(Note: This article includes spoilers for Arrow S05E11)
One of the biggest criticisms Arrow has been getting in the last few years has been the treatment of Laurel Lance/Black Canary. The character had been weakly written in Season 2 with a pretty weak addiction storyline. Many fans have pointed out that the writers had been ignoring the character to give Felicity and Oliver romance (#Olicity) center stage.
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That didn’t go so well from the looks of the ratings drop and negative fan response. It all came to a melting point when they killed Laurel, which killed the idea of getting a faithful Black Canary and the iconic relationship between her and Green Arrow on the small screen.
But that was then and this is now. Arrow has recently introduced Tina Boland who appears to be the next to take up the mantle of the Black Canary. The twist for her character being that she is a meta-human with the power of a canary scream.
What really sealed the deal was when she revealed that her real name was Dinah Drake.
The Original Black Canary, Dinah Drake
For those not in the know, Dinah Drake was the original Black Canary in the comics and part of the Justice Society of America. She also is the mother of Dinah Laurel Lance who is the Black Canary that went on to have a relationship with Green Arrow. The writers have taken a little liberty with the source material (nothing new) to fix their Canary problem. Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that this reveal does create some awkward tension when it comes to Laurel’s mother.
Her mother’s name is Dinah Lance, but I’m very confident that in previous seasons it was stated that her maiden name was Drake. Now we can forgive that and maybe there will be an awkward line from Lance in the future, but it should be pointed out this reveal doesn't seem like a cleverly planned story development, but more of a quick fix.
Can This Work?
Besides the fact that we got a new Dinah, we might have to ask whether or not this can work for the show. The answer seems to be yes. She has the scream, the training, and the attitude. How Curtis Holt rightfully pointed out on the show, throw a blond wig on her and you have Black Canary.
They basically presented us with an almost fully-formed new Black Canary with a personality that better represents the classic character from the comics a lot more faithfully than Laurel did. It seems like this is a genuine attempt to fix that misstep, even if it’s a bit awkward.
Could This Be The Redemption Of Arrow?
Arrow Season 5 has been a big improvement compared to the previous two seasons.
One thing is for sure, the theme of the entire episode was giving second chances. Oliver calls Dinah his second chance and she is a second chance, but not just for Oliver. She is a second chance for the writers to do the character justice and with the hopeful ending of the latest episode and the chemistry between Ollie and Dinah I can’t help but see a future for Arrow that is worthy of the Season-6 renewal that the show has already received. The creative minds behind the series seem to have realized that if they want the show to go on they need to respect the source material more than they have in the past.
Finding the middle ground between those two worlds without getting distracted by something like magic or Olicity, which was forced in the Producers own words. That seems to be the future key to success for this show.