Arrow “Canary Cry” Episode Review

If you no likey spoilers, no go here.

That episode was hard to watch. So much raw emotion. Grief, anger, guilt, self-loathing .Ugh. Arrow is always the darkest of the CW slate of shows, and for the first couple seasons it had no competition. Now it is generally a neck and neck race between Arrow and Gotham. There was no new episode of Gotham this week, so the gut-wrenching episode of the week goes to “Canary Cry”.

We waited three weeks to see the aftermath of Laurel Lance’s death at the hands of Damien Darhk. A death which, by the way, caught me completely off guard. I could have seen anyone else other than Oliver, his name being on the show and all. Anybody, other than Laurel. Well played Marc Guggenheim and crew. Nothing like a gut punch to shake up the last five episodes of the season.

arrow friends laurels funeral

Why was Laurel not on my radar? Well, the Black Canary is a HUGE part of the DC Comics universe. Certainly that is no guarantee of survival in TV or film. But, come on. The second reason, was that Laurel got through her shit already. She had some strong personal story arcs in past seasons, and she came through it. It was her time to shine. I’m a schmaltz like that.

Secondly, I swear to you…hand to the heavens….. that when CW first teased the unknown grave thing, I saw one teaser that had Ollie standing there and Barry walked up and said “I’m sorry. HE WAS A GOOD MAN”, to which Oliver responded “YES, HE WAS”, before then announcing he would kill Darhk.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

As I said in the beginning, the episode was just plain hard to watch. I’m pretty sure I winced from time to time as the story jumped from one morose scene to the next. The flashbacks to Laurel were cringe worthy, as we saw her as she was. Paul Blackthorn’s grieving father scenes were shocking. His desperation to bring her back, like Sara before her. He even asks Nyssa al Ghul to Lazurus Pit Laurel. (I was sort of hoping for a Sara visit, although I understand that even good cell service doesn’t reach into the future or past or wherever the Legends team is right now.)

The other great decision by the showrunners was that the episode was a very small cast, We saw only the people who were directly effected by Canary’s death, with a very few exceptions. We didn’t see Darhk gloating, or Curtis fanboying around the Arrow shack. We didn’t see Lyla, or Felicity’s mom, or anyone. Even Barry was only in the very smallest of scenes with only Oliver. He even says “Sorry I didn’t make the funeral.” No Cisco, or Caitlin or Iris. Just Barry. Small cast, so we could hone in our their raw emotions. Great decision there.

The saddest part for me in the “moving forward from here” category is that a real darkness has descended on Team Arrow. Like Season 1 killer vigilante darkness. Diggle blames himself and will now hunt his own brother with a vengeance, even if he has to go through the Mayor. Even Felicity is filled with anger and desire to see Darhk dead. There is coldness, darkness, despair.

arrow johnandmayor

The episode centered around a young lady who adopted the persona of the Black Canary after Laurel was dead. Frankly, I hardly even saw that episode going on in the background. It was like having the TV on at a home gathering for a funeral. It was just noise. It gave Oliver a chance to make a cheesy, but inspirational monologue that, of course, stops the youngster from killing the Mayor. He probably shouldn’t have. She probably deserves a dose of 9mm. It does, of course, give Mayor Adams what she needs to declare war on Team Arrow.

So, as we enter the last four episodes, we are at rock bottom, and there is A LOT of freaking loose ends to tie up. Will Felicity and Oliver be together again? I’m guessing no. One of the few threads that has woven through all 4 seasons of Arrow is that Oliver Queen cannot have nice things. Period. Will Felicity rejoin Team Arrow? I’m guessing yes. In her self-blame she knows she needs to be there. Will Diggle kill his brother? That’s an affirmative. I do believe so. I believe Andy will give him no choice. Will Quentin go to jail for his corruption in his dealings with Darhk? I think not. I think the case will be made that he was under duress. Who, if anyone, will fill Black Canary’s spot on Team Arrow. I do believe that this will happen. A three person team seems a little unlikely. Could Roy Harper come back? Could it be Vixen? Or could it be someone new altogether? (We might be  on the verge of an extra speedster or two in Central City) I think they have to fill the slot, maybe not until next season, but I have no idea with who.

I’d love to call it good TV, but frankly, I watched it for the same reason I go to a wake. I had to. It was well produced, but I could have done without the sadness for the evening.

Final Score – 8/10

+ Great acting. They all nailed the rawness, and the pain.
+ Flashbacks of Laurel were nice. I always liked her.
+ It really ratcheted up the intensity for the last four episodes

– Black Canary wannabe story line was a little forced.
– Dude, you killed off one of the most iconic DC female heroes. Couldn’t have offed her pops, who arguably deserved it more?
– Arrow the show descends back into Season 1 darkness.

What’d you think? Was Laurel the best character to die in this season? Leave me a comment below. C’mon. Do it right now. Noone ever leaves comments. Do I suck at this? 

Like this? Here’s more.

The Flash  “Back To Normal” Episode Review.
Supergirl – the Best Superhero TV Show?

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