When we first meet Sara Lance during the pilot of The CW's Arrow, she is a terrified college student who is sucked through a hole in the Queens’ yacht during a shipwreck. Can you imagine? You’re just a flirty young thing doing the nasty with your sister’s BF because you are Just. That. Wild. And, then you get sucked out of a boat and drown?
For over a season of Arrow during which Sara is killed over and over again in recaps for upcoming episodes, we’re left thinking that Sara is just another fridged woman, a cautionary tale against sex and freedom and cheating. Listen, I am not pro-cheating — just have a conversation and open up your relationship, PEOPLE — but why is it that women always get killed off after they cheat?
Oh, but we did not yet realize the glory that is our risen one, our Sara Lance. We didn’t yet know she was made of tougher stuff than the ocean, that she would survive her death more than once, that she would wield her sexuality like a blessed gift she has to bestow upon the mortals who are lucky enough to worship her.
First, there was Oliver, who took her on a yacht and made her feel special. And then there was Nyssa, who pulled her from the wreckage and gave her a new life with the League of Assassins. Then there was Oliver again. Oh wait, and then Nyssa again. And, then for a while, there was nothing. During the nothing that was Sara’s death, Nyssa and Oliver got married.
(We never get to hear Sara’s feelings about this arranged marriage, one neither party wanted, but which was a special kind of narrative affront upon Nyssa. Was it a betrayal to know her lovers had married? Did she find comfort in knowing that at least they were together? Was she jealous she didn’t get to be the cheese in that delicious sandwich of hotness? Did she understand that the world rarely gives you what you want and often forces you to do that which you detest?)
And, then despite the odds, Sara rose from the dead, thanks to the League of Assassins’ very special hot tub. The Sara that returns, though, is not the Sara that died. She is feral, blood-thirsty, and unable to be contained. Luckily, Oliver knows a guy. That’s the first time Sara meets fellow blond bisexual John Constantine, who restores her soul.
Lost, consumed by bloodlust, angry, and unwilling to forget her rage, Sara leaves her home, leaves her family (again), and searches for a way to quell the darkness within. Instead, she joins the crew of the Waverider during the Legends of Tomorrow pilot and the rest, as they say, is traveling through history fighting supervillains, restoring the timeline, and capturing magical creatures.
It is alongside the Legends that Sara finally gets her due. She becomes the ship’s captain and her crew follows her even unto their deaths. She faces her darkness and finds that is only by embracing her past and her complicated relationship with death that she can understand herself. She enjoys dalliances with women throughout history, falls for Snart, hooks up with Constantine, and finds the love of her life, Ava.
There is even an episode early on in Legends where Sara is stranded in time and joins the League of Assassins again (but like, before she would have in her own time). Though she is eventually rescued and joins back up with the team, during her two years she orchestrates her rescue from the wreckage of the Queen’s Gambit.
Sara gets to be what so many of us aspire to. She’s an amazingly competent captain and fighter. She faces her fears and her issues boldly. She believes in the power of healing. And, as a trauma survivor and someone who must grieve the deaths of many she loves, Sara manages to remain hopeful, to see beyond the limits of her own life, and to try to love and open her heart again.
That’s the thing, folks. I could tell you about Sara’s sexy arms (they are very sexy) or how incredible Caity Lotz is at portraying the character (she is so, so hot) or how Legends really understands Sara’s physique and how to play up her sex appeal in any era. But the honest to goodness sexiest thing about Sara Lance is that she’s a survivor, she’s a badass, she’s unrelenting in her acceptance of her sexuality, and she’s not afraid to take control of her ship and her crew when necessary.
Sara represents some of the greatest aspects of bisexual culture. She’s attracted to who she’s attracted to and doesn’t make apologies or excuses. She’s perseverant and self-possessed in the face of opposition. She is sexual and relational and understands that her flaws are really just her gifts in disguise.
There are many reasons to love (and salivate over) Sara Lance, but perhaps the greatest reason of all is her unwavering commitment to doing right by herself and others.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.