Here's the thing for me... I liked the first two seasons. I liked the show being serious, the fight scenes being well choreographed and all of that. The characters had some issues, but overall, I liked it. They committed to the show, so it was comic-booky enough, but you could tell that they actually took it seriously. And the arc of the first two seasons, with Slade, was nicely done. The group dynamic was nice. There were layers to the Oliver/Felicity relationship. I liked having her swoon over him while he just kinda tolerated it. He relied on her and loved her, but it wasn't wishy-washy. And Diggle was an equal partner then.
I didn't like that they were holding off telling Laurel's story for so long, because she was a series regular (and the female lead) and not having a clear arc for her was just unacceptable. For two years, she had nothing but placeholder plotlines. But it was okay, because it was leading somewhere and we all knew it.
Then season 3 happened and they stopped taking the show seriously. They stopped caring about trying to make the plots feel plausible. Oliver became completely incompetent as a fighter and strategist. Felicity was moved into the role of female lead, which she has no business being. They stripped the Oliver/Felicity dynamic of every layer it had and made it into the most bland pairing on TV... it is essentially what was wrong with Laurel in the first two seasons. They're forcing something that doesn't feel right. Diggle can't possibly be an equal in the Oliver/Felicity relationship, as he once was.
The show has become more about servicing fangirls than it is about the stories. The producers think of Black Canary fans as a "vocal minority", which shows how little they even think about the comic books anymore. The team never wins a fight, because they have to fight the same enemy week after week, for a whole year (no more villains of the week). Oliver has to be dumbed down in order to make room for the rest of the team. An the writers care about the stories they're telling so little that small things like Oliver being stabbed through the chest and thrown off a cliff, or Damien's totem being smashed, are completely forgotten.
My issue isn't really about hating Felicity or loving Laurel. It's about wanting to smack the writers in the face for blowing a job that so many writers would LOVE to have the chance to take on. They just don't care, and I sinceriously don't understand why.
You look at Ra's on Legends of Tomorrow and he is actually interesting, in the few minutes that we actually see him. He is played as strong, but smart. He doesn't just kill because he's evil, he has thoughts and an understanding of what's happening. His relationship with Sara is intriguing.
Or you look at Felicity on The Flash, and she is the same character that we know and love from the first two season of Arrow. She puts her foot in her mouth. She is geeky. She is part of the team, but not forced into a leadership role that she is completely incapable of pulling off.
Then you look at the crossover and Felicity is such a selfish, arrogant, petty woman. How did they get there with her?
For a long time now, I've wanted to see Oliver and Laurel actually interact as the friends that they've been for a very long time. The producers haven't wanted to do this, first because they wanted to play the anger of their history, but then because they wanted to push Felicity as the love interest and having Oliver interact with Laurel would threaten that. So we never get to see them reach a place where they are close friends who have a long history and can actually lean on each other. Green Arrow and Black Canary were not only not a couple on this show, but they didn't even like each other for most of the show!
Then, in the last couple of weeks, since Felicity has been away, Oliver and Laurel have been talking. Growing closer. Showing their history. It felt natural and good, and it seemed like the writers were finally allowing them to be natural around each other.
I'm not a shipper. I just ask for natural interaction. Forced stories are like a hammer to the head. So this was nice. There was something right about them being closer... And then they kill her. They were just allowing them to be friends because the threat would soon be gone. And in her final moments, she pushes Olicity. After all of their years and all of their history, the last words that she speaks to Oliver are about f***ing Felicity!
And why avoid the threat? Why not have Laurel reveal the picture and have Oliver find out that he was the love of her life, and allow that story to actually play out? It doesn't mean that he has to end up with her. It just means that for once in her damn life, Laurel is allowed to be true to her character.
Was it Tracy Torme who said that when he watched Exodus, he was baffled by the way the show missed its chance to play the obvious drama in having families separated, with some living and some dying? Children being torn from their mother's arms. I think it was him. It is a vague memory, but it's a lesson that stayed with me. Those small, natural moments are the things that make a story feel real, even if it is complete fantasy. Deny that true moment of feeling, and you destroy the only reality you have to work with.
Legends of Tomorrow is a ridiculous show. It is a Saturday morning cartoon in live action. It's plots are thin, but what makes the show interesting to watch is that they explore the characters. The characters make that silly TV show more interesting than most of the Marvel universe.
Will Laurel come back? I don't know. Katie is still working in that circle, I know that much. Would her return be completely stupid? Yes. But does that matter at this point? The show, like Supergirl, needs to be seriously overhauled. They should take after the comic books and have a new showrunner come in, with a vision of what they want to do with Green Arrow. A plan. An arc. I'm tired of the show just being on TV because it hasn't been canceled yet. I want it to be on TV because there is a story to tell. And there is a story to tell! The character has been around forever. They have to have some ideas beyond Batman villains and Olicity.
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