After a sucky first half to the season, this was yet another solid step in the right direction.
First off: Laurel. Seeing as how basically the entire fandom loathes the character, I think it was genius of the writers to showcase her slow evolution into vigilante-status even after donning the Black Canary mask. Watching her screw up landings and get hit countless times throughout Midnight City not only provided a realistic take on superhero growing pains, it further conveyed Laurel’s dedication and inner strength. You can tell Katie Cassidy is absolutely relishing the opportunity, and I have a feeling her Canary is going to be a standout character this year.
In addition, pairing Laurel with Roy is an inspired idea. Oliver’s sidekick hasn’t had much to do over the course of the past few seasons (Mirakuru not withstanding), so this dynamic is an exciting development. His faith in her is a great contrast to Diggle who simply can not picture Miss Lance on the battlefield. In fact, I absolutely loved watching Team Arrow’s brand new lineup step up to the plate in the end and collectively decide to protect their city (even without their leader to guide them). If nothing else, Ollie’s absence has allowed Arrow’s supporting cast to truly thrive, and that only means greater things for the show’s future.
Flashback wise, I’ve shockingly found myself completely rooting for Maseo and Tatsu. The two seem to have the only genuine love story at the moment, although the fact that their son has not made any appearance in the present day is extremely disturbing. Is his death at the hands of Chine White the reason these two parted ways before Ollie’s “death” brought them back together? Whatever happens, the three obviously have history, and it was thrilling to see them kick ass in China White’s nightclub in Hong Kong. I’m still surprised the villainess is getting so much attention as she always struck me as a one-episode baddie in the show’s debut season, but I’m excited to see why so much effort has been made to integrate her into the show’s history thus far.
Bits & Arrows
– That teaser was brilliant with Oliver imagining an alternate scenario in which he decided not to go after Ra’s, kissing Felicity, and then blood pouring out of his mouth. Just chilling.
– Laurel using her heel to kick ass and save the mayor? Badass. And her blackmailing the prisoner? Even better.
– The writers cleverly inserted a nod to Laurel’s full name: Dinah Laurel Lance (the original Black Canary in the comics).
– Roy visiting Malcolm and telling him to stay away from Thea was a great moment for the character.
– So Laurel made the shift from Sara’s staff to a police baton. I guess the latter is an appropriate homage to her history with the justice system.
– One of the best scenes this show has ever done: Laurel and Felicity bonding. Both Emily and Katie knocked this scene out of the park as they came to the realization that they should fight for the people they love. What an exceptional scene. I really want to see more of these two together in the future.
– While it was undoubtedly cool (and moving) to witness Laurel use Sara’s voice and eventually impersonate her, I shudder at Quentin eventually discovering the truth about his daughter. This is getting harsh!
– Team Arrow in a helicopter should be a weekly thing.
– The cinematography during Arsenal and Canary’s siege on Brick’s hideout was claustrophobic and fantastic. I particularly loved Canary facing Brick and kicking him in the groin before crashing through the window (and escaping via helicopter). Blockbuster moment people!
– Roy and Laurel’s failed mission actually got a hostage killed. That was brutal!
– Thea’s strongest moment in weeks: telling Malcolm that they should stay and fight because Ra’s Al Ghul should be afraid of them. Please writers, give her more to do.
– The musical score has been really outstanding lately. Bravo Blake Neely.
– So Waller had the virus switched because she knew Maseo would try something foolish in the name of love.
– A few weeks ago I berated the show for introducing Thea’s lame DJ love interest. This week, we discovered he was a member of the league. Well done show. You got me.
– So Brick has taken control of The Glades by episode’s end. I don’t usually watch promos, but next week‘s looks like a frickin’ SERIES finale. Damn.
Roy: What the hell do you think you were doing out there?
Laurel: Same thing as you.
Roy: I’ve had training from Oliver and years on the streets. You have a law degree.
Oliver: Your penicillin tea tastes like penicillin.
Thug: I’m not telling you anything.
Laurel: Are you sure about that? I still have another heel.
Felicity: Can you please just give me the keys now? I… Promise, promise, I will not crash it.
Ray: I’ve got to be honest; I’d feel a little more confident in your aeronautic abilities if you knew, for instance, that helicopters don’t actually have keys.
A highly memorable episode with some impressively-staged set pieces and a lot of momentum. Will next week be one of the show’s all time finest hours?