I Need a Hero

*Warning: This post contains spoilers to CW’s Arrow Episode 3.13 “Canaries.”

Last week, was one of the first weeks I did not loath Laurel. At the beginning of the episode, we saw Laurel taking out a bad guy Oliver and Roy were going after. Oliver confronts Laurel, and tell her what she is doing is selfish. Laurel replies that it is not selfish and “it’s what a hero would do.” This leads to the problem I have with the show. For some reason the show believes Laurel needed to lose her boyfriend and gain a drug habit so she could find her path to being a hero. Here’s the thing. Before Laurel’s part became mostly a love interest in season one, she was a hero. She fought for justice, and she didn’t have to wear a mask to do it. The people she brought justice to thought she was a hero. You don’t need to wear a mask and prowl through the night finding criminals to fight in order to be a hero. If that was the case, Felicity would not be considered a hero.

During the episode, Laurel gets stabbed with Vertigo by The Count (these are the times I miss Lincoln Lee Seth Gabel as The Count). Her nightmare is revealed as Sara, but in reality it is her doubt in ever becoming a hero like her sister. Illusionary Sara names all of Laurel’s flaws, tells her she will never be a hero, and asks why Laurel is trying to take her place. When Laurel comes to Felicity is there, and Laurel tells Felicity, “I was crazy to think I was fit to wear Sara’s jacket. So much as follow in her footsteps.” Felicity agrees with Laurel’s statement, and the reaction on Laurel’s face is priceless. She wasn’t expecting Felicity to agree. Felicity agreed because she knows Laurel does not face the demons Sara faced. Sara didn’t just wear the mask to hide her identity, but more to hide from who she thought she was. Laurel may have seen her sister as this hero, but Sara did not see herself in that way. Heroes generally do not see themselves as heroes. It what makes them a hero. For them it is a job. Oliver is seen as a hero, but he doesn’t recognize himself being one. He recognizes being Arrow as his job, and Sara was the same. They use fighting because that is what those five years being away taught them. Both of them lost so much of their humanity with those five years. They are/were slowly gaining part of their humanity back, but the demons will always be present.

The last vision Laurel sees from her second dose of Vertigo is Sara without her Canary outfit. The two sisters may not have always been on the best of terms, but Sara would never have been like the illusion Laurel saw and Laurel knows that.

What I do wonder is if Laurel went to see her dad the same night or not because Oliver must have taken her to get the second dosage of vertigo flushed out. She did seem to have all her faculties with her when she finally told Quentin the truth about Sara. Both actors gave their best performances with the scene and it was very moving. I do wonder if Laurel had not seen Lance accusing her of not telling him and Sara’s death, how much longer Laurel would have kept the secret. I guess we can thank Vertigo for something, but will we see any ramifications of nobody telling Lance the truth?

The episode had a couple of other revelations. The DJ was revealed to Thea as a member of the League of Assassins. I’m glad they didn’t bring out the story with him. By revealing who he was, then killing him shortly after made me see a glimpse of the second season where everything was fast paced. Stories don’t need to be drawn out, or visit points Q, M, and Z when going from A to B. The DJ served his purpose, and then killed himself. His purpose was to show Thea that Ra’s al Ghul was a real threat and she needed to be prepared.

The other revelation for Thea was Oliver being Arrow. The show did right with Merlyn in this episode compared to his his “redemption” story a couple of episodes ago. He was there when Roy and Thea couldn’t handle the DJ alone, and he was the one who told Oliver (what the audience has been screaming for a very long time) he needed to tell Thea about Arrow. Of course Thea also finds out Malcolm has known about Oliver for a while now, and whatever trust Malcolm was gaining with Thea is lost. The show uses Oliver’s voice when he tells Thea he is partnering with Malcom because it is the better of two evils. However, If Oliver does not also reveal to Thea what Malcolm did to her at the beginning of this season he may also lose her trust.

Oliver may have revealed to Thea he’s Arrow, but he is still trying to hide part of it from her when he tells her to leave the basement. Roy is the one who stands up to him, and tells him Thea should not be kept out anymore. When Oliver made the decision to tell Thea about Arrow he invited her into all of it. Oliver cannot comprehend his team not jumping when he tries to enforce Thea leaving, and Felicity drops another truth bomb. They all have their own voices, and the mission became even more theirs when they thought he had died. There’s no way they are going back to the way things were before Oliver left. Now Arrow is becoming more of a partnership than ever before. Oliver considered them partners before, but he still was the leader. He is able to understand the teams reasoning when Diggle lays it out for him. Felicity may drop truth bombs, but Diggle is the guru of understanding Oliver’s way of thinking and explaining how things are to him.

Nothing really happened in the flashback front. Maseo told Oliver to get back home before Waller could find him, but Waller found him and Maseo came back for Oliver. One of the last scenes we saw of the three was them entering Starling City. Home Sweet Home. A time where Tommy was still alive. This week will hopefully be a good week with Tommy and Slade appearances.


4 thoughts on “I Need a Hero

  1. Love your post! It is so much fun to hear what others think about this show too! I think they do a great job of showing the process of becoming a Superhero. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I have to disagree with a lot of your points. The thing is the writers did not have to kill off Sara in order for Laurel to become the Black Canary. I mean what the hell is wrong with too strong female sisters fighting side by side with each other. But no, the show had do destroy one female just so another female could rise above what she was. This episodes illusions of Sara that Laurel sees was just another painful reminder that Sara did indeed have to die for Laurel to take her place (even if that wasn’t their intention, it is what has happened the show). Also, for the better part of season three Digg has been telling Oliver that if he tells Thea the truth then he’ll lose her forever. And of course when Oliver finally does grow the balls to tell his sister the truth, she’s ok with it…or at least not as angry as I think she should be. So, of course the show writers had to use the rich white girl to undermine just about everything the black minority character has been saying for the better part of this season. These little hidden messages are really what get to me and I was a little disappointed that you did point them out.

  3. I agree Sara did not have to be killed. I firmly believe Sara should still be alive, and should not have been made into a plot point. They should have done the unexpected, and kept her alive. Caity WAS the Black Canary I wanted. I will forever love her, and do not believe she should have been killed in order for Laurel to be what she is now. Laurel didn’t need Sara’s death. No one did, but TPTB believed it needed to happen. This episode made me miss Caity because Sara was amazing.

    As for the Arrow revelation. Thea needed to told. I thought around the same lines as Diggle with Thea possibly being upset, but for some reason the show has usually revealed people being ok with finding out Oliver is Arrow.

    Diggle is an amazing guy. He gives Oliver solid advice, but sometimes Oliver won’t listen to him. However, we do get awesome moments like the bar scene where Diggle knows how to lay it all out to Oliver. Diggle’s speech was a little over a minute long, but with Ramsey’s performances it made it one of the most solid performances of the night.

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