Green Arrow and Black Canary are among the most popular and prolifiic comic book duos in history. They are the Batman and Robin for the uber nerds who knew who Green Arrow and Black Canary were before Arrow. Yet for the entirety of season 5 on Arrow, Oliver has been without his feathered friend. Now that looks to change as “Second Chances” begins the Green Arrow’s quest to find his new Black Canary. Even though some fans will always rebel at one who doesn’t have the name of Dinah Laurel Lance, the newest potential addition to Team Arrow, Tina, makes a great first impression.
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Becoming Something Else…
Oliver has high standards for Laurel’s replacement but eventually Curtis tracks down a viable candidate. Her name is Tina Bolland and she used to be a cop in Central City. That was until her partner died in an undercover operation and she developed metahuman powers of a sonic scream. Tina has the grit, the tragic backstory and the attitude to join Team Arrow. The only problem is that Tina doesn’t really want to join Oliver’s pleather gang of vigilantes.
Tina is too concerned with getting revenge. It’s been her mission for the past three years to kill the men who killed her partner. She is not going to stop just because Oliver showed up and wants to offer her the superhero outfit of a dead woman. Naturally this just makes Oliver want her more (and me too to be honest). With each passing scene, Tina becomes a more perfect Black Canary.
Oliver, knowing he is fighting a losing battle, strikes a deal. He will promise to help Tina take down the crime boss who killed her partner, Sonus, but they will do it the right way. Oliver wants Tina to take down Sonus without giving to the darkness inside of her and then he will leave her alone. I mean, they’re still going to kill lots of people (this is still Arrow and all the killing looks very, very cool) but Oliver just doesn’t want Tina to kill. Tina agrees, but it’s a lie.
Tina really just uses Oliver to get close to Sonus and then unloads a clip into his chest. Tina gets her revenge in the most bloody way possible and Oliver goes home with his tail between his legs. (It’s probably wrong that I like Tina even more now, right?)
The Dark Felicity Rises
While Tina is choosing the darker path, Felicity is at home doing the exact same thing. Felicity gets back into the hacking game to help Dig escape prison and she ends up meeting a fellow hacker in real life. The hacker, who is really just Felicity but with a slightly different color scheme, tells the current, Overwatch, that she admires Felicity’s earlier works as a hacktivist. According to this random lady, Felicity was better when she being an anti-government, underground hacker without all the moral boundaries and a real mean streak. Felicity seems to believe her for some reason.
This feels like a step back for Felicity, considering that in season 4 she actually talked to her old goth self (thanks to drug hallucinations) and decided that wasn’t her any longer. Now she has come to the exact opposite conclusion. (I’m willing to go with it for now but it is not my favorite Felicity storyline of all time.) Felicity tapping into her dark side again does allow Dig to go home a free man but it is a matter of concern how Arrow is approaching Felicity’s new darker arc.
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The flashback story is about Oliver being mentored by his womanly savior from the last episode, Talia. Talia is amazing and she needs to travel from the past to the present story as quickly as humanly possible. Talia looks cool, she is a way better fighter than Oliver, she has a compleltey compelling moral code and has a kick-ass accent. “Second Chances” is great Arrow episode for new female characters. The flashbacks eventually reveals that it is Talia who helped Oliver form the Arrow persona. My memory of season 1 is shaky, so I don’t know if that makes any sense but I’m so ready for Oliver to continue to be tutored by Talia in the flashback storyline going forward.
Meet Dinah Drake
The Talia story fits pretty well thematically with present day as Oliver has been trying to mentor Tina all episode. Naturally though, it is not until the final scene that it works. After all their adventures and murder, Tina goes to Star City. She meets with Oliver and finally decides to accept his offer. Tina will join the Team Arrow but first she has something to tell Oliver. Tina is not her real name but her cover name. Tina’s real name is Dinah Drake aka the name of the original Black Canary in the comics. (For reference, Dinah Drake is the mother of Dinah Lance, the most famous Black Canary from the comics.)
There you have it. The Black Canary will be based on a character from the comics, just not the one people were expecting when the show began. It won’t change the mind of fans angry that Black Siren isn’t being molded to become the Black Canary but I like it. I was pretty lukewarm on the idea of Arrow introducing a new character to be the Black Canary but “Second Chances” swayed me. I’m on board with Tina Dinah and not just because of her name. She has the kind of spirit and edge that I was always looking for in Laurel but never really found.
But what do you think? Are you on board with Dinah Drake as the new Black Canary? Will she make a new good addition to the team? What do you think of Felicity’s new path? Do you want Talia to make the jump to present day? Are you looking forward to more scenes with her in the past?
Arrow season 5 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Arrow Facebook page!
(Image courtesy of The CW)