Black Canary's Long Goodbye: Arrow Season 4, Episode 19 Review
I thought that at the end of a 48-minute Ode to Laurel, I would be ready to do something desperate. While this episode was clearly a transition to greater things as season 4 wraps up, I was pleasantly surprised.
(Except with the Laurel/Oliver flashbacks, which were even more of a hot mess than the regular season 4 flashbacks, and that's saying something. Tommy Merlyn must be turning over in his grave.)
Even though the whole "fake Black Canary" story line with Evelyn Somebody, whose family was killed by HIVE, felt unnecessary and contrived, this filler episode was filled with the stellar one-on-one performances we've missed lately.
Felicity and John. Nyssa and Oliver. Lance and Oliver. Oliver and John.
Oliver and Felicity.
These two are nowhere near getting back together. But unlike the long agonizing silences of season 3, they're still admitting out loud that they love each other deeply.
It's a start.
They even risked riding together in a limo again, and nothing bad happened.
Oliver Queen's character development was front and center in this episode, as he, "the world's leading expert in blaming yourself," was the voice of reason pulling everybody back from the edge.
Mostly John Diggle.
While we saw tears from people who aren't known to cry on Arrow - Oliver, Nyssa, Lance - Diggle's tears just ripped my heart out.
"Canary Cry" was all about grief, guilt, and loss and nobody took Laurel's death more personally than Andy Diggle's big brother, who'd ignored Oliver's advice and in his mind gotten another member of Team Arrow killed because of it.
Talking about standout individual performances...
Quentin Lance, who was so desperate to bring Laurel back from the dead that he approached Nyssa al-Ghul of all people, a former assassin who back in the day had kidnapped his ex-wife, was equally fantastic in this episode. He was so sure that, given every crazy thing the team had been through the past two seasons (and that's a long list), there was some slim chance that Laurel was alive, or could be brought back to life.
Not this time.
I have legitimate concerns about Lance's sobriety. He and Laurel kept their respective addictions in check. There's nothing like losing both of your children to send you right off the wagon.
Maybe Donna Smoak can be his rock now. Please, and thank you.
Meanwhile, that Black Canary wannabe was cruelty personified. Clearly from her exceptional parkour skills and real blonde hair she wasn't Laurel, but she also didn't have Laurel's restraint. She blasted that Canary cry all over town with wild abandon like the angry teenager she was.
Oliver Queen, the masked hero he is now vs. the selfish playboy he was when he and Laurel were dating, gave a classy and generous eulogy.
And then outed her as the Black Canary.
Initially, I couldn't figure this out. Even Malcolm Merlyn, who has no soul and every opportunity to give Damian Darhk the Team Arrow roster, hasn't. Then I realized it was, as Thea insisted, to preserve Laurel's legacy.
Ruvé Adams-Darhk knew when she issued arrest warrants for Team Arrow that assistant district attorney Laurel Lance and masked "vigilante" Black Canary were one and the same person.
Oliver's goodbye gesture, also intended to give comfort to Mr. and Mrs. Lance, brought full circle the oft-contentious relationship between him and the Lance family. Standing at Laurel's grave, when Oliver Queen asked to say a few words, Quentin Lance nodded yes.
Think back to the Arrow pilot.
Who could've ever imagined those two men would be saying goodbye to Laurel at all, much less together, as respected colleagues and friends, to an ex-addict daughter and angry ex-girlfriend turned masked hero?
Coming up next, episode 20 "Genesis"