Kill Them First

“Now you face people who want to kill you.  To prevent that you must kill them first.” ~ Merlin

Spoken like someone who is controlled by fear.  I’ve been thinking more about how someone in the Vigilante stage becomes “Island Bound” meaning the identity they reconstruct IS their island rather than learning to use their island to help others.  They can’t seem to manage to put together a new vision of who they are so they become “island bound.”  Merlin is a good example of this.  His wife’s death broke him and he learned to survive this tragedy, but instead of using his experiences to help others he has become trapped in this identity.  I wonder what it would take for him to be free again?

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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.

Spooked

Diggle – I’ve never seen you spooked like this before.

Oliver – Well, that should tell you something.

 If you notice a change in someone…it means something.  When people are upset, frazzled, frustrated, angry, or “spooked,” as Diggle says here, then something is wrong.   It could be something from their past that is making them uncomfortable.  It could be an anticipation of harm to come.  It could be uncertainty.  But no matter what the cause, there is meaning behind it and I think most often this is linked to fear (more on fear).  Whether we agree with the persons fear or not we should take them seriously and treat them (and their anxiety, fear, frustration) respectfully, because it is real, a part of them, and it can tell us something.

Worse than Death

“It should have been me.” ~Oliver

Death is not a fear for Oliver…in fact (as Slade says in the end) Oliver would welcome death.  He wants a release.  He wanted it to be himself instead of Tommy.  He wakes up in the episode where his mom shot him and says “I guess I didn’t die…again.”  Oliver lives with things much worse than death (like being forced to choose who lives Sarah or Shadow…that is truly an impossible decision and one that Oliver will feel the effects of forever, even though he couldn’t have done anything differently.)  It’s interesting because Slade is aware of this.  He is out to destroy Oliver…not his life (death would be a release)…but his soul.  Not cool.  I think intentionally causing harm to someone’s soul is much worse then causing a death.