Arrow- Detective Lance vs Oliver Queen/Green Arrow

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

  1. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Haha, there are easier ways are calling out two blabbermouths. But just to point out, Detective Lance is not incompetent. Not as a cop anyway. Ollie completely manipulated him into submission through guilt and his own daughter. He totally had and has Ollie correctly pegged.
     
  2. Eduardo

    Eduardo Commander Red Shirt

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    Which is probable, but Oliver should A) First try to recruit Diggle to see if he wants to join or not... and then B) Set in motion being filmed picking up the Arrow costume, once he has someone to cover for him.

    Not the other way around, setting in motion a plan that needs someone he hasn't even talk about covering for him, or revealing he is Arrow to him.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I think using Diggle was plan B. Remember, Ollie seemed genuinely troubled when Laurel got him put in an anklet.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except, again, Ollie is a fictional character. His mental state is whatever the writers and producers of the show want it to be. And they wouldn't want him to be "straight out insane." They want him to be troubled, flawed, and complex, the kind of antihero that's quite popular these days, but they also want him to be, at least potentially, a decent and rational human being.

    Also, I don't think it holds up legally speaking to call Oliver Queen insane. The standard usually applied to define insanity in the legal sense is the M'Naghten test, discussed here on Law and the Multiverse. The test is to determine whether "the party accused was labouring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or, if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong."

    Does Oliver know the nature and quality of the acts he performs? He isn't operating under the delusion that he's Robin of Lochsley battling the Sheriff of Nottingham in Sherwood Forest, or that he's just playing an arcade game and shooting at cartoon orcs; he knows exactly who and where he is, who his targets are, what they're doing, and what he's doing to them. Does he know that what he's doing is wrong? Well, he may disagree with the police about whether it's justified, but the fact that he engineered an elaborate Xanatos Gambit to protect himself from prosecution demonstrates that he's clearly aware his actions are defined as wrong in the eyes of the law. And we saw him showing remorse for killing one of his captors in the pilot -- and he adopted his disguise specifically so that he wouldn't have to kill people just to preserve his identity as he did in that case. So clearly he is aware that killing is a bad thing.

    There are a couple of other standards discussed in the article. One is the irresistible impulse test, which is rejected in most jurisdictions, but let's cover it anyway. It means that "the accused’s mind has become so impaired by disease that he is totally deprived of the mental power to control or restrain his act." Since Ollie was able to send Dig to act in his stead, he's clearly able to control his actions and isn't acting under a compulsion. The other standard is whether the defendant "lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law," and again, his efforts to avoid prosecution and game the system demonstrate that he clearly understands the criminality of his actions.

    So Oliver is definitely not insane by legal definition. And the term "insanity" is no longer used in medicine since it's too nonspecific. He doesn't seem to be suffering from schizophrenia or psychosis; he's very much in touch with reality, as discussed above. Nor is he a psychopath, since he clearly has empathy for his family members and has superb impulse control (although he does have some traits in common with psychopaths, such as superficial charm and manipulativeness, and his younger self would've met even more of the parameters, such as parasitic lifestyle, poor behavioral control, and promiscuity). He doesn't seem bipolar; his moods are pretty consistent. And there's no indication of organic brain syndrome symptoms such as confusion, impairment of memory and intellect, or agitation.

    It's safe to say that Oliver has some form of personality disorder as a result of his experiences -- obsessive behavior, maybe a touch of narcissism, something like that. Maybe he's borderline on the psychopathy spectrum, but despite media stereotypes, a lot of functional, rational people fall on that spectrum. Heck, a lot of highly successful leaders in business, politics, entertainment, etc. are clinical narcissists. But there's simply no legal or medical basis for declaring Oliver Queen insane.


    Aren't you contradicting yourself? If he were insane, it would take extensive therapy or medication to treat him. If he can be "fixed" by a friend showing him the right path, then by definition he's not insane, just misguided.


    That's an odd way of defining redemption, as if it were based solely on the individual's definitions. Redemption happens when the individual is ready to change one's definitions and accept that one has done wrong. We have seen that Ollie feels remorse for some of his actions, and that opens him up to finding a better way. Maybe "redemption" is too strong a word, since I doubt he'll turn himself in for his actions to date, but I do believe Dig will help him become a better person in the future.


