CW “ARROW” Penultimate Episode a Solid BACKDOOR PILOT for Planned SPINOFF

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As any fan of the DC Arrow-verse on The CW, it is already well-known that the first series in the franchise, “Arrow,” is ending on this current eighth season. It is also known that its main character Oliver Queen/Arrow (Stephen Amell) figures prominently in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Holiday 2019 crossover. Finally (spoiler alert), Oliver himself did not survive the resolution of the Crisis which established a new setting for the inter-connected shows. The hero is dead; is “Arrow” over? Not yet. Two episodes remained and in the penultimate one, aired this Tuesday, we get a glimpse to the future – and that backdoor pilot The CW was subtly hyping.

Comic Book Resources tells us that “Arrow” season 8 – episode 9, “Livin’ in the Future” aka the backdoor pilot for a spinoff called “Green Arrow and the Canaries,” showcases the changes in the 2040 timeline of the present-day Arrow-verse following the “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” It starts with Dinah Drake/Black Canary II (Juliana Harkavy) living in Star City of 2040, which is different from what was seen in “Arrow” season 7: it was never split in two, is nicknamed the “Safest City in the World,” and Oliver’s daughter Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara) is a socialite without her “pre-Crisis” life experiences.

What Dinah was doing in the future was a mystery, one that Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) – the Earth-2 reformed villain version – asks her about when they meet at episode’s start. Dinah mentions waking up in that time a day after attending Oliver’s funeral in 2020, and that she is a non-entity in 2040. Laurel then reveals she traveled to the future, with help from Sara (Caity Lotz) her Earth-1 “sister,” to prevent an incident that would cause Star City to fall into chaos in 2041: the kidnapping of Bianca Bertinelli.

Dinah is convinced to retake her costumed ID and be Double-Canaries with Laurel to save Bianca, but they need more help. So they approach Mia, fresh university graduate, rich girl, and newly-proposed-to by her art curator boyfriend (not Deathstroke Gang boss anymore) JJ Diggle (Charlie Barnett). Laurel uses a gadget to restore Mia’s memories from before and during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Following some encouragement from Laurel, Oliver’s daughter finally suits up a Green Arrow to prevent the kidnap-murder of Bertinelli with two Black Canaries’ help. But Laurel reveals an ulterior motive in pushing for Mia to take up her father’s legacy: Mia also figures in the 2041 fall of Star City, though how that happens is a puzzle.

All in all, it is not bad for an “Arrow” episode without Stephen Amell as Oliver, and it bodes good things for Katherine McNamara as Mia taking over the costumed identity and legacy. But “Arrow” basic still has a series finale next week, and that might also influence how the “Green Arrow and the Canaries” future-set spinoff will play out. “Arrow” concludes after 8 seasons January 28 on The CW.

Image courtesy of CinemaBlend

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