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Olicity Fans Should Thank Arrow For Not Wrecking The Ship

by Tara Lee Reed on May 15, 2014

(Spoilers be ahead)

If you look at the internet today, there’s a very familiar soapy divide between (and among) fan bases within the Arrow fandom in the wake of last night’s pretty epic Season 2 Finale.

Some Olicity shippers are livid, they feel they were toyed with and used by the producers and writers to create hype. Why? Because they got “The moment.” A much, much bigger moment than anyone was expecting: Oliver telling Felicity that while Slade thought he had the woman he loved (Laurel), he didn’t, because Felicity was that woman; followed up with an “I love you,” and a “Do you understand?” And it was a really gorgeous moment, but it didn’t last long.

I’ve been saying that the reason they released photos of Felicity, Laurel and Slade was that we were in for a gigantic head-fake. Initially we figured Laurel was a red-herring, because Slade was spying on/through Felicity, but didn’t anyone wonder why a show so careful about spoilers released the biggies a week out? My guess was that Felicity had the cure on her, so I was right there, but I went a step further, thinking she’d offer herself up because no one would suspect her/to take the choice from Oliver. The point is, we built it up in our heads. We’re supposed to. It’s how this works.

Olicity shippers felt collective heartbreak after Felicity, who hates needles, did in fact stab Slade in the neck, curing him and freeing herself like the brave little badass she is. And then we see the flashback footage of post-I-love-you Oliver handing Felicity the cure in a syringe as he asks, “Do you understand?”

And twitter blew up with rage. “You used us!” “He put her in danger!”

Come on, guys! This was a gigantic gift! And you did get played – beautifully. You did your jobs. They wouldn’t have done this if you didn’t love Oliver and Felicity so much. They did it because they love Oliver and Felicity, too.

It’s TV law that if you bring two characters with great chemistry together too soon, you ruin it and likely the show. It also happens when you try to force relationships. The beauty about Olicity is that their chemistry is so natural you can’t escape it. You can’t even write around it. It just is. That makes them a beautiful time bomb.

This entire season has been about Oliver and Felicity’s path from new friends developing trust, to genuine friendship and partners. It’s also been about Oliver wanting her close but pushing her away. This episode was a huge payoff for episode 6 when he tells Felicity he can’t be with someone he could love. Which says a lot about Sara, who he was bedding weeks later – the most toxic choice he could have possibly made, and the one right in Felicity’s face all the time. 

But did he love Sara? I think not. Or why didn’t he tell her? Why didn’t Slade try to kill her? He had multiple chances. She’s here and Shado’s not. But then Sara takes a page out of the Ollie-Handbook when he suggests cohabitation (with a very notable absence of those three little words). Does he love Laurel? Yep. He’s said as much this season, but he’s not about Laurel right now. Basically, Oliver might be different, but he’s not clear of his past as Ollie.

Ollie would have hit it and quit it on Felicity by now. He’s never had a female friend. This is part of why Felicity’s so special to him. She never cared about or wanted his money, she saw him for him and didn’t accuse him of being a murderer like his best friends and closest family had. She doesn’t try to change him, she tries to help him see who he already is and find that again. She’s the only person who truly knows him – at least as well as anyone can.

While Felicity wears her pure, untainted love on her sleeve (and in her innuendos), Oliver wears his through deflection, shoulder touches, heavy sighs and creating distance. My favourite example of this is the episode where Barry Allen appears, provoking Oliver’s jealousy. Though we’ve seen that The Arrow can grin and bear some major pain (like when sewing up his own bullet wound), after Barry starts sniffing around Felicity, he growls like a jaberwocky when she gently applies first aid to his ribs. Thatwasthegreatest!

arrow-gifs-4-strengths

The reason everyone is so taken aback is the fact they see (like everybody with eyes does) that he does love Felicity. But the reason we should be happy is that he knows he’s not ready for her yet, and he’s not toying with her. It’s odd how there’s a double standard of how she can be inadvertently overt about her feelings for him, but not act on them while denying them to others, but he can’t do the same.

