In the six years that Arrow has been around, we’ve been introduced to a vast number of superheroes and their super friends, but the stand-outs have definitely become Laurel and Sara Lance. Both have died, both exist in some form on different shows, and they both have such vastly different personalities, but the sisters (alive or not) are the stars of the DCTV universe.
Laurel and Sara Lance have been through hell and back, one of them literally. Sara has “died” like three times, and she always returns. Laurel dealt with mental illness and alcoholism and overcame it, only to deal with more pain and heartbreak. Laurel and Sara Lance are both survivors in much different ways, and they’re honestly the best characters to admire in the DC universe.
Sara Lance has been through more than any person should be able to handle, even more than Oliver. She went through the hell on Lian Yu, only to be inducted into the League of Assassins and was forced to kill. She lost the light inside of her through this, and her life only spiraled more until her untimely death in the beginning of Arrow Season 3.
She was killed by someone she considered family, and it was basically like her life had been for nothing. She hadn’t gotten her happy ending, she’d barely reconnected with her family, and everything she wanted to get back was gone. Sara’s life was a tragedy, and that’s exactly how it ended. Not to mention the fact that she was killed just to propel Oliver, Thea, and Laurel’s story forward, instead of being killed because her story came to an end via a natural progression.
Sara was treated as nothing more than a pawn in the story, and it wasn’t until Legends of Tomorrow that she’d been given an actual chance to get a happy ending. Living in the light, as the White Canary, gave Sara a chance to let some of the light back in after living in the shadows as an assassin and as the Canary for so long.
She also has become the comedic relief of Legends. Living a life as dark as hers, when things go wrong, sometimes you just have to crack and joke and move on. She’s shining in her new role as Waverider Captain, and she’s really become a character worthy of living a happy life. She’s been given the time to grow, and we’ve discovered who she is away from all of the darkness surrounding the League of Assassins.
Poor Laurel. She fought through so much pain only to have her life torn from her to further the stories of the men in her life. Her death resulted in a story for Oliver, for Diggle, and for her father, but her death didn’t make sense. She had just finally grown into being the Black Canary, and then she was suddenly dead.
Her battle with depression and alcoholism is admirable, and it makes her relatable in a place where that’s hard to find. It’s hard to relate to people who fight to save their city wearing a mask, but Laurel was so much more than just a mask. Her battle with depression, and overcoming depression, gives hope to those of us that are also battling with this mental illness, and it was incredible to see her fight through that and finally be happy again.
Killing her off was so disgusting, because so many of the fans looked to her as an icon for “it gets better,” and when things finally got better for Laurel and she had her family back, she died. She fought through all that just to have it ripped away from her, and then her last words were about promoting Oliver and Felicity’s relationship, instead of being something like, “tell my family I love them,” or anything that would actually pertain to her life.
Earth-2 Laurel coming back gives us another chance. This Laurel lost her Oliver (and presumably Sara) on the Queen’s Gambit, and she dealt with that grief in a much worse way than our Laurel did. She embraced her dark side, and now that Sara has come into the light, Laurel embarking down a dark path will be interesting to watch. She’s a survivor, too, and she put herself before others for so long, so we’ll (hopefully) get to see her progression into someone who puts others above herself, like our Black Canary did.
The Lance Sisters
While so many characters in the DCTV universe are strong and relatable, they’re often missing relatable, human qualities. Laurel fought through mental illness, she overcame that, and in turn she became a symbol for so many viewers that are looking for hope and strength to fight their own battle. Sara was given a second chance, not the way most of us are, and she’s taking advantage of that second chance and finding her own path to happiness. Laurel and Sara Lance are symbols of hope, strength, and courage; they had the will to keep going when everything seemed hopeless, and found the power within themselves to keep living.
Laurel and Sara Lance are survivors, and while the DCTV universe has treated them both terribly, they’ve made the best of what they’ve been given. They’re worth looking up to, and they deserve better stories / better lives for surviving all they’ve been given.
It’s a shame that they won’t ever get that on The CW.