Paul Blackthorne hasn’t been having an easy season on “Arrow,” playing the part of former detective Quentin Lance. He got knocked down to beat cop, then beaten up, then arrested. And the whole time, he’s been struggling with one daughter who was addicted to alcohol, and another who was a secret superhero.
Add in the shocking twist at the end of the last episode, which found Queen family matriarch Moira killed by villain Deathstroke, and Quentin is the last adult standing. So what’s left for him to fight for?
“The sisters, they’re the ones I care about,” Blackthorne said when we talked to him by phone. ” And behind them, the city.”
Adding insult to injury, his daughter Sara (Caity Lotz) left town in the last episode without saying goodbye.
“It’s a bit of a shrug, honestly,” Blackthorne said on the abrupt departure. “Sara has always been likely to do that sort of thing, where Laurel has always been the sensible one. It’s a here we go again moment.”
So while that may not change his character too much, one thing that will is the war coming to Starling City. In the final few episodes of the season, Deathstroke is building his army, while The Arrow is building one of his own. Stuck in the middle is regular ol’ Quentin Lance.
“There are great little one-liners that the writers come up with,” Blackthorne noted, “Which is sort of Lance trying to wrap his head around, this men and women showing up in their exotic outfits. For a man with a badge and a gun is hard to deal with. But he cares about the city, and does whatever he can. If it’s a threat, it’s a threat and he’ll deal with it, whatever they’re wearing.”
One of those costumed threats is Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro), who is a mayoral candidate and sometimes-boyfriend of Laurel by day, monstrous supervillain Brother Blood by night. Though Quentin has championed Blood in the past, on “City of Blood” evidence emerges about Blood’s murderous past that throws the detective for a loop.
“Starling City has to deal with betrayal once more,” Blackthorne said about the twist. “Lance is loving the idea at one point that a blue blood like Sebastian was making good.”
Instead of getting bummed out, though, Lance finds that Laurel had the right idea about Sebastian being a creep all along.
“Once again, my faith in my darling daughter is renewed,” Blackthorne said.
But just because Quentin is back in his daughter’s good graces doesn’t mean they’ll survive the experience. War is coming, and things are about to get very, very bad.
“This whole pumped up army [will be] taking over Starling City,” Blackthorne said. “It’s not just affecting the superheroes world, it’s affecting the city. Therefore the police department is crazy involved in it.”
For the past two seasons, The Arrow and the Starling City police have very much been at odds — to the point that they’ve occasionally hunted the hero. Now, as the season draws to a close, that relationship will definitely change.
“Lance has had a working relationship with The Arrow over the course of the season,” Blackthorne said. “Now as we head toward the finale, there’s a little turn in how the whole Starling City Police Department is working with the Arrow. Because let’s face it, we’re all in this together.”
So will we see the police take up bows and arrows to be just like Oliver Queen?
“You got it, we don’t need guns anymore!” Blackthorne said, laughing. “Everyone is training on the bow and arrow.”
“Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.