This is part of a series of articles about tonight’s episode of Arrow, titled “Eleven-Fifty-Nine.” If you are not on the East Coast and have not seen tonight’s show, read no further!
“Dinah Laurel Lance. Always trying to save the world.”
That was one of the first impressions audiences had of the Laurel Lance character as she first appeared on Arrow back in the first episode in October 2012. Tonight, audiences said goodbye to Laurel – as played by Katie Cassidy – as the character was killed by Damien Darhk.
Katie Cassidy learned about her character’s death before shooting court scenes for a recent episode, and the scene in the hospital had a special resonation for the actress, as it was also her saying goodbye to her fellow castmates.
“Emotionally, it’s interesting, because that scene that you see when I’m in the hospital and I say goodbye to the team…. I say [to them] ‘I never wanted this. I was thinking about giving up the Black Canary, and I can do it…’ Honestly, that scene was so real shooting it, because it was my saying goodbye to the team, and all of us, so it definitely wasn’t difficult to get to that emotional point. For sure, it was hard, but it was very real, and I felt like it was good. It was genuine, and it was real,” she recalled. That was not the final scene she shot, however. “The last scene I think I shot — we had to do a reshoot, actually, of when Darhk stabs the Black Canary. That was a week after, I think. It was so weird, because we had broken for lunch, and we came back, and I was ready at the set, putting on my jacket, and my gloves…. and they were just calling me to the set to show-wrap me. I didn’t know that I was done, and it was sort of a bit of a shock. But it was good. I feel like there’s no other way that I would want it to go,” she said. [Also note: Katie is featured heavily in flashbacks in Episode 419 of Arrow, so her time on the series is not yet done.]
“From a creative standpoint, I think that Season 2 up until now, Laurel has had a truly amazing journey, and they’ve written so well for me, and I’ve had such an incredible arc,” she said. “It made sense to me, creatively, that Laurel’s story has come to an end in the Arrowverse. Again, it’s television. I always say ‘anything can happen,’ and it made sense to me. I love everyone on set. I love our crew. Being there for four and a half years, they have become family, so it’s hard to not go into work every day and get to work with such amazing people. That part is certainly sad. But again, I was okay with it. We all came to an understanding that this was what was going to happen. It made sense to me. I think the shock value is good… it’s such a jolt and it’s such a turn in the story, that it gives [the producers] so much more to do and places to go with it. Otherwise, I feel like shows can get stale.”
Does Katie have a favorite Arrow memory?“At the end of Season 2, when I put the jacket on for the first time… I still get a little choked up talking about it, because I was so excited,” she recalled. “I had been waiting for that moment. I think that, for me, was the turning point… obviously, Season 2, my character had a really hard time… as an actor, the writers were writing so brilliantly… it was great to be able to take on that challenge, and go there, and then hit rock bottom and come back on top. I think the end of Season 2 going into Season 3, and all of Season 3, even up to now in Season 4… every day going there, I was excited and happy to be there. Also, being in fight training and getting to be a strong female character who is also out there kicking some ass too, was definitely something that was cool, and I had a blast doing it.”
Did she take anything from the set? “I asked for the jacket and the mask, and I didn’t actually think that they would let me have it, but yes. I got to keep the Black Canary jacket and the mask.”
“I still feel so close to this character,” she said, adding that she’s soon going to be on The Flash as Earth-2’s Black Siren, so her time in the world isn’t quite concluded. “In the future, you never know what can happen. As they know, I love working with them. I’m always happy to come play with them… with time-travel or whatnot. To me, Laurel was always such a good person and had such a good heart, and was a fighter… and I think her being remembered that way is definitely important to me.”