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Arrow 4×18 Discussion: What a waste…

arrow season 4 episode 18 review discussion laurel

So Arrow season 4 episode 18 happened, and we found out who was in the grave. I think I’m just about done trying to rationalise the decisions of this show, because it honestly makes no sense to me anymore. So let’s discuss Arrow season 4 episode 18!

Spoilers follow.

Let’s just cut to the chase and discuss the big death, Arrow has killed off Laurel. She was killed by Darhk because he wanted revenge on Lance. One of her last conversations was about her approval of Olicity. But don’t worry because the writers have promised that it had nothing to do with that…

When Arrow first started, Laurel’s role was very different. She was the intended end love interest, the show had a major focus between her and Oliver’s relationship. And it was annoying. We had to witness Laurel constantly whine and be overall very frustrating to watch. In season 2 her character didn’t get much better. They had her go through drug abuse problems, which meant that a lot of the interactions we saw from Laurel, was of her snapping at people.

However, in season 3 after the death of Sara, Laurel’s character began to change. She started to begin her journey as Black Canary. It was rushed, that’s for sure. One moment she was falling on her ass, the next she was a full on ninja.

arrow season 4 episode 18 black canary

But then season 4 happened, and once you got over her very quick transformation into Black Canary, you could see the great character growth she’s gone through. No longer was I finding myself annoyed at her very presence, I started to look forward to it. She became a lot closer to the Laurel we know in the comics. Fiesty and fearless, which sometimes got her in trouble, but mostly she was rational and compassionate. Episodes often found Laurel to be a voice of reason, a voice of sincerity when people needed it.

She had to overcome a lot to get there, but she did get there in season 4. But apparently it was too little too late, because the show had now set a course they weren’t willing to get off.

Now let me preface this by saying: I don’t mind changes being made from the comics. In Smallville Oliver didn’t end up with Laurel, he ended up with Chloe, it’s fine. This is a different situation. I know there are a lot of people who have been overreacting to Felicity’s role on the show, and really just come off as bullies online, so I’ll try to remain as calm and rational as possible.

Felicity was great when the show started. She was the quirky lightness, to the otherwise dark and brooding show. When Felicity was introduced the focus of the show was about Oliver and him overcoming his darkness to become a hero, not to avenge his father, but to protect his city. And yes the pair of them had a flirty relationship, but more importantly they had a real friendship, something Oliver wasn’t very good at, especially with women.

After the amazing season that was season 2, things started to go downhill. The writers looked to Tumblr for their writing inspiration, and Felicity’s role began to change. I understand changing the narrative according to fan reactions. Felicity was initially only supposed to be a guest star, but because of the response to her character, she was kept on. That was a great decision, until Arrow stopped being a superhero show with soap opera elements, to a soap opera show with superhero elements.

arrow season 4 episode 18 felicity

And so the entire narrative was now framed around Felicity, what she was up to, how she was feeling, what secrets were being kept from her etc. This hurt the show, because this character who mostly everyone loved, went on to become a very controversial figure, where no joke, intense internet wars were started. Characters and story arcs were being diluted to fit in more Felicity time.

One of those characters was Laurel. She went from being the leading lady into a much smaller supporting role, which was hard to watch because Laurel had finally become an interesting and likable character. Felicity on the other hand went backwards, and went from this interesting and likable character, to being needy and unlikable. This isn’t at fault of the character, this is because the writers wanted to up the soap opera tension between Oliver and Felicity.

So now here we are, now that Laurel is no longer the big love interest, her role in the show was diminished to the point where she has been killed off. We know that she will be appearing on The Flash as her Earth-2 counterpart, so it’ll be interesting to find out whether Katie Cassidy will continue to appear in the Arrow-verse occasionally or not.

arrow season 4 episode 18 spoilers

It’s weird for me to say this after my previous feelings about Laurel, but honestly one of the main things that kept me watching Arrow in season 4 was Laurel. So now this whole situation just seems like a waste of a great character who had finally started to become someone great. This season started off okay, but it quickly reverted back to many of the issues season 3 had. I’ll continue giving Arrow a chance, to see how they deal with this moving forward, but changes need to be made.

Arrow’s target audience has shifted to focus more on the classic CW audience, which is fine for those people, but not fine for those of us who want more of the great superhero show it was in season 2. This pandering to Felicity has gone to the point of no return now seemingly, but I guess I still have a sense of hope that the show can redeem itself…

2 replies »

  1. Honestly, they should have killed Laurel at the start of season 3 and left Sara on the show.

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  2. The show is getting a season 5, so hopefully it can redeem itself by going back to its more grounded, gritty roots. Plus season 5 will probably be the last of the flashbacks, so it’ll hopefully show how Oliver got to how he was when starting out as The Arrow, and go back to how it was before, hopefully. I don’t think Laurel is dead either, because the way it was carried out, how she made Oliver promise her something that we won’t know til later, and the way Oliver himself acted in all this, it just didn’t seem as impactful as other deaths like Tommy and Moira, so it felt like a copout and she’ll probably be back as Black Canary again somewhere. It feels like another Roy Harper scenario, in which she fakes her death and goes off somewhere. Seasons 3-4 are mixed bags as a whole, not terrible, but with so many Olicity moments, the friggin “secrets” plot device that get old, and too many illuminati groups as villains, it doesn’t feel the same. I know shows sometimes change over time so as not to get stale and repetitive, but Arrow has taken such a 180, ppl aren’t sure what to make of it anymore. I still think that season 5 should be about Green Arrow against the criminal underworld, because while it is great the show has been more embracing of its superhero stuff, I think that’s what partly led to it getting meh and losing focus on what made it great in the first place. That’s why there are other shows in the Arrowverse like Flash and LOT and alongside it like Supergirl and others in DC’s multiverse, so that there are different stories exploring different aspects of their respective worlds and universes. I hope the creators realize that at least and make the show awesome again.

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