A lot has happened in the second half of Season 4 of Arrow, and the biggest gamechanger has definitely been the death of Laurel Lance as the Black Canary. Her death worked as both the logical culmination of Damien Darhk’s threats against the good guys and the drive for Team Arrow to honor her memory against Darhk's forces. Of course, Arrow is still Arrow, and it’s been hard not to wonder if a resurrection is on the way for Laurel. Arrow star Stephen Amell has an answer for us, and it’s a resounding “no.”
Stephen Amell dropped his big “no” during an interview with Larry King on Larry King Now. He didn’t waffle or tease or imply; he just said no. Frankly, Amell flatly stating that Laurel is dead and gone for good is probably the best way that the aftermath of her death can be handled.
Arrow has a history of bringing back dead and/or seemingly dead characters. Even when Nyssa awesomely took out the Lazarus Pit that resurrected Sara and restored Thea, it wasn’t necessarily enough of a guarantee that Laurel wouldn’t be brought back in some way or another. Throw in the time travel shenanigans from Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash that have been used to undo deaths, and a resurrection for Laurel was definitely a possibility. We needed to hear the "no."
That said, Arrow did go to some pretty extreme lengths to emphasize that Laurel is really, totally, 100% super dead. Nyssa explicitly ruled out the possibility of a backup Lazarus Pit, and Oliver literally had Laurel’s corpse pulled out of cold storage to show her father. The show did everything short of mummifying her onscreen to assure viewers that this was one death that will stick. Hopefully, Stephen Amell’s statement that Laurel is not going to be resurrected will be enough to convince any who still held out hope that she’s really gone for good. Saying goodbye to characters isn’t always easy, but definitive closure can certainly help.
Laurel’s death doesn’t necessarily mean that Katie Cassidy will never reprise the character in some form or other. She appeared in Arrow flashbacks in the episode immediately following Laurel's death, and she’ll be playing an alternate Laurel in an upcoming episode of The Flash. Even Legends of Tomorrow could toy with the Flarrow-verse timelines enough to bring Laurel back for an episode without actually bringing her back.
Arrow killing off Laurel and leaving her dead is exactly what the show needs in order to restore the finality of death. The stakes just haven’t felt all that high ever since the show started reversing deaths, so it’s been hard to get too nervous about the fates of the good guys. The big death that has been built since the Season 4 premiere needed to stick no matter what. Laurel needs to stay dead, and it’s promising to know that Arrow is keeping her in the grave. We can say for sure that she won’t be forgotten; the show still needs to reveal what she whispered to Oliver in her final moments.
The fourth season of Arrow is hurtling toward its finale, so be sure to tune in to The CW on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET to see how Team Arrow continues to fight to honor Laurel’s memory. Also, don’t forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule.