Some of the most enjoyable episodes of Arrow have featured the ladies.
When the ladies of Arrow are showcased, it proves there is still a lot of life left in the Arrow franchise because of how long it took for each character to come into their own.
And Arrow Season 7 Episode 18 almost had more than a Birds of Prey fanatic could handle.
Call me crazy, but the veracity with which Arrow is winding down makes me appreciate the little moments more than ever.
"Lost Canary" was filled with moments that not only led to Laurel's redemption, but to a better understanding of the Canaries network in the future.
It's been over seven years of bitching and backstabbing among the Arrow fans about who was a great Canary and why, and there was no shortage of ill will for Laurel 1.0.
Sara was created out of thin air to put an obstacle into Laurel's path to becoming Black Canary, and Caity Lotz was so good in the role fans practically rebelled when her sister (and rightful heir to the Black Canary moniker) began to ascend.
White Canary got the Waverider and Legends team on Legends of Tomorrow, a home on which she is the leader and gets to explore her capabilities and love her life without any familial interference.
Laurel 1.0 got called out again and again by fans and fellow vigilantes alike. Laurel 1.0 got killed before our eyes.
There was a kind of hell to pay, and The CW set it up so that Laurel Lance 2.0 could emerge as a badass villain. From the moment she was introduced, fans miffed with what had already rocked Laurel 1.0 wanted to see the new Laurel redeemed.
Gone were the questions about her fighting abilities. Nobody had to worry that this new Laurel was there to usurp the position originally claimed by Sara, and many still had questions about Dinah Drake.
Juliana Harkavy's Canary felt like a Laurel replacement to fans of Katie Cassidy and the second Canary. It was easier to imagine Laurel 2.0 receiving redemption and grabbing a Canary suit for herself if she was going to step on Dinah's toes instead of Sara's.
And none of this leaves out the importance of Felicity Smoak to the shenanigans.
If Sara was the first Canary to deny Laurel her rightful place in the universe, Emily Bett Rickards' Felicity took away any chance Laurel 1.0 had with what comic fans believed was her rightful relationship -- the one between Laurel and Oliver aka Black Canary and Green Arrow.
Early Arrow seasons were filled with strife throughout the fandom as people took up sides with and against the female characters of Arrow.
There were Sara fans, there were Laurel fans, and there were Felicity fans. For some reason, the fandom was split across the Arrowverse and as a result, what could have been a breakthrough for female superheroes on network television had a bit of a sour taste to it.
But time can heal wounds, and Laurel Lance 2.0 can finally get accepted to her place as Black Canary.
The full story of the Canary network and where Laurel fits into it within the present and future has finally gotten revealed, and it works on every level.
When Laurel OG was on the scene, one of the biggest missed opportunities was a solid friendship between Felicity and Laurel. They really had a lot in common, but the writing kept them at arm's length.
In turn, that kept the fans from embracing the two as what they should have been, but that's all over, too. The two have become great friends, and Felicity decided nothing was going to get in the way of that.
Felicity: Emiko framed Laurel because Laurel told Oliver her secret.
Dinah: Well, it still doesn't change anything.
Felicity: Of course it does. Did you hear what I just said?
Dinah: Even if Laurel didn't kill Angel Hernandez, she's back to being Black Siren.
Laurel spent a couple of episodes going rogue again after she got accused of being a murderer again. Felicity, though, wasn't about to give up on her friend.
So she's using her DA resources to identify targets. That's clever. Bad! Very bad.Felicity
It was terrific the way she managed to get impressed by her friend even when she was heading down a dark path. They are the kinds of scenes I wanted to begin on Arrow Season 1. But hey, I'll take Arrow Season 7 now that I know the direction.
Look, I'm really sorry if you thought we had a real friendship, but it was all just an act. And don't you dare try to stop me.Laurel
Every line from Laurel's mouth screamed "help me," and only Felicity understood. Only Felicity had gotten close enough to know how to reach Laurel and pull her from the brink, just as Laurel did with Felicity to keep her from killing Diaz.
Calling in her not-sister to aid in the recovery process of the lost Canary was genius.
Sara and Laurel may not know each other very well, but what Sara knows is what it takes to redeem yourself when you'd rather run and hide.
