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REVIEW: Arrow 4×19 “Canary Cry”

Well, what do you know, that actually wasn’t an entirely atrocious experience and managed to turn out pretty well. At least for the moment that is because hey its Arrow and my god has this show been more inconsistent than Gotham the past two years in terms of quality. So, “Canary Cry” an episode entirely built around a character the writers seemingly didn’t care about until they killed her off and yet it managed to be one of the more successful episodes of the season. Sure we had Evelyn basically shitting all over the memory of Laurel being the Canary and somehow being a more competent fight that her at point, but golly gee all of the emotional material in this episode managed to fit quite well. I mean everything involving Paul Blackthorn and David Ramsey was so damn good and yet everything around them was underwhelming and missing the point of everything that happened to transpire.

I am going to get my major gripe out of the way because as I said most of the episode was adequate enough. There was absolutely no need for the fake Canary storyline as it managed to add absolutely nothing to the overall story. I mean you could have had everything that happened involving Ruve take place without giving us a shitty Canary storyline. Rude could have blamed the vigilantes for being unable to stop the prison break and in turn causing Laurel’s death. Oliver could have still given the great eulogy at Laurel’s funeral and no one would have batted an eye. Quentin could have still gone on his crusade to try to resurrect Laurel without the fake Canary impetus. All of this could have been easily accomplished by focusing entirely on our characters and not having any action transpire tonight. Yet, for some reason we are forced to deal with a supposed desecration of the memory of Black Canary. This entire storyline would hit better if Black Canary was actually made out to be as important as the writers thought they made her. I mean in all of the big moments this season it never really felt like Laurel was the hero, hell even Thea has gotten some big moments facing off against Darhk.

Luckily for this episode all of the actors brought their A game in terms of performance. I mean god damn can Paul Blackthorn make a man weep or what. Watching Quentin go through the stages of denial in the wake of Laurel’s death is super understandable, I mean he has watched his daughters come back from the dead multiple times. Seeing all the lengths he is willing to go to in order to make sure that no stone is unturned is absolutely heartbreaking. I mean even in the super awkward scene with Nyssa, Lance’s pain and hope are palpable which makes the heartbreak hurt all the more. This is especially evident in the big scene between Lance and Oliver where both Stephen Amell and Blackthorn are at the top of their games. Watching Lance finally break as he realizes Laurel is truly gone and never coming back shows that he should be given way more material like this. It is just where his character manages to excel.

Similarly, David Ramsey was majorly on point tonight with Diggle’s turmoil and rage as he aims to get revenge on the people who killed Laurel. I mean sure he got blinded by his desire to be a whole family again, in the long run he manages to learn that the team will back him up as long as he doesn’t mange to cross the line. Case in point, Diggle almost murdering Ruve who despite being a completely unlikable and smug bitch, does not truly deserve to be shot in the face yet. Oliver is right, them killing the mayor would only mange to exacerbate things for the team and would force everyone into an awkward and dangerous situation. However, to see exactly how much Diggle blames himself and how much pain he has caused the team makes me hope he will evolve similarly to how Oliver did between seasons one and two and re-certify his trust in the team and the cause. Hell, I can live with Diggle on a rampage for a few weeks, should be fun.

The most surprisingly successful aspect of tonight episode just so happened to be the flashbacks which took us to a fun time and place in the shows history. I had always assumed Oliver just up and left after season one ended but it was exciting to actually see all of the fallout that occurred following Tommy’s demise. We rarely hear about him, despite Tommy being an integral character during the shows first season, and it was astounding to see the varying effects his death had on Laurel and Oliver. Seeing Ollie as such a broken shell of a man and having Laurel be his moral compass was something we were never really afforded over the course of the show. I mean we knew these characters had a strong history together and I feel as if these flashbacks were the first real time we actually got to see that in a substantive way. I truly hope this isn’t the last we see of Laurel because tonight presented some of her best material all series.

Overall it didn’t suck, and boy that gives me the tiniest amount of hope that we won’t suck the rest of the way.

Final Grade B

+Excellent performances all around

+Flashbacks were useful

+Diggle and Ruve

+Lance and Oliver’s chat

-The fake Canary plot line was absolutely useless

Extra Thoughts

-You know continuity errors like Barry having his speed really show that the CW forgot how to schedule their shows. It’s really sad.

-So the fake Canary managed to hack Cisco’s tech. Cisco is going to be pissed at this fact.

-Is it weird that Ruve is more evil than Damian? I think it is super weird.

About the author

Scott Swartz