Before I begin, let me warn you guys that there are MAJOR SPOILERS for Arrow! The title should have been a big enough warning, but some people would click on this article anyways and complain that I spoiled the episode without warning. Well, here's your warning.
Arrow fans have waited countless months to finally figure out who is in the mysterious grave we first got a glimpse of in the season premiere. With multiple candidates, which changed at every hint we received, led us farther and farther away. Just this past week, I wrote an article "Who is Going to To Die on 'Arrow' Next Week?" My top 2 picks last week were Diggle and Lance, which weren't even correct. If you haven't particularly enjoyed this season of Arrow, you have to admit that the producers did a pretty nice job with keeping the death fresh and a secret, up until a few days ago.
Laurel Lance Dies
Fans have been waiting a tremendous amount of time to see who dies and then it was spoiled by multiple leaked pictures, including the grave above. Fans may have thought they were fake, although it seemed unlikely, until Marc Guggenheim immediately said "That's not cool, shame on those people" right after the leaks. So, yes, some of us did know Laurel was going to die going in, and it was a bit annoying waiting for her to die during the episode.
The death itself was an emotional moment. This episode really shined a light on all of the acting abilities of the characters, including Cassidy's Laurel Lance. Now that this huge question has been answered, another arises: why Laurel?
Why Laurel Lance?
You would assume the reason for killing Laurel was to prop up Oliver's TV romance with Felicity Smoak. Marc Guggenheim says that is not the reason. Here's what he had to say:
"Obviously Arrow is always a show that's evolving, it's always a show where you know, every character arguably except for the Arrow is fair game," Guggenheim said. "And you know we started off this year with the promise of a death, and when we sort of worked our way through our various different creative choices, we realized that you know, the thing that will give us the most pop going into the end of the season and into next season unfortunately would be Laurel, and we knew by the way, we knew that it would enrage a lot of people."
"You know, you know we're not immune to the you know, shipping, and we're not immune to the internet controversy, but...when I say immune, we're not blind to it, but you know we've never made decisions on the show creatively because of the Internet, and you know, one of the you know, one of the things we knew people were going to think is, 'Oh well, in the season were Oliver and Felicity get engaged, and Laurel dies, that's clearly making a choice about who's going to end up with who,' and truth be told, we sort of, we told the Laurel, Oliver romance story in Season One," Guggenheim continued. "We told that story. We never really thought about going back to it, so the shipping the was not an element, it was not a factor for us, and we recognize that that upsets a lot of fans, particularly the comic books fans who, in the comics, Dinah Lance and Oliver Queen are in very ... depending on which version of the character you like, are in a romance together in very iterations, and that to some people is considered canonical and iconic, and we respect that, but at the same time we've always you know, madeknow bones about the fact that we are telling our own version of the Green Arrow mythos and you know, the Green Arrow has had so many different interpretations and blackened areas, and had so many different interpretations over the years that we never felt you know beholden to one particular interpretation, and this is our interpretation, like it or not, and I recognize that there are plenty of people up and down my Twitter feed who do not like it. Totally respect that."
I almost felt like that quote of his was supporting the fact that they killed Laurel for Olicity. He said they were not going to go back to the Laurel-Oliver romance story, it was never an option. If you are not a huge fan of Olicity, this is not good news for you, because no matter how Guggenheim defends it, the death of Laurel will draw Ollie and Felicity back together, which is frustrating as Felicity was such a good character back in the first two seasons but once she was pulled into Olicity, it was never the same. The fanbase is outraged that they killed off Laurel for Olicity and many negative responses have followed.
However, Guggenheim does make some valid points. The famous Green Arrow-Black Canary romance we all expected to see during Season 5 would not be like the comics. There are different versions of Green Arrow and especially Black Canary in the comics and only choosing one interpretation over the other would only please some and irk the rest. Also, the Black Canary character on Arrow is completely different from the Black Canary in the comics. All in all, it is a big disappointment to see that one spec of hope go out for this to happen and Olicity to end.
Overall, I think I will miss Laurel and the Black Canary. A lot of fans tend to complain about Laurel also, but I feel like she has really developed since her whiny days in Season 3. It might also be that she hasn't had nearly as much screen time this season compared to Season 3. Laurel's death will really give the show that push it needs to move forward. This is not the last we have seen of Laurel Lance as Katie Cassidy as she will appear as Earth-2's Black Siren on The Flash in May. I'm sure there will be other flashbacks and appearances of Laurel in the future, no doubt. All in all, it's been a good run Laurel, tell Tommy we said "Hi!"
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