(SPOILER: Below contains thoughts on episode 18 of season four of the CW’s “Arrow.” It contains spoilers on what the season has been building up to, so read at your own risk.)

There will always be deaths in comic books; in the moral battle between good vs. evil, death is inevitable. And it was no surprise that in “Arrow,” a CW television show based off the character of Green Arrow in DC Comics, someone was going to die by the end of season four. It was how the season was introduced; Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, himself standing over a grave. I wondered who the unfortunate soul would be. My bet was on the nine-year-old son that Queen just found out he had. I was not prepared for the death of one of the lead female roles of the show and, to put it nicely, I was outraged at the way upon which her final moments were handled. Allow me to put this as clearly as I can: I am tired of female characters being reduced to love interests and plot points for no reason other than furthering the pain of a man. Dinah Laurel Lance, better known in the comics and on the show as the superhero Black Canary, did not deserve the treatment that was given to her, which completely erased all of the character development that she went through these last four seasons.

Lance has been on the show since its inception. At the start of the show’s run, she was one of the most hated characters on television. No one had anything positive to say about her and there are countless Reddit threads and blogs where people still talk about their intense dislike for the character. Their hatred doesn’t excuse the fact that Lance was degraded to just another woman who was in love with Queen before she died.

I will admit that I wasn’t a fan of Lance at the start of the television show. She was annoying, ruthless and unforgiving toward her ex-boyfriend and main character, Queen. However, I came to realize over the following seasons that Lance was the embodiment of most human characteristics on the show. She suffers a great loss and deals with it badly, becoming an alcoholic before seeking the help that she needs to recover in order to keep her job as a respected assistant district attorney. The audience watches her grieve the deaths of those she loves, but evolve and channel that sense of injustice into her, taking on the mantle of the Black Canary.

Lance gets so much negativity because at the start of her superhero career she screws up a lot. I think people don’t like to see such a stark reminder of how human heroes can be; they like watching the finished product — the hero that can hold their own and defeat the bad guys with no problem; just another Wednesday night. Instead, Lance’s arc of being Black Canary showed the unfinished product of a hero that made people uncomfortable. She gets beat in fights, the bad guys get away and Queen and the other members of his team don’t trust her or want her involved in what they do. That’s not the side of heroes we want — or get — to see, but it’s the one we should.

Lance does not have the survival or fight instincts for someone who had to survive on an island for five years, like Queen, nor did she have the accelerated training of a former member of the League of Assassins that Thea Queen, Oliver’s sister and current hero Speedy had in order to turn her into the dangerous hero she is now. And neither does the everyday person — and Lance is that normal, everyday person that we are. Instead of finding a kinship with her, we put her down, time and time again. Lance had her will, determination and guts to succeed in an area where she was met with opposition at every turn. Always reminded of her failings, the audience, and Team Arrow to a point, overlook all the good that she has done both as a lawyer and as a vigilante, as well as the hardships that she overcame in order to make it there.

What infuriates me the most is not that Lance is dead; it is the moments leading up to her death. In the episode, she is stabbed with an arrow in the lower chest area when she and other members of Team Arrow ambush the villain of the season, Damien Darhk. Darhk stabs her in order to make good on the threat he made to ensure Lance’s father’s cooperation before he was betrayed.

Now, if Lance had been killed when she was choking on blood and couldn’t breathe, I wouldn’t find as much fault with her death as I do now. She was acting as a hero and her whole character development arc of the past four years was still intact.

It’s not intact a few minutes later in the episode when Lance comes out of surgery and takes time to talk to the team then with Oliver Queen alone. In these moments, she confesses that after all these years she has always loved Queen and she wants him to be happy and get back together with his ex-fiance and Team Arrow member, Felicity Smoak. A few minutes later something goes wrong and Lance flatlines.

This is not how you handle the death of a female character. Lance has proven that she is loyal to her family throughout the show; why not ask about them? Why would the writers not give viewers a heartbreaking scene of Lance and her father together? That would have made me incredibly sad instead of majorly ticked off. Additionally, Lance has not shown interest in Queen at all. She sunk into an alcoholic depression after the death of her boyfriend Tommy Merlyn, recovered and went back to being a strong and successful woman, both in the courtroom and patrolling the streets of Star City. Why did her role and courage have to be replaced just so that she could be just another woman who loved Oliver Queen?

Do the writers think this will bring Queen and Smoak back together as they mourn the loss of their friend? Or that it will contribute to the tragedy that is Queen’s life? Suffering and emotional pain can be handled much better than being lazy and writing off a character as having “always loved you” in a poorly constructed way to make the male main character suffer.

Now, a female hero and successful lawyer is buried; just like some of my hope for the future of female superheroes in the media. Not only are they met with backlash, but some of their stories end just to further give the male hero “something to fight for” or make their love life even more tragic. If Lance was to die, why couldn’t it be in some heroic way where a hero’s sacrifice made sense, like saving someone or saving the city? The promo for this coming Wednesday’s episode made it clear that revenge is the motive for Team Arrow to keep going; Lance’s character shouldn’t just be a revenge factor plot processor.

I am also hesitant about the future of the show and their treatment of Lance because there is always a possibility that Lance will be brought back from the dead. In the comics, Black Canary is a Justice League member and no one really stays dead in the comics too long. It’s happened before though; Lazarus Pits in the comics are not as commonly used as Arrow makes them to be. If Lance does come back, it will only cheapen her death. It will reduce the impact of the loss her life had on others around her and whatever character development the show better be receiving from this event.

Either way, whether Lance is encased in the ground or possibly resurrected, her death will remain a sore point with me. Lance, as Black Canary and as herself, was a role model; she had many setbacks, but she proved herself capable of overcoming them. That’s all been tossed aside because now, she’s just another lover lost to death in order to amp up the tragic factor of Oliver Queen’s love life.

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