SDCC 2014: Arrow Star Paul Blackthorne Talks Captain Lance and Lance Family in Season 3

2012 Winter TCA Tour - Day 7

One of the characters that have grown into one of the strongest voices of CW’s Arrow is Quentin Lance who is played by the great Paul Blackthorne, who this season is going to be known as Captain Lance rather than officer or detective Lance. Last Saturday afternoon at San Diego Comic-Con, TVOvermind was able to participate in roundtables with Arrow and we got to ask Mr. Blackthorne how Lance is dealing with being an captain now as well as whether or not the Lance family will be able to catch a break this season. These are the questions we specifically asked at the roundtable.

TVOvermind’s Andy Behbakht: How is Quentin dealing with being a captain now, I know there is going to be a time-jump, but how is he dealing with it? Is he happy about it or is overwhelming to him?

Paul Blackthorne: Well it’s tricky, Quentin is very much a man of the streets [as a cop] and he grew up in Starling City, very blue collar. One thing that he actually enjoyed last year about being the police officer was being back on the streets with the people. But this new position that he finds himself this year is a lot more administrative, paper pushing, politics, budgets and these sorts of tasks that come with the job that he has now. And that’s not something that a) massively appeals to him and b) he thinks he is actually good enough to do, in a sense.

He’s got this sort of insecurity about all that, whether he is really good to be that kind of guy and really whether that is his thing that he enjoys. He doesn’t [like it], he likes being out on the street, he knows everyone’s names in Starling City. But it was the only way for him to be back in the police force.

You see he be back in the police force, but he has to go by this rank so he’s got to reconcile that “you can’t be a player anymore” [out in the field], it’s time to be a coach and it’s a bit of a mid-life crisis. So yeah it’s a nice bit of shift for his character, but that’s one of the themes of this season which is identity, really for everyone. It’s going to be an ongoing thing so everyone is going to be like “who the hell am I?”

TVO: The Lance family has been having it rough for the past few years with Sara coming back – after being assumed dead -, Dinah left and Laurel had her drinking problems: are they finally going to get some peace this season?

Blackthorne: Peace? What are you going to say, happiness next? [laughs]

TVO: Yes, happiness! Anything!

Blackthorne: Drama is conflict, conflict is drama, right? Well you know, Andrew [Kreisberg] was saying on the panel yesterday [Arrow’s SDCC panel the day before] that there was a relative happy ending to season 2. You know, surprise, surprise, things were resolved and good, they beat the bad guys. But of course there is lots of murky things lurking around to pop up. I think the first season was obviously extremely unhappy for the Lances’: there was obviously Sara was “dead”, Lance was being castigated for his approach to try finding the Arrow.

So that was rough, but last year was, apart of Dinah running off and coming back telling us all about this Jeffrey character that she is with in Central City, which I thought was rather annoying. So apart from that little bump, it was relatively “happy”, Laurel sorted out her drug addiction aside. But there is no such thing as real “happiness” and that’s the thing actually, you have to worry about, as soon as you see a moment of happiness, you are like “Oh I don’t know if this is going to last because there is some stuff around the corner!”

TVO: I just want you guys to be able to catch a break very once in a while!

Blackthorne: Well just when you think that you can catch a break, that’s when you know that something is coming and there is some classic stuff coming that I can’t tell you about, but there is some classic stuff coming out in the first three episodes where everything is great so you know things are going to get greyer and greyer and you know there is going to be a bigger and bigger shock, because that happiness isn’t going to last. And again, that’s up to these guys with their excellent writing.

Arrow kicks off its third season on Wednesday, October 8, 8/7c on The CW.

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Andy has contributed to sites such as KSiteTV,and It's Just Movies. While working as a TV Critic for TVOvermind, he is also a podcaster and podcast producer for as well as a moderator of and Andy is also the founder/owner/editor in chief of He has always had a big passion for writing and analyzing superhero, fantasy and sci-fi television. Follow him on Twitter @AndyBehbakht
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