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TV Review: Arrow - Season 2 Episode 19 "Canary Cry"

04.28.2016

Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.

Episode 19: "Canary Cry"

Synopsis: Oliver and the team struggle to come to terms with Laurel's death, especially Diggle who is overwhelmed with guilt for choosing to believe Andy had changed. Meanwhile, Lance refuses to believe his daughter is really gone and asks Nyssa to help bring her back. A recent Black Canary sighting in Star City only seems to prove his theory that Laurel isn't actually dead.

Arrow, DC Comics, Drama, Comic Book, Superhero, TV Review, Stephen Amell, The CW

Review: The death of a main character is always a stirring moment on any series. With Arrow, the finality of death has lost some meaning over the four seasons of the show as many characters have been resurrected or only presumed dead. During the prior episode, I was convinced that Arrow's showrunners were going to pull yet another switcheroo, but by the end of this new episode I am sure that Laurel Lance is dead and not coming back. That being said, this is a very melancholic hour that serves as a memoriam for the fallen Black Canary without progressing the season long narrative at all. With no appearances by Damien Darhk, this feels like a wasted opportunity to drive home the final act of the season but instead serves as an extended lamentation on loss.

With Laurel dead, the team is reeling at the loss of their close friend. Laurel's father is especially hit hard, having lost both of his daughters. While Captain Lance sees a bright lining when a Black Canary sighting occurs while Laurel lies dead, we soon learn that the culprit stole Laurel's sonic device. The girl, 16 year old Evelyn Sharp, is seeking vengeance for the death of her parents at the hands of Hive and Darhk's Genesis gas chamber. Sharp is a very poorly developed character who doesn't seem to serve any purpose but to give our characters something to do in between dramatic scenes. This fake Canary is besmirching Laurel's legacy and Oliver feels responsible to stop her before she gets herself killed.

Arrow, DC Comics, Drama, Comic Book, Superhero, TV Review, Stephen Amell, The CW

While Captain Lance pleads with Nyssa Al Ghul to use the Lazarus Pit to bring back Laurel, Diggle is enraged at his blindness regarding his brother having led to the death of his friend. Diggle attacks Mayor Ruve Darhk and demands revenge but instead gives her the fuel to declare the vigilantes of Star City to be criminals that need to be apprehended at any cost. Diggle has some solid scenes here with Felicity as they discuss their roles in Laurel's death and both find solace in the fact that they neither directly led to their friend's death nor are they incapable of righting those wrongs. Finding Evelyn Sharp and saving her is their new mission and they take to it with Oliver. Oliver himself is very focused and single-minded in dealing with Laurel's death as he once again feels responsible for both her death and the death of Evelyn Sharp's parents.

When all is said and done, the weak plot is resolved in fairly formulaic fashion and the episode wraps with Laurel's funeral. Dinah Lance returns, as does Barry Allen, to bid farewell to the fallen Laurel and Oliver delivers a profoundly stirring eulogy for his fallen love. While Laurel may not have been his true love, she was a significant person in his lives, both past and present, as evidenced by the flashbacks. Instead of heading to Lian Yu, the flashbacks this week took us to the events following the first season finale as Oliver deals with the death of his best friend, Tommy Merlyn. They serve to show the growth and difference between the Oliver of two years ago and today and may be the most relevant flashbacks this series has ever had.

Arrow, DC Comics, Drama, Comic Book, Superhero, TV Review, Stephen Amell, The CW

Ultimately, this episode serves as a build-up for those final minutes featuring Oliver's promise to take down Darhk once and for all. Arrow started with Oliver Queen's quest for revenge and evolved into a show about the right way to take down evil without killing. For almost the full hour of this episode, Laurel's legacy was looked back upon fondly. Then, in the final minutes, Oliver proclaims that Damien Darhk must die. While I agree that the villain has finally gone too far, this seems to fly in the face of what Green Arrow has become over the last three seasons. Once he crosses back over that line, will he ever be able to come back to a point of no longer killing his enemies?

This is a very deep and sad hour of Arrow. I am glad that Laurel Lance's death is not being used as a cheap ploy to develop the narrative and is instead being used to drive our characters in new and darker directions. But, for an episode as moving as this, with outstanding performances from David Ramsey and Paul Blackthorne, they really should have thought up a better plot element than a fake Black Canary who doesn't make any sense at all. How did she do the things she did which took both Laurel and Sara Lance months and years respectively to learn. I know I shouldn't be looking for logic or sense on a comic book show, but this is too glaring an issue to ignore.

Final Verdict:

Next on ARROW: "Genesis" airs May 4th - As Oliver and Felicity look for a magical solution to defeat Darhk, a vengeance-driven Diggle gets a lead on Andy's whereabouts and heads off to confront his brother. Meanwhile, Alex takes Thea on a vacation that quickly turns into a nightmare.

Source: JoBlo.com

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