Episode Title: Canary Cry
Original Airdate: 4-27-16
This week’s episode was probably the first I’ve been eagerly anticipating in a very long time. Thanks to a very emotional fallout as Team Arrow struggled to cope with the loss of one of its members, I wasn’t disappointed.
In a well done twist at the beginning the opening funeral scene was not for Laurel, but for Tommy. The show has done non-island/action Oliver flashbacks only a handful of times, but they typically are very strong. This was no exception as we saw how Oliver and Laurel coped with the death of their dear friend. Oliver blamed himself for Tommy’s death and since he hadn’t confided his secret identity with Laurel, he fled to Lien Yu to collect his thoughts and refocus his mission. That was one of the bigger story gaps that hadn’t been answered as Season 2 started with Oliver back on the island so it was good to learn what drove him there.
Oliver was managing a little better in the present. While he was still going through a decent bout of second guessing, he also had to be there emotionally for Diggle, Felicity, Thea and Quentin in a way he hadn’t before.
This led to some tremendously strong performances across the board. Paul Blackthrone and David Ramsey were the standouts. I was glad the writers had Lance question the finality of Laurel’s death. So many times his girls have already cheated death and in one case was resurrected. It made sense he couldn’t or wouldn’t believe. Nyssa’s cameo explaining the end of the get out of dead free card end of the Lazarus Pit meant dead really means dead now on Arrow. It’s probably cruel for the poor guy to endure, but I’d really like to see how Lance would react to the Earth-2 version of Laurel if she came to Earth-1 and set up shop in Star City.
Diggle also had some strong sequences. He was angry about Andy’s betrayal and beating himself up for not listening to Oliver’s warning. Diggle took action and threatened Damien Darhk’s wife, the new mayor of Star City Ruve Adams. Even when Neal McDonough isn’t available, the Darhk subplot isn’t abandoned and Ruve has become sinister in her own right as she manipulated the press and resumed the citywide law against the vigilantes. This certainly made sense here, but I wish it wasn’t so soon after a previous police hunting down vigilante subplot.
The only downside to the episode was the weaker villain – a young girl who managed to steal Laurel’s sonic cry device and was running around as Black Canary. Why the girl would choose to imitate Canary was odd since she didn’t seem to be doing it in tribute of the hero she saw died while at the hospital. It was a little easier to buy Team Arrow not being at the top of their game in stopping her since they were still grieving. Oliver managed to convince her not to shoot Ruve so as not to damage Black Canary’s legacy.
To ensure the truth would be told, Oliver spoke at Laurel’s funeral and revealed Laurel was actually Black Canary. This episode was set at some point in the future from The Flash as Barry zoomed in late apologizing for missing the funeral. Given his significant help with her powers, in hindsight it was surprising Cisco didn’t join Barry. Oliver admitted to Felicity he had no idea how to stop Darhk. This is a great rock bottom level for Team Arrow as there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to beat him. Maybe it’s time to give Vixen another call?