In all the Arrowverse there is only one badass, bisexual ship captain who makes us swoon. You know who I’m talking about: the inimitable powerhouse that is Sara Lance, aka White Canary.
Lethal assassin turned white hat Sara, played by the tres sexy Caity Lotz, is not to be trifled with. She isn’t afraid to take command of a situation and, despite her fears, she has learned to love her own darkness and the power of being on a team. It’s been a long journey for Sara since she was just a scared kid who nearly drowned in a shipwreck off the coast of the island, Lian Yu, and that journey has taken her through two TV shows: Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.
She’s died a couple times (one time she was presumed dead and the other, she actually died), but even death can’t keep her down. Reminisce with us as we re-watch the episodes that brought our hero to her current fate, all before Season 4 of Legends of Tomorrow returns. As a bonus, you get to see her bang her way through time, enjoying the company of more than one superhero-type.
“Crucible” (Arrow, Season 2, Episode 4)
An unidentified female vigilante has been protecting the people of Starling City, especially women and children. Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, ambushes the vigilante and finds that she is his presumed dead ex, a ghost from his past. Sara lives!
“League of Assassins” (Arrow, Season 2, Episode 5)
Sara and Oliver are attacked by a member of the League of Assassins, the group that rescued and trained Sara to become an assassin-slash-badass. They are not pleased that she is in Starling City and they want her to come home. But, listen: Nobody reprimands Sara Lance without consequences.
“Heir to the Demon” (Arrow, Season 2, Episode 13)
Nyssa al Ghul, the daughter of the leader of the League of Assassins, shows up in Starling City to find Sara and convince her to return. She starts her plea with an extremely compelling smooch. What I’m saying is that I would have gone with her, but Sara decides to date Oliver instead, another reasonable option. It’s really an embarrassment of riches-slash-hot rich people.
“Seeing Red” (Arrow, Season 2, Episode 20)
Sara decides it’s time to kill the rogue younger hero on their team, but Oliver doesn’t agree. Filled with self-loathing, Sara leaves Starling City.
“Streets of Fire” and “Unthinkable” (Arrow, Season 2, Episodes 22 and 23)
Sara returns to Starling City to protect her sister, Laurel, and they have a powerful heart to heart where Laurel reminds Sara that she is still good, still worthy of love.
Later, Sara brings a bunch of League of Assassins badasses to help take down the season’s Big Bad, but in exchange, she must return to Nanda Parbat, the home of the League, and her super hot girlfriend. Oh, poor Sara.
“The Calm” and “Sara” (Arrow, Season 3, Episodes 1 and 2)
Sara is back in town on undisclosed League business. In a shocking twist, someone familiar to her, though unseen by the viewer, murders her by shooting three arrows into her chest. I won’t lie. These are super downer episodes and the grieving that proceeds over the next season while Sara is dead is pretty depressing.
“Restoration” (Arrow, Season 4, Episode 3)
But don’t worry! There’s a magical hot tub in Nanda Parbat and Laurel, being the determined boss that she is, is going to save her sister. (Oliver saved Thea with the Lazarus Pit the prior season and when Laurel learned that the pit existed, she was pissed that no one tried to save Sara.) The Sara that returns is wild and violent, though, causing Nyssa to destroy the pit.
“Beyond Redemption” and “Haunted” (Arrow, Season 4, Episodes 4 and 5)
Feral Sara (Saral? Fara?) has to be chained in her sister’s basement to keep her from hurting anyone and when her father finds out he decides to kill her, thinking she’s irredeemable. Laurel stops him, but Sara escapes. When Oliver realizes Sara is alive again, he contacts an old friend and master of the dark arts, John Constantine. It turns out the issue is that Sara’s soul didn’t make the return journey with her body. Luckily, Constantine has just the thing.
“Lost Souls” (Arrow, Season 4, Episode 6)
Sara finds herself consumed with “bloodlust,” a side effect of the Lazarus Pit’s curative properties. She leaves Starling City to learn to contain her dark appetite.
“Pilot: Part 1” and “Pilot: Part 2” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2)
A time-traveling ship captain named Rip Hunter recruits Sara and a ragtag team of reject superheroes and supervillains to help him fight an immortal jerk, Vandal Savage. Now aboard the Waverider, a timeship, Sara has to learn how to live in close quarters with a bunch of weirdos.
“Star City 2046” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 1, Episode 6)
In 2046, Sara and the rest of the Legends run into 61-year-old Oliver Queen who has given up and watched his city fall into despair. Sara convinces him to retake the Green Arrow mantle and fight back. This is really just a fun time travel episode that has a nice loop back to Sara’s origins. Look who’s giving the pep talks now, Oliver!
“Night of the Hawk” and “Left Behind” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 1, Episodes 8 and 9)
It’s 1958 and Sara goes undercover at a mental institution where she meets and seduces a very cute nurse. Rip says some homophobic BS about not awakening something in the woman that she couldn’t explore freely. (Hello?! Queer people have always existed, even in 1958!) When the Waverider is attacked, the crew makes an emergency exit, stranding Sara and a few others in the past for two years. Sara decides to rejoin the League and orchestrates her own future rescue before she returns to the Waverider.
“Destiny” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 1, Episode 15)
The attraction that has been building between Sara and Leonard Snart finally reaches boiling and the two share a nice smackeroo. Unfortunately, Snart ends up sacrificing himself to save the Legends and time itself, proving he wasn’t such a baddie after all.
