Welcome back, Arrowheads! If you haven’t heard the news yet, best to sit down for this headline: Laurel Lance is dead. I know what you’re asking, and it might be “Is she dead?” or “Is she really dead?”. Seems like “really dead” is the current answer right now. After discovering Diggle’s brother Andy is a straight up traitor and with Darhk killing Laurel, this has been a bad week for Team Arrow. And what about Quentin, who now has to bury another daughter? Let’s just get to it…
Guilt. Our flashback takes us to sometime after season one, as we see the funeral of Tommy Merlyn. Ollie is not there to deliver the eulogy, despite watching from a distance, but Laurel ends up giving a sweet remembrance of her dead boyfriend. Later, Ollie pays a visit to Laurel’s apartment, where he apologizes for not really attending the funeral, but he’s still wrecked over the loss of Tommy. He takes off, briefly implying his Arrow activities to her. We see a week or do later, as he sees her again, and they talk about moving on, maybe cleaning up the city together. They end up sleeping with each other, but in the morning, Ollie is gone, leaving a note behind for Laurel. He tells her that he has to find himself for a while (and he ends up going back to Lian Yu, which is where we find him at the start of season two), but that she should continue striving to make a difference for the city, saying she’s a real hero. Beside that cap off of what happened with these two, I’m just happy we got a flashback that was interesting.
Loss. We come back to the present almost where we left off as Quentin arrives at the hospital to find out about Laurel’s death. He’s in not the best mind (not even noting the young girl strolling by, which we’ll get to her later), and while Ollie is quietly taking her Black Canary clothes away, Quentin is just torn up over losing another daughter. Ollie and Diggle end up back at the HQ, and Diggle is blaming himself for trusting his brother, and by that, Laurel’s death. Ollie, the master of blaming one’s self, tells Dig not to do that, but as we’ll see, that maybe doesn’t sink in. Meanwhile, somewhere in the city, a shady guns deal is interrupted…by a Canary Cry not unlike the Black Canary! And some blonde woman in a black costume steals several guns from the deal, who looks suspiciously like the Black Canary. But she’s dead, isn’t she?
At the HQ sometime afterwards, the Team, and Felicity, meet up and hear a press conference from new mayor PR guy Alex about Laurel’s death on TV. They are also all there to discuss a new plan: Operation Crush HIVE! Before we can go over ways to do that, Quentin drops by with news of this Black Canary that just has to be Laurel back from the dead. And Laurel’s Canary Cry is missing from her stuff, so that means she’s alive, right? That doesn’t make any sense, of course, because when Ollie and Quentin visit the hospital morgue, she’s still there and still dead. So Ollie asks the doctor who worked on Laurel and stayed quiet about her identity about who would possibly steal Laurel’s gear. She mentions she saw a young girl around, a frequent non-injured visitor to the ER, but won’t say what her name is.
Mask of the Canary. Thea goes on a dinner date with Alex, and thanks him for being discreet about her death, being a close member of their extended family and all. That gets interrupted by that Black Canary impostor, who blows out the glass in the restaurant and is about to kill Alex for “working with them”. Thea stops her, but Faux Canary runs off, and Thea calls Ollie to say what has happened. Ollie manages to catch up with the Faux Canary, who downs him with the Canary Cry. Then she says “he failed her and all those at Reddington” before escaping.
At the HQ, Ollie lets the Team know what Faux Canary was talking about: Reddington was the name of the place they were all held hostage last Christmas by HIVE. The girl is clearly connected to those brainwashed people that were there, and Felicity finds a connection. The Faux Canary is a young girl named Evelyn, a bit of a wunderkind teen whose parents were likely killed by Darhk. So Ollie feels some guilt in leaving those people behind in that place, which yeah, dropped the ball there.
Denial. Quentin is at his place, and Nyssa just happens to show up to express her condolences. He is however getting travel bags together, thinking she can take Laurel to the Lazarus Pit to heal her, and oops, that was destroyed by Nyssa months ago! He sees this as more of a temporary setback, and says he’ll find another way to revive her. So that’s not very healthy thinking.
On the matter of non-healthy thinking, Diggle is still beating himself over what has happened, and Felicity can barely try to reassure him differently. She ends up talking to Ollie above the HQ later, and there she gets some advice on self-blaming that should be useful. But then Felicity gets a ring from Lyla (who like most of the Diggle family, are in safe houses thanks to Andy being a traitor and all), who hasn’t got a status update from Diggle recently. So where is he?
