A Fraction of what Happened

Oliver – “Why didn’t you tell me about any of this?”

Felicity – “Do we even know a fraction of what happened to you during the 5 years on that island?”

Woah, Touche!  Good Job Felicity…a good reminder of many things…

First off, That everyone opens up in their own time.

Secondly, WE don’t know what others have in their past and we may be better teachers and better role models as well as more willing to open up ourselves if we remember that others have scars too.

Thirdly, our scars are a part of us whether they are seen or not.  Oliver has scars all over his body…we don’t see them nearly as much anymore but they are still there (yes, that sentence is both literal and metaphorical), Felicity, Diggle, Laurel, all of the other characters have scars too…they may not be visible but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Finally, this quote is a good reminder of “if we don’t ask, they won’t say.” (especially when talking about heroes).   I don’t think true heroes go around spouting off their experiences…most heroes have been through too much, lost too much, and seen too much to consider what they are/do to be heroic or even a good idea to talk about.  When someone stays quite, shuns recognition, it is probably a big sign that they are a hero or at the very least that they have been through something that has made them see the complexity of the world.

Felicity is right, they don’t know even a fraction of what Oliver went through on the island, and Oliver knows even less about Felicity’s past.  I think someone in Oliver’s situation, with Oliver’s experiences understands the impact of scars and experiences very deeply…so if even he can forget why someone wouldn’t open up and talk about them freely…how much more must we forget to think of others and what they are NOT saying.

Advertisements

How to Teach You

“See before you were swinging at your sister’s killer. Don’t train for that, it’s a target you’re never going to hit. Alright, train for yourself.  See, now I know how to teach you.” ~ Laurel’s Coach

When we have a context for what someone is going through it is a lot easier to know how to guide them.  We know this in minor terms in life such as the teacher knowing that what happened at a child’s home affects how their school day will go, or a person sitting in the hospital waiting room is probably on edge…but we seem to forget it in the sense of daily life and in the sense that every person, and every life, is affected by millions of influences.

This quote from the boxing teacher is a good reminder that we don’t know everything about others and we have to be careful about what we say.  It is also a good reminder that the person transitioning into the survival stage is relying heavily on instinctual reactions (Laurel is the perfect example of this instinctual/reactive behavior in this episode and in the one where she attacks the boyfriend of the girl from the AA meeting) AND the person in the survival stage needs training. If they expect to get good training they have to let the trainer in.  Oliver let Slade in, Thea let Malcom in.  It can be hard to trust someone when you are broken and just beginning to learn to survive, however the better our teachers/trainers/guides know us the more they can cater our training.

Refusing to be Broken

Boyfriend: All I’m doing is unleashing the true potential of what you made.
Felicity: Why, this isn’t who you are.
Boyfriend: 5 years for the NSA, you learn a lot about how the world works. How we can’t be saved or salvaged.  How it is every man for himself.  You also learn that when a city bank goes under a, say, significant cyber attack, the mayor will reach out to the treasury department.

First, this is very classic abusive, trying to turn the ill-will and actions of yourself off onto the other person as if they are responsible. Obviously not a good guy at heart.

Secondly, what phase is he in?  Playboy? Broken?  I don’t think he is surviving.  He isn’t really trained.  Looking more closely I’d say he is still in the playboy phase and is refusing to be broken, kinda like Laurel was in the beginning of season 2.  He is totally unaware of so much (what he is up against, who can stop him, or even that Felicity’s mother has a watch with wifi), he can’t do anything on his own (I mean he has to kidnap Felicity), even his goal is very small, uncreative, and has little heart or passion behind it.  It’s like he was immediately removed from jail to work for the NSA and so he never had to face the reality of what he did.  He never broke…but he is resentful and now he is more of a puppet.  A true villain like Slade) could use him as a pawn but on his own he is kinda pitiful (even Felicity could take him out).  This is the danger of not allowing yourself to be broken.  Laurel was there (with the alcohol and pain killers) but she eventually allowed herself to feel, it broke her…but now it has allowed her to move into survival, and hopefully on to much more.  Noone likes to be broken but if we avoid this phase we can never move past it.  The extent to which we are broken is the extent of a hero we can become.

You Learn Not to Judge

Felicity: Turns out he is not as dead as I thought.
Oliver: I’ve had some experience with that. You learn not to judge.

This is something I’ve liked from the beginning about Oliver’s character. His experiences on the island and beyond humbled him and made him realize his own potential for good and evil and seemed to reconcile him with others’ as well. He doesn’t judge others readily.