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We Find Out Who’s In The Grave, Arrow “Eleven Fifty-Nine” 

We Find Out Who’s In The Grave, Arrow “Eleven Fifty-Nine”


So apparently when you know a shocking death is on the horizon, nothing is really that shocking. I admit that I spent the whole episode watching for signs of who was going to be the epic and oft-referenced Season 4 death. At one point, I was thinking it was Diggle. At another that it was Merlin. And at a third, I was convinced that it would be Thea. {If you haven’t watched yet, I suggest you stop reading HERE}

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

In the end, it was Laurel Lance. And since I spent the whole episode anticipating ANYONE could die (except Oliver, that would’ve shocked me), I wasn’t that surprised. Especially since her preparing to turn in her mask is a pretty clear sign in the world of TV deaths. Let’s take a closer look at her last episode and the on-again, off-again decision that was decided for her at 11:59.

It all began with Ruvé Adams’ proposition to make Laurel in to Star City’s newest DA, where they could “do great things if they work together.” Of course, knowing she’s the worst kind of awful and wife to the very man Team Green Arrow took down and Laurel is prosecuting, this hardly seems like a dream job. That being said, having inside access could be awfully useful when it comes to taking down the bad guys, which Laurel obviously saw as reason enough to consider accepting, until her dad brought to light the obvious sacrifice she would have to make.

Lance: Have you thought about how you’re going to tell our newly elected mayor that you’re going to turn down her job offer?

Laurel: I have, but I’m not sure that I will.

Lance: Well, this one is a no brainer, sweetie. You can’t go work for a murderer.

Laurel: This job would put me in the inner circle.

Lance: Yeah, at the cost of being the Black Canary. Ever since HIVE had DA Bray killed, the District Attorney has 24/7 protection, they would not let you out of their sight.

Laurel: I’ll waive it.

Lance: You think Ruvé Darhk will let that happen? Listen, I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad that you are the Black Canary. I’m glad for all the good that you are doing and I’m glad for the good it’s done you, but you gotta know taking this job, that means taking off that mask. Forever.

Yep. Being in the spotlight and directly under Ruvé’s thumb definitely wouldn’t leave much time for late night vigilante antics…especially when they’re against Ruvé’s husband. I love that Captain Lance was like ‘Nope, no way,’ and even more so, I love that he finally came around to supporting Laurel as the Black Canary and recognizing all the good she and the team have done. In hindsight, this kind of sentimental moment is a clear sign that Laurel was going to kick the bucket. Nevertheless, Laurel took her dad’s advice to heart…and I don’t blame her. I see the pros and cons of both sides but walking away from Team Green Arrow and watching them fight without you (even if you’re assisting in a different way) has to be hard. So Laurel flipped from yes to no. But that didn’t last long as Oliver was right around the corner and singing a completely different tune.

Laurel: I’m turning down the promotion.

Oliver: Because it’s being offered by Ruvé Darhk?

Laurel: No, because taking the job means giving up my place here, with you and the team.

Oliver: The team is falling apart. John’s furious with me. Thea is consumed with rage for Malcolm. And Felicity’s gone. Becoming District Attorney is something you’ve worked the better part of three years for.

Laurel: I might’ve wanted to be DA but that was a lifetime ago.

Oliver: Sara’s lifetime? You channeled your grief and became the Black Canary. Sara is not dead anymore. Maybe you owe it to yourself to pursue the path you were on.

Laurel: You’re serious?

Oliver: This city has enough heroes with masks on. Now that Ruvé Darhk is Mayor, it needs a hero without a mask. It needs Laurel Lance.

