Arrow- Detective Lance vs Oliver Queen/Green Arrow

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Othello, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Othello

    Othello Commodore Commodore

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    Anyone else here find themselves rooting for detective Lance over Oliver Queen/Arrow? I personally find that Oliver is still a self absorbed jackass after the island regardless of whether he feels he's "pretending" now or not. I root for the man who sees a self absorbed jackass who cheated on his daughter with his other daughter who was killed while doing so and still sees a self absorbed jackass. And Oliver is still a jackass cause, to my mind, he's more interested in USING Lance's dislike of him than anything else. He tells himself he cares about what happens to others around him but it's another self absorbed lie.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Clearly this isn't meant to be a clear-cut good-guy/bad-guy narrative. Oliver and Quentin Lance are both flawed and multifaceted characters. Oliver isn't the most likeable person right now; he's psychologically scarred from his ordeal and on a dark path, and he's cold, manipulative, and ruthless in pursuit of his mission. But it looks like the story of the series, or at least of the first season, is about his journey of redemption, as the people close to him help him to rediscover his humanity. Quentin is also starting out scarred by the same tragedy, and similarly driven and obsessed as a result of his pain, so they're kind of mirrors of each other. They both have journeys ahead of them, and that's part of what makes the show so interesting.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Yep, at some point in the series I think Ollie will go through a course correction and become more hero and less vigilante.
     
  4. Icemizer

    Icemizer Commodore Commodore

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    Please its not like Lances daughter was a twelve year old or anything. Dad should realize she is as much to blame as anyone in that situation. Detective Lance is just being dragged down by her death and the fact the he failed his wife when she needed him the most. Probably more the latter than the former as that is something that is directly his fault.
     
  5. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^You don't have kids do you?
     
  6. Othello

    Othello Commodore Commodore

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    Don't get me wrong- I love the show and see what they are going for. That said, I find Oliver extremely unlikeable now and almost, and maybe even to, the point where I'd consider him irredeemable.

    And they also better take a REALLY long time before they put him and Laurel together. I find her closeness to him now pretty unrealistic. You can only suspend disbelief so much.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oliver's no saint, to be sure. But we saw in the flashbacks this week that he was willing to endure torture to protect a man he barely knew, and that was when he was still the spoiled rich kid and had yet to endure most of the hardships that changed him. That shows he has some basic decency.
     
  8. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Commodore Commodore

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    I have kids. I love them unconditionally, but I also have to respect that they make their own decisions, they make their own mistakes, sometimes they are wrong, sometimes they are jackasses. If they break the law, or screw someone over, or make a choice to fuck someone they shouldn't, they aren't "right" because I love them, and I don't stop loving them because they did something wrong. So I think Icemizer makes a good point.
     
  9. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    What did she do wrong besides dying? Who is Lance going to blame for her dying?
     
  10. Mach5

    Mach5 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's kinda hard to really root for Oliver, because he keeps acting as the judge, the jury, and doesn't hesitate to go for the capital punishment. Sooner or later, he's gonna murder a man, jut to find out that he was actually innocent.

    But this does give his story some spice. It's interesting to see a show about an anti hero for a change.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, I don't think we're supposed to be rooting for Oliver per se, at least not yet. He's starting his journey in a dark place and I think he has some learning to do yet.

    But the ending of this week's episode is really the first time we've seen Ollie "execute" someone as punishment for their crimes, and even that was only implied. We've seen him kill to protect his anonymity, and we've seen him kill in self-defense, although the majority of the henchmen he's shot were reportedly only wounded, according to both dialogue and common sense. (Arrow wounds are typically survivable unless you're hit in a vital area or fail to stop the bleeding. Even fiction, which usually treats shooting or stabbing wounds as far more instantly lethal than they realistically would be, frequently portrays arrow wounds as survivable -- how many times have we seen heroes pulling arrows out of their shoulders/legs/etc.?) Usually he just threatens or coerces the bad guys into confessing, replaying stolen money, or the like.
     
  12. Eduardo

    Eduardo Commander Red Shirt

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    So, to nitpick...

    Oliver's plan... so he knew the camera in a previous episode was there, and decided to get caught in film, so the police would suspect him, arrest him and Diggle would be able to cover for him proving he wasn't Arrow...

    And he decides to put this plan in motion BEFORE he recruits Diggle at all... a recruiting that was motivated by having to get him to the "Arrowcave" after being shot with curare bullets by Deadshot.

    All of which happened AFTER he set "the plan" in motion.

    Either Oliver has clairvoyant powers or an incredible amount of dumb luck.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Or he intended to bring Diggle into his confidence all along, and what happened with Deadshot only accelerated his timetable.
     
