When Arrow returns from its midseason break, we might be down one hero for the count — all depending on if Oliver lives or dies, which is kind of a big thing — but it looks like we'll be gaining another one. The show has made no attempt to hide the fact that Laurel Lance is becoming Black Canary, one crime-fighting leather jacket at a time. We know that she's been off training with Ted Grant, but it's going to take more than a few fighting lessons for Laurel to become a full blown vigilante, especially if she's going to follow in Oliver's boots. And it's not like crime fighting is something that can be taken up overnight. Considering everyone who's died during Oliver's journey towards becoming The Arrow, could someone else close to Laurel die before she becomes Black Canary?
Here's the thing. Over the years, Oliver has lost a whole lot of people he considered near and dear to his heart. It's shaped him in many ways, and it's really the sudden death of his dad after their boat sank that really set him off on his quest — you know, the one to save Starling City. That being said, Laurel's going through that same kind of transformation right now with the death of her sister, Sara. However, she's full of nothing but sheer rage and hatred. Oliver didn't have any of that; he was pissed, sure, but he was never hell-bent on destroying everything to avenge the death of the fallen. Laurel currently is.
Something has to snap her out of this, if she's ever going to become the Black Canary we know and love from the comics. But what happens if that thing that really sets her on the path towards the light crime-fighting side is the death of her father, Detective — oh, sorry — Captain Lance?
Right now, Laurel is by no means a hero, as executive producer Marc Guggenheim pointed out in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I’m loath to even call her a hero at this point because I don’t think she’s earned that title yet, though she certainly wants to,” he said. “There’s going to be a continuing process of evolution with her despite the fact that she’s now in costume.” So what else has to happen for her to get there?
If this is all Laurel's greater quest to become Black Canary, step one was picking up that bow and arrow while she and Oliver were trapped during Slade's siege of the city. Step two was learning about Sara's death. Step three? It just might be the death of someone else close to her. Laurel's own mother tells her to go out and get whoever killed Sara, with so much hate and rage in her eyes. So even though Laurel's no hero yet, she also can't be the villain, either. At least, she's not meant to be the villain, but she could be dangerously close to that fate. Something needs to bring her back to the path that will ultimately make her Black Canary.
Detective Lance really has taken quite a backseat for most of this season; we've barely seen him half a dozen times. We know that he's having heart problems, and he's on medication. You don't give someone heart problems and put them on medication on a TV show unless it's going to come up again in the future. This might be the beginning of the end for Quentin — but then the end of the beginning for Laurel's grand transformation! Even though it would totally suck to see Captain Lance die, Laurel needs that push in the right direction — she needs to catch the bad guys for Sara, but defend the good guys for her father.
The upcoming Arrow episodes will focus a lot on Laurel. "Episodes 10, 11 and 12 are a three-part trilogy that are about her." Andrew Kreisberg told The Hollywood Reporter, which is good news for us, but might be bad news for Laurel. She wants to be a hero, sure, but she might not yet realize just what loss and sacrifice comes with the job title.
Images: Ed Araquel/The CW; Giphy (2)