Arrow's controversial decision to kill off Laurel Lance last season sparked outrage among fans of both the show and the comics. Not only was it shocking, it was downright confusing as Black Canary is one of DC's most iconic superheroes and Oliver Queen's one true love. However, the blow was softened when we heard that actress Katie Cassidy will be returning as a series regular across all of the CW's superhero shows.
Despite this, Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim insisted that Laurel Lance of Earth-1 was definitely dead. But fans refused to accept it and continued to make their voices heard, starting two petitions to revive the character and voting Black Canary DC's best TV hero. Well, it looks like all the hard work has paid off, as Arrow Executive Producer Wendy Mericle has confirmed that the beloved Laurel Lance will be returning to Arrow this season.
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In a recent interview with TV Guide, Mericle discussed Cassidy's return:
"I can tell you that we’re really excited about having her back. You will see in the episodes where she appears – Episode 510 definitely, our midseason premiere. Keep your eyes out for that. We’re so excited about getting to work with her again and her willingness to come back. It’s one of the fun parts of the show. People can leave and get killed and you can still find new and crazy ways for them to come back. I can definitely tell you that there’s a way we’re going to bring her back and she’s going to be alive and well. And Flashpoint might have a little bit to do with that.
Not only is this amazing news, it might even prove some of those fan theories about Laurel's fate right. If Flashpoint is involved in Cassidy's return, that leaves us with so many questions regarding the character and her potential storylines.
Will Flashpoint Resurrect Laurel Lance?
When Barry ran back in time to save his mother over on The Flash, significantly altering the timeline, many of us wondered if this Flashpoint event could affect Arrow as well, and perhaps even bring back some of the show's fallen characters. After all if the Flash reset the timeline, there's no way it would just apply to his show right? I mean, there are two other shows set in the Arrow-verse.
Despite initial claims that Arrow wouldn't feel the effects of Flashpoint, Mericle's confirmation that it would be involved in Cassidy's return to the show seems to suggest otherwise. Of course, it's possible that Flashpoint could end up bringing the imprisoned Black Siren — Laurel's evil Earth-2 doppelganger — to Star City, but that would be redundant as Siren is already "alive and well," something Mericle was sure to stress that Cassidy's character would be.
Black Siren never died, but Black Canary did, making her the more likely option, based on Mericle's comments. Those comments also seem to suggest that Flashpoint will intervene regarding Laurel's fate and either bring her back to her life or undo her death altogether.
It seems like death just can't beat either of the Lance sisters — those Canaries just can't stay dead, and we're very thankful for that.
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Does Arrow Still Need Black Canary?
Laurel Lance was killed during the 18th episode of Arrow's fourth season in a moment which led to the conclusion of the "who's in the grave?" angle, an arc that made the season start off feeling fresh but ultimately fell short. Many of the show's fanbase wanted the show to return to its former glory, and killing off one of the show's only mainstays resulted in the complete opposite — nobody wanted to see Laurel die.
Despite the backlash, the series's upcoming fifth season seems to hint at a return to its darker roots. Furthermore, Laurel's death will still be prominently featured this season as her legacy will be a major presence, with Oliver hoping to do her memory justice and the city unveiling a statue in her honor. Moreover, Oliver has assembled a new team of heroes to help him protect Star City. So despite her absence, the show seems to be finding a way to move on.
However, Laurel Lance was a significant presence on the show since the beginning. She had some of the most integral storylines — including her relationship with Oliver and her sister Sara's deaths and resurrections — and even became a voice of reason for the Green Arrow in later episodes. Additionally, the outcry for her return is just an example of how much fans of the show would love to have her back. Ignoring them could result in further declining ratings.
With unfinished storylines, a strong fanbase and the most unique superheroic gimmick out of them all, as well as the fact that no Green Arrow interpretation is complete without her — yes, Arrow very much still needs the Black Canary.
Where Could She Fit Into The Arrow-verse?
When we first heard that Katie Cassidy was returning as a series regular across all of the CW's superhero shows, we all assumed that the likely option would be the return of Black Siren. However, now that we know Laurel will be "alive and well", that changes things significantly. Cassidy will appear in the Season 5 premiere as Laurel in a flashback and in the 100th episode in an unknown role. And now that we know she will be in the midseason premiere, presumably as Laurel, but where does she go from there?
As much as I would like to believe that she would be sticking around on Arrow, it's unlikely that Cassidy would have signed the new contract across all shows if they planned on the character resuming her previous role. Furthermore, remember that Laurel's identity as the Black Canary was outed at her funeral by Oliver Queen to preserve her legacy. So, it's unlikely that she would just resume crimefighting in a city that knows her true identity.
While Black Siren could continue to show up wherever she liked, I'm guessing the most likely option for a newly revived Black Canary would be to join her sister Sara — the White Canary — fighting crime through time on Legends Of Tomorrow. Ever since her Arrow death, many theorized that she would be a great addition to Legends and it seems like the most likely option. Seeing Sara and Laurel kick some butt together on the Waverider would truly be a great sight.
With the most exciting chapter of the Arrow-verse about to begin, it wouldn't have been complete without the Black Canary. Mericle's announcement that Laurel will be brought back alive and well is one that fan's of the character have been longing to hear. It will be interesting to see how she fits in to not just Arrow but the wider Arrow-verse. I am also particularly excited to see how characters will react to her return, including Oliver, Quentin and Sara. The Lance family has had some incredibly rich storylines over the years, and Laurel's return from the dead will undoubtedly be another. However that comeback is executed, I am thrilled to hear that Laurel Lance will be back. The Black Canary still cries, louder than ever.
Arrow Season 5 premieres on The CW on October 5. Are you excited about Laurel Lance's return from the dead? Let us know in the comments!