Without Him, Without Him

Roy – “Doing this without him while we’re waiting for him to come back is one thing, but doing this without him, without him?  That’s a whole other situation.”

Diggle – “Well, what do you want me to tell you Roy!  I can only see one inch in front of me and this is the only thing in front of me right now.”

Well said.  Roy is pointing out the difference between doing something with hope in the background and Diggle is point out the only way we keep moving when we have lost hope.It shows how clearly Roy is in the Broken stage, he doesn’t want to move, where as Diggle is in the Survival stage of this crisis, he is moving but without any clear direction…just trying to get by.  The loss of hope is really one of the hardest part of the Broken stage.  Without hope how can we move?  

“Without Him, Without Him” is a great way to put it because I think it reflects our feelings when we experience great loss.  We are not only without the person we lost but we are also without hope, without company (because we often feel alone in our loss even when we are not) and even without God.  Broken people feel very alone. However, as outside viewers we don’t fully feel this abandonment and loss of hope because we have the God Perspective…hope is never fully gone when the whole story is known.

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Blood on Your Hands

“The bomber was Kat Su Chang but make no mistake this blood is on your hands.”

There is some really skillful abuse and manipulation going on in this scene.  Look closely at how things play out.  First, Oliver is asked to torture the guy to find out where the bomb is.  He can’t do it.  The bomb goes off and kills a bunch of people.  Oliver feels terrible about it and the ARGUS lady tells him that IT IS HIS FAULT, therefore reinforcing his feelings of uncertainty and guilt.  Then she “give him another chance” and trains him to think that torture is the best option.  Oliver, of course, doesn’t want to feel responsible for the loss of more lives, so he complies.  Then extending things to the present day torture becomes part of his instincts, one of his immediate reactions, part of his survival skills.

It is easy to understand how Oliver would fall into this trap because he feels so bad about the bomb going off and wishes he could do something.  The person training him at the time, the ARGUS lady, says he can do something (get information out of people through torture), so he does.  The key here is that he believes, and is told to believe, that it is his fault and the deaths are on his hands.  But were these deaths really HIS fault?  Certainly not any more than they were her fault and much less than the person who planted the bomb. This is a classic misplacement of blame that often happens in abuse and bad training.  It shows the importance of who we receive our training from because what they teach us often becomes ingrained very deeply.

Never

Roy – “Don’t abandon me”

Oliver – “Never”

 Good job Roy.  I like how he gets right to the point…right to his fear.  Too often do we abandon those around us.  Playboys need parents, the Broken need those who provide hope, Survivors need consistency in their training,  Vigilantes need sidekicks, really firends; Heroes can’t do it alone.  No matter where we are at we all need someone. For many of us abandonment is likely one of our greatest fears and rightfully so.

Nothing Left but “The Arrow”

Oliver – To do what I do Berry, it takes conviction, but more often than not it’s the will to do what’s ugly.  Every time I do that I’m…I’m trading away little pieces of myself. So you asked what’s wrong with me…that’s what’s wrong.  The part that I’m trading away is Oliver Queen.  And lately I’ve been feeling like there’s nothing left except The Arrow.

Barry – I think you’re full of crap.  Look you’ve convinced yourself that everything you went through took away your humanity, but I think it’s because of your humanity that you made it through.  You wouldn’t have survived, much less come out the other end a hero, somebody who wants to do good, if you didn’t have a light inside of you.

 I like this quote and I think they are both right.  Oliver is giving away pieces of himself when he “has the will to do what’s ugly.”  And that is most certainly how it feels to him. If he continues on this path for too long and without people to ground him (like Diggle) he would end up as purely “The Arrow.”  This is what he has been cautioned about all through this season (that he will die alone, that he bottles things up (like Sara’s death), that he doesn’t allow himself to be a blend of Oliver and Arrow).  Pushing the “Oliver” part of him out will not do him any good…but neither will pushing the “Arrow” part out.  

Barry is also right though.  Arrow/Oliver has convinced himself that he “has become something else” in a bad way.  He hasn’t found the balance.  He hasn’t realized that it is the Oliver part of him that has offered light all these years and the “Arrow” part that has helped him make it through.  Oliver is not gone…the playboy is…but Oliver Queen the hero is the light that is pushing him to become something more.  Finding balance is key in becoming a Hero.

I Know Two Things

“I honestly don’t know if I’m a killer anymore…but I do know two things.” ~ Oliver

This, and the statements that follow are identity statements.  Oliver is (for one of the first times) able to make “I am” statements, statements about himself and how he defines himself.  This is a key part of our lives.  We all have parts of us that we choose as our identity.  These parts are the hardest to let go of when we are broken and the most difficult to rebuild as we become heroes, but when we do find these components of ourselves and are able to make “I am ___” statements it says a lot.  At this point Oliver chooses his Brotherhood to Thea and his love for Felicity as parts of his identity, parts of what makes him who he is.  What “I am ___” statements do you make?  What defines you?

Quiet Your Mind

“You saw something but your head is too busy.  You need to quite it.” ~ Japanese (wife) girl

This seems to be very applicable to our society today.  We all seem to have way to much going on most of the time…we can’t quite our bodies/minds/thoughts.  I think it is interesting that they put this “quieting of the mind” as part of Oliver’s survival training.  It’s a good metaphor for the “controlling your thoughts” idea, being able to focus your mind and not just run about frantically in survival mode (which is so instinctual).