“Justice Society of America” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 2)
In good old 1942, the Legends come into contact with the Justice Society of America and things get a bit tense, in no small part because the leader of the JSA is a sexist old boy who assumes Martin Stein, an old white dude-slash-Legend, is the captain. Luckily, Martin understands that he’s in over his head and Sara is officially recognized as the captain of the Waverider.
In my mind, “Justice Society of America” is the first episode during which Legends figures out what it’s about. Sara isn’t just the leader of the ship, she’s the lead of the show, and Legends is at it’s best when she takes center stage.
“Camelot/3000” (Legends of Tomorrow , Season 2, Episode 12)
The Legends team continues to chase The Spear of Destiny, a magical object that can help them defeat the Legion of Doom. The Spear, though, has been broken into shards and spread through time and to find the next piece they have to travel to 3000 CE and the sixth century. Sara meets a very sexy Guinevere and things heat up nicely, resulting in Sara being remembered in history as “Lance-a-lot.” (Cute, right?)
“Aruba” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 17)
Two sets of Legends engage in some mind-fracking shenanigans where they fight with themselves and deceive themselves and then steal the Spear of Destiny. Sara activates the Spear, the thing the Legends had been trying to prevent, and has the opportunity to change reality in any way she wants. She faces her dead sister who assures her that she knows Sara would never use the spear to alter reality, but Sara does. She uses it to render the Spear impotent, denying the parts of herself she fears, and saves the day.
“Crisis on Earth-X” Crossover Event (Supergirl, Season 3, Episode 8; Arrow, Season 6, Episode 8; The Flash, Season 4, Episode 8; Legends of Tomorrow, Season 3, Episode 8)
Basically, there is a version of earth where Nazis have gained control of the entire planet and Green Arrow is the Führer (and also married to Earth-X Supergirl). Okay, so over on Earth-1, everyone in the Arrowverse has come together for a wedding. Sara meets Supergirl’s sister, Alex, and things heat up at the rehearsal dinner over shared heartbreak and most of a bottle of Scotch. Yes. It’s hot. And adorable. And awkward. And you need it in your life.
The wedding itself ends up getting interrupted by the Nazis of Earth-X. The whole escapade results in several of the superheroes being held in a concentration camp. Without their powers, they are unable to resist when they are sentenced to death by firing squad. Just before being marched to their apparent death, Sara must face her dopple-dad and his biphobia. The whole crossover is a chilling exploration of a world where conformity to white supremacist ideal is the highest goal.
“Beebo the God of War” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 3, Episode 9)
Vikings, a toy who becomes a deity, reconciling with the death of a teammate, and Sara and Time Agent Ava Sharpe flirting—could this episode get any better?! Oh yeah, Constantine returns in search of a demon who knows Sara’s name.
“Daddy Darhkest” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 3, Episode 10)
Sara joins Constantine for an exorcism of the young girl who is possessed by the aforementioned demon, but their trip isn’t all business. The two find time for a heart to heart and a shag. Who knew a creepy mental asylum could be so seductive?
“Necromancing the Stone” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 3, Episode 15)
Sara and Ava make things official in the opening scene of this episode and then Sara comes under the thrall of the demon, Mallus. Possessed by the Death Totem, she begins acting a bit murder-y, even for Sara, and is once again forced to grapple with that part of her past, and her nature, which scares and disgusts her. Ava has no choice but to turn to the best occultist she knows, Sara’s former fling, Constantine. The three form a whole new kind of bisexual love triangle that is adorably awkward and infinitely sweet—especially when Ava defends Sara from herself, Mallus, and Constantine’s criticism.
If you watch no other episode from this list, this is the one to watch. Sara grapples with her own relationship to death and ultimately, breaks up with her girlfriend.
“I, Ava” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 3, Episode 16)
When Ava takes a vacation, seemingly to grieve her breakup, but isn’t where she says she’ll be, the Legends realize her parents are actually paid actors and that Ava is a clone! This episode is full of many copies of the very sexy Jes Macallan, the actor who portrays Ava, and some very nice moments between the now exes, Sara and Ava.
“The Good, The Bad, and The Cuddly” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 3, Episode 18)
The Legends figure out how to stop Mallus, but it requires them all to work together, using the various totems to form a mega-Legend in the form of Beebo, a bright blue toy. Their allies from all over the timeline join the Legends in their battle, and Ava is right there alongside Sara.
This episode is completely over the top, hilarious fun.
“The Virgin Gary” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 4, Episode 1)
Season 4 opens with a big queer splash. Sara and Ava decide to move in together and do a lot of adorable smooching and cuddling and talking about the future. It’s almost unbearably wonderful and the silly romp through the sexual revolution that brings Constantine back aboard the Waverider will make you laugh. You’ll never look at unicorns the same way again.
“Wet Hot American Bummer” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 4, Episode 4)
A magical baddie is attacking children at a camp and the Legends have to stop them. More importantly, though, Sara and Ava take a potion to become campers so they can figure out why the kids keep sneaking out. The ploy also gives Ava an opportunity to try being a child, something she finds counterintuitive but eventually gets the hang of. In their adolescent state, Sara and Ava share a very sweet kiss, just as they transform back into adults.
“Legends of To-Meow-Meow” (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 4, Episode 8)
When Constantine breaks the timeline to save his boyfriend from being dragged into hell, the Legends live several different versions of themselves. From Charlie’s Angels to Fraggle Rock, the team tries on many different versions of themselves. Sara reaches peak ridiculous, though, as an Angel when she makes out with Ava while driving a car, and the crux of the episode hangs on Sara's willingness to change her mind and realize that not all magical creatures require destruction.