“Moira Queen, you have failed this city!” –_Arrow_ just keeps getting better

Critically, I was a Jungian by instinct long before I studied Erich Neumann (the student of Jung who applied his psychological theory to literature) as part of my MA thesis. I’ve always loved analyzing archetypes in TV shows. I’ve also mentioned already how CW’s _Arrow_ is my favorite new show of the season. One of the reasons is what the show has done with the character of Moira Queen, Oliver’s mother, and Walter Steel, his stepfather and at the time the show started, CEO of Queen Consolidated. I don’t know about Oliver’s parents in the comics, but Steel apparently is based upon a character who fills in for Oliver at his company in the comics during an extended absence.

The pilot set up something of a _Hamlet_ dynamic, with Oliver and the viewers suspicious of his mother’s remarriage and of his stepmother’s remarriage. In the pilot episode, his mother conspires with a mysterious “man in a suit” (later revealed to be the show’s take on Merlyn, one of the Green Arrow’s greatest foes) to have her own son kidnapped to find out what he knows about a conspiracy that has unfolded subsequently. As it turned out, eventually, Walter is apparently a good guy but just when we found that out, he was kidnapped by the bad guys.

Now, in the most recent episode, Oliver finds evidence that his mother is involved in the bad guys, and in a really good cliffhanger, confronts his mother in the style he’s used with the other conspiracy members so far: “Moira Queen, you have failed this city.”

Other bloggers have pointed out a certain degree of innuendo in the show’s dialogue, emphasizing Oliver’s Oedipal or Hamlet complex. Unlike with Queen Gertrude, who may or may not know what Claudius has done or have conspired with him, we know that Moira Queen has been a knowing participant in the assassination of her first husband (and attempted assassination of her son, her son’s kidnapping after his return, her second husband’s kidnapping and apparently even her son’s 5-years of being “stranded” on the island. We still *don’t* know how willing a participant she is in the more nefarious dealings, or why she’s so committed to this conspiracy.

In any case, it’s quite impressive how they utilize but manipulate the two classic archetypes they’re playing with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s