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Oliver’s Secret Exposed, Arrow “Public Enemy” 

The truth shall set you free. Unless you’re a former playboy turned arrow-wielding vigilante who has the head of the League of Assassins and a Police Captain (who also happens to be your ex-girlfriends’ (yes, plural) father) after him. Then, it does exact the opposite. And I’ll be honest, I never saw this coming.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

If your DVR schedule looks anything like mine, this has been a big week for character “outings.” First Emily came clean on Revenge. Then Barry revealed his identity to another major character on The Flash. And now Oliver is being exposed as the Arrow on national television. But I have to admit, of all three, this is the one that really threw me for a loop. After all the clues that Detective Lance has been given throughout the years and his lack of desire to know the Arrow’s identity, I was shocked that it was he who exposed Oliver in the end. I mean sure, it was an evil genius move on the part of Ra’s al Ghul to tell him, but still, a total game changer. That being said, now that Lance is on a personal revenge campaign, knowing the Arrow’s identity only helps in his crusade to take him down.

Laurel: We need to talk.

Lance: Aren’t you getting tired of this little chats? Because I know I am.

Laurel: Then let’s cut through all the crap. You don’t think the Arrow is behind these murders, you’re just pissed off because he kept Sara’s death a secret from you.

Lance: That is not why! THAT IS NOT WHY! Maybe at first, yea. But then I realized, he is the reason that Sara got killed.

Laurel: Dad, that is ridiculous.

Lance: No. You, Harper, Sara, the freak in Central City, the Huntress, they got a new guy flying around the city. All these masks. They started with him. And Sara died only because she was part of it too.

Laurel: You have no idea why Sara was killed.

Lance: She ended up in the League of Assassins because she was marooned on Lian Yu cause she got on that boat with Queen.

Laurel: So what, now Oliver’s to blame?

Lance: Oliver. The Arrow. Either way, same guy. On some level, I think I always knew, but when I thought he was doing good, it didn’t matter to me. You know when that boat when down and we thought Sara was dead, we blamed Queen. It’s funny how things come full circle, right?

Like I said, personal. Sure, having someone in a hood running around the city thwarting crime could be considered a problem, but it didn’t bother Detective Lance until he needed someone to blame for his daughter’s death. From season 2 on, he has been totally pro-Arrow and grateful for any help Team Arrow provides. But now that he needs somewhere to direct his grief, he conveniently stops seeing the good that the Arrow is accomplishing and chooses instead to blame Oliver for his daughter’s death. And the fact that Oliver just happens to be the same person he blamed for Sara’s death in the first place, well, that’s a win-win.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

So, how do you catch a superhero vigilante who generally only comes out at night and can use his super weapons to fly through the sky and evade both criminals and cops alike? Obviously, you double your odds by revealing his public identity as well. Part of having a secret identity is so you can live a pseudo-normal life without anyone knowing, but once you lift that veil, it’s game over. Now everyone is on the lookout and everywhere Oliver goes, he’s exposed. Checkmate.

So in what can either be a dumb move or his only move, depending on how you look at it, Oliver turned himself in. And while I felt like having everyone on the police force draw their guns on a man who willingly walked in to the precinct was a bit excessive, Detective Lance actually managed to keep his cool while arresting Oliver. However, once they got in the back of the transport truck together, any semblance of composure and professionalism went out the window and all bets were off.

Lance: Lian Yu

Oliver: What about it?

Lance: This Ra’s character, he told me Sara made it to the island with you. You didn’t feel like sharing that with me? Huh? I mean, I’m only her father. Or I was. When did you decide that you knew what was best for my family?

Oliver: I love your family.

Lance: You have the right to remain silent, TAKE IT!

Oliver: Just ask me what you want to know.

Lance: What do I want to know? Well, was it worth it? All the pain and misery you brought back from that island? Merlyn. Slade Wilson. Wouldn’t it be better if you just died there?

Oliver: The reason I came back was to try to save the people of this city.

Lance: I hate to break it to you, but saving people isn’t your specialty. Tommy.  Your mother. My daughter. And now you set up to kill Laurel too.

Oliver: I didn’t want her to be involved in this. I didn’t want anyone to be involved in this.

Lance: But you involved me. You spent a year making me look like a fool. You spent a year making me your accomplice. You have any idea what you’ve done? What you’ve done to all of the people that you claim to care so much about? You’ve made us criminals. You’ve made us liars and victims. You, Mr. Queen, are not a hero. You’re a villain. But you know that, don’t you.

Yes, I get that he’s upset and that he’s hurt and feels betrayed. But this is just plain mean. Blaming Oliver for all the evil and all deaths that have occurred, calling him a villain and saying they would be better off it he were dead? A bit excessive in my opinion and definitely a low blow. I understand that grief changes people, but his grief is literally blinding him to all the good that Oliver has accomplished and all the criminals he has put away, which far outnumbers the number of people lost. Yes, people have died as a result of what has happened since Oliver’s return, but who’s to say these things wouldn’t have happened anyway? Merlyn was already planning to destroy the city (a plan that Oliver obviously wasn’t able to entirely thwart, but he did drastically lessen). Sara chose to be a part of the League on her own. And Moira was already in deep trouble before Oliver even boarded the Queen’s Gambit. Plus, as a police captain and former cop, Lance should understand more than anyone that just because you set out to do good doesn’t mean that good always comes of it and that nobody gets hurt in the process. Not to mention, he KNOWS that it is the faux-Arrow impostor out there killing people. And he KNOWS that Oliver clearly wants to take down the killer as much as anyone and could be a major asset in helping catch him. But rather than be concerned with the lives of the people of Central City, he’s more concerned with his own vendetta and punishing the person he stubbornly sees responsible for his daughter’s death.

