Laurel continues to struggle with being Black Canary when Werner Zytle, the new Count Vertigo, escapes from prison and douses her with a Vertigo drug. Meanwhile, Oliver tries to readjust to his life as Arrow in Starling City and tries to bond with Thea.

Within the first few ten minutes of this episode, we see some major changes in status quo actually taking place. On one level, we see Oliver going against Laurel’s activities as Black Canary, as well how that compromises his leadership of the team. However, the biggest game changer comes in the form of Oliver revealing his secret identity to Thea. This moment is very satisfying, as the reasons he kept it from her were becoming increasingly weak, and the people knowing the secret before her was a bit ridiculous. So, the reveal and her reaction were refreshing to see from last week’s melodrama.

Oliver’s opposition of Laurel’s activities is a bit infuriating, on the other hand, and his unwillingness to work with Laurel makes her reckless enough to go after Vertigo alone. Oliver being called out by Laurel and Roy was appreciated, as he needs to learn that the dynamics have changed with his departure. Laurel’s battles with the hallucination of Sara, and later Quentin, quite literally beats some development into her regarding being her own person and revealing the truth to her father about Sara.

This leads to the second major event, as Laurel reveals the truth. The scene with her and Quentin is hard to watch, but it is very necessary for Laurel’s development and to finally end that dragged out storyline. Another story that is thankfully ended before it went on for too long was Thea’s relationship with Chase, actually a League of Assassins agent.

The flashbacks show the Yamashiros’ trying to escape Waller, only to be recaptured again and Oliver’s attempt to reunite with his family failing. However, the ending of them ties in with the episode’s ending, as Oliver returns to his home in both of the timelines: Starling City and Lian Yu. This is a surprising development, and whatever awaits for Oliver and Thea should be intriguing to witness.

“Canaries” makes up for last week’s dud by advancing character arcs, concluding others, and preparing the heroes to a final showdown with Ra’s al Ghul. Hopefully the remaining episodes pick up the momentum from here.

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