We’re a week away from the Season 5 finale of Arrow, but it’s the penultimate episode that’s getting all the buzz thanks to the triumphant return of Katie Cassidy. While the Laurel Lance we knew and loved may still be gone, the Earth 2 iteration, known as Black Siren, is taking up permanent residence in Star City.
It was back in March that executive producer Marc Guggenheim announced her return, explaining that Black Siren’s story wasn’t finished. Following her guest appearance in the final two episodes of Season 5, Cassidy will be back as a regular cast member in Season 6–and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
While details on what the nature of Black Siren’s story will be have been scarce, we think Cassidy’s return is a welcome change for the show. To celebrate her return on Wednesday night’s episode, we’re breaking down a few reasons why her addition could be a good thing for the series.
A fresh start for Laurel
At this point we have little idea what returning as a regular cast member means for Earth 2’s Laurel Lance. Is she rejoining Team Arrow and becoming a good guy? Is she looking to become Season 6’s main villain? Or will her story become something else entirely? It’s too soon to tell.
However, regardless of what the narrative will be, this is the chance for the character of Laurel to get a much-needed reboot. There’s no question that the original Laurel Lance will always be an important part of the show’s history, but this resurrection is an opportunity to start over and show us a new side of Laurel without all the emotional baggage from the last few seasons.
Changing the dynamic for Oliver
Season 5 has been a massive change for Team Arrow, with Oliver (Stephen Amell) evolving from a team leader to a mentor for some of the new additions–with mixed results. Permanently adding Black Siren to the mix is the perfect way to shake up Oliver’s life, regardless of what side of the good vs. evil coin she falls. Rehabilitating a supervillain could be just what Oliver needs to conquer the darkness in his own past, and, alternatively, fighting against someone with the face of the woman he spent five years trying to get back to is kind of a perfect full-circle moment, in the cruelest way, especially with the island flashbacks seemingly wrapping up.
Closure for Quentin
At least we hope that this will happen for poor former Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Quentin has been through the ringer on Arrow, losing both his daughters on multiple occasions only to have them come back in one form or another. While he’ll never get back his own Laurel, there’s always the possibility that meeting the Black Siren could help Quentin heal and move forward with his life. Fingers crossed he doesn’t fall into another downward spiral instead.
A potential new storyline for Thea
Thea (Willa Holland) remains one of the best characters on Arrow, but her storyline has been woefully limited this season as she distanced herself from the team to find a new purpose in life outside of fighting crime. After losing herself in the cutthroat world of politics, Thea is definitely at a crossroads. What better way to bring her back into the fold by helping her develop a relationship with Earth 2’s Laurel Lance?
Not only that, this could also be a huge opportunity to reignite the terrific female friendships we’ve been missing on Arrow since Laurel’s death. With Thea and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) going in different directions, and the new teammates never quite finding that chemistry with either one of them, the dynamics have not nearly been the same. How great would it be to see Thea help Black Siren through murder-happy rehab? Or Felicity try to find common ground with a completely new Laurel? The possibilities are endlessly exciting.
All the feels
Let’s face it, the best part of having Cassidy come back to Arrow full-time is the absolute roller coaster ride of emotions we’ll be dealing with week to week. Whether Black Siren decides to switch sides for good and become the true Black Canary or she’s the Season 6 “big bad”, we’re guaranteed to be hit with feelings of nostalgia, heartbreak and hope on the regular. Whatever the future may hold for this version of Laurel Lance, if the Arrow writers take their time and give it the careful consideration that her character deserves, we’re in for a hell of a Season 6.
What are your expectations for the return of the Black Siren? Sound off in the comments below.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW and CTV.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.