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Arrow Brings a Character Back into the Fold in “Collision Course” but to What End?

Laurel

The relationship between Arrow and myself ended badly when it decided to unceremoniously kill off my favorite character Laurel Lance for reasons that are still unclear to me. Yet it seems it was unclear to them as well.

[SPOILERS FOR COLLISION COURSE]

Black Canary Cry

The writers said it was because they had “run out of stories” for Laurel, but yet she keeps coming back in her Earth-2 bad girl form of Black Siren. At least there, she has been given the powers she deserves and the fighting ability she should have always had. Her role of the canary was given to Dinah Drake, who is now one of three Dinah’s in the show, but it seems like we are doing to be doubling up once more.

Now, in the most recent episode “Collision Course”, the show has decided to try and “redeem” Earth-2 Laurel through the power of, I guess…daddy issues? A quick recap for those who don’t watch: E-2 Laurel is accused of stealing some money which could help the city. New Team Arrow goes up against Original Team Arrow as to how to handle the situation. Quinten attempts to help E2 Laurel through his daddy love, but she escapes when the two Arrow teams fight and she goes to into the city and takes the identity of E1 Laurel saying she’s been kidnapped all this time.

This development was not enough t0 make me go back and watch a full episode of Arrow, thank you fast-forward. I’ve seen it fail its female heroines way too many times to trust them with Laurel ever again, but hearing that Earth-2 Laurel is going to take the place of “real Laurel” and say she’d been kidnapped for 2 years is comically bad.

Like, that’s something straight out a soap opera and it brings up one question again: why did they kill Laurel off in the first place? Clearly, they didn’t run out of stories for the character and I’m almost 100% sure that Black Siren is only in the Arrow-verse because part of the fandom called them out on it and people actually like the chaotic-evil Black Siren.

So, now she’s back?

Some people are questioning if E2 Laurel can be redeemed, which I think it is a non-issue because everyone on the show is trash (except you Diggle), but as Jenna Anderson put it on CBR:

Almost everyone on Team Arrow has notable deaths under their belt for one reason or another, whether it be Felicity Smoak’s Havenrock, John Diggle’s time in the military, or Dinah Drake’s quest for revenge when she thought Vince had initially died. Heck, most fans have lost track of the number of people Oliver Queen has killed over Arrow‘s past six years.

And even looking at the track record of past Arrow villains, characters have ended up being seen in a positive light quite a bit. Malcolm Merlyn went back and forth from a mastermind to a sort of awkward family member over the years, and ultimately died in what was regarded as a hero’s sacrifice. Slade Wilson arguably had the biggest heel turn of all, going from delivering the most shocking kill in Arrow‘s history to teaming up with Oliver in a matter of a few years.

I have no problem with Laurel being turned “good” but what happens when that storyline is over? Laurel was “good but damaged” for seasons and the writers shelved her once they realized that Felicity/Oliver was the way they were going. This is the character they turned into the bad guy for having PTSD, an addiction problem, and for being angry about her sister having sex with her boyfriend.
I haven’t watched the show in full since Laurel’s death, but just reading through recaps on the AV-Club and being forced to witness that Olicity wedding during the Earth X crossover, I can see that a lot of the same problems with writing women the show still exist. Dinah is going to be sidelined, Thea doesn’t do much, and Felicity…is still Felicity.
Black Canary is one of the most iconic female superheroines in DC she deserves better than being jerked around due to bad writing. No one would do this to a major male superhero, I mean this is a show about Batman cosplaying as Green Arrow, but at least they put in the effort with Oliver. I want Laurel back, I always have, but if she is going to play second fiddle to the Olicity couple hour, then send her back to The Flash. Actually, send her to Legends of Tomorrow because if she’s going to get “fixed” through familial love, why not her damn sister?
 

(via CBR, image: Dean Buscher/The CW)

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