Since the beginning of the fourth season of “Arrow”, there has been a major character death teased. The only person we know for sure wasn’t in the grave was Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow, who is the main character. Later in the season, viewers learned that another person who was not in the grave was Felicity Smoak, the tech guru of the cast. Finally on the most recent episode which was titled, “11:59”, we learned that it was Dinah Laurel Lance who was the person that died. She was killed by the main antagonist of the season, Damian Darhk, after being stabbed with an arrow. Arguably this character death was heavily foreshadowed within the episode so it did not come as a surprise. Unfortunately this was the straw the broke the camel’s back and has left a bad taste in my mouth concerning the show.
When the show first premiered, Laurel Lance was the female lead of the show. However with the introduction of Felicity Smoak who was introduced as having instant chemistry with Oliver Queen and brought a lightheartedness to the show, Laurel was slowly phased out of being the lead of the show. Once the second season premiered, her character was portrayed as being erratic and became an alcoholic. There were story reasons as to why she was acting the way that she was but one could argue that the storyline wasn’t as strong compared to the other storylines going on at the time. Another hurdle was the introduction of her believed to be dead sister who now operated as The Canary. This character was greatly more popular. One could see why as she was introduced as a superhero and took part in the action with the main character and had a devil may care attitude. There was also the tricky situation of a character who doesn’t agree with the main character and many people are quick to attack those types of character. Unfortunately, Laurel was one of those characters. By the end of the second season, she learned the secret of Oliver Queen and the producers of the show hinted that she would finally become The Black Canary in the next season.
The third season, Laurel’s sister was killed off in the first episode and she soon began taking boxing lessons so as not to feel like a victim. Her former alcoholism still played a part and was brought up and not swept under the rug which was appreciated. After an incident, which Oliver Queen was presumed dead, Laurel took up the costumed identity of Black Canary. She was clearly out of her league but it was written in story as her being out of her league. Eventually the character accelerated in skill very fast and many took offense to that trait. However, there were never complaints when characters such as Roy Harper or Thea Queen who became excellent archers and martial artists over the breaks between the seasons. It was interesting to see a character take baby steps into being a superhero. However, many took offense to her character and troubles still continue to plague her character as many still could not connect.
Finally in the fourth season, Laurel’s character took another turn. She became an established hero in between the breaks of the superhero and many started to like the character. Things took a turn once again when the character decided to resurrect her sister who was going to be a character on the spinoff show, “Legends of Tomorrow”. A trait that has plagued the character since the beginning is her hypocrisy which people tend to cling their hate onto despite many of the characters of the shows being hypocrites especially the main character of the show. The character remained in turmoil but in the past few episodes, things started to turn around. Her role as a district attorney was highlighted and many were happy to see that more about her life was being explored. Looking back, one could see that they were prepping people for the character’s death and wanting to do more with her before she was ultimately killed off.
My main issue is how the producers obviously never knew what to do with the character. Either she was pushed into the background or her storylines on the show never seemed to gel with people and leading people to dislike her character. Her character death came off as very reactionary as if the producers just wanted to kill off the character they did not know what to do with. Black Canary is one of the most popular characters within the DC Universe and one of the most popular female superheroes. It is unfortunate that she never got her due on the show. Hopefully now that the character is no longer on the show, maybe the character can prosper on the big screen. There have been rumors of a “Birds of Prey” movie for a while and it would definitely be a great showcase for a great character.