That moment in the mansion felt true because there was truth in it. We’ve been watching Felicity be the reason Oliver stays in this fight, reminding him that he’s got her, that she trusts him and believes in him. This was Oliver proving the same is true of him for her. He gave the bravest person on the show the bravest job. A dangerous one. An unthinkable one.

But first, instead of letting her in on the plan, giving her the syringe in the car and telling her to sell it in front of the cameras, he used the opportunity to tell her he loved her – and she believed him. That’s the feels right there, because Felicity always knows when Oliver’s lying, and so do we. He didn’t have to say it. He could have left it at “he took the wrong woman” and she still would have caught on when he gave her the syringe. He wanted to say it.

Most wanted “The Kiss” during the scene on the Island, but it would have been bad. Very, very bad. The equivalent of sex before the third date (or third season) bad. What was great, was that Oliver, who hadn’t genuinely smiled once before meeting Felicity in season 1, and who pretty much only smiles genuinely around her now, was nothing but enigmatic grins from ear-to-ear when Felicity told him she almost believed him. He was one happy camper. Oliver Light. ON THE ISLAND. 

Oliver Queen’s love life is not free and clear. Sara just split (and passed him to Laurel along with a leather jacket), Laurel is the unresolved supposedly epic love who “knows him to his bones” but didn’t realize he’d been cheating on her for, like, ever, or recognize him under a hood. He’s conflicted. His mother just died. His sister is gone. He’s broke.

But he’s not broken. He’s got his team, but he’s also got Felicity – a girl you commit to once, and he knows that. He’s not going to toy with her, or get in the way of her personal life. He doesn’t even know if he deserves her, but he’s the only one. It was in capitals letters, bolded and underlined by Sara’s break up speech, which mirrored both Oliver and Felicity’s lines in their Why-Isabel chat. With Felicity literally waiting in the wings, no less.

So, Olicity fans, rejoice. You were given a gift last night. For 10 minutes you got to feel all the shipping was worth it (and it was!) and then you got it taken away. We feel like we do because (and this is gonna get meta) we ARE Felicity! We felt what she felt last night.

So when it does happen, maybe end of Season 3 into Season 4 (I don’t think they’ll rush it), it will be all the more satisfying. And if we’re lucky, Felicity’s going to have a romantic diversion of her own next season. That’s the soapy goods!

And about “him” putting her in danger – can we stop being sexist hypocrites? When has Felicity not insisted on being the bait? Or just gone ahead and taken on an Arch Nemesis by herself? He also gave her a chance to back out when her gave her the needle, but she didn’t -  because she’s his partner, she trusts him and they were all going to die anyway.

(P.S. How are you not jumping up and down about the fact that Laurel was the equivalent of green screen in that episode? There was no pointed dialogue or monologue about her before during or after the fight. Nada. That’s a win. Take it.)

So, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Joseph Patrick Finn, Andrew Kriesberg, the Arrow Writers Room, Stephen Amell and (the always growing) Emily Bett Rickards…thank you – for not wrecking this ship.

My 10 cents,

Tara

Looking for me on Tumblr? Now you’re not.

Tara Lee Reed is a writer from Toronto, Canada – not that chick from Sharknado. Her first novel,  Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda - the interactive romantic comedy with 60 Mostly Unhappy Endings – is available in ebook and paperback now. Find more information about it and other titles in the Once Upon a Theme series at www.doorflower.com. 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Sez May 15, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES. To everything you wrote. I know that there are fans out there who feel cheated or used but I just can’t comprehend how they can’t see this as a good thing.

Do I want Oliver and Felicity together? Yes. Do I want it now? NO. I want a slow burn. I don’t want to rush them into something that neither are ready for, only to have it completely fall apart and do all sorts of damage to the show/characters. I want them to be endgame and if I have to wait for it, then it’ll make it that much more worth it.

I feel like I’m reiterating/rephrasing what you’ve written above so I’ll just say *waves hands* ALL of what you said.

