Oliver and Team Arrow find and recruit a new Black Canary, but not without a whole lot of resistance first.
So, uh, if you didn’t catch that Arrow is introducing a new Black Canary from the trailer that outed the entire plot of the episode (again)— they’re introducing a new Black Canary. In fact, they even open with her very own flashback. Picture it: Three years ago, Central City. Tina Boland, AKA Laurel’s apparent legacy, is being tortured by thugs who nearly kill her boyfriend in front of her face. But, before they do, she screams just as the particle accelerator explodes (how convenient!) and is turned into a metahuman (but we’re not supposed to know that for a few more minutes so, shh…).
Cut to Star City, present time. Down in the shiny, new Arrow lair, the team and Felicity suggest a plethora of bad ass ladies who could potentially take up Laurel’s mantle. But, Oliver isn’t exactly keen on any of them. He doesn’t think any are the “right fit.” Curtis just happens to suggest an “urban legend” of a woman who goes across the country fighting crime. And then basically breaks the fourth wall and says she’s the perfect canary sans blonde hair.
In other news, while the guys (except Rory) are preoccupied trying to find a Black Canary, Felicity’s having fun hacking. Felicity also let’s Oliver know that both Wild Dog and Curtis want to go on a road trip to recruit Tina. They show him her skills on videos, and he’s in agreement so they head off to Hub City.
Oliver calls Central City PD to get more info on Tina, who initially refused them when they approached her, obviously. Barry does Oliver a solid and proves to the reluctant CCPD that he actually is the Green Arrow and they grant him the information on Tina that he needs. Later on that night, they find her in the midst of torturing someone and she canary cries them into oblivion. But, that’s not all. A crew of criminals storm in and Tina runs away. So, naturally, Oliver goes after her, finds her, and shoots her with an arrow like he does all of his new recruits. It’s tradition.
Though Tina is rough around the edges, Oliver tries to appeal to her humanity. He gets it. He gets the whole living-for-revenge thing. No luck, though, she canary cries him again, anyway. Time to work on those speeches, Mr. Green Arrow.
Back to Felicity. Rory, sweetest newbie vigilante, brings an overtired and overworked Felicity Big Belly Burger. She’s hell bent on getting the files to help exonerate Diggle, but is temporarily put off her mission when she gets hacked and contacted by someone who apparently knows what she’s about.
Meanwhile, in Hub City, Curtis and Wild Dog have a heart to heart. In the midst of trying to chase down a grown woman with an ax to grind, they talk about their ragtag crew and decide that Team Arrow is all about finding second chances. Which is both sweet and true. Aw.
Later, Tina, who is about as stubborn as Wild Dog, comes face to face with a fellow metahuman, and the team comes to save her. The other meta outdoes her canary cry and ends up geting away. And, dun dun dun… it turns out he was the guy who tortured her back in Central City and killed her boyfriend.
Yet again, Oliver and the team try to appeal to her. They really, really, really want her to join the team. She politely declines, declaring that she’s going to avenge partner.
On the Felicity front, she goes to meet her hacker, who turns out to be a nerdy fan girl with similar looking glasses. They have an excitable conversation, but it turns out the girl was more of a fan of who Felicity was in college rather than who she is now. Felicity tries to tell the girl that she does good work now, too. The girl is unconvinced. She tells Felicity she wants to inspire her to get back to who she was as a hacktivist.
*Massages temples* Again, we find Oliver begging Tina to let him help her. This time though, his mask is off. She sees through why he unmasked himself but is clearly convinced by his honesty anyway and finally agrees despite being somewhat reluctant.
Now that they’ve found common ground, Tina and the team are on mission to get her torturer and his goons. Oliver has an epic fight scene where he pummels people while being suspended from a helicopter. As soon as that bad assery is over, the guys find Tina with her torturer at gunpoint. Oliver, despite not knowing Tina at all, apparently knows that she’s “better than this.” Obviously, he’s wrong, because she shoots and kills the man who killed her boyfriend.
Oliver goes back to Star City and Felicity excitedly gives him a USB with everything they’ll need to get Digg off. Oliver’s delighted but confused by how she did it. He asks if there’s something she’s not telling him like, oh, I don’t know, being a hactivist again, but she stays mum. Oliver goes to tell Digg the good news and the DA tells him he’s being released on bail.
Finally, after spending literally all episode resisting, Tina unexpectedly comes to see Oliver at his office. She tells Oliver that she thought she’d feel liberated by killing the man who killed her boyfriend, but she doesn’t. Oliver explains that it helps to not be alone. And she tells him that’s why she’s there. Oliver repeats Curtis and Wild Dog’s assertions that the team is all about finding second chances. They suggest that maybe the two of them are each other’s second chances, in a vigilantes-who-did-bad-stuff-but-are-on-a-better-path-now type of way. In fact, Oliver knows that she’s his second chance at fulfilling the Black Canary legacy because she tells him her name isn’t Tina, that was a cover. Apparently her name is Dinah Drake. Oliver explains that he thinks he knows a Dinah who would be proud.
Last, But Definitely Not Least, The Flashbacks
Oliver wakes up to Talia and asks why she saved him. She explains, simply, that it’s because he needed saving. Talia shows Oliver his old hood and reveals that she trained Yao Fei. Plot twist! She then proclaims that if Oliver could face all those years of hardship since being shipwrecked, he’s destined for more. Not so subtly, Talia taking Oliver under her wing is akin to what he’s doing by recruiting Tina (or Dinah) and it ties in nicely.
Talia tries to get Oliver to focus on a mission. She reminds Oliver of his father’s list and wants him to follow his father’s wishes. He refuses and explains that he isn’t his father’s son anymore. That he’s a monster. Talia tells him he’s afraid and that he’s running from his problems. She tells him she’s been there and can help him find his way back. How? She tells him to channel the monster into, “Someone else, something else” and then he can be Oliver Queen. Cue the season one suit! We’re getting close to full circle here, you guys.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think about Team Arrow getting another Black Canary?