Arrow S04E18 aka “WHUT??”

Arrow S04E18 aka “WHUT??”
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So… the dust has partially settled on what was a pretty emotive and ground-breaking episode of Arrow. It’s fair to say that the writers have shown that they aren’t scared to make the big calls but the question is – did they make the right call?

I can see both sides of the story here so allow me to play devil’s advocate…

On the one hand, I’m very disappointed to see Black Canary disappear because, as far as I’m concerned, where there’s a Green Arrow there HAS to be a Black Canary. They’re supposed to work together, they’re supposed to be a team and they’re supposed to BE together as a couple. They were probably my crime-fighting couple, meant far more than Lois and Clark, Cyclops and Jean Grey, etc… so to see that ripped apart is beyond annoying. It’s possible (and I’d even say likely) that the mantle of Black Canary will be passed onto someone else – Nyssa? Helena Bertinelli aka Huntress? Sara Lance coming back from her time-travelling adventures? But it just isn’t the same. This is Laurel Lance, she’s supposed to be the Black Canary and she’s supposed to be with Oliver Queen, day and night, in plain clothes and behind masks.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Katie Cassidy at first because I found her acting to be so forced at times and her fight scenes were wooden and overly choreographed but over the last 12 months or so she truly grew into the role and became Black Canary in every single way. She looked the part,spoke the part and most of all she fought the part. 80+ episodes across four season is no mean feat for any actor or character so it’s not to be sniffed at.

That said I can also see the merits in the grand scheme of things. Team Arrow are currently embroiled in a seemingly never-ending fight against Damien Darhk, his legions of loyal Ghosts and his supernatural powers and they (Oliver especially) seem to have trouble taking the final step and actually ending him. It’s been shown now that prison is no deterrent to this man – he’ll simply escape because he has eyes and ears everywhere. So it’s possible that Laurel dying could act as a catalyst for the team to finally take that step and put Darhk down for good. Remember what happened in The Avengers when Coulson died? That was the moment where the team realised they needed to come together and work as a team so the same could happen with Team Arrow.

When the show started to tease the “who’s in the grave?” angle, I never for one second considered Laurel. I had it pegged like this:

  1. Felicity
  2. Diggle
  3. Quentin Lance

Then, of course, we see a second flash-forward with Oliver and Barry where Oliver then goes to a limo and we see Felicity sitting there so her name is scratched off the list but still I thought it was going to be Diggle or Quentin. They seemed more obvious choices, the death of either would carry plenty of weight, disrupt Team Arrow and send ripples through the city but would it have had as much of an impact as Laurel? Think about it logically – this is Oliver’s ex-girlfriend, they’re clearly still in love with each other even if he can’t admit it, she was a big sister to Thea, a partner to Diggle and a confidante to Felicity so… putting my impartial hat on… I think her death makes more sense.

While Diggle and Quentin are friends with everyone on the team, their death’s wouldn’t have resonated in the same way and Laurel would’ve been the most affected by Quentin dying and I suspect the arc here is to do with Oliver. Something had to happen to make him use the darkness that’s within him and losing Laurel looks to be that motivation he needs. Will we see a more ruthless, blood-thirsty now? Are we going to see the whole team with a more “kill and ask questions later” ethos.

All I know is that I cannot wait for the next episode which is going to involve the funeral, it’s sure to be an emotional one ending with some sort of statement from Oliver about what happens now and how they’re finally going to take down Darhk. I don’t see him surviving this season so I guess we have to wait and see.

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