(Slight spoilers for season 4 of Arrow, but if you’re already a full season behind, you may need to bookmark this page for later.)
There are a few ways actors can make their way out of a television program. Some characters within the show can find themselves lost to the plot, or stranded in locations other than the main character, and the writers can always readily bring those characters back: it’s a little harder to make that return when their character has been killed off, a la Katie Cassidy’s character, Laurel Lance.
However, Variety reports that Cassidy will be returning to the show’s upcoming sixth season, even though both her characters (Lance/Black Canary) were killed during the course of season four. Of course, being a DC universe/superhero show, Lancel’s identity of Black Canary will reappear as Black Siren, the Earth 2 version of her previous character.
This move was made possible because of the deal Cassidy signed with CW upon Lancel’s death, where she agreed to appear across the DC universe portfolio of shows in a guest capacity. With that being said, the deal doesn’t prohibit her from becoming a series regular on Arrow, which begins on season six. Her initial return will take place in the final two episodes of Arrow season five.
Marc Guggenheim, Arrow‘s executive producer, released a statement regarding the news: “One of the things that most excites us about Arrow is that we go where the story takes us. Last year, the story took us to the tragic death of Laurel Lance. This year, our midseason finale reintroduced us to Laurel’s doppelgänger, Black Siren. We were so taken by Katie’s fearless interpretation of this character that we knew her story was not yet finished. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Katie back to Arrow as Black Siren, though as her appearances on Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow this season show, she never really left the family.”