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Arrow - Canary Cry - Review

Arrow “Canary Cry” was written by the team of Wendy Mericle and Beth Schwartz and was directed by Laura Belsey. The episode is an homage to Laurel (Katie Cassidy), so we get at least one more episode featuring Cassidy. They certainly seem to be driving it home that Laurel is dead and she’s not coming back. And I still think the show is squandering more storyline than it’s creating. The title works nicely on two levels, however – as an indication of the grief over the death and because the central plot revolves around Evelyn Sharp (Madison McLaughlin) stealing the Canary cry and impersonating the Black Canary.

The episode is nicely structured in that it begins and ends with a funeral. We actually begin with a flashback to Tommy’s funeral – and yes, I still miss Colin Donnell too! In fact, the flashbacks in this episode are all about Laurel – and fill in what happened between Tommy’s death and Oliver leaving town. Laurel has to get up and speak because Oliver (Stephen Amell) who is supposed to speak just can’t do it because he’s consumed with guilt over Tommy’s death. He is watching from the trees, however, as Laurel says how much they both loved Tommy.

Oliver does speak at Laurel’s funeral. He speaks to how much he loved her and that she became a lawyer to help people, but that wasn’t enough for her. He then – somewhat shockingly – reveals that she was the Black Canary. Oliver continues that she was a hero in every way and that she would want then to live up to her example and save their city. As Oliver talks, Evelyn is watching from the woods.

In the other flashbacks, we see Oliver and Laurel grow closer and start to heal together. A week after Tommy’s funeral, the two look at pictures and reminisce. Laurel says that they can still make the city a better place, and they can do it together. The two share a kiss, and Laurel tells Oliver that she’s really excited about the future.

However, Oliver is still consumed with guilt over Tommy, and he abandons Laurel. Laurel finds a note under her door – along with the picture of her that Oliver carried with him and that she returned in the last episode. In the letter, he tells her that she’s the hero, but for now, he has to spend some time alone. Is it significant that she gave that picture back before she died? Has she gone off to spend some time alone – or is it just that she’s alone in death? Regardless, it’s easy to see how Laurel started the slide towards addiction after having been abandoned at such a vulnerable time. I wouldn’t say it totally restores Laurel’s memory, but it helps.

In the present, Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) is understandably struggling. I know that I was expecting him to end up on a bender – and it would have been nice to see the team taking some extra steps to look after him and support him. Quentin comes to the team when there’s been a Black Canary sighting reported in the paper. However, Oliver discovers that the sonic scream is missing from the personal effects the hospital returned. However, Cisco keyed the device to Laurel’s vocal chords, so no one else should be able to use it. Later they discover that the frequency has been adjusted so that Oliver’s ear plugs no longer work. However, we never get an explanation as to how Evelyn could have done that!

Oliver goes to the hospital to verify that Laurel’s body is there. Dr Schwartz (Venus Terzo) shows him the body, and Oliver thanks her for her discretion in not revealing their secret identities. Schwartz assures him it’s doctor/patient privilege. Oliver tells her that someone took the sonic scream – at least 12 people saw her. Schwartz muses it could have been the “frequent flyer” to the ER, but she can’t reveal who that is because of the same doctor/patient privilege.

Meanwhile, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is back with the team. Diggle (David Ramsey) tells her all about Andy, and tells her that he feels responsible for Laurel’s death. Felicity doesn’t jump in to tell him it’s not his fault. She’s then consumed with guilt for not absolving Diggle because for a moment she didn’t have to feel guilty for her own failure to save Laurel because she’d walked away from the team and wasn’t in the lair offering support.

Thea (Willa Holland) is out with Alex (Parker Young) when he’s attacked by the imposter Black Canary. She’s going after those she feels are responsible for her parents’ deaths. And she was one of the “volunteers” left behind at Reddington. She was already a 16 year old “bad ass in the making” and Oliver agrees that he did fail her family and the city. Did anyone else wonder, however, how Alex ended up working for Ruve (Janet Kidder) when he was supposed to be getting a job at Palmer? Did I miss something?

Diggle, meanwhile, is really struggling with his guilt. Ramsey gives a terrific performance throughout this episode. Diggle goes after Ruve and even pistol whips her before Oliver can stop him from actually killing her. I have to admit it was nice to see the smug smile wiped off her face even if it didn’t last! Kidder is doing a great job creating this villain. Oliver reminds Diggle of who he is and cautions him that they can never turn into the people they are fighting.

Ruve, however, issues an arrest warrant for the vigilantes and the Black Canary is at the head of the list. They’ve already covered up Laurel’s death at Iron Heights, saying she was there in her capacity as ADA.

All of this leads to a showdown at a public event. Ruve refuses to go to safety because she want the Vigilante Task Force to publicly take down the Black Canary. Diggle half wants Evelyn to kill Ruve but Felicity points out that that would be killing Laurel’s legacy. Of course, Oliver has already pointed out that as Mayor, Ruve controls the media and police and can spin the “vigilantes” any way she wants. Regardless, Oliver gets Evelyn to stand down by asking her what she thinks the Black Canary would do.

Afterwards, Diggle says he thinks that Laurel would have liked that she inspired someone, but Thea thinks that Evelyn has ruined Laurel’s memory. And this is when Oliver decides not to let that happen by speaking at her funeral and revealing Laurel’s secret. I thought it was a terrific surprise to finally see the tomb stone – as we once again revisit that scene – and see Oliver remove the flowers to reveal that Laurel’s first name is actually Dinah – as in the comics – and that The Black Canary is on the stone too.

Throughout the episode, Quentin struggles against acceptance. He contacts Nyssa (Katrina Law) to try to get her to take Laurel to the Lazarus Pit. This was a nice cameo by Law and a nice nod to the friendship that had developed between Laurel and Nyssa, so I was glad to see this come back. Nyssa breaks it to Quentin that the Pit is no more. She also calls Oliver to check on him and warns him that Quentin might do something desperate – there’s that care I was looking for!

Oliver stops Quentin from going after the League for help. This was a beautifully acted and heartwrenching scene from Blackthorne. He tells Oliver that he can’t understand because he hasn’t lost a child – Oliver may have given his up, but he’s not dead after all. Quentin laments that Laurel was always his rock and worries that he just can’t get through this grief without her.

Quentin seems to have finally accepted Laurel’s death at the funeral when he tells Dinah (Alex Kingston) that she’s not coming back. Dinah still seems to hold out hope because their daughters always come back to them. I have to say I thought it a real misstep that Donna (Charlotte Ross) wasn’t at the funeral – did I miss her? She might not have gone with Quentin, but not to go at all seems very strange.

In the final scene, we revisit the scene in the limo with Felicity and Oliver. She tells him to kill the son of a bitch – we’re all with you there Felicity! But Oliver admits that he doesn’t know how. Oliver tells her that it’s not just the magic, it’s darkness and Darhk feels unstoppable. And now I feel like Darhk’s name is just a little too on the nose. Felicity tells Oliver that she knows he’ll find a way to take down Darhk because Oliver always does.

I appreciated that they did a tribute episode to the Black Canary, but I won’t say this was the best episode ever. I’m getting a bit tired of the entire Darhk arc to be honest. Shouldn’t they just call Vixen again? After all, she did stop him the last time. And maybe try completely destroying the idol this time? What did you think of the episode? Did it help you come to terms with the loss of Laurel? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.
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