We open on a funeral with a priest speaking on the eulogy. He asks for Oliver Queen, who was like family, to say a few words, but he’s nowhere to be found. Instead, Laurel stands and offers a few words. It’s revealed to be May 2013, and Laurel says a few words on Tommy, the subject of the funeral. She states that Tommy was a good man, more than the billionaire playboy image he had, and that she loved him. At that line, she sees Oliver standing outside the funeral, listening to her eulogy. He leaves before she finishes when she states that she believes Oliver would have felt the same way.
Back in present day, Lance arrives only to be confronted with Laurel’s dead body. No one says a word as he cries over his daughter. The doctor, meanwhile, secretly hand Oliver all of Laurel’s supplies found on her person. He returns to the lair and speaks with Diggle after he talks with Lyla. She and Sara are being kept in an ARGUS safe-house for the time being, though he doesn’t think that Andy would go after them at this time. Still, he understands Andy’s role in what happened to Laurel. They then watch Alex, who now works as a political advisor for Ruve Adams, deliver a message to the public about Laurel Lance’s death and cites Damian Dahrk as the prime suspect. Also, during the night, a figure dressed as the Black Canary uses a canary cry to incapacitate gun smugglers and steal their contraband.
Oliver gathers the members of the team to the lair and is surprised to have Felicity show up, claiming that he wanted the whole team there. While Laurel has not even been buried yet, Oliver believes they must plan to face Dahrk since he now has his magic back. Suddenly, they’re interrupted by Lance who has come reporting a sighting of the Black Canary. Immediately, he believes that Laurel must have returned, especially considering the group’s run-ins with people who return from the dead like Sara or Andy. The group notes that the canary cry could only be used by Laurel, but Oliver recalls that a number of people had access to Laurel’s suit in the hospital. Because they are still unsure, Oliver and Lance return to the morgue to view Laurel’s dead body. Dr. Schwartz, who is aware of both Laurel and Oliver’s secret identities, informs Oliver that as far as the public is concerned, Laurel Lance died in the middle of a prison riot while trying to get Dahrk’s testimony. Oliver asks that since there were twelve people in the hospital that had access to the costume, if she would know who would steal it. She doesn’t believe anyone in the hospital would try but remembers a frequent flier in the ER who showed odd behavior. However, she refuses to disclose the information as she also protects Laurel’s identity.
Oliver remembers back to visiting Laurel’s apartment after Tommy’s funeral. She remarks on how it was a nice ceremony, and Tommy would have liked to have him there. Oliver, however, remarks that he actually failed Tommy. He wanted to save his city, but instead, he led Tommy to his death. If Laurel knew the truth about his identity, she would understand.
Back at the lair, Felicity begins running scans trying to find the new Canary. Diggle stays behind her, still feeling guilty about Laurel’s death. Since he was the one who trusted Andy over Oliver, he believes that the actions of HIVE are his fault. Meanwhile, Thea shares a coffee with Alex to take her mind off of Laurel’s death. Before she can ask why he took the political advisor job, the shop is attacked by the Black Canary. She goes after Alex, accusing him of working for “them.” Despite the canary cry, Thea manages to fight her off, only to discover that the new Canary is only a teenage girl. She takes off but comes across Oliver as the Green Arrow. He questions why she’s dressed as his friend, but she fires back that he abandoned her and her family at Reddington, that he failed the city. She fires back another canary cry and escapes.
Black Canary: You have failed this city!
The team regroups to discuss these findings. Thea remarks how she attacked Alex likely because he worked for Ruve, and Oliver finds that the canary cry was altered, despite it being insisted by Cisco that it could only be used by Laurel’s vocal chords. Now, the frequency is higher, and their earplugs are useless. However, he recognizes the name Reddington as the location where Dahrk’s captives were held over the holidays. When he chose to save his team, he left the prisoners to themselves, not understanding that they were drugged or forced into HIVE. They identify the girl as Evelyn Sharp whose parents were likely killed by Dahrk in the gas chamber experiments. Before a few months ago, she was a decathlete, student body president, gymnast, and track star. Nevertheless, Oliver believes she was right about him failing the city.
Lance calls Nyssa to discuss Laurel. Nyssa wants to help him since Laurel had previously helped her after a rough time, but Lance is more interested in using a Lazarus Pit. Nyssa insists that she destroyed the pit months ago, and there is no other place with something like it. Despite Nyssa’s comments, Lance remains more committed to finding a solution for Laurel.
