Arrow Review: The Canary Sings

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There were so many things to like about Arrow Season 2 Episode 4, including notable items I completely missed.

To wit: Sara's mask contained half a head of hair with it? How did I not see that detail?!?

This week, on Arrow Season 2 Episode 5, we continued the journey of Sara Lance as Canary learned a lot more about who she was before she came back to Starling City. 

It was interesting to see flashbacks from a perspective of someone other than Oliver, wasn't it? It seems their time on the Gambit and after is burned into their brains in ways they'll never be able to escape.

While Oliver went from the arms of Sara into a boat with his father and onto an island where he had to fight for his life, Sara slipped out of Oliver's arms and her first place of respite was in a cage on board the ship. 

Scary stuff indeed.

Cheers to Oliver and Diggle

Sara's life seemed to change so dramatically after she was sucked out of the boat that I'm surprised she has retained any of her former self at all. Huge props to holding onto her father's voice and never forgetting where she came from, no matter how ugly things were, because without that connection to family she wouldn't be half the woman she has become.

I know that producers have said that Sara's story is really part of the long journey of Laurel Lance, but when you examine how the two sisters hold up under pressure, it's difficult to imagine a time when Laurel will ever have the strength Sara possesses. 

Sara has almost been killed and has killed. She is a self-confessed murderer and a member of the League of Assassins, one of the most deadly teams on the planet. She was rescued from the freighter by them and swore to them her allegiance, doing who knows what (other than the brief murders she outlined) in return for her life. 

Through this all, Sara still thinks about her family, about their safety. First, it appears she worries most what they would think of who she has become, but when they were in danger she put her fears aside and went to Starling City to check on them after the earthquake. When the threat became even more intimate and Oliver had Laurel's back but Felicity was unable to convince Lance to leave town, Sara took another chance and revealed herself to her father.

Paul Blackthorne put so much emotion into Lance's scenes with Sara, my eyes misted up more than once. His character has grown so much from the rhetoric spewing police Sergeant we first met at at the start of Arrow Season 1. It didn't surprise me one bit how quickly he was able to piece together that Sara was the masked girl kicking the crap out of creeps in The Glades.

When he had to say goodbye to Sara and his voice broke saying he couldn't let her go, I was crushed. At least he saw her in action and knew she could take care of herself. 

It was then that his other daughter got Lance's attention, because he realized that even if she says she's alright, she's going through more than he understands. He had something so incredible happen to him, something that beyond his wildest imagination, so trying to impart to Laurel that things will get better was of the greatest importance to him.

And so we're still left wondering exactly what Laurel's journey is to be. She's working hard for the DA's office and used her pull to get a plea deal for Moira: life in prison for a guilty plea. That's as good as it gets. She's hardly making friends with anything she's doing.

When Oliver took her to dinner, she didn't have a drink, but she did try to kiss him and broke down wondering why everyone leaves her when he turned her down. She's still popping pills.

Sadly, most of our readers would be happy to tell Laurel why everyone leaves. If someone would tell her that Sara was alive and what she went through, she might finally see how much better her own life is and get the courage to move forward. That time is not now, so we'll be stuck with the insufferable version of Laurel Lance for a while to come.

Other things of note:

  • After watching Sara and Lance reunite, Oliver knew that nothing his mother could be hiding from her and Thea to avoid a trial could keep them apart and they talked her out of taking the deal.
  • Al-Owal didn't have much of a part, did he? We pretty much know that Malcolm was a member of the League of Assassins, given his gear, however. We'll probably see more of John Barrowman through flashbacks.
  • I wish they wouldn't have had Sara take so many blows to the face when Al-Owal first broke into the window at the Queen mansion (How many times will that window need to be replaced?), because her lack of bruising was noticeable. She's not superhuman.
  • Was anybody else surprised that Oliver didn't reveal himself to Lance as Sara left? It would have been the perfect time and Lance would have been very open to receiving the information.
  • Meeting Doctor Ivo was too brief. I tried to read up on him in relation to the DC Universe, but I'm holding off on commenting because there is too much I don't know other than it was nice Sara was held captive by a handsome evil doctor. Right?
  • Didn't it seem like Sara was jealous that Oliver had just a great pair of friends in Diggle and Felicity? Her interactions with both were fun and believable.
  • Oliver finally told Diggle about what happened to him when he wasn't on the island. How much of his story to you think he told over that bottle of vodka?

