Arrow returns to our screens in only two short weeks, and fans are already speculating wildly about what is going to happen following the show's shocking midseason finale. In December, Evelyn (Madison McLaughlin) was revealed to be a mole within Team Arrow, Oliver (Stephen Amell) was manipulated into murdering Felicity's (Emily Bett Rickards) boyfriend, Curtis's (Echo Kellum) husband walked out on him, Diggle (David Ramsey) was apprehended, and finally, Oliver walked into the Arrow cave to discover none other than Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) waiting for him.
There is plenty to speculate about, but much of the conversation among fans during the break centered on the apparent return of Black Canary, who is supposed to be dead. Now, Arrow executive producer Wendy Mericle has weighed in on the return of Laurel, including the possibility of a new character taking up the Black Canary mantle in the future.
Talking to TVLine, Mericle did not confirm exactly when we will see a new Black Canary on Team Arrow, but did say that there is "definitely a possibility" of it happening by the end of season 5. Mericle also talked about the need to have the Black Canary character as a part of the show, and that she will never be written out completely:
"Look, it’s hard to do a show about Green Arrow without having a Black Canary. I don’t know if it will happen this season or when, but… we are going to be true to origins in the DC universe, and she’s always going to be there."
We know from the extended trailer for the upcoming episode 'Who Are You?' that the Laurel Lance who returned in the midseason finale is not the original, Earth-1 Laurel. Instead, as we can see this new Laurel using the canary cry naturally, it's likely that this is actually Earth-2's Black Siren. Now that Mericle has confirmed there will be a new Black Canary, we are left to wonder whether or not this will mean that Katie Cassidy reprises the role (perhaps as a version of Laurel from elsewhere in the multiverse, or even as a reformed Black Siren), or if an entirely new character will appear to don the black suit.
The news that there will always be a Black Canary in the Arrow-verse is fantastic for comic fans who feel that the Green Arrow should end up with the same character as he does in the books. It's hard for many to imagine an Oliver Queen who doesn't have a relationship with Dinah Lance, just as it would be strange to see Barry Allen marry anyone but Iris West. The CW shows have often gone off-book with their characters and storylines, so it's fantastic to see the EP talk about the importance of the source material. Mericle's comments may also suggest that we will be seeing Oliver shake up his team again - after having issues with his new group throughout the first half of season 5, we would like to see the season end with a solid new group ready to take on whatever waits in season 6.
This may come as a disappointment to Olicity fans, however, as a new Black Canary might mean that Felicity is out of the picture for Ollie's romantic future - especially if the comic book origins are being respected. The appearance of yet another Canary figure may also be a source of frustration, as it starts to feel like The CW is bringing in one too many Canary characters. We have now seen the first Canary (Sara Lance, played by Caity Lotz) who became the Legends' White Canary, the Black Canary (Laurel Lance), a second impostor Black Canary (Evelyn Sharp, who later became Artemis), and the Black Canary doppelganger Black Siren. Five different Canaries in five seasons feels like a little much, although it may be worth it if it means finally getting a comic-accurate representation of this iconic Green Arrow character.
Arrow season 5 resumes with ‘Who Are You?’ Wednesday January 25 at 8 pm on The CW.