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REVIEW: Arrow 3×13 “Canaries”

Yay everything is finally happening and it didn’t turn out like complete shit for everyone involved. Over the course of the season there have been many small problems that have begun to fester like open wounds: Thea being out of the loop, Lance not knowing that Sara has been killed, Ollie just forgetting that he was dead for like an entire month. Just little things that annoy me when I think about the overall structure of the season and for us “Canaries” kind of had the duty of tying up loose ends and airing all of that dirty laundry. That is what made this episode work so well, all of those little annoyances have kind of been dealt with and now we are able to focus on the biggest threat facing our heroes, the league itself. There should be no more pussy footing or hiding behind subpar villains it is now Ra’s vs Team Arrow and the last one standing wins. So, let’s dive in.

For what was billed as a big episode for Laurel really turned in to what is easily Thea’s best episode of the entire series as she is finally in the loop. Malcolm kind of forced Oliver’s hand but it was time for Speedy to learn the truth about Oliver and what really happened to him in those five years on the Island. What made all of this material work is that Thea did not blow a fuse or get really angry at her brother, she approached the revelation logically and realized how much Oliver’s secret has weighed on him since he came back. Willa Holland nailed all of the little moments of the episode as she interacted with Oliver way more than she usually does and managed stand up to a very angry Oliver with Roy’s help. Having Oliver still believe he needs to protect his little sister is not all that farfetched as there is still a limit as to how much Oliver will let her see into his world. That is why having Roy be Thea’s safety net in a way work out so well this week. Roy knows better than anyone else on the team just how much pressure Thea can take so for him to call Oliver on his bullshit was perfect. It was moment like this that really elevated the episode.

Speaking of strong character arcs even the erstwhile black sheep of the show Laurel managed to have a surprisingly good story arc thanks in part to the return of Vertigo. Vertigo as a character was not nearly as strong as he was in the premier, but the effects that his drug caused managed to bring about some satisfying narratives. The major issue with Laurel suiting up was that she had no real reason for doing it outside of trying to carry on Sara’s memory, so for Ollie to confront her as this being just another form of addiction for her was a strong first play. To have that then be followed up with the hallucinations of Sara and her father were just the icing on the cake as it forced Laurel to confront all the lies she was telling herself. Being The Canary was nothing more than protecting herself, but know she has something to fight for and she has laid all of her cards on the table. There was a moment where I thought that Laurel would keep lying to her father about Sara but she finally came clean and this will definitely have ramifications for how Lance deals with the team moving forward.

Even the weakest of plot strands managed to have some payoff this week as the DJ Chase returned and tried to kill Thea. This was an important step for two reasons one it allowed Thea to put a face to the threat that was after her family and friends and secondly it showed her that these people could not be reasoned with. This also showed that Ra’s is done fooling around with Merlyn and Oliver as he had Chase try to kill Thea rather than take her hostage to lure Merlyn to him. Malcolm has spent so much time trying to earn Thea’s trust so it was so gratifying to see that all evaporate in a matter of minutes, now we get to see who is more important to Merlyn, Thea or himself.

Overall a fantastic episode.

Final Grade A-

+Laurel coming clean

+Thea learning the truth

+Roy standing up to Oliver

+Chase getting killed

+Back to the Island and Back to Starling

-Vertigo kind of weak this week

Extra Thoughts

-Dagget Pharmaceuticals: Because nothing says evil like the guy who made Clayface.

-Kind of sad Chase bit the dust, he probably would have been a good rival for Roy in fighting

-I got a million dollars that no one checked to see if Slade and Digger are still in their cages.

About the author

Scott Swartz