Following "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and the death of Oliver Queen, Arrow has quite a lot of threads to wrap up in its eighth and final season. The series aired its penultimate episode ever on Tuesday night, and it potentially set up a brave new era for the series in the process. The episode, which was titled "Green Arrow and the Canaries", serves as a backdoor pilot for a potential spinoff of the same name, which would follow the ongoing adventures of Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy), and Mia Queen (Katherine McNamara) in 2040.
The Birds of Prey-like spinoff has already had quite a lot of hype surrounding it, especially as it pays homage to Arrow's generations of female heroes. In the process, the episode dropped a handful of major references to the Birds of Prey comics and their core characters. Here are the ones that we spotted.
The crux of the episode revolved around the kidnapping of Bianca Bertinelli (Raigan Harris), a young socialite whose impending death would theoretically lead Star City into collapse. As the episode went on, we learned that Bianca was the adopted daughter of Helena Bertinelli (Jessica De Gouw), who had served as Huntress in the show's early run.
While we didn't get to see Helena herself in the episode, Bianca's role paid homage to one of the core members of the Birds of Prey in a major way. Bianca being a woman of color also paid homage to a recent part of Helena's comic appearances, where she was portrayed as black or mixed-race in the Grayson comic series.
While Laurel has donned short hair since the start of this season, her 'do in this episode was an almost exact match for her hair in the early days of the Birds of Prey comics. Particularly, Dinah Lance sported a wavy blonde bob throughout the first arc of Chuck Dixon's 1997 run.
Laurel tracked down Dinah to a bar that she owns, where she was performing a cover of Martin Gaye's "Sunny". The moment not only showed how radically different of a character Dinah has become in the 2040s (which we'll get to in the minute), but paid homage to Black Canary being a singer, something that Harkavy had wanted to bring to the screen for quite some time.
“She’s a complicated and multidimensional character," Harkavy told ComicBook.com in 2017. "In the comics, she’s in a band and when I was reading about her initially, that was one of my favorite things about her. Even though you might never see her in a band on the show, to me there are all these layers that make her such a strong person that I’m really excited for people to see that."
Laurel (and the audience) quickly learned that Dinah was living in an apartment above her bar, which conveniently featured a massive clocktower outside. The apartment later became a base of operations for the trio, with Laurel temporarily moving in with Dinah as well.
The clocktower has been a key part of the Birds of Prey world almost since the title's inception after Barbara Gordon/Oracle began to live in the building after being paralyzed. While the Arrowverse hasn't been able to reference Barbara in any official capacity, this still served as a unique nod to where the group usually operates out of.
As Dinah revealed to Laurel, she was unintentionally sent to the future the day after Oliver's funeral, and quickly learned that all trace of her existence had been erased from history. While we have no idea exactly why that happened, Dinah was curious to potentially find out.
In a weird way, the moment seemed to serve as the Arrowverse's allusion to how Black Canary's complicated origins were handled after the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" comic book storyline. Instead of having both Dinah Drake and Dinah Laurel Lance coexist at the same time (or be the same person, depending on what storylines you followed), the post-"Crisis" continuity attempted to streamline things, by making Dinah Drake the mother of Dinah Lance.
Arrow's two-hour series finale will air January 28th at 8/7c on The CW.