Thursday, 7 April 2016

Jesi Max

'Arrow' bosses weigh in on 'devastating' grave reveal

We now know who was in the mysterious grave on the CW’s Arrow.

Since the season premiere, we knew someone close to Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was going to bite the dust and Wednesday night, we found out the much-teased grave belonged to his former lover, Laurel Lance (played by Katie Cassidy).

While it looked like Laurel might pull through after being stabbed by villain Damien Darhk (Neil McDonough), she suddenly had a seizure in front of Oliver that would end up doing her in. Before dying, however, she said something in his ear that the audience was not privy to hear.

The taking down of the A.D.A. also prompted the return of Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), who had been absent for most of the episode after Olicity broke up, and, finally, we found out that despite the objections of Diggle (David Ramsey), his brother, Andy (Eugene Byrd), was indeed working with Darhk and not reformed in the least.

It was a packed episode.

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Earlier this week, the pivotal hour was followed by a Q&A with Cassidy, Paul Blackthorne (Quentin Lance) and executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendie Mericle, who shed some light on the decision to kill off Laurel and how, in a world filled with flashbacks, alt universes and doppelgängers, we may see her again.

Why Laurel?


“We started off this year with the promise of a death,” Guggenheim explained, “and we worked our way through our various different creative choices, we realized that the thing that will give us the most pop [creatively], going into the end of the season and into next season, unfortunately would be Laurel.”

He confirmed when asked that Laurel’s death is not a “fake death” and, according to Mericle, we won’t find out what Laurel said to Oliver until Season 5.

As for the scene where Laurel tells the team how much she loves them just before she dies, Cassidy admitted there wasn't much acting to be done. "That scene was definitely so real, shooting it, because it was my saying goodbye to the team and all of us ... it definitely wasn’t difficult for me to get to that emotional point."

"For sure it was hard, but it was very real and it was good, it was genuine,” she said.

Reflecting on the last four seasons on Arrow, Cassidy fought back tears as she talked of a defining moment for Laurel.

“I remember trying on the [Black Canary] jacket and I’d been waiting for that moment and I think that, for me, was sort of the turning point.”

She added that the show graciously let her keep the Black Canary jacket and mask as a memento of her time playing the character. The Aftermath

Guggenheim and Mericle both insisted Laurel’s death will be huge for the remaining characters, and we’ll see that play out in the rest of the current season and into the next.

"I will say that the episodes that we’ve written in the aftermath, they're devastating, and they're meant to be," Mericle explained. "Unfortunately, big moves like this will open up new storytelling avenues and will force our characters to re-think their decisions and to rethink their objectives."

Of course, everyone will feel the pain of Laurel’s death but a few will feel the pangs of guilt a bit more sharply.

"I would say the biggest consequences emotionally are felt by Thea and by Diggle," Guggenheim said. "Of course, Oliver, Felicity and Lance, everyone’s having their own reactions, but Diggle — you can draw a straight-ish line from his decisions in this episode to Laurel’s death. And that’s certainly a fact that’s not lost on him."

What About Sara Lance?

Even though Laurel’s sister, Sara, is off time traveling on freshman spin-off Legends of Tomorrow, we will see her find out about Laurel’s passing. In fact, just as it will open up story for the Arrow characters, it will do the same over at Legends and will include a cross-over appearance by Blackthorne.

"We [are] not going to shy away from this development, as far as Sara’s character is concerned," Guggenheim said. "Paul was very gracious to lend his time to Legends to really allow us to explore that."

Black Canary's Future

Moreover, given how someone new often takes the mantel for a fallen hero in the DC Universe, it’s possible we could see someone else step into the Black Canary outfit. In fact, Guggenheim teased, “we’ll play with that notion in Episode 19 ... I think we lean into it pretty strongly in 19, but that doesn’t always mean that the person is a hero."

That begs the question, of course: Could Felicity’s return have something to do with what we’ll see of Black Canary in the next episode? Mericle would only say, "I can tell you this that [Laurel’s death] will definitely have a big impact on her character and that if you think about Felicity and what she would do in the wake of something like this, I leave you to draw your own conclusions."

In fact, she said, all the remaining characters will be compelled to right this wrong in their own way.

Not The End of Laurel?

While we may not see her back on Arrow anytime soon, Guggenheim revealed that we’ll soon be seeing the Earth 2 version of Laurel on spin-off, The Flash, and in the second season of the animated Vixen series on CW Seed.

“Death does not mean goodbye, on any of these shows, but we’ve made a creative choice and we’re sticking to it,” he said.

And given we haven’t really seen the end of Laurel in the “Arrow-verse” (as Guggenheim calls it), what does that mean for using death in story since there are so many loopholes that keeps death from being permanent?

Guggenheim explained, “We definitely recognize, across all three shows, that when we kill off a character, it means something different now. I’m not gonna put a qualitative judgment on whether it is more or less impactful, I’ll leave that to the audience and to you guys, but certainly we acknowledge that there’s a difference.”

Jesi Max

About Jesi Max -

A writer and entrepreneur who works on the marketing and strategy side of fashion. In particular, her writing and professional work focuses on the art of narrative marketing and branding as it applies to fashion and luxury. She also is the author of TheStyleClash.com, a new blog that looks at fashion from an intellectual perspective.

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