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This post contains spoilers for the October 5th season premiere of Arrow.
Thea Queen has undergone a transformation since Arrow finished up Season 4, and as much as I love this character, I can't say I'm altogether thrilled with the changes.
As I was watching the season premiere, I found myself distancing from Thea from the beginning. Her brother, the man who has saved her time and again, had just been kidnapped, and she wasn't willing to go back to being Speedy even to save him. Oliver was being held captive, and she didn't appear to be concerned in the least. Instead of pacing and asking Felicity to locate him, Thea sits at a table with no sense of urgency whatsoever.
I am all for her getting her life back and not being a hero if that is her choice; however, the writers need to consider how this new Thea comes across to the viewers.
She's changed a lot in five months, and while she certainly has gone through hell in the past, she tended to leave the judgments out of her conversations, as she didn't like to be judged. In addition, she never hesitated to help someone, running to save Roy when he chose to stay behind in the Glades, going up against her brother when he'd kidnapped Diggle's daughter, and even fighting her own father in an attempt to save the city from Damien Darhk. But if this one episode is anything to go by, that Thea may very well be gone.
Even Though Oliver Was Kidnapped, She Didn't Want To Be Speedy Again
Yes, Oliver has proven time and again that he can take care of himself, but Thea has no way of knowing if this is one of those times. It took a conversation with Quentin Lance for her to offer assistance. Even then, she came across as a grudging hero.
Oliver was willing to go against his promise to honor Tommy to rescue her when she was kidnapped in Season 2's first episode, "City of Heroes." Oliver did not want to be the Arrow again, but he donned the suit because Thea needed him. There was no hesitation, which makes Thea's reluctance even more damaging to her character.
She Judged Oliver For Being Willing To Kill Again
Maybe Thea forgot that it was Oliver's willingness to kill that saved her life. Had he not killed Ra's Al Ghul, Thea could have remained in danger. Oliver put his own life on the line many times to save her, including fighting Malcom Merlyn and severing his hand to obtain the cure for her bloodlust. And Thea tells Oliver that putting killing back on the table is a huge step backwards.
The only reason Oliver stopped Thea from killing is because he knew it would change her like it changed him. He didn't want that for her. And when she discovered he was the Arrow, after knowing all of the people he killed, she still thanked him. But now, she thinks what he is doing is wrong. Would she have felt differently if she had sword to her throat?
Characters change in every show; it's what keeps us interested. But when the change makes a person forget the love that has protected them and sheltered them for years, it creates a division between the character and the viewers.
So, writers, please consider how you want to portray Thea Queen in the upcoming episodes of Arrow. Make the viewers dislike her, and there will be plenty of people who will have one less reason to watch the show. As Arrow is my favorite show on television, I don't want to have to endure a character's transformation that is outside the scope of her normal personality. Thea Queen is a foundational character, and, as such, she shouldn't be disliked.