'Arrow' Recap: The Tombstone Revealed

·Writer

Warning: This recap for the “Eleven-Fifty-Nine” episode of Arrow contains spoilers.

All season long, we’ve been laying odds on who is under the tombstone that appeared in the first episode. The producers promised that the death would be meaningful and — with no more Lazarus Pit — permanent. We thought it would be William; we thought it would be Quentin; we thought it would be Andy. For just a moment, we wondered if it would be Felicity, but we never expected what we saw tonight.

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The Plot

Oliver and company go to Ruvé’s mayoral acceptance speech where she offers Laurel the position of district attorney. Taking the job means she’ll be able to keep an eye on Ruvé, but it also means she’d have to give up being Black Canary. While Oliver and Diggle stop the hijacking of a missile shipment, Merlyn steals the idol from Thea and Laurel in the Arrow Bunker — though it is missing a crucial piece. Oliver suspects Andy is a traitor, but Diggle won’t believe him. Darhk starts a riot at the prison and takes hostages. Team Arrow shows up, but it’s a trap: Andy figured out where the final idol piece was and gives it to Darhk. Fully powered, Darhk stabs Laurel before he escapes. She makes it to the hospital and the surgeons predict a full recovery, but suddenly she goes into seizures and at 11:59, Laurel Lance dies.

The Flashback

Oliver and Taiana assault the prison block and release the prisoners. They know they can’t fight Baron Reiter when he has the power of the idol, so Oliver decides to bury him instead — setting off explosives that collapse the cave.

Wait… What?!

Yep, that’s it. Laurel Lance, there since day one, is dead. Despite all the lead up, it still managed to be a surprise. The team gets shot full of holes on a regular basis, so this didn’t seem like anything other than an ordinary hospital visit. But, of course, Damien Darhk is looking for payback, so this was anything but ordinary.

She gave a truly beautiful speech to Oliver — which should have been a dead giveaway. She’s been holding onto his old picture of her to remember when they were together. “Ollie, I may not be the love of your life, but you will always be the love of mine.” Moments later, doctors are rushing in and… 11:59.

It’s Season 4. The producers wanted to shake things up and they decided a major death was the way to go. So, given that someone was going to die: Was Laurel the right choice? Balancing heartbreak against the needs of a dramatic show, would you have picked her or someone else?

Darhk’s Ace in the Hole

Be honest: This was kind of Oliver’s fault, right? He pushed and pushed Diggle to take Andy back with open arms so that he could feel like redemption was possible. Then, at the last minute, he decides Andy’s no good and pushes Diggle to ice him out. It’s a shame because Diggle’s line to Ollie is spot-on and it’s probably going to get lost in Diggle’s own feelings of guilt: “Some of us grow. Some of us evolve. You are stuck, man. Stuck in your self-pity and your self-righteousness. And that is why Felicity left you.” Then again, Oliver had evolved, but somebody dragged him away from Ivy Town, so maybe it’s really Felicity’s fault…

Quiverful of Thoughts

* Merlyn’s plan can’t just be to bargain for protection from Genesis, right? Either he’s working his way into replacing Darhk at H.I.V.E. or he’s got a plan to steal the idol’s power himself? This is The Magician we’re talking about here.

* If Donna manages to keep Quentin away from the bottle after this, she will legitimately be a superhero and should immediately be instated as a member of Team Arrow.

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.