(The following is an opinion of the writer and does not in any way reflect the views of dccomicsnews.com as a whole.)
Before I take you down the winding road of this quirky, sometimes bland, and yet oddly entertaining character, I’d like to apologize in advance for the lame use of “chicken” in the title.
(CAUTION: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD)
You see, I believe ‘Arrow’s’ own Laurel Lance, a woman whom has gone to hell and back again many times, has two paths paved for her: ‘Canary’, the path yet to be traveled. And ‘Chicken’, the path she still walks.
The ‘Canary’ path is the path that fans thought she would originally travel down. (Heck, I was expecting to see her in full vigilante gear after Tommy died to avenge him.) After all, it did make the most sense. Her character in the source material is Black Canary, a title her sister now holds (though people speculate it won’t be much longer), and that’s what fans of the funny books expected. Sure she has little moments of ‘badassery’ sprinkled in here and there, but for the most part she’s not the ‘Canary’ of the show nor the comics. (No leather, no bustier, and no fishnets.) And this is something that I am thankful for, because it may allow her to continue to be a ‘Chicken’.
Now, ‘Chicken’ is not meant as a slight against the character. In fact, one of the reasons I use the term is because it is another name of a bird that begins with a c. But I also use the word ‘chicken’ to show her more dormant, violence-avoiding, almost manipulative side. She’s a lawyer and lawyers generally bend the truth, among other things, to further their own goals. To throw her into Oliver’s ‘Arrow Gang’, as The Canary ,when all is possibly said and done with the current holder of this title, will rob her of her uniqueness. Do members of the Arrow Gang (cool name, huh?) get to blackmail skeevy lawyers into giving them a position after it was promised to them? Nope. Do they don’t get to openly tell someone, besides each other, what they do for a living? (I mean they could, but it would just be buried under a heaping pound of lies and secrets.) Don’t think so. Being a ‘Chicken’ means not getting your hands dirty and not having to wash off the blood before anyone sees it.
Continue her down that path and she gets to operate in ways that Felicity, Diggle, Oliver, or even Sara can’t. Using cunning, law, and normal clothes (the CW version of normal, anyway) to put away her own bad guys and gals. But allow her to travel down the other road and she’ll be just another semi-relevant character waiting for something to do every other episode.
Sure, as ‘The Canary’ she could be elevated from damsel status, and she could get more fight scenes every so often, but I would sacrifice those in a heartbeat for more of these sweet scenes of shady blackmailing.