Midnight City continues keeping Oliver Queen to the side and doesn’t provide much by way of interesting story.


Director: Nick Copus
Writers: Wendy Mericle and Ben Sokolowski
Original Air Date: Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
Starring: Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey
Network: CW



Previously on Arrow 3.10: Arrow didn’t appeared too much and Black Canary became a legacy character.




The first half of Arrow season three made for some of the most interesting episodes that have aired to date. Midnight City seems like a step backward into some of the narrative and acting problems the show experienced in its first season, not at all like the gritty street-level vigilante stories that the show has become.

Writer Wendy Mericle and Ben Sokolowski have relegated the titular Arrow (Stephen Amell), to a secondary storyline that really holds more revelations about Maseo (played with great restraint by Karl Yune), than Oliver himself. Maseo’s dedication to Tatsu comes across at first glance as dedication to the league and although this storyline is not the most interesting, learning more about Maseo’s character is certainly compelling viewing, although I cannot help but feel that it is more due to the strength of Yune’s performance than the weak dialogue that permeates Midnight City.

The A-storyline of Midnight City revolves around Laurel (Katie Cassidy), cementing herself in the mantle of the Canary despite the fact that each team member expresses reservations about her stepping into the role. Yes, Mericle and Sokolowski have Diggle (David Ramsey, always the most interesting man on screen), Roy (Colton Haynes), and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), all say that they don’t think it’s a good idea, the narrative falls apart when all Laurel has to do is shout them into submission.

Further to this point, in previous arcs Roy has had to repeatedly prove his worth before Olive een agrees to train him, much less let him into the field. The entirety of Midnight City feels like it is bound to fulfilling Kati Cassidy’s contact. Perhaps if she were a better actress who didn’t constantly feel like she is phoning in her performance episode after episode it would mean more. On top of this Laurel wields her sister’s bow staff like someone who has never seen a weapon before, much less handled one. She stands out in a cast of actors who are physically capable in the scenes of combat, which makes for an uncomfortable viewing experience overall.

Perhaps Laurel’s weakness throughout Midnight City could be forgiven if the character of her father – Captain Lance who is played with great aplomb by Paul Blackthorne – were treated by the writers with more respect. Lance is a great detective and the fact that by this point in the story he still doesn’t know that Sara is dead is insulting, really. Laurel and Felicity even go to the point of feeding Sara’s voice recordings through a computer in order to deceive Lance further, almost instantly erasing the notion that either of these women are heroic. Toward the end of the episode Laurel shows up as the Canary with a completely different body type in a completely different costume and Lance still mistakes her for being Sara and in this move Mericle and Sokolowski have rendered him stupid and useless. It’s really too bad.

There are several fight scenes during the course of Midnight City, of course, and Canary gets her butt handed to her in all of them. Even Roy manages to execute some useful moves and to learn a lesson about failure. Roy gets one of the nicest emotional beats of the episode when he a Diggle share a drink and reflection. Unfortunately, the scene is all too brief in the sea of this messy episode.

By the end of Midnight City all of team Arrow is inexplicably fine with Canary Laurel joining them in spite of the fact that she has at no point proven that she is talented, capable or could in any way b considered an asset in their mission against the underworld. Oliver hasn’t had much to do and viewers are ultimately left with an empty feeling.

Hopefully this is not a herald of Arrow episodes to come.



Midnight City is a confusing episodes with some character moments that feel very much out of place in the overall shape of the show. Decisions with heavy plot implications ring false and cheap. Viewers would probably enjoy rewatching some earlier episodes in the series than sitting down with this one.

Arrow 3.11 "Midnight City"


Midnight City is riddled with characters acting counter to their personalities, insulting other characters who have been with the show since the start and leave Oliver out in the cold.

User Rating: 1.83 ( 4 votes)

About Author

Ashley Victoria Robinson is a Canadian girl by day and Robin by night. She lives in Los Angeles now and stars as Ensign Williams in THE RED SHIRT DIARIES, co-hosts the GEEK HISTORY LESSON podcast and writes for Top Cow.


  1. The entire arc of Laurel becoming the new Canary has been difficult to watch. Back in season 2 when she was dealing with substance abuse, things were tolerable and it looked like they had found a place for that character. But now we’re expected to believe that this woman who’s taken a handful of boxing classes is now ready to fill the role of her League of Assassins trained sister? Also, I agree about Detective Lance. They’ve taken a good actor and good character and have reduced him beyond comprehension. Even Laurel and Sara’s mother figured it out using her supernatural “motherly instincts”.

    There’s so many things that this season is doing right: Giving Felicity a legitimate story arc with her having to decide whether to help Palmer or not, introducing a villain that’s more in-line with what a team of vigilantes could deal with in Brick, giving Thea a conflict between her values taught by Oliver and the skills taught by Merlyn, and the ever present threat of Ra’s Al Ghul. But, the focus on Laurel and the diminished abilities of Detective Lance are hamstringing a lot of it.

  2. I totally agree that this episode was the pits. Terrible writing (the worst) and I felt so bad for the actors who had to put up with Laurel. They were made to act so OOC. Diggle (our most experienced team member) is told to stay and man the comms – by Laurel? WTF??? Seriously? Felicity, who last season was prepared to loose Oliver in everyway possible by telling him the truth about Thea’s dad, is now totally OK with helping Laurel to lie to her father (who she likes and gets on with) about Sara, that’s not Felicity. Both Dig & Felicity were dummied down so Laurel can be intergrated into the team. It felt un-natural (just like last weeks Laurel/Diggle hug moment) because we have never seen Laurel have any decent conversation with either except to bark orders (‘Felicity, I need a visual now’ – really) so it doesn’t make sense that Felicity would go to Laurel’s office to talk her into helping when both her & Dig know Sara & Oliver were totally against it & that Quinton would hate it too if he knew on top of the fact that laurel is no-where near trained enough to go up against villain of the month. Yes I know this is tv & a comic story and CW BUT please assuming your audience has a bit of common sence would be nice. Maybe the writers are just filling KC’s contractual obligations. So disappointed.

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