    Because it demonstrates that he does have enough morality to try to limit his body count, to choose nonlethal options when possible.


    Again, I think that's defining things in too binary a way. His actions are not heroic, but his intentions are. He's not just punishing these people because their names were written in a book. He's holding them accountable for the harm they've caused to other people. In the pilot, he forced Adam Hunt to give the money he'd embezzled back to the people he'd stolen it from. In episode 4, he worked with Laurel to exonerate an innocent man. He is trying to help the victims, not just punish the perpetrators. Yes, I agree his methods are too focused on punishment, but his intentions are more benevolent. He's just not going about it the right way.


    I don't even know what point you're trying to make here. It's no different from Batman using a disguised Robin or Superman or Alfred or a Bat-ventriloquist dummy to pass as Batman in order to protect his Bruce Wayne identity; Ollie's just being more proactive about it, controlling the situation so he can resolve it quickly and on his own terms, rather than letting it happen by accident and having to concoct a makeshift fix for it after the fact. That's extremely sane and rational, requiring the foresight and clarity and logic to understand that he would inevitably come under suspicion given the circumstances, and preparing to deal with that contingency in a way that plays out in his favor.

    I think TV and movies have created a pervasive myth of the insane mastermind, the villain who's called mad but is extremely brilliant and manipulative and five steps ahead of the hero. I think that's shaping your perception of what the word "insane" means. But in reality, it's a contradiction in terms. The criminally insane would simply not have a sufficient grasp of reality to be able to predict such circumstances and realistic threats and formulate effective responses to them.
     
  5. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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  6. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Let's try this another way: Name one superhero who's not a nutjob to one degree or another. Just the act of putting on tights and wearing your underwear on the outside in order to fight crime throws the vast majority of them into the whacko camp alone.

    Assuming you can think of some, ask which one of those never lie or otherwise manipulate people in order to achieve their goals. Hell, it might be easier to start here.

    The only one I can almost consider is Captain America. That's pretty much it.
     
  7. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I have no clue who this is directed to (me I'm assuming), but the challenge is not really fair. All that is part of the superhero trope. I would say that all things are about degrees. In the worlds like the DC and Marvel Universes where costumed heroes and villains are a subculture known throughout the world, I don't believe mental stability is so much a factor as in say Nolanverse or even so far the Arrowverse.

    In fact everybody manipulates and lies everyday. I am not saying anything new or profound. Just part of living in a society. But it becomes an issue when such actions becomes nearly the only way to survive or function, which seems to be the case with Ollie.

    As for non-nut job superheroes: The Flashes has always been pretty stable butch. Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, a lot of the JSA and the original Mystery Men. In fact, I would say the vast majority of superheroes are not nut jobs. They are conflicted, yes with responsibility and personal life and dramas, as any person not dead or living in a vacuum.

    But, um, yeah not sure really if that the answer you wanted or not.
     
  8. Eduardo

    Eduardo Commander Red Shirt

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    I wonder what Plan A was if house arrest troubled him.

    Be locked into a jail cell and escape and return? :guffaw:
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Okay, poor choice of words on my part. What I meant was that his mental state wouldn't be anything the writers didn't want it to be -- but what they do want it to be would be shaped by certain necessary storytelling constraints. He's not insane because a clinically insane individual would not work as the protagonist of a weekly television series.


    I don't agree with the distinction you're drawing, or rather not drawing. When I hear "straight up killer," I take that to mean someone who kills without remorse or restraint. We have seen, fairly consistently, that Oliver does not kill without reason and tries to find alternatives to killing where feasible. He's no more a "straight up killer" than a soldier like Dig is during wartime; he uses lethal force when he deems it necessary to defeat the enemy or preserve his life, but tries to limit the loss of life to the extent that it's possible under his rules of engagement and the circumstances in which he operates. One could dispute his perception that he is waging a war; one could argue that the rules of open combat he's following are inappropriate when battling urban white-collar crime in his home city, with no state authorizing his actions as a combatant. But that doesn't make him a lunatic. It makes him more like John Rambo in the original novel and film First Blood (or the very similar character of Roga Danar in Star Trek: TNG: "The Hunted") -- someone whose experiences have shaped him into a hardened warrior and who has trouble adjusting to the rules of peacetime.


