[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Arrow S4 and The Flash S2 ahead.]
Ever since Harrison Wells set off his particle accelerator in the heart of Central City, things have gotten weird in The CW’s DC universe of The Flash and Arrow. Of course, with over a year gone by, it stands to reason that all the meta-humans aren’t going to remain confined to the boarders of The Flash’s home. Some of them are going to start hitting the road.
Recently, we witnessed one of those meta-humans, dubbed Double Down, hit the streets of Star City in an attempt to take down the Green Arrow. Of course, he failed, but that’s not really the issue. While Oliver and his team seem capable enough to stop the meta-humans that cross their path, what of the leader of Star’s police department? Can Captain Lance fight the growing threat of super-powered people in his city?
In a recent interview we conducted with actor Paul Blackthorne that will run after the upcoming episode of Arrow, the man opened up about how Lance views the new “enhanced” issue taking place in his city:
Obviously Lance would probably be the most skeptical person in Star City when it comes to someone being referred to as a “meta-human” or “magic” and such. When he had that scene with Laurel and said, “we got these crazy guys flying around this city. A guys wearing a mask. This Flash guy,” he rattled off all the various characters and, you know, a few years back before The Arrow turned up, it was mafioso and Triads and Russian gangs, the usual things you’d expect to find in a crime-ridden city. But, obviously the nature of crime and its characters have changed somewhat. So, it is a bit of a head shaker for Lance. He can’t quite see what’s going on.
The whole place, in his eyes, seems to have turned into a bit of a cartoon town with all these people sort of running around dressed up as they do, and I try to keep Lance on the ground in that way. He’s shaking his head as much as anyone else would be shaking their head if this was going on, and it is going on. So, he has to try and deal with it. But, it is a strange thing for him to reconcile that, suddenly, there are people in tight leather costumes and doing rather bizarre things with playing cards. It’s tough on him, but if it’s happening, it’s happening.
As its executive producers have made clear many times, there was never any intention to feature people with powers on Arrow… but that all changed when Warner Bros. demanded a Flash spin-off. Given the two worlds are connected, there’s really no way not to bring up the matter of superpowers when it comes to the residents of Star City. It’s not as if they aren’t going to go there when they know a non-powered vigilante is the one guarding the streets rather than a super-human streak of red light.
That said, the introduction of mysticism last season via the Lazarus Pit has really opened Arrow up into a somewhat grounded take on the supernatural. Now, the show has been re-invented in a way to allow for the appearance of more meta-humans – and if the hype for Batman V Superman has taught us anything, it’s that people love watching powered people square off against non-powered people. Really, Lance is probably the character closest to reality in how he reacts to the situation.
People with powers shouldn’t exist, but they do – and as long as Arrow can keep people like Lance honest in how they view the matter, then there’s no reason the show can’t continue further down this path.
Arrow airs Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW.