Laurel Lance is the undisputed female lead. Katie Cassidy’s name shows up right after Stephen Amell’s name because they get paid the most to be on this show. Laurel is the love of Oliver’s life in the comics, she’s an integral part to this show and Oliver Queen’s history, but people want to act like her existence is false advertising. This show was created with the two of them in mind. Why even bother making such a stupid argument when that same argument invalidates your side even more?
The problem with the shipper mentality is that often you feel the need to vilify the unfavored side of a love triangle.
Olicity shippers shouldn’t hate on Laurel, but it happens. A lot. Which is dumb, because Laurel being a strong character and Laurel being Oliver’s love interest are independent of each other.
In the opinions of many viewers, Oliver and Laurel don’t click as well as Oliver and Felicity, or Oliver and any of his other love interests. And Katie Cassidy’s performance during Season 1 of Arrow was substandard compared to her more villainous roles, e.g. Supernatural. Many believe Laurel’s brief dark arc at the beginning of Season 2 really allowed Cassidy to shine. How badass has she become now that she’s more morally gray? Why should we be surprised when the show began with a morally gray Oliver Queen?
And if Oliver Queen in Arrow is different than the Green Arrow of the comics, Laurel is twice as different. She doesn’t go by Dinah. She’s a brunette. She’s a lawyer, not a florist. Her father wasn’t a private detective. Her mother wasn’t a costumed superhero. She isn’t a metahuman with a super-sonic voice. She doesn’t have a younger sister.
That last point is pretty important, since the non-comics-canon Sara steals a good chunk of Dinah’s mantle. She’s blonde. She’s a costumed superhero. She has a super-sonic device that she uses as a weapon. She fights alongside Oliver Queen while romantically involved with him. She goes by the Canary.
Hell, look at how many characters on the show share nothing but the names of their comic book counterparts.
And even with all of this stolen from her, she is, as you said, the female lead of the show. As we see in Season 2, now that they’re laying off the heavy-handed ship-teasing between her and Oliver, Laurel’s character is beginning to flourish. She’s allowed to have a morally complex and emotionally deep storyline, one where she’s a force to be reckoned with, one where her anger is no longer simply the result of typically “feminine” (read: sexist) motivation of resentment over being cheated on.
As Team Arrow’s world is continually divorced from the outside world, revolving more and more around the Arrow Cave and superhuman battles in back alleys and abandoned warehouses, Laurel’s role as the crusader in the daylight and in the courtroom becomes increasingly more crucial to anchor a show that prides itself on replicating the NolanVerse’s gritty realism.
It’s been fourteen years since the New Age of Comic Book movies, and if we’ve learned one thing, “because comics” is a terrible argument. Comic books have seventy years of inconsistent, contradictory, and constantly re-envisioned material.
Arrow has done an excellent job examining its own show, maintaining what works and fixing what doesn’t. It looks at shows like Smallville and learns from their mistakes: caring too much about the show bible, pigeonholing its characters into outdated archetypes, resisting multi-episodic plot arcs, adding too many clunky meta-jokes, the list goes on.
Laurel Lance is a crucial element of the show, and Katie Cassidy an irreplaceable member of the cast. Don’t dilute her to a pretty face whose primary purpose is to be kissed by the title character using an argument that is simply the source material that the show is using increasingly loosely, crediting order, and salary comparisons.
Are you confusing comicbook history? Dinah Laurel Lance is well known for being a brunette who wears a blonde wig. Eventually, they do have her dye her hair completely to blonde, but being a brunette is just as iconic.
The entire point of my article was to prove that Laurel Lance was in mind when the writers created this show. Olicity fans were claiming that her existence and presence is “false advertising” when she was part of the deal from the get-go. Felicity is not.
I don’t ship Lauriver but the point remains that Katie Cassidy AND her character were always intended to play major roles in this show. Fans acting like that wasn’t supposed to happen are seriously deluded.
Okay, I concede the blonde wig point. Barely damages my argument.
And, I’m definitely not arguing they didn’t initially plan for Laurel to be the Dinah Laurel Lance. The first actress they cast as Sara was notably tall and brunette, not petite and blonde like Caity. Laurel was named Laurel not because she wasn’t Dinah—she quickly was revealed to be so—but because it’s kind of an old-fashioned name. (For example, Smallville’s “A.C.” Curry and “Bart” Allen.) And they may have never planned to make Katie the Black Canary, just DLL as a lawyer. Insert metajokes as necessary, like the throwaway fishnet stockings reference from “Damaged”.
But I really hope that they’re reconsidering this, that they’re open-minded enough to diverge more from “canon” than Smallville did. I hope they’re willing to allow Sara to be the Canary, and Laurel just a lawyer with the same name as an Arrow character. I’m hoping they’re willing to retcon, like comic books do.
And, yes, I hope they decide that, in the way Smallville never had the guts to, to decide that maybe Oliver ought to be with Felicity, rather than Laurel or the Black Canary.
And, to reiterate, I hope they can find a way to do this and still do Katie Cassidy and Laurel Lance justice. There’s a great fan theory floating around the Internet that Laurel could become, instead of BC, a Kate Spencer-style Manhunter. (Arrow recently added a Kate Spencer character, who in true form, borrows nothing but a name and occupation.)
I am not the O-Lorax, and I do not speak for the Olicity Fandom. I am not aware of this so-called “false advertising” slander, but I do not doubt it occurs. I have been on the other side of this argument, informing an ignorant party about the sins of their peer group. My friends should not be discounting Laurel. They are indeed deluded if they think that Laurel was a plant, when neither Rickards or Lotz were main cast members for Season 1.