Previously in the Arrowverse: the Crisis on Infinite Earths! Worlds lived, worlds died, and nothing was the same. In the aftermath of the event, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is dead, and Earth-Prime was born—a new world with a new history, similar to the world that was but with as-yet-unknown changes. What impact will these cosmic changes have on the Star City of 2040, the home of Oliver’s grown daughter, Mia (Katherine McNamara)? Arrow S8E9, “Green Arrow & The Canaries,” established a new status quo for the future of the Arrowverse, and set up quite a few mysteries for the potential spin-off series of the same name.
Pray You Catch Me
The episode opens with intercut scenes of a motorcycle speeding through the streets of Star City, and a lively dance club, which we come to learn is the Verdant (no word on if the Queens still own it). The motorcycle pulls up outside the club, and Dinah Lance (Katie Cassidy Rodgers), looking not a day older than she did in 2020, gets off and enters the club. Inside she finds a young woman, Bianca Bertinelli (Raigan Harris), who we later learn is the daughter of Helena ‘Huntress’ Bertinelli. Laurel tells Bianca that her life is in danger, but Bianca blows her off and dances away. As Laurel tries to follow, Bianca is immediately kidnapped by some nameless goons. Laurel sees the kidnapping, and runs out of the club, but Bianca is nowhere in sight. In the distance, a gleaming, prosperous Star City stands as backdrop, a stark contrast to the crumbling, crime-ridden shell the city had become in the pre-Crisis 2040.
We next find ourselves at Queen Manor. Mia Queen wakes up next to a mystery man, a photo of she and William as children on the nightstand next to the bed. We learn that Rene Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez) is now the mayor of Star City, and that the man Mia woke up next to is none other than J.J. Diggle (Charlie Barnett). Mia and J.J. flirt and kiss, and it comes up that today is Mia’s college graduation day. As a graduation gift, J.J. presents her with a small box, and as she sees the ring inside he gets down on one knee and proposes. After a stunned moment Mia says yes.
Elsewhere, Laurel enters The Fishnet bar and finds Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy), the owner of the bar, singing and playing the piano. Dinah also doesn’t seem like she’s aged at all. After Dinah finishes her song, she and Laurel go up to Dinah’s apartment, which is above the bar. The space is huge, and it’s situated behind the face of a clock. Dinah asks Laurel how she found her, and Laurel says Sara (Caity Lotz) helped track her down in the future. Dinah tells Laurel that she woke up in 2040 the day after Oliver’s funeral in 2020, to discover that she doesn’t even exist in this future. Being in the future has allowed Dinah to let go of the past, she says.
Laurel tells Dinah about Bianca’s kidnapping, and Dinah asks if she came to the future just to save a kidnapped socialite. Laurel shows Dinah news footage of Star City in 2041. The city is in flames, with rioting in the streets and police in military gear. She says that the city falls apart following the death of Bianca Bertinelli, which according to the future happens in three days. Dinah is hesitant to help, and Laurel plays the Oliver card to convince her. She says they’ll need one more person for this mission.
That night, Mia and J.J. arrive at Mia’s graduation party, and are met by paparazzi. Amid the flash bulbs one of the paparazzos asks Mia what her father would think of her life choices. Mia replies that her father saved Star City so people could enjoy it, and what’s what she’s going to do. Inside the party, Mia and J.J. are greeted by William Clayton (Ben Lewis) and Zoe Ramirez (Andrea Sixtos), who congratulate Mia on her graduation. William offers her a job at SmoakTech, which Mia politely declines. Later, as Mia makes a speech thanking everyone for coming and toasting the class of 2040, she sees Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones) enter the back of the room. After the toast, she finds J.J. talking to Connor, and Mia makes a crack about Connor being in rehab. The two snipe at each other a bit before Mia excuses herself. She finds a party guest, Trevor (Chad Duell), and asks him if he’s seen Bianca; he says he hasn’t, and that they broke up.
