- "The time of vigilantes is coming to an end. Because how can you idolize someone hiding in the shadows who won't show his face? Who refuses to own up to his shortcomings and culpability? It's not a hero, it's a coward."
- —Samanda Watson to Oliver Queen[src]
Samanda Watson is a special agent of the F.B.I. who investigated Oliver Queen, the mayor of Star City, regarding if he is the vigilante known as Green Arrow. When Oliver desperately needed help to take down Ricardo Diaz, she offered the FBI's support in exchange for Oliver confessing his secret and being sent to Slabside Maximum Security Prison.
Investigating Oliver Queen
After a photo of Oliver Queen was circulated by Channel-52 News depicting him dressed up as the Green Arrow, Watson arrives in Star City to investigate him for his alleged crimes. During the investigation, she interrogates the other members of Team Arrow, except for Curtis, whom she hadn't been able to reach. It is later revealed that she confronted Rene Ramirez, having discovered his identity as Wild Dog, and blackmailed him into agreeing to testify that Oliver is the Green Arrow. If he refused to testify then she threatened to bring him down and would prevent him from being reunited with his daughter.
During Thanksgiving, Watson arrests Oliver for the crimes that the Green Arrow had committed. Oliver was taken into custody in front of his son, William, and Oliver promised that once he was released he would sue her for malicious prosecution. Watson did not care because she believed that she had all the evidence she needed to lock him up for good. She tried to convince him to sign a confession, but he refused and demanded to see his son. She later attended Oliver's trial, which was postponed temporally. After Oliver announced that the Anti-Vigilante Bill had passed, Watson confronted him and told him that she was returning to Washington, but she would be back for Oliver's trial.
When Oliver's trial was moved up a week earlier, Watson was not present in court for unknown reasons. Ultimately, Oliver was acquitted of the allegations against him.
Aiding Team Arrow
Sometime later, after Oliver was running out of options on how to deal with Ricardo Diaz's hostile take-over of Star City, he was left no choice but to go to her. Watson agreed to help him take down Diaz, but it comes with a price, half of it being admitting he was the Green Arrow, which he did with very little hesitation.
After they agreed on a deal, Watson sent in a number of F.B.I. agents into Star City to assist Team Arrow. They first raided the main police precinct and took out and detained Diaz's men. After a few skirmishes, one that nearly killed Watson and Rene Ramirez in a bomb, Diaz contacted them and demanded Mayor Quentin Lance to order the F.B.I. out of town, or else he would kill Laurel. After Quentin seemingly betrayed Watson just so that he could be close to Laurel, Oliver told her that Lance had a pacemaker which could be tracked before he left. Felicity hacked into the frequency of the pacemaker and tracked him down to Diaz's safe house. After a fight ensued between the combine forces of Team Arrow and the F.B.I. against Diaz's men, they rescued Quentin and Laurel. They also retrieved intel from Diaz's personal thumb-drive which were detailed files on his entire operation, which included those on his payroll, enough intel to liberate the city from Diaz's grip.
After the mission and Quentin was in the hospital undergoing surgery from a gunshot wound he received from taking a shot for his daughter, Watson came to arrest Oliver for breaking the law and would be sent to super-max prison. Just before she took Oliver away, Oliver, the rest of his team, Laurel, and a just-arrived Sara Lance received word from Dr. Schwartz that Quentin Lance died. Watson told Oliver that this changes nothing, despite her feeling sorry for his loss and escorted Oliver out. After a last visit from Felicity Smoak and Oliver's son, William, Oliver with Watson held a press conference and Oliver told the world he was The Green Arrow and was going to jail. He told the city that others will carry on the fight for him in his absence. While that was going on, Diaz went into hiding with his new allies while, under Samanda's orders, the F.B.I. arrested all those on Diaz's payroll, thus freeing the city from Diaz's hold over it.
Watson took Oliver in and brought him to prison, completing her duties.
