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.

Start By Letting People Help You

Oliver – I don’t know what to do.  He’s too far ahead.  I mean, he’s spent years planning this.  He knows everything about me.  I can’t, I……I don’t know how to stop him. 

Sarah – Well, you start by letting people help you.

Oliver – But, he’s gonna come after you.  You’re alive…because Shadow isn’t.

Sarah – And when he does do you think it’ll make a difference whether or not we’re together?  Let him come.  I’m not the girl he knew on the island.  I’m not that easy to kill. — Together?

Oliver – Together.

 Ok, so I know it’s really, really girly of me to say this but I was thinking a few episodes ago that one thing they really needed to do with Oliver next was have him show some emotion.  In this scene they pretty much do.  Hum…It’s a great scene because what I see happening is that Oliver is thrust back into survival mode and he’s barely making it…but this time he is tethered to the light.  He is lost in darkness again but he is not floundering…he is attached to Sarah, Diggle, Felicity, and Roy…and because he is attached/tethered to them they can pull him back out of survival mode, into the light, onward toward being a hero again.  Without them Oliver would have to learn to survive again, find a purpose (which is dangerous for him because his purpose right now is really to “get rid of Slade” a purpose that could easily cause him to become vengeful and perhaps even a villain).  However, being tethered to the light Sarah can pull him back up.  She offers him help and he accepts.  This, I think, thrusts him back up to hero status.  He’s not doing it alone.  He is even willing to give up his purpose to work as a team.  

In real life this is all very hard to do.  Asking for help, recognizing when things are out of our control, giving up our own agenda, and allowing others to fight some of our battle are things I would like to do better.

I Need This To Stop

Sarah – It’s just me.  What’s going on Olli?  Hey!  Talk to me.

Oliver – Now is not the time.

Sarah – Then when is the time?  The Bratva Olli? You’re losing your grip. Ok, Slade is getting in your head.

Oliver – I need this to stop!  And for it to stop, I need to find him!

Sarah – Yeah, and until then how long do you think you can keep this up for?  You’re not eating, you’re barely sleeping and when you do you have nightmares.  They’re about her, aren’t they. Hey, look at me.  You did what you had to do, ok?  Ivo was going to shoot Shadow, or me, or both of us.  It was an impossible choice.

Oliver –I made it anyway.

Sarah – But if you had chosen differently it would be me haunting you at night.

Oliver – It still could be Sarah. (great voice change!) That’s why we have to stop.

Sarah – What are you saying?

Oliver – He’s going to use you to hurt me. Or he’s going to hurt you… (another voice change) Stay away from me.

This conversation is interesting to me because Oliver is speaking more honestly with Sarah than any “superhero” ever does with his girl…however, he is being more dishonest with himself then he has been in a long time.  I think it’s really cool how the writers of this episode have Oliver (and Diggle) say and do everything we as the audience want them to do…and yet it doesn’t resolve all the problems.  In superhero movies there is always the plot line of “I can’t tell her because if she knew she’d be in danger” and “I can’t do that because I care too much.”  This episode shows how these plot lines do not have to be followed to keep the show interesting and suspenseful. There doesn’t have to be that “if they only knew” factor.   Diggle rescues Deadshot and stays with his ex-wife but things are complicated…his wife wasn’t making very good choices and Deadshot is going to have another bomb put into his head.  Oliver (especially in this scene) is telling Sarah how much he cares and how hard the situation with Slade is for him…and he is telling her point blank that he can’t handle her being in danger.  I really appreciate that about this show.

Also,  you can see in this scene how Oliver is still in survival mode (his body stance, not making eye contact, fear, fight and flight) but he is trying to force himself into Vigilante mode (putting himself in danger (i.e. with the Bratva, trying to face fear), forcing a purpose upon himself).  He has forced the purpose upon himself to “get rid of Slade” and he can’t do it.  Slade is too far ahead of him.

Oliver is struggling with a fluctuation in the level he is at (surviving/vigilante) and the level he wants to be at (hero).  He is also struggling with guilt (from Shadow’s death), fear (of losing Sara and others he loves), and pride (wanting to fix it on his own), not to mention the actual threat itself.  This is a lot to take on alone…to make it through he’s going to have to accept help.