I have made it abundantly and overtly clear that this is, personally, the most strenuous and worrying period of CW’s Arrow for me as an audience member.
The writers have taken the ballsy, and somewhat commendable, decision to remove Oliver Queen from present day Starling City to focus on Laurel Lance’s rise to become the Black Canary.
In doing so she would inherit the costume and moniker from her ill-fated sister Sara Lance and provide her city with “justice you can’t run from” – god knows how long she spent in front of the mirror practicing that awful line.
Alas the eleventh episode of Arrow Season 3 came and went and I realised that, unlike every other weekly episode, I had subconsciously put it off for days. I didn’t want to watch an episode of Arrow that left me frustrated and annoyed at the writers and the show they’ve created – incidentally a show I adore and follow religiously.
It is with great heft and disappoint that I write this negative post because for the first time, the Arrow writers have taken their first misstep.
Laurel’s transformation from whiney and annoying sister to expertly trained vigilante was poorly handled in many contexts.
The writers got Laurel wrong from the pilot. She should have been a character we admire and love so when she took over as Canary, we would approve. But they made Sara more believable, lovable and realistic as opposed to Laurel who seems to be alcoholic, hormonal and suicidal all at once.
At one point, I argued that to get Laurel right the writers of the show, and indeed The Flash, have to move the entire shared TV universe forward by 6 months. It would then be revealed that Laurel has been training with Oliver/anyone else with expert martial arts to get to where she is today. Instead we are led to believe a few boxing lessons here, a costume there and an arrow cave makes you an adept crime-fighting vigilante.
What makes the Laurel-pocalypse even worse is that the next two episodes will continue her annoying, unbelievable and ludicrous character arc. And to top it all off, she’ll probably become a member of the Arrow cave and overtake Arsenal as Ollie’s sidekick, just as I’ve become attuned to and grown to love Roy Harper.
Unlike other high profile audience members of Arrow, I belive the writer’s have earned our trust. They deserve our attention and they deserve to make a few mistakes. I can learn to put the character of Laurel, I wont call her Canary, behind me but I hope that, sooner rather than later, the writers realise that Arrow should focus on Diggle, Merlin, Roy even Captain Lance before they relinquish episodes to the charisma and excitement vacuum that is Laurel Lance.