ByMichael Patterson, writer at Creators.co
I Write. Sometimes. Follow me on Twitter: @MichaelP93
Michael Patterson

Warning: This article contains major spoilers of Arrow Season 5, Episode 9 "What We Leave Behind."

I think it's safe to say that the jaw-dropping mid-season finale of Arrow had us all on the edges of our seats. Not only was it an incredible throwback to the glory days of the show, it also managed to both thrill and move us in what is arguably the season's best episode to date. Between the amazing fight scenes and Prometheus's unbelievable twist, we were lucky to escape the episode with our emotions intact. But no moment was as undeniably shocking as the return of Laurel Lance.

Relive the amazing moment below:

Arrow made headlines last season when it controversially killed off Laurel during a season long "who's in the grave?" arc. The decision received major backlash from fans and also resulted in a significant ratings decline. So her surprising return has undoubtedly gone down well with fans.

However, due to executive producer Marc Guggenheim's original claims that the Laurel Lance of Earth-1 will remain dead, it's understandable that some are suspicious and have concluded that it's not Laurel but actually her Earth-2 doppelgänger Black Siren. While that's highly possible and would be awesome to see, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that the Laurel who reappeared actually is the Black Canary we all know and love.

There Is No Trickery Involved

For fear of disappointment, many fans refuse to believe that Laurel's reappearance on Arrow is really her. After Katie Cassidy's return in the prior episode — which also happened to be the series's 100th episode and the show's installment of the Arrow-verse crossover — which saw the character appear in a dream-like fantasy world caused by the Dominators — some believe that her return is just another hallucination. And the reason for this is down to the belief that Susan Williams may have slipped something into Oliver's drink.

Laurel returned in a dream-sequence in 'Invasion!' - the 100th episode of 'Arrow'. (The CW)
Laurel returned in a dream-sequence in 'Invasion!' - the 100th episode of 'Arrow'. (The CW)

Moreover, as Katie Cassidy also portrayed Laurel's evil Earth-2 doppelganger Black Siren on The Flash last season, it's also possible that she is simply masquerading as Laurel and perhaps working for Prometheus. However, there is quite a bit of satisfying evidence to suggest that both of these theories aren't true.

First of all, Laurel is not a hallucination. The CW recently released a webclip on their app which revealed Oliver speaking to the newly-imprisoned Diggle, informing him of Laurel's resurrection and how "we're" easing her back in. The plural suggests that he isn't the only one who has seen Laurel alive and well. Thus, it's impossible for her to be just a manifestation of something he drank. Laurel isn't in his head, she's there for all of Team Arrow to see.

From hero to villain: Laurel's Black Canary and Earth-2's Black Siren. (via The CW)
From hero to villain: Laurel's Black Canary and Earth-2's Black Siren. (via The CW)

Furthermore, while we know that Black Siren is returning, it's unlikely that she is masquerading as Laurel. Firstly, Black Siren has brown hair. So while yes, she very well could have dyed her hair to convince Oliver that she's Laurel, Katie Cassidy tweeted out an image recently which featured her in her Black Siren outfit with the brown hair. Does that mean that once she's found out, she'll take her time re-coloring her hair?

More importantly, Arrow's other executive producer Wendy Mericle recently confirmed during an interview with TV Guide that Cassidy would be returning for the show's mid-season premiere. And during said interview, she had some pretty interesting things to say about Laurel.

"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... 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."

So while the reasons surrounding her return may still be foggy, rest assured that the person who appeared before Oliver Queen is Laurel Lance. And Laurel Lance is very much alive and well.

If you're a fan of Laurel Lance, check out these:

She Turned Up When Oliver Needed Her Most

Throughout Arrow's first four seasons, Laurel was a rock for Oliver. Whenever he needed someone to rely on, she was there for him. And by God, he needs her now. After consistently being bested by Prometheus, losing his recruit Artemis to the dark side and accidentally killing Detective Malone, Oliver Queen's Christmas was set to be a bleak one. Throw in the fact that Malone was Felicity's boyfriend and that Oliver's best friend John Diggle was just arrested, it's safe to say that Oliver has never seen darker times.

Laurel was always Oliver's source of hope.
Laurel was always Oliver's source of hope.

But just when he thought everything was lost, he regained the most important thing in his life — Laurel. Laurel's timing was no coincidence — she turned up right when Oliver needed her most. And perhaps this could indeed allude to the fact that she may have actually faked her own death, and thus, been alive all along.

Undoubtedly, Laurel's death was Oliver's biggest regret. So, to regain his first love and ally at a time when he so desperately needs her might just stop him from completely going over the edge. Laurel has always been Oliver's light, and right now he needs that light more than ever.

How Has She Returned?

Despite our joy, there's no erasing the fact that Laurel Lance was unjustly killed last season by Damien Darhk — unless of course your name is Barry Allen and you like screwing up timelines — so that leaves us wondering, how is Laurel's return possible?

Yas Queen! Laurel Lance is back!
Yas Queen! Laurel Lance is back!

Of course, there's always Flashpoint. I know the hope of it resurrecting Laurel has been exhausted at this stage as it didn't change her fate at the beginning of the season. However, it could have had certain repercussions — perhaps the Lazarus Pit was never destroyed in the time newline? Thus, while Flashpoint didn't resurrect her, it could have given someone the means to do so.

Furthermore, there's also a strong possibility that her sister Sara changed Laurel's fate over on . Having traveled back to 1987, Sara took a great deal of pleasure in telling Damien Darhk about the failure of his diabolical plans and his ultimate death in Star City in 2016. With Darhk desperate to change his future, he may never arrive in Star City and thus, Laurel may remain unharmed. Thus, Sara's conversation with Darhk may have just saved her sister's life. And now Laurel's return just might be the manifestation that time aberration.

Canaries: Did Sara resurrect her sister on "Legends Of Tomorrow"? (via The CW)
Canaries: Did Sara resurrect her sister on "Legends Of Tomorrow"? (via The CW)

And then again, perhaps Laurel really did fake her own death. After all, she needed Darhk to stop coming after her father — which she knew he would if she was dead. Moreover, she described the altercation with Darhk as her "last night" with the mantle of Back Canary and spoke like she was on her deathbed —despite being assured by doctors that she would be fine. While it's possible that she truly did die at that point in time, she may have faked her own death and has now returned when Oliver needs her the most. Laurel was held up as a symbol of hope for Star City, and now they need that hope more than ever.

This city needed Laurel Lance, and now she's back! (via The CW)
This city needed Laurel Lance, and now she's back! (via The CW)

So with the shocking mid-season finale finally bringing back the beloved Black Canary, things have got very interesting on Arrow. While we don't quite know how she has returned yet, it's abundantly clear to me that somehow, someway, the Earth-1 Laurel Lance has returned. With the backlash that the show received for killing her off, Katie Cassidy's new series regular contract and the show sorely missing her presence, it should have come as no surprise that Laurel is back. But it did, and it was a very pleasant one. And I can't wait to see what awesome storylines her return brings with it.

After almost a year of hoping, campaigning and waiting, fans of the Black Canary can relax, because Dinah Laurel Lance is back. The Canary cries again!

She's back! Laurel Lance has returned to 'Arrow' alive and well.
She's back! Laurel Lance has returned to 'Arrow' alive and well.

Are you excited to see Laurel Lance alive again? Let us know in the comments!

[Source: TV Guide]

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