Well that wasn’t very nice.
When Arrow was first announced way back in 2012, I was enormously excited by the news of the lovely Katie Cassidy getting cast as the iconic DC superheroine, Black Canary. While Stephen Amell was a relative unknown back then, Cassidy had pulled off a number of memorable turns on Supernatural and Melrose Place. Unfortunately, the writers on Arrow saddled her with an extremely frustrating journey in the show’s first two seasons. Instead of making her a badass, she was forced to endure an alcoholism subplot while her sister came on to the scene and dished out the Canary asskickings. Things began to take a turn in season three after Laurel finally assumed the mantle, but the writers never gave her her due. This has been especially true in season four with the Black Canary on the sidelines as Arrow basically devolved into The Olicity Show. And now? The writers have killed off my favorite character, and I couldn’t be more pissed.
Every way I look at it, Laurel’s death doesn’t make sense. The writers have said that they wanted to up the stakes and spur the team into action, but wouldn’t killing off a pointless Team Arrow member like Diggle accomplish the same thing? Laurel is not only the Black Canary (an integral part of the Green Arrow mythos) but a strong female character – a rare commodity on TV these days – who underwent an inspiring journey over the course of the past four seasons. Was killing her off a way to get that very last obstacle out of Olicity’s way? It sure feels like it (particularly with Laurel telling Ollie to go “be” with Felicity as she took her final breath). Unless this is all an elaborate fake out (although the writers deny Laurel whispering to Ollie as anything more), I just can’t get behind this egregious development.
Thankfully, Katie Cassidy pulled out all the stops in her final hour. The hospital scenes were just gut-wrenching in every way; the way she told the team she loved them and loved being the Black Canary, not to mention her admitting to Ollie in the most heartbreaking way possible that he was the love of her life (even though she knows she was not his). If this is indeed the end for Katie on Arrow, part of me is glad Laurel is gone; this way the writers can’t disrespect her character any longer. Cassidy was supposed to be the show’s female lead in the beginning, but that role gradually shifted to Felicity, while she was demoted to a pure supporting role. Unacceptable!
Bits & Arrows
– So I’m guessing season five flashbacks will be Ollie in Russia? Will I even still be watching the show?
– Pretty great scene with Laurel kicking ass in the Arrow Cave. And oh look the writers finally remembered she has TWO batons.
– I will never get over how cute Laurel is with her Converse. They’re so distracting and she’s been wearing them since season one.
– Very satisfying moment with Quentin telling Laurel that he’s proud of her being the Canary and that she can’t give it up to be the DA.
– Katie Cassidy had several super-cute moments in her final episode: her “hmm” to Darhk and her delivery of “gross”. Priceless!
– Does anyone even care about the Ollie/Andy/Diggle subplot? Andy is such a non-character, and I wish Diggle was the one in the grave.
– Foreshadowing: Laurel saying “one last time” as she picks up the Canary mask.
– I’ve lost so much interest in Thea and Malcolm it’s not even funny. I so wish she beat and killed him this week. That better be what happens in the season finale because I can’t stand another season of Malcolm’s repetitive subplots.
– The fact that Damien stabbed Laurel with Ollie’s arrow? Not cool!
– Felicity’s cries really broke my heart.
– I wonder if it’s possible that Laurel faked her death (although the writers have denied it). We did after all not hear what she told Ollie in the wide shot. Hmm…
– Even the flashbacks had a purpose this week. Well not the Reiter stuff, but it was wonderfully satisfying to see the Laurel picture again with Oliver, as it paralleled her bringing it out again at the end.
– Quentin walking into the hospital and seeing Oliver and knowing killed me. How the hell is Paul Blackthorne supposed to play this storyline now? First Sara died, then came back, then died, then came back… now Laurel died? Seriously writers?
Oliver: I’ve seen this idol before.
Laurel: What? Where?
Oliver: Lian Yu.
Laurel: You really love not talking about that place, don’t you?
Thea: I’m gonna go hit the streets.
Oliver: Thea, no one is gonna give up Merlyn.
Thea: Well, then I’m gonna hit people on the streets.
Laurel: I remember this guy.
Thea: Those lips.
Damien: Suit yourself, but on the count of 3, I’m gonna turn that wall into a Jackson Pollock painting with his brains.
Doctor: She’s a strong woman, your friend.
Felicity: The strongest.
Laurel: I was gonna give up being the Black Canary, but I realized I didn’t know how I could because going out there and fighting alongside you guys, it’s what makes me feel alive inside… And I love you guys so much.
Laurel: Ollie, I know that I am not the love of your life… But you will always be the love of mine.
Although I absolutely hate Laurel’s death from a writing standpoint, this was a terrific hour of Arrow. Nevertheless, I might very well stop watching the show in season five.