I have been very vocal about what Arrow did to (Dinah) Laurel Lance in its fourth season. Thus seeing her return at the end of this season’s mid-season finale was shocking to say the least given that lead actor Stephen Amell outright stated that the character (from Earth 1 that is) will not be revived which frankly shattered all hope of us ever seeing the Black Canary in action again.
Portrayed by the lovely Katie Cassidy, Laurel has been one of those characters you love or hate, or maybe even love to hate, with criticism directed towards the character’s admittedly weak fighting style and to a lesser extent the portrayal by Cassidy. While I have no problem with the latter and I can understand why she isn’t as skillful as she truly is in the comics (given the different origin story), the writers have dug numerous and frankly unforgivable plot holes in her heroic journey. For one thing, she was able to face off members of the League of Assassins. The intensive training from Ted Grant, AKA Wildcat, (R.J. Ramirez) as well as one of Arrow’s best supporting characters, Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) doesn’t give her the abilities and experience to deal with the most formidable assassins in the world. Even if we were to chalk that up to the fault of how the League is portrayed in Arrow, that still leaves her character’s total dependence on her team which frankly is a disgrace to the character’s name. Basically, Arrow failed the Black Canary.
Following the mid-season finale’s big unexpected reveal, fans of the show have started speculating as to how this beloved character is back – or is she? One of the most plausible reasons is that she is in fact Black Siren, who was seen only in one episode of Flash (S2E22 Invincible) as a meta-human from Earth 2 working with Zoom. While I have no qualms with this, the writers would have to explain how she got out of her Star Labs prison and her reasons for attacking Team Arrow. Regardless of how they proceed with the character, this is an undeniably a second chance for the show to get this character right. From the Season 5 episode 10 extended promo (see below), it is clear that this Laurel is a meta-human which brings us closer to a more precise comic book adaptation. While I’m not particularly a fan of redemption arcs, I’m actually excited and am actually hoping for this one. Frankly, regardless of how they handle her come back, I’m just glad that she’s back and hopefully for good and not just some plot device.
Now let’s move into what I would like to see and the possibilities that could potentially unfold from her return.
- A more independent heroine that truly mirrors her fighting prowess in the comic books. I don’t think I need to justify this given how weak and inferior she is.
- Possibly a Birds of Prey mini season spin-off with Jessica DeGouw’s Huntress and Katrina Law’s Nyssa. Arrow’s best two heroes together with the new Black Canary? Definitely a show to watch. Maybe include Caitlyn Snow while you’re at it! Just a side note, I still stand by my theory that she will be revealed as a good guy when the Flash resumes with Cisco becoming corrupted by vengeance and subsequently turning against the team.
- Romance with Oliver Queen. Now this is a tricky one. You can’t really force a relationship, but Amell and Cassidy has the best chemistry on screen – more so than he and Emily Bett Rickards. I would like to stress that the problem with the romance in the show lies with writers and not the actors.
- Sara Lance’s reaction to this new Laurel.
Arrow returns on January 25, 2017 on the CW.