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Warning: Spoilers are ahead for the Season 5 premiere of Arrow. Stop reading if you still need to catch up on the episode.
Thanks to the Arrow Season 5 premiere we finally know what Laurel's final words to Oliver were right before she died last season. And, those words were pretty cool. Being the Black Canary really did toughen Laurel up, because even while she was in the hospital fighting for her life, she was thinking of other people. Here's what she said to Oliver as he sat by her bed:
Please...please don't let me be the last Canary. That way, a part of me will always be out there with you.
Heavens. My eyes are tearing up just thinking about that scene again. The premiere featured a lot of running and gunning and Oliver going it alone on the rough streets of Star City without his crime-fighting vigilante team alongside him. Something else that the premiere featured was a return to Oliver's Season 1 behavior of straight up killing bad guys he came into contact with. After he, in his daytime guise as the mayor, was kidnapped by new baddie Tobias Church, we saw Oliver kill several of Tobias' minions without thinking twice about it.
Thea reluctantly suits up as Speedy to help get her brother out of trouble, witnesses his actions and is surprised by his turn back to the killing side of vigilante life. When she confronts him about it, he says that Laurel is the reason he's taking a lot fewer prisoners now. He explains that if he'd killed Damien Darhk during any of the times he had the opportunity to do so, that Laurel would still be alive. Thea told him that he needs to stop using Laurel's death as an excuse for his actions, but I doubt he's going to be able to take that message to heart any time soon with guilt eating away at him.
Laurel's final words to Oliver make it sound a lot like she knew she wouldn't be going back into the field with him to fight crime, even though it looked, for a time, like she would be able to recover from her injury. Why else would Laurel talk about the desire to always have a part of her out there in the night working alongside Oliver? I also think Laurel was really concerning herself with Oliver's well-being, and the people of Star City with her words. She and Oliver went way back, and she knew him well enough to know that he would blame himself for what happened to her. She probably realized that if he could concern himself with training a replacement for her at some point, that it would help him get over losing her. Plus, she knew that he'd be down a valuable member of Team Arrow, so getting someone to replace her would help him fight crime better.
I'm certainly glad that Arrow didn't make us wait until well into Season 5 to let us in on what Laurel said to Oliver in those fateful moments. The show managed to give us words that were fitting from the character and that were worth being part of the premiere episode storyline. You can see how Laurel's legacy continues to drive Oliver when Arrow airs Wednesdays on The CW.