Arrow: David Ramsey previews Paul Blackthorne's return

How is Quentin Lane alive? That’s one (of many!) questions Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) asks himself on Arrow tonight.

Picking up in the wake of Team Arrow confronting Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) working with the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), this Tuesday’s episode, titled “Reset” finds Oliver stuck in an alternate reality in which Paul Blackthorne’s Quentin is alive and well even though he, you know, died in the season 6 finale. It’s a trip for everyone involved, to be sure, but most likely a welcomed one, too, because Blackthorne was missed.

“Paul stole a lot of scenes. He was just brilliant,” star David Ramsey, who directed this episode, tells EW. “Quentin coming back is strange. For all intents and purposes, Oliver is in the Matrix. Quentin is a tool by which the Monitor uses to help guide Oliver into making a sound decision. This is the Twilight Zone, and he comes back through the memory of Oliver Queen.”

According to Ramsey, the episode is unlike your typical Arrow episode, which may explain why Amell tweeted last month that it “might be our best episode ever.”

“I can’t speak for Stephen, but I think much of it is: Number one, it’s just a different type of episode than Arrow has ever had,” says Ramsey. “[Second], a lot of times for Oliver’s arc, it doesn’t begin at the beginning of the show and end at the end of the episode. It begins at the beginning of the episode and ends a season later, or the end of that season, or six episodes later. There’s a long arc. This was Oliver going from one emotional moment and it went kind of 360. He went all the way around and he was in a totally different emotional place by the time it ended. I think that’s fun for an actor because you’re going through a full arc in the episode as opposed to leaving that arc hanging at the end and now we’re going to go someplace else.”

For Ramsey, this episode stands from his previous directorial effort (season 6’s “Past Sins”) on the show because he had the freedom and time needed to focus on the many emotional beats in the script, which was written by Onalee Hunter Hughes and Maya Houston.

“It was a great script,” says Ramsey. “It came in, and I can’t overemphasize, at the right page count, which really means a lot man because you can sit in these moments, you can design shots where you just pull back and there’s silence, which doesn’t happen on Arrow. It’s not just about the page count. It’s partially because that’s what Arrow is. Arrow moves very quickly. But this was an episode that was a bit different. We had a different pace in that respect.” 

So what does Oliver’s trip sideways have to do with Lyla’s seeming betrayal of the team? Well, all Ramsey would say is, “Lyla has accepted that “Crisis” is coming, and that’s really the arc of the show. Even though she’s working with the Monitor, her biggest purpose is to help Oliver.”

Arrow airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW. 

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Episode Recaps

  • Arrow

    • TV Show
    • 8
    • TV-14
    • Superhero
    • 10/10/12
    • Marc Guggenheim,
    • Andrew Kreisberg,
    • Greg Berlanti
    • Stephen Amell,
    • Emily Bett Rickards,
    • David Ramsey
    • The CW
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    • Arrow
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