ARROW “LOST CANARY” REVIEW
BY JUSTIN CARTER
Before our spring break, Arrow featuered a pair of episodes devoted to fleshing out both the mythology of the larger world in which it resides, and the characters within it. It’s only fitting, then, that the installment that kicks off this final run of episodes for the season be a one-off character piece that ends up being surprisingly devoted to the Black Canary and examining what the character means in the context of the Arrowverse and possibly her real life impact.
Katie Cassidy has rather quietly been one of the more interesting character actors in the Arrowverse following her return as Black Siren. Even when her characterization has been all over the players, she’s maintained a consistency of Earth-2 Laurel regardless, just by embracing the full camp that comes with playing an evil, leather wearing doppelganger version of your former self.
With her heel turn, though, I was worried that the show was deciding to regress on development with Felicity over the past season. And to its credit, “Lost Canary” does indeed address how no one but Felicity has really had her back over the last year. The show is fair in being sympathetic to her and allows her to be hurt while also not letting her off the hook for being a criminal and a killer before she decided to steal a dead woman’s identity. And with Dinah clearly not on Laurel’s side, there’s really only one other woman on hand to help Laurel come back to the light: Sara Lance.
It’s rare that Arrow manages to get Caity Lotz on hand outside of the context of crossovers — and given that Legends wasn’t in this year’s crossover, it’s been a considerable time. But when she shows up outside of a glorified cameo, it matters, and her presence is welcome here. The time away on Legends has done her development good, and the growth she’s had on that show is neatly reflected here. Yes, it’s cheesy to have the Lance women talk in front of their dead father’s grave, but the two women have a good sisterly dynamic and Lotz has become engaging as a dramatic actor.
After watching the episode twice, I think I came to accept the show’s decision to send Laurel back to Earth-2 and redeem herself as the new Black Canary with Sara and Dinah’s forgiveness. Killing her off would’ve just undermined the episode’s message about women supporting one another, which is safe to say holds the entire thing together. Black Canary means a lot to women in real life, and even though “Lost Canary” doesn’t entirely make up for how the show’s handled her in the past, it’s safe to say that it does a good job of closing the book on the Black Canary while giving fans a glimpse of how they’ve wanted her for years: just happy and a hero.
On rewatch, it occurred to me that a reason why Mia wasn’t a fan of the Canaries is because she more than likely didn’t have a support system of women in her life other than her mom and Nyssa, however briefly. If true, it’s some nice subtle storytelling.
You could cut Oliver and Diggle’s scenes from the episode and not miss much; they fight one of the Longbow Hunters and subsequently disappear until the end of the episode. (Similarly, the men of SC 2040 are all nowhere to be seen, just mentioned offhandedly.)
“We were like Charlie’s Angels, without the poofy hair and casual sexism.”
Boy, did I miss the return of the salmon ladder, and of course Caity Lotz would be the one to bring it back.
During the spring break, it came out that Emily Bett Rickards wouldn’t be around for the final season, which is…certainly surprising. How many regulars can this show lose as it hits the finish line?
According to an interview, Katie Cassidy will be back for the rest of the season, returning to Earth-2 is just an eventuality once things are wrapped up.