As Team Arrow mourns, an imposter takes on the Black Canary mantle, and Mayor Adams declares war

It was clear going in to “Canary Cry” that it was going to be a difficult journey. Throughout the episode, we follow Oliver and his allies as they proceed through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. And it does indeed prove to be an emotional wringer.

We begin with a funeral; logic dictates that it would be Laurel’s, but it quickly becomes clear that we’re in a flashback. It’s Tommy Merlyn’s funeral we’re witnessing, with Oliver so guilt-stricken he cannot bring himself to even attend.

Related: New Arrow Episode Synopsis Finds Diggle on a Rampage

Back in the present, a gang of gun-runners are attacked by a very-much-alive Black Canary. Quentin Lance brings this to the team’s attention and they discover that the sonic device responsible for the Canary Cry™ is missing from Laurel’s hospital belongings. Oliver returns to the hospital and inspects Laurel’s body in the morgue; she is still quite dead.

A visibly shaken Diggle tracks down Mayor Adams/Dahrk’s limo and drags her out, slapping her in the process. Oliver intervenes before things get out of hand and convinces Diggle that this is not the way.

Thea and Alex are enjoying a quiet evening together when the Black Canary attacks and blames Alex for working for “them.” Thea calls the team and puts Oliver on her trail. He corners the fake Black Canary in an alley and she yells at the Green Arrow for leaving “them” behind. And, yes, she’s clearly not Laurel Lance.

Oliver reasons that she must be a former member of H.I.V.E., and blames Oliver for not helping her and the others escape. Checking the missing persons reports, they quickly narrow down her identity.

Quentin meets with Nyssa and prepares to revive Laurel using the Lazarus Pit, but Nyssa reveals that she buried the pit months ago. A despondent Quentin vows to find another way, but Oliver eventually convinces him that Laurel is gone.

Meanwhile, Mayor Adams has declared war on masked vigilantes in Star City, blaming them for the death of District Attorney Laurel Lance. When she decides to hold an elegant public event, Team Arrow realize that the imposter Black Canary will use the opportunity to attack.

Sure enough, the Black Canary breaks in and makes it as far as putting a gun directly to Ruvé Adams’ head before Oliver convinces her not to smear the Black Canary’s good name. She flees the scene and Ruvé orders her men to arrest Oliver. Quipping, “I’ve seen this movie before,” Oliver grapples his way through the roof and escapes.

At last we arrive at Laurel’s funeral. Quentin consoles his ex-wife, but has come to accept that Laurel is truly gone. At the end of Oliver’s eulogy, he publicly reveals that Laurel was the Black Canary in order to restore honor to her name.

After conversing with Barry (in the scene we’ve been aware of since this season began), Oliver returns to a limo where Felicity tells him that he has to kill Damien Dahrk, any way that he can.

Related: David Ramsey & Paul Blackthorne Reveal How Laurel’s Death Affects Team Arrow

‘Canary Cry’ was a fitting goodbye to the character of Laurel Lance and even the act of having someone else put on her Black Canary costume worked within the context of the episode. The entire cast really shone, but it was Paul Blackthorne’s emotionally charged performance as Quentin Lance that really made the entire episode. It was hard not to cry along when he collapsed into Ollie’s arms and accepted Laurel’s death as final.

Next week, Damien Dahrk returns to initiate the next phase of his plan and Diggle has an unpleasant reunion with his brother. We’ll have more on Arrow as it develops, so be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest!