Arrow: Canaries Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

“Uprising” saw Team Arrow welcome back their leader, Oliver Queen, the Arrow. A month after his supposed death, “Canaries” focused on the new team dynamic and another surprising reveal.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

There were a lot of different things going on in this particular episode and they mostly focused on the few women remaining on the series. Much like The Flash’s “Nuclear Man,” the hour was crammed with a whole bunch of different plot lines. However, unlike The Flash all the different storylines were equally interesting.

One that was particularly well done was Laurel’s Vertigo induced revelation to be her own woman. This plot line and character development were some of the best work the series has done with this character. For the longest time it felt like the series was spinning its wheels and didn’t know what to do with her. “Canaries” finally felt like Arrow figured out how to use Laurel in an interesting way. Really, the focus of the episode should have been on her, but between all of the different storylines playing out it got lost in the shuffle. It’s a shame. Caity Lotz and Paul Blackthorne were exceptional in their appearances in Laurel’s Vertigo induced hallucinations.

A major part of Laurel’s arc in “Canaries” was her realization that she needed to tell her dad about her sister’s death. The scene started off lighthearted with him telling her that he knew it was her running around fighting crime, which he was surprisingly okay with, but then it took a bleak turn. It was truly saddening to watch Papa Lance have his heart broken for a second time.

In my “Uprising” review I quickly mentioned how I thought it was suspicious that Thea didn’t catch on that Oliver was the Arrow. Oliver’s reappearance coincided perfectly with the Arrow’s return. Instead of Thea figuring it out for herself, Oliver decided to drop a huge truth bomb on his little sister, in the first act no less. I found the placement of the reveal curious as it felt like it should’ve been something to end an episode on, but in hindsight it worked quite well.

It’s hilarious that Malcolm, who pushed Oliver into telling his sister about his nightly activities, was the one who bared the brunt of Thea’s anger. Instead Oliver got a surprisingly grateful and positive reaction from her. The last lone person to not know Oliver’s secret identity is Captain Lance. Although, deep down I’m pretty sure he knows.

The new Team Arrow dynamic is really fun to watch. Oliver didn’t realize the toll his “death” took on the team. With them there to carry the weight of the team they forged their own bond and way of doing things. Oliver had a hard time adjusting to this. Roy standing up to Oliver was an intense confrontation that needed to happen. (Really though, it was Diggle who talked some sense into Oliver. Always listen to Daddy Diggle.) Oliver’s no longer the dictator, and he needed to be aware of this. Now it felt like a real collaborative team environment with him as their captain.

The flashback ending of the episode sets up for a pretty good episode. Watching Oliver run around in Starling City without his friends or family knowing should cultivate appearances from dead people (Tommy and Moira) and some fun Easter eggs.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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