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Warning: spoilers ahead for the October 29 episode of Arrow on The CW.
Arrow is doing something new in Season 7 thanks to the fact that the Green Arrow is behind bars. Admittedly, a new Green Arrow has taken up the bow in Star City while Oliver is in the clink, but the original recipe Emerald Archer is in prison and not likely to be freed any time soon. Still, Oliver is determined to do his part to find Ricardo Diaz from prison, and he crossed a significant line in the latest episode to do so.
In the previous episode, Oliver did everything in his power to avoid crossing any major lines. When Brick tempted him with the promise of info on Diaz if Oliver would get rid of a guard for him, Oliver found a creative solution. Instead of killing the guard as Brick clearly intended, Oliver grabbed the guard's hand and then stabbed himself in the belly, framing the guard without killing him.
In this week's episode, Brick wasn't too happy that Oliver had gone with a softer interpretation of his directive to get rid of the guard. When Oliver called him out and demanded the information on Diaz since he did technically get rid of Brick's enemy, Brick finally said that he would keep his word and gave Oliver directions to meet him at night. The cells sprung open that night, and Oliver took off to meet Diaz's agent within Slabside, known only as "The Demon."
Stanley followed Oliver, because he's either really attached to having the Green Arrow as his prison pal or he's secretly a very bad guy. For now, I'm sticking with my theory that Stanley is a serial killer. He makes a lot of questionable decisions that really only make sense if he's a lot sketchier than he seems, and Oliver has bigger concerns than bothering to look too closely at the little guy who seemingly couldn't defend himself.
Anyway, the meeting turned out to be a trap. Brick was holding court in the cafeteria and sent Bronze Tiger to kill Oliver, who got the jump on Bronze Tiger and forced him to take them to Brick. Oliver discovered that Brick had created a fight club of sorts in the cafeteria with other inmates and corrupt guards placing bets. Brick decided that the Green Arrow needed to battle Sampson.
Oliver defeated Sampson when they first battled, but the odds weren't totally in his favor this time around. He didn't have any of his weapons, he didn't have anywhere to run or hide to regroup, and he had recently stabbed himself in the belly. Nevertheless, he took down Sampson after Sampson refused to give up. Brick revealed that he had his money on Oliver.
Far from mollified, Oliver scaled the wall up to where Brick had been watching the fight and pulled a shiv on him. Brick finally confessed that The Demon isn't somebody Oliver will be able to access, as he is housed on Level 2, where the worst of the worst criminals are housed. Since Oliver was a guy who had to stab himself to get rid of a guard, Brick naturally believed that Oliver would be staying on Level 1.
Well, Brick underestimated how much Oliver wants to catch Diaz. Covered in blood and already beaten practically to a pulp, Oliver had enough left in him to use his shiv and stab some of the corrupt guards. That was enough to land Oliver a sentence to Level 2, and he was marched away as all the bad guys he'd put away watched. Oliver just attacked people simply to advance his own vendetta.
Now, on the one hand, none of us should probably be too disturbed that Oliver stabbed a couple of guards who were apparently on Brick's and/or The Demon's payroll, and the episode technically didn't reveal whether any of the guards suffered permanent damage. In the grand scheme of things on Arrow, it's really not that bad. I mean, Oliver has killed a lot of people, and not all of them for terribly horrifying crimes.
Under normal conditions, stabbing the guards would have been the crossing of a line, but not necessarily one that should have disturbed Oliver fans. Given that it wasn't that long ago that Oliver was determined to behave himself no matter what to lessen his sentence, doing something severe enough to get sent to the level housing the worst bad guys in Slabside is the crossing of a major line. Oliver seemingly has given up his hopes of getting out of prison in favor of possibly getting some info on Diaz.
It may be a sign of a deteriorating mental state that Oliver is giving up a lot with no more than the word of a murderer to go on. He hasn't taken any time to think through his actions, and they're not actions that can really be undone. He's going somewhere that even criminals like Brick are wary of, and we can only imagine what kind of villains are housed on Level 2. The bad guys on Level 1 are bad enough, and Oliver has nearly gotten himself killed at their hands more than once already.
Unfortunately, Oliver doesn't have more than "The Demon" to go on. Naturally, that title calls the al Ghul family to mind, but Ra's al Ghul is dead, and neither Nyssa nor Talia would be housed in a men's prison, if indeed a normal prison could hold them. This new villain may be completely unconnected to anybody Oliver has fought before. As long as he has a connection to Diaz, Oliver will want to be a friend to him. Something tells me he won't be able to threaten The Demon into submission. We'll have to wait and see.
Elsewhere in the episode, Felicity and Rene teamed up with Samanda Watson in an alliance that unfortunately didn't last for very long. Watson went against her boss' instructions and helped Felicity, and the failure of their mission resulted in a reprimand and return to Washington for the FBI agent. Unbeknownst to Watson, Felicity and Rene actually captured one of the Longbow Hunters.
Meanwhile, Diggle and Lyla were spending more time working together, and Digg was alarmed that his wife (who also happens to be the head of ARGUS) was keeping secrets from him. They agreed on no more secrets by the end of the episode, although only time will tell if they're both able to keep that promise.
Find out in new episodes of Arrow on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.