Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead For Season Three
It seems that Arrow is going to have a slew of new faces this season, as the casting news keeps coming in. We've heard about upcoming villains and heroes, a love interest or two, extra crossover characters from The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, and even the inclusion of a familiar face from NBC - Constantine.
Now, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that there are still more characters being added to the roster, with the addition of Rutina Wesley playing Liza Warner, aka Lady Cop.
Liza Warner is a character who originally appeared briefly in various ATOM comics as a witness to the brutal murder of her roommates. Inspired by the police officers who help her in the wake of this tragedy, she joins the academy herself, eventually becoming a bad-ass crimefighter on the force.
Other than the fact that she will be played by Wesley (True Blood, Hannibal), all we know about her is that she will be part of the police force in Starling City, and that she'll be part of an "anti-vigilante task force".
It's worth noting that other than her name and her profession, this isn't a character who takes much from her comic book namesake. Much like Felicity Smoak, this is another very minor and tangentially related character who is going to be given a new twist for the hit TV series. After all, she appears in less than ten issues of ATOM, Wesley looks completely different to the original Lady Cop and the character is incredibly minor in the books. While it's possible that we'll be seeing a similarly short story arc here, given Arrow's track record, I doubt it. Why even bother pulling a name from the source material for a throwaway police officer?
Instead, I feel that Lady Cop is going to turn out to be an important addition to the force in Starling City (or should that be Star City, given this recent post by Paul Blackthorne?), and that her presence on the show hints at all kinds of interesting things...
Lady Cop And Captain Lance
Obviously, her work with the police department is going to bring her into Captain Lance's life - possibly as a subordinate, although it's equally possible that he recruits her as an expert to head up this task force. I can't wait to see some more character development from Lance, and hopefully something along the lines of romance rather than tragedy. Having already lost Sara (twice), seen Laurel turn to drugs and drink, and battled his own alcoholism, I feel that it is time for Quentin to have a lighter storyline. Could Liza become something of a love interest for him?
The Police Department Is Back In Play...
Whatever their relationship, it's clear that we are going to see a lot more of the police department, and that is definitely a positive. Season Three spent a lot of time in Central City and Nanda Parbat, and surprisingly little dealing with the criminals of Starling City. While the first two seasons saw the police force either trying to arrest the Arrow or to work with him, recently, they've all but vanished, and I'm thrilled to see that the force are going to be a bigger part of this season.
A lot of fans took issue with the Ra's Al Ghul storyline in the past season, so it's nice to see the creative minds behind the series taking a step back, and returning to the vigilante core of the character.
...And They Are After Team Arrow
Needless to say, the presence of an "anti-vigilante task force" makes the police opinion very clear; they are no longer in favor of the work that Team Arrow is doing. This is no surprise, given Captain Lance's opinion of Oliver in Season Three.
This change in public opinion could also be connected to Ray Palmer's overall plan to revamp the city's public image. A Starling in need of vigilante justice isn't a safe place to live, so taking a stand against the masked heroes is a clear statement that the police have things under control, and that no one is above the law. This echoes the original reaction to Arrow (then called "The Hood") showing up in town, so it will be interesting to see whether or not the general population of Starling is going to agree with the official city policy on vigilantes or not.
Captain Lance is Keeping Secrets
While Captain Lance is clearly no fan of Team Arrow, he's also apparently not giving the game away quite yet. Perhaps this is because Oliver Queen was already accused of being the Arrow and acquitted (thanks, Diggle!), so he can't accuse him a second time. Or, perhaps this is because he knows that Laurel is working with Team Arrow as the Black Canary. If he reveals the secrets that he knows, how can he keep his daughter out of the firing line? Having already lost Sara, it looks like he isn't willing to reveal Laurel.
Although he's keeping quiet, there is no doubt that he is going to be butting heads with Laurel over her involvement every chance he gets. It's also going to be interesting to see what kind of issues his secrecy causes between him and Liza. If they are getting along, or if there is some romance in the air, keeping secrets can only end badly. However, if he ends up disliking her, or feels that she is stepping on his toes... maybe he keeps Oliver's identity a secret out of spite.
Ass-Kicking, Dead Ahead
Finally, I'm hoping that we will see some of the unarmed combat skills of the original beat-cop character coming through, especially as she comes up against the members of Team Arrow. While I would be happy to see some good ol' fashioned street chase action with any of the vigilantes, it would especially interesting to see how a fight between Lady Cop and Black Canary would affect Captain Lance.
It's important to mention that this is all speculation at the moment; all that we really know for sure is her name and involvement in a task force. However, I think that these are fairly logical conclusions, along with a little dash of personal hopes. We'll have to wait and see how Lady Cop pans out!
Arrow returns to the CW 7th Oct, 2015