While characters on Arrow and The Flash have interacted with each other before, next week’s gigantic crossover will see the casts officially teaming up for the first time. During The Flash episode, Oliver, Diggle and Felicity will head to Central City to investigate a mysterious boomerang. Then, the following night Barry, Caitlin and Cisco will head to Starling City to help Team Arrow prevent former A.R.G.U.S. agent Digger Harkness from killing Diggle’s significant other Lyla Michaels. However, one character that will won’t be a part of the excitement is Laurel Lance, but there’s a good reason for that: character development.
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg told THR this weekend that while Laurel will briefly pop up in the Arrow half of the crossover, she’ll be mostly absent due to future episodes spotlighting her transformation into the Black Canary.
"She's not as present in these episodes, but that is because we've been building up to her appearance as the Black Canary. We sort of said that Sara was the Canary, but Laurel is the Black Canary. Episodes 10, 11 and 12 are a three-part trilogy that are about her. And episode 13 I think I can spoil, is called 'Canaries.' For fans of Laurel and for fans of Katie [Cassidy], they're going to get more than their fill after the winter break."
Laurel missing out on the crossover isn’t too much of a surprise. Despite discovering Oliver's secret identity in Season 2, she hasn’t been a full-time member of Team Arrow this season, and her sister Sara’s murder has led her to training with Ted Grant, something which Oliver does not approve of. Comic book fans have known since day one that Laurel would eventually put on the black mask and outfit, and now that payoff will come when the show returns from its winter hiatus.
As Kreisberg notes, Sara was The Canary (the English translation of her League of Assassins name Ta-er al Sahfer), but Laurel will be the official Black Canary (albeit without her trademark sonic scream from the comics, as Arrow is expected to stay more grounded this season). Maybe she can dig up a few of those sonic weapons that Sara used last season.This trilogy of episodes will also feature the debut of the Green Arrow villain Danny Brickwell, meaning Laurel will have a lot to deal with when she suits up for the first time.
Despite Laurel’s exclusion, there will still be plenty of great character interactions during next week’s episodes, whether it’s Oliver trying to calm down an enraged Barry or each team marveling at their counterpart’s working environment. Luckily, the dynamic between the two teams isn’t likely to suffer just because one big character is missing. Plus, there will be plenty of intriguing villains, including the metahuman Ray Bivolo, the aforementioned Digger Harkness and more to keep fans invested. You can catch the first half of the crossover, “Flash vs. Arrow,” on December 2 at 8 p.m. EST, followed by the second half, “The Brave and the Bold,” which will hit the schedule on December 3 at 8 p.m. EST.