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Wordsmith May 15, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Yay! I’m so thrilled you agree! It’s kind of nice everyone feels cheated, it’s just a testament to the actors and show. They’ve provoked us. Brilliant. We ARE Felicity. That’s the best part. She was speaking what we we were thinking and feeling.

Thanks for your comment!

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Julie H. May 15, 2014 at 11:46 pm

I loved the season finale of Arrow. I wasn’t at all bothered by the way the Oliver and Felicity scenes were handled. They have a beautiful relationship of clearly mutual feelings that they’re trying to hide for a variety of reasons, fear being one of them, but there are clearly mutual feelings going on between them.

The thing with Oliver and Felicity is that they’re just beautiful to watch together. It’s friendship. It’s trust. It’s respect. There’s love there — not just attraction, not just heat — Love, and it hurts in that gorgeous way because Oliver is so damaged and scarred and so hurting from everything that’s gone on and because Felicity is shy and unsure and so certain he could never want her. They’re both scared people who want to reach out for the other but can’t. YET.

I noticed exactly where the emphasis was in how Arrow told the story last night. On who was the focus on taking Slade down and who got the emotional follow-up afterward. That was Oliver and Felicity, and that tells me everything I need to know about how the show runners behind Arrow see this pair & their place in the landscape of the show.

Now, bring on season three!

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Wordsmith May 16, 2014 at 12:24 am

Yes, Julie! You make great points! I’m very excited to see where this goes next season, especially with the likelihood it’s attached to her past. I’d like to see the tables turn a bit on who’s lifting the other up for a bit.

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Janice May 16, 2014 at 12:47 am

LoveloveLOVE this post! Well said on every count. Couldn’t agree with you more :)

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Wordsmith May 16, 2014 at 1:55 am

Hooray! I’m glad, Janice! Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again!

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Belle May 16, 2014 at 1:48 am

Completely agree w/you. The finale was perfect. It demonstrated how deep their connection is. She kept him on the right track when he was about to give in. She helped him become the hero. Slade may have been the villain who allowed him to prove himself a hero, but it is Felicity who gave him the strength and conviction to get there. You are right. How many times has Felicity been willing to place herself in danger for the better good? He trusted her with the most important job and she pulled through. I just loved how they’ve developed this relationship. And that island had me also grinning like an idiot.

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Wordsmith May 16, 2014 at 1:54 am

Hey Belle!

I’m with you! I was (pleasantly) surprised that Slade hadn’t planned on taking the entire time for that specific reason – she’s the heart of the team, makes him believe he’s a hero, so how can he function without her? But even if they were considering it, I’m glad they didn’t because it would have forced them to take it further than the characters are ready for. They’re handling this juuuust right.

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Asihxk May 16, 2014 at 8:34 am

You nailed it. Love this post… All Olicity shippers should read this!

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Amanda May 16, 2014 at 8:38 am

Thank you for this article! It really summed up all that the episode was as far as intention, emotion, and direction!

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Asih May 16, 2014 at 9:21 am

Thank you! You NAILED it. This sums up the Olicity that we know.
I believe the Arrow producers and writers are treating their chemistry very carefully. It’s too precious to ruin!

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Wordsmith May 19, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Thanks Asih! I agree! It’s like oil, you don’t want to run out when it’s what keeps the lights on.

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Asih May 16, 2014 at 10:16 am

“But first, instead of letting her in on the plan, giving her the syringe in the car and telling her to sell it in front of the cameras, he used the opportunity to tell her he loved her – and she believed him.”

Does this mean that she knows the Queen Mansion is bugged?

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Wordsmith May 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm

No, I don’t think she knew in advance, and that’s the beauty of it, that’s why her believing him is important. I think it was quite deliberate to show him handing her the syringe post ILY, when asking her if she understood – that’s when she put it together.

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Krista May 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

YES x 1 million.

