Arrow S04 EP19, "Canary Cry," Recap & Thoughts


After a long break, we’re back with Arrow, and picking up right where we left off: in the hospital, minutes after Laurel has died. We’re treated to Paul Blackthorne’s amazing acting, as once again he’s a devastated father. The doctor hands Oliver the rest of Laurel’s belongings in a baggy.

Back at base, John is devastated, as he blames himself for Laurel’s death. Oliver tries to talk him out of it, but John acknowledges that Oliver was right about his brother Andy being shady. But wait! Is that Black Canary showing up to break up a gun deal?! Well, that didn’t take long!

Oliver calls the team together --now including Felicity again-- to figure out how to defeat Darhk, but Quentin shows up with news about the Canary. Oliver realizes then that the sonic device is missing from the hospital bag. Quentin is convinced that Laurel is alive again, because as he points out, other people have come back from the dead, and John points out that Cisco designed the sonic device to only work with Laurel’s vocal cords. Quentin and Ollie head to the hospital to look at the body, but it’s definitely Laurel.

Felicity and John have a chat, with John hoping for comfort from his guilt, but Felicity is not receptive. Thea is out on a date with Alex, but Canary shows up to beat the crap out of him. Thea rips off her mask in the fight. The new girl escapes but Oliver chases her down. Despite wearing earplugs, the canary cry knocks him on his ass. Canary is angry with the Green Arrow for leaving her to die. Apparently she was one of the prisoners at Darhk’s prison when Damien nearly gas chambered Felicity, John, and Thea. Team Arrow left the prisoners there to die because they were apparently fanatical volunteers, but Oliver points out HIVE uses drugs to control people, so the new Canary probably has a right to be angry.

Quentin has called in Nyssa with the intent of using the Lazarus Pit to resurrect Laurel, but Nyssa says she destroyed the pit months ago. Quentin is pretty convinced that he can find another way to bring her back, though. Felicity and Oliver have a heart to heart, where Oliver admits guilt for both Laurel’s death and Evelyn’s righteous anger. Felicity admits that she herself feels guilt for ditching the team and not being there to help keep everyone alive.

John has had it, and he proceeds to lose his shit, attacking Mayor Ruve’s car, threatening her smug face with a gun. Before he can shoot her, Green Arrow shows up to stop him. John is out of his goddamn mind with rage and pain, but Oliver talks him back from the brink.

Still, the damage is done. Ruve’s mug is instantly on tv to denounce the vigilantes and set up a task force to arrest them. That includes the Black Canary that attacked Alex, and also manages to lay the death of Laurel Lance at the feet of the vigilantes as well.

Quentin is convinced he can find a new Lazarus Pit, but Oliver talks him back down to reality and gets papa to the acceptance stage. Clearly Oliver missed his calling as a therapist. Felicity and John have another chat about guilt and self-hatred. Best line of the season, hands down: “You’re just one illegitimate child away from a really awesome Oliver Queen impersonation.” Damn, Felicity, we have really missed you in the Arrowcave.

Finally, Felicity has tracked down Evelyn, who is at a hotel where Ruve Dahrk is having a thing. Team Arrow shows up to stop her, because assassinating the mayor seems like a bad idea. Ruve is excited at the prospect of the attack, but Oliver talks Evelyn down from the brink of murder, convincing her to be a true hero and not sully the legacy of Black Canary. Ruve is totes disappointed that Evelyn didn’t take the shot. She tries to get Arrow arrested, but he batmans out of there.

Okay, it’s finally time for the real funeral. The most tortured parents in the world show up, with Quentin telling mom that this time, their girl isn’t coming back. Oliver gives the eulogy, during which he reveals that she was a true hero and the real Black Canary, a revelation to Laurel’s mother. While chatting with Barry Allen, Oliver says he no longer feels guilt, but he does feel the responsibility to end it all by killing Damien Darhk. But in the limo, Ollie admits he has no idea how to defeat the unstoppable Darhk, and Felicity tells him he needs to find a way, because that’s what he always does.

RIP Laurel. You deserved better. 

I didn’t hate this episode anywhere near as much as the last one, but how can you not hate the episode where a show about Green Arrow kills off freaking Black Canary? I’m still not sure what the writers were thinking when they fridged her. And boy, is this a textbook case of fridging! Canary’s death is used to make Oliver be a better person all around, and also to drive John Diggle towards revenge. Her death is even possibly bringing Ollicity back. Someone tell me again why we needed to kill Canary to motivate any of these people?

Other than seeing Laurel on the screen again, I had zero use for the flashbacks. As usual, the flashbacks matched the themes of the day, which were personal guilt and heroism. But they were unnecessary because there was plenty enough guilt to go around for everyone. The same conversations were happening over and over again.

However, I will say this: for all that the episode was basically people crying, people raging, and people feeling guilty, there was some seriously phenomenal acting. David Ramsey hulking out was gold. Even Stephen Amell was at some of his best, as he settles into a more heroic, calm, cool-headed Green Arrow that smacks of being the real deal after almost 4 seasons of wtf. Give us a goatee and some smartass commentary, and we might just have ourselves a more comic-true vision of Ollie.

So, this new Black Canary? We see Evelyn at Laurel’s funeral, and I don’t think she ever gave the canary cry back to Team Arrow, so I’m kind of hoping she’ll be sticking around. I’m actually very fond of Evelyn and think the young actress did a fantastic job. I mean, I’m not entirely sure why Laurel had to die, but if we’re going to keep the female part around anyway with a decent new
character, I guess that’s a consolation prize of some sort. But that Black Canary position is kind of a revolving door, so I don't know, Evelyn, you might want to reconsider this career path now...

Thank Dog for the lack of Ollicity drama. That is all.

Ivonne Martin is a writer, gamer, and avid consumer of all things geek—and is probably entirely too verbose for her own good.