Suddenly Dinah and Laurel appear, saying Trevor is the last person Bianca texted before she disappeared. Mia objects, not recognizing either of them, and Trevor walks away. Mia follows suit, but Laurel touches her arm with a red-glowing ring she’s wearing. When she does, memories of her pre-Crisis life flood back to Mia, and she instantly remembers everything. Mia collapses, and as J.J. helps her to her feet she looks around at everyone and remembers their past lives, including J.J.’s past as the murderous leader of the Deathstroke Gang. Disoriented, and repulsed by J.J, Mia leaves to talk to Laurel and Dinah, who she now remembers. Laurel says Cisco was able to replicate J’onn J’onnz’s ability to restore people’s memories, which is what her ring did. They tell Mia that Bianca has been kidnapped and they need Mia’s help to find her, and after a brief moment of hesitation for Mia over whether she can even be the Green Arrow, Laurel throws a glass at her, which she catches easily. Dinah and Laurel fill Mia in on what they know about Bianca’s kidnapping, and suggest that Mia visit the Bertinelli family to see what they know.
Don’t Hurt Yourself
At the Bertinelli mansion, Mia tells Bianca’s parents and brother she thinks Bianca might be in trouble. Elsewhere on the grounds, Dinah works on hacking into the security cameras so Laurel can safely plant bugs around the building. Bianca’s brother, Logan, tells Mia he thinks Bianca will probably turn up soon, and her parents agree. After a close call in which Laurel is almost caught by one of the servants, all the bugs are set and the three of them leave. Bianca’s parents tell Mia not to worry, and as she walks away from them she tells Dinah and Laurel via comms she’s going back to the bar to talk to some of Bianca’s friends.
Back at Dinah’s apartment, Dinah sets to work monitoring the bugs they planted around the Bertinelli house. Laurel chides Dinah for hiding out in her bar and her apartment all the time when she could be out in the world making a difference. Dinah says she thinks she was brought to this future so she could realize she shouldn’t have ever been a hero, but Laurel reminds her she inspired all of the Canaries to be heroes in the pre-Crisis future. Mia arrives and tells the two of them her friends didn’t know anything, and just then one of Dinah’s bugs turns on. She overhears Logan saying he’s worried about something being found out, and they suspect it might be Bianca. Laurel says it’s time to suit up and opens a case to reveal Mia’s pre-Crisis Green Arrow costume, which she refuses to put on.
That night, the three of them ride out on motorcycles to intercept a pair of SUVs. Surrounding the lead car, which Logan is in, they disable the engine with an EMP device. Laurel and Dinah distract the goons while Mia heads to the back of the car to free Bianca. Before she can open the car, Mia is attacked by a goon, who she takes down relatively easily. She opens the back door to find no Bianca, but several suitcases with vials of what may be the drug Vertigo in them. As Mia realizes they were wrong, from out of nowhere a bomb lands on the ground in front of Mia. She runs, and the bomb explodes, sending she, Laurel, and Dinah to the ground. As Mia looks back through the smoke, she seems someone wearing a Deathstroke mask.
Back at Dinah’s, they’re all annoyed that they were wrong about Logan having Bianca. Mia is also angry with Laurel and Dinah for having left her alone, asking what would’ve happened if she had forgotten how to fight. Laurel snipes back that Mia’s fiancee, J.J., is now their top suspect, and Mia says there’s no way it’s J.J. They argue back and forth, Mia continuing to defend J.J., and Laurel suggests Mia should prove it if she’s so certain.
Soon, the three of them arrive at the art gallery where J.J. works. Dinah asks Mia if she’s okay, and Mia says she’s still trying to sort through her old memories and her new ones. Mia splits off to talk to J.J. while Laurel makes her way to J.J.’s office and Dinah takes down the security cameras. Laurel is unable to get past the guard to enter the office, but Mia walks right in, much to Laurel’s chagrin. Inside the office, Mia places a device on the computer and data starts transferring. Suddenly the computer frezes, and guards and J.J. enter the office. Mia says she knows J.J. kidnapped Bianca, and J.J. is incredulous. He opens the files on the computer and shows her he was planning their honeymoon as a surprise. As Mia looks stunned, J.J.gets an alert on his phone: it’s a new video from Bianca on social media. J.J. storms out before Mia can explain herself.
Having returned to Dinah’s, the trio discuss whether the video is real. Dinah and Laurel are skeptical, while an angry Mia says it must be. Laurel says Mia is being selfish, and Mia says Laurel can’t get over the fact that Star City doesn’t need her anymore. They didn’t have the right to make Mia remember everything, she says, and she storms out.
Back at Queen Manor, Mia tries to smooth things over with J.J., who is still incredibly upset. He suggests she has commitment issues, which is why she’s pushing him away, and that when she looks at him it’s like she seems someone else entirely. He suggests they take a break and leaves.
