Let’s face it, Arrow’s Oliver Queen is a murderer. So are Felicity, Dinah, and Thea, but nobody has held those four to the same moral code as they hold Earth-2 Laurel Lance, AKA Black Siren.
Since Black Siren appeared on The Flash season 2, she’s been scrutinized by a group of fans for being so downright evil. At the time, it wasn’t the wrong thing to do considering we had only seen her for one episode following the death of Laurel Lance on Arrow and she was seriously bad.
However, due to popular demand, Black Siren made her way to Star City, to Team Arrow, and spent the majority of the last two years tormenting them as she helped the Big Bad villains take them down.
Through her heinous actions, and Quentin’s influence (and subsequent death), Black Siren (henceforth referred to as Laurel) began to question the path she was on, leading to a bit of a redemption arc as she stood up to Diaz and sought justice for Quentin.
The producers of Arrow have promised this will be a season of redemption and repentance, especially for Laurel, but for all of the characters.
No one is questioning whether anyone but Laurel needs forgiveness because she’s the only one who is truly vilified for all of her actions.
On season 7 episode 2, Dinah and Laurel have a brutal, heartfelt conversation where Laurel apologizes for killing Vince, Dinah’s late love interest, which she did as she was being used by various villains (and the threat to Quentin’s life over her).
It’s funny how Laurel has to apologize for who she’s killed, which isn’t necessarily wrong because she did commit murder. But, Oliver has murdered in the double digits, Felicity killed upward of 10,000 unsuspecting civilians, and Dinah has killed people too on her quest for vengeance when she initially believed Vince was dead.
(And that’s just what I’m mentioning here, but isn’t everyone who has committed a terrible murder on Arrow.)
None of the other characters have had to deal with the severity of their actions, other than maybe Oliver as he’s in prison for his actions as the Green Arrow. Even then, Oliver’s multitude of bodies aren’t specifically addressed when it says why he’s in prison, and we know he’ll just be getting out soon so his consequences will be relieved once again.
The other characters have acted as though putting on a mask (or a headset, in Felicity’s case) is enough to absolve them of the lives they’ve taken because they’re saving even more, but that’s not true. Saving more lives doesn’t account for the ones you’ve taken, especially if you’re going to try to claim to be “saving the city.”
I suppose it shows the growth of a character, in this case Laurel, who can step up and ask for forgiveness and attempt to atone for what she’s done, rather than just pretending she’s a hero and that her good actions cancel out the evil she’s done.
Laurel hasn’t needed to put on a mask to deal with her past misdeeds. Instead, she’s stepped into the light as the District Attorney and is prosecuting terrible people.
Whether or not you believe she deserved this second chance, she seems to be the only one who knows how to actually make a difference with their second chance. Her conversation with Dinah proves this.
She wasn’t obligated by any means to offer Dinah an apology for what she did, but she apologized any way, knowing how Dinah feels about her. Laurel realizes the pain she’s caused people and she’s working to help relieve the pain of others by taking on her Earth-1 counterpart’s identity.
To get through everything she has, work toward becoming a better person, and not hide from the terrible things she’s done or the feelings she has because of it, this makes Laurel the strongest character, emotionally, on Arrow.
I am hoping to see Laurel put on a mask and work to save people as a vigilante, but it’s wonderful that she’s confronting her demons before doing that. It makes her decision to become a vigilante, if she does, truly about saving the city, not hoping to save herself.
While I would be grateful to see the other characters take responsibility for what they’ve done, whether it was with good intentions or not, it makes Laurel even more special because she’s the only one willing to do it.
Arrow season 7 continues Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.