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Black Canary Returns to Arrow, “Midnight City” 

Crime may have brought Black Canary back to Starling City, but after watching last night’s episode, it feels like the city lost the real thing and ended up with a cheap knock-off version instead. The wig, the mask and the leather outfit are all the same, but Laurel is no Sara. It was almost embarrassing watching her try to fight. Don’t get me wrong, I know she has little to no experience and that Sara had many fights under her belt, but it feels like in doing this, Laurel is tarnishing Sara/Black Canary’s reputation. Sara could fight. She could actually take down bad guys. And she looked darn good doing it. But now, the Black Canary is sloppy, unsteady and overall ineffective.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

That being said, everyone deals with loss in a different way and Laurel feels the need to fight for her city and continue her sister’s work, which is something I commend. However, using her sister’s image to do so seems like cheating. Just because she’s put on her sister’s clothes and is using her bad-ass reputation, she thinks she can swim in the big kid’s pool without using floaties, a point Diggle deliberately points out when he finds out what she’s up to.

Diggle: Laurel, what the hell?

Laurel: I’m fine.

Diggle: You are certifiable if you think you can wear your sister’s mask.

Laurel: Yea, yea, you’re right. But Oliver, the Arrow, he’s gone now. And like it or not, the Canary sends the same message. They fear her.

Diggle: No Laurel, they fear your sister.

Laurel: Yea and she’s not here anymore.

No, she’s not here anymore, but when it comes to instilling fear and making a difference, is an icon really enough? Granted, I haven’t done any crime-fighting myself, but I think that it’s pretty darn important that one can back up that reputation. If the Canary  suddenly can’t fight, can’t win and can’t protect, then what’s left to fear?

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

Don’t get me wrong, I know Laurel is trying to do good, but it seems she’s only making it worse. And she quickly learned that herself after she and Roy went to rescue the three alderman and one ended up dead as a result. Ironically, after this incident, it was Felicity (the one character that has been vehemently anti-vigilantism as of late), who gave Laurel a new direction and reason to fight.

Laurel: Everything okay?

Felicity: I came to ask you the same thing, Canary.

Laurel: Guess you came here to talk some sense in to me.

Felicity: Seems like you could use some.

Laurel: Not sure you’re going to have to bother. Brick, he killed someone tonight. In front of me. And I thought that being Sara would make it hurt less. But instead it just caused more pain. Not just for me. So you don’t have to worry. I’m not going to be putting on that mask again. I’m not strong enough to fight as Sara.

Felicity: Maybe you’re not suppose to. Maybe it’s not about Sara. Or Oliver. Or anyone else who we care about who we’ve lost. Maybe what we’ve been doing, we’ve been doing it because there are people we care about that are still alive. Maybe we’re doing it for them.

I can’t say I agree with putting Laurel back on the streets, but I do see Felicity’s point and like that she’s come around as to their purpose. And honestly, once Oliver gets back, hopefully he can give Laurel a little training and that will ultimately give her a fighting chance. After all, look how clumsy Roy was when he started. Granted, he’s still no Arrow, but he is coming around and he certainly out-shined Laurel in this episode. Speaking of Oliver, I’m so curious to see what he thinks of all of this when he returns. Not only has his city gone to ruins, but his ex-ex-girlfriend is risking her life pretending to be his ex-girlfriend, who he couldn’t save, all because he isn’t there to keep the bad guys at bay.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

Nevertheless, fighting as your sister and assuming her vigilante-identity is one thing, but actually pretending to be her is another. So when Laurel called her father as Sara, it about killed me. Granted, I know she needed to get valuable information, but that seemed like an unusually manipulative way to accomplish that. Especially when we saw how overjoyed Detective Lance was to be talking to his daughter. And it clearly wasn’t easy for Laurel either, which was why I was surprised when she upped the level of deceit by actually approaching him in the alley in person after saving the aldermen.

Detective Lance: Hey, sweetheart, how about we cry over each other’s shoulders over dinner at that Chinese place you love?

Laurel (as Sara): I can’t. I’m sorry.

Detective Lance: What’s going on with you, sweetheart? Why do you keep trying to avoid me?

Laurel (as Sara): I’ll explain everything, just not tonight.

Detective Lance: You okay?

Laurel (as Sara): I’m fine, daddy, I’m fine.

She HAS to know that she can’t string him along and pretend to be Sarah forever, right? And what will he think when he learns that his one daughter DIED because she was the Black Canary and now his other daughter is putting herself in harm’s way just the same by stepping in to her sister’s shoes?! Call me crazy, but I can’t help but feel that this deceit and showing him that Sara is within arms reach will make things even more painful when the truth finally comes out. That being said, I don’t expect that to happen for a while and hopefully in that time, Laurel will learn how to throw a better punch, land more gracefully from a fall and better predict her opponents next move so she can do the Black Canary title justice.

Be sure to catch Arrow next Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW.

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