Second Union

Second Union

“Green Arrow & the Canaries” Backdoor Pilot Review

While Arrow is coming to an end, Star City (and The CW) still needs a Green Arrow. How does his replacement hold up against the original?

With the series finale of Arrow next week, the show’s penultimate episode serves as a pilot for a potential spinoff show Green Arrow & the Canaries. Kat McNamara has been great as Mia Smoak the past couple of seasons and Katie Cassidy and Juliana Harkavy have become a huge part of Arrow. There is definitely major potential for a show focused around these three.

The question of how this show would work and where in the timeline it would be set is answered immediately as we open in Star City 2040. However, this isn’t the Star City 2040 we’ve come to know from the flashforwards. Crisis has had dramatic effects across the new multiverse and timelines and the new 2040 of Earth-Prime is dramatically different.

In this timeline, Mia Queen is a simple socialite who is now engaged to John Diggle Jr. William is still CEO of Smoak Tech, Zoe is alive and Connor is apparently the black sheep of the Diggle family. We also learn that Dinah has been transported mysteriously to 2040 and there is no record of her past self in the timeline. Laurel Lance, formerly of Earth-2 Black Siren fame, travels to the future with help from the Legends to deliver a warning message.

While the Star City in this timeline hasn’t seen crime in 20 years, the Star City of 2041 is once again a burning, crime-riddling disaster. Laurel recruits Dinah and wakes up Mia using a device that replicates J’onn J’onzz’s power to restore memories from the lost timeline.

This is going to be a big part of the potential spinoff moving forward. While these were all interesting characters before, they are now a blend of two different sets of memories. Mia spends the rest of the episode wrestling with her memories as a rich Queen in love with JJ and her memories as a cage-fighting vigilante who watched JJ murder her friend. She also now has a much more complicated relationship with her father and an even greater feeling of living up to his legacy.

The actual plot of the episode is pretty simple. A friend of Mia’s is kidnapped and the Canaries are looking for her. In the end, her ex-boyfriend and current Deathstroke kidnapped her for reasons that still haven’t been fully revealed. He makes a reference to answering to a woman above him that hints at a greater threat.

In the final few minutes of the episode, we get a lot of threads dropped on us. The villain of the week had a tattoo that matches the design on the arrowhead Hozen that Oliver gave William. Somebody finds JJ and uses a device to restore his pre-Crisis memories of his life as Deathstroke. Dinah and Laurel decide to stick around and try to figure out how and why Dinah was mysteriously transported to the future before the city falls into chaos in a year’s time. And finally, William and Mia are tranquilized and kidnapped by unknown attackers.

This pilot does a good job setting up the promise of the series to come. The action and characters are on par with what we’ve come to expect from eight years of Arrow. If the show gets picked up for a season I’ll tune in to see how these stories develop. However, I’m worried it won’t give us enough new to really stand out from Arrow and last long-term. For the most part, this felt like a typical Arrow episode. Hopefully, if this gets a series order it can change its tone and feel to better stand on its own and create a unique addition to the growing Arrowverse.

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