Tonight on “Arrow,” we finally had a chance to give a fond farewell to someone who still had probably her best fighting ahead of her in Laurel Lance. It was not an easy thing to do, and what made this episode so brilliant was how it showed that in such a wide variety of ways.
First, let’s talk emotionally. Everyone struggled with her exit, and for some, it led to them lashing out. The most violent moment came when Diggle openly threatened Ruve Darhk, hoping to get some answer as to his brother Andy’s whereabouts. It makes some sense that he’d feel some serious pain at the moment when you consider precisely what he is going through; not only that, but what he could be continuing to go through over the course of the remainder of the season. This pain isn’t going away, and the same goes for Oliver, who at least seems able to compartmentalize it better now than early on in the series’ run.
Quick sidebar: Let’s go ahead and ignore the whole Barry Allen cameo in turns of “The Flash” timeline. Maybe someone at The CW was planning on “Canary Cry” airing before Barry lost his speed and plans changed. That happens sometimes, so just imagine that this is the way things ended up going.
Through Oliver’s grieving process, Stephen Amell was brilliant. Whether it be confronting Diggle or telling Quentin that his daughter wasn’t coming back, it was some of his strongest work on the show. Not only that, but we had a great parallel in the flashbacks this week, where we saw more of the aftermath to what happened to Tommy Merlyn back in the first season. That was a perfect send-off for Katie Cassidy, and a testament to the relationship Oliver and Laurel once had.
Also brilliant tonight was Paul Blackthorne, who has probably had to play the most grief-stricken father we’ve ever seen. Quentin was a force of nature through this, even at times that force was a tornado.
Was there a great deal of forward movement to take down Darhk? Not really, since mourning Laurel and taking out a copycat Canary were the main orders of business. Still, it was smart to slow things down and the show to focus on mourning one of the fallen, someone we’ve loved and someone we will miss on the show. For now, that’s top priority and it’s appropriate that “Arrow” recognized that. Also, having Oliver reveal Laurel’s alter ego was a nice touch, even if it may raise more suspicions on him as the new Green Arrow. Grade: A-.
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