Previously on ARROW

The threads from earlier this season, when Oliver was still an inmate at Slabside Penitentiary, come home to roost this episode. Stanley Dover, Oliver’s tag-along sidekick, makes his way to Star City and starts to threaten the rest of Team Arrow.

The psychotic little man wants to replace all of Oliver’s teammates so he can be the Green Arrow’s partner. That means finding a way to take out members of the Star City Police who also happen to be vigilantes. But Stanley Dover is a talented killer, and he manages to sneak up on Dinah and slit her throat before he turns his attention to Oliver and Felicity.

Thankfully, Curtis has an experimental technique that he developed that kept Dinah alive until the doctors could save her life.

The Queen family are having problems of their own. William is back from his boarding school – from which he was kicked out – with a chip on his shoulder. The kid is annoyed with his father for making some pretty dangerous decisions without considering how it would affect the rest of his family. He’s so annoyed, that he calls his mother’s parents to come get him so he could go live with them.

While the family is trying to have dinner – Oliver’s famous chili! – Stanley pumps some chemicals into the apartment and causes Oliver, Felicity and William to be paralyzed, giving Stanley a chance to monologue a bit. That gives his targets the time to work through the paralysis to take Stanley down.

Stanley Dover is such a great villain and Brendan Fletcher plays him perfectly. As Team Arrow hunted down the Star City Slayer, the episode managed to achieve a level of tension that I wasn’t sure the show was capable of reaching.

The character is also such a great, obscure pull. Originally created in the 1960s as a comedic character with a monster for a companion and pet, Stanley Dover mad a dark character turn when Kevin Smith took over the Green Arrow comic book in 2001. Under Smith’s pen, Stanley Dover became a creepy old man searching for immortality. Bringing him into the ARROWVERSE makes for a refreshing change from the gang members and secret societies that Oliver usually has to deal with.

And then we have the flash-forward mystery, as the future team of William, Dinah, Roy and Zoey go back to the Arrowcave in their search for Felicity, where they encounter Mia, also known as Blackstar, and her partner Connor Hawke, who trap the team as both sides try to figure out what the other is doing. The flash forwards are full of surprises, as Dinah figures out that Connor is Diggle’s son, Mia tells William she’s his sister and that Felicity is till alive.

I’m still trying to figure out where these flash-forwards are going – and I have no idea where the season is going in the current timeline – but everything has been so good so far. I’m really disappointed I’m going to have to wait until March 4 for the next episode.