How Arrow May Have Just Revealed A New Villain

arrow season 7 stanley

(Image credit: Image courtesy of The CW)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 6 of Arrow Season 7, called "Due Process." You have been warned.

Arrow has been a grim affair in Season 7 thanks to hero Oliver Queen being stuck behind bars with a bunch of criminals that he helped lock away. His stint in Level 2 where he was drugged and beaten didn't help matters, and his temporary alliance with Talia al Ghul didn't end with his freedom. In "Due Process," Oliver seemingly made a startling discovery about Stanley. As it turns out, Oliver's prison pal isn't the helpless and altogether innocent man he claimed to be.

Well, it was a startling discovery for Oliver, anyway. From very early on, Stanley struck me as somebody who was concealing a much darker side than he presented to Oliver. He was quick to jump to conclusions that could result in serious harm to others, and it was really only his diminutive stature and unassuming look that gave the air of innocence. As Oliver realized in "Due Process," Stanley has as much of a murderous side as many others at Slabside.

Stanley proclaimed to Oliver that the only reason he was in Slabside was because he was wrongfully convicted of murder; although we can't say for sure at this point that Stanley was lying on that count, his most recent actions give reason to suspect that there was truth to his conviction.

His actions in "Due Process" indicate that he is a manipulative and strategic man who is not afraid to cross lines to get what he wants, and those aren't tendencies that can be born overnight, even in as extreme an environment as Slabside. Of course, his actions also prove that he's not exactly a genius, as arrogance and confidence in Oliver's friendship got the better of him and he accidentally showed his true colors.

Newly back on Level 1, Oliver discovered courtesy of Stanley that the unfriendly Officer Dunbar has directed his ire at Brick and his crew. The plot thickened when news began to circulate that Officer Dunbar had been killed. To Oliver's shock and alarm, the guards hauled Stanley away, claiming that he was the one to kill Dunbar. Oliver found a time to visit Stanley in solitary, where a bloody and beaten Stanley said that the guards had taken turns beating him.

As Oliver was far more inclined to believe the friend who had been beaten to a pulp over the guards who let a lot of ugliness slide, he went off to investigate what had happened. Based off of a tip from Stanley, Oliver went into Green Arrow mode and searched the showers for a clue. He discovered what seemed to be the murder weapon: a knife, and that pointed Oliver towards Bronze Tiger.

Unsurprisingly, Bronze Tiger denied murdering Dunbar when the guards came to haul him away. Despite his very convincing denials, Oliver was still inclined to believe that the formidable fighter with a history of murder had killed Dunbar than good old Stanley. The twist came when Oliver and Stanley were chatting toward the end of the episode. Stanley mentioned that he was exonerated after the guards got their hands on Bronze Tiger's knife, and that set off an alar in Oliver.

Oliver hadn't mentioned Bronze Tiger's knife to Stanley, so Stanley shouldn't have known to mention it. Stanley brushed Oliver's objection that he shouldn't have known the specifics of the knife by stating that he must have heard the details somewhere other than Oliver, but Oliver was clearly unconvinced. It's safe to say at this point that Stanley is a murderer and villain.

So there we have it! Stanley is a bad guy. Now, his villainous reveal in "Due Process" doesn't mean that we should expect him to become a new nemesis for Oliver, and not just because Oliver could easily take down Stanley if such a need arose. Oliver is bound to get out of prison eventually, and the fact that he hung on to his Green Arrow side even in prison is a sign that he's probably not going to spring a murderer from jail.

If Stanley belongs in Slabside, Oliver will likely leave him there, and I don't see Stanley operating a criminal empire from behind bars. Ricardo Diaz, maybe. Not Stanley. We'll have to wait and see. Given that the big "Elseworlds" crossover that promises to feature Oliver quite prominently is only weeks away at this point, we can probably expect Oliver out of prison in the not-too-distant future.

Considering Oliver's refusal to escape with Talia last week because he would be a fugitive for the rest of his life, the odds are that when Oliver walks out of Slabside, it will be because he was legally freed. We'll have to wait and see. The one thing we can be absolutely sure of at this point is that Felicity (and probably Olicity fans) will be very happy once he's out of the clink and headed home.

New episodes of Arrow air on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW, ahead of new episodes of Legends of Tomorrow. The "Elseworlds" crossover will be a three-night event, kicking off on Sunday, December 9 at 8 p.m. ET with an episode of The Flash. For more viewing options in the not-too-distant future, swing by our midseason TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.