I must preface this post with massive spoiler warnings. Do not read this post if you have yet to see up to and including Arrow Season 3 Episode 9.
Now, if you have seen Arrow Season 3 Episode 9 then you will know the Winter break finale ends with an epic sword battle to the death between a ripped Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and a hulking Ra’s Al Ghul (Matt Nable).
The fantastic fight choreography aside the episode ended and hinged on the final few shots – that of Ra’s Al Ghul stabbing Oliver Queen through the torso and kicking him off the cliff edge.
Fans, including myself, were shocked and silent for a good few minutes, as the show’s lead seemed to have been killed off. Then common sense took over and told us that The CW would not have built a character and his mythos for over 50 episodes to go and kill him halfway through its third season.
So if that’s not why I’m worried, what is it that’s worrying me?
Well, Stephen Amell, the underrated and always improving man that plays Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow recently let slip that we may not see him for a few episodes this season.
Whilst I suspect we will see Oliver via flashbacks to his Hong Kong adventures, I believe the notion he will be absent from present day sequences.
I’d go as far as to say that Oliver Queen will be absent from present day for as much as 3 episodes as the writers foolishly focus on Laurel Lance’s rise to Black Canary status.
Yes, Laurel Lance is the Black Canary in the comics but make no mistake, this iteration of Laurel is very different to that of the comics.
I will have a hard time believing Laurel taking up the Canary mantle after 3 episodes of training unless the 3 episodes span a number of months of grueling training and I don’t think they’ll do that unless they also move forward The Flash’s timeline as they occupy the same universe.
Essentially, what the writers are doing with the momentary death of Oliver Queen is shifting the focus towards Black Canary and that is a very contentious thing to do when the character is extremely divisive.
To some Laurel Lance is the true Canary and the current character arc that she is travelling on is not only natural but also lifted from the comics.
To others Sara Lance is the better-developed character and more feasible Canary due to her training by the League of Assassins. Essentially, Laurel is just a whiney spoilt sister who has anger issues and some boxing training which she thinks will help her survive on the streets.
Granted, can Laurel Lance’s Black Canary kick my ass? Most definitely she can. But can she hold her own alongside her sister’s Canary, Roy Harper’s Mirakuru induced Arsenal or even the newly trained Thea Queen? Not by any stretch of the imagination … unless the writer’s take a massive leap of reality.
This is why I’m worried for Arrow – they will focus 3 of their episodes on Laurel Lance, a character not loved by many, on her Black Canary transformation, which not many people are ready to accept and all this without the undervalued Stephen Amell at the ship’s helm.
After almost 50 episodes of Amell as the lead we can often forget how is the show’s great centerpiece because of the frankly great supporting cast. Well, I think the next 3 episodes of Arrow will show us how much we need him and how much we hate Laurel Lance.
I hope I’m wrong – I hope the writers surprise me. I hope Laurel surprises me. I’m just worried they wont be able to do it.