For the past two months, Arrow fans have watched in eager anticipation as the enigmatic female figure known as “the Canary” has emerged from the shadows and become an important part of Oliver’s past, present and very likely future.
Of course, anyone who knows comic books and particularly Green Arrow comics knows that “the Canary” is shorthand for Black Canary—Birds of Prey front woman, occasional Oliver Queen paramour and one of the most well-known female characters in comics.
It seemed all-but-certain that Black Canary would eventually make an appearance on Arrow, but until last summer’s Season 2 preview brought San Diego Comic-Con to its feet with a first look at the character in action, the big question was, “When?” Well, that question has long since been answered, but in good comic book form, it’s raised even more questions.
Here are five burning questions about Arrow’s Black Canary that we can’t wait to have answered.
1. Sara Lance is The Canary?! But what about Dinah?
The biggest and most obvious question. In the comics, Black Canary’s real identity is Dinah Lance (who goes by her middle name Laurel on the show). But in the episode “Crucible,” we discover that Arrow’s Black Canary is actually Sara Lance, Laurel’s little sister. So is Laurel destined to become the Canary at some point, or will Arrow’s version of the character remain content to watch all the super heroics from the sidelines?
Obviously, we don’t know at this point and it’s highly unlikely we’ll find out anytime soon. But here’s what we do know. Laurel certainly has the fighting skills. We know she’s a skilled martial artist who can more than hold her own in a fight. And while she’s currently angry with the Arrow, she’s been supportive of him in the past, demonstrating that this Assistant DA has a certain amount of comfort with taking the law into her own hands. So it’s entirely possible that she could become Black Canary eventually, but for this to happen, something would have to happen to our current Canary, which brings us to our next burning question…
2. Are Sara Lance’s days numbered?
If the Black Canary mantle does eventually pass to Laurel, something’s going to have to happen for Sara to give it up. But don’t be so sure that this means death. For one thing, Arrow is a show that seems to thrive on defying expectations. Consider Quentin Lance’s demotion this season to beat cop. Or Tommy Merlyn’s shocking death. Or the fact that the villain pretty much won last season (perhaps even more than we realized, as we saw in the last episode). Or heck, even the fact that Sara Lance is still alive to begin with. There are plenty of other ways for the Canary mantle to pass from Sara to Laurel.
Of course, that’s assuming Laurel’s going to become the Canary. That may not happen. Part of what’s so great about Arrow is the way it draws inspiration from the comics without being afraid to make changes and blaze new ground. Speaking of which…
3. How the heck did Sara Lance become a member of the League of Assassins?
In a season that so far has been chock full of awesome twists and surprises, hearing the name Ra’s al Ghul in the episode “Broken Dolls” was a highlight. While so far we haven’t seen the Demon’s Head on the show, and it’s unclear if we will (though a fan can hope, right?), it’s a pretty fair bet that the League itself is going to remain a presence throughout the entire season.
Sara’s history with the group explains her formidable fighting skills, but how did she join up? As far as we know, there are no members of the League of Assassins on the island. Could they be behind Doctor Ivo’s quest to find the Japanese serum?
What we do know is that Oliver knew Sara survived the sinking of the Queen’s Gambit, but he still thought she was dead prior to finding her kicking butt in a blonde wig in Starling City. So at some point in the flashback storyline, she’s going to be seemingly killed, and it would seem to make sense that the League becomes a factor in Sara’s life after that point. Or maybe she really will be killed. This is Ra’s al Ghul we’re talking about, after all.
4. When will Laurel find out her sister is still alive?
When you consider that both Oliver and Quentin Lance know about Sara, it seems likely that Laurel will eventually find out that her sister’s not dead. In fact, in today’s new episode of “DC All Access,” actress Caity Lotz reveals that she’s all for it. (She also reveals that she’s unbelievably charming and has one of the best smiles on television.) The bigger question may be what the ramifications of this revelation will be. Laurel’s had a pretty rocky road since Oliver’s return, and while she’d surely be happy to hear that her sister’s still alive, she’s probably going to be less-than-thrilled that both Oliver and her father knew this and kept it from her.
5. Could Sara’s role as the Canary suggest that Oliver’s true romantic relationship lies with her rather than Laurel?
The comic book purists may balk, but it’s an intriguing prospect. Oliver seems to have nearly as much history with Sara as he does with Laurel, both of them have matured greatly over the past five years, and now that we’ve learned about Sara’s time on the Amazo and Lian Yu, she would seem to have more in common with Oliver than her sister does. And such a turn of events would still remain true to the Green Arrow/Black Canary relationship, if not the Oliver Queen/Dinah Lance one.
However, if there’s one thing that any Arrow fan knows, it’s that all bets are off when it comes to Oliver’s love life. While traditionally he may pair up with Laurel, there’s his past relationship with Shado to consider (what happens to her, anyway?), his recent fling with Isabel, and Felicity’s obvious (and utterly adorable) crush on him. If Sara does return to Starling City for any extended period of time, it seems pretty possible that something could develop between them, even if it doesn’t ultimately last.
Let’s face it, when you spend time with Oliver, there’s no denying that smile… or those abs.
While it’s unlikely we’ll get answers to all these questions this season—and even if we do, the answers will probably just leave us with even more questions—we’re excited to see what’s in store for Ollie and Sara, both on the island and in Starling City. Sara’s past and her ties to the al Ghuls (yes, plural, it was revealed last month that Nyssa al Ghul will be making an appearance in an upcoming episode) mean that the one thing the Canary and Arrow shouldn’t expect is smooth sailing.
And we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Those are our burning questions. What are yours? Leave them in the comments below, and be sure to catch the first part of Arrow's Barry Allen-starring mid-season finale this Wednesday on The CW!