Why Stanley Is a Bigger Threat Than Diaz in 'Arrow' Season 7

In Arrow Season 6, Oliver made a deal with the FBI to confess to being the Green Arrow and go to prison if the agency agreed to help catch Diaz. That didn’t happen, and Diaz remained free until the end of Season 7 Episode 6, setting the stage for Oliver and Diaz’s confrontation in Episode 7, “The Slabside Redemption.” Meanwhile, in prison, Oliver met a fan of his, Stanley, who may actually be a threat to Oliver and his loved ones.

But which bad guy should Oliver be more concerned about in Arrow Season 7?

Spoilers for Arrow Season 7 Episode 7 below.

In “The Slabside Redemption,” Diaz pays off a guard to roam free around the maximum-security prison and then breaks into the cellblock. After he poses as a visitor, Oliver tries to warn the guards, but they think they can handle Diaz. Spoiler alert: They can’t.

Diaz incites a riot and kills a few guards. When he and Oliver finally face off with the prison burning around them, Oliver stabs Diaz and leaves him bleeding (but alive) in his cell. The episode ends with Oliver leaving Slabside a free man and reuniting with Felicity.

arrow season 7 episode 7 slabside redemption stanley brendan fletcher
Brendan Fletcher as Stanley in 'Arrow' Season 7 Episode 7 "The Slabside Redemption"

However, Oliver doesn’t know that one of his problems from Slabside is now on the outside as well: Stanley, a serial killer and the Green Arrow-obsessed fan. Initially, he claimed he’d been wrongfully convicted, but after he sedates and ties up Oliver to chat during the riot, he admits he did murder those people. They deserved it, he says. But he thinks he and Oliver aren’t “so different” and wants them to escape and work together.

Though Oliver leaves him knocked out in a closet, Stanley finds his way out of the prison through the morgue by the end of the episode.

Who’s a bigger threat right now?

Stanley’s Free

Though Oliver may not know right away that Stanley escaped, he did promise to make sure he “faced justice” for killing a guard in Episode 6. So they’re sure to run into each other soon.

Still, Stanley could very well be a threat to Oliver and his loved ones. It all depends on how he feels about Oliver. Stanley already met Felicity, and it’s very possible he could target Oliver’s wife if he wants to get back at him. He could also target William since he saw the photo of his wife and son Oliver stared at every day.

If he still wants to team up with Oliver, he could target anyone working with the Green Arrow in his “place,” at least in his mind.

Though Oliver can easily take Stanley down in a fight, that might not be a deterrent. After all, when he kills Brick on his way out of the morgue, he tells him he should have been nicer to him. He could feel the same way about Oliver.

Will Diaz Stay Locked up for Long?

Oliver let Diaz live, and that may turn out to be a mistake. We’ve seen Diaz bribe people in all levels of government before. He even bribed a guard to kill his coworkers so he could break into Slabside. So it’s not hard to imagine Diaz finding a way to escape at some point.

Diaz also has allies on the outside. The Longbow Hunters have been working with him. They walked away when Diaz was arrested in Episode 6, so they’re still out there. We don’t know if they’ll be loyal to him while he’s locked up, but they’re still a threat.

Diaz could also have other allies out there who could go after Oliver and his loved ones even while he’s behind bars.

Furthermore, that decision to not kill Diaz is going to affect someone close to Oliver. “His decision to leave Diaz alive will not influence his relationship with Felicity, but I think it’s going to have an incredibly impactful moment on another person that he’s close with,” Stephen Amell told ComicBook.com. “I don’t know if he’ll come to regret the decision, actually. Probably.”

If it doesn’t affect Felicity, will the decision affect William? Probably not, since not only is William alive in the flashforwards, but if his son was affected, there’s no way Oliver wouldn’t regret not killing Diaz. It could affect Diggle, perhaps through his wife, Lyla, or another member of the (former) Team Arrow (Dinah, Curtis and Rene).

The Verdict

Right now, Stanley is the more immediate threat, if only because we don’t know what he’s capable of. It’s still unclear exactly how he feels about Oliver, and he’s free to strike at any time.

Diaz has made his agenda very clear: he wants payback, and he’ll want that even more now that Oliver put him behind bars. Since Diaz wants to see Oliver suffer, he’d want to be out of prison to see it for himself. But for the moment, he’s not as much of a threat.

Arrow airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.


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