To Be More

Slade – Where am I?

Oliver – As far away from the world as I could get you.  Where you can’t hurt anyone ever again.

Slade – That’s your weakness kid.  You don’t have the guts to kill me.

Oliver – No, I have the strength to let you live.

Slade – Oh, you’re a killer. I know.  I created you.  You’ve killed plenty

Oliver – Yes, I have.  You helped turn me into a killer when I needed to be one.  And I’m alive today because of you.  I made it home because of you.  And I got to see my family again.  But over the past year I’ve needed to be more.  And I faltered.  But then I stopped you, without killing.  You helped me become a hero, Slade.  Thank you.

Slade – You don’t think I can get out of here.  You don’t think I’ll come after you.

Oliver – No, because you’re in purgatory.

 This was a good speech from Oliver.  It not only really shows how far he has come but it shows how necessary each of the steps he went through to get to this point were.  Being broken, learning the skills he has now to survive, even being a killer were necessary phases for him to go through.  Just as these steps are necessary for Oliver, I think they are necessary for us as well.  Not that we need to become killers, but we do need to work through the stages of becoming a hero.  Those in a stage that is not favorably looked upon by general society (such as Surviving, or Vigilante) should not be discounted.  They are in a place of transformation towards heroism just as Oliver was.  And now, he is now on his way to becoming a superhero. 

Secondly, the last line  is a great play on words too.  Obviously because Slade is actually on Lian Yu (the island named purgatory) but also because Slade has a choice right now.  He can change.  The drug is out of his system and if he wants he can become something else.  He probably won’t, because he is so far lost in villain hood…but he could.  This is his time of paying for his choices, and, his time to consider something new.

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Yes You Can!

Laurel – No. No.  You can’t commit suicide Ollie.  You won’t do that to me, or to Sarah, or to your friends, or to Thea.  Oliver she just lost her mother.  Loosing you would destroy her.

Oliver – She’ll be alive.

Laurel – I don’t know anything about hoods and masks, or human weapons, or any of this, but I know you.  I know you like I know my own name.  And I realize it may sound crazy, in light of your secret, but I know who you are in your bones Oliver!  And that person, that person doesn’t give up.  That person he always finds a way.

Oliver – Not this time.

Laurel – You’re wrong.  You want to protect the people who you love then the only way to do that is to stop Slade Wilson.

Oliver – LAURLE I CANT!

Laurel – YES YOU CAN!

 Good job Laurel! (and those who wrote this script) 

 It’s interesting that Laurel points out here that in sacrificing himself Oliver will be hurting those he loves.  Oliver is broken again and not wanting to survive and therefor he doesn’t see the impact his death would have on those  he is trying to protect.  Sarah is right, Oliver’s death would destroy Thea (and probably others as well).  There are a lot of things out there that are worse than death.  Oliver knows this (that is why he is craving death, and end to all his pain) but he can’t see how it impacts others right now because “the broken phase” is a phase of blurred or vision.  The pain is blinding him.  So, although he is still a hero in many aspects of his life…he is unable to see how fragile others are as well.

 In our lives I think we experience this as well.  When things are so hard that we know death would be a release it is a time when we can’t see truth clearly.  Laurel yells at Oliver to keep going, keep trying, be a survivor…but he can’t see it yet.  Oliver needs Laurel, just as we need others in our lives during this time. Someone who will list off the people we HAVE TO live for, see what we can become, push us to survive.  Not everyone makes it out of the broken phase…we have to fight to survive.

The Essence Of A Superhero

Oliver – Someone once told me that the essence of heroism was to die so that others might live.

Diggle – It’s not that simple Oliver.

Oliver – Yes, it is.  Slade’s whole plan was to take everything from me.  He did.  He wins.  All that’s left is for me to die.

In this scene we see Oliver playing both the role of broken (wanting to die) and hero (wanting to die for others).  Oliver is broken again…still a hero but broken (now in the area of family).  This is a very heroic way to approach death…however, in the context he is doing it in (without “the fight”… not meaning physical fight but rather metaphorical fight.  The fight to help others, the fight for a cause) he is revealing how broken he is.  Oliver is now living in the hero stage in reference to “the island” but he has entered a broken stage in regards to his family and relationships.  To come out of this he will have to decide that he wants to survive yet again…just as he did in the cave on the island in the first season when he chose to try and survive the island.

Our lives are a lot like this too.  We live in multiple stages at once.  We are heroes in some aspects of our lives and still naive “playboys” in others.  When examining the different components of our lives (such as family, finances, health, relationships, occupation, physique, ) we find that we are just surviving or becoming vigilantes with a solid purpose in some parts and completely broken in others.  Being broken is never a desirable place to be however it can lead to becoming a hero.  And for Oliver, now that he is becoming a hero in respect to the island…he will have the chance to become a hero in more than one area of his life (physique, health, occupation…and now family).  As he becomes a hero in more than one area of life he will become a superhero.  We have this option in real life as well.  We can move through the stages, not as literally, but with just as much difficulty.  It’s a process. The process of becoming a superhero. (for more click here)

Island Bound

Oliver – It was five years ago.

Slade – IT WAS YESTERDAY!  Oh I tried to let go of the island, but it’s still got a hold on me.  And if that hood that you wear every night is any indication…it’s still got a hold on you.

Interesting how time seems different to Oliver and to Slade.  Oliver moved on from Shadow pretty quickly…probably because he was still in survival mode and he had to move on to survive.  Shadow wasn’t such a big part of his life.  For Slade on the other hand, Shadow was what he was holding on to…in a way i think keeping Shadow safe, happy, and helping her get off the island was Slade’s purpose as a vigilante on the island.  After Shadow was taken from him and then revenge was taken from him Slade “lost it.”  Without a purpose and without help…he became a villain.  And it sticks with him because it was EVERYTHING to him.  Yanking a purpose away from someone in the vigilante stage is a very dangerous thing to do…it will almost always be interpreted as deep betrayal.

In addition, Slade does have a point…The “islands” we have been through in life will always have a hold on us.  They will impact our lives and who we are or are becoming.  It is the type of hold we allow them to have, the purpose our “island” experience gives us, and the sidekicks/help we accept (or do not accept) along the way that will determine the type of power these experiences can give us.  Will we be tied up, bound, by our island or will we be headed, bound, for something greater because of our island.

If I Die

Oliver – If I don’t make it…I need you to…to tell my mom and my sister that I wasn’t that same stupid kid who got on that boat.  Tell them I was different.

Sarah – And if I don’t make it…tell my family that I died on the Gambit.

Oliver – Why?

Sarah – Let them remember me the way that I was.

This quote is another great example of the stages of becoming a hero.  Oliver wants people to know he is different.  He is moving past the survival stage and isn’t worried about just “making it” anymore…he wants to be, and be known for, something more.  Sarah on the other hand is still being broken.  She has not lost as much, she has not learned to survive or learned what survival takes.  For Sarah, who I think is still in the process of being broken, she only sees loss.  This quote is a good contrast of how people see death differently depending on the stage they are in.  Here is how I think each stage would react to possible death…

Playboy – It’ll never happen to me.

Broken – Death is fine by me…it would be better then what I’m going through now.

 Surviving – No Way!  I won’t enter that situation because I’m going to do anything I can to survive and fight!

Vigilante – If I die remember that I’m different now…I died for a cause.

Hero –I will fight for others and if I die it will be so that someone else might find life.

Superhero – I will fight in the shadows and die unknown (or even alone) but I have set up a legacy for others in my life to successfully move on, changed because of me.