‘Canaries’

This is one of those episodes that comes out of nowhere and leaves you emotionally compromised, excited, and terrified all at once. In ‘Canaries’ Laurel faces her fears when injected with vertigo, Oliver finally tells Thea about his vigilante alter-ego, and Team Arrow learn to work together once again.

Our crime-plot is kept to a simple minimum in this episode, with someone attempting to bring back the vertigo drug and sell it around Starling City. It all begins when a cop starts shooting at a group of harmless reporters when an inmate is being transferred. Thankfully, the new and improved Laurel launches an epic punch and the drugged cop goes down, but not before killing a few of the reporters and notifying Team Arrow of their next case.
arrow-canaries-02This brings us to the main conflict of the episode: Team Arrow themselves. Each character seems to be sorting out their own issues whilst still trying to work together and protect the city, hence why we get a lot of arguments and bickering throughout the episode; Laurel is desperate to carry on fighting despite Oliver’s fearful protests. Both sides share good points: Oliver has had years of experience and professional training, but who is he to refuse Laurel to protect the city too? It’s a tough one, but everyone else supports Laurel. An angry Felicity is quick to remind Oliver that the team have done fine without him for a month. Ouch.

Eventually, after a hostage situation results in Laurel getting injected with vertigo for a second time, the Team come to an understanding that the dynamic of the team has changed since Oliver’s departure, but that it isn’t necessarily a negative change. Just different. It still would’ve been nice for Oliver to have a little more support.

This leads us to the epic reveal as Thea is finally clued in on The Arrow’s identity. If you were cringing in preparation for yet another one of Oliver’s loved ones giving him the “how could you?” speech, you’ll be thrilled to know that Thea was in fact delighted; surprised and overwhelmed, but extremely grateful and overjoyed that her brother is a hero and not the ‘flaky, ex-playboy’ she’d been lead to believe. Throughout the episode, we get snippets of amusing dialogue between the two, including a dry response to Thea’s question of “you smell like…bonfire?” with Oliver retorting “No. It’s C4.” Score one for Queen honesty!
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‘Canaries’ was an emotional charged episode, with Laurel’s struggle to become a hero for herself, rather than trying to follow Sara’s footsteps, bringing a tear to my eye. It led to a heartfelt conversation between Laurel and Felicity, who warmly encourages her new friend to accept herself. This inspires Laurel to finally reveal her sister’s death to Lance, whose breakdown was distressing. Having worked alongside each other for a while now, the actors really help bring out the best in one another, and this scene was a particularly vulnerable and well acted one

The ending this week shows Merlyn instructing Oliver and Thea to conquer their fears so that Ra’s ul Ghul will not be able to use them against the Queen siblings. And to make matters even more shocking, guess where their training ground is? You got it! Back to the dreaded island we go…

★★★★