I’ve been getting annoyed with fans who can’t see that this is all SO GOOD. Increasingly, Felicity is the only one Oliver will truly listen to and trust. When she tells him that he needs to make Slade out-think him, it’s like a light goes off. He hadn’t thought of that. He’s at his wits end, and then there’s Felicity, showing him another way. And then they do this whole thing together. Just the two of them. He trusts Felicity to take down the biggest villain they’ve ever faced (ever). With that trust comes a deep love.

Let’s enjoy this slow burn, because they are doing it perfectly. I’ve watched too many shows where the love interest is paid off too early and then the show just doesn’t work anymore. THIS IS SO GOOD. Also, big big thanks to the writers for letting the show take them where it wants to go. I love how they don’t fight against Olicity. They have embraced this pair, and they will do right by them.

Thanks for your great review!

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Peter Craine May 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm

There’s a podcast out there called Quiver that for some reason is so determined to remain against the idea that Oliver/Felicity is real and that the showrunners are planning on going even further with them. I guess I just don’t understand why some people are so against seeing where the writers’ wind is blowing.

It was pretty clear to me ever since episode 6 of season 2 that they were starting to slowly push Oliver and Felicity’s relationship into a more intimate area, which is awesome because slow burns are great when done right. I get that some people (some) like Sara or Laurel over Felicity at least in terms of an endgame romance, and a lot of that is based on the Black Canary/Green Arrow pairing in the comics. But ultimately, Arrow is a TV show that takes source material from the comics and twists it to tell their own unique story that will never line up perfectly with the comics (seeing as how comics don’t even line up with comics). And the story that they’re telling might be one that doesn’t end with a Black Canary/Green Arrow pairing.

But there are some others out there that insist that making Olicity a reality will “ruin” their friendship. To which I ask “why would it do that”. Sure, it would probably end badly if they had put them together in season 2, but complex relationships are so much more interesting when they are explored in depth over a long period of time. As long as it’s handled right, and it will because this show hasn’t let me done so far, Olicity will continue to be one of the most awesome aspects of Arrow.

P.S. On a separate note, would it be a good idea to turn Felicity into a ass-kicking hero like Oliver, Diggle, Sara, and Roy? Not saying that it must happen or else blah blah blah, but it could also lead to an interesting character development for her. Also, you have to think that since Felicity is joining them in the field much more, Oliver and Diggle will want to make sure that she is adept at defending herself. Plus, I always thought that it would be cool for to show to create it’s own unique superhero with his/her own costume or abilities and it would be interesting if at some point down the line (season 3, 4, or 5) that they give Felicity her own crime-fighting persona. Same goes for Diggle.

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Wordsmith May 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Thanks Peter! I appreciate your comments!

I think this was the best play because it allows an opportunity for the foundation of friendship and respect to be reinforced, but also because it creates great arcs for the characters individually as much as it does together. I’d rather see it play out over 5 seasons than in 3, because it would be become predictable and disingenuous pretty quickly, hurting her character AND his.

Personally, and it’ll never happen, but I’d rather see Felicity become the BC than Laurel. As long as they don’t make her Oracle… I think it would be a far more interesting story.

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Maira Cadaxa May 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Hey Tara,
Thank you for writing this!
I was actually very pissed during the unfolding of the events; not because he was putting her in danger or anything because I fell that it was very clear that the “do you understand” was a question, to which she replied with a very clear “Yes”… for me it was more of a “I fell for it and I hated to feel like the writers were playing” – BUT, after re-watching the ep. (especially the mansion scene and the beach scene, that last one felt really important to me), some thinking and reading beautiful thoughts – like this one – I must say that I agree with every word.
They weren’t playing. Like you said, they gave us a glimpse and then they took it away because if they didn’t, then what? Both characters still have much to figure out (Oliver, mostly) – and I’m looking forward to their journey as much as I am to them finally being together.
I really love watching them, their friendship and relationship, trust and mutual respect grow more and more every episode.
I fully share your love of Felicity, because that woman absolutely rocks.
I actually started really enjoying watching Arrow because of her, she brings out a part of Oliver that changes him to a lighter person, more positive and more confident in being and doing good.
And what she did in that finale? Blