Episode 204 “Crucible”
[photos: Jack Rowand/CW]
Not sure how long they can sustain this season without a flat episode, but this ain’t it.
This is the Green Arrow/Black Canary team-up fans have been anticipating for a while. Only it’s not. Quite. The Arrow and some version of the Canary take on gun-runners in Starling City, who are trading in super high-tech military weapons. And we get the reveal that Canary is actually the not-dead Sara Lance (which was probably a terribly kept secret at this point, since the president of the network gave it away before the season even started…).
Ostensibly, the “villain” of the piece is a guy calling himself “The Mayor” — basically an opportunist who started pre-Quake as an office guy or somesuch, then after the Quake decided he was going to get his and with the help of his crooked military brother, started collecting high tech weapons and taking over the Glades gangland style. When Oliver anonymously sponsors a “cash for guns” event organized by Sebastian Blood, the Mayor and his ilk show up to shoot the place to bits. This scene crosses over not only the Blood story arc, in which the alderman is being set up as a not-so-bad guy, but also the arc with Roy, Thea, and Sin. Roy’s turning in the guns in his pocket, and Sin’s there as Canary’s eyes and ears? When she goes down in the crossfire, Roy’s there to help.
This could have very easily turned into a Roy-Thea-Sin love triangle soap opera, and I’m glad the writers went in a different direction. Sin is almost a kid sister type to Roy’s protective older brother. That’s the dynamic in play in the hospital, and when Sin gives her approval of Thea, it cements that they’re not going to be rivals for Roy’s affection. Of course, Roy’s attention will be divided, because he’s still eyes and ears for the Arrow.
The main thrust of the episode, of course, is the Canary. And she’s connected with every single thread in the hour — Roy and Sin, the gunrunning, Laurel’s descent into drinking in the aftermath of the Dollmaker almost killing her — and all this without anyone but Oliver knowing her true identity. At least, until he drops the bombshell on Team Arrow. And they’re none too happy that he kept this from them.
It’s good to see consequences of the Dollmaker’s attack on Laurel, even though the whole “drinking and pills” thing is so 1980s. I’m going to assume this is an arc that has her hit rock bottom as Sara dies being the Canary, and Laurel decides to get back into shape, straighten out her life and take over the job in memory of her sister. Because that’s what this whole season is about — honoring the fallen loved ones.
And more trick arrows!
And now that we know Sara’s been tied up in the League of Assassins somehow — and that flashback to the boat shows that she’s been living on the Dark Side for a while — her coming back from the dead twice would suggest that a Lazarus Pit, or at least some kind of “grounded in reality” device of some sort, may exist in this universe. We’ll definitely see more of Oliver’s past with Sara, because she’s going to get to torture him a bit in the next episode? We may also get a little more of her history, as well.
Given that the character was recast, I’m going to guess that this was not part of the original plan for the character. Otherwise, we’d have had the same actress from the get-go. I’m more inclined to think the plot hatched as plans unfolded to have Oliver’s arc be informed by Tommy’s death. Just as that event has altered how Ollie does business as The Arrow, so Sara’s death may have the same impact on Laurel.
Nice bit with Felicity trying to explain away the blood on Oliver’s cheek after he shows up to a party late. Isabel is either going to get suspicious, or she’s going to completely write off Oliver as a waste of space. Their bit about “superior/partner/on paper” was fun, though. Summer Glau has such a dry delivery sometimes, it adds a little more to the character.