Tonight's episode of Arrow wasn't just the second to last for the popular, long-running The CW series that spawned the Arrowverse. It was also the series' first back since the epic events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths", including the sacrifice of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). Like each of the Arrowverse series that have returned thus far - The Flash won't return until February 4 - it's been clear that the new reality of Earth-Prime is different than the reality that was lost. What's unique about Arrow, however, is that "Green Arrow and the Canaries" offers a look at the far-reaching impact of those changes. Here's how it shook out.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Arrow, "Green Arrow and the Canaries", below.
Because the episode is set in the future - 2040 to be exact - most of the differences in the episode can be somewhat attributed to the passage of time. That said, we've seen a version of Star City 2040 before and while this new one looks much the same in terms of technology and advancement, there are some difference and we don't just mean that the city is safe. A big one? The Queen Mansion is intact. As long-time fans of the series may recall, the Queen Mansion burned down sometime between seasons two and three, an event that happened off-screen but was documented in the tie-in comics when a Church of Blood member went after Oliver, the house burning down in the process. It would appear that those events no longer happened in the new Earth-Prime reality, giving Mia (Katherine McNamara) a big, beautiful home to grow up in.
Another major change in this new reality is that Mia and her brother, William (Ben Lewis) grew up together. Not only is a photo of young Mia and William visible in one scene in tonight's episode, but Mia herself talks about her childhood with William in a speech at her graduation party. William also reveals that Smoak Technologies exists as he offers Mia a job there. We also discover that the Queen family isn't the only one that's a bit different in the new reality. The future reveals that Helena Bertinelli adopted a daughter, Bianca. It also appears that the Bertinelli's aren't a crime family in this new reality, though Helena disappeared at some point in the past.
One of the more surprising changes to reality post-"Crisis" however may be the fate of Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy). In the episode we learn that she woke up in the future following Oliver's funeral in 2020 and that she discovered that "Dinah Drake" didn't exist in this new reality. It's an interesting echo of something that we saw in the Crisis comics in which not everyone on the restored Earth had a place - specifically, this was the predicament for Earth-2's Helena Wayne in the comics event.
The stories of some of the other characters from the previous 2040 timeline are also different. Renee is revealed to have been mayor for three terms. Zoe is alive. Conner exists and appears to be part of the Diggle family, though he's the brother with problems this time around. JJ isn't Deathstroke in this version of reality, though it appears that someone seeks to change that when, at the end of the episode, a hooded figure restores JJ's memories of the previous storyline.3comments
With all of these differences in the post-"Crisis" world of Arrow, it will be interesting to see what is different in a more contemporary setting in next week's series finale - as well as what this new future holds should Green Arrow and the Canaries get picked up as a series.
What did you think of tonight's episode of Arrow? Let us know in the comments below.