Things are a little different on this week’s Arrow. Instead of our island flashbacks being all about Oliver, we instead focus on what happened to Sara Lance after she was sucked away into the ocean after the Queen’s Gambit went down.
We open the episode to six years ago and we see Sara and Oliver on board pretty much about to get it on. We see a different Sara here, one that is flirty and worried that Laurel is going to kill her for sleeping with her boyfriend but then the Queen’s Gambit goes down and we see perspective of being in the water, hearing Oliver cry for her as the ship sinks.
Back to the present Sara wakes up from a nightmare in the Queen’s Mansion. Oliver is letting her stay there and still asks why she won’t let her family know that she is alive. Sara refuses to answer.
The action then moves to Iron Heights Prison where Moira is sitting down with her lawyer, Jean, Thea and eventually Oliver to hear what ADA Donner has to say. Oliver is surprised that Laurel is second chair on the case. Donner presents Moira with a deal that takes the Death Penalty off the table if she pleads guilty and gets life in prison with a chance for parole. Of course, outrage abounds but Moira tells Donner and Laurel that she will consider the deal.
Oliver then speaks with Laurel and is mad that she is on this case but she tells him that with her on the case is the reason why there was a deal in the first place. If not for her, Moira would probably get the death penalty.
Back at the Queen Mansion, Oliver and Sara have a conversation that is interrupted by a man dressed like Malcolm Merlyn. A fight ensues between Oliver, Sara and this man. Oliver manages to take the guy down and asks why he is dressed like Malcolm Merlyn. This man responds that they came for Sara. This man is Al-Owal (Navid Neghaban) and he is part of the League of Assassins.
Sara explains all of this to Oliver and the Arrow Team in the Arrow Cave. Oliver realizes that Sara is part of the League of Assassins and the reason why she doesn’t want to tell her family that she is alive. There is only one way to leave the League of Assassins and it ain’t through the front door. She also shares some of the stuff that she had to do while a member. Team Arrow seems to welcome Sara into the fold and Sara realizes that Oliver now has true friends that he can trust.
There was some dirt left on the scene, which Oliver tasks Felicity to identify. She does her magic and discovers that is from an abandoned pesticide warehouse.
And I am going get Sara flashbacks out of the way now. After the ship went down, we see Sara, only in a silk robe and underwear, floating on some wreckage, where she sees a yellow Canary on another piece of wreckage. She sees a freighter in the distance and calls for help. The freighter does pick her up and while the drag her away she name drops the Queen name in hopes of getting her freedom but alas she is thrown in a prison cell. Later, the man that interrogated Oliver in the last episode, is dragging her out of her cell to presumably be killed. However, a caucasian man, who seems to be the boss of the freighter, stops them and takes her back to his office.
He introduces himself as Doctor Anthony Ivo (Dylan Neal – who played ADA Ray Sacks in Smallville). Sara wants to know what he is doing with the prisoners. He tells her that he is working on something that will save the world and wonders if she wants to help him.
Back to the action of the present day, Arrow and Canary go to this pesticide warehouse. At first, Arrow confronts Al-Owal and asks him to leave Sara alone. But Al-Owal needs to return Canary to Ra’s Al Ghul. This is when Canary and some League of Assassin members get into a fight. Before they fight, it is revealed that Malcolm Merlyn was part of the League of Assassins and that Al-Owal is the one that trained him.
This fight sequence was pretty impressive with lots of arrow catching and Canary doing her thing but she gets injured. However, the Assassins escape but not before threatening Sara’s family.
In the Arrow Cave, Oliver is patching Sara up and the team formulate a plan to protect Laurel and Lance. Oliver will keep an eye on Laurel while Felicity will warn Lance to get out of town.
Lance, just getting off duty and trying to get in touch with Laurel to apologize for his intervention last week, is approached by Felicity who tries in vain to warn him that he is the target of a group that calls themselves the League of Assassins.
