Laurel’s Return and Iris’ Death: Theories on What Happens Next in The Flash and Arrow

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I know that last week I said that I would be writing an article about leveraging supporting casts, but with the Mid-Season Finales of a few of my favorite shows happening, I’ve decided that I’m going to push that article back a couple of week so that I can talk about some interesting things I’ve seen in my favorite TV shows.

This week that’s going to be to discuss my theories after some of the cliffhangers and clues we’ve been left with halfway through the seasons of The Flash and Arrow. If you haven’t seen either or caught up with them yet, then I don’t advise reading this; there are definitely manner spoilers afoot.

The Flash:

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The Flash actually ended its mid-season on a relatively quiet note without any major reveals or cliffhangers. The group defeated Savitar and was left wondering if his prophecies would somehow come true, and we are left with two brief glimpses of the future which give us some things to speculate about for the second half of the season. One came earlier this season when Cisco vibed a future where he is fighting against Caitlin as Killer Frost. The second came towards the end of the mid-season finale where Barry saw a possible future where Iris is killed by Savitar.

Killer Frost vs Vibe…

This may just be wishful thinking on my part, but I think what Cisco vibed has to be inaccurate in some way for the story to be interesting, and honestly I think he may be the “villain” in this duel. My theory held a little more weight when Cisco was still really angry at Barry over Dante’s death, but I think that could still be a motivator (as could learning something new about his brother’s death or Barry’s time travel) for him to turn on the team. Or maybe Savitar offers to go back in time and save Dante or something.

One of Savitar’s guys does mention that Caitlin will be “powerful” or something like that in the Killer Frost episode, but I’m hoping the story doesn’t go down the path of Killer Frost being villainous, partially because I really like Caitlin and would like to see her team-up with Barry as part of a meta-human squad (that’s mostly the wishful thinking), but largely because I feel like we’ve already seen Killer Frost as the villain, and why would we have an episode where she turns bad only to have her do the same thing again? This past season of Sleepy Hollow had a similar set-up where one character went missing and was thought to be dead at the mid-season finale only to actually die in the finale, and I can say this retreading of already seen plot wasn’t very effective.

Iris’ Death…

I’m not entirely sure what to think of this. I think it would actually be a good direction for the show to take in some ways, and it would serve to show Barry being horrifically punished for creating Flashpoint. He selfishly tried to save his parents, which has already ruined many of his friends’ lives, but to have him ultimately lose the woman he loves on top of that would be a fulfilling punishment, a sort of final tragic loss due to his hubris. I think in some ways this could also work for the ensemble, as (though I really like Candice Patton) Iris doesn’t add a whole lot to the team at the moment.

That being said, I actually think that Joe might be the one to die. This would also be a tragic turn of fate with Barry trying to save his biological parents only to lose the man who actually raised him. This could open up the opportunity for Iris to do more as well. Maybe after her father’s death, she becomes motivated to join the police force, sort of like she did on Earth 2. This would also explain why she doesn’t end up writing the article about Barry; it’s not that she dies, it’s just that she doesn’t work in journalism anymore.

Arrow:

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Arrow has a couple of mysteries hanging over it, most of them connected with identity. Who is Prometheus really? Who is the Vigilante? Who is Susan Williams…or at least what is she really up to? But obviously the most shocking thing about the mid-season finale was Laurel Lance’s return in the final scene of the episode. I think we either have too much information about the upcoming identity reveals (read: you can find out from knowing the comics), or we have too little to really make any calculated speculations. But considering Laurel’s return is worth doing, I think, since there are some interesting options.

Laurel’s Return…

My theory on Laurel is that she is actually Black Siren, a.k.a. Laurel Lance from Earth 2. It’s possible that when Barry rewrote the timeline, something changed with her. Maybe she didn’t end up being a villain. Maybe she escaped the custody of Team Flash. Maybe they let her out due to good behavior, and as it turns out she’s actually a reformed villain. Maybe she’s staying on Earth 1 because she wants to redeem herself and knows she won’t have that chance since she was already a known criminal on Earth 2.

Whatever the case, I think this “Black Siren” scenario is the thing that makes the most sense. It also allows for a Laurel who, in some ways, better fits the Black Canary role. In the more recent comics, Canary is a meta-human, and the Canary Cry is a power she has, not a tool she was given. This is of course the same power Black Siren displayed, so I could see Laurel Lance 2 taking up the mantle of Black Canary on Team Arrow…and then hopefully getting her own show as leader of the Birds of Prey.

This again may be wishful thinking on my part because I did enjoy Katie Cassidy’s portrayal of Black Siren more than her “good girl” portrayal of Laurel Lance. Giving Canary more of an edge would be a good direction, I think. This could also lead to some fun, and awkward, scenarios where she is trying to reintegrate into a world where people knew her doppelganger and have preconceived notions and expectations about her, sort of the way Dr. Wells from Earth 2 struggled to fit into Team Flash, only this time Laurel would be loved by everyone around her who would have to adjust to her new personality, whereas Wells was hated.

It’s possible that Laurel is some kind of hallucination, but I think that would honestly be a cheap trick, and I hope that’s not the case. That would take the delight of this cliffhanger and turn it into something that was obviously a cheap bait to keep the audience guessing.

It’s also possible that Laurel has returned due to other Flashpoint shenanigans, like the Lazarus Pits being operational again because they were never destroyed. This would be a satisfactory explanation in some ways, but I also think it doesn’t allow for story arcs that are quite as interesting. Even with the same actress, I’d really like to see this Laurel Lance be definitively different than the first one, which Black Siren would be. If the same Laurel is being brought back, why was she even killed off in the first place? For her return to be interesting at all, I think the show has to be able to take the character in a new direction.

So, again mostly out of wishful thinking, I’m going to stick with my Black Siren becoming Black Canary theory for the moment.

What do you guys think? Do you think these theories are sound? Do they not hold up? Or do you have your own pet theories you’d like to share? Thanks for reading, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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