Meanwhile, back at Dinah’s, she’s working on decrypting the video while Laurel lounges. Dinah says Laurel is pushing Mia too hard, and Laurel replies that she doesn’t want Mia to make the same mistakes she has by pretending to be something she’s not. Dinah’s decryption completes, revealing that Bianca is definitely in danger, and Dinah agrees that Star City does need the Green Arrow.
Laurel arrives at Mia to apologize, and Mia tells her J.J. broke up with her. Laurel tells her what she said to Dinah, and asks Mia if she was happy before she ‘woke up.’ Mia says that living in the shadow of her dad is what led her to choose to do nothing with her life. Laurel tells her that being a hero sucks, and that it never gets easier, but it also gave her purpose. Maybe it can give Mia hers, she says.
Laurel and Mia arrive back at Dinah’s, and Mia watches the decrypted Bianca video. She recognizes the design of the building in the background, and Laurel continues to be shocked that rich people can also be smart. Dinah identifies the building where Bianca is likely being held, and they suit up, Mia as the Green Arrow.
That night, on the roof across from the building, Green Arrow and the Canaries prepare to enter. The three of them zipline over, crashing through a skylight and finding Bianca. Just then Trevor, Bianca’s ex-boyfriend, enters the room with some goons. He pulls out his Deathstroke mask, and says that Bianca is just a pawn in a larger game. More goons enter, and Dinah, Laurel, and Mia take them down while Trevor escapes. They grab Bianca and run after him, fighting through some more guys on their way to the roof, with Bianca in tow. On the roof they find Trevor, who breaks a gas line and threatens to blow up the building with his lighter. They try to talk him out of it, but Trevor says “she” won’t let them stop what’s coming. He drops his lighter into the gas, and Mia, Dinah, Laurel, and Bianca zipline off of the building down to the ground as it explodes behind them.
Later at Dinah’s, Mia says Bianca is okay and back to her old self. Laurel thanks both Mia and Dinah for their help, and Dinah says that someone pushed Trevor to do what he did, and she wants to find out who and why. Mia suggests they can start with a tattoo she saw on Trevor’s wrist. She says Star City needs the Green Arrow, but that she’s also not going to give up her life. The team have a celebratory drink and cheers to Green Arrow, the Canaries, and the future.
Shortly, Mia arrives at J.J.’s apartment to apologize. She tells him that she’s trying to figure out who she wants to be and what she wants to do with her life, and J.J. says he understands and wants to help. The two kiss, having made up.
Meanwhile, back at Dinah’s, Laurel tells her that she’s not leaving until the city is safe. Dinah suggests they turn her aprtment into a base for the Canaries, and that she’s ready to help the next generation of heroes. She asks Laurel for the whole story about what would’ve happened had Bianca died, and Laurel shows her a headline from that future that says Mia Queen failed Star City. They wonder aloud if everything is okay now that Bianca is safe.
Later that night, Mia and William visit a statue memorializing their father. William says he’s been getting calls from the media asking if he’s the new Green Arrow, and they laugh at the sexism of it all. As they reflect on their lives, William pulls out the arrowhead that Oliver gave him decades ago. Mia looks at it, and recognizes the symbol on it as matching Trevor’s tattoo. As she realizes it, both of them are shot with tranquilizer darts. Two men appear and kidnap William, leaving Mia collapsed on the ground in front of the statue of her father.
Back at J.J.’s apartment, a sleeping J.J. is awoken by a noise that he assumes is Mia. A hooded figure grabs J.J. and flips him over the couch and onto the floor. He has a similar red-glowing device to the one Laurel has, and he touches J.J. with it. Memories of his past life flood back to J.J., and he stands, looking furious.
To be continued?
As a pilot for a “Green Arrow & The Canaries” spin-off series, Arrow S8E9 does a solid job bringing in viewers. It establishes the world of the series well, and does a nice job contrasting the new, post-Crisis elements with what we knew of the pre-Crisis 2040. The questions and mysteries it establishes are enough that I would want to come back for more. Without word of a pick-up for the spin-off, though, at this point the best thing to say about this episode is that it was an entertaining glimpse of an uncertain future. Will any of the cliffhangers ever be resolved? Perhaps we’ll find out next week, when the series finale of Arrow arrives on The CW!