The Killer And The Hero

Oliver – I just feel like this island is…turning me into something terrible.
Shadow – No island, no place can make you something you’re not.”
Oliver – So I’ve always been a killer.
Shadow – Everyone has a demon inside them.  The Dao De Jing recognizes the yin and the yang. The opposing forces inside all of us.  The darkness.  The light.  The killer and the hero.

This quote highlights the conflict/turmoil that is faced by so many of the characters in Arrow as well as the conflict we ourselves face.  Every character in the show (Oliver especially), and every person here on earth, is trying to maintain a balance between the light and dark, the killer and hero inside of them.  One of Oliver’s great strengths is that he knows this is part of his battle.  He became aware of the constant struggle between hero and killer during his time on the island and how muddled that distinction can be.  He realizes that in so many situations both good and evil raise their heads.  After all, if he had not attacked the man in this scene Shadow would have been severely harmed or even killed…however in attacking him Oliver kills, with violent rage, for thei frist time.  Which was, “the right thing” to do….??? (an essay on this Impossible Decisions)

Everyone has a story, and everyone also has the opposing forces warring inside of them.  Some let the darkness come out even when they’ve had things go pretty well. Others suffer terrible things and chose the light.  It’s an ongoing battle most of us will struggle through our entire lives.

Talk To Him

Slade – I’ve seen many more with that look I their eyes.

Shadow – What look?

Slade – The one that says he’s split into someone else.  Someone he doesn’t even recognize.  If someone doesn’t talk to him it’ll tear him up.

It is very admirable what Slade is able to see in this scene that I think many of us could have overlooked.  Slade points out in this passage that Oliver is on the verge of a mental collapse.  Oliver has just beaten the guy to death to save Shadow.  He has killed for the first time out of rage, desperation, anger, and loss of control and now he is facing a huge upheaval in identity.  Someone has to grab him, and grab him now…tether him to the light or he really will collapse completely.  Someone has to remind him that he is more than just one act.  The fact that Slade recognizes this is a huge strength of his.