As reported by Nerdist, Laurel Lance – aka Black Canary – is now apparently back on Arrow. Of course, appearances can be deceiving – especially when it comes to Arrow. But people are now wondering how Laurel returned, given that only a few months ago everyone attended her funeral.
Not Unusual That Laurel Returned
Because Arrow is based on a comic book and comic book characters never really die – at least not permanently – it’s become a regular thing over the last five years to see characters on Arrow return either from seeming death, near-death, or actual death.
It hasn’t always been done in exactly the same way though. At one point, viewers were led to believe that Oliver Queen/Green Arrow was dead after being stabbed with a sword and thrown off the side of a mountain. It turned out all he needed was a nap and a bit of tea.
Oliver’s sister, Thea, also either died or came to the very edge of death, only to be resurrected by the Lazarus Pit – even though she returned with her brains a bit scrambled and with a desire to kill anyone in sight. And long after Thea killed Sara – in a different episode – they dipped Sara’s rotting corpse in the Lazarus pit as well and voilà she was alive again.
Storytelling Problems with the Undead
As many fans have pointed out, even though the old superhero trope of bringing back characters from the dead – such as Captain America or Superman – may be fine when you’re talking about a comic book, it doesn’t translate quite as well to television or movies.
Viewers are getting a bit tired of this plot device, since it removes drama from the death of any character. You know that he or she isn’t really dead and that they’re going to pop up again at some later point in the series. While this isn’t always true on Arrow, it happens frequently enough that it’s a problem.
So bringing back Laurel in the same way they brought back Sara – i.e. the Lazarus Pit or some other magical undead means – wouldn’t necessarily be a good idea for the show.
Other Laurel Returned Options
So if they don’t choose to literally bring Laurel back from the dead, what are the other options? Actually, there are quite a few. For instance, maybe Laurel was never actually dead to begin with. Sound unlikely?
Think about it. Laurel had become a kind of walking target for Damien Darhk and any other Arrow villains that might crop up. Darhk knew who she was, since he had controlled Captain Lance by threatening many times to kill her.
Maybe what she really whispered to Oliver in the hospital was that she wanted to drop out of the game for a while – perhaps even permanently. So Oliver orchestrated her “death” so she could disappear.
Of course, the flaw in this theory is that everyone else that Oliver and Laurel lied to about her death would be furious with them – with good reason. Especially Sara and Captain Lance. So this one’s probably out.
Then of course there’s Flashpoint. Barry/Flash went back to save his mother, screwed up a timeline and generally made a mess of everyone’s life. Well, not everyone – but enough people that he got a Class A chewing out during one of the crossover episodes.
In the same way that Flashpoint created a timeline in which Diggle had a son instead of a daughter, could it somehow have resurrected Laurel or prevented her death in the first place? While in theory this could have happen, it wouldn’t make sense in the current continuity.
Everyone in the show – apparently including Oliver – still believed Laurel was dead after Flashpoint. So unless time is literally starting to unravel because of what Barry did – resulting in paradoxes – this theory doesn’t work either.
Cloning technology? That hasn’t really been shown on the Arrow before, and without any hints of something like this in a previous episode, it’s highly unlikely they’d go that direction to explain how Laurel returned.
Could she be a hallucination? It’s not like Oliver hasn’t had hallucinations before. In previous episodes, he’s seen Deathstroke or any number of other hallucinations wandering around. Also, Oliver was just under the influence of the Dominators’ machine, so Laurel could be an aftereffect.
But that would seem like a really cheap way out. The producers and writers would have to actually want angry letters from the viewers to use such an approach for explaining how Laurel returned at the end of that episode.
So what’s left? Probably what they’re actually going to do, which is to bring over an alternate reality version of Laurel from the multi-verse that the Flash taps into. We’ve already seen at least one dark version of Black Canary – known as Black Siren – from Earth 2. She’s supposed to still be locked up in the prison on The Flash, but maybe she escaped.
[Featured Image by The CW]