Why didn’t the Arrow finale bring back the original Laurel Lance?

Arrow -- "Green Arrow & The Canaries" -- Image Number: AR809d_0597r.jpg -- Pictured: Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance/Black Siren -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow -- "Green Arrow & The Canaries" -- Image Number: AR809d_0597r.jpg -- Pictured: Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance/Black Siren -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Arrow has concluded it’s eight-year run with lots of old faces returning. But there’s one character who Arrow failed (again) by not bringing them back and that’s Earth-1 Laurel Lance. So why didn’t the fan-favorite return?

The time has come, Arrow is officially over and has ended its eighth and final season. The finale featured the return of many beloved characters which was a welcome sight for fans. Oliver was able to return Moira, Emiko, Quentin, Tommy, and other loved ones back to life and there was even a small crossover visit from The Flash’s Barry Allen and Supergirl’s Kara Danvers.

There was, however, one character who should have been there but was not. Earth-1 Laurel Lance. All she got was an offhand mention that she was married to Tommy but died. If Oliver brought back all of his other loved ones (well apart from his father, but that’s explained because without his father’s death he wouldn’t be Green Arrow) then why wasn’t Laurel brought back as well?

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Frankly, whether we’re ranking by Oliver’s loved ones or by people who were hurt by him Laurel Lance should have been at the top of his list. She was his childhood friend, his first love, and became the first Black Canary and his teammate on Team Arrow. He also had a bad habit of constantly hurting her (intentionally or not), whether by cheating on her with her own sister, refusing to train her as Black Canary, or eventually being part of what lead her down a path that would get her killed.

So why wasn’t she brought back along with Oliver’s other loved ones? Well, unfortunately, the show’s explanation isn’t so clear on this. When Earth-2’s Laurel blames herself for the other Laurel not being back and asks Quentin this same question the only answer we get is that there was nothing about Earth-2 Laurel that needed to be fixed. Not much of an answer really.

Perhaps the show expects us to assume that the same answer that was given for why Robert Queen wasn’t brought back applies to Laurel. Meaning that Laurel impacted Oliver’s journey too deeply for her to be brought back without changing too much. But while Laurel meant a lot to Oliver, her being brought back wouldn’t have stopped Oliver from becoming the Green Arrow and the show never gives that explanation in terms of Laurel so I’m not sure if it applies.

It could be that the same issue applies here which will seemingly be explored in Batwoman’s next episode, which is that two doppelgangers cannot live at the same time on the same Earth. But again, we don’t yet know how that is going to play out on Batwoman and it is not something that Arrow ever mentions. Plus, if there is a multiverse again (the heroes may not know it, but Oliver created it so he certainly does) then why couldn’t one of the Laurel’s have been placed back on another Earth and one remains on Earth Prime?

After the finale, the showrunners did give the behind the scenes reason for their choice not to bring back the original Laurel Lance and it seems it had more to do with logistics. They are hopeful to get their spinoff of Green Arrow and the Canaries picked up, and so to retain that show they felt they needed Earth-2 Laurel instead of Earth-1. Here’s what they said per TVLine:

"“We went back and forth on that a great deal, and truth be told, that was really driven by the [potential Green Arrow and the Canaries] spinoff. I think if we weren’t doing a spinoff, we probably would have gone a different way.“We’ve really fallen in love over the years with the Earth-Two version of Laurel. We love Katie [Cassidy]’s take on that character, we love writing for that character, and we love the complexities of that character’s sort of moral seesaw. She’s just always been a more interesting character to us.”— Marc GuggenheimIn Season 7 and 8, [Earth-2 Laurel] was really able to redeem herself, and we felt that that was such an important story for her character, to come such a long way from murdering people all the time to becoming the hero she was at the end of Season 8, and will continue to be in the spinoff, hopefully.— Beth Schwartz"

It’s unfortunate that the original Black Canary never seemed to get her due respect on Arrow and the finale did nothing to change that. Her death was not even about her but was a way to punish Oliver and Quentin. If there was any character that deserved to be brought back it was her. There were certainly ways they could have brought back E-1 Laurel but kept Earth-2 Laurel for the spinoff. After all, it’s their universe so it’s their rules.

Sadly, instead of taking their final chance to rectify what was perhaps their biggest mistake, Arrow failed Laurel Lance again one final time. Hopefully if Green Arrow and the Canaries does get picked up they will do much better by the Earth-2 version of Laurel than they did by the original.

Next. CW releases new information on Green Arrow & The Canaries. dark

What did you think of the Arrow finale? Which guest star’s return did you most enjoy? Were you angry the original Laurel wasn’t brought back or do you prefer the Earth-2 version? Let us know!