Chasing Ricardo Diaz
Five months later, even though she is fully blamed for putting Oliver in prison and started the anti-vigilante law in the first place. After Felicity failed to capture Ricardo Diaz with A.R.G.U.S.'s help, she goes to Agent Watson and demand she fulfill her end of the deal she made with Oliver to take down Diaz. Felicity even revealed to Watson how Diaz tried to kill her and William while in witness protection. Watson was alarmed when Felicity told her about the Longbow Hunters now being in Star City. Although Watson was sympathetic to Felicity and William, she still showed no guilt in sending Oliver to prison. Felicity then left not before comparing Oliver to Agent Watson by pointing out that Oliver spent the last six years fighting for Star City and it was not justice for Oliver to be in prison while Diaz was still on the loose. After Felicity left, Watson called a meeting with the SAC to inform him about Diaz being in Star City with the Longbow Hunters. The SAC believes Diaz is no longer dangerous since they took out his entire operation despite Watson arguing about how Diaz compromised an entire city of its government and police force. Watson then tried to convince the SAC again by revealing that Diaz tried to hack into the Center of Disease Control's computer network, but the SAC still refused believing that nobody can get into the C.D.C. without proper clearance. Much to Watson's dismay, the SAC refused to continue chasing Diaz and ordered Watson to focus on her other assignments while reminding her that he is still her superior.
Felicity later arranges for a meeting with Watson, Dinah Drake, and Rene at the S.C.P.D. precinct where Felicity convinces everyone to go off-book to catch Diaz at the C.D.C. by setting a trap for them there. Despite being a loyal FBI agent, Watson reluctantly agrees to it but insists that this be a one-time thing and that she would cancel the operation if something suspicious occurred. After Watson gave Felicity, Dinah, and Rene several FBI jackets, the four of them went to the C.D.C. where Watson caught Diaz in the act of stealing biological samples. Watson tried to stop Diaz from getting away but failed. The SAC eventually learns what happened and rather than revoking the immunity deal that the Bureau made with Team Arrow in exchange for Oliver's imprisonment, the SAC angrily reassigns Watson to a desk job in Washington since Watson had no clearance to be in the C.D.C. in the first place but still disobeyed. As Watson is packing her things for her new life, she calls Felicity over to her office. Watson admits that she will always have faith in the justice system despite its flaws, but admits that disobeying her boss to go after Diaz was the right call to make. Watson then acknowledges Felicity as a good person and admits that she deserves to be in prison, hinting that Watson showed regrets towards sending Oliver to prison. Watson then admits her regrets to not catching Diaz or any of the Longbow Hunters since things could've been different if that occurred. Unknown to Agent Watson however, Rene did capture the Silencer and Felicity ordered Rene to keep Watson as well as Dinah in the dark about it due to Felicity losing faith in law enforcement.
During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, Watson as well as everyone in the multiverse except for the seven Paragons, was killed in an antimatter wave by the Anti-Monitor on December 10, 2019. A month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new universe, it remains unknown if Watson was restored as well. It seems likely she was given that the public became aware of the identities of every individual on Team Arrow and that they were deputized by the SCPD.
- "Just because the system is flawed doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. Even someone like Ricardo Diaz needs a lawyer, a fair trial. We protect the rights of people who don't deserve them 'cause it's the only way to protect them for everyone."
- —Samanda Watson[src]
Watson is similar to Quentin Lance at first; as she is going after Oliver Queen, also known as Green Arrow, because he is a vigilante (disregarding the fact that vigilantes are not in the F.B.I.'s jurisdiction as it is in the jurisdiction of local law enforcement). She is very calm and level-headed, as she did not display any signs of anger when she was interviewing each member of Team Arrow respectively, to gather evidence that Oliver is a vigilante. She is ruthless as she arrested Oliver at a Thanksgiving event for the crimes charged on Green Arrow in front of his son, William Clayton, proving that she doesn't care how she prosecutes her suspects in front of the individuals close to them.
Watson is very arrogant to the point of having a massive ego, as she believes being an F.B.I. agent makes her superior to Oliver who is the mayor of Star City; legally it doesn't (proving just how deluded she is) when she was in the mayor's office waiting for Oliver (despite the fact that she didn't make an appointment to see him) she (arrogantly) told him she didn't give a damn, when Oliver could've had her arrested for illegally trespassing in the mayor's office (as she did not have a search warrant the mayor's office or a warrant to question him); her arrogance is also to the point of being delusional, as she believes because she is an F.B.I. agent, that the laws don't apply to her, but legally it does.
Watson is quite immoral and dishonorable initially; when Oliver was away with Slade Wilson, she interrogated Oliver's teammates "thus widening her net" behind his back, a sign that she will use and go after anyone close to him to gather evidence and blackmail anyone to testify against Oliver.
He threatened Rene with proof that he was Wild Dog so that he would never see his daughter, showing that she doesn't care what method she uses to achieve her goal.
Samanda thinks vigilantes are cowards for acting in the shadows, refusing to accept their guilt and mistakes.
