Arrow: Paul Blackthorne on Lance's betrayal, Sara's resurrection
One of their own is working against them.
The season premiere of Arrow revealed that, while Oliver (Stephen Amell) was away, Capt. Lance (Paul Blackthorne) had turned to another powerful man to protect his city: Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough). Sorely regretting that decision after Darhk slaughtered the city’s leaders, Lance will soon face the truth coming out — though that’s the least of his worries when he discovers that Laurel (Katie Cassidy) resurrected Sara (Caity Lotz) via the Lazarus Pits. EW has the scoop from Blackthorne on what’s next:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How does Lance learn that Sara has actually be resurrected?
PAUL BLACKTHORNE: We’ll find that out specifically on Wednesday, but of course the family is looking out for each other. Obviously Laurel knows an awful lot about what’s been going on with Sara, so it’s fair to say that she’s probably got something to do with how Lance finds out.
How does he feel about his daughter coming back to life?
It’s a bit of a strange situation where you see your resurrected daughter — not for the first time, by the way. Is she dead? Is she alive? Is she dead? Is she alive? It’s becoming old hat now for Lance. But seeing her return in this state is obviously quite a neurotic moment for Lance, because he’s seeing her alive, but immediately sensing something is completely off with her. That does not appear to be his actual daughter in front of him, which is a fairly terrifying realization for him. From that point, it’s how he deals with that that becomes interesting in the episode.
It appears he’s faced with the choice of whether to put her down. What’s going on in his head in that moment?
Well, I think it’s a lot of neurosis, because the last thing you want to do is kill your own daughter, especially when she’s just come back from the dead. However, if she appears to be in a pained and in a terrible state, like how you’d have to put your dog down at some point, it might be the best thing to do, so that’s the choice you have to make.
Is there a part of him that hopes he could actually reconnect with Sara?
Of course there’s a part of him that wants to reconnect with her. She’s back. He’s looking at her in the flesh. But that’s what’s so tragic about this situation, he knows he can’t connect with her, because he knows she’s not truly there to be connected with. From a father-daughter point of view, that’s pretty horrifying.
Is Lance mad at Laurel for bringing Sara back to life?
Again, that’s a neurotic moment for him as well. It’s like, “Great, you brought her back, but what the hell did you bring back specifically? What is this?” Obviously that takes some reconciling between the two of them as well. “Bring her back, but just bring her back properly next time, please, Laurel. That’s all I ask.”
Oliver asks Lance for a favor during Wednesday’s episode. What can you tease in that regard?
There is interesting ground on the way to that favor being asked. This is a shifting moment in their relationship, Oliver and Lance. The way in which it comes about, in true Arrow style, is fantastic. The twisting story lines related to these various plot points are always great writing and great to play. It’s all good stuff. A lot happens on the way toward that moment.
What was your first reaction when you learned that Lance was working with Damien Darhk?
I thought it was interesting. It’s not necessarily the case that if someone does a bad thing, they’re a bad person. Sometimes good people are doing bad things for what, in their mind, are good reasons. That’s how they can justify it in their mind. In this case, at first Darhk was suggesting he was going to be able to help Star City. In the Arrow’s absence during the hiatus, this was a huge thing for Lance, for somebody to help the city after the biological attack in the season 3 finale. It’s a huge incentive to have Darhk work with him.
Also, of course, when he realizes that Darhk is actually particularly dark and not exactly the person he suggested he was going to be, then he’s threatening Laurel, so Lance is pushed into a corner and has to keep working with him to keep his daughter alive. What more incentive motivation could he need? He’s got to keep his daughter alive. He’s lost one. She’s been brought back in this peculiar state. The other one can be killed now. Keep his daughters alive, that’s his motivation for doing this. Not doing great things, but in his mind, for great reasons. As soon as he does realize that Darhk truly is as dark as he is, he does everything he can to back out of that.
It seems that Oliver will soon find out that Lance is working with Damien. What’s the reaction like when people discover the truth?
It’s a big shift in the relationship between Oliver and Lance, with a rather surprising outcome, really. It’s awful. Lance obviously feels a great shame with this situation with Darhk having turned out as did. As things turn out, it’s a little bit difficult for Lance. But, in the end, we’ll see how that dynamic shifts between Lance and Oliver.
Will Lance be able to help Team Arrow being on the inside, or is he too afraid of what Darhk will do?
In those first few episodes, Lance was actually cajoling Oliver to stand up. “This city needs someone is the light, not someone lurking around in the shadows.” I tried to play it in such a way that he wasn’t giving him grief about it, he was actually encouraging him in a subtle way. That, to me, was interesting. It was off-set by Lance’s big secret with Darhk, but he was making up for it by urging Oliver to do it the right way, the way the city needs, to step up into the light.
Mama Smoak (Charlotte Ross) is returning. There are a lot of fans who want to see Lance and Donna together. Is there any chance of that happening?
If there’s one man in the DC comic book universe that needs to get laid, it’s Lance. Let’s face it. #GetLanceLaid. If that turns out the way it does, I think it’s a hilarious pairing. To go from Dinah (Alex Kingston) to Donna is quite the contrast and not something that Lance would be expecting himself to react to, but of course, once that woman walks into the room, I think any man is going to have a reaction, notwithstanding Lance. It’s an interesting combination, the two of them together, it’s a big of an odd pairing. But as long as it ends up with Lance getting laid, I’d be very, very happy about it. Or Lance would be happy about it.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.