We all knew going into this that there was going to be a death, and given the “End of an Era” tagline they attached to the trailer, there were only a few likely candidates for this death. My picks were Diggle and Captain Lance…but man was I wrong…
Laurel. Dear, sweet, Laurel…is gone. And she will stay gone. The heads of Arrow have confirmed that though she will appear in flashbacks at times (like next episode) she will not be brought back to life.
Now…there’s two ways to think about this. First is to hate it, because Laurel/Black Canary is an essential part of the Green Arrow mythology. In one case, they actually do get married and open a flower shop (I kid you not). And their relationship was an ongoing part of the much beloved Justice League Unlimited cartoon. So it’s easy to not like it.
On the other hand. From the getgo, we knew this wasn’t going to be the “typical” superhero show. They took the joking character of Green Arrow and transformed him into The Arrow, a killing machine. Which is VASTLY different from the comics, even from the New 52 version. The showrunners have talked about the different path they’re taking with Oliver Queen, and thus, having Black Canary die, as important as she is, is not out of bounds.
The fun part of the episode was watching the clock and seeing if there were any clues as to who would get the bullet. Sadly, the big tell was when Laurel said the “one last time” line. It was oh so obvious from there.
Her death was done well. With taste, and impact, and believability. Have Darhk do it was perfect, and showed just how powerful he is, and how evil he is. Him doing it knowing who she really was also added to the drama. The hospital scene was also good, even the near fake-out of the “she’ll be fine” from the doctor. It made you wonder if she could survive it. I will note though that the jump from the “promise me something” to her convulsing will no doubt trigger conspiracy theories about what set her off, or even if she’s really dead (even though she is).
Ironically, there were others stories in the episode, mainly focusing on family. Thea tried to take down Merlyn, and failed twice. Diggle’s loyalty to Andy is the reason that Laurel is dead, and that will no doubt haunt him for a long time. And Ollie is seeing everything around him fall apart once again. It’s not a good day to be on Team Arrow.
The flashbacks were simple once again, but they did a decent job of lending to the story. I honestly look forward to some closure on this one though, even though it did plant seeds for the final leg of Ollie’s “island” journey.
This episode will likely be one of the most controversial in Arrow history. Whether you loved Laurel or hated her, her death is significant on innumerous levels. And I know that many will not approve of it. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens next, and whether this death was truly worth it.