Since her proper introduction to the Arrow
canon, Black Siren has been an enigma. The Earth-2 Laurel Lance has been a constantly shifting character, never standing by anyone's side but her own. The selfishness and cruelty of Black Siren has made her one of the most interesting characters to watch but fans have always wanted to see a bit of a redemption for her. For many Arrow
viewers, Black Siren represents a second chance for the original Laurel Lance, who was cruelly killed at the end of Arrow
season 4. In the episode "Shifting Allegiances," Arrow
finally introduced a way Black Siren could be redeemed. This would be great news, if it made any sense whatsoever.
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When Fear Isn't Good Enough
Picking up on the ending tease of the excellent episode "The Dragon," Arrow revealed that Black Siren fears Ricardo Diaz. Although presumably Siren hasn't always been afraid of the Dragon and she wasn't pressured into working with him, now she's become convinced that he can't be trusted. Even by Black Siren's skewed standards, Diaz is a monster and he can't be controlled. None of these conclusions fit with Black Siren's story.
It's true that Diaz is unstable. You don't burn a man alive and call yourself normal. Diaz is a brutal thug and that's precisely why he's an interesting change of pace for an Arrow villain. The show has given Oliver and the gang every reason to fear Diaz and think he needs to be taken out of the picture. However, they haven't done nearly the same for Black Siren. If anything, the exact opposite story has been told -- Diaz seems completely under Siren's spell.
In "Shifting Allegiances" Diaz did manage to pressure Siren into blackmailing Quentin. Yet this is the first time that Diaz has demanded anything from Laurel. In every other way Laurel seems to have Diaz wrapped around her finger. Diaz bows to her almost always and he treats her like a queen, a twisted queen in his demented little drug empire but still a queen. Diaz seems to know it's in his best interest to keep Siren happy because she has a scream that can turn his brains to mush. Weirdly, though, Laurel has forgotten that important detail.
This is why Arrow trying to sell us on Siren being afraid of Diaz has fallen completely flat. To the show's credit, they did have Quentin scream most of this at Laurel in a big argument during "Shifting Allegiances." Quentin can't see how someone as powerful as Black Siren would be afraid of Diaz. Yet Siren (and Arrow) didn't manage to give any real answers to Quentin's questions. Quentin later related the relationship between Siren and Diaz to the one between himself and Damien Darhk. Quetin is wrong, it's not even close. Darhk did have all the power over Quentin, but Diaz has none over Siren.
Even more ridiculous though is that in the very episode where Siren started to turn on Diaz, "The Dragon," she was complaining about not committing enough murder and violence. Throughout "The Dragon," Black Siren's role was to be the snarky and morbid comic relief, begging Diaz to allow her to go loose. Arrow doesn't get to show Siren as bloodthirsty and have her flinch when Diaz burns a man alive in front of her. Those two don't fit, even if a huge part of Siren's character is being intentionally inflammatory and crass.
Like Daughter, Like (Kind of) Father
Perhaps the most aggravating thing is that Arrow has a perfect way to make Black Siren's betrayal of Diaz work. They just need to connect the dots. Throughout her entire time on Arrow, Black Siren has been consistent about one thing. She cares for Quentin.
Any time Laurel has shown affection for Oliver, Thea or any other Earth-1 version of someone she knew and loved, it's been an act. Black Siren has been trying to get something out of them. With Quentin she's been genuine. It's because of their back-and-forth relationship that Quentin's attempts to bring out the goodness in Black Siren have been compelling rather than infuriating. Quentin has a point, there's a kernel of altruism in Siren. For whatever reason, Black Siren does seem to want to please Quentin and protect him.
Right now Black Siren's mistrust and hatred of Diaz is all personal. She's afraid of him doing something to her, even though that shouldn't be at all possible. Yet it would be far more reasonable and interesting if Siren's motivation circled around Quentin.
Diaz can't hurt Siren but he could definitely go after Quentin. It seems like Quentin is the one non-corrupt person in the Star City government. Quentin is the only one not directly under Diaz' thumb and that's a reason for Black Siren to see him as threat. It's way more interesting and logical than Laurel asserting that Diaz "doesn't have a soul."
If Arrow is smart that is the angle they'll take with Siren's redemption. It not only makes more sense but it could lead to lasting changes in Siren's character. Protecting Quentin or being forced to act because something horrible happens to Quentin would result in Siren bettering herself on a more permanent basis. It would be the huge type of shocking event that would connect with the audience and Siren. Right now Arrow is doing more of the illogical same with her character. She's just looking out for herself and Arrow has already told enough Black Siren stories with that as the main motivation.
But what do you think? Does it make sense that Siren is afraid of Diaz? Is this is the start of a redemption arc for Siren? Is Siren even actually afraid of Diaz or is she just playing Quentin? Would you rather see Diaz go after Quentin?
(Image courtesy of The CW)