Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the winter premiere of Arrow. Read at your own risk!
For those Arrow fans hoping that Laurel Lance was truly back in the flesh, the winter premiere offered up some bad news: The Laurel that appeared in the Arrowcave in the closing moments of the winter finale is none other than Earth-2’s Black Siren. Ahem.
As we had theorized, Black Siren had been released from the S.T.A.R. Labs pipeline by Prometheus in a bid to mess with Oliver (Stephen Amell). But it wasn’t long before Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) uncovered her deception, and faux-Laurel wreaked havoc on the Arrowcave.
Before Team Arrow uncovered the truth, Laurel told Oliver that when she died, Sara (Caity Lotz) had transported her to the Waverider, using its futuristic technology to save her. Though Oliver says he was there and nobody saw her transported, Laurel explains that’s because Sara hadn’t done it yet — so if this were feasibly true, we’d someday see Sara do this in the future on Legends of Tomorrow. But it’s not!
However, E-2 Laurel claimed she only acted against them because Prometheus was threatening her life. In fact, it was Earth-2 Oliver’s death that eventually led her down this dark path, with Laurel revealing a rare vulnerable side to the doppelgänger of the man she used to love. Even so, she still makes a move to kill Felicity and is subsequently locked up in a secure A.R.G.U.S. facility by episode’s end. The fleeting softness speaks to what executive producer Marc Guggenheim teased about their long-term Laurel plans after a recent promo seemed to spill the Laurel reveal in advance. “The episode ends with laying a very specific seed with a very specific game plan on our part that we hope to see come to fruition,” Guggenheim said. Could this mean E-2 Laurel may be redeemed down the line and eventually rejoin the team? That’s TBD.
However, Guggenheim could also be speaking to the apparent new Black Canary in town: Tina Boland (Juliana Harkavy), who we see use Canary Cry tech to incapacitate uncouth bar patrons in Hub City. The reveal comes just after Oliver says he wants to keep his promise to Laurel of training a new Black Canary, they just need to find the right woman.
Lest we forget, the season premiere revealed Laurel’s last words before her death: She pleaded with Oliver to make sure she wasn’t the last Black Canary — that way, a part of her will always be out there with him. At the time, Guggenheim hedged on whether there would be a new Canary, “Who knows? Totally possible.” But Black Canary’s legacy has certainly played a large role this season, with Star City even erecting a statue in her honor — maybe that’s what inspired Tina, you know, before Earth-2 Laurel destroyed it?
For now, Guggenheim recently praised the introduction of the Boland character, keeping mum on exactly what she’ll be doing — though we certainly know now! “I think we have a really wonderful character here,” he said. “Juliana, who plays her, is a terrific actress. We’re going to be doing some new and different kinds of things.”
While this Laurel is not Sara’s sister, the leader of the Legends has actively been trying to find a way to reunite with her deceased sibling since Laurel’s death — but don’t expect Sara to find out about this Laurel’s appearance anytime soon. “We have not really figured out a check-in,” Legends executive producer Phil Klemmer recently told EW. But he hasn’t ruled out Sara finally getting vengeance on Laurel’s killer, Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), by season’s end.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.