Friday, February 13, 2015

Arrow S03 E13: "Canaries"

The state of the Arrow when last we met was a bit mangled and different than usual. Oliver is back from the dead, and proposing that Merlyn train him to defeat R'as Al Ghul. Felicity is on the outs with Oliver and pretty much stands with everyone else regarding Merlyn. Laurel has joined Team Arrow as the new Canary, and her dimwitted dad doesn't seem to know she's not the late Sara. That's just the basics, got it? You can catch up on the rest of this season so far here, and the entire series here.

We open on, believe it or not, both Canaries engaged in combat with each other. Welcome back, Sara. Good to see that "The Sopranos" and "Breaking Bad" aren't the only shows where a character's death doesn't mean the actor us out of work. I still think Sara makes a better Black Canary, more believable, and closer to the comics. Canary is curvy, not Cassidy.

Werner Zytle, Vertigo, or the second Vertigo (although neither is even close to the comics version of the character) has escaped prison, so the cat is out of the bag as to why Laurel believes she's fighting her dead sister. But that's not the big deal that happened early in the episode. Oliver came clean with Thea, showed her the Arrowcave, and told her that he's the Arrow. Surprise, she's happy, with Oliver. Malcolm, not so much.

Speaking of the kinder gentler post-resurrection Arrow, he seems to be back to his old self inexplicably when it comes to Laurel. Weirdly he's more welcoming to Merlyn and Thea than he is to Laurel. One would think with R'as on his way to Starling, Oliver would want as much help as possible. And it's a shame that Oliver is more concerned with babysitting her than stopping Vertigo's pointless homicidal super-villainy, but then again in this episode, he's more plot device than plot, or even character.

Flashback Hong Kong has become something interesting, at least temporarily. At best the flashback sequences run hot and cold. Now it's not Oliver I'm thinking about in the recent ones, but Tatsu and Maseo. What is wrong with both of them? In the present they are under the thumb of the evil R'as and in the past, Amanda Waller. Why have they allowed themselves into these situations with such people?

I started this review talking about the status quo of Team Arrow. Now we are looking at a whole new dynamic - Laurel part of the team, Thea in on Team Arrow, and also Quentin finally aware of the doings of his daughters. I did however keep waiting for Thea to express surprise that everyone she knows is in on the secret but her.

Nice but obscure shout out with Daggett Pharmaceuticals - in "Batman The Animated Series," Roland Daggett and his chemical company Daggett Industries caused much chaos such as turning Catwoman into a real cat-woman, and creating the shape-shifting super-villain Clayface. Just like "The Flash" keeps referencing Firestorm, it seems "Arrow" just can't get enough Batman.

I'm glad the hipster deejay from the League of Assassins subplot is done with. It was getting old, but did move things forward to the next level. The training begins next time with Oliver and Thea on Flashback Island, and Flashback Oliver and Maseo in Starling City. That should be interesting.

Next: "The Return!"

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