Arrow: “Canaries” Review

Arrow Season 3 Episode 13

An old foe returned to cause havoc in Star City, while several characters were faced with new revelations.

The CW


Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!

“Canaries” featured several long overdue revelations. Thea finally found out the truth about what Oliver gets up to at night, Lance found out about Sara, and Laurel learned that she doesn’t have to live in her sister’s shadow. These were all very important moments that needed to happen so that the show can move on to more pressing matters.

Thea finding out the truth was a pretty big turn of events. Other than Lance, Thea was the only significant character still left in the dark about Oliver’s secret. The main reason why Oliver was afraid to tell her was he feared he would lose her forever. As it turns out, Thea was surprisingly cool about it. I was dreading another batch of Thea drama here, but she was able to look past the lies and see Ollie as the hero he is. The only thing that felt a little bit off was Thea’s change in attitude towards Merlyn, although he completely deserves her hatred after everything he has done. Oliver has lost so many people already, so it’s nice to see his bond with his sister being strengthened.

Speaking of sisters, Laurel found herself having to fight a vertigo induced hallucination of Sara. Laurel hasn’t always been the easiest character to like over the last season and a half, but her “Canary” arc is starting to pay off. She’s still getting her ass kicked regularly, but her resolve is as strong as ever. It took a severe beating from her “sister” and a sweet moment with Felicity to make her realize she can stand on her own as a heroine. There was plenty of friction between her and Oliver throughout the episode, including a standout argument where Oliver theorized that she was replacing one addiction with another. Oliver soon came to the realization that the balance of Team Arrow had shifted in his absence, and he ended up placing his belief in Laurel by the end of the episode.

The CW

The CW

The scene where Laurel told her father the truth about Sara was a hard punch right in the feels. Lance hasn’t been given much to do over the course of Season 3, but Paul Blackthorne absolutely knocked it out of the park here. His initial scolding tone with Laurel over her vigilante activities quickly turned to anguish. Watching him break down like that was heartbreaking, but fortunately his own heart seems to have held up. There was no immediate anger over Laurel hiding Sara’s death from him, and I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll stay that way. With so many people now knowing Oliver’s secret, I can’t help but feel like there may be a slight culling of the cast on the way. Lance is still in the dark about Oliver, but he may go looking for vengeance against Sara’s killer. I’d hate to see him go, but Captain Lance looks a likely candidate to get caught in the crossfire of the coming conflict.

In the flashbacks, Amanda Waller continued to be a pretty horrible human being. She only seems to view people as expendable assets. Considering Oliver’s ability to work with her in the present day without putting an arrow through her, I’m curious to see how the rest of the flashbacks unfold. After a failed escape attempt, Oliver now finds himself back in Starling City on a new mission for Waller. It’s an intriguing turn of events, especially considering Oliver and Thea are leaving Starling for Lian Yu in the present day. Things led to DJ/deadly assassin Chase having an attempt on Thea’s life. It was cool to see Thea figure out there was poison in her wine, but we also learned that she isn’t anywhere near ready to take on a member of the League in combat. Even Roy struggled against Chase, and it was left to Malcolm to end the fight. This little moment of panic only reiterates Team Arrow’s need of Merlyn’s help, and his first order was to send Oliver and Thea to Lian Yu so that they could conquer their fears.


“Canaries” was another strong episode of Arrow. Season 3 hasn’t reached the heights of last season yet, but I get the feeling that the writers are trying to get a lot of stuff out of the way first before giving us an epic run in to the finale. Thea could be well on the way to joining Team Arrow in the future now, while Lance faced up to a shocking revelation of his own. Ra’s remains in the shadows for now, surely biding his time before striking. It’s now up to the ever expanding Team Arrow to be ready for him.

Why do you think Amanda Waller has brought Oliver back to Starling City in the flashbacks? Tweet your thoughts on this and the episode as a whole at me @OldSnake24 or leave them in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded.

85/100 – Great

*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.

About Michael Spring (159 Articles)
Michael Spring is a staff writer for If he's not playing Metal Gear or watching some excellent TV show, he's more than likely asleep. For some witty banter and the occasional rant about football, you can follow him @OldSnake24 on Twitter

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