Arrow, Season 4, Episode 18 “Eleven-Fifty-Nine”
Like it or not, it appears we have a winner in the “Who’s in the ‘six months later’ grave?” sweepstakes.
With Felicity already out the door, Team Arrow is starting to come apart at the seams. Ollie is all broody and unsure where Damien Darhk is headed next. Thea’s battle of wills with Malcom hits a new level of intensity. Laurel is pondering a huge promotion that would take her off the team. Diggle is defending his brother from Ollie’s misgivings. Then it all goes to hell from there.
The Big Deal
Ding dong Laurel Lance is dead or so they want you to believe. Just two days
from retirement a promotion to District Attorney, Laurel decides to put her mask and bondage gear on one more time to thwart Darhk’s breakout attempt under the cover of a prison riot. Unfortunately for all involved, Merlin and Andrew Diggle conspire to bring the pieces of the totem that is the source of Darhk’s power into the prison. Darhk shrugs off a couple of arrows to the torso from Thea before going getting back to full power. Before leaving, Darhk sends a message about betrayal to Capt. Lance via an arrow into Laurel’s liver and lung. Ollie rushes Laurel to the hospital where she becomes stable enough to talk to the team (Felicity included). Ollie refuses to leave Laurel’s bedside and they have a heart-to-heat alone in her room where she professes her undying true love for Oliver and asks him for a promise. This is where the door cracks open for it to be some kind of elaborate ruse. The camera pans outside the room to show Ollie and Laurel talking, then cuts to Team Arrow down the hall collecting their emotions and figuring out their next step. All hell breaks loose when the doctors rush the crash cart into Laurel’s room because she’s inexplicably flat-lined with only Ollie in the room. The rest of the team comes in to see the unsuccessful attempt to revive Laurel. She is pronounced dead and the team falls apart.
On the Side
Ollie and Diggle have had more spats this season than a pair of six graders. Most of it has been over the relative untrustworthiness of Diggle’s brother, Andrew. Diggle believes his brother has overcome his evil ways and Ollie isn’t sure which side of the fence Andrew is on. So the battle rages, endangering an already creaky friendship. During the final battle, Andrew shows his true colors by giving Darhk the missing piece to his totem and betraying his brother yet again. The battle against Dahk is now about as personal as it gets — Thea’s biodaddy and Diggle’s brother are in Darhk’s corner along with Felicity estranged from the team and Laurel in the grave.
Observation and Speculation
* So is Laurel really dead? Her sister, Sara was also really dead for the better part of a season before a bath in the Lazarus Pit corrected that situation. Right now everyone involved is saying the right things. Both Katie Cassidy and Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim told TVLine.com about how the decision to kill the character off was agonizing and how Cassidy’s final scene was difficult on her. Both are talking with the kind of finality that leads one to believe that Cassidy’s days on the show are over. However, Black Canaries have been proven to be difficult to kill on this show and thanks to The Flash, time and dimensional travel are on the table. However, not hearing the favor Laurel asked, leaves the possibility of skullduggery with Oliver open. Ollie generally likes to have an ace up his sleeve at crunch time and Laurel might be it this time around.
* Star City might have a new mayor in Mrs. Darhk but it wasn’t a resounding victory. Ollie got 48 percent of the vote on write ins. Queen for Mayor in 2020.
* There were Island flashbacks again. Laurel even remarked about how much Oliver likes to talk about the place. It’s a shame he can only remember the place about 90 seconds at a time or he might have found a way to keep Laurel from getting skewered. But there was some progress in at least setting up what next season’s flashbacks are going to be, so there’s that.
* If this villainy thing doesn’t work out Merlyn can make a great living testing high-end security systems. No lock can keep the man out.
Words to Live By
“You took the words right out of my mouth.” – Thea. Not one of her best one-liners of late, but a good enough after plugging Darhk with a couple of arrows.
At least we know who the bad guy killed, unlike some other shows we could mention. This episode needed the Laurel plot twist to push it out of mediocrity. Arrow has been setting up Darhk’s apocalyptic endgame for what seems like an eternity and made stretches of this episode drag. The games with Merlyn and Andrew were interesting but not completely compelling. The fight scenes were solid as usual which helped. The stuff with Laurel at the end gave the show the narrative jolt it needs to power its final five episodes of the season to the finish.