Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Arrow has been known for it’s crazy twist and turns and this week was no exception. The storylines continue to grow as Team Arrow and Starling City continue to deal with the disappearance of Oliver (Stephen Amell). Arrow increased the intensity once again with the latest episode entitled “Midnight City.”
This episode began to explore Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) transformation into the Canary. Laurel has become a minor character in the past few seasons and has taken a back seat to Team Arrow. In the wake of Sara’s (Caity Lotz) death, Laurel began to do anything to avenge her sister’s sudden and heart-pounding death. Each week, fans began to see Laurel’s transformation but this week, she finally went into the field as the Canary. Cassidy has been preparing to take on this harrowing role for months now and her hard work showed. Although Laurel still has a lot to learn, she kicked some serious butt against Danny “Brick” Brickwell (Vinnie Jones) as he continues his reign of terror in the Glades.
Laurel has had a lot of emotional storylines in Arrow. From dealing with Tommy’s (Colin Donnell) death to her alcoholism to Sara’s recent and traumatic death, Laurel has been through the ringer. This week fans saw another emotional storyline take shape. Laurel realized that becoming the Canary was no easy task. Between an innocent civilian dying because of her and Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) getting suspicious that Sara is back in town, Laurel had to deal with a lot. Cassidy did an excellent job of portraying Laurel’s heartache and determination to honor Sara’s memory. During the episode, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) helps Laurel realize that she must fight for those alive and continue being the Canary (this friendship will be interesting to see as it blossoms). Felicity has Laurel pretend to be Sara by modifying her voice to sound like Sara’s. In an emotional conversation, Laurel pretends to be Sara and talk to Quentin saying she will help save this city. It’s heartbreaking when Laurel needs to pretend to be her sister in order to win her father’s approval. Cassidy continues to grow as an actress and proved that with the right material, she can become a fan favorite once again.
The Canary fit in perfectly to Team Arrow and a glimmer of hope that they can do this without Oliver began to shine through. Roy (Colton Haynes) helps Laurel begin to transform into the Canary while Diggle (David Ramsey) takes on the role of “the older brother” and wants to do anything to protect Laurel. She even helps bring Felicity back to Team Arrow. That’s right folks, Felicity couldn’t stay away from crime fighting for too long. Felicity says, “I was wrong when I said Oliver’s mission is over. It’s ours… It’s our home that’s in danger.” For fans, it was amazing to see Laurel working side by side with Roy, Diggle and by the end Felicity.
Although Oliver isn’t back in Starling City, fans began to see his healing process with Tatsu (Rila Fukushima) and Maseo (Karl Yune). After being revealed everyone’s masked vigilante is alive, his healing process has begun. Arrow is known for causing fans to be on the floor with their heart-racing moments and this episode began with one heck of a moment. The episode begins with Oliver having a dream about conversation with Felicity. In a gut-wrenching moment, fans see Oliver dream about not leaving Starling, kissing Felicity and then dying right in front of her. This dream shows his true feelings for Felicity and it was one of the most emotional moments fans have seen in a long time. So, what does it mean that Oliver has been dreaming of Felicity? What will be in store for the duo once Oliver returns to Starling City?
Oliver continues to gain his strength while trying to convince Maseo not to go back to The League of Assassins. It was very refreshing to see Maseo and Tatsu outside of the Hong Kong flashbacks. Although their entire past has not been pieced together, fans know there was a falling out between Tatsu and Maseo at some point. Yune showed off his acting skills this week. His scenes with Tatsu and Oliver were heartbreaking as he shows a man who has been dramatically changed by The League of Assassins. Although the Hong Kong flashbacks are the weakest parts in previous episodes, Yune is always the bright spot. By the end of the episode, Maseo makes the trudge back up the mountain and returns to Ra’s al Ghul. Will Ra’s find out Maseo saved Oliver? Only more episodes will reveal this.
Each week Rickards continues to step up her acting game and become one of the best actresses on Arrow. Her ability to go from moments of complete heartbreak to comedic moments is simply stunning. This episode, Felicity continues to deal with Oliver’s death. In the beginning, Felicity appears to be in a trance as she went about daily life with Ray. Most television shows don’t show every stage of grief however, Arrow isn’t a normal television show. By having Felicity wander around and not acting like herself, her pain is conveyed effortlessly on screen and Rickards acting has a lot to do with that. Her ability to silently take Felicity through the five stages of grief is astounding.
Felicity stood out most the episode in a moment of humor. After returning to Team Arrow, Felicity shows up at Palmer Technologies asking Ray (Brandon Routh) for the keys to his helicopter. Rickards does an excellent job of adding moments of comedy to Arrow and this was a great reminder of that. Ray responds to this request with one of the best lines of the night, “I’d feel a bit more competent in your aeronautic abilities if for instance, you knew that helicopters don’t have keys.” Felicity may still be reeling from Oliver’s death but her humor is back and better than ever.
Meanwhile, on the Thea (Willa Holland) and Malcolm (John Barrowman) storyline, Malcolm is still trying to get Thea out of Starling City. He is making a good case, however, Thea refuses to leave without knowing Oliver is safe. Fans were in for a crazy plot-twist when it was revealed that Chase (Austin Butler), the DJ at Verdant who kissed Thea that one time, is working for The League of Assassins and informs Maseo that Malcolm is not leaving Starling City. Fans were waiting for Chase to come into play and boy did he become a major part. So, will Chase continue to get closer to Thea? These next few episodes are sure to be heart-pounding.
Although Oliver is still scarcely in Arrow right now, this episode was one of the strongest this season. With each episode raising the stakes for fan favorite character, Arrow continues to hook fans with moments of truth, drama and humor.
Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8/9c on the CW.
Overall Episode Grade: A