Sara: So what? You think you deserve a medal for trying to be good for five seconds? Redemption isn't a destination, it's a journey. I wasted years running away from all of the bad things I had done because I didn't want to face the pain that I had caused because I didn't want to be that person. And then I realized the only way to stop being that person was to come home and own up to the things I had done. And yeah, it was painful. And it took a really long time, but it was the only way to become someone else, someone better than who I was.
Laurel: Well, that's great for you. But even if I wanted to change, it's a little too late because this is who I am.
It's ultimately Sara's words to her sister from another world that set the path for the new Canary.
Felicity: I have something for you.
Laurel: It's Laurel's Black Canary costume.
Felicity: Yeah, I thought you could use it here, but you know, maybe Earth-2 needs a Black Canary. You are still planning on being good, right?
Laurel: I'm planning to try.
Laurel: I just hope one day I'm actually worthy of it.
We can assume the story is over for Laurel in the present. She's off to Earth-2 to rectify the situation she left behind and to be the Laurel Lance she was meant to be.
At least she made lasting friendships with the people on our earth. We don't know how yet, but she does keep in touch with everyone.
Mia: I've seen you before. An old Green Arrow documentary. You're...
Laurel: A friend of your parents. You're lucky we got here when we did.
Mia: Dinah sent you to watch my back.
Laurel: It's what Canaries do. Give this to Felicity. You look so much like her. And you may not be a Canary, but you still have a long way to go to prove that you're a hero. Take it from someone who knows how hard it can be. And don't screw it up.
In all honesty, I was already welling up a bit when Felicity and Laurel were saying their goodbyes. Laurel taking Laurel's Canary costume was tough. Logic tells you not to get attached to TV characters, but all of the history of the moment between Felicity and Laurel as that costume changed hands was epic.
That Dinah called in Laurel from Earth-2 to work with the Canaries when they most needed the help made perfect sense. Not only did she want to look out for Mia, but the Canary network came into being as a result of Laurel's final slip and Dinah's refusal to believe in her.
Dinah: Do you know why I started the Canaries? What it represents? This is more than just some rebellion group. It's a support system. This is a way for women to know that we always have each other's backs no matter what happens. Whenever we need it most, something that I failed to do for a friend once. But ever since what happened with her, I made a promise that I would never make that mistake again. That's why we wear these, to honor that promise and the bravery and the sacrifice shared with these amazing women who somehow -- no matter how many times they get knocked down -- they always find the strength to get back up and fight again. And that is exactly what the surviving Canaries are going to do together. But when the time is right.
Mia: It's too bad I'm not a Canary.
Yes, there was a boatload of exposition as the ladies made their last stand together, but I wanted it. Didn't you want to know how all of it transpired?
Felicity: To ladies taking down ladies.
Dinah: And to Laurel. Thank you for the assist and I am very, very sorry that I doubted you.
Laurel: That means a lot. I just wish we could have gotten Shadow Thief.
Dinah: We'll get her next time.
Laurel: So, does this mean you aren't going to arrest me?
Dinah: I don't see why I would. This new evidence proves you didn't kill Hernandez, and you went undercover to bring down Shadow Thief, so I am as surprised as anyone.
And Dinah and Felicity and Laurel found peace in each other and their friendship. What more could we ask?
We could ask that Mia join the ranks, but she's not ready yet. The way Laurel spoke with her seemed like an open invitation with Dinah's blessing, though.
What are the Birds of Prey without at least a part of Felicity at the table? The references to birds of prey and to Charlie's Angels made my heart swell. It felt like all was right with the world with those moments.
We no longer have to wonder when Laurel will crack again and if she'll fall to villainry again. She's been living the good life on Earth-2 and followed in Laurel 1.0's footsteps.
The biggest question remaining as this season winds down is what happens to Felicity? I can't help but hope that all of the girls are at her side when whatever happens happens.
Yes, I can only imagine death. What other way would Rickards say goodbye to the show before Arrow Season 8 even takes flight? She can only do it if she knows the women will be well-represented going forward.
Felicity's friends have all made amends, and they're taking good care of her daughter. That sounds like the time when tragedy strikes.
Now it's your turn!
What did you think of the Lost Canary/Birds of Prey/Charlie's Angels episode?
Was there anything you would change if you could?
Do you have any thoughts on where this leaves Felicity?
Be sure to watch Arrow online if you need to catch up, and hit the comments.
This one deserves the discussion!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.