  14. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I don't believe it was due to decency. I think it was an extreme form of dependency and even insanity. Ollie's whole world was turned around so violently and so quickly that when the first person to help ease his mental burden came around he submitted to him fully.

    Even after being tortured then rescued he still wanted to go out to protect/fight along side the only stability and hope he had in his life at that point.

    Dying for your rescuer is not a sign of anybody operating with a high moral grounding but a very case book example of Dependent Personality Disorder.
     
  15. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I think getting Diggle into his plan, um planned or not, was the first sane thing he did since coming back from the island. Even if Ollie kinda messed it up at first by trying to get his help by deceit. He knows enough to know that a lone gunman approach will never work.

    I do wonder if Diggle wasn't forced on him by his family, would he have gone to Laurel with the same purpose?

    Ollie is on the starting path of balance, and I love this show because, so far, he is stumbling to it.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    If this were a documentary? Maybe. But it's a work of fiction in which Oliver Queen is the protagonist, so presumably the writers' intention in showing us that sequence of events was to demonstrate that Oliver has a core of decency that makes him worthy of being the protagonist.
     
  17. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    What? If that was the case, they wouldn't make his path an ongoing plot point.

    I do understand what you are saying. TV is quick with surface personality. But they are diving deeper with Ollie than I thought they would by making him a killer, flat out manipulator and bold face liar. Nothing in his character says anything of decency and morality. He excuses everything he does with his Father's Mission. While not stated either way, and while your view on it holds with most things TV, movies and written, to me, your view would be the only thing Ollie had done that was noble. Nothing else he had done before the island or since backs that up.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Whyever not? It's not a black-and-white issue, either completely good or completely insane. Obviously he's a damaged, flawed individual who has a long way to go to redeem himself. But if we aren't shown that he has at least some potential for good, some genuine ability to care about other people, then we have no reason to root for him, no reason to hope he can ever be redeemed. In that case he's just a psychopath.


    Which is exactly why they showed him willing to endure torture to protect Proto-Arrow -- because that's what showed he had a basic decency and morality. That was put there to balance the darker stuff we see him do in the present.

    I should point out once again that he hasn't killed as many people as viewers seem to be assuming. I think a lot of viewers are falsely assuming that anyone shot by an arrow is dead. That's not the way it works. Arrow wounds, as I've already said, are usually survivable. Detective Lance explicitly said in episode 2 that the vigilante had wounded a lot of people. He's killed a few, yes, but he's avoiding lethal force where he can, mostly just injuring people or coercing them into doing the right thing. That's probably why he uses a bow and arrow instead of a sniper's rifle -- because it's intrinsically less lethal.

    And let's not forget, his whole mission is to fight the bad guys who've corrupted the city and made life hell for ordinary people. He believes himself to be fighting in the name of good, trying to save the city and right injustices. His methods are somewhat ruthless, those of a hardened warrior, and he's still somewhat entitled and naive, not really in touch with the street-level people he imagines he's helping. But he is trying to do good, to make amends for his father's crimes.

    And yes, he's a manipulator and a liar, but so is Batman. Any superhero with a secret identity has a problem with honesty, even Superman. It makes him morally ambiguous, not morally bankrupt.


    Again, it's not a dualistic choice of noble/not noble. He's defined by shades of gray, not black or white. He has the potential for nobility, but because he's so damaged, his attempt to do good is carried out in a morally flawed way.
     
  19. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One premise of the show is that Starling City is a green Texas, of which Hell is a vest pocket edition. The nomenklatura rules all, and will rule all, forever and ever, amen, even unto the end of the world, or the advent of a Manly Man hard enough to make the hard choices, no matter how cruel it makes him. Hoodie will inevitably be redeemed by his final triumph, just as his successes thus far have justified all his crimes to date.

    Not only will this prove him the ultimate family man for saving his city, his extended family, but he will redeem his father and his blood line. Since family is the origin of the self, it is an extension of the self, therefore his redemption of his father is his own redemption.

    In other words, there is no reason whatsoever to think that we are seriously supposed to morally criticize Oliver Queen. Diggle and Laurel are already on board to some degree or other. Detective Lance is completely incompetent, while Hoodie can dodge bullets, etc. Hoodie's a Winner, Lance is a Loser, ergo Hoodie is morally superior. Or at least by Hollywood producer standards. Oliver angsts over his cruelties not just to show he's sensitive, but so we can vicariously identify with a Suffering Hero, even though he is in another arena an impossibly victorious Conquering Hero. Combining two opposites is generally held to produce moral ambiguity, shades of grey, depth, complexity and Good Writing.

    Personally I think combining two opposites cancels each out, resulting in nonsense.
     
  20. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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