Arrow season 7, episode 13 review: Star City Slayer


“So you think you’re safe now? You’re not.” Spoilers for Arrow season 7, episode 13 follow.

A so-called killer is after all of Team Arrow, most of whom have been recently outed as vigilantes. Is it just a prank or is the whole team in mortal danger?

In the future, William, Roy, Dinah, and Zoe search for the bombs that were planted by Felicity in order to destroy The Glades.

A new killer in Star City

The opening scene of this episode tells the audience everything it needs to know: this is going to be an impactful episode. There were a lot of David Fincher influences in that opening scene, which leads to the pacing and tense feeling throughout the episode. It feels very much like a Seven style mystery, not as complicated though, but it provides a very different feeling for the show that hasn’t really been felt for several seasons.

There’s a definite crime thriller feel to the portions of the episode that deal with the killer, with a hint of Resident Evil thrown in that really amps up the tension of the episode, especially around the thirty-minute mark when Team Arrow ventures into an abandoned mansion. It really feels that something bad could happen to anyone on the team because of the simple creepiness factor. It’s a vibe that’s rare for the show, but it pulls it off nicely.

Everything leads back to Oliver though, with the Star City Slayer eventually coming after him. This plot development brings both present day storylines together despite them feeling disparate throughout the episode. So often on Arrow, there are multiple storylines that don’t interact with each other at all, but here one storyline fuels the other while also continuing itself. It makes the entire episode feel all the more compelling.

The future is now

More from Arrowverse

The flash-forwards have been put on the back-burner for much of this season, which is a shame because that twist in the premiere was absolutely amazing. There’s so much unanswered about the future and slowly, but surely, more information is being constantly revealed about what the world has become in the future. It’s an interesting and compelling story that could possibly be an entire season in its own right. Plus, whenever the flash-forwards become heavily featured in an episode, this usually means that Oliver, Felicity, and William’s lives are going to be thrown for a loop in the present, which is almost always compelling.

Bringing Blackstar into the fold in these past two episodes is an intriguing development for two reasons. First, it presents a villain in way that isn’t a looming threat, but rather someone who feels more like an anti-hero than a downright villain. Plus, that reaction when she discovers who William is presents an interesting twist, but more on that later. Also, it’s nice to see Connor Hawke back in the fold after he was introduced in Legends of Tomorrow several seasons ago.

Reveals galore

First up in the reveals, is why William originally left Oliver and Felicity and why he hadn’t spoken to them in a while. At first, it seemed like a simple fallout, but now, it feels even worse than that. The reveal that William called his grandparents to take him away is a punch right to the gut.

Next up is the double reveal that Oliver’s friend from Slabside is actually a serial killer. When he’s confronted by Dinah, he slits Dinah’s throat. This is a solid reveal as to why Dinah has the throat scar in the future and is effective in the way that it’s pulled off, as  it uses the horror elements of the episode to its advantage. The reveal that Stanley is actually the killer isn’t all that surprising, even if it is effective. It’s just not the bombshell that the episode was thinking it would be. He’s so unsettling though, that it almost balances out the scales.

Third, Curtis decides to take a job in Washington D.C. which essentially writes him out of the show. It’s a surprisingly non-violent way for Arrow to write a character out of the show. It does feel like an inopportune time though because he announces it while Dinah is in surgery.

Arrow season 7, episode 12 review. dark. Next

Last, but not least, in the last seconds of the episode, it’s revealed that Blackstar is actually Mia Smoak, and William’s sister. This makes for an insane development for the flash-forwards, and who knows what it will mean.

Arrow presents a tense episode that contains several big revelations that mesh really well together, at least for the most part.