There is a reason why the title of the episode is a time specific one. Oh dear me, we have a shocker tonight! Not in terms of quality of the episode perhaps, but the end result that did everybody in. It was one of the first episodes in a long time to feature a major end to a character, and not in a nice way. Let us get right into the episode first before delving into the end.
Are you friend or foe, Andy Diggle?
Turns out, this man is really beyond saving. John's brother Andy Diggle has been working with Damien Darhk for a long time and he has not switched his allegiances as has been suggested in the middle of the season. He shows his true colors on this episode, after first initiating a plan in which John and Oliver are diverted away from their lair and led to a rather wild goose chase to cut-off Malcolm Merlin's men who was trying to help Darhk by busting him out of prison using missiles. In the hours that they were diverted away, Malcolm laid siege to a secured Arrow lair, with Thea and Laurel unable to fend him from taking the totem that enables Darhk to have his magical powers. But wait! There is a missing piece of the totem that John hid in his apartment. Afterwards, he coaxes John into telling him where he hid the missing piece, and goes on to search for it. Oliver all the while suspects Andrew's motives and takes him to be a spy working for Damien Darhk. Turns out, he was right.
Taiana and Oliver, agree to a pact
We see more flashbacks on Lian Yu, where Taiana finds out about Oliver's love interest back then, Laurel. They both make a pact that whoever makes it out alive will tell each others' close ones (Taiana's parents, or Oliver's love in Laurel) about their fates. They shake hands. We see Reiter devouring the essence from two of his own men after killing them.
Without delving too much into the finish, in which Andy betrays and restores the totem and Damien Darhk to his full power, let us look at who died in this episode. Basically, Laurel dies. At the hands of Damien Dahrk, stabbed by an arrow, as revenge for Quentin Lance betraying Darhk, and Laurel instigating Darhk's trial by sending him to prison through court. It is the end of four and a half years of love, drama and a backdrop of emotions that Laurel Lance (aka Katie Cassidy) will leave by, with nobody to fill the void of Black Canary. She dies in the hospital at 11:59 p.m. even though her surgery was successful. The last person she was seen speaking to was Oliver Queen, her previous love.
Remarks on what happened
Laurel did ask Oliver for a favor, which was never said. When do you find out what it was? We do not know. Ideas have been thrown about that Laurel asked for this favor in the hospital bed, maybe to kill her off? Maybe to put her to sleep somehow so that nobody notices that she is still alive, and yet keep her safe? Well, no, because Katie Cassidy has confirmed on an interview with Variety that her character has been killed off, even though she will be making an appearance in the crossover episode of The Flash with Arrow as Laurel in Earth Two. Even then, if you read the entire interview, it will tell you that her character is dead. How and what happens in the future is a guess for anyone, because they have also confirmed through various episodes over the season that killing off characters is only temporary and there are ways to bring them back aka Sara's ressurection in the Lazarus Pit (also Barry Allen going back in time to save Cisco from being killed by the Dr. Wells in The Flash). Given how permanent this time seems, will we ever see Laurel back?
The death of Laurel will have a heavy impact on Quentin Lance. He has had to deal with two fake deaths of Sara and now a real passing away of his elder daughter Laurel. How he will handle it will be anybody's guess, but it will probably change him as a man. The most change will probably occur in John Diggle, as you can directly trace his hand in trusting his brother Andy who had a part in getting Laurel killed. John will probably be a changed personality as well. Laurel was a divisive character in the Arrow for sure, but her death with leave everybody shocked and probably not in a nice way. Sure, it adds to the shock and entertainment value, but at what cost? Killing of four and a half year of character development in a commercialized television series that finds a way of pleasing everybody? Felicity will surely come back into the mix now, with Laurel out of the picture. What of Oliver though? How will he handle this, and most importantly gain revenge against the man who killed Laurel?
One last important note, the five year old flashbacks are getting monotonous. They need to fast forward that story a bit, so that everybody gets to know what happened beyond Reiter's gain of power that was similar to Darhk through that totem, and how what happened to Oliver and Taiana in the end.
The original article can be found at https://sniperthoughts.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/arrow-season-4-episode-18-1159/