Since season one of Arrow, Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) has been one of my favorite characters on the show. In the beginning, he was the cop who saw his daughter go off with the spoiled rich kid Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and go missing at sea. His other daughter, Laurel (Katie Cassidy), who was in love with Oliver, had to accept that her sister Sara (Caity Lotz) went off with her boyfriend and they were both presumed dead. Quentin fell apart, lost his marriage, and descended into the bottom of a bottle. When Oliver returned five years later, he wanted to punish him for taking Sara away. You felt his pain, and as much as you wanted Oliver to get away with it, you could completely empathize with Quentin.
As the seasons progressed, his life got no easier. He watched Sara come back and then die again. He watched Laurel dive into the bottle, too, and then sober up only to suit up with the Green Arrow. He eventually learned that Oliver was the guy in the hood, and instead of taking him down, he became an ally and a trusted friend. Then Sara came back again only to end up going off on a time-ship, and of course Laurel dies at the hands of Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) after Quentin worked with him to try to protect her.
Quentin has been through hell, and now he has to see an evil version of his daughter running around the city trying to hurt people — a woman he tried to kill at one point. The fact that he not only stays sober, but also helps Oliver run the city and aids Team Arrow when he can makes him one of the most interesting character in the Arrowverse. And Blackthorne’s portrayal of him has so much heart that he is one of the heroes of the show without ever having to suit up. When it was still a mystery who was going to survive Lian Yu, I was okay as long as Quentin came back. He is someone on Arrow that fans, and I, are thankful for.
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.
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