And with that, Laurel was back to yes. I don’t know how I feel about Oliver’s argument, especially since it’s obviously based on his heightened emotions, but I definitely see his point. He tried to do this exact same thing when he ran for Mayor so it’s not a new approach and she has a guaranteed “in,” which would help matters. That being said though, it isn’t exactly what she’s always wanted. The world and her life is so different than when she first had her sights set on this and being the “inside man” and under Ruvé’s thumb isn’t exactly the same as being DA for the sake of being DA. Nevertheless, I do think she could potentially do a lot of good there so I can’t fault her for following her dreams AND being able to help. It’s both a compromise and a win on both sides.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

But, obviously that didn’t last for long. After Darhk turned Iron Heights in to a bloodbath, Laurel suited up for her final mission. Ironically, when she said “one last time,” she had no idea how true that would come to be. And I’m feeling pretty dumb for not seeing it as well, but at this point, I was totally convinced either Thea or Merlin were going to be the casualty. I actually enjoyed watching these two fight each other repeatedly and found it interesting that Thea’s bloodlust is the one thing that will always hold her back from beating him. Nevertheless, I could never see either one of them actually killing each other. They both had the chance and balked.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW -
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW –

But back to Laurel, who wasn’t so lucky. After Darhk got his ridiculous idol stone (where was it?! And whhhyy, Andy?! More on that later…) and restored his powers, keeping everyone paralyzed where they stood, he made good on his promise to Captain Lance.

Darhk: Miss Lance, nine months ago, I made your daddy a promise. I told him what he would do if he betrays me. I want you to give him a message for me, I want you to tell him {impales her}, I’m a man of my word.

Watching this scene was tough. But not surprising. I could only imagine Oliver wanting to jump in and fight, but when magic is at play, all bets are off. Luckily, a ridiculously good doctor managed to save Laurel, at which point I figured ‘Aha! It was a fake out! She’s fine and they’re going to surprise us by killing someone else!’ (there I am, always looking for more shocking, again). But nope, this time the shock was that there was no twist. Laurel was saved and then she wasn’t. But before she went, she got to say her final words to the team.

Laurel: This is not exactly how I wanted my last night to go.

Diggle: What are you talking about?

Laurel: It’s a long story. I was going to 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 once again, she is back on the team and turning down the job. While this back and forth was starting to give me whiplash, I still have to admit, this scene was sweet. And I was glad Felicity at least made an appearance in the episode. Of course, the group talk paled in comparison to her talk with Oliver. After seeing the photo that he kept with him on the island as a way to remind him of “home” and to keep going, we discover that Laurel considered that same picture of herself just as special.

Oliver: You kept this?

Laurel: Yeah. Just a little reminder of when things were simpler. For us. The way we use to be. I’m really glad that you found Felicity, I hope you find your way back to her. And Ollie, I know that I am not the love of your life. But you will always be the love of mine.

Oliver: Why are you telling me this? Why now?

Laurel: Because tonight was just a reminder that anything can happen, which is why I need you to promise me something….

Not gonna lie, this felt like a definite character send-off moment. So when the heart monitors started beeping and the nurses rushed in, I wasn’t surprised. That being said, I had no idea Laurel still held such a torch for Oliver. And I can’t think of a point in the last few seasons where this was even alluded to so I’m curious if it was part of the plan or just made a great send-off moment. Nevertheless, me being me, I am SUPER suspicious of the “I need you to promise me something” line that suddenly cuts to silence. Of course, we don’t know what that thing is, but considering that Laurel was pretty sure she was going to live, I can’t imagine what was so important that Oliver had to promise her right now. At first, I figured it was another ‘Aha!’ plot twist, that maybe she is still alive and they were hatching a plan to fake her own death. But I know that creators have said this death will stick (I know, I know, that is rare on Arrow) so it must be something else.

That being said, she is dead, or at least appears to be so for now. And while the look on Thea and Felicity’s faces and Diggle’s single tear were heartbreaking as they watched her flatline, it was Captain Lance’s silent crumble to the floor that really got me. Man oh man, that guy can act. The grief, the pain, the anguish of losing another daughter was so clear on his face and in his movements. I don’t know how or in what way this will effect him moving forwards, especially since it is partially his fault that she is dead, but I’m guessing it won’t be good.

