He may have been stripped of his detective duties on "Arrow," but Paul Blackthorne's Quentin Lance is doing just fine fighting crime in the blue. Well, until this week's episode on The CW series.
On tonight's "Broken Dolls" episode of "Arrow," the Starling City cop finds himself having to deal with a psychotic serial killer he previously put away (until that Season 1 finale earthquake helped set the man free). Barton Mathis (guest star Michael Eklund) is on the hunt for more torture and murder victims.
In a new interview, Paul spoke with AccessHollywood.com about what's ahead (including teaming up again with Stephen Amell's The Hood/The Arrow to tackle the latest criminal in town), as well as Paul's new documentary, "This American Journey," which he says is a feel-good film about the USA.
AccessHollywood.com: Lance is back in the blues this season. How does he feel about having to wear the uniform?
Paul Blackthorne: Well, it may be sort of a public humiliation in a sense, in that he's obviously been demoted from detective to officer, but in his own heart, what he did at the end of Season 1 was the right thing. Within the system of law, he wasn't able to achieve the result of stopping this darned earthquake from happening, which he would've done if Malcolm Merlyn hadn't had a second detonator, but when he took that information to the police department, they [wouldn't] listen to him so he had to step out into a place he'd never been to -- outside of the system of law -- in order to achieve the results, [get] justice, do the right thing and that was with the vigilant. So, as crazy as it was for him to do that, it had to be done. He's actually completely at peace with himself for having done that, especially since he was vindicated in the end because ... what actually happened was what he was telling everybody was going to happen.
Access: Who is Barton Mathis? We've heard he is a serial killer Lance locked up at some point in time.
Paul: The thing with Barton Mathis is it's not so much about the crimes he committed -- killing these young girls, but the time in which he did it in Lance's life, which is when Lance had lost his own daughter and it's as if for every girl that this guy murdered it was like Lance going through the pain of losing his own daughter all over again. ... Obviously the crime itself is enough to motivate him to do whatever has to be done, but it definitely just has that bit more emotional depth to it. ... It's heavy stuff for Lance, and to see this guy back on the street is just intolerable. It can't be allowed to happen, so he knows the one man out there that will help him [get Barton is The Hood/Arrow].
Access: How much danger is poor Laurel Lance in because I imagine he's going to set his eyes on her?
Paul: Well, you know, it's funny how these things come home to roost, isn't it? ... When Lance finds his own daughter involved with this criminal, it's awful and it compounds everything else. Not only is it reminding me of the time in my life when we lost Sara [Lance], but now you're about to take my other daughter away from me? ... Lance has held it together just by his fingertips in losing one daughter, and if he lost another daughter, regardless of how much happier he is within his heart of being back on the street and doing the right thing justice wise... if he lost both daughters... he wouldn't have anything worth living for. Poor old Lance.
Access: Going beyond this episode, are we going to see Quentin Lance and The Arrow working together? It seems like they have a bromance, well, not quite a bromance, but they have a friendship of sorts .
Paul: Well it's the odd couple, that's what I like to see it as. It's two guys that are really not cut out of the same cloth.
Access: Yeah, one is in leather.
Paul: Yeah one's in leather and I'm in the blues, but strange enough they do know that despite the difference in the way they approach the work that they do, they both are trying to get the same result. It took Lance the whole [of Season 1] to reconcile that in his own mind that 'Hey! Come on! This guy's unorthodox, but look at the results!' And Lance, from this place that he's in now that he has to answer to a little bit less in terms of the politics and such of the police department... he's in a position now where he can actually, in terms of the bigger picture, in terms of real, true justice, he can actually do more to serve the city than he seemingly ever was as a detective.
Access: You're bringing out your documentary, 'This American Journey'?
Paul: Yes, that's right, a documentary I've been working on for a number of years... I drove across America and interviewed people as to how they felt about the state of America and the future of America, and it's basically a feel good documentary. I wanted to make a feel good film about America and basically have people fall in love with America again because it's gone through troubles and such, but you know what? The American spirit is holding strong, so let's think about that for a second. It's a lovely little film.
"Arrow" airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on The CW. For more on Paul's documentary, visit http://thisamericanjourney.com/index.html.
-- Jolie Lash
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.