My Thoughts on the New Direction for Black Canary

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Arrow is now two episodes returned from its mid-season hiatus, and I have thoughts about the direction the show has taken in regards to the Black Canary character. If you’re not fully caught up, the following post is very spoiler, so probably best to watch those episodes sitting on your DV-R before reading this.

You’ve been warned.

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Right before the break, I posited the theory that the returning Laurel Lance was Black Siren, Earth-2 Laurel Lance who we met last season on The Flash. It turns out I was correct in that assertion…but not so much in how things unfolded with her character.

And, I’m not entirely happy with the direction they decided to take. But before we get into my objections, I will state the positives, because it wasn’t, or isn’t, all bad.

The first is that the new vigilante, Tina Boland (who we find out is really named Dinah Drake), that Team Arrow seeks out is much closer to the comic book version of the character. She is a meta-human, and the Canary Cry is an innate ability that she can use. This makes her the second powered person to join the team after Ragman.

I also did enjoy Juliana Harkavy’s portrayal of this new character. She seems like a good fit in the group, and I like her more badass and street smart take on Canary, something that I felt was missing from Laurel’s more goody two-shoes personality. I think she could be a really fun addition to the show, and I hope the writers do a good job of developing her character.

So, the positives being said, I have some reservations…

I was happy I was right about the returned Laurel being Black Siren, and I was really hoping that she would come back to Team Arrow as Earth-2’s Laurel Lance. I outlined some ideas in a previous article about this, but in essence I thought it would be a really interesting direction to take the character in. Both the audience and the team would have to learn about this new Laurel and put aside the past history of the character.

I think this would have been a really fun character arc to explore, sort of like a reverse Wells from The Flash. In Season 2 Wells had to prove to Team Flash that he wasn’t the villain his doppelganger was in Season 1. In this instance, Earth-2 Laurel would have to deal with people’s expectations of her, and the team would have to learn that she wasn’t the Laurel of old and had a whole different set of faults.

I also thought that having a villain-to-hero redemption arc would be really cool for the show. Arrow is all about Oliver’s transformation from a killer to a hero, and even the new Black Canary starts her time on the team after having murdered a man she sought vengeance against in cold blood. I think handling this story arc with Black Siren would’ve added an interesting dimension to the story, as, again, the team remembers her as a good person, in many ways the moral compass for the group, and so this sort of redemption arc would have even more layers to it.

Ultimately, I felt a little cheated by the way things played out. With Katie Cassidy returning at the very end of the mid-season finale episode, I thought that she would be making a permanent comeback to the show, but it appears that isn’t the case. I feel like using that as a tease to keep the fan-base guessing until they returned to the show was a cheap trick.

I may have been more amenable to this idea if it hadn’t involved a 7-week cliffhanger, but as it stands, I think the story could’ve been handled better.

I hope that Harkavy continues to bring some fun energy to the show, and I hope the writers’ take on Canary moving forward is a good one, but I feel like not having Black Siren take on the Canary mantle is a missed opportunity for some great storytelling.

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I enjoy watching all of the Arrow-verse shows are write articles about them, other TV shows, movies, books, comics, and writing advice. If you enjoyed this article, please follow my blog or join my mailing list. I also recently published a YA Urban Fantasy novella, Nine Tails, which you should check out if you enjoy kick-ass female characters, magic, and/or Korean myths.

Thanks for reading!

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