Ahem… SPOILER ALERT!
Fans of Arrow on the CW network were treated — if you want to call it that — to quite a shock in last night’s season premiere episode. Frequent guest character Canary, based on DC Comics’ Black Canary, is dead. And it’s not a “comic book death,” a twist, or a swerve. The character is indeed dead, after an off-screen assailant unloaded multiple arrows into her torso, sending her careening to the ground below – and right in front of her sister Laurel.
Many fans expect some duplicity, as Arrow Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim had previously tweeted that Canary actress Caity Lotz was signed up for a minimum of three episodes this season. But Guggenheim confirmed that yes, the character is dead.
“We do flashbacks,” he said. “We have a contract with Caity for a minimum of three episodes. The rest is flashbacks, or her on a slab.”
As glib as that sounds, Guggenheim said the choice to kill the character was difficult.
“Every time we kill a character on the show, it’s always incredibly hard! We’re not Game of Thrones, we’re not Sons of Anarchy. So it’s rare. And our cast, our guest cast too, they’re really wonderful people! We don’t screen for personality, but I have to say, we have a great cast, a really wonderful family. So if you kill off somebody, you kill off somebody you really like, you really enjoy writing for.”
But Guggenheim added that the character’s death is important to the show, and the arc of season 3.
“The story developments from here affect all the characters and really set off a mystery that will drive us for the first half of the year, and puts the show in a world that we’ve never seen before,” Guggenheim said. “Season 2, we had Slade Wilson and a much more straightforward story on vengeance. This season, we re-introduce a lot of mystery.”
The “world we’ve never seen before” starts immediately. “Three oh two [next week’s season three, episode two] is probably our most emotionally gut-wrenching episode, as it needs to be, and as it should be as it regards the character’s death,” Guggenheim said. “It’s kind of brutal. The title, ‘Sara,” has a double meaning, and I really don’t want to say more than that, but it does have a double meaning.”
Sara Lance is the civilian identity of Canary of course, and Guggenheim has previously said that season 3 is “about identity.”
Fans will learn more on Oct. 15. Bring a box of tissues.
“It’s a hard episode,” Guggenheim said. “If you are the type who is prone to tears, you’ll probably cry.”