Returning to the Arrow Cave, Felicity tells Diggle and Sara that she couldn’t convince Lance to leave Starling City. So Sara decides to protect her father despite Diggle warning her not to. She also refuses to have Diggle as her backup.
Outside Lance’s apartment, he is going out for the evening but Felicity’s warning is in his head so he sees and feels like he is in danger. Just as he gets to his car, he feels a presence behind him and we see that Sara has revealed herself to her father. And we have a very emotional father-daughter reunion.
At a Chinese restaurant, Sara and Lance continue their reunion discussion where Lance realizes that Sara knows the Arrow and deduces that she is the Canary and has been back for weeks. He is saddened that if the League of Assassins weren’t after him that she would have remained dead to him. When a noise spooks Sara into Canary mode, Lance knows that his daughter is in trouble. Sara and her father then leave the restaurant.
Meanwhile, Oliver visits Laurel at her office and asks her out to dinner. Laurel thinks he only asked her to discuss his mom’s case but Oliver says that is not the reason. He knows that Laurel has been having a rough time and wants to take her out as friends. Laurel happily accepts. When the two return from dinner, Oliver is walking her to her apartment. Reading some wrong signals, Laurel leans in for a kiss but Oliver says they shouldn’t. Laurel is upset and wonders what is wrong with her that people keep pulling or running away. She cites, Oliver, her father, Sara, her mom and Tommy as examples.
Laurel then notices that her door is ajar after swearing that she locked it. Oliver goes to investigate and sees a dagger that probably belongs to Al-Owal stabbed in the wall. Oliver grabs it before Laurel comes in. Oliver tells her everything is fine and leaves. Once he leaves, Laurel starts popping pills.
Oliver realizes that Laurel isn’t the target but it is Lance and gets Felicity to locate him. And that place is Canary’s hideout. Sara has taken her father there as it is the best place to watch the city. She also tells him that she gave herself a new name: Canary.
Sara deliberately went here because she knew Al-Owal would know she would go there. She gets into Canary mode and starts to fight of the three men while Lance just starts shooting. This is a pretty impressive fight sequence and Caity Lotz looked really good wielding that bo staff. Anyways, Arrow comes on the scene and joins the fight. Lance manages to kill one while Sara kills Al-Owal in front of her father. She wants to kill the other one but Lance and Arrow convince her not too but gives a warning to the other guy to tell the boss that his fight is with her and not her family. The man escapes to give the message.
Sara apologizes to her father that he had to see that and is worried that he sees her differently now. Lance says that no matter what she will always be his daughter. However, this family reunion is short-lived as Sara needs to go to protect her family and that Lance cannot tell Laurel or her mother that she is alive and she leaves. Lance doesn’t want to but Arrow says that it is for the best.
After his ordeal, Lance visits Laurel and tells her that no matter what, he will always worry about his kids. And Laurel gets apologetic for giving her dad a hard time and it looks like this father-daughter pair have reconciled.
I haven’t forgotten about Moira. At first Moira wants to take the deal with Thea pleading her not to. Oliver realizes that Moira is keeping something from them but she refuses to say anything. Oliver comes to a realization that Moira doesn’t want to go to trial because what she is keeping secret is probably going to get out and her kids will hate her. But Thea and Oliver tell her that no matter what, they will always love and support her. Moira decides to reject the plea and go to trial and take her chances with a jury.
By episode’s end, Oliver learns a life lesson about keeping secrets and decides to tell Diggle of his time on the island starting with the fact that he wasn’t always on the island. We flashback to him being thrown in Doctor Ivo’s office with Sara overlooking him and kicking him telling him that prisoner’s don’t talk.
And despite Sara leaving in the present day I am sure we haven’t seen the last of her or the Canary.
While I really like seeing Arrow and Canary fight side by side, I really believe that Laurel will become the next Canary. It has been stated that Oliver isn’t the first Green Arrow that would be Yao-Fei and later Shado (who apparently Sara has met). So it stands to reason that Sara will die again after Laurel finds out she is alive and will take up her mantle.