Title: Arrow: “Star City Slayer” Review
Release Date: February 11th, 2019
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
Who would have thought that Stanley would end up being one of the best villains of Arrow season seven?
We’ve had Ricardo Diaz, The Longbow Hunters, Chimera, Sam Hackett, Brick, and countless others. But, the one who may be the most terrifying is the scrawny Stanley Dover. Brendan Fletcher, who plays Stanley, totally brought it in every scene he was in. Stanley’s description of his abusive upbringing and justifying all of his murders was certifiably insane and gave the character some depth. His house was so cliche and straight out of the murderers for dummies handbook yet, it still worked as the build-up for Stanley’s big reveal. Hopefully, this wasn’t the last time we see him but if it was his last episode, the Star City Slayer made the most of his screentime. He even got to take the Black Canary out of commission.
For some strange reason, Arrow loves to kill off Black Canaries. Luckily, this season brought us the flash-forwards so we know Dinah survives her brutal encounter with the Star City Slayer. You gotta assume her powers are gone, just as she revealed them to the world. How she deals with this in the present day and watching her come to terms with it in the future should be a compelling arc for the remainder of the season.
The flash-forwards and present-day scenes had me worried over the last few weeks. Present-day William returning threw a wrench into the “abandonment” story introduced in the future. He also came across a little too whiny to be taken seriously. Felicity’s “death”, along with the total destruction of Team Arrow in the future, ruined the attachment I had for the present-day stuff. This week started to tie everything together for me. William left Oliver and Felicity in order to have a normal life with his grandparents. Sometime between now and the next few years, Oliver and Felicity “abandon” him. In the flash-forwards, we learn that Felicity may still be alive (shocker!) and she wasn’t an evil villain after all.
There’s a lot of moving parts in these future scenes. Rene’s involvement in the plot to level Star City, Felicity’s motivation to reach out to William, Roy’s undisclosed role, Connor Hawke’s role (He’ll become the Green Arrow?), and now there’s Blackstar. Blackstar, now revealed to be Mia Smoak, is actually the daughter of Felicity and Oliver. Needless to say, we’re going to need an episode dedicated to this story soon.
Many people may be upset at this, thinking this is another sign of Arrow’s desire to push Oliver and Felicity as a couple. For one, I don’t think this another attempt to push Oliver and Felicity’s relationship to the forefront. Second, this reveal adds another layer to Mia’s character already. You can kinda guess why she hates vigilantes so much. Her parents were vigilantes and, obviously, their family was torn apart due to whatever happened to Star City. This reveal was made to build upon the future, not to propel Oliver and Felicity’s marriage as the main focus again. The fact that we haven’t seen Diggle or Oliver yet is intriguing. I can definitely see Diggle biting the dust this season, putting Connor on his path to where he is the future. Oliver’s death may be coming soon, courtesy of
Ray Palmer “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.
The William and Oliver scenes were tough to get through and…not in a good way. Everything here felt forced and took us away from the far more interesting Star City Slayer plot. I think we were supposed to care about this situation but by the end, I just wanted Oliver to send William off so we can get rid of his present-day story for good.
It appears that Echo Kellum, who plays Curtis Holt AKA Mr. Terrific, has left Arrow. From what I’ve read, Kellum wanted to leave the show in order to spend more time with his family. In my opinion, Curtis has never been a great character. Far from it. But, that’s never been on Kellum in the slightest and he’s always done his best with what he was given. His exit from the show was a little out of left field though. Still, the door is open for him to return down the line and I’m sure he’ll pop back up for the crossover next year, maybe even sooner.
Arrow still doesn’t have a big bad this late in the season. At first, I hated this idea. Now, I’m starting to come around on the idea to skip the formality of a big bad this year in favor of these smaller arcs. At this point, it’s almost impossible for all of these stories to mesh together with any sense of logic. It would be refreshing to see these stories remain somewhat separate and see each one end organically.
Verdict: “Star City Slayer” was another strong showing for a series that has quietly made a resurgence to being, once again, the best DC show on television. The return of Stanley Dover and the flash-forwards were compelling, as was the payoffs to many questions fans have had over the last few weeks regarding the flash-forwards. This would easily hit that “Remarkable” rating if not for the terrible present-day William/Oliver scenes, which took us away from the better content for far too long.
- Everything that involved the Star City Slayer
- Brendan Fletcher
- The Flash-forwards are starting to make a lot more sense
- Dinah's arc going forward could be amazing
- No big bad for the season could be intriguing
- The William/Oliver scenes
- Curtis' exit came out of nowhere