“Canary Cry: or The Blame Game”
The following is a synopsis of Arrow, broadcast on April 27th, 2016:
After a brief hiatus, “Arrow” returned in a very somber setting and mood: a funeral. But it’s NOT what you may think after the last episode. Instead of what you’d expect to be Laurel’s funeral, it’s a flashback scene to the death of Tommy Lance, Oliver’s former best friend and Thea’s half-brother through their shared father Malcolm Merlin. Instead of Ollie giving the eulogy as scheduled, it’s Laurel who stands up and delivers the fond remembrances that also lets us know we’re in the past.
The show turns to the present where Captain Lance shows up at the hospital shortly after Laurel has been pronounced dead (recall, in the previous episode he’d been taken in to custody after causing a distraction to help Team Arrow gain access to Iron Heights to confront Damian Darhk). Captain Lance is heartbroken at having to face the death of yet another of his children. Ollie does his best to run interference for the Captain with the hospital staff and takes Laurel’s possessions while comforting Quentin.
In the Arrow Lair, Diggle is having his own moment of conscience crisis as he realizes that because of his faith and trust in his brother Andy, Laurel is dead (Andy was a double agent working for Damian Darhk & H.I.V.E.). Ollie reminds him that self-doubt and recriminations never do any good, and he shouldn’t blame himself.
We next see a street deal for some guns being sold out of the trunk of a car. As the arms dealer is peddling his wares, out of nowhere we hear the sonic scream of Black Canary, see the black-clad figure of a blond waif who can fight. She incapacitates the arms seller and buyers, then makes off with a cache of weapons.
This does not go unnoticed by Team Arrow and Quentin Lance –holding on to his sanity by a thin thread – who thinks this could be Laurel reanimated. Ollie and Lance rush back to the hospital and, unfortunately, Laurel is where we last saw her: in the hospital morgue. Ollie does get a small clue at the new Black Canary’s identity however. The sonic scream device Cisco Ramon (from The Flash team) created – which should ONLY work for Laurel – is missing out of her personal effects. Ollie questions the doctor who treated Laurel (in her Black Canary gear) and now knows Ollie’s (as does everyone apparently) secret identity. The doc lets him know that a female comes in from time to time, pays cash and vanishes – she calls her a “Frequent Flyer”. Although not much, it’s something for Ollie to go on.
Thea deals with the tragedy in her own way by going out for a dinner date with Alex Davis, Ollie’s former campaign manager and now political operative for the new mayor who just so happens to be married to Damian Darhk. As Thea and Alex catch up, out of nowhere, “Faux Canary” shows up and begins to give Alex what-for using Ollie’s famous line “You have failed this city”. Before Faux Canary can do any lasting harm to Alex, thankfully, Thea is there and steps in. As the two femme fatales fight, Speedy gets the upper hand on Faux Canary and takes off her mask and stares into the face of – we have NO idea. A quick sonic scream briefly takes Thea out, and Faux Canary makes her escape.
Meanwhile, still blaming himself, Diggle sets out on a search for his brother Andy who was the architect of Damian getting his powers back and Laurel’s death. So what does John do? Why he attacks the mayor, of course. Diggle ambushes the mayor’s limo on the street, and knocks out her security detail with some darts. The mayor, surprisingly, is unfazed and rather smug facing Diggle in full gear with a gun pointed at her face. Before he can do any damage to her, Ollie shows up and shoots the gun out of his hand allowing the mayor to escape. Once again Ollie has to talk Diggle down off the ledge to let him know he’s not to blame for Laurel’s death.
Having narrowly escaped harm at Diggle’s hands (read with a sarcastic voice), the mayor takes to the airwaves and launches a PR campaign against the masked vigilantes and calls for their immediate arrest.
Captain Lance is still trying to come to grips with the loss of Laurel, who he refers to as his “rock”, and calls in Talia Al Ghul for assistance. Quentin knows that death isn’t always permanent and implores Talia for her help. She has to break the bad news that the Lazarus Pit, which previously resurrected the dead, had been destroyed. Of course, this fact crushes him, and he is still determined to bring his baby girl back.
Again back with Team Arrow, Felicity finds a way to track down Faux Canary – who uses the sonic scream more effectively than Laurel ever did – which leads to a confrontation with the Green Arrow. In their face-to-face, Faux Canary lets Green Arrow know that HE has – say it with me: “Let the city down”. She also drops this little nugget on Ollie: he and the rest of Team Arrow left her and others hostage to H.I.V.E. in the Reddington facility, and she holds him and the mayor responsible. Yet again, Faux Canary is able to escape and evade capture.
In between present day action, we have flashbacks to the time immediately following Tommy’s death, the relationship between Laurel and Oliver, and how close they’d become after his untimely demise. Instead of allowing himself to fall for her again, Ollie ran back to the island.
With the knowledge of Reddington, Felicity is able to determine just who Faux Canary is: a young girl who’s seeking revenge (or justice, depending on how you look at it) because H.I.V.E. killed her family.
In the final showdown, Faux Canary finds out that the mayor is having a function at a hotel and shows up, quickly dispatching the security team. In a room full of people, Faux Canary is about to aerate the mayor’s noggin using some of the purloined guns she got earlier in the episode. Ollie shows up in the nick of time and actually uses his words instead of his fists to prevent her from turning the ballroom into a Jackson Pollack painting with the mayor’s brains as the paint. Faux Canary allows everyone to leave, as more armed security rushes in. Instead of going after the person who almost blew the mayor’s head off, she instructs them to arrest the Green Arrow. He makes his escape on a zipline, and Faux Canary slinks away and into the shadows.
The show ends, just as it opens, in a cemetery. This time it is Laurel’s funeral and Ollie gives a heartfelt speech about Laurel, what she meant to the city and him. In addition, he exposes Laurel’s secret that she was, in fact, the real Black Canary. In the limo after the funeral, Ollie and Felicity both come to the realization that Damian has gots ta go! As in die. Ollie thought he was beyond that, but as Al Pacino said in Godfather III: “Just when I think I’m out – they pull me back in!”.
Will Ollie be able to finally – and permanently – defeat Damian Darhk? Well, you’ll have to tune in next Wednesday night to Atlanta’s CW at 8 to find out. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, @ATLBlerd, to live-tweet the show!