The emotional fallout from the Team Arrow member’s death was expertly handled resulting in one of the series’ best episodes.
Arrow has been at times very rocky this season, but Canary Cry delivered on every front as the team struggled with its grief over losing a dear friend and sister-in-arms, the blood feud with the Darhk family intensified and Black Canary returned?
Team Arrow was shaken trying to find ways to blame themselves for Laurel’s death, but this time the guilt trip felt warranted. Felicity was much stronger this week since she wasn’t trying to crack 50 jokes this week and the emphasis was on her more as an overall character not solely Oliver’s love interest.
The team had to shelve their grief to deal with a Black Canary imposter, Evelyn Sharp (Madison McLaughlin), running around with Laurel’s sonic device to go after HIVE associates. Of note, Evelyn attacked Oliver’s old campaign manager and current Adams’ spokesperson Alex Davis. Black Canary II was the weakest part of the episode as she was more plot device than real threat, but she served her purpose in refocusing the team.
Adams used those attacks to announce a major policy initiative to go after the vigilantes. Had this cops vs. vigilantes not been used as recently as last season this subplot would have been more effective. Thankfully it was more about posturing from Adams and smearing Laurel’s legacy. Oliver countered by revealing at Laurel’s funeral that she wasn’t a hapless victim of the Iron Heights breakout, but was fighting to save the city as The Black Canary.
Paul Blackthorne is never anything less than really strong each week, but he took his performance to new heights this episode. Devastated that his daughter was dead, Lance started approaching the situation more rationally. If Oliver and Sara could return from a supposed death, Sara was resurrected, Ray turned up alive after being presumed dead and Andy was back from the dead, then surely the same could be true for Laurel. When Nyssa revealed she destroyed the Lazarus Pit, Lance figured he’d find some other way to bring Laurel back.
There was no doubt Lance was desperately hoping for a miracle, but he had every reason to believe it was possible. And the moment Lance finally accepted Laurel’s death was just devastating. In my comic book TV show Emmys, Blackthorne would make a strong bid for Best Supporting Actor from that scene alone. At the end of the episode, Laurel’s outfit gets the Jason Todd treatment in the Arrowcave.
Even the flashbacks delivered this week in a sweet glimpse back at Oliver and Laurel coping after Tommy’s death. It tied in nicely with the current events as Oliver was able to speak at Laurel’s funeral where he couldn’t overcome his grief to speak at Tommy’s. And Blackthorne even got a bit more mileage out of the hairpiece he rocked in last week’s Legends of Tomorrow episode. Plus it filled the gap in time from the end of Season 1 to Felicity and Diggle having to get Oliver back from the island to kick off Season 2.
Back to the present after the funeral and Oliver blowing off Barry, who’s regained his speed. Is that a spoiler? Oliver admitted to Felicity in the limo he didn’t know how he could beat Darhk. That’s a welcome switch from Green Arrow blindly repeating the same ineffective strategy against Darhk.
Despite a weaker villain, this was my favorite episode since the stellar Ra’s al Ghul showdown in The Climb. The characters had to work through some immensely personal moments and the performances were tremendous. I’d all but written this season off, but with this final stretch there’s hope for this one yet.