Warning: This recap for the “Canary Cry” episode of Arrow contains spoilers.
In the aftermath of Laurel Lance’s death, the team tries to cope as an imposter Black Canary roams the streets. The episode drags a bit — what with pretty much everyone blaming themselves for Laurel’s death — but an amazing performance by Paul Blackthorne keeps her loss fresh and moving in a way you might not expect from a comic book show.
Somebody is out on the street dressed as Black Canary and using her canary cry. She targets Ruvé and her staff – including Alex during a lunch with Thea – as well as Team Arrow; Ruvé uses the attack to call in the Anti-Vigilante Task Force. They find out her name is Evelyn Crawford Sharp (Madison McLaughlin): She stole Laurel’s sonic device at the hospital and wants revenge for the death of her parents at the hands of Damien Darhk. Oliver convinces her not to kill Ruvé at a mayoral press conference and she escapes. Oliver speaks at Laurel’s funeral – we see the tombstone scene with Barry Allen from the beginning of the season – and resolves to kill Darhk.
Oliver was supposed to give the eulogy at Tommy Merlyn’s funeral, but doesn’t (though he comes full circle and gives one at Laurel’s funeral in the present). They share fond memories and kiss before Oliver pulls away, leaving her a letter and the worn picture of her he brought with him to Lian Yu.
“I Can’t Do This”
It’s almost unfair how much better Paul Blackthorne is than the rest of the cast in situations like this. Maybe he has an advantage of better material because losing a child is generally agreed to be the worst grief a person can feel, but his breakdown as Oliver tries to stop Quentin — when he says, “She’s my rock! She was my rock” — is Emmy-worthy.
In less-skilled hands, Lance’s craziness this episode could have turned into comedy. He thinks the new girl is his daughter back from the dead. Then he contacts Nyssa and packs his bags like a 9-year old getting ready to spend a week at Camp Nanda Parbat. Even after learning that the Lazarus Pit has been destroyed, he still tries to pursue some way to bring her back. With luck, Oliver’s eulogy and the presence of his ex-wife, Dinah (Alex Kingston), carried him through the worst of it.
Inside Comics Moment
Evelyn Crawford first appeared during the “New 52” event as the superhero Starling in Birds of Prey. Created by Duane Swierczynski, she is brought onto the all-female team by Black Canary. But despite critical and audience praise, she fell victim to multiple changes on the book’s creative team and disappeared just a couple years later. Could the character’s redemption be at hand? Her arc this episode and subsequent escape seems tailor-made for her joining Team Arrow permanently.
Quiverful of Thoughts
“It’s not just magic; it’s darkness.” Sure, it’s a common word, but do you think this has any connection to Zoom’s, “You can’t lock up the darkness,” over on The Flash?
Diggle and Lyla named their first kid after Sara Lance; maybe they need to have another kid so they can name that one after Laurel?
What do you think of Starling? Does Arrow needs a replacement Black Canary? If so, would you rather have seen someone else take her place – maybe Nyssa or a returning Roy?
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.