After eight seasons, and I don’t think there’s a way to tell how many punches, kicks, arrows, and shattered windows, Arrow is almost over. The Crisis has come and gone, and the end is in sight. As the second to last episode, the writers went with a backdoor pilot for a potential spin-off show, set in the future we’ve been seeing off and on throughout the last few seasons. After the Crisis, in Star City of 2040, we see what might be in “Green Arrow and the Canaries.”
The episode opens with alternating shots of a bike speeding through the city and a big party at a club. Eventually, the bike gets to Club V (a descendant of sorts of the former Club Verdant) and Laurel hops off, looking as annoyed as ever. Inside, she finds Bianca Bertinelli, daughter of Helena (Huntress) Bertinelli. Laurel tries to warn the little club chick she’s in danger, but Bianca blows her off and moves away in the crowd, getting herself kidnapped a few minutes later. Laurel does not look pleased as we get the Star City 2040 title on the screen.
Out at Queen Manson, which we haven’t seen in a long time, Mia wakes up with a smile on her face, and goes to check on her computer. We hear about Mayor Ramirez (Hi, Rene), and a vigilante museum before the man in the bed wakes up: JJ- John Junior, Diggle’s son. Apparently he’s not a crazed violent terrorist anymore, and he and Mia are on much better terms. Funny what resetting history can do. He surprises her with a question that makes her happy just before the scene shift. Laurel, still looking annoyed (then again, that’s her default state), goes to a bar and we find Dinah not only owns the place but is singing and playing piano. This might be a nod to the various versions of the comic Dinah who are singers, as well as giving actress Juliana Harkavy a chance to show what she can do. In her apartment above the bar, Dinah explains what happened to her post-Crisis, and it’s an odd story. Laurel explains her mission: she’s somehow come back from the near-future to prevent a big disaster in the city, and needs help. How Laurel is now time-traveling, I have no idea. Maybe she borrowed a Flash?
In this reality, Mia is evidently famous, as she goes inside a club and gets a lot of questions from various reporters about her life and her father. Inside, we get a brief glimpse of fellow future Arrow characters William Clayton and Zoe Ramirez. William offers her a job at SmoakTech, which Mia declines, seemingly very unsure about what she wants to do with her life. Mia offers a toast to her fellow class of ’40, and we see the reset has not been kind to Connor Hawke, who gets a glorified cameo. Laurel and Dinah show up with a lot of questions, and Mia doesn’t know who they are (even though they know who she is, somehow). After some barbed conversation, Laurel touches Mia’s head with a glowing gizmo, and the young woman gets all her memories back in a rush and then falls over.
Starting to recover, a shaken Mia pushes JJ away when he tries to comfort her, and keeps getting hit by a series of flashbacks of her other life. Laurel and Dinah gesture to her, and Mia meets them outside of “Club Fishnet,” a nod to Canary’s most talked about part of her costume. Outside, Laurel explains her memory gadget with passing references to J’Onn and Cisco. Mia isn’t pleased, and Laurel brushes aside her concerns to press on with the mission. Mia’s next line of excuses is not being sure if her skills are still there, but Laurel ends that quickly and then gives the details of what they need to do. Reluctantly going along with Laurel’s worries, Mia agrees to visit Bianca’s family to ask some questions. The Bertinelli’s seem remarkably unconcerned about Bianca, despite Mia laying out a good case. We do learn that Helena disappeared a while ago, as Laurel sneaks around to plant bugs and Dinah plays Felicity’s role on coms.
Back at Dinah’s bar, she and Laurel talk about bar tabs, heroes, choices, and friends. Laurel urges Dinah to reconsider some things, and then their interlude ends as Mia rejoins them. Laurel has developed a theory, but Mia doesn’t believe it. Laurel urges the team to go into action, but Mia doesn’t like what Laurel has brought her. Regardless of wardrobe, the women go into action, getting a bike chase, big fight, cool gadgets (where are they getting those, I wonder?) and a surprising villain appearance in the dramatic smoke. After the fight, the three argue a lot. Laurel isn’t the easiest person to get along with, and Mia is still torn between two different lives.
They move their bickering to JJ’s art gallery, where Mia checks out some of Laurel’s suspicions. There’s talk about Oliver’s past and some amusing scenes of getting past the inevitable guards. Why there are big thug guards at an art gallery, I have no idea. Mia gets to JJ’s office, does some of the hacking she was asked to, and gets several surprises and does some damage to some relationships. After this fiasco, the three women regroup for more arguing, and Mia reverts to her early, totally against heroes stance. Back at the Queen Mansion, Mia and JJ have a talk that doesn’t go well.
Dinah once again displays skills needed as plot points (remember when she suddenly was a pilot?) to help get the next clue via computer magic. They talk about their pasts and why Laurel is pushing Mia so hard. Mia stares at a picture of Oliver and cries, which is when Laurel comes in and shares some of her motivations. Mia shares why her life has been on the directionless side. Working together, Mia has some trivial knowledge that proves crucial, and the three of them suit up to go find the bad guys and save the damsel in distress.
They find the kidnap victim, the villain is revealed, and there’s another big fight. There’s a lot of chaos, an excuse for the metas to not use their powers, and some really improbable moves. The action is impressive but didn’t really work on a practical level. The big brawl ends with a hint at a larger conspiracy and, of course, a big explosion. Later, the team bonds, makes some decisions, and they get a potential base which is a nod to the comic book Birds of Prey.
Mia does her best to mend fences, and makes some progress. Dinah and Laurel plan for the future (and the possible coming series). Dinah also pushes Laurel for some more answers about why she’s back, and gets some disturbing answers. William and Mia get a little scene together at a memorial to the fallen Green Arrow, and discuss the media’s reactions to the big fight. After some banter about the hosin, their moment gets interrupted by a very unexpected development. JJ tries to get a nap, but gets a surprise visit that’s going to complicate Mia’s life a lot to end the series.
What I liked: There was some good action. I’m intrigued by Dinah’s situation and would like to know more about that. I liked the nod to Huntress, Mayor Ramirez, and I hope we get to see the “Vigilante Museum.” I have a few unanswered questions that, if the pilot goes to series, I’m hoping they deal with.
What I didn’t: This final season of Arrow has been really good, but this episode wasn’t up to that standard. There was some questionable writing and bad clichés. I’d like to see this series, but it’d need an overhaul from what I saw here.
I’m giving this a 2.5 out of 5. There’s definite room for improvement. Maybe we’ll see that down the road.