Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
In an episode filled to the brim with amazing acting, impeccable storylines and jaw-dropping moments, the latest episode of Arrow entitled “Canaries” was one of the seasons strongest. This episode saw the return of Count Vertigo (Peter Stormare) and his reign of terror on Starling City. “Canaries” also allowed Laurel (Katie Cassidy) to come face to face with her biggest nightmare at the moment: Sara (Caity Lotz).
The main star of Arrow tonight was Laurel Lance. Katie Cassidy has transformed Laurel and delivers some of the best scenes Arrow has seen this entire season. In an amazing action sequence, Laurel sees Sara as her attacker when injected with vertigo. Cassidy has fully transformed into a superhero and has proven herself as an actress in this episode. Her incredible fight sequences with Lotz is outstanding and helps propel the character to new heights. Cassidy and Lotz are in perfect synchronization as they duel and it was amazing to see two female characters fight on screen over something other than a man.
In one of her best-acted scenes to date, Oliver (Stephen Amell) drags Laurel, half dead, back to The Foundry and lays her on the medical table. A table every single member of the Arrow Team has ended up on. In a flawlessly acted sequence, Laurel is still overdosing on vertigo and sees Sara in Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). Felicity Smoak comforts Laurel and says, “You have a light inside of you that Sara never had so, maybe you should stop trying to be Sara and just be yourself.” Cassidy and Rickards acting is perfection in this episode and this small encounter between the two of them portrays the two strongest female characters on Arrow and it was refreshing to see them have a conversation about something other than Oliver Queen. The two women have become essential to Team Arrow and having the two of them begin to blossom and have scenes together is something Arrow had been lacking in previous weeks.
Fans have been waiting for Laurel to break the news of Sara’s death to Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) and in this episode it finally happened. Blackthorne and Cassidy deliver their best performances to date as Blackthorne stumbles to catch himself upon hearing the news. The two of them have always worked beautifully together and this scene showcases it once again. Cassidy and Blackthorne work effortlessly together and this scene further proves how much they have grown as actors. In season one, Cassidy and Blackthorne were seen as the hardened characters that rarely showed emotions and now they open up to each other and create some of the most heartbreaking scenes Arrow has seen.
One of the biggest moments of the night comes within the first ten minutes of the episode. Malcolm (John Barrowman) tells Oliver it’s about time Thea (Willa Holland) was let in on his secret identity. In a moment fans of Arrow have been waiting for since day one, Oliver leads his little sister down to The Arrow Cave. In the perfect possible way Thea tells Oliver, “All those times I got so mad at you for being a flake… you were saving someone’s life. Thank you!” Amell and Holland have amazing chemistry and have become one of the best sibling duos on television. With Thea finally knowing Oliver’s secret here is hoping they have even more scenes together. Amell has grown exponentially as an actor and it shows when he is standing with tear filled eyes in The Foundry as Thea takes it all in.
Thea and Roy’s (Colton Haynes) relationship also begins to blossom once again. After Chase (Austin Butler) attacks Thea and drinks poison, Roy comes and saves the day. Haynes and Holland have also undergone a transformation in the past year. The two of them have worked incredibly hard to be able to perform the fight sequences and this scene showcases their hard work. The two actors have not shared much screen time recently but hopefully the revelation of Oliver’s secret will allow them to have more scenes together.
Team Arrow also underwent some drastic changes this week with the inclusion of Laurel and Thea into the team. Felicity and Roy begin to take a more important role in the team as well. Felicity even tells Oliver, “That doesn’t mean we can go back. And it doesn’t mean you have the right to come back here and question everyone’s choices.” Rickards and Amell have often had lovely conversations with each other so it was refreshing to see the two of them bickering and showing another side to Oliver and Felicity’s relationship.
Next weeks Arrow looks even crazier (if that’s even possible). By this episodes end, Oliver and Thea take a trip to Lian Yu. This should make for an interesting episode especially because in the flashbacks this week fans saw Maseo (Karl Yune) and Oliver being dragged to Starling City by Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). Arrow is sure to be an interesting episode next week and will be one that long-time fans will not want to miss.
Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8/9c on the CW.
Overall Grade: A-