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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Arrow Season 8 Episode 9: Green Arrow and the Canaries

January 22nd, 2020 by Todd Black Comments

The biggest question leading up to Crisis on Infinite Earths was how the future storyline of Star City (which had been one of the main stories of seasons 7 and 8) was going to continue with Mia, William and Connor being timeplaced via The Monitor. Not to mention them and other members of the future timeline (like Roy) knowing what happens and even having thing occur that didn’t in their timeline (Roy losing an arm on Lian Yu). The backdoor pilot episode of “Green Arrow and the Canaries” answers that, and further shows the impact from Crisis.

Mainly, in this newly rewritten universe, Mia and William DID grow up together, Oliver is honored throughout Star City (complete with a statue), Mia now lives in Queen’s old mansion (which if you recall was lost to them), is engaged to JJ (who was the leader of the Deathstroke gang), Conor is an addict (whereas he used to be a hero), Zoe isn’t dead, William is happy and running his company without issues or missions from their parents, Dinah “woke up” in the future with no trace of her past life for anyone to remember, and Mia isn’t the Green Arrow, she’s just…Mia, but in the vein of Oliver pre-Lian Yu.

That’s a LOT of changes, especially when you hear that Oliver’s sacrifice to save the world and universe/Multiverse led to Star City being the “safest place on Earth” for about 20 years. But of course, that wouldn’t make for a compelling superhero series, now would it? Enter Laurel (Black Siren/Black Canary/Laurel E2), who comes to us straight from 2020 (on a mission of her own) to 2040 to try and save someone who dies three days in the future and starts a chain reaction that causes all of Star City to burn…just like in the previous future timeline.

Obviously, this is a LOT to take in, and there’s a lot of built-in mysteries to try and hook you for the future of the series, but for the most part it works. And some of the “new world” twists are fun to see if a little on the nose.

It’s good to see the whole “bring your memories back” trick isn’t gone, because if they had to retrain Mia it wouldn’t have been as clever as them “bringing back” the old Mia via the memory Vibe if you will. And having certain other characters get that too brings even more twists to life.

The biggest thing for me though was the struggle of Mia. Because she honestly had everything she could want in life outside of her father being dead. She had money, a good man, friends, loving family, the only thing she was “lacking” was purpose, which Laurel gave her.  But you can’t blame her for fighting off the invitation at first. Because as she saw firsthand, being a hero is not an easy thing.

The villain-of-the-week was a bit low key, and the ominous “she won’t let you” thing wasn’t exactly the strongest hook for an arching villain, but the first episode of the series may help out with that. There are other factors that make “Green Arrow and the Canaries” compelling, not the least of which is the balancing personalities of Dinah, Laurel, and Mia, and who knows who else will join in on the action once their memories are potentially restored.

I do wish that some of the drama was toned down though, including the classic “lets make a perfect relationship and then destroy it with pettiness!” trope that Arrow Season 1 (and other CW shows…) was full of. Hopefully this won’t get weighed down by that.

All in all though, for a backdoor pilot, “Green Arrow and the Canaries” did a solid job of setting things. Let’s see what this new future brings.

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!