In Oliver’s old campaign office, Felicity find Oliver mulling over Evelyn’s words. Oliver believes that he had failed Laurel in her death and has now failed Evelyn in her becoming the Black Canary. Felicity remarks that Diggle has been saying the same things, but she has been less helpful in reassuring him as well, since she too blames herself for not being there that night Laurel died. Oliver says that the main reason he blames himself is that it at least gives him a reason. Felicity then receives a call from Thea who is worried since Lyla is questioning where Diggle is.
Oliver: Sometimes we just need a reason when a situation is completely unreasonable.
Diggle as Spartan hunts down Ruve Adams’ limo, knocks out her guards, and holds her at gunpoint. The Green Arrow arrives to stop him from killing the woman, but this only enrages Diggle. Oliver states that since Ruve is the mayor she has all the media defense against him, but Diggle doesn’t care. Every second Andy is still on the loose is another second someone he cares about is in danger. Oliver then says that they must try a different way, and, if Laurel were here, she’d want them to remember who they were. The two return to the lair only to find Ruve on the news commenting on the attack. She then issues a warrant for arrest out for all of the vigilantes, starting with the Black Canary who attacked Alex. Diggle remarks that since she knows that Laurel was the Black Canary, she’s only issuing this warrant to ruin the image of the Black Canary. Even worse, they will be punishing a teenage girl to do it.
Nyssa then calls Oliver to talk to him about Lance. While she understands his grief, she fears that he has too much denial about Laurel’s death. Oliver also discloses with her his fear that Laurel’s image will be dragged as the Black Canary. In another flashback, Oliver and Laurel organize Tommy’s old photos a week after the funeral. Laurel remembers a time when Oliver sent out gift baskets to ensure Laurel won a class election, but Oliver remarks that it was Tommy’s idea, since he truly loved her. Laurel now feels that she’s ready to really make a difference in saving the city, and she’s excited to have that future with him as the two kiss.
Oliver then confronts Lance who has been searching remaining League of Assassins connections for another Lazarus Pit. Lance shouts at Oliver that he doesn’t know what it’s like to lose a daughter, but Oliver responds that he knows what it’s like to lose a mother, a father, and ultimately Laurel. While he would like to save Laurel, there is no way. Lance then breaks down, claiming that Laurel was his rock through all of his hard times. Oliver lets the man grieve.
Felicity and Diggle once again talk in the lair as Felicity apologizes for making Diggle believe there was a difference he could make. Diggle still responds that Oliver was right all along about what happened. Felicity reiterates that it was not Diggle’s fault, and Laurel would want him to know that. At that moment, Felicity is then alerted to Evelyn sneaking outside the Star City Plaza, right where Ruve Adams is at the moment.
The team surround the building to track down Evelyn before the police do. She manages to take out the security with a gun and her canary cry, but Ruve insists on staying to give the public the view of the Black Canary as a budding murderer. Oliver finds and warns Evelyn not to go through with it, but she steps forward and points a gun at Ruve. Oliver reminds her the real Black Canary, the person who was a hero and would never try to murder. He manages to convince her to step down but has to escape as Ruve still calls for his arrest. Unfortunately, the team at the lair remark how the world will still see the Black Canary as potent murderer out for revenge, but Oliver won’t allow it.
Everyone then gathers for Laurel’s funeral, including Lance and his ex-wife Dinah. Dinah is devastated to lose another daughter but wonders if she will also return like Sara. Lance, however, finally accepts that Laurel is gone. At this funeral, Oliver says a few words about Laurel as he has known her for almost her whole life. He recalls how she always tried to make the city a better place as an assistant district attorney but then reveals that she went further than that. Oliver announces to the public that Laurel Lance was the Black Canary. Instead of having to deal with the fear and hatred for the name from the public like had for the past two days, he argues for the sake of Laurel the need to save the city.
In the final flashback, Laurel finds a letter from Oliver. In it, he states that he has to go away for a while, but he encourages her to keep saving the city. He believes that she can see the best in the city as she saw the best in him, because she was the best of him. Inside the letter is Oliver’s old picture of Laurel.
We then come back to Oliver standing at Laurel’s grave as he talks to Barry, the same scene from the season opener. He asks Barry to give him a moment as we see the tombstone read Dinah Laurel Lance: The Black Canary. Oliver then enters a limo with Felicity who admonishes him to kill Damian Dahrk. He then reveals that he witnessed his kind of magic before on the island, but he could never overcome it since it feels more like darkness itself. Felicity then reminds him that one of the reasons she loved him is that he always found a way. She also assures him that he must find a way so Laurel’s death can mean something both to them and the city.
- Evelyn Sharp might be based off of notable Black Canary ally Evelyn Crawford AKA Starling. She was one of the original members of the Bird of Prey!
- Like The Flash before it, this episode contains a reference to Cisco who created the Canary Cry.
- This flashback takes place between season one and two, prior to Oliver returning to the island.