The team deals with Laurel's death in different ways as they work to cement her legacy as the Black Canary....
This was a wonderful episode and one that really showed the character of Laurel Lance and the actress Katie Cassidy the respect both deserved. I especially loved the way they showed the contrast to how Oliver reacted to her death versus how he reacted to Tommy's death. Seeing the flashbacks of Oliver and Laurel together mourning Tommy made for some wonderful scenes and helped to fill in some gaps between seasons 1 and 2.
What I think I loved the most was how each character reacted differently to Laurel's death. Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity each blamed themselves for her death. Oliver makes sense because he always blames himself for anything bad that happens. Felicity makes sense on an emotional and irrational level, which she herself acknowledges. Diggle rightfully accepts blame. I know Oliver and Felicity told him that he wasn't at fault, but I disagree with them. While he was not the direct cause, his misplaced trust in Andy was definitely a factor in her death.
I don't want to harp on it too much, but as Diggle noted, if he had listened to Oliver and trusted what Oliver was saying about Andy, Laurel might be alive. I do want to emphasize the word "might" here because it is entirely possible that they would have gone anyway and she would have been killed by Dahrk as a message to Lance. There is really no way to know for sure. But, as we saw this week, he is definitely verging on going over the edge because of his guilt and grief. While I totally understand his wanting to get revenge for Andy's betrayal, he does need to make sure that he is being as calculating as possible because we know that working from a place of rage never works out properly.
Lance's reaction was the most gut wrenching. He and Laurel have really come to depend on each other for support in times of crisis. With Sara and Dinah both gone, they have relied on each other, Lance especially so. Laurel has always had Oliver and the gang to support her if needed, Lance has never really depended on them for that sort of emotional support. I really hope that he comes to rely on Oliver and the gang to help him through and doesn't retreat into a bottle or revert to his vigilante hating persona. I also hope that he relies on Donna, because she has shown herself to be very good for him. He just needs to rely on someone to help him through the grief he is feeling.
While I understand his denial given everything he has seen, he really needed that hard slap of reality that Oliver gave him. He saw how damaged Sara was when she came back, but he still was looking for the Lazarus Pit anyway. I am surprised that no one had mentioned its destruction to him before. Well, I assume no one mentioned it to him because no one in the gang was acting like he knew about it. The only other "resurrections" he has seen were Oliver and Sara returning from the shipwreck, and neither had actually died. It was good to see him accept that Laurel really was dead by the end of the episode because I don't think a side plot of him looking for a way to resurrect her would have been a good thing at this point in the season, particularly since we had a similar plot earlier in the season with Laurel and Sara.
I also loved that Oliver revealed that Laurel was the Black Canary at her funeral. Because of what the imposter was doing, Laurel's legacy as the Black Canary was being tarnished and Ruve was using the events to try and turn the city against the vigilantes again. I hope she'll have a harder time doing that now that the Green Arrow saved her life and because the public servant she was eulogizing was revealed to be the true Black Canary. Then again, she is a skilled politician and she has shown a willingness to do whatever she needs to do in order to further HIVE's aims, so anything is possible.
Given the fact that Barry rushed out with his speed, I can only assume that this episode is chronologically placed before he lost his speed to Zoom. I hope they clear it up with some sort of explanation, but if they don't it won't be the biggest deal.
Next week, Diggle confronts Andy and Oliver and Felicity look for ways to stop Dahrk's magic. Until then!