Watching Arrow every week makes me wish more people were tuning in because they really don't know what they're missing. The character development and pacing of the story is pitch perfect. I even believe there will be more to Laurel because I trust that the story they're telling has a purpose.

We're supposed to dislike her. And it's working! 


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (137 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Thankfully Oliver declined Laurel's offer to begin yet another boring relationship (Of-course it can be a one-nighter but we all know how they play out ..weep weep). Contrary to her sis Sarah is fun character to watch. Hopefully we get more stories with her character. I'm dying to see what happened on that boat but I guess we have all season worth of flashbacks there.


Is it only me, or does anyone else feel that Abu Nazir would have made a brilliant Ras al Ghul?


I want more Felicity


"I wish they wouldn't have had Sara take so many blows to the face when Al-Owal first broke into the window at the Queen mansion (How many times will that window need to be replaced?), because her lack of bruising was noticeable. She's not superhuman." Isn't she? Because given who it was that rescued her, I have to wonder... (And I'll bet Ivo's work directly related to whatever it is that Blood's trying to do as well. Any takers?)


Personally i loved this episode i thought it was a real growth episode for Oliver and Laurel not to mention Sara. Everyone had to deal with something and overcome there fears about what they are carrying and letting others share.
I would actually love for Sara to be regular on the show, i find her more interesting then Laurel and i think a much better Canary, plus you know there is a connection with Oliver.
Can't wait for more flashbacks and more on the Oliver on the boat getting tortured story.


I personally think this is one of the best episodes of Arrow. There were so many more revelations and different perspectives. Seeing Sara's story progress is so inspiring. I definitely agree with the fact that Oliver should have revealed himself to Lance when Sara left. It would be the perfect time. I was actually waiting for him to show who he is. The emotion that this episode held was so beautiful. It had my heart captured and my eyes misting up. I particularly loved literally every scene of Sara and her dad. It was just to heart-warming. Great episode.

Sarah silva

Another fantastic episode!
I loved the 3 fight scenes.
I am glad that Detective Lance knows Sara is alive. I really liked their scenes together.
Laurel continues her downward spiral. Oliver and her had a nice moment and I know he still loves her and would have kissed her but he does not feel it is the best time for them to be in a relationship.
It is cute to see that Felicity is that awkward with everyone not just Oliver.
I wonder what Moira is worried about coming out during the trial, I have a feeling that Thea may be Moira and Malcolm's daughter, or something. Whatever it is, I am not sure if Thea will mean what she said that nothing could make them love her any less. We all know Oliver will be able to handle what ever comes out.
I am sure we are just seeing the beginning of Dr Ivo.
I too thought it would have been the prefect time for Oliver to reveal to Lance who he was!


I didn't like the action in this episode, except for the mansion scene. Good story overall though I loved it. Im pretty sure child of Ras is Talia. Sara is most likely one of her bodyguards. I am upset there was no Wayne reference( I do know Nolan's batman is not canon)

@ Scarlet speedster

There wasn't a Wayne reference, but there was a nod to Batman Begins in the line by Sara during the attack "You should learn to mind your surroundings" a line used repeatedly by Ras.


Loved this episode. I'm glad detective Lance knows Sara's still alive and him being ok with who she is and understanding why she's like is great and I loved their moments together they were so sweet and detective Lance has come along way. So it looks like Sara is gone for now I can't wait to see her again. I'm glad Moira didn't take the deal and we're going to find out more of her secrets but the deal was as good as she's probably going to get if she doesn't win over the jury which I think will be very hard. Can't wait till the next episode.


i wonder what Moira's secret is, i think malcom merlin is the father of Thea and oliver, but more likely just thea.

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Arrow Season 2 Episode 5 Quotes

Oliver: You know, not a day goes by when your family doesn't miss you.
Sara: Yeah? How do you know?
Oliver: Because I missed you.

Sara: Laurel's gonna kill me. She's really gonna kill me.
Oliver: She'll never know.