Tonight's episode of Arrow saw some major changes for Oliver Queen -- and that includes some significant deaths.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Arrow, "The Slabside Redemption," below.
What was supposed to be a happy day for Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) as he was set to be released from Slabside Maximum Security Prison after Laurel (Katie Cassidy) struck a deal for Oliver's freedom in exchange for Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) quickly turned to a nightmare. Diaz essentially stormed the prison bent on taking out Oliver himself.
Of course, Diaz isn't the only person out to get Oliver. Oliver's fellow prisoners Derek Sampson (Cody Rhodes) and Danny Brickwell/Brick (Vinnie Jones) also want a piece of the former Green Arrow but that doesn't go so well. During a confrontation between the two former Star City villains and Oliver along with his unlikely ally Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White), Sampson's femoral artery is punctured with a shiv leaving him with only a few minutes before he bleeds out. While he's able to find rudimentary medical attention in the prison cafeteria, the injury probably didn't help him in his next confrontation.
While Oliver attempts to square off with Diaz, Sampson ends up facing off with Turner again. This time, though, Turner throws him off a balcony just as Diaz sets a massive electrical fire in the prison. While the wounded Sampson might have survived the fall on its own, he fell into the fire and promptly burned to death right before Oliver's eyes.
Sampson's death marks the end of Rhodes' appearance on Arrow, something that he had teased earlier this year when talking about Amell's wrestling for the All In pay-per-view event back in August.
"Well, Stephen got it in his blood," Rhodes explained. "The first time he came back, we were in Barkley Center when he did the match with Stardust. When he came to the curtain, he got a standing ovation. He got in his blood, man. It doesn't matter what age you are, if you're a millionaire already, the feeling of pro wrestling for an entertainer, for a show person, there's nothing like it. And he wanted a singles match immediately after that. Immediately."
"Arrow marches on, and we didn't necessarily get there with Stardust," Rhodes continued. "But when we talked about this event, I obviously thought what a wonderful moment that would be, and at the same time, I was heading back to Arrow for five episodes now."
And it's not just Sampson who dies in "The Slabside Redemption". Brick may have managed to not be killed by Oliver or Turner, or even Diaz, but death still came for the former mobster. With all of the chaos going on, Brick heads to the prison's morgue to attempt to escape that way. He's found there by Stanley Dover (Brendan Fletcher) who fatally stabs in him the side, noting that maybe one does have to be dead to leave through the morgue and that maybe Brick shouldn't have been so mean to him before Stanley himself escapes.
Stanley's escape -- and murder of Brick -- could have lingering implications for Arrow. We've previously theorized that Stanley was Arrow's take on Stanley Dover from Kevin Smith's "Quiver", a young man with a special bond with a demon monster called Spot, something that Brick calling Stanley "Dover" appears to confirm. While there's not exactly a Spot running around, there's certainly a darkness inside of Stanley that was clearly on display in tonight's episode. Now that he's escaped, and considering his fixation on Green Arrow, Oliver's prison "sidekick" might end up being a thorn in his side now that they're both out from behind bars.
What did you think about tonight's episode? Let us know in the comments.
Arrow airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.