Following the news of Emily Bett Rickards’ departure after this season, I was wondering what it would be like to watch Arrow for the first time since hearing that news. Knowing that there are just five episodes left with one of my favorite television characters ever.
And it was bittersweet to say the least.
While Felicity’s first appearance in the lackluster, “Lost Canary” hit me with some expected and some not-expected emotions, the episode as a whole was a reminder why Arrow needs to come to an end. I just wish she’d stick it out through the final 10-episode season.
I understood what Arrow was aiming for with “Lost Canary,” which was a female-centric, Birds-of-Prey-esque hour that preached girl power. They even went so far as to bring back the original Black Canary, Sara Lance, to make me even more emotional than I already was.
While there were parts of this episode that I enjoyed — the effort that went into actually putting together a female-centric hour, the Felicity-Sara reunion, the Olicity domesticity and Lance sister (kinda) bonding — it lacked the emotional punch I was looking for.
The Fascination With Canaries
I will never, for the life of me, understand this show’s obsession with Canaries. I understand Sara Lance, the original Canary. I even get Laurel Lance, the comic Black Canary. But it’s like Arrow has no idea what it wants to do with Canaries at times that it just continuously moves on to a new one like a clean slate. As if Black Canary isn’t a complete badass and a character worthy of a great storyline. Because she is.
Nope, two Canaries weren’t enough. Then this show had to go out and force another Canary on us in Dinah Drake. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there. Then there was Laurel of Earth-2, who was technically Black Siren but still counts as a Canary. Oh, then there was this whole “Canaries” group that Dinah starts in the future. Because everyone can be a Canary, apparently.
It’s like this show never learns. Can you please pick a character you’d like to be Black Canary and stick with her? Except Dinah, not Dinah. Mostly because I’m just over her character.
I miss the days of Sara’s Canary. Things were simpler then. I even miss the days of Laurel’s Black Canary in season. There was stability. It didn’t seem like this show was on a Canary high that it didn’t know how to control. But now, there are just hundreds of girls walking around in future Star City calling themselves Canaries. Kind of takes the meaning out of the word, doesn’t it?
Felicity and Sara Bring the Nostalgia
As if the announcement of Emily Bett’s departure wasn’t enough to start making me feel nostalgic for the days of Arrow’s glory. Lost in the forced female friendships that these Arrowverse shows try to do are the true friendships that have formed but been ignored. Typically because the characters with actual friendships exist on other shows. Felicity and Iris. Felicity and Caitlin. Felicity and Sara.
Sara’s cameo in this episode was a reminder of when Arrowverse shows would do these small crossovers, and they made sense. Just like Sara’s cameo made sense tonight. But when you have so many amazing characters with connections to shows and other characters, why waste it? Allow these characters to interact on occasion.
But it was more than that. From the moment Felicity walked into the Arrow Cave and saw Sara, I was instantly transported back to season 2 when they first met. While I wasn’t such a big Sara fan at first, watching Felicity and Sara’s friendship develop was really beautiful. Because at the time, there weren’t a lot of female friendships that we got to see.
Not to mention, all of the cuteness came flooding back. All the times Felicity was her adorable self and Sara couldn’t hide how much she was smitten. We got a callback to those moments and some adorable flirting between old friends. It was nice.
Domestic Olicity for the Win!
I just want to remind everyone that Oliver actually said the words “precious cargo” when referring to his and Felicity’s unborn child. Just so everyone is clear. Because I’m still not over the cuteness that was that moment and the last scene that highlighted the beauty that is Olicity.
After a long day of saving the world, Oliver and Felicity did what any normal person would do, which is collapse on the couch from exhaustion. Only, aside from any normal person, Olicity manages to make it look hot as hell. Just saying, I wish I looked that good stumbling home from a long day’s work collapsing on my bed.
With now four episodes with Felicity remaining, I’m hoping that we get to see more of these wonderful domestic scenes, as well as some flash forwards showing us what a bright future holds. Because we’d better get a bright future. I’m just saying.
Redemption for Laurel?
I can tell that Arrow knows just how badly they effed up with the real Laurel Lance during this show’s run, because the effort that they’re putting in to try and redeem Laurel from Earth-2 was noticeable. This season, I’ve appreciated that they weren’t just going to pretend that Laurel hadn’t done horrific things, like trying to kill the characters we love (and don’t love.) It wasn’t easy, but there was also a concerted effort on Laurel’s part to try and be better.
This has been a redemption story in-the-making since the beginning of the season. And the show managed to accomplish the impossible: Make it somewhat bearable. There were parts of this episode involving Laurel’s redemption that I liked and then some that had me going, “Ah, same old Arrow.”
I appreciate how Arrow has stuck to its guns when it comes to redemption on its show. The fact that our hero was a killer at one point and was able to come back from the edge — because he wanted to — was a nice reminder that everyone is capable of redemption…if they want it.
And so often this season, we’ve seen Laurel work to be a better person than she had been. Sure, she had some days that were better than others, but she was actively trying to be the kind of person she — or her family — could be proud of. All she needed was a support system.
But how quickly Laurel was able to be “redeemed” made me laugh. Here she was ready to kill three badass women and then all of sudden she was like, “I’m not that person.” I’m sorry, but the resolution in that scene was so sudden that it lost all impact. While I get the allure of having Laurel decide to change her ways when everyone’s in danger, but I would’ve preferred Laurel’s come-to-Jesus moment to happen during one of her emotional talks with Felicity or Sara.
So was Laurel redeemed? The short answer is: No.
The longer answer? Let’s have Sara explain it: “Redemption isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.”
There have been so many people obsessed with this idea of Laurel finally earning “redemption,” but it’s not something that you can earn in a season, yet alone an episode. We saw how long it took Oliver to be truly redeemed — his arc lasted five seasons.
So, no, Laurel was not redeemed. But she’s on the path to get there. She’s just not there yet.
Arrow airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.