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When Arrow wrapped its sixth season in May, Oliver Queen was headed to prison at The Slab, which is a metahuman prison. It supposedly got its name from being so impenetrable that the only way prisoners could leave was "on a slab." Of course, there have been myriad speculations that Oliver would figure out a way to escape, and that isn't all of the rumors that have been swirling since the screen faded to black.
Recently, DCComics-News posted on its Instagram account that "Oliver will be in prison for three episodes in Season 7." Stephen Amell, who portrays Oliver Queen, was quick to post a rebuttal on his Twitter page. His response was a simple "false." That quickly led to more speculation. Was the announcement false because Oliver will spend more than three days in prison or less?
Another fan posited this notion that The Slab would be located in Gotham, and the crossover would involve a team-up with Batwoman to break Oliver out of prison so a bigger battle could be fought. Batwoman's arrival in Star City has already been confirmed, so this isn't an entirely out-there speculation. Of course, that would mean leaving Oliver in prison for the first seven episodes of the season.
A poll on Twitter asked fans how many episodes Oliver would spend in prison. Five episodes got the highest mark, with 42 percent out of 105 votes. Any longer than that could make fans a little antsy, as some have already mentioned The Flash's Barry Allen's time spent behind bars.
After being convicted of killing William DaVoe, Barry Allen, Central City's speedster, ended up in prison at the end of episode ten in Season 4. Fans grew frustrated with the direction of the series with the hero behind bars, and The Flash was released three episodes later. Fans and reviewers weren't enamored with Barry's time in a cell. However, Oliver's time could be quite different.
Barry had to conceal his superpowers behind bars, while that isn't a concern of Oliver's. Though he'll be locked down with convicts—he's sent to prison for the past six years—we have no doubt he can take care of himself as past episodes have shown him taking down massive amounts of men when trying to get to a target or to escape. (See Episode 1.21 when Oliver broke his step-father, Walter, out of his holding cell as just one example.)
Keeping Oliver in prison may be a good strategy as it's already been confirmed that Roy Harper (portrayed by Colton Haynes) is returning to the series. With him to help Diggle and Felicity with the street crime, viewers would get to see how Oliver adjusts to not being in control like he has for the past six seasons. In a way, it will be reminiscent of his early time on the island.
In addition, with Diaz still on the loose, we can anticipate some pretty amped-up scenes if the villain tries to come after Felicity and William again. Imagine the frustration and helplessness Oliver will feel to know his wife and son are being targeted, and he can do nothing to help them.
Regardless of the speculations, we won’t know when Oliver will see freedom again until the series returns in October. Most likely, we’ll get some spoilers at #Comic-Con, which starts July 18th in San Diego. There will be an Arrow Special Video Presentation and Q&A, and the panel description already gave us a sneak peek into the route Season 7 will take.
Now, Oliver will come face-to-face with many of the criminals he placed behind bars as he makes a new home for himself at Slabside Maximum Security Prison. Oliver will find himself vulnerable in a way unlike ever before when a mysterious new enemy begins to unravel his work as Green Arrow, challenging him to redeem his name or risk losing everything.
Usually, the next season’s trailer is revealed at the convention as well, and although that won’t give us a definitive timeline, it will at least hold fans over during the long stretch toward the season premiere.