Since the beginning of the season, one question has been a constant, “who is in the grave at the end of this season’s premiere?” Tonight that question is answered.
*** Spoilers Follow***
Over the last couple of weeks, Damian Darhk has been orchestrating himself back to a sphere of influence within the prison for his escape and reunification of his totem artifact. Merlin and Darhk teamed up this week to move their own agenda forward. For Darhk, it continues to be project Genesis and for Merlin it is allying himself to Darhk and H.I.V.E. to keep himself and Thea safe. Interestingly enough, Merlin didn’t witness Darhk remind Green Arrow that he was a bad guy who betrays and kills. Thea is anything but safe, regardless of what was promised to Merlin. Though Thea is capable of protecting herself against most anyone, with the exception of either Merlin, who won’t kill her, or Darhk, who will try before the end of this season, it is almost guaranteed
Alliances were put to the test again when Oliver didn’t trust Andy who was running a triple cross against Team Arrow, particularly against his brother. Even worse, because John sided with his brother against Ollie, Darhk was able to retrieve his power source and making good on a promise against Quintin, seemingly killing Laurel. Over the last couple of weeks, Laurel has become more and more a central figure as the stabilizer with Felicity gone, and she even reveals to Oliver that she still loves him. We suspected that the death this year would be a major character, but to kill an actual character from DC comics is a big move.
Still with all of this, I am going to speculate that I am not sure if Laurel is really dead. At the end of the episode, she was brought into the hospital where she seemingly was stabilized until after a private (off screen) conversation with Oliver. My bet is that she is given something where she appears to die. I could be completely wrong here because the scene is heart wrenching with all of Team Arrow (including Felicity) watching Laurel die. We also get what appears to be the grave scene between Oliver and Barry next week after Laurel’s funeral. What I am guessing is that Oliver and Laurel planned this in the hospital to protect Laurel and Quinten from other attacks by Darhk. My next guess is the only other person that will know about this is Felicity who will be returning as Overwatch to look after Laurel (healing in the Bunker) with help from Curtis.
The other option is that Laurel really is dead, and any option will be bringing a new level of determination of Oliver Queen to end Darhk and Merlin, after Andy Diggle’s betrayal also if Felicity doesn’t return to Oliver during this time. Oliver is again traveling the darkness and Laurel has been a stabilizing force since Felicity has not been part of the team. Now, though with Darhk reclaiming all of his mystic powers and teaming up with Malcolm, he will be even more difficult to stop.
Arrow returns for the last episodes this season Wednesday night April 27th with Laurel’s funeral, but where it goes from there is anyone’s guess.