I think everyone has the chance to be redeemed…even people like Merlin and Slade. Villains are who they are because of the intensity of what they have been through and often because they don’t have the support they needed during the Survival and Vigilante phases (see How to Become a Superhero). Don’t get me wrong, their actions are still very evil, but because of their experiences they could still turn around, go down a different path and use these choices and experiences in humility to help others. I would love to see how they bring someone out of Villain back into Vigilante and toward hero.
Slade – IT WAS YESTERDAY! Oh I tried to let go of the island, but it’s still got a hold on me. And if that hood that you wear every night is any indication…it’s still got a hold on you.
Interesting how time seems different to Oliver and to Slade. Oliver moved on from Shadow pretty quickly…probably because he was still in survival mode and he had to move on to survive. Shadow wasn’t such a big part of his life. For Slade on the other hand, Shadow was what he was holding on to…in a way i think keeping Shadow safe, happy, and helping her get off the island was Slade’s purpose as a vigilante on the island. After Shadow was taken from him and then revenge was taken from him Slade “lost it.” Without a purpose and without help…he became a villain. And it sticks with him because it was EVERYTHING to him. Yanking a purpose away from someone in the vigilante stage is a very dangerous thing to do…it will almost always be interpreted as deep betrayal.
In addition, Slade does have a point…The “islands” we have been through in life will always have a hold on us. They will impact our lives and who we are or are becoming. It is the type of hold we allow them to have, the purpose our “island” experience gives us, and the sidekicks/help we accept (or do not accept) along the way that will determine the type of power these experiences can give us. Will we be tied up, bound, by our island or will we be headed, bound, for something greater because of our island.
“Once you let the darkness inside…it never comes out.” ~Helena (and later Laurel)
Interesting idea. It seems to me that Helena is unable to recognize that the dark and the light go together. She has no sidekicks (Oliver was not ready to help her when he tried before and she rejected the idea of sidekicks) so she became lost in the darkness. All she sees is her purpose. And then at the end of this episode, when her purpose is gone, she feels alone and hopeless. What she doesn’t realize (and hopefully will now begin to see) is that it only takes a little light to negate the darkness. It may feel like the darkness/loss/despair will never leave but one spark can start a huge fire and one lit candle (although the room may still be dark) allows you to begin to see. I think that is what is happening to Helena at the end when Oliver comes to talk with her. Oliver, this time, now that he is beginning the hero state, is bringing a small bit of light into the darkness. Yes, Helena is right in that the past will never change…the darkness/dark memories/things she has done wrong will always be with her (never come out)…but with light she can become something more.
Maybe this is the hope for those who have entered the Villain stage. That they will lose their purpose because with the loss of their purpose there is opportunity for light to get in.
I also thought it was interesting that Laurel repeats this quote…what does that say about her?