping him throughout the episode. Turner even returns to his cell after the riot has been quelled rather than making any attempt to escape.
  • Noodle Incident: When Turner abruptly shows up, Oliver asks him how he managed to escape his cell. Turner merely shrugs and points out Oliver escaped his. Oliver concedes the point.
  • Not So Different: Stanley tries to pull this card on Oliver. The latter just knocks him out in disgust.
  • The Oner: Turner and Ollie team up for an epic multi-level fight through a dozen prisoners to save some guards.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: As if there was any doubt, Oliver demonstrates that he could have escaped his cell, and likely the prison, any time he wanted to. Turner also appears to share the trope when he suddenly appears after being locked up in solitary with even fewer resources than Oliver had.
  • Prison Break: Inverted; Diaz breaks into Slabside for a chance to kill Oliver.
  • Prison Episode: All of the scenes in this episode take place in or immediately outside the prison and not in Star City.
  • Prison Riot: Happens throughout this episode, courtesy of Diaz.
  • Psychological Projection: Diaz's childhood issues are on full display here; he rallies the inmates by saying that the guards treat them like animals and rants to Oliver about "playing God", seeming to equate Oliver with his childhood bully and feeling that Oliver deserves his vengeance for daring to challenge Diaz.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Stanley. When challenged on the murders he committed, he whines that his victims deserved what they got and that he did nothing wrong, and when he kills Brick, he says "you shouldn't have been so mean to me", acting like a kid taking revenge on a bully.
  • Pun-Based Title: On The Shawshank Redemption, which Stanley even outright references at one point.
  • Rage Breaking Point: When being visited by him, Oliver takes Diaz's taunts, up until the moment where he threatens Felicity and William. He then tries breaking the glass between them.
  • Reality Ensues: Oliver spent most of the episode fighting off the guards, working through a sedative, then fighting his way through an entire prison riot. Super Serum or not, it's really no surprise that Diaz kicks his ass when they fight.
  • The Reveal: Stanley really is a killer and wasn't wrongfully accused.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Diaz had already escaped before entering the prison, but the idea of Oliver still being alive rankles him so much that he takes over the entire building and endangers the lives of everyone within just to kill Oliver.
  • Revenge by Proxy: After killing Oliver, Diaz still plans on murdering Felicity and William.
  • Rousing Speech: Diaz give a villain's version to the prisoners in the yard to get them to turn on the guards.
  • Rule of Drama: Felicity and Diggle wait for Ollie's release. Ollie and Felicity kiss, the camera pulls way, waaay back... and Digg apparently runs as fast as he can to hide behind the nearest bush so he doesn't break the mood.
  • Saying Too Much: While ranting to Oliver, Stanley lets it slip that he's killed people before the guard from the previous episode.
  • Strong and Skilled: While previous episodes have shown that Diaz is a slightly less skilled combatant than Oliver, the Super Serum he previously took ends up giving him a significant advantage here.
  • Taking You with Me: Diaz plans to do this with Oliver, rather than to rot in prison. Hence why he tries to burn it down with them and everyone else still in it.
  • Tranquil Fury: Although it might be the sedative still affecting him, Oliver doesn't raise his voice when he finds out Stanley was a killer with multiple victims before he was in prison. He just quietly confirms the fact, then efficiently and brutally takes him out.
  • Trash the Set: The prison.
  • Villains Never Lie: Diaz told Oliver that Felicity tried to shoot him, but of course Oliver doesn't believe him.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Oliver doesn't want anything to do with Stanley anymore, now that he knows he is a murderer.
  • Wham Line: For those familiar with Kevin Smith's "Quiver" run on the comics, it's this when Brick faces Stanley:
    Brick: Arrow's little sidekick... how did you find out about this place, Dover?
  • Would Hurt a Child: When Diaz visits Oliver, he threatens to hurt the little children who are visiting another prisoner nearby if he doesn't keep quiet.
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