Arrow recap: Season 7, Episode 18, “Lost Canary” Aired April 15, 2019.
The title of this episode is “Lost Canary,” and I think it’s safe to say by the end of it they were found. And I say “they” because this episode was about more than just Laurel’s redemption. Let’s discuss:
A couple months back I wrote a piece about why I thought that Black Siren shouldn’t be redeemed. After watching this episode and ultimately liking it, I reread the piece. And a line I wrote stuck out to me: “I don’t want another go at rushed arcs for the sake of a redemption that no one wants or needs.”
I guess the main point I was trying to communicate is “rushed arcs” is bad television. I didn’t have faith that Laurel’s redemption would feel earned. And for a while there, I was right to be concerned… and quite frankly annoyed.
Granted, Laurel and Felicity’s relationship is something I never imagined to be a highlight. Felicity had a female friend that she could drink with, talk about her pregnancy with, her life, and her company. Just that fact, was cause for celebration. Because AFTER SEVEN SEASONS Felicity was never really allowed to develop that kind of bond with any woman on the show. Her and earth-1 Laurel were never really that close, Thea and Felicity hugged a couple times (and I cheered while watching it), and Dinah and Felicity’s scenes are more so antagonistic then friendly. The closest she got to another woman was Sara, and she was only here for the back half of season 2.
But even with the joy of seeing this female friendship be developed, there was still a pretty large elephant in the room. And it was Black Siren’s so-called “redemption.” Felicity maintained that she’s different now, and that she’s changed. You see, I never had a problem with them being friends. I welcomed it even. I had a problem with how Felicity was just brushing over the things she has done.
She can be her friend and still call her on her bull. Inhabiting a dead girls life (even if you share the same face) is not redemption. Doing a few good things, is not redemption. And Felicity was more often then not, acting like it was. Why?
I think we underestimated how utterly alone Felicity felt in the beginning of the season. How abandoned she felt. And how much it meant to her that Black Siren was there.
Yes, other characters came in at the final hour and helped Felicity with Diaz. However, Laurel was there as more than just a way to get Oliver out of prison. She was there as a friend too. Felicity appreciated that long after she had her husband back. And Laurel was taken with Felicity, how her light radiates brighter than most people, and how even given that, she’s still not a girl scout.
And in this episode we were finally honest about what redemption means.
What does redemption mean? Black Siren/Laurel had it right when she was trying to be a better person. She was taking steps. But the steps you take doesn’t erase the pain you have inflicted.
Sara showed up to help Felicity get through to Laurel, and she was exactly what “Lost Canary” needed.
“So what, you think you deserve a metal for trying to be good for five seconds?” -Sara Lance
If anyone knows anything about redemption, it’s Sara Lance. A woman who literally rose from the ashes as White Canary. The only way Sara could be redeemed for what she’s done, was to face the people she hurt.
That’s why it ultimately makes sense that Laurel went back to earth-2 at the end of the episode.
Sara was also a good mediator between Dinah and Felicity. Dinah and Felicity were both on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it came to “is Laurel redeemable?” Felicity mistakenly took on guilt for Laurel’s choices, and Dinah wasn’t budging in her stance that she’s irredeemable.
But what we needed was to meet in the middle. Just because Felicity is her friend it doesn’t mean that the choices Laurel makes is on Felicity’s shoulders. And just because Laurel did bad things doesn’t mean she’s devoid of earning some compassion. Felicity rightly points out that when Dinah was going off the rails (and killed someone) that the team helped pull her back.
You can be compassionate without being a sin-eater (*cough-cough* Oliver).
So, after Laurel decides to continue on her journey of redemption and go back to earth-2, Felicity and Laurel have a nice goodbye. I will say that the nice thing about Laurel this season, is her whole function was to be Felicity’s friend. And I applaud that.
In the future, we learn more about Dinah’s network of Canaries. Initially when we learned that there was a whole flock of Canaries out there I thought it just made the “Black Canary” itself less special. If anyone can call themselves a Canary then what’s the point?
However, considering how the title of “Black Canary” has been bestowed upon many characters on Arrow, that went out the window a long time ago. And how they are using it now, is very special.
It’s about women supporting women. When a Canary calls, your fellow singing birds will be there to back you up. Physically and emotionally. This is probably my favorite thing they’ve done with the Black Canary storyline. Just the idea that there is a network of women in Star City being heroes, and supporting each other, fills me with such warm fuzzies.
We also learn that in the future, Black Siren is on earth-1, redeemed, and a Black Canary. She see’s Mia and says “you look so much like her [Felicity]” and she has a long way to go if she wants to be a hero (SPINOFF PEOPLE).
Diggle and Oliver, brotp-ing
While the women were doing their thing, Quiggle was also on their own mission to find Emiko’s mom’s killer. And they discover that Dante hired the Longbow Hunter, Kodiak, to kill Emiko’s mom.
Why? Who knows. Maybe he doesn’t want her to have any attachments.
But most importantly… we got to see Diggle driving Oliver and it gave me “black driver” laughs and feels. Remember?
Oliver and Felicity have been married for a while (even before they officially said, “I do”). But for the two short scenes they shared this episode, they personified Marriage™.
Here it is, Oliver saying “precious cargo” and “I’m here now, I’ll take care of you.” The Queens of DCTV, ladies and gentleman:
All new episodes of Arrow, are on Mondays at 9 PM on The CW!