You win some, you lose some. After the announcement of Colton Haynes returning to Arrow for season seven as a series regular, it was only a matter of time until the other shoe dropped. One thing you learn when you watch Arrow is that every good thing comes with a price.
We thought that price was paid when it was announced that Willa Holland was leaving the series halfway through season six, but why stop there? It seems that we will be losing one more Arrow veteran at the end of this season. TVLine reports that original cast member Paul Blackthorne will not return to the series as a regular next season.
Blackthorne has been a vital member of the cast since the pilot, as he played Quentin Lance, father to Laurel and Sara, enemy-turned-friend to Oliver and the team. First Star City’s toughest law enforcer, and often the Green Arrow’s biggest enemy, he is currently protecting Star City as its interim mayor after Oliver’s impeachment.
This has painted a target on Quentin’s back, as he won’t be easily persuaded to follow along with Ricardo Diaz’s plans to turn the city into a hub for criminal activity – not even with Black Siren’s influence.
Blackthorne’s exit comes as a shock, but not really a surprise. Sadly, this season Quentin has lost more and more of his fire by being stuffed into the role of worried, doting father to Earth 2’s Laurel Lance, a role that he had previously played to exhaustion, and that simply offered very little room for creative exploration. While it is sad to see him go, it will be a relief to set Quentin free.
Now the most important question remains unanswered: Will Quentin pay the ultimate price for his morale and loyalty to his city and die at the hands of Ricardo Diaz? It surely seems like the most logical step for the character to sacrifice his own life before he sacrifices his values. We would still prefer it if he left town to live happily ever after with Donna Smoak.
One thing is certain – Blackthorne’s Quentin will be missed, and we hope that despite not returning as a regular, we will still get to see plenty of Detective/Captain/Major Lance in the future, even if it is merely in the form of flashbacks.
Catch Arrow Thursdays at 9/8 CT on The CW.
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