“My husband spent the last six years fighting for the people of this city, risking everything. And now he sits in prison, his life on the line while this monster gets to walk free. This isn’t justice.”

After Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) heroic actions landed him with a knife in his side, it seems that the vigilante spirit may be all but lost at Slabside, as this episode sees Ollie cross over to a dark new place, while Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) teams up with the FBI in order to try and bring Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) and The Longbow Hunters to justice.

Last week saw Oliver take matters into his own hands, when Brick (Vinnie Jones) promised to reveal his link to Diaz in exchange for the removal of one of the guards. This week, Oliver, with a healing knife wound in his side, finds out that Brick isn’t the stand-up guy he claimed to be – to quote Stanley (Brendan Fletcher) “First rule of prison: don’t trust anyone.” It’s hard to believe that with everything that’s happened to him, Oliver is so quick to trust anyone’s word, let alone the word of a man he put in prison.

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However, Brick does explain that it wasn’t him who arrange the hit on Oliver for Diaz, but “The Demon” another inmate, and informant at the prison who knows Diaz and arranged the hit. The issue with this moniker for the mysterious prisoner – “The Demon” is pretty close to what Ra’s al Ghul’s nickname was. Nevertheless, a meeting between the two is arranged by Brick – but surprise! – he tries to have Oliver killed by Turner (Michael Jai White) because he’s outlived his usefulness. Yes, Oliver fell for that twice in one episode. Of course, being the vigilante badass he is, Oliver is able to beat down Brick’s lackies and gain entrance to his secret shady prison fight club, where prisoners and guards stand together and watch two guys beat the crap out each other.

Going into the fight club, Oliver ensures one thing and one thing only – he’s going to get into a fight, and with a fresh injury, he’s playing with fire. With a couple of nice nods to the two’s WWE history, Oliver comes up against Sampson (Cody Runnels) and proves once again that, when it comes to fist fights, Queen is King. Beating his way to Brick, Oliver finds that his trials aren’t over yet – the Demon is on Level 2 of the prison, where the truly dangerous prisoners are. And in a wildly impulsive moment, Oliver does something which might get him closer to the answers that he seeks, but will keep him further from the family he is so desperate to return to.

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Elsewhere, Felicity is breaking all the rules in order to find Diaz. After having pitched a partnership to Samanda Watson (Sydelle Noel) – and having it promptly dismissed – Felicity decides that the best way forward is to bug her office at the FBI and keeping listening for news on the villain and his Longbow Hunter allies.

When Diaz sets his sights on the CDC and a bio-compound that helps protect red blood cells from dangerous diseases like Ebola, and the FBI want nothing to do with it, Watson knows that the only way to possibly bring Diaz in is to work with Felicity, Rene (Rick Gonzalez) and Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) to track him down, without their vigilante gear. The group find him at the CDC, with the Longbow Hunters in tow, but as always, Diaz is far more prepared than anyone had expected, with the Hunter know as “The Silencer” running interference on their hacking technology. The Silencer is the better of the Hunters, if for nothing else than her presence bringing with it the surprisingly effective muffled fight scenes, which bring another dimension to this season’s episodes. To be honest though, we’ve spent so little time with the Hunters that it’s difficult to form an opinion on them other than “they’re the other villains.”

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Events take a darker turn when Felicity leaves Watson to face her boss without results, while she and Rene have the Silencer locked up in a basement, unbeknownst to everyone else. One hunter down, the others return to Diaz’s base of operations, and it seems that the kingpin is ready to take things up a notch. Injecting himself from one of the CDC vials, Diaz develops some ambiguous powers – which may mean that he either no longer feels pain, or is somewhat indestructible. Either way, the walls are no longer safe.

We’re only three episodes into this season and everyone seems to be getting themselves deeper into trouble. With Diaz getting stronger, and Team Arrow outmanned, things are just as dangerous outside Slabside as they are within.

VERDICT:

Despite the drop in the new Green Arrow/William storyline, “Crossing Lines” does well to set high stakes for Season 7, proving that the characters are willing to do whatever they have to in order to find the answers they seek. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Oliver has any chance of getting out of prison soon.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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