Warning: This review contains full spoilers for Arrow Season 7, Episode 13. If you need a recap on where we left off, check out our review for Season 7, Episode 12.
Probably the most consistently frustrating thing about the Arrowverse is how rare it is to find compelling minor villains. For every Reverse-Flash or Deathstroke, there are half a dozen “one and done” villains with barely any nuance or motivation to speak of. “Star City Slayer” is a welcome reminder that this doesn’t always have to be the case. The series paid off on a loose end from earlier in Season 7 and used it to fuel a memorably scary outing for Team Arrow.
This episode marked the return of Ollie’s former prison buddy Stanley Dover, a character who we learned is actually a mentally unstable serial murderer with an unhealthy fascination with the Green Arrow. It was always clear that it would only be a matter of time before The Stanley Problem came back to bite Ollie on the butt. This episode didn’t disappoint in that regard.
So much of that boils down to the strength of Brendan Fletcher’s performance. Fletcher was perfectly enjoyable as Ollie’s dorky sidekick earlier in the season. But here he really got the chance to stretch his muscles and play a deranged killer barely holding it together. That final confrontation between Stanley and the Queen family easily ranks among the best sequences in Season 7 so far. Fletcher was equal parts repulsive, terrifying, and deeply pathetic. This episode did a great job of building up the tension in that scene despite the fact that we all knew Stanley wouldn’t be claiming another victim.
Again, it’s a testament to what’s possible when the show devotes some real attention to its secondary villains. Stanley was never going to be a major, overarching Arrow villain. He’s a disposable character whom we may never see again on the show. But if the writers hadn’t devoted so much attention to establishing his relationship with Ollie before now, the payoff wouldn’t have been half as strong. Hopefully that’s a lesson we can see applied elsewhere across all of these shows.
“Star City Slayer” is also notable for giving us our first good look at the reunified Team Arrow in action. It seems only appropriate in the aftermath of last week’s 150th episode that Ollie himself take a backseat while Team Arrow gets back into the old groove. I still have my concerns about whether the show really needs the full team roster in play again, but for now the novelty factor is still there.
And better still, this episode made it clear that there’s still pruning to be done. Curtis was basically written out of the picture tonight, reflecting the fact that Echo Kellum is no longer a series regular. (Check out Kellum’s farewell Tweet below.)
SPOILER ALERT WEST COAST!
Some thoughts about tonight. #Arrow #LowBatterylol pic.twitter.com/yQbMjk2LFR
– Echo Kellum (@EchoK)
February 12, 2019
This feels like the right move. As entertaining as Curtis can be, he hasn’t really had …read more
Source:: Daily times