Previously on Arrow, “Eleven-Fifty-Nine”
When done right, the death of a major character should be genuinely sad, inject some energy into the plot, up the stakes, and create a fundamental change in the dynamics of the show, even if it’s just a little. At the very least, the death should stay true to heart of the character. Suffice to say, the death of Laurel Lance was not a death done right.
After last episode’s unsatisfying death scene, I had hoped that Arrow would course correct this week and spend the episode honoring the character they spent years building, but it instead they doubled down on the mistakes of the previous episode. We were subjected to more repetitive story beats: from Lance falling apart mourning a dead daughter, to every member of Team Arrow succumbing to guilt, to contradictory moral messages (going from “Diggle attacking Mayor Adams is WRONG” to “We HAVE to kill Darhk” within a half hour), these are all plot lines that we have seen time and time again.
The flashbacks this week were a trade off. We finally moved away from this season’s terrible Lian Yu storyline, but in exchange we had to watch the show retroactively ruin Oliver and Laurel’s relationship with Tommy. Not only did Oliver miss his best friend’s funeral, he also made out with the woman he loved one week after his death. Now that is true friendship.
In the case of the week, a woman whose parents were killed by HIVE has stolen Laurel’s sonic scream device, and is impersonating the Black Canary to get revenge on Ruve Adams. Team Arrow are not keen on this turn of events as a) they are against killing (sort of, sometimes, when it is convenient to the plot), and b) they don’t want her to ruin Laurel’s legacy.
The constantly underutilized Nyssa was back to pay her respects for Laurel, and I for one am glad that the writers didn’t forget about their friendship. How Nyssa manages to steal every scene when all she ever gets to do is stand around explaining things is beyond me.
Oliver outing Laurel as the Black Canary at her funeral was a nice moment, and the optimist in me hopes that the shots of Dinah reacting to the news were hinting at a third Lance woman taking on the mantel. A girl can dream.
I’m always a fan of Barry Allen, but, if we were only going to see one of the characters from The Flash at Laurel’s funeral, then it should have been Cisco, who had a much closer relationship with Laurel. Also, (The Flash spoiler ahead) was this meant to be before Barry lost his speed, in which case should we have seen them grieving a dead friend, or after, spoiling that Barry will be getting his speed back in the near future? Fix your timelines, DC!
Also, where the frak is Sara? If they were going to have any character cross over from another show for this episode it should have been Sara, not Barry. I’m sure they’ll get to it eventually, but the further we get from Laurel’s death the less affecting it’s sure to be.
After spending last episode longing for the writers to remember that Tommy existed, I spent this episode wishing that they’d forget him again. Be careful what you wish for, I guess. Making Oliver Laurel’s TruLuv™ comes across as a last minute change to create drama for the living, at the expense of the years of character development for the dead.
Quote of the Week
Felicity when Diggle is wallowing in guilt – “You’re just one illegitimate child away from a really awesome Oliver Queen impersonation.”
Some good performances (especially from the grieving Captain Lance) couldn’t save a lazily plotted episode that did its best to retroactively ruin the best storyline of the show’s most disrespected character.