“Do you want to know why I don’t talk about what happened to me there? Because if people knew, if you knew, you’d see me differently, and not as some vigilante guy…as damaged.” ~Oliver
I have to admit…I didn’t like Oliver at first. His character felt overdone to me…I thought he was over muscular, over dramatic, and overly idealized. However, as they began talking about his scars I began to like him more and more. Scars are interesting. Each one means something different. They show we are marked, they remind us of the past, and they also open doors. We are slowly learning where each of Oliver’s scars came from and how impacted he was by the event that caused each scar. 20% of his body has scars on it…that’s a lot…and a good metaphor for how affected he was by his time “on the island.”
In this quote Oliver responds to why he hides his scars and what happened to him in the biggest event of his life…this quote shows me how Oliver is redeemable and this was when I really started to like his character. I like how he responds to Laurel when she finally asks about his scars (he leaves SO MUCH unsaid)…I like how he says “why don’t you hate me…you should” and how his voice changes to a factual tone when he says “you should.” But above all I like the contrast between how we (as an audience) see his scars, how others in the show see them, and how he sees his scars. The person who is marked or scarred usually sees their marks/scars as a horrible/shameful/evil thing because they know what was involved in getting those scars. The outsider, like Laurel, usually romanticizes the scars seeing them as a “amazing.” But we as the viewer who, who knows both sides of the story and can see the overall picture, see the scars as much more. They add depth to the person, they make their story easy to relate to, and they open up a redemption element. We, as viewers with “the God Perspective” as I call it, see Oliver as lovable because of his scars.
(For more on the power of scars check this out (The Power of A Scar)