Watson does seem to have a sense of humor, as she took time to taunt Oliver on how he couldn't stop Ricardo Diaz as Green Arrow or the mayor despite knowing fully well the answer and also lightly mocked Rene Ramirez for how bad he was at keeping his vigilantism career a secret.
Samanda is also stubborn and deludes herself by saying that it was Oliver's decision to be arrested when she gave him no other choice.
She also did not care about the consequences of her actions, for example, she wanted to expose a hero as a Green Arrow, ignoring the fact that doing so made the star of the city more dangerous. Watson also did not mind ruining the family of Felicity and she showed no guilt or remorse for it.
She doesn't mind putting innocent people in danger as she forced Rene to testify revealing that he was a Wild Dog and not caring if he could put Rene's daughter or Oliver's son in danger when she wanted to arrest him.
She also wants to use her refusal against the vigilantes to get the FBI to investigate cases that were not important to the law since Green Arrow was a hero that the city and the police accepted.
Watson is also a hypocrite as she hates vigilantes because they break the law when she believes she is above the law.
Watson does not know the difference between justice and the law, as she kept thinking that exposing Oliver as the Green Arrow and arresting him while Diaz was on the loose was justice when in reality it was just the law.
Despite Watson's negative behavior, she is revealed to have a tender side, as evidenced by the fact that before she arrested Oliver, Watson did express some sympathy for the death of Quentin Lance saying that this changes nothing for the arrangement she made with Oliver. Watson was unaware of this, but arresting Oliver is what led to the crime wave and corruption to increase even further through Star City. Despite being loyal to the FBI and to the SAC and despite all her corrupt methods, Watson still has a sense of honor. For example, when after meeting with Felicity Smoak, Watson came to realize her deal with Oliver was incomplete as Diaz was still out, so when her SAC refused to let the FBI hunt Diaz any longer, Watson willingly disobeyed her boss to help Felicity track down and capture Diaz, believing the SAC will be forgiving as long as Diaz is caught. While hunting for Diaz, Watson even put went as far as to put her own life in danger against the Longbow Hunters, just so she could honor the deal with Oliver. Watson also appears to have good morals and principles since she believes everyone, including people like Ricardo Diaz, have the right to a lawyer and to a fair trial despite the fact that Oliver had an unfair trial as arranged by Diaz. Despite all the trouble Watson caused for Team Arrow when she had Oliver put under indictment, Quentin still spoke highly of Watson believing that all she wants is justice when Quentin thought Watson would make a great ally to the team in their fight against Diaz.
Watson also seems to have a fondness for Felicity. After Diaz and his crew escaped and with the SAC being angry at Watson for disobeying him, Watson called Felicity over to her office for one last meeting. The SAC has demoted Watson to a desk job in Washington DC. Watson admits to Felicity that although she believes good law enforcement does make up for the bad, disobeying her boss as well as going off the books to catch Diaz was the right call to make. Watson then verbally acknowledges Felicity as a good individual and that she doesn't deserve to be without her family, hinting that she truly is remorseful for having sent Oliver to the Slabside Maximum Security Prison.
- High-level intellect/Expert investigator/Leadership: As a high-ranking F.B.I. agent, Watson is a very intelligent woman and excellent investigator, able to follow every lead to discover the truth behind any crime. Watson was able to figure out that John Diggle is posing as Green Arrow, to divergent suspicion that Oliver Queen is a vigilante, who is under investigation by the F.B.I. (albeit without any evidence); she also somehow discovered that Oliver was previously the vigilante known as the "Hood/Arrow" and that John poses the vigilante archer clearing the latter suspicion of being a vigilante. She also has excellent leadership skills, having led a group of F.B.I. agents sent to help Team Arrow battle and defeat Ricardo Diaz despite his control of the Quadrant, a massive group of dangerous criminals.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: As an F.B.I. agent, Watson is a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist; allowing her to hold her own reasonably well against Red, a member of the Longbow Hunters, and managed to land several effective hits and managed to throw her off briefly.
- Expert markswoman: As an F.B.I. agent, Watson is highly skilled in the use of firearms; as she was able to shoot down many of Diaz's men.
- Samanda has similarities to the late Amanda Waller, Smith, and Sam Lane; all three are individuals in positions of high government who, despite their obligation to the law, arrogantly believe they are above the entity and thus not afraid to resort to dishonorable and immoral acts to achieve their goals. This subsequently puts them in a confrontation against the heroes.