Arrow Round Table: The Unnecessary Death of Laurel Lance

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The hot topic and the only topic worthy of discussion from Arrow Season 4 Episode 18 was the death of Laurel Lance. The round table tackles it.

Join TV Fanatics Caralynn Lippo, Kelly Thompson, Meg Bonney and Jim Garner as they react to the tragic events. The comments section is waiting for you!

Arrow Round Table 660px

Laurel Lance is dead. React.

Caralynn: Ugh. Just ugh. I saw this as someone who was not, by any means, Laurel's biggest fan. The writers dropped the ball on the character of Laurel Lance once they failed to satisfactorily do what they originally planned to do with her (the Oliver romance). It's insane to me that they couldn't figure out how to resolve the issue.

I didn't need to see Laurel with Oliver and, in fact, after everything Oliver did to Laurel a romance between them would have been gross and terrible. But the fact that the writers couldn't figure out a story for this character outside of a love story is crazy. Katie Cassidy isn't exactly going to be winning any acting accolades anytime soon, but she is certainly not SO bad she can't be written for at all.

Kelly: Caralynn is correct, this show never figured out what to do with Laurel after Arrow Season 1. I had hoped that Laurel becoming the Black Canary would spark some creative stories for her, but it never happened. I'm not a fan of the show deciding to kill Laurel, but it makes sense story wise because what was next for her? I just feel bad for Captain Lance. Can he go a year without a daughter dying?! You will kind of be missed Laurel Lance.

Meg: I am super bummed. Laurel was finally getting back on track and it seems they only did that so her death would be more impactful. It sucks. I think there were other options that would have worked better and driven the story. Green Arrow without Black Canary is weird. It's just weird.

Jim: I had taken a break from Arrow and came back just as Laurel took over as Black Canary. But I agree with Kelly, that it felt like they couldn't figure out exactly how they wanted her to fit in. She became even more unnecessary once Captain Lance found out about Oliver and Team Arrow and started providing information directly that Laurel had been collecting from him.

Do you think the character of the Black Canary will die with Laurel and if not, who will take over the mantle?

Caralynn: I didn't even think of that. I think we've had so many Canary switcheroos that yet a third incarnation of a Canary would be silly. I can't see how they'd do that well. I assumed they'd just have Sara as the one and only Canary. She can switch between white and black depending on when she's feeling a costume change?

Kelly: I don't care. Sara has moved on to being the White Canary so what is the other option, a new female character? Not a fan of that idea. The Black Canary should die with Laurel.

Meg: It needs to die with her. It was strange when she took it over at first, but Laurels version really grew on me. It sucks that it was cut short. I have read that people think Felicity will be the next Black Canary, and I hate that. Please don't let that come to pass.

Jim: There are sooo many other interesting characters they could bring in and they've already tried two times to make Black Canary an interesting that I would rather see a new member for Team Arrow (cou*Vixen*gh) than a third person take on the Black Canary mantle.

Was the way Laurel exited satisfactory? Is there anything you would have changed?

Caralynn: HELL no, it was not satisfactory. I thought the acting by everyone was really fantastic (particularly Stephen Amell, who I tend to think is an eh actor), but the writing was crap. It was so melodramatic and soap-operaish that I legitimately thought her death had to have been a fake-out. I thought there was no possible way that they would let Laurel's last (on-screen) words be about Oliver and Felicity's relationship.

It was just beyond cringeworthy. There is literally nothing worse, to me, than the trope of the "dying woman tells her beloved to go on and find his happiness without her," which is apparently what they were going for with that scene, although no one with a lick of sense would have thought Oliver was Laurel's unrequited soul mate at this point in the show.

Kelly: Exactly! Laurel thinking Ollie is the love of her life?! Um, what? Where on Earth did that come from? That was insane and bizarre creative decision. Laurel's actual death was satisfactory. Getting injured in battle by one of Ollie's arrows because of a decision Diggle made. That is a lot of drama. I wish we would have gotten a Lance family reunion before Laurel kicked it though.

Meg: I am drained just thinking about it. I really wanted that lighter tone they advertised at the start of the season. It's will be like a sad One Tree Hill storyline but with weapons. Tears, long speeches and guilt. I love this show, but ugh.

Jim: Caralynn and Kell pretty much said all there is to say about Laurel's exit. The count of bad tropes used in the episode/scene was climbing so fast I had a hard time not getting eye strain from rolling my eyes.

Why do you think the team had Vixen smash Damien's idol to bits only to super glue it all back together again, keeping it in the Arrow lair with the revolving door?

Caralynn: No comment. It defies logic. Pure plot device.

Kelly: Made no sense. This question contains all the sarcasm needed to explain how ridiculous that is.

Meg: Super strange. Why would they even keep it?!

Jim: This added significantly to the count of horrible tropes used I mentioned previously. Seriously, why glue it back together? I would have broken it into tiny pieces so that even if "somehow" he got it back, it would take him a few months to glue it together and realize a piece was missing. Horrible writing.

How do you expect each team member to react to the death?

Caralynn: They'll be sad and guilty. Well, Oliver, Lance, and Diggle will be sad and guilty, Thea and Felicity will just be sad because they have nothing to feel guilty about. Diggle will really struggle with this because his decision to trust Andy over Oliver essentially led to Laurel's death.

Kelly: Diggle will vow to destroy his brother but then actually not do anything to harm him. Same with Ollie. They will want to take revenge for Laurel on Andy and DD but somehow they will beat them without killing either. Thea is the team member I'm most concerned about because the majority of her scenes were with Laurel, so I expect to see her sad for a little and then move back into the shadows so we can all learn how the men on the show are dealing with their feelings.

Meg: I am drained just thinking about it. I really wanted that lighter tone they advertised at the start of the season. It's will be like a sad One Tree Hill storyline but with weapons. Tears, long speeches and guilt. I love this show, but ugh.

Jim: Well said Kelly. While I would love to be surprised and actually have Thea be able to step up and get to be a bigger part of the team, it does seem like is slipping into a "boys club" where the girls are relegated to the edges of the story.

Finally, the complaints have been there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Should the open space on Team Arrow be left open or should it be filled? Why?

Caralynn: Laurel's spot should remain open, because to fill it so soon would be disrespectful to the character. But Felicity's needs to be filled asap. They need someone who's an ace at the technology/tracking, because that's a really important part of what they do. I actually loved Curtis filling in for Felicity last time, so more of that would be fine. Of course, we ALL know that Felicity will be back eventually, so this would just be a temporary replacement.

Kelly: I agree, 100% with Caralynn. Leave Laurel's seat open and bring Curtis in. Felicity will most definitely be back with the team before the end of this season so where the character of Curtis will go next season, since Echo Kellum will be a series regular, who knows?

Meg: I think there are too many folks for any of them to get good stories. I say leave it open, and send a few people over to The Flash. Everyone is better on the Flash.

Jim: I agree with Caralynn as well. They could even have some different guests (like Vixen was for an episode) that could be tested to see how the chemistry with Team Arrow is before they decided to replace her.

Get your first look at Arrow Season 4 Episode 19, "Canary Cry," in the slideshow below.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Arrow Season 4 Episode 18 Quotes

Laurel: You think Merlyn played Andy?
Oliver: What if Andy is playing us?

Laurel: I was gonna give up being the Black Canary, but I realized I didn't know how I could because going out there and fighting alongside you guys, that's what makes me feel alive inside. And I love you guys so much.
Felicity: We love you.
Thea: We love you.
Diggle: We love you.