As the biggest advocate for Black Siren to find redemption and live a life that Earth-1 Laurel would be proud of (with her reputation on the line), Black Siren seems to be an attempted replacement.
Over the course of Arrow season 6, we saw Quentin repeatedly reach out to Black Siren, as she stayed on the thin line between good and evil, to get her to come over to their side and live the life his Laurel was never able to. Now, without Quentin to guide her, we’re going to see how Black Siren adjusts to this new life of hers without a constant presence pushing her to be the best she can be.
While the introduction of Black Siren (and return of Katie Cassidy) was incredible, outstanding, and well-deserved, it’s clear the writers brought Black Siren on to do two things: ease fans of Laurel Lance and give them something to get people watching again after unjustly killing her off and stand by their unreasonably ignorant stance to keep Laurel dead.
Black Siren is a powerful character who embodies traits we never saw in Earth-1 Laurel, which is great, but it also has created such a rift between these two characters that the writers’ attempts to make Black Siren into Laurel (or as close as she can get) seem forced.
As she continues to grow, Black Siren needs to stray from the path her counterpart was on before her death. It doesn’t fit the life she needs to have for herself because, well, Laurel never had a problem staying good.
Laurel Lance, at heart, was such a good person that becoming a vigilante/lawyer just seemed to be the perfect fit for her as she always wanted to help people.
And, while some may use Laurel’s addiction against her to claim this isn’t true, how does someone cope with helping everyone but themselves? Laurel abused substances because her life was falling apart around her and she had no control, which led her to make a bad choice; it doesn’t change all of the amazing things she’d done at CNRI and for the city.
On the other hand, Black Siren has worked with three Big Bad villains and her reasoning isn’t as clear as it could be.
Yes, she took the wrong path when her boyfriend was taken from her on Earth-2 (after her father’s brutal murder when she was 13), and she’s slowly working her way toward not being a total villain all of the time.
But, honestly, Black Siren can never fill the gaping hole Arrow now has without Laurel Lance. She was the only person who stayed good throughout her life. She stood for justice and being a hero wasn’t for any reason other than to keep her city and those in it safe, which is what made her the perfect Black Canary.
So, while Black Siren can never replace Laurel, she can be an incredible character on her own as long as she’s able to free herself from the shadow of her deceased doppelganger because that’s never who she’ll be.
Take Black Siren down the path of vigilantism as an anti-hero, much like Oliver was in season 1, and open up her world to more than just the unending battle between good and evil. Stop tying Black Siren to every crazy villain to rampage Star City and allow her to find her own path without the pressures of who she should be hanging down over her.
There must have been some reason the writers wrote off Laurel Lance, so attempting to replace her with a makeshift character who doesn’t resemble her legacy doesn’t make any sense.
If the writing continues to try changing her into some form of the Laurel that we lost in season 4, her journey will have been for nothing.