If you happened to see any of The CW’s Arrow promos leading up to the mid-season premiere, then the twist in “Who Are You?” involving Laurel Lance did not come off as much of a surprise. Arrow‘s mid-season finale concluded with the reveal that Laurel Lance is alive and has returned to Star City. As “Who Are You?” progresses we are told by Laurel that Sara Lance and the Legends rescued her and revived her, but this statement is quickly disproved once Felicity discovers the truth. While this week’s mid-season premiere mainly focuses on the plight involving Laurel, both Curtis and Diggle receive their own individual subplots as well, filling out the remainder of the episode.
Thankfully it’s revealed early on in the episode that this Laurel Lance is not actually the Laurel Team Arrow used to know, but her doppelganger from Earth-2, Black Siren. She first appeared in Season Two of The Flash as one of Zoom’s minions. Overall, Katie Cassidy does a fine job portraying this evil version of her character and it’s fun seeing Laurel actually have and use her sonic scream, even if this isn’t actually Black Canary. We’re even given a quick backstory about Black Siren when she opens up to Ollie about how his Earth-2 counterpart actually died, and ever since then she has gone down a path that has turned her into a villain.
While it is nice to see Cassidy return to Arrow and it’s fun to see her go up against Team Arrow, the story in “Who Are You?” is just not that compelling. Ultimately, Black Siren was broken out of her S.T.A.R. Labs prison cell by Prometheus as part of the sick game he’s playing with Ollie. Ollie struggles to believe that Black Siren is all bad, thinking that she can be just like Earth-1 Laurel, and this causes some conflict between him and Felicity. I did enjoy seeing Felicity take charge against Ollie, having the other members of Team Arrow attack Black Siren while in mid-conversation with Ollie or allowing Black Siren to escape in order to track her down and lead them to Prometheus. While Felicity may have been wrong with her first move, Ollie wasn’t in the right mindset and everything Felicity says about him feeling guilty over Laurel’s death rings true.
By the conclusion of the episode Prometheus gets away yet again, but Black Siren is recaptured thanks to some new tech from Curtis. Curtis becomes very emotional in this episode feeling that he isn’t good enough for the team. This stems from that fact that he’s constantly taken down by their enemies. Rene actually ends up being the voice of reason in regards to this, and eventually ends up convincing Curtis that he is a worthy member of the team due to his technical expertise. This is proven with his anti-sonic scream invention. While this element of the episode was brief, Curtis and Rene’s scenes together served as some of the episode’s more compelling moments.
Mostly unrelated to the rest of the episode was a subplot involving Diggle. Diggle was apprehended last time we saw him and now needs District Attorney Adrian Chase’s help. Diggle is involved in a conspiracy and knows that he will be murdered for the knowledge he has obtained. While Adrian Chase may have gone up against Arrow as the anti-hero Vigilante in the past, his D.A. persona is willing to do good and do things by the book. While this subplot was uninteresting for the most part, it had a solid conclusion involving Chase figuring out a loophole to get Diggle to remain in Star City a bit longer before that crooked military general was able to take him away.
“Who Are You?” concluded with two twists. At the very end we are treated to a scene in Hub City. DC Comics fans will know this city to be the hometown of Victor Sage/The Question and Ted Kord/Blue Beetle. In the scene we see there is yet another meta-human with Black Siren’s abilities taking down jerks in bars. Judging from the preview for next week’s episode, Team Arrow will attempt to recruit her into the fold.
The other twist was connected to Ollie’s past in Russia. While being tortured and interrogated by Konstantin Kovar’s men, Ollie is eventually saved by a woman in League of Assassins garb who refers to herself as Talia. Honestly, while the addition of Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter, Talia al Ghul, is a fun one, I don’t see what this could add to the series other than a cool nod to the comics. That being said Arrow‘s flashback scenes, as usual, have not been interesting whatsoever, so perhaps the inclusion of Talia could spice up this subplot a bit more.
Overall, “Who Are You?” was a weak comeback for the series. While I enjoyed seeing Curtis tackle his own demons, seeing Felicity and Ollie at odds with each other, and seeing Katie Cassidy return as Black Siren, the episode was somewhat boring. Diggle’s subplot and the continuously weak flashback scenes don’t help, but hopefully the series will pick up steam with the new inclusions to the series.
As stated previously, next week Team Arrow will attempt to recruit a new meta-human with a sonic scream ability into the fold. Check out The CW’s official trailer for “Second Chances” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Who Are You?” in the comments.