So here we are, six months after the premiere of Arrow season 4, with the knowledge of whose grave Oliver Queen was standing in front of.
Rather obviously, here’s a spoiler warning…
"The Lannisters send their regards."
“The Lannisters send their regards.”
As expected, it was somebody both Oliver and Barry Allen knew.
Turn’s out, instead of Felicity, it was Oliver’s love at the start of his journey before he boarded the Queen’s Gambit who bit the dust. Also, I should take back anything I said about not being lucky enough to see the end of this version of Black Canary. Yes, goodbye Laurel Lance. For now anyway.
"I don't feel so good..."
“I don’t feel so good…”
The Internet remains divided and some up in arms about the death of the Green Arrow’s canonical lover (imagine Superman losing Lois Lane or Spidey losing MJ), though we do know an Earth-2 version if her will be appearing in the future.
Still, as much as Katie Cassidy was #NotMyBlackCanary, killing her off solves none of Arrow’s problem as it attempts to go for another season.

1We’re not as invested in her character

“I don’t know why I had to suddenly start telling you about how I feel.”

Let’s face it, Laurel was old news from day one. Whether it was her sister Sara, Shadow, Huntress, crazy mirakuru ex-Firefly lady, and of course, Felicity Smoak, you never got the feeling that Laurel was gonna be the one for Oli.

Except for the two episodes before her death, where she had enough death flags any MMORPG priest worth his salt would have stocked up enough resurrection spells to fight all the deaths in the Final Destination series and two zombie apocalypses.

That last line she said to Oliver and having her die after seemingly having pulled through are just cheap tricks to force an emotional attachment that was missing from day one.
Sure, Oliver is gonna be mad at himself, upset, broody, whatever… But as a viewer, I feel none of that. That’s not the reaction you wanna get when you kill off a major character. Just ask the expert George RR Martin.

2Give Quentin Lance a break

“No video no talk…”

Let’s look at Quentin’s history with his daughters dying on Arrow:

Sara died on the boat! Wait no she didn’t! Sara ran away! Wait nope she’s back! Sara got killed by Thea! Wait nope she’s still alive! Wait nope that’s Laurel pretending to be Sara using some voice changing software! Wait she’s really dead! Wait nope Lazarus pit! Wait nope Sara has lost her soul and is batshit crazy! Wait nope Constantine saves the day! Sara’s gone off again! Wait nope she’s been recruited by a cheap Doctor Who ripoff! And now Laurel’s dead!

Yeah, you get the idea.
Apart from tormenting Captain Lance and the viewers with enough fake deaths it would make Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG-1 proud, Laurel’s death doesn’t seem to serve any higher purpose besides giving the Arrow producers reason to turn Oliver more extreme and wracked with guilt.
Plus, we all know Barry Allen can run back in time… And again, Earth-2 incoming.

3It isn’t going to solve Arrow’s problems

Should’ve just ended it here.

Look, it’s still the Arrowverse, and the heroine most tied to the Green Arrow is the Black Canary. Maybe the Black Canary and Green Arrow characters are gonna be a part of the DC Cinematic Universe, in which case a Deadshot-esque removal from the series might be coming.

Maybe the coming of Earth-2 Black Canary might be a chance to reboot the character. Maybe the producers need something for season 5. Maybe Sara Lance will return after her Legends of Tomorrow stint is over.

Still, it would have made more sense to move Laurel out of the way without the permanency of death. Having her exit with her position as the District Attorney seemed like a more plausible way to go. I mean, I get that Damien Darhk suddenly got his powers back and he kills Laurel. Even if she is literally the fourth-most intimidating of the four members of Team Arrow at the prison. Because he’s a jerk and he wants back at Quentin.

But then she survives her operation, only to flatline again later after she’s told Oliver how much she’s loved him all this time?

Either way, it seems hard to think of a way which Laurel’s death drags the series out of the mire it’s been in all season. When Arrow first came out, it was a breath of fresh air. It brought us the dark feel of the Nolan Batman era to the silver screen.

This is my wake-up face.
Obvious bad guy was obvious.

Now, we’re flushed with superhero films and shows. Just the Arrowverse alone has expanded to house The Flash and friends, and with the recent Supergirl crossover, that Earth too. Arrow’s darker tone hasn’t evolved well into its current state, especially with the arrival of metahumans and magic. And we’re still wondering what all that time on Lian-Yu will finally amount to. We’ve been teased Hal Jordan more than once, but nothing really concrete.

The Flash has made a habit of shocking revelations, like who Zoom was (shocker, eh), but Arrow’s revelations have seemed a lot more forced (see what I said about Laurel’s death flags above).

While The Flash’s villains do give a sense of threatening more than just Central City on a global scale, Arrow’s seem to have an unhealthy obsession with Star City. Killing Laurel Lance isn’t gonna solve that.