A New Threat Reunites Mia, Laurel & Dinah in 2040 on 'Arrow' (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 8, Episode 9 of Arrow, "Green Arrow and the Canaries."]
In the post-"Crisis on Infinite Earths" world, Star City 2040 is a very safe place to live because there hasn't been any crime in 20 years — as stated multiple times. But then a socialite is kidnapped, and what happens next could change all that.
In the penultimate episode of Arrow (and a backdoor pilot for the potential Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff), Mia Queen (Katherine McNamara) has everything she could have ever wanted after Oliver (Stephen Amell) saved Star City (and has been recognized for doing so). She and William (Ben Lewis) grew up together, raised by Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). She lives in the Queen Mansion. She's graduating (and though she doesn't know what she's going to do next, it won't be working at Smoak Tech with her brother). And she has a fiancé she loves very much: JJ (Charlie Barnett). (Connor, on the other hand, is the bad boy, just out of rehab.)
Yes, Mia's with JJ in this new world, and Zoe (Andrea Sixtos) is still alive. (Sadly, William's most recent relationship is not; he and his boyfriend have broken up.) But Mia's happy life as a socialite — without her past coming back to haunt her — can only last so long.
The Future Is Great ... For Now
After failing to prevent Bianca Bertinelli (Helen's daughter) from being kidnapped, present-day Laurel (Katie Cassidy) tracks down present-day Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) at the bar the former SCPD captain and Black Canary now owns, The Fishnet. How'd they both get there? Well, for Laurel, that's an easy answer: Sara (Caity Lotz), and her goal is to prevent a future where Star City is no longer safe from coming to be.
But it's a bit trickier when it comes to Dinah. The day after Oliver's funeral in 2020, Dinah woke up in 2040, with no idea how or why — and unable to find any record of her existence. "I came to realize not having an identity could be sad or it could be oddly freeing," Dinah explains. "I could let go of the people I lost, mistakes I made." That means now singing and playing piano in a bar.
Laurel insists she leave that life behind to help her find Bianca, because in three days, she dies, her killer is never caught, and by 2041, the city once again descends into riots and chaos. "Do it for Oliver," she encourages Dinah.
First, they need to find Mia, whom they run into questioning Bianca's ex-boyfriend, Trevor, about her whereabouts. Mia doesn't recognize them, until Laurel uses a ring — Cisco (Carlos Valdes) replicated J'onn's (David Harewood) powers using tech — to give her the memories of pre-Crisis Mia, including Oliver's death.
Mia reluctantly joins them in investigating Bianca's disappearance (everyone thinks she's on a beach), distracting her family while Dinah plants bugs in their house and Laurel monitors from outside.
While they wait for a lead, Dinah admits to Laurel that she thinks the universe is telling her she's not supposed to be a hero. In this future, Mia's happy, and Zoe's alive. But Laurel reminds her that she inspired women, including her, to fight for something greater than themselves. And while Dinah suits up as Black Canary (and has her meta-cry) again, Mia refuses to wear the suit from her father when they suspect Logan has his cousin and is moving her that night. But after taking out his men and finding drugs in his car, Deathstroke attacks.
Who's Under the Mask This Time?
Laurel and Dinah assume it's JJ, but Mia refuses to believe it. However, after she finds secret files on his computer and he catches her, she demands to know where Bianca is. He has no idea, he insists; he's hiding his plans for their honeymoon. Furthermore, Bianca posts a photo of herself on vacation.
Is it real? Laurel and Dinah doubt it, and Mia and Laurel exchange some harsh words. Mia thinks Laurel can't handle the fact that Star City no longer needs her to suit up, while Laurel calls Mia's new life "pointless and stupid." Mia reminds her that her father sacrificed himself to give her this life and thinks being a hero is just suffering and loss.
And speaking of loss, her relationship with JJ is on very shaky ground. She tries to apologize, but he thinks she sees someone else when she looks at him now.
While running a decryption program on Bianca's photo, Dinah notes Laurel usually keeps a distance from caring, but she's pushing Mia hard. The former villain remembers wasting time pretending to be something she wasn't because it was easier and doesn't want Mia to make the same mistake, and Dinah recommends she take a moment to understand the young woman's pain.
Laurel checks in on Mia, who admits she spent her life wondering how she could live up to her father. That's why she's chosen to do nothing. "He would probably be so disappointed in me," she worries. Laurel assures her he wouldn't be. Being a hero gave her a purpose, and she woke Mia up so she could have that chance, too, as the Green Arrow.
So, once they figure out where Bianca's being kept — thanks to the real photo someone altered for the social media post — Mia suits up.
Once they reach the socialite, the new Deathstroke is revealed: Trevor. Bianca's just a pawn, he reveals. The women take on his men until they retreat to the roof to escape. There, Trevor joins them and threatens to blow up the place. "You can't stop what's coming," he warns them. "She won't let you." After he sets the roof on fire, they zip-line to the ground.
Is the Future Set in Stone?
With Bianca saved, Dinah has decided to suit up once again. And Mia's going to be out there, too, living a double life. She's not giving up JJ — they make up — or what she has, but she's going to honor her father's legacy.
Once up in Dinah's apartment above the bar (where Laurel will be staying at least temporarily), the now part-time bar owner reveals that she wants to turn the place into a base of operations for the Canaries. And Laurel reveals why she didn't tell Mia that Bianca's death would lead to the city falling: Mia is labeled "the woman who failed Star City" in the future. But that's changed now, right?
Meanwhile, Mia and William take a moment together in front of a statue honoring Oliver. He takes out the Hozen, the closest thing they have to a family heirloom that was passed from Oliver to Thea to Felicity to William. Mia recognizes the symbols on it from Trevor's tattoo, just before both are hit by tranquilizer darts and William is taken.
Finally, someone with the same tech Laurel has goes to JJ — "I need you to remember" — and wakes him up.
And now we'll have to wait to see if the spinoff is ordered to series to get answers. Who is the "she" Trevor mentioned? What's going on with his tattoo and the symbol on the Hozen? Who took William? How will having those memories affect JJ? Who gave them to him? Why did Dinah wake up in 2040?
Arrow, Series Finale, Tuesday, January 28, 9/8c, The CW