Tonight's midseason premiere of Arrow saw the return of a fan-favorite character...but with a slight catch.
This version of Laurel, as it turns out, is her Earth 2 counterpart, Black Siren. Previously seen as a leader of Zoom's army in the Flash episode 'Invincible', she was locked in the Star Labs pipeline.
The biggest question going is forward is what Black Siren's return - as well as the other reveals of the episode - mean for the Black Canary mantle. As teased in the season five premiere, Earth 1 Laurel made Oliver promise to find a new Black Canary.
Showrunners Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Miracle echoed this, believing that it's "hard to do a Green Arrow show without having a Black Canary."
While they didn't divulge details, they said there's "definitely a possibility" we will see a new Black Canary by the end of the season.
So who exactly could be next to take on the Black Canary mantle? We look at some of the most popular fan theories.
Tonight's episode ended with Oliver promising to find a new Black Canary - and we seem to have caught a glimpse at the first candidate.
The woman armed with the sonic scream at the end of tonight's episode is Tina Boland, described in her casting announcement as a "brash but tactful" detective who is unimpressed by costumed vigilanties. In the promo for next week's episode, 'Second Chances', Team Arrow is seen trying to convince Tina to take on the Black Canary mantle.
While Tina becoming Black Canary certainly seems likely at this point, it's not necessarily a foregone conclusion. After all, while the showrunners hinted that 'Who Are You?' starts a "very specific game plan," they did not specify if that was in regards to Tina or to Black Siren.
When the initial rumor of Tina becoming Black Canary hit the Internet several weeks ago, it was met by generally mixed response. Fans of Laurel, and of the 70 years of Black Canary comic book mythos, argue that if the mantle is to be passed on, it should be to some version of Laurel Lance. Birds of Prey writer Gail Simone even weighed in on the matter, saying that Black Canary is "not interchangeable."
At this point, viewers will just have to wait and see what Tina's involvement in Arrow is going forward. And even if she does agree to take on the Black Canary mantle, there's no way of knowing yet if she will do so in Star City or in her current residence of Hub City. If the later were to happen, it would leave the opportunity for...prevnext
The other logical guess at this point is that the mantle will be passed on to Laurel's Earth 2 counterpart, Black Siren. Ever since her debut in The Flash's 'Invincible', she has been praised by fans for her metahuman sonic scream and advanced fighting skills, both of which evoke elements of the comic book Black Canary.
As we saw in 'Who Are You?', Oliver actively hopes to find elements of Earth 1 Laurel in Black Siren. The episode ends with him sending Siren to an ARGUS facility in Central City, with the hopes that her humanity will reveal itself over time.
Could that be the previously-mentioned "seed" planted by the showrunners? At this point, a Black Siren redemption arc is absolutely a possibility, especially since it has origins in comic book roots.
In some Black Canary's first comic book appearances, Dinah Drake served as a Justice Society of America member on Earth 2. When Earth 2 was subsequently destroyed by the villain Aquarius, Dinah joined Earth 1's Justice League, now armed with a sonic scream that was gifted to her by Aquarius.
While these origins are obviously different from the established DCTV canon, there are enough similar elements in place to easily justify Black Siren's redemption arc. And given the overwhelming fan support towards Earth 1 Laurel, particularly after her death last season, it seems that seeing her doppleganger grow into the mantle would recieve the most positive fan response.
And even though Arrow has been often criticized for its treatment of Earth 1 Laurel Lance, the showrunners have made it clear that they value Katie Cassidy's contributions to the DCTV universe, and want to have her stick around as much as possible. As Greg Berlanti explained:
"We made a deal at the end of [season 4] to bring her back for a bunch of episodes. Katie is a part of the fabric of the show. Because the show, like a comic book, can move in different ways, and characters go and come... There's the capacity for her to be [in all four shows]. At this moment, she's in three of them."
This means that even if we don't get to see a Black Siren redemption arc happen on Arrow, there's a chance it could happen on Legends or Flash. Either way, we can expect to see more of Katie Cassidy in the DCTV universe going into the remainder of the season and onward.prevnext
This theory is essentially dead at this point, but the amount of speculation about it (including some on this website) is worth briefly addressing.
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim hinted that Felicity is headed towards a deeper storyline in the back half of season five, one that ultimately ties into the season's theme of legacy. "As with all things Arrow, [the storyline is] not initially what you think it is and it will ultimately relate to the overall season theme of legacy, but in this case something very specific to Felicity."
The other running fan theory has been that Felicity could slip into a more villanous role - inspired by her father, Noah Cutter/The Calculator - an arc that would be much more personal for her than becoming Black Canary.
The idea of Felicity as Black Canary has recieved a mixed-at-best response from both Laurel and Felicity fans alike. This, combined with the fact that Guggenheim has denied this theory on multiple occasions, means that the chance of Felicity taking on the iconic mantle is very slim.prevnext
Earth 1 Laurel Lance
Yes, you read that right.
When Black Siren posed as Earth 1 Laurel, she explained that her resurrection was helped by the Legends of Tomorrow. In her story, Sara used the Waverider to teleport Laurel into the ship's med bay moments before her death.
The Legends help repair her previously-fatal injuries and she asked them to drop her off in Team Arrow's present day.
The catch is that this rescue mission happened months from Arrow's current timeline. So, is there a chance that we could see something similar to this actually happen? At this point, you can't rule anything out.0comments
As we've mentioned, Katie Cassidy is listed as a series regular across all of the Arrowverse shows, meaning a Legends appearance is actually overdue for her at this point this season. And given the time traveling nature of the show, it's totally plausible that the Legends could meet an Earth 1 Laurel from another point in time as opposed to the now-imprisoned Black Siren.
And with Laurel's killer, Damien Darhk (Neal McDonaugh), also a regular fixture of this season of Legends as a member of the Legion of Doom, it would be entirely possible for Legends to recreate some version of Laurel's death scene - only for Sara and the Legends to intervene and save her.prev