Episode 13 – Canaries
Teased as a Canary-centric episode, it turned out to focus elsewhere, but this wasn’t a bad thing. While Arrow, Roy, Laurel, Felicity, and Diggle worked to take down recently released Werner Zytle, there were big battles being tackled on a different front.
The storyline between the Canaries resulted in an ending chapter for Laurel. She had been wrought with guilt, and harboring the secret of Sara’s death culminated in imagining her when she was under Vertigo. The Vertigo acted as a clarifying agent for Laurel, and with the affirmation from Felicity to be her own person, she was able to come clean to her father about Sara.
In a more surprising development, Oliver feels it is necessary to finally bring Thea into the fold and brings her down to the basement lab to reveal he is the vigilante. He also feels ashamed for the lies he’s told her for the past few years, but Thea’s developed beyond holding a grudge on him, and thanks him for what he has done and what he has had to sacrifice. The dynamic between Oliver and Thea remains interesting all episode, and the writing for Thea’s character finally does justice for her.
In the continuing backstory for Oliver, Maseo urges Oliver to leave as he is leaving with Tatsu. Oliver stays and tries to send a message to his mother before he is captured and tortured by Amanda Waller, who threatens to harm Thea unless he gives out the information on where Maseo has gone. Oliver divulges the information and once Maseo is taken into custody he tells Oliver this was intentional. At the end of this episode we see Oliver, still in the flashback, being driven into Starling City.
This runs almost parallel to the story unfolding currently. After Thea is attacked by Chase, the DJ of her club and also a disciple of Ra’s al Ghul, Merlyn informs Oliver and Thea that they both must leave Starling City and face what fears them the most. In the trailer for next weeks episode we see Oliver and Thea battling elements and boobytraps back on the island Oliver had been shipwrecked on.
There was a lot of emotional progression for the characters whether it was Laurel’s internal struggle or Oliver still figuring out the dynamics of the team and also his confrontations with Laurel. There were several moments when Oliver butted heads with someone on the team, but Diggle helps Oliver come to terms with the changes. It was also pleasing to see Diggle back in the emotional support role for Oliver, it had been too long.
This episode of Arrow was exceptionally well-rounded. While many remark that action is what makes a comic book screen adaptation, Canaries proved otherwise, it is the heart. There were very minor negativities to the episode, which would only be limited to some of the cuts in choreography and there not being enough Felicity in the episode. With the lock tight writing and performances by the cast it was an outstanding result.
Top notch performances and character development of Laurel, Oliver, and Thea
Little screen time for Felicity
Choppy editing in a few of the fight scenes