ARROW Commentary: Looking For A Mericle Cure

Black Canary comic

I am hoping for a Mericle cure, pun intended, for the death of Black Canary.

The next episode of ARROW will air on April 27th and be headed by its own team of female superheroes…Executive Producer Wendy Mericle, Co-Producer Beth Schwartz and Director Laura Belsey.

Marc Guggenheim has said, “Laurel Lance is dead.”  But, I never have read where anyone has said, “Black Canary is dead.”

And I am banking on that.

Since the beginning of moving pictures, strong women have struggled to find their place in the world of cinema and television.

Actress Mary Pickford was smart enough to co-found United Artists, but gained fame by playing the damsel-in-distress onscreen.

Television pioneer, Lucille Ball, was a prolific producer who ran Desilu Studios, yet had to play the bumbling Lucy Ricardo to achieve her greatest fame.

Disney princesses have evolved to be strong role models for little girls, but when I was a child, the princess waited to be saved by the handsome prince. I always had what my mother described as “the patience of a gnat,” and waiting for anything, including the handsome prince. never appealed to me.

So, I turned to comic books and cartoons.

In that wondrous world, there was no waiting.  Women were allowed to be smart, strong, snarky and sexy. Sure, Lois Lane always was getting saved by Superman, but generally she got into trouble because her intrepid-reporter instincts drove her to get the story, regardless of the risk.

But, there also was Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Mercy Graves and even crazy ole Harley Quinn…women who were smart, strong, and occasionally snarky.  Women who lived in a man’s world without apology and who never hid their intelligence.

Then, there was Black Canary.  Definitely smart and strong.  Could snark with the best of them, and do it wearing fishnets and thigh-highs without fear of being considered anyone’s princess waiting to be saved.  Black Canary was her own woman.

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So, what happens on ARROW, now that “Laurel Lance” is dead.  There are plenty of plausible options.

Producers have said that Laurel’s death will propel storylines into next season.  Many characters have died on ARROW, but none that were part of the team. Since Katie Cassidy is listed on the credits through the end of this season, there is a laundry list of possibilities.

Already slated for an upcoming guest role on VIXEN and to appear as doppelganger, “Black Siren,” from Earth-2 on the May 17th episode of THE FLASH, if “Laurel” is dead, could “Black Canary” survive?

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Hopefully.  The press release for the next episode, “Canary Cry,” indicates that Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) asks Nysssa (guest star Katrina Law) to bring back his daughter.  Nyssa is at Laurel’s funeral, so perhaps she has restored the Lazarus Pit and can bring back Black Canary, even if Laurel Lance must remain dead.

Bringing back Black Canary as a metahuman who is equal to Damien Dahrk’s (guest star Neal McDonough) magic could be an interesting concept.

Then, there is that moment where nobody knows what Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Laurel said, right before she coded.  Did they decide that “Laurel Lance” must “die” because Dahrk would continue to use her against Quentin, even after his testimony?

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It is a possibility.  Check out the photo of Oliver in the cemetery.  He is standing next to a tombstone with the last name, “Clayton.”  Since Samantha and William are still alive and in hiding, is the entire cemetery just window dressing of the not-really-departed to keep them safe from Team Arrow’s enemies?

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The ramifications of Laurel’s death, real or faux, will have a huge impact on the team. Personal relationships will be altered.

The very real truth that, every time Team Arrow heads out for a fight means that one of them might not come back, will weigh heavy in their minds.

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Diggle (David Ramsey) will doubt his instincts after being fooled by Andy (guest star Eugene Byrd).

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Thea (Willa Holland) may suffer the loss so deeply that she lets Malcolm (John Barrowman) back into her life to fill an emotional void.

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Surely, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) will be drawn back to the team, perhaps donning the mantle of “Black Canary” herself, leaving Curtis (Echo Kellum) at the cyber-controls.  Could that chip implant turn a klutzy computer geek into a fighting machine?  Stranger things have happened.

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In print, not only has there been more than one Black Canary, but Black Canary has died more than once and has had several different storylines.  The original Canary was Laurel’s mom, Dinah, who is seen at the funeral (guest star Alex Kingston).

Additionally, although this never has been explored on ARROW, Black Canary trained the Young Justice team.  Amell recently tweeted a welcome note to young actress, Madison McLaughlin, who played the spunky teen huntress, Krissy, on Supernatural. 

While remote, the 20-year-old actress would be the right age to be one of the members of YJ, who theoretically could become a new Black Canary.

Birds of Prey comic

Then, there is my personal favorite theory…use Laurel’s death to free Black Canary to springboard a spinoff for a new BIRDS OF PREY, because the world needs more female heroes who are smart, strong, and on occasion, a bit snarky.

Regardless of what the next step is on this journey, the death of Laurel Lance already has impacted the Arrowverse.  Trends, tweets, treatises and even threats to stop watching the show are propelling the story into new directions.

While all of this is theory, the fact remains that killing Laurel Lance to propel the story, regardless of the fan reaction, took courage on the part of the producers and writers.

I think the smart money is on the writers.  They will not fail this series.

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  • percysowner

    I want the Black Canary back, preferably played by Katie Cassidy. I will have a fit if Felicity gets handed the Black Canary mantle. It will just feel like the writers have decided to give Felicity everything that is in any way related to Laurel Lance.

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