What happened on the Arrow season 6 finale? We lost a popular character, and their death happened in a way in which many people predicted.
Over the course of the episode Thursday night, we saw Paul Blackthorne’s character of Quentin Lance die as he ended up taking a bullet for the Earth-2 version of his daughter Laurel. This moment was for him, a chance to sacrifice himself for someone he chose to believe in, even if she often gave him very little reason to do so at all. This was a big, bold move, and one that is likely going to have some enormous ramifications for the future of the show and especially for Laurel as she carves her own path now.
Can this Laurel be redeemed, now that it is clear that Quentin gave his life for her? That seems to be one of the reasons this death came about, as executive producer Marc Guggenheim explained to Entertainment Weekly:
We haven’t killed off a character in a season finale since season 1. But fundamentally, the reason we did it was sort of two-fold. We really felt that we had come to the end of Lance’s story, but primarily, whenever we kill off a character, it’s always out of, well what does this get us? What story consequences does this lead to that excite us? The idea that Diaz is responsible for Lance’s death has huge ramifications for Laurel’s character and her story line. That really intrigued us as we started talking about where Laurel was headed in season 7. As has been the case with every other death on the show, once we start getting excited about those consequences and start getting excited about the stories that the death leads to, it kind of takes on its own momentum. It was hard. Paul has been with us since the beginning, he’s an absolute joy to work with. He’s just a class act. I really, really enjoyed working with Paul so much over the last six years. It was the right time, and the right way, and the right story to tell at this moment.
Obviously, this was a secret that the Arrow team probably wanted to keep secret until after the finale aired but from the moment news of Blackthorne’s exit started to spread, everyone started to speculate as to how it would happen. Paul does have a new show coming up now via The InBetween over on NBC, so the good news for him is that we’re going to be seeing him move from one show to the other very quickly.
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