Last night, Arrow came back with a bang with the return of Laurel Lance. Or should I say, Black Siren. Quite literally, as her sonic scream broke a lot of glass in this episode. In the last episode, Oliver sees Laurel standing in the bunker as if nothing happened. During the hiatus, I theorized how Laurel returned, but now we finally know what happened. Also, if it wasn’t already clear, spoilers ahead.
She tells Oliver this almost-spiritual story of how Sara resurrected her and gave her a second chance. If only any of it were true. Turns out, she’s Laurel’s Earth-2 doppelganger, Black Siren (which we already speculated from the spoiler-filled trailer CW released weeks ago). Prometheus, surprisingly enough, helps her escape. Immediately afterward, Felicity shows up relieved, but suspicious. In fact, Felicity’s suspicious and jealous for the entire episode. So much so that she has no hope that it’s actually Laurel, or that she has any silver of good in her (which I thought was just petty).
Felicity throws a party for Laurel but it’s actually a ruse to test her DNA. There, Rene’s surprised that everyone’s treating Laurel’s return as unsurprising, or almost normal. To which Oliver responds, “The Lance sisters have a habit of coming back to life”. The first clue they give that this isn’t the OG Laurel is the fact that Laurel almost grabs the champagne chute instead of the glass of water (remember, OG Laurel was a recovering alcoholic). Laurel’s return would’ve been more memorable if Thea showed up or if Laurel went to see her dad in rehab. But I’ll take what I can get.
Felicity Investigates Further
Back in the Arrow cave, Felicity tests Laurel’s DNA and remembers that Laurel has a doppelganger locked up at Star Labs. After she realizes it’s not the OG Laurel, Black Siren comes in (sonic) screaming, throwing Felicity and Rory across the room (though it should’ve done more). She calls the old Laurel “weak, vulnerable Laurel” and talks about how pathetic it was to be pretending to be her. Later, we see Black Siren go out to meet Prometheus, and it’s clear Prometheus holds a very tight leash around her. Much like Zoom did on The Flash. But she does add that she would’ve rather killed the team instead of roleplay. In response, he chokes her to put her back in her place.
The Arrow team then captures Black Siren after she calls Oliver to talk at the Black Canary statue. She tells him Prometheus threatened to kill her and that she wants to help Team Arrow catch him. But Felicity takes things into her own hands by having the team attack as if she’s about to double-cross him (they were there for backup just in case something happened). Rene starts shooting and Black Siren gives out her cry, destroying the Black Canary statue in the process. Oliver tranquilizes her and puts her in a cell to figure out what her true intentions are. At the bunker, Oliver isn’t happy with Felicity because he finds out Felicity ordered the team to attack. Oliver expresses how he still has hope for her, and it’s just nice to see the optimistic side of Oliver Queen.
Redemption or Lost Hope?
He visits Black Siren in the replicated Star Labs cell they created in the cave and she gives a little bit of her backstory. On her earth, she went to Central City for a fresh start after her Oliver died ten years ago. Then, the particle accelerator went off, giving her her sonic cry. Afterward, “it was just one bad choice after another”, much like many other meta-humans. She even uses the same iconic quote Huntress said to Laurel back in season two, “once you let the darkness inside, it never comes out”. Black Siren talks about being stuck on a different earth talking to the doppelganger of the man she used to love. From that alone, you can tell she and Oliver still had a love story even on another universe. One that also got cut short.
Unfortunately, Felicity goes to talk to her later and calls Earth-2 Laurel, Oliver’s “shot of redemption”, letting her out in the process. It’s still unclear what the writers plan to do with Black Siren because Felicity continues to poke at her inner evil after Oliver sees the good in her. Hopefully, they’ll give her an amazing arc for her in the future. But for now, she’s definitely leaning towards the dark side. Before letting her go, Felicity puts nanites (some kind of tracker) in Laurel’s water, leading the team directly to Prometheus.
Felicity and Curtis bring a mobile version of the dampener to drown out Black Siren’s screams, which ends up working just in time. Afterward, Felicity takes her out in a single punch, which just insults Black Siren’s abilities showcased in her Flash episode. They then send Black Siren to a secure Argus facility, where Oliver can keep a close eye on her, in hopes of finding the good in her. If it exists, which I have hope that it does. In the end, Oliver decides it’s time to find a new Black Canary to fulfill Laurel’s dying wish to him. It then cuts to this new Tina character, who has the same sonic cry, as she will probably become the next Black Canary.
It’s extremely satisfying to see Katie Cassidy back on my screen again, especially as the beloved Laurel Lance. But the storyline they gave her proved to be both disappointing and confusing. The plot itself proves to have multiple holes. For starters, Felicity shouldn’t have even known about Black Siren. In The Flash, the team agreed it’d be better not to tell anybody about her. It’s also hard to decipher whether or not Black Siren’s a good person who became a villain, or if she played everyone the entire time.
The character they’ve written, or rewritten, rather, is confusing because of how everything played out. It would’ve been more helpful if we learned more about Black Siren and her intentions in a multi-episode arc (rather than just one). At least then, we’d get a clearer picture of what the writers have in store for her. However, the biggest plot hole of the entire episode is how the writers, producers, and/or director of the episode portrayed her powers. On The Flash, Black Siren clearly had fighting skills, but all we saw in this episode was her sonic cry. Her siren was cool, but it would’ve been better to see a great fight scene like the one between her and Barry.
The Canary Cry
Another big problem is how they portrayed the strength of her powers. On The Flash, her cry took down entire buildings and even temporarily damaged Barry’s hearing. And he’s a meta-human with the ability to heal quicker than the average person. Barry’s ears bled from her cry for God’s sake. But in this episode, Laurel’s cry just threw people across the room and hurt people’s ears as if it was a fire alarm. In other words, they dumbed down her powers. Overall, it seems the writers brought her back just to get back viewers they lost after they killed the OG Laurel Lance.
Their intentions worked, because I came back to watch this, but it won’t be enough to keep me (and other like-minded fans) around. If the writers want the audience they had before, they’d bring Katie Cassidy back full-time and give the Black Canary mantle the respect it deserves. Instead, they’ve given it to some nobody named Tina. And I, for one, won’t stick around to continue watching their failed attempt to resurrect the Black Canary legacy.