Arrow S3E13 – “Canaries” Review

(Warning: full spoilers for Arrow follow. You have been warned.)


Jesus Christ, this show is emotionally taxing.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for this week’s Arrow. After last week saw Oliver’s big return and Brick’s fall, and Stephen Amell teasing us with how awesome next week’s episode¬†will be, I had a feeling that “Canaries” was just going to be a filler episode with a pointless villain. I was only kind of right.

“Canaries” sees Count Vertigo return (again) and start wreaking havoc on Starling City again. But in all honesty, who the hell cares? Count Vertigo’s only purpose in this episode was to hit Laurel with Vertigo so we could see two Canaries fight. It was great to see Caity Lotz back in the black leather, even if it was just an illusion.

No, the real star of this week’s episode was the truth. Oliver finally telling Thea that he is the Arrow. Laurel finally telling Detective Lance about Sara. Douchebag McAsshole (AKA Chase the DJ) revealing that he was actually an undercover agent for the League of Assassin’s. A lot of secrets were revealed this week, and the show really moved along because of it. It felt strange having so many revelations be made to other characters considering the show has always seemed to rely so heavily on secrets. Considering that all of these secrets have contributed to a large portion of the show’s drama, I’m interested to see how the show shifts tonally from here on out.

One of my personal favorite moments from “Canaries” was the scene in the Arrow Cave where Roy stood up to Oliver about Thea. Oliver finally realizes that Team Arrow is not just a bunch of soldiers to his General; they are a team. He cannot simply control them like puppets. This shifting of the power dynamic within the team opens up a whole new world of possibilities in regards to possible drama and stories to tell.

This was a big week for Laurel as well. While I have not historically been a fan of the take on the character, I’m starting to warm up to her more and more. Seeing her struggle through both getting her ass kicked and telling her father that he has lost his daughter again while coming out stronger on the other side shows her progression as a character. The episode felt the need to remind us more than once that Laurel used to be an addict, a tactic that I get the feeling was used to further reinforce how far she has come.

Saying that this was a strong episode of Arrow makes me feel like a broken record. I’m pretty sure I say that at the end of every single one of my reviews. But I can’t help it if it’s true, and “Canaries” was no different. Aside from a pointless villain (by this point, I think we just need to accept this, guys), some strong character progression from Laurel and secrets being revealed made this episode much better than I expected it to be.

Jordan Barbeau

A simple man with simple tastes. Games, comics and movies are all I need to be happy.

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