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Hello, Arrow Squad. Welcome back. We are so glad you are joining us for the discussion of this very poignant episode of Arrow. Yes, in this podcast we cover the events of Season 4 Episode 18 “Eleven Fifty-Nine”, which originally aired on Wednesday April 6, 2016. Due to real life, Podcast Overlord and I (Miss Ice) recorded the podcast on Wednesday evening right after the show ended and…emotions were high. I have no doubt that the two-week hiatus we now have before the next installment will see many shifts in my own perspective, as well as many of you.
What I didn’t really think about until after we turned off our mics was thinking about the events of this episode in scope of what has been going on with Felicity. I was very taken by how well executed this episode was that I sort of tabled the Felicity drama and zero-ed in on Laurel’s arc. Heroes, though, aren’t a product of an easy-going and balanced life, they’re forged from the pain and weight of their difficult experiences. If nothing else, this reminded us of Oliver’s past in a way we haven’t really thought about lately. He had a relationship with this woman, and even after loving Shado and cheating on Laurel with Sarah, still considered her “home” when marooned on Lian-Yu. It was just nice to be reminded of the bond they once had, and the fact that Laurel still considers him her first love. Or true love? I still need to rewatch the episode for the details.
Time of death: 11:59.
We knew a death was coming. To some, and many, it being Laurel was a shock. I heard a really good theory about it being Laurel in the grave at Heroes and Villains and so it’s been in the back of my mind for a couple weeks. Then, throughout this episode, felt like I saw it coming. Podcast Overlord had a different reaction entirely to the Laurel-centric details, which makes me think the theories I’d heard prior influenced my interpretation of events.
As Podcast Overlord said, we definitely don’t have to like this decision, we don’t have to like that we’ll no longer have this character on the show (or the actress!) but, in my own opinion and perception, I was pleased with the performances overall. The manner of her death, at the hands of Damien Darhk, will re-instill a sense of urgency in Oliver. Hopefully it won’t send him running back into the darkness, even though he claims that he never truly retreated from it, but I do hope that it reminds him of his reasons for putting on that mask.
What I will not enjoy is if this is somehow revealed to be a ruse. I know we’ve talked on the podcast before about that possibility, and I know I’ve expressed my opinion that I wouldn’t enjoy that, but now, more than ever, I am holding to that. For starters, if it is a ruse and given the context of the characters at the end of this episode (all experiencing shock and grief), I feel like we are exactly where we were a year ago when Oliver pledged his allegiance to Ra’s al Ghul and made his team think that he’d really given himself up to that mission. It cheapens it for me when the actors portray grief as a cover for faking Laurel’s death and I would feel very cheated. Perhaps this is do to recently experiencing a similar grief myself, or perhaps it is all that Arrow has put us through with deaths and resurrections, but the only two people who’ve stayed dead on this show, really, are Oliver’s parents.
As much as I don’t want to say goodbye to the character of Laurel Lance and this incarnation of the Black Canary, I would rather see character work through their grief and use it to press forward instead of it being a show in order to convince the villain of her demise. Whether it is just Oliver in on the ruse, or all of them, wouldn’t much matter, but we would really be back to a year ago if he was the only one in on it. How’s he going to seek forgiveness for this one?
The remaining 52% of people who voted for Ruve (or other write-ins) likely didn’t know that writing in Oliver’s name was even an option! What an interesting twist to the campaign story, one that I can’t help but wonder will come back around when/if Ruve is outed as Mrs. Evil. As Project Genesis comes to fruition and the people of Star City see who she really is, perhaps they will rise up against her. Or perhaps she will meet her own demise and Oliver will be offered the position when she’s put in the ground.
Either way, I feel like we haven’t finished with this storyline. Oliver may need to become the mayor if this show is going to manage a fifth season because, really, it’s a little more than weird he doesn’t have a day job. He can’t claim to be a rich playboy or a philanderer; he’s not rolling in cash; he’s not marrying rich. He’s just Oliver. Does he live in The Bunker? I know I’m talking about something pretty small in the scheme of things, but the advice he directed to Laurel about pursuing the path she was originally on was poignant enough for me to want to see him rejoin the world. What other options does he have at this point?
I’m sure they’ll surprise us. They often do.
Arrow returns in TWO weeks with episode 19 of season 4 (episode title TBA).
We recorded earlier than usual this week, but don’t let that deter you from reacting to this very heart-wrenching episode! We’ll all consume this episode differently, consume the events differently, and we want to respect all points-of-view. Please send us an email or voicemail by using our feedback page.