Arrow left things with a big cliffhanger in episode 9 with the supposed return of supposedly dead Laurel Lance. While the trailer for the winter premiere seemingly spoiled the mystery, Arrow still picked up directly where things left off. Laurel is in the cave and nothing makes sense. The aptly named episode “Who Are You?” is all about the return of Team Arrow’s latest fallen soldier and thankfully it doesn’t waste long explaining her return.

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Not Our Laurel

It takes roughly ten minutes for Arrow to spill the beans about Laurel. It’s not the Laurel that died in season 4 but rather her alternate Earth doppelganger, basically her evil twin, the Black Siren. The Black Siren originated on The Flash. She was locked up by that team due to her very powerful and dangerous sonic scream. Thanks to Prometheus, she is now free and ready to wreak havoc. (Arrow doesn’t really bother explaining how Prometheus managed to break the Siren free so don’t ask.)

The way the reveal comes out is not that all that exciting either. Arrow clearly wanted to make us think that it was the real Laurel in the midseason finale, so the whole thing feels like a trick. The only good thing that can be said is that at least Arrow wastes no time getting to the good stuff. 

The “good stuff” being that the “Earth-2” Laurel immediately sinks her hooks into Ollie and it’s actually pretty entertaining to watch. Katie Cassidy clearly has far more fun playing the bad girl version of Laurel, than the original vanilla version. Even though Oliver knows this Laurel is “evil” he is determined to help her. Black Siren tells Oliver that Prometheus is pressuring her to fight with him under threat of death. This appeals to all of Oliver’s needs to be the protector. Laurel’s story seems like a half-truth at best, and rightfully, Felicity refuses to believe her. Black Siren becomes the reason for Oliver and Felicity to yell at one another for an entire episode. 

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This is a lot better than it sounds because the roles are reversed for once. It is Oliver who is arguing for more lenience and kindness and Felicity who is more militant, ruthless and kind of a gigantic jerk. Felicity’s zero Black Siren tolerance policy isn’t really surprising because the new-ish Laurel makes no effort to hide her evil nature around Felicity. Arrow also tells us this new Laurel is bad by giving her a septum piercing. (It’s very stupid.) 

Black Siren does get a bit short-shrifted in the episode, but it is still nice to see Felicity and Oliver at odds over something substantial. Their argument has nothing to do with their lingering romantic angst and everything to do with differing personalities. Also dark ruthlessness is a shade that looks pretty good on Felicity. 

What is Curtis Terrific At?

With Felicity and Oliver butting heads, the new Team Arrow gets a bit more of a spotlight with the vigilante action. Curtis has grown tired of his life of constantly getting beat up and destroyed by even the lowest level villains. There is also that tiny issue of his husband leaving him. So he’s not having a great time. 

Rene, of all people, is the one who comes to Curtis and picks him up. Rene tells Curtis that he needs to stop focusing on the things he can’t do and start working on the things he can. Rene argues that Curtis is a far better inventor and an “ideas man” than a fighter. It’s shocking that it took this long for someone to say this fact. I know Curtis is supposedly an Olympian but that willowy nerdy giant was never going to be a physical presence on the team. 

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Curtis gets to work on a device that will be able to dampen the Black Siren’s scream and take her out. It is almost fully due to Curtis that the team is finally able apprehend the new evil Laurel. Curtis’ device works. Black Siren lives (making Oliver happy) but imprisoned (making Felicity happy) and Mr. Terrific might actually be a benefit to the team (making all of us happy). 


Diggle Break

There’s not much movement on the Russian flashback story. Oliver gets tortured a lot by the Bratva and then gets saved by a sexy woman with a bow named, Talia. (You know that old chestnut.) The storyline is totally disconnected from the main plot about Diggle in prison. Oliver enlists the help of his district attorney Adrian Chase to help Dig. It is about the longest amount of time we have ever spent with Chase and it is surprisingly refreshing. Chase, through some legal maneuvering, is able to get Diggle transferred back to Star City and away from the general who is framing her from treason. Chase’s status as a new character, who is an overall nice guy, does suggest that he is secretly evil. This is still Arrow. I wouldn’t mind seeing more from him after this episode. 

Black Canary’s Legacy 

After Curtis uses his technical doo-hickey to neutralize Black Siren, Oliver sends her to ARGUS to be locked up. Oliver wants to keep a close eye on her and hopes that he will be able to redeem her. In the mean time, he has work to do. Oliver decides it is time to find a new Black Canary.  

Luckily, all the way in Hub City, wherever that may be, there is a woman. A woman who has a real big issue with men sexually harassing women and a metahuman power of a sonic scream. Well folks, I guess we have a new Black Canary, whoever this lady is supposed to be! (Personally, I’d like to see Arrow work on redeeming Black Siren and ridding her of horrid septum piercing rather than promoting this no-name sonic screamer, but baby steps. A Black Canary is better than no Black Canary, I suppose.)

What do you think? Are you excited to search for a new Black Canary? What did you think of the Black Siren? Were you disappointed by the reveal? Are you enjoying Felicity being more ruthless than usual? 

Arrow season 5 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Arrow Facebook page!

(Image courtesy of The CW)