Plus, let’s not forget that Oliver is already pretty fragile and questioning his own purpose and identity as the Arrow, so I imagine a verbal assault such as this will only drive him further down his dark hole of self-doubt. That being said, he is off the legal hook now that Roy has stepped up and claimed to be the Arrow, but I don’t think that will stop either Oliver or Lance from heading down their respective paths of Arrow destruction.

Be sure to catch Arrow Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW.

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  1. MByerly

    I have loved Paul Blackthorne since THE DRESDEN FILES, but I’d be happy to see Lance go because he’s such an unstable person, not to mention a very poor cop who uses his office for his own vendettas.

    The real danger of outing Oliver is that everyone he cares for, including Laurel, would have a huge bullseye on their backs from the bad guys. I wonder how Lance would feel when his daughter’s or innocent Thea’s blood was on his hands? How about Diggle’s wife and baby’s blood?

    After that brief shot of Malcolm watching the breaking news, I wondered if he will somehow choose to protect Thea by either going after Ra’s or outing himself as Fake Arrow.

    1. Cortney Persiani

      Ooh, yes! I didn’t even think about that Merlyn shot, such a good point! He definitely wants to get back in Thea’s good graces and this could be a way to do that.
      And I totally agree, Lance is putting EVERYONE at risk…I just hope he realizes that before it’s too late!

    2. Heather M

      Agree the throwaway Malcolm scene had to mean something because he’d not been seen for two episodes.

      I also adore Blackthorne but they’ve had Quentin all over the place since the show started. My biggest concern this season was that all of this Arrow drama and his promotion would drive him back into the bottle.

      I’m glad the show hasn’t gone there, although his heart thing is still lurking, isn’t it? Or have they dropped that? We haven’t seen him taking his pills lately when the first part of the season was sort of mega obvious about it.

      1. Cortney Persiani

        I feel like they’ve dropped the heart condition. That being said, a MAJOR character is suppose to die this season, so ignoring it for now would be an easy way to try and divert our suspicions away from him and then throw us for a loop when they bring it back in to play.
        Also, if they pull a Deadshot and start to redeem Lance after making him “bad”, I think we can assume that’s a bad sign.

        1. Heather M

          I’m purposely spoiler-free so I hadn’t heard that (no worries though–I can’t live in a vacuum forever). If it is him, I just want somebody else to snap up Blackthorne immediately. 😉 I’d almost expect it to be Thea, though, because she’s trained for all this combat and they keep leaving her at home.

          1. MByerly

            From a writer point of view, I see Malcolm and Lance as the most likely to die. Malcolm really has nowhere to go at this point, character-wise, and I imagine Barrowman ain’t cheap. Lance can only flip-flop for so long without being a total bore, and he doesn’t carry any plot otherwise beyond being a dad.

            And dads have a very poor survival rate on this show.

          2. Heather M

            I’d agree with that on Lance except we haven’t been introduced to anyone else in the PD to assume his role, and I don’t see the show abandoning the police angle altogether. If they introduce a “rising young detective” before the end of the season, we’ll know. 😉

          3. MByerly

            Yeah, but Laurel is an assistant DA with an in to police info, and it doesn’t take a specific policeman to pick up Arrow’s prisoners.

            If I were writing this, Malcolm would be better “dead” with a chance of coming back for another storyline. Poor Lance would just be dead, period, if someone must go.

          4. Heather M

            LOL. True. I just want Blackthorne somewhere else ASAP if that happens. Adore him.

          5. Tina Charles

            Don’t dads have a very poor survival rate on every single CW show though? lol

          6. Heather M

            Hah! But…Diggle is a dad now! If that logic holds, then The Flash is gonna be in deep sh-t. 😉

          7. Tina Charles

            Diggle better not go ANYWHERE. Ever. I’m serious. lol

  2. Teri

    I love this show. It can make me laugh and it rips my heart out occasionally. Does that make me a masochist? lol The scene with Oliver and Lance in the transport was brilliant. Both of the actors nailed it in every sense. I feel for both of them in their situations, but I agree that Lance has gone to the extreme. I can’t wait for the rest of the season!

    1. Cortney Persiani

      Haha! I am on the exact same page….and I think that’s what makes this show so great!
      Forget the rest of the season, I can’t wait for next week! That promo…wow!

      1. Teri

        Agreed! It is what makes it a great show. I just watched the promo that was posted today, gave me goosebumps! It’s going to be quite the ride the next few episodes. Buckle up!

    2. Heather M

      I was surprised it’s taken til now for Quentin to actually strike him, and Oliver just accepted it because he knew how overdue it was.

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