To the writers of Arrow,
This letter is regarding the recent death of Laurel Lance on Arrow. I'd like to understand the creative perspective of the show, and understand and respect your creative choices without bashing any other characters and focusing mainly on LL. So here it goes.
Firstly I'd like to congratulate you for a very solid few episodes. Especially 4x18, it was raw, emotional and heartfelt and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be speaking for only myself when I say I was genuinely touched. With that said I was also greatly disappointed and upset with the choice of Laurel to die.
From the very first season Laurel has been underused. Comic books and canons aside , because I do realise your works have originality and are meant to be creative interpretations, Laurel was a character that was almost always overlooked or forgotten about. Besides in S1 arguably where Laurel was mentioned a lot but only to serve as a love interest for Oliver.
Not taking anything away from Felicity or 'Olicity' but as S2 continued it seemed that in order for Felicity to rise to her full potential Laurel had to be pushed aside. S2 was a brilliant season full of success and characters progressed greatly in their own rights. Team Arrow now seemed to be a full fledged team, sara had returned, Diggle's was rekindling his relationship with Lyla, Thea had now become an independent businesswoman in her own right. Everyone was happy. Except Laurel who was on a steep slope downwards. Every character was coming into his or her own right finding themselves, and once again Laurel was lost. Despite her having the sympathy of many characters it seemed more pity than understanding on the behalf of many. Oliver was slowly detaching himself from Laurel as the friend and anchor he proved to be in s1 as he became more invested in the team. But any time he did try to be there for Laurel it wasn't at the disapproval of Diggle and Felicity who believed Oliver always put her needs above everyone else's. And I LOVE Diggle's character but where was this same condescending attitude when Oliver did the same with Felicity, time and time again. Not that there was anything wrong with him doing so for his fiance but still.
With that said of all and any characters who had not reached their prime and potential Laurel had to be the one. All her storylines besides her becoming the Canary (which wasn't for very long), either portrayed her in a negative light were to promote another character. Her scenes, when given were mostly with or about sara, who I believe had stolen Laurels identity of the canary and made it extremely hard for the audience to accept Laurel stepping in when she did.
Laurel unlike the other members of Team Arrow, did not have a chance to have her own villain. Or have a personal case when going out on the field. Diggle had his work with Argus and vendetta against deadshot. Thea had her bloodlust and her journey with Malcolm which was personal to her. Felicity had the calculator, cupid and even Bree. Laurel unfortunately didn't have the same. Laurel was constantly overlooked, even in S3 when oliver left to duel with Ra's he said goodbye to everyone but laurel and once again she was left in the dark.
Even small things like love interests and her moving on. Diggle had Carly then Lyla, Felicity had Ray they Oliver, Thea had Roy then Alex. Even Lance got to move on with Donna yet once again for some reason Laurel was overlooked stringing fans along. She mentioned Oliver being the love of her life on her deathbed, yet we got 2 or 3 episodes in s1 to verify that claim alongside a pining and longing for the remainder of the season. Even that story wasn't fully developed and many of us fans weren't asking for her to revisit that relaitionship, but to give both her and us closure by letting her move on to someone else. To let her story evolve not to be stranded. To allow her to be significant. Even as friends, her and Oliver and many scenes which didn't have full closure. Oliver didn't apologise to Laurel on her deathbed for the many times he had hurt her both pre Team Arrow and during it.
Once I again I understand your need for a shock factor with this death. And without trying to undermine your creative choices I, as do many other fans, do not believe this was the sole reason. Yes Laurel's death provides development material for many characters as well as the shock factor but so would have any other member of Team Arrow. I personally felt this was an attempt to shock the fans and not have the death upset too many people at the same time. Because Thea, Diggle's and even Felicity's deaths could've further propelled the storyline but it seems they were too much of fan favourites to kill off and they're would've have been an uproar. Laurel was only beginning to shine as the canary, her story was still untold, she hadn't reached her prime yet and was killed too early. And what hurt the most was she only got to be the character she deserved to be, heard as a moral compass and a significant part of the team just as she was about to die. Before then she was subject to the lack of support and understanding of many characters, especially Oliver who I do believe did not see her as an equal despite his 360 in attitude for the past 3 episodes. Never once did he apologise to her about being hypocritical about Nanda Parbat. Or lying to her about William when she even called him out on it. Or going the my way or highway approach with her telling her she knew where the door is if she didn't like the way he thought. It just felt like Laurel deserved to hear a lot more from Oliver on her deathbed than him questioning why she was telling him she loved him.
What I'm trying to say is I know that whats done cannot be undone. I understand there is no coming back from this death. It's permanent and will stick. But the figure of the canary is one that will leave an irreplaceable hole on the show. Not just on the team but in the DA's office. With that said please don't allow her death to be in vain, or let her be forgotten. E1 laurel is gone but don't let katie leave our screens. Allow E2 Dinah to fulfill what E1 laurel never had the chance to.
Many upset fans