*WARNING: Spoilers for Arrow ahead. Proceed with caution!*
Captain Quentin Lance didn't start out as one of my favorite characters on Arrow. Because I was so dedicated to Oliver Queen, I found Lance's treatment of him tough to swallow. Oliver tried to atone for his sins, but Lance was having no part of it.
But as the seasons passed, and the detective became a captain, my feelings started to shift. Here are five moments that changed my mind about him.
When He Found Out Sara Was Dead The Second Time
Paul Blackthorne delivered the emotions in this scene. It literally broke my heart to see him fall apart. The way he staggered back when the news finally sank in showed just how much he loved his baby girl. After losing her once, he'd gotten her back and thought all was right within his world. Then Laurel has to break the heart-wrenching news. It was painful to watch. All along we've known Captain Lance would do anything for his girls, and, in this scene, he showed us he'd gladly trade places with his daughter.
When He Thought He Had To Kill Sara
Damien Darhk told Lance the best thing to do for Sara was to put her out of her misery, and Lance believed Sara's soul was lost. He was trying to be a good father, to do what was best for her. He didn't know if Sara was suffering, but we all were when he cried out "She's not my daughter!" His willingness to make the effort said far more about him than his inability to pull the trigger. No parent should ever want to kill their child, but to ease their pain, we understand why they would want to.
When He Found Out Laurel Had Died
There's so much emotion in the final scene, and Lance doesn't have to say a word. He staggers and drops to the floor, and that's all it takes to show a broken man. How much can one man take? It was a question on a lot of our minds that night. Without a word, Captain Lance spoke volumes. He told us he didn't know if he could brave the harsh world any longer or if he could survive even one more minute. We all hoped he could but understood why he feared the future.
When He Gave Into His Grief Over Laurel's Death
Determined to find a way to resurrect Laurel, Lance can't quite admit she isn't coming back. It's Oliver who finally convinces him that Laurel is gone. Then comes the moment when Lance rips our hearts to shreds. He realizes Laurel was his rock, and he doesn't know what he's going to do without her. When he reaches out to Oliver for strength, we realize at that moment he's in the darkest of places. Here's a man who cried out to a man he once hated, not simply just because Oliver was there, but because he needed someone to bear witness to his pain. At that moment, Lance showed us he wasn't always as strong as he liked people to believe.
When He Tells Sara Laurel Was Killed By Damien Darhk
(Skip to 2:36 in this video for the start of the scene)
Lance has had time to face the reality that Laurel is gone, that he's lost a daughter who can't be brought back. There is no Lazarus Pit to save her. Now he's faced with the unenviable task of telling his baby girl that her sister is gone. The break in his voice and the way he grabs onto Sara showcases a depth of hurt that's still simmering beneath the surface. But he has to be strong for Sara, and after a little fight to hold her, he tells her he has her. It's like a reminder to himself that he still has a daughter left and that, no matter the odds, he has to be strong for her.
Paul Blackthorne is an incredible actor. If I didn't think so before now, these scenes would have changed my mind easily. His range of emotion in these scenes brought tears to my eyes, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who was feeling his pain. I hope, with Season 5, Lance is given even stronger story lines because Arrow needs an unmasked hero whose faith in humanity is restored.
What Do You Think Of Captain Lance? Let me know in the comments!