Another person who is going to beat himself up over Laurel’s death is Diggle. I want so badly to write a whole article about his situation with Andy, but out of respect for Laurel, I felt this article should be about her. That being said, I can’t completely overlook the Andy betrayal and how it led to Laurel’s death. Honestly, as much as we didn’t really know Andy, this betrayal still stung. But only because of what it did to Diggle. It took him so long to see Andy as his brother again and trust him and now that he had, he was ready to fight to the ends of the earth for him. The ends of the earth being Oliver, obviously. Diggle’s trust is so deep that once you have it, you have it. However, I’ll admit that I was on board too. I wanted so badly for Andy to be good, too, that I even mentioned it in my last article. I mean, after all he’s done, him playing HIVE didn’t seem like a total implausibility. That being said, Oliver saw the signs. Despite the fact that Andy had a convenient excuse for everything, Oliver still questioned whether the negative timing of all the events was more than just coincidence. And when Diggle walked in on him questioning Andy, ugh. I hate seeing these two fight. But it only got worse when Oliver called him out on it later.

Oliver: John, you are the one who always tells me, ‘do not have a blind spot when it comes to your family’.

Diggle: You are the one who told me to give Andy a second chance. You’re the one who wanted to extract him from HIVE. You’re the one who said he could come back from the darkness. The same way you did.

Oliver: But I didn’t. I’ve tried. I’ve tried harder at this than I have at anything, but at the end of the day, I am who those five years away turned me in to. I’m what they turned me in to.

Diggle: So what, Oliver? Just because Felicity left you, I’m suppose to believe all men are incapable of redemption? Not all men are like you, Oliver. Some of us change. Some of us grow. Some of us evolve. You are stuck, man. Stuck in your self-pity, stuck in your self-righteousness and THAT is why Felicity left you. My brother is my business, you have no idea what he’s been through and you sure as hell have no right to judge him.

Yikes. I mean, you have to admit, that’s a bit harsh. But also true. Oliver is at such a raw emotional state right now that it’s no surprise that some of his decisions and feelings have changed. He’s literally questioning everything, including himself, and that extends to Andy as well. And Oliver’s self-pity and self-righteousness are not new issues either. Sometimes he pulls himself out of him for a brief bit of time, but more often than not, he is beating himself up and focusing on his shortcomings rather than his successes or how to overcome them.

Nevertheless, in this turn of events, Oliver was right. Andy, despite taking an arrow for Oliver, was working with HIVE all along. And he somehow managed to get the stone that Darhk needed to power the idol and return his powers. Where he got this stone, I have no clue. He claims only needing to know that Diggle hid it since he’s been tracking him for months, but we don’t know where he hid it. And while I’m curious, I also recognize that’s probably irrelevant. The relevant part is that even without the HIVE chemicals in his body and even though he fought alongside the Team at Argus, he’s still a traitor. A traitor who appeared to do good things to earn their trust and then used that trust to take them down. I have no doubt Diggle is going to beat himself up for making this error in judgement and giving his brother the benefit of the doubt. Especially since it is what ultimately lead to Laurel’s death. I just hope he handles guilt better than Oliver. I imagine both of them, as well as the rest of the team, are going to be pretty broken after this and they are going to need each other more than ever.

But back to Laurel, she was preparing to leave Team Green Arrow so her leaving the show had a nice symbolism to it. Honestly, it’s no secret that for a long time, I really didn’t like the Laurel Lance character. What they did with her early on drove me flat out crazy. But in the past season or two, she’s started to grow on me and I’ve really appreciated and respected her as part of the team. That being said, I have to admit that I think the other characters and the show will potentially get a lot more material and character development out of her death than they would’ve by keeping her alive. I know that’s mean, but I think this provides a real driving force for the team to seek revenge and take down Darhk and I’m interested to see exactly how they all cope and where they go from here.

So what did you think of Laurel’s last episode? Will you miss the character? Did this live up to your season 4 grave expectations?

Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8/7 on The CW.

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