    I used them as examples specifically with respect to secret identities and deception. On the subject of superheroes using deadly force, there are numerous examples in comics -- including Green Arrow himself in Mike Grell's 1987 The Longbow Hunters and subsequent ongoing series, which are one of the primary inspirations for this television series. I could also point out that the superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been shown to be willing to use lethal force, even characters like Iron Man and Captain America who generally avoid it in the comics.


    That's what I just told you, in considerable detail, in my post -- and I explained in detail why he obviously does appreciate the nature and quality of his acts and that they are legally wrong.


    The supposed distinction between "psychopath" and "sociopath" is a myth. According to psychologist Maria Konnikova:


    It's a meaningless term; outside of legal usage, it's little more than childish name-calling. If terms are loose enough to use whatever it suits your biases to make them mean, then I do not consider that a meaningful or persuasive argument. I prefer to stick with clear, formal definitions, things that can be objectively codified and mutually agreed upon by all participants in a discussion rather than twisted to suit a preconception or make a rhetorical point. The only context in which the word "insanity" has any formal definition anymore is in the law, and I am convinced that Oliver is legally sane, in that he clearly recognizes that his actions are illegal and harmful to others and would be competent to participate in his own defense if he were brought to trial.


    No, I'm simply trying to have an intelligent discussion. But clearly you're trying to have a petty argument. It saddens me that so very many people on this supposed discussion board have no idea how to have a civil and mature disagreement. But once it becomes clear to me that the other party in a discussion only wants to fight, I walk away, because that's the last thing I want. Goodbye.
     
  10. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    The bolded part was the answer I was after. Now you have your answer, too.
     
  11. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Um, sure. Thanks for that then.
     
  12. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    No, I'm simply trying to have an intelligent discussion. But clearly you're trying to have a petty argument. It saddens me that so very many people on this supposed discussion board have no idea how to have a civil and mature disagreement. But once it becomes clear to me that the other party in a discussion only wants to fight, I walk away, because that's the last thing I want. Goodbye.[/QUOTE]

    Wait. Seriously I meant no jab by that. It was a legit question. I asked you why you thought he needed redemption and you responded with, well what you responded with. I know you are a smart guy so I was really puzzled by that.

    During this whole discussion, you tried to counter my views with assumptions on how things should be sprinkled with cut and paste facts on subjects up to state-to-state interpretation. Cool. That's your thing. I knew that going in when responding to you. Then you make a broad assumption about me personally. I didn't get mad. I was more shocked if anything.

    But please, please do not leave a discussion under a pretense of "pettiness" and "other people's inability to engage in civil conversations," when nothing really calls for such sensitivity on your part. You really shouldn't be making parting shots at somebody under a pretense; you are doing the very same thing that is supposedly causing you to leave. That is a very blatant hypocrisy.
     
  13. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^Well, you did call him obtuse.
     
  14. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Since it's apparently going over your head: No, Ollie isn't particularly insane. Having a secret identity, lying through your teeth to the people you love, and inadvertedly putting those same people at risk while pursuing your crime-fighting crusade is all part of the superhero trope. Batman, Superman, Iron Man, etc. all do it on a regular basis. And in their respective movies, they were typically the only superheroes revealed to exist, too, even though that isn't necessarily the case. Just like it isn't in Arrow.

    Hell, the only real difference between Ollie and Batman is that Ollie doesn't have qualms about ending his opponent's life if they deserve it. Which, honestly, is less crazy than Batman. Look at all the death and destruction Batman allowed to happen by not putting a cap in the Joker's ass on day one.
     
  15. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Nope. I asked was he purposely being obtuse. There is a distinction.
     
