Starling City hasn’t been kind to Quentin Lance.
From the start, Arrow’s honorable police captain has suffered tremendously, and the biggest loss of all came in last week’s heartbreaker when Laurel (Katie Cassidy) finally informed him of Sara’s (Caity Lotz) death after months of keeping him in the dark. To say Captain Lance’s relationship with Laurel is strained is the understatement of the year.
Ahead of tonight’s episode, Arrow actor Paul Blackthorne jumped on the phone with ETonline to talk about Lance’s post-Sara grief, unlikely confrontations and a potential new romance.
When you were reading the script for last week’s episode, especially the moment when Lance finally found out the truth about Sara, was there a sense of relief?
Paul Blackthorne: It’s a [terrible] situation. He has to deal with his daughter’s death a second time around. One of the things that kind of made it interesting – because he’s already been through the death of his daughter once and knowing the effect that had on his life – that almost doubled it up as twice as bad to losing his daughter. He’s like, “Oh blimey, how am I going to keep myself together?” It’s utter dread at the idea of having to deal with it again, having really struggled with it beforehand when his life, marriage and family fell apart, and his drinking. It’s a big double whammy for the poor guy!
It took him a while to be let it on the truth, but it was a huge sigh of relief – at least for me – when Laurel finally broke the news. Would it have made a difference had she told him sooner?
Blackthorne: Yeah! That was what upset him most was the delay, the few months of not being told some crucial news. In his mind, he also felt like he could have done something to track down the killer. In my mind, one of the things I felt would have been so difficult for him to deal with was that he didn’t get the chance to bury his daughter. He thought he buried her the first time out, but the second time around, at least he could have buried her properly. But, he didn’t because Laurel took care of all that. The disrespect and the awful betrayal from Laurel having done that killed him as well. He just would’ve wanted to have been there, and he wasn’t.
How does this affect his relationship with Laurel? Is there going to be growing tension, growing distrust between father and daughter?
Blackthorne: That’s a fair comment. It’s not going to make their relationship too good. This leads into a whole other dynamic now. He’s lost so much trust for her and the Arrow. His trust in these guys is really dented and really damaged. This is going spin Lance into a very curious direction because his buddy-buddy [relationship] with the Arrow is now strained. There’s going to be repercussions from all this. There is conflict in the air.
Now that Laurel is donning the Black Canary suit, how does Lance feel about this? Is this something he’ll never fully embrace?
Blackthorne: There’s an interesting moment in time, which was very, very small. It was the moment when Lance thought Sara was back and although he wasn’t all happy that Laurel was doing what she was doing, as was stated at the beginning of the scene when he finds out about Sara’s death, he says, “I’m not happy.” But he’s also proud of her. When this all comes to a head, it really hits him: How did I let my one daughter [Sara] run with the Arrow? He perceives that as being one of the reasons why she died. Now he’s seeing Laurel running with the Arrow too. “This has got to stop. This is crazy!” Lance feels she’s well out of her depth and that there’s nothing she can truly handle. From his point of view, if Sara – who was well-trained with the League of Assassins couldn’t survive this – how the hell is Laurel going to?
It all boils down to Lance believing the Arrow is the root of the problem, and the reason for all the loss he’s had to suffer. Is that a fair assessment?
Blackthorne: His sentiments toward the Arrow have shifted enormously, and there are repercussions. The Arrow has lost an ally in the police department and Lance has lost an ally in fighting crime. With some of the things that are heading toward Starling City, they really could have done with each other’s help but it’s all turned into a bit of a tricky situation.
Recently, you posted a selfie with Charlotte Ross, who returns as Mama Smoak in a future episode. Is there a chance we’ll see you interacting with her? Is that a new dynamic that may be popping up on Arrow?
Blackthorne: I think Lance would be a very happy fellow if he found himself going out with Mama Smoak. (Laughs.) I don’t think he’d know what had hit him. He’d be sitting there thinking, “What the hell is going on in front of me, but I’m very attracted to it! I don’t know why but I can’t help myself!” I think it’d be a very interesting scene to happen because it’d be hilarious! As the seasons tick by now, Lance is still looking for a little bit of love, and she looks like she provides just the right amount.
So, there won’t be any scenes between Lance and Mama Smoak? Darn!
Blackthorne: No we’re just sneaking around on-set, teasing the bit.
What’s one nugget you can tease for future episodes?
Blackthorne: Lance spends a lot of time with Laurel and the Arrow. We also shot a scene recently that was very interesting [and featured] a very odd couple: Mr. Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable), and all his lovely jewelry, and Lance, who was bemused by all his adornment and costume. That was an unlikely pairing.
Are you on Team Papa Lance & Mama Smoak? Are you glad Lance knows the truth about Sara? Tell us your thoughts by tweeting Philiana Ng at @insidethetube, and don’t forget that #ETnow hashtag!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.