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DC52 Signing Off: A Tribute to Captain Quentin Lance (Arrow)

If there is one thing that is almost too hard to process, it is the death of our beloved characters from our favorite TV Shows, Movies, Books… you name it. We grow up with them, we feel a great pang of sadness at their heartaches, and we can’t help but smile ridiculously at their victories.

This season of Arrow was like a gigantic puzzle. There were so many pieces, so many parts. No matter what order you put the pieces in, something else was always affected. I have to say that this season, especially the second half, was absolutely incredible. That finale really blew me away. Marc Guggenheim really was not kidding when he said that it would affect us emotionally on an entirely different level. One thing that truly got me was the death of one beloved character, Quentin Larry Lance.

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When I first met Quentin back in Season One, I wasn’t 100% sure how I felt about him. Well actually, that’s not entirely true. I couldn’t stand the character. I thought he was rude, asinine and just an uptight pain in the ass. He literally had that ‘Every Breath You Take’ by the Police vibe when it came to Oliver Queen. As the seasons progressed, I found myself really starting to get more attached to the character. I would have to say the Season One finale was where it all really started. Quentin pretty much threw both his badge and the rule book to the wind and elected to help Oliver save the Glades from Malcolm Meryln’s earthquake machine. After seeing his backstory and watching him go from a overly vindictive father to the mayor of Star City was quite the journey. We could also talk about the time we watched him go from your friendly neighborhood PD back to being an alcoholic after Laurel’s death in Season 4. If there was one character on the show (Oliver aside) who endured endless trials of suffering – it was Quentin. He was more than a survivor, he was a warrior.

One of my absolute favorite scenes was when he and Sara were reunited in Season Two, in the episode titled ‘League of Assassins’. That episode alone showed that Quentin wasn’t this vindictive ‘out to get you no matter what’ kind of a guy. He was a father. A father who had two daughters who meant the entire world to him. If you had to name five characters who had the greatest character development on the show, Quentin would certainly be one of them. One of the hardest things for me to watch was seeing him lose Sara all over again. Although Laurel was his rock, Sara was his baby girl. Sara, the girl who he thought he had lost on the waters of the China Sea. Sara, the little girl who came home to her father. The scene where Laurel came in and finally told Quentin the truth about what really happened to Sara absolutely broke me.

Perhaps what really got me attached to the character was the fact that Lance reminded me so much of my father. My dad was anything but approving at times when I would introduce them to one of my dates. My dad may not have worn a police badge, but he really may as well have. He became someone that my dad could relate to, on a few different levels. He would say that he and I shared a relationship the same way Quentin and Sara did. No matter where I went, he would always be waiting for me to come home – just like Quentin with his daughters.

Another trait that I absolutely loved about the character was his dedication. In Season 4, Quentin was pressured to work for Damien Darhk. Darhk threatened to kill Laurel if Lance did not do as he asked. His dedication to his family could not be matched. When Team Arrow got a line on Darhk, ultimately landing him in prison, Lance took an incredibly bold step by testifying against Darhk in court. Not only did he know this would cost him his position as Police Captain, but it also painted him as a target for the diabolical demon. Ultimately, Quentin’s testimony was the nail in the coffin that put Darhk away in prison.

This season it was particularly heartbreaking to watch Lance’s journey. He was the one person who had the most faith in Black Siren. There was not a single person on the team who chose to believe in her, yet despite all of these odds Quentin continued to insist that she could repent. From the looks of the season finale, it looks like she finally did. It is extremely heartbreaking to see that Quentin is no longer with us to see the direction in which Black Siren’s life will take.

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Although the character may have been designed in the writers room, I have to give full credit to Paul Blackthorne. Anyone can throw on a costume and say that they own a character. Paul did more than ‘own’ it, he became the character. Not only did he manage to disguise his accent with absolute perfection, he brought in so much to the role. From everything from the personality to the little quirks. I don’t think an episode went by where Quentin did not have some sort of a little joke or a quirk to throw out there. I cannot credit Paul Blackthorne enough for his performance. He was spectacular. He was phenomenal. He became dad.

The death of Quentin Lance is one that will certainly shake the Arrow community. He wasn’t just a random secondary character that could easily be written off. He was a character that we could honestly say that we grew with. He is going to be extremely missed. Rest in Peace, Delta Charlie 52. Your legacy will live on in Team Arrow and in Star City forever.



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