  16. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Really, nothing is going over my head. There are degrees. That makes everything you say academic. There is a difference between, say Spider-man and the Punisher. The end results are the same in way: they both take down bad guys or gals. But when Spider-man takes down a criminal there is a chance of him getting back on the streets. When the Punisher takes out somebody, chances are that person will never take breath again. That is a big degree of difference there.

    And I don't think Ollie falls into the superhero trope--yet. Right now he is a hitman.
     
  17. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Has a secret identity? Check.
    Wears a costume? Check.
    Has a secret lair? Check.
    Has abilities far beyond those of his peers? Check.
    Fights crime? Check.
    Goes out of his way to save lives? Check.

    Not sure what else you need to count as a superhero. Especially since in the same breath you're throwing around figures like the Punisher as one.
     
  18. Othello

    Othello Commodore Commodore

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    Good stuff. Glad to see this has sparked a bit of debate.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In our world, yes. Or in a world like most superhero TV/film adaptations where the hero is unique in employing such methods, it does suggest a certain eccentricity. But the flaw with this argument as applied to the characters in the original comics (or most animated adaptations) is that what they do is not rare or eccentric in the worlds they occupy; it's actually fairly normative in those universes for freelance crimefighters to don tights, capes, or otherwise colorful costumes. It's no more "whacko" in the context of such a universe than it is for a football player to wear a colorful uniform with lots of padding and a number printed on the back, or for a man going to a formal event to wear an uncomfortable tuxedo. It's just the culturally accepted, standardized form of attire for that particular role or undertaking.

    And can we please bury that "underwear on the outside" meme? They're trunks. The conventions of comic-book superhero costumes were based on the costumes worn by circus strongmen and acrobats in the '30s and '40s, which did in fact entail trunks worn over tights (presumably for modesty) and often involved capes as well (though those would've generally been for display and would've probably been removed prior to any major physical exertion). It's not insane to dress that way, just retro. It's no worse than a Civil War re-enactor dressing up in 1860s attire.

    Of course, in the show, Ollie doesn't wear tights or trunks. He wears the same garb worn by his island benefactor, presumably for tribute as much as concealment, and he wears a "mask" of green face paint to maintain anonymity. It seems reasonably well justified.


    There are lots of superheroes that don't have secret identities, more commonly in the Marvel Universe than DC. The Fantastic Four have never hidden their identities. The Avengers were originally fairly secretive about their identities, not even sharing them with each other, but these days they're generally fairly well-known. Captain America actually did keep his identity secret in the early comics, and in fact probably violated all sorts of military regulations by going AWOL to fight crime in his superhero identity, not to mention calling himself a captain when he was actually a private (unlike the movie where he was made an honorary captain). So he was hardly a bastion of honesty in the '40s comics.
     
  20. Lost Periphery

    Lost Periphery Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Ok. All those things make Ollie a superhero. Now, based on what's been shown so far, let's take away two of your "Checks."

    Fights crime. I say he is not. He is going after people in a very particular hit list. As stated before, it unknown if these people are power players or just clogs. He is going after vengeance. Punishing them for what they did or are still doing, but his is punishing them. Stopping them just seems an aftereffect. Again, this is how I am seeing things.

    Now the second of your "Checks:"

    Goes out of his way to saves lives. What lives has he gone out of his way to save? The man up for execution? I believe that was just to get to the man on the Hit List.

    So in my interpenetration of Ollie I've already discounted two pretty core things in a making of a hero.

    And now I will add a "Check" of my own.

    Kills to get to people on a List? Check.

    So the new list

    Has a secret identity? Check.
    Wears a costume? Check.
    Has a secret lair? Check.
    Has abilities far beyond those of his peers? Check.
    Kills to get to people on a list? Check.

    Does that still sound like a hero?

    And what happens if these people are not fully black and white evil? But only on the List because they happened to be laundering monies through their banks? Or shredding evidence? Or something they did once!

    And what of the aftereffects? If Starling City is that corrupt and he is taking out heads, wouldn't that destabilize the whole structure of the city?

    Again, and I can't stress this enough: this is how I am interpreting the show and it's characters. I love it because it is very dark. I would have never thought a show with such serious implications could be on the same network as Gossip Girl.