What Dinah Laurel Lance Means To Me

(Potential major spoilers ahead based off of set pictures, rumors, and confirmed paparazzi sightings on the Arrow and The Flash set, so read ahead if you dare.)

Let’s face it, at this point, it’s very obvious that Dinah Laurel Lance is going to be the one in the grave on Arrow. Multiple sites reported that 4×19 was the Katie Cassidy’s last day on set, where she was present filming a flashback funeral, but not seen in the present day funeral, so there’s really no point in denying it anymore.

A Green Arrow television show is killing off the Black Canary, a character most comic book fans would say is more iconic than the Green Arrow himself. This Dinah Laurel Lance, or “Laurel,” is a different, original incarnation of the Black Canary, but she still captures the essence of her comic counterpart.

She’s been a lawyer since we met her in the pilot episode: always searching and fighting for justice, which led her down a heartbreaking path. But perhaps the storyline that sold her, or broke her, for fans, was her depression and alcoholism story in season two. When Sara returned, Laurel went down a long, dark path of booze and drugs, unable to cope with her feelings for her sister, who “died” sleeping with her boyfriend. Laurel wasn’t able to cope with the anger, because they both supposedly died, and she couldn’t cope with her grief because she was so angry. This path solidified Laurel as a hero, but she had yet to earn the Black Canary mantle.

Season three saw Sara dead and Laurel dealing with the other emotion she felt the first time: anger. Instead of receding back to alcoholism, Laurel channeled her anger into fighting and the law. She trained with Ted Grant to defend herself and learn to protect those she loves, while she used the justice system as her way of helping Oliver defend the city. But when he disappeared and the city was in peril, she suited up. She had enough training to join Roy, Diggle, and Felicity, and help protect the city. She became the infamous Black Canary. It was a struggle for her to step up to becoming a hero, but Laurel Lance was always trying to save the world and protect everyone. And the entire story was so poorly written. Laurel had taken years of self-defense classes, but couldn’t punch a man in the face without stumbling? Really?

Laurel stepped into the shoes of her comic counterpart, and though they were similar in many ways, they were not equal, though I believe that Arrow’s version does Dinah justice, regardless of the poor writing surrounding her character. At least she’s not a cheap counterfeit of Batman, but that’s not my business.

Laurel struggled so much with getting Oliver to accept her new role as a hero, and when he finally did, the scene was deleted, and we didn’t see it happen. Instead, he took off into the sunset with Felicity, leaving Diggle, Thea, and Laurel, to protect Star City. When they couldn’t without his help, he reluctantly returned, and Black Canary was once again pushed to the background. Now, she’s had hardly any story in season four, other than resurrecting her sister and getting demonized by Oliver and the fandom for that choice, and she’s being killed off of the show.

Laurel Lance has been through so much: she’s dealt with her sister’s death, twice, her parents divorcing, her boyfriend dying, her dead boyfriend returning, almost being killed multiple times, and finding out that Thea, who is basically her sister, was brainwashed and killed Sara, her actual sister. Laurel went through her dark time of depression, and dealt with it the only way she knew how: through booze and pills, but she found her way out. She helped her father overcome his addiction. She helped Oliver realize who he was and helped him survive on the island, in a picture that he carried for five years, though that conveniently disappeared from canon, too.

Killing her off means destroying a symbol of bravery, hope, courage, and strength, for so many fans, including myself, that looked to her through our own depression, or understood the loss of losing a sister or anyone close to you. Killing her off means undoing all of the good that her story did for fans of the show, and blatantly disrespecting the source material, even more than Arrow already has.

Dinah Laurel Lance, the Arrow incarnation, means so much to the story and fans, it is a shame that they would kill off the one character that had made remarkable character growth in four seasons. They already had pushed her to the background, and now, as Katie Cassidy was seen on The Flash set for episode 2×22, rumors are circling that she’ll be playing Earth-2’s Black Canary, but I’m not even sure I want that. I love Katie Cassidy, she is a phenomenal actress, but part of the reason Laurel Lance was such an incredible character was her tragic backstory, and the relationships she had with the team, and with her family. Introducing a fraud of the character, and if fans get their wish, bringing her to Earth-1 permanently for a role on either Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, or The Flash, would ruin the incredible dynamics we have between Laurel and the other characters. Never again will we get to see Laurel and Quentin’s amazing, heartfelt scenes, that keeps Arrow balanced with tender, family moments, since Oliver has all but forgotten his sister exists.

Dinah Laurel Lance is important to Arrow, and I wish the writers would have seen that.

Arrow continues Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.


  1. Thank you for this article. Despite the show’s appalling treatment of their leading lady, Laurel has been a bright spot in a very disappointing series. Katie has brought it to the fullest with what she has been given, she has dedicated herself to this role, not only emotional, but physically, and put in incredible effort to bring Laurel to life. While being pushed to the background, she managed to make Laurel’s journey the truest and most remarkable on the show. She means so much to me, and to everyone, who has ever suffered a loss, who has ever battled their inner demons, she is proof that you can rise above all the crap life throws your way, even when people who are supposed to be family are not there to support you. To kill her is to show everyone struggling that their fight is not worth it, that we are all doomed to an unfair end. I am heartbroken that this show could do this, not only to Laurel, not only to Laurel’s fans, but to Katie, who they have mistreated for the entirety of the series. This is what happens when showrunners decided to let pandering and cheap fanservice dictate their show, this is what happens when incompetent people are left in charge. I am livid, I am devastated. Laurel Lance deserves better. Laurel fans deserve better. Katie Cassidy deserves better.

  2. “This Dinah Laurel Lance, or “Laurel,” is a different, original incarnation of the Black Canary, but she still captures the essence of her comic counterpart.”
    That is some David Irving level revisionism right there. It’s genuinely bizarre that people who attack Arrow for not “following the comics” are apologists for the character who’s most removed from her illustrated counterpart. Let’s take a look and see what the two have in common: skills-no, occupation-no, backstory-no, character struggles-no, relationships-no, personality-big no. Pretty much everything is a radical departure from any major version of the character that has ever been published in the comics. It makes me think that the online Laurel Lance cult isn’t a fanbase of DC comics as they pretend, but people who seem to obsess over Katie Cassidy. As an actress I find Cassidy fraught, stiff, and largely devoid of onscreen charisma. I’ll never understand how she managed this vicious fanbase.

    “though I believe that Arrow’s version does Dinah justice”
    As I’ve shown, no one who’s actually read this character could honestly make this claim. Writing things like this makes it seem like you’re making a bad joke.

    “At least she’s not a cheap counterfeit of Batman”
    Cheap shot. But it’s also a bit ironic, because this has actually been a major part of Green Arrow’s identity since the very beginning. The comics are often quite meta about this.

    “blatantly disrespecting the source material, even more than Arrow already has.”
    Green Arrow is a character who’s been reimagined dozens of times by dozens of writers. This reimagine isn’t anymore radical than Flash or Legends, you’re just cherry-picking information because your fav is dying. Maybe just find better favs.

    “Dinah Laurel Lance, the Arrow incarnation, means so much to the story and fans, it is a shame that they would kill off the one character that had made remarkable character growth in four seasons.”
    They shouldn’t kill her off because she has fans? Have you no sense of tragedy? Do the world a favor and don’t ever write drama.

    “Dinah Laurel Lance is important to Arrow, and I wish the writers would have seen that.”
    She’s been, without question, the most inconsistent, poorly realized and generally obnoxious character for four years. Personally, I’m glad the writers finally realized that. Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow can always take credit for breathing new life and popularity into a fairly obscure DC character. And Cassidy’s Black Canary can finally be relegated to the dustbin of bad DC interpretations along with Shaquille O’Neal’s Steel and Halle Berry’s Catwoman.

    Well played Arrow writers.

  3. I am a huge Birds of Prey fan and I have always liked the Black Canary. I am also a huge Green Arrow fan and always liked him better than Batman. I enjoy this version of Arrow and the fact that it feels no need to be a slave to the comics. I think what annoys me the most about this article is the snark directed at Arrow who is the main character it his story the show is not called the Black Canary. Oliver has not forgotten his sister Thea or anything else he is accused off.

    I really don’t want anyone to die I like all the characters. All of them have had been through their own hells and worked so hard to over come them. It will be hard to see Laurel die after everything she has gone through to become the person she is. But that would be true of any of them.

    I get that you are not a fan of the Felicity romance with Oliver but like Chloe on Smallville the producers have proven that you can add to new characters to the canon and make them work. I don’t see that has pandering at all but it is something fans whine about when they don’t like something about the show that other fans like.

    Maybe I am not so upset because I am not just a Laurel fan I am a fan of all the characters and except for Oliver I think every last one of them are expendable. They are in a dangerous business and sometimes that danger kills you. My hope is that if it is Laurel that she gets a warrior death and goes out fighting taking bad guys with her.

  4. Sadly, this article is irrelevant as most of the people who watch arrow have never read a comic book in their lives, and therefore don’t really care about Laurel’s death in quite the same way. Sure, some people will be sad..but the show will go on. And I for one, am really looking forward to the character developments that will bounce off of Laurel’s death. Bottom line, it’s a tv show that is LOOSELY based off the comics, and the writers have done so poorly with Laurel’s character throughout the whole season, to the point of her being a nuiscance and annoying at times, that it’s practically a mercy to kill her at tbis point, to her and viewers. But what do I know? As long as Oliver Queen can still talk in a growly voice on the salmon ladder and put arrows in people, I’m game. Not watching arrow because Laurel is no longer present is asinine and will do no good. It probably won’t even affect viewer counts in the slightest. It’s a show called Arrow, not the Black Canary.

    1. Green Arrow without Black Canary doesn’t make any sense. And no, not watching because they killed BC wont be a “minority”. People are rightly pissed off.

  5. Like damn! Olicity fans are so salty. Let laurel fans be! U still find the need to comment on a LAUREL post.

    I started watching this show for Laurel, and she’s gonna be the reason I exit Arrow. A huge mistake and a huge slap in the face to Katie and her fans. She deserved so much. She gave so much and she got death in return.

  6. The Black Canary we had the last two episodes should have been the Black Canary we should have had this entire time. The writers didnt know what to do with her character…. AWFUL wtitting! for what? no purpose at all!! loved she told the truth to Oliver, hated ste told him to go back to Felicity…. I hope they explain us why she died (heart? complication?).. Congrats to Katie Cassidy for giving her best to this character despite being written so awful. #NoLaurelNoArrow

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