Anger. Mayor Ruve is being driven around in her limo, when Diggle pops up to stop the limo in its tracks. He knocks out her security detail, and then points a gun at her, telling her to get out of the limo. She tries to play the unsuspecting mayor, but Diggle says they both know better and wants to know where Andy is. It looks like Dig might actually shoot her, and that’s when Ollie arrives to stop him and she flees. Diggle sees this attack on Ruve as payback for Laurel, but Ollie sees this as an attack on someone who can use her political power to clamp down on them. Then Ollie drops the kicker that Laurel would disapprove of this rash act of revenge from someone she respected. Ollie is also not wrong, because later Ruve announces that she’s putting the Anti-Vigilante Task Force back into effect, and first thing is to bring in this murderous vigilante, the Black Canary. Told you, Diggle.
Ollie gets a ring from Nyssa, who lets Ollie know about Quentin’s unstable need to revive Laurel, which considering how many people have come back from the dead on this show, doesn’t seem that irrational. But Ollie finds Quentin about to enter a supposed League hideout for answers, and talks to him about there being no way to bring her back. Quentin starts talking about how important she was to him, keeping him sober and everything, how he can’t imagine going on without her around, and he just crumbles and cries, and…sniff. Sorry. That was a really emotional moment. Poor guy.
Legacy of the Canary. At the HQ, Felicity finally is able to give Diggle some advice and comfort for dealing with Laurel’s death and Andy’s betrayal. But we get a lead on Evelyn, as the tracer in the Canary Cry puts her in the vicinity of a big gala where Ruve is. It looks like Evelyn is going to kill the mayor, which would destroy Laurel’s Black Canary legacy if she succeeds. Time to gear up for a black tie event.
At the gala, Ollie runs into Evelyn, who’s being nonchalant about shooting and injuring the gala’s security, and gets shot himself (he’s okay, though). Evelyn busts into the gala, and holds a gun on Ruve, when Ollie comes in to ask why she’s dressing up as the Black Canary to do this. She saw the Black Canary when the Team broke into that building back last Christmas, and was inspired to take on her mantle to get revenge for her parents’ death. Ollie tells her that this violent act doesn’t retain the Black Canary legacy, but tarnishes it. You know, a “what would Black Canary do” situation. Evelyn decides to run off without shooting Ruve, and Ollie gets out before the Task Force comes in by pulling a Batman and escaping through a glass ceiling.
Funeral For A Hero. At the HQ, Evelyn seems to have gone dark and untraceable by the Team, and we hear another press conference from Ruve that trashes the Black Canary. Everyone is disgusted by this, but its time to put that aside and go to Laurel’s funeral. Quentin and Dinah are there, and despite talk of maybe Laurel coming back, Quentin is convinced that may not be the case now. Ollie is asked to give her eulogy, and there he talks about how she kept fighting to protect the city, even as the Black Canary! Yep, he outs her secret identity and everyone’s like, “hell yeah”! Heck, she has “The Black Canary” on her tombstone.
Then we get some stuff you’ve already seen this season. Barry dropping by the gravesite, that talk with Felicity in the limo about killing Darhk, but now we see more of that talk. Ollie knows what kind of magic they are dealing with, and it may be too much for them to fight. And Felicity reminds him that he’s always found a way to do the impossible, and now they just have to do it again. Will Operation: Kill Darhk succeed? How is that family reunion with Diggle and Andy going to go? Are we really absolutely sure Laurel Lance is dead? We’re nearing the finish line of the season, people!
–Comic book connections: There have been multiple Black Canaries in the DCU, but with the exclusion of the original, none of them died, or ended up pushing up daisies permanently.
–So this wunderkind Evelyn manages to hack Cisco-made tech to make the Canary Cry work for her, which, okay, fine. But then disables a tracer in the thing? That seems a stretch.
–That’s three burials for two daughters for the Lance family now. Just the worst luck in this family, and we know the Queen family’s string of horrifying events.
–Ollie’s little effort disabling of a security guard with a dart was a sweet moment.
–Not sure I care why Alex went into politics, but thanks for thinking I do, Arrow writers.
–“I’ve seen this movie before.”
–“You’re one illegitimate child away from an awesome Oliver Queen impersonation.”
–“Laurel Lance, always trying to save the world.” RIP Laurel Lance.
That’s it for now, but comment below and come back next week for the recap of “Genesis”…