After the events of the shocking episode of “Arrow” Wednesday, fans of the CW series are reeling from the death of a major character that capped the latest installment of Season 4. With the big mystery about whom is in the grave solved at last, both the cast member in question and the show’s producers are finally able to open up about the very permanent decision.
[SPOILER ALERT: The remainder of this article will discuss episode 18 of the CW’s “Arrow.”]
After the producers teased a death on Team Arrow at the beginning of the season, episode 18, “Eleven-Fifty-Nine,” finally showed us the killing blow, as well as the identity of the person receiving it. When the villain Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) escaped prison and regained his magical powers, his first act as a free man was to make good on a promise he made to Capt. Lance (Paul Blackthorne). When the police officer was in his employ, Damien told him that if he ever crossed him, he’d hurt his daughter Laurel (Katie Cassidy). And the first chance he got, the villain stabbed the Black Canary in the chest, ultimately causing her death.
However, just before she coded in the hospital, Laurel asked Oliver (Stephen Amell) to do her one last favor, which she revealed off screen. This prompted many fans to wonder whether she’s really gone. However, the minds behind the series have confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that Cassidy is no longer a regular cast member and that her mystery favor won’t be addressed until Season 5.
“We recognize that that upsets a lot of fans, particularly the comic book fans,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim told the media outlet. “In the comics, Dinah Lance and Oliver Queen are in a romance together in various iterations. To some people, that is considered canonical and iconic. We respect that, but, at the same time, we’ve always made no bones about the fact that we are telling our own version of the Green Arrow mythos. ... But it made the most creative sense for us going forward despite the fact that we love Katie. Every time we’ve killed off a character on the show, it’s really been for the effect on all the characters left behind.”
It appears that, as is the case with productions such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead,” “Arrow” wants to be a series that uses its written source material as a stepping-stone rather than a road map, which allowed Laurel to be artfully written out of the show without readdressing her past relationship with Oliver. However, with the Arrowverse constantly expanding through titles such as “Legends of Tomorrow,” “The Flash,” “Vixen” and, very technically, “Supergirl,” Cassidy’s time there isn’t necessarily at an end.
While there’s the possibility that her apparently final request of Oliver was for him to help her fake her death, the character of Laurel Lance isn’t done making appearances on screen. For example, Cassidy is scheduled to play the Earth-2 version of Laurel Lance on “The Flash” in the penultimate episode of its Season 2. She’ll also appear as an animated version of herself on the CW Seed show “Vixen” in its second season.
“As they know, I love working with them. I’m always happy to come play with them if they time-travel or what not,” Cassidy told Entertainment Weekly. “To me, Laurel was always such a good person and had such a good heart and was a fighter. ... I think her being remembered that way is definitely important to me.”
“Arrow” is taking a short break in the wake of the big revelation about Laurel’s death, but it will return with episode 19 April 27.
What did you think about the death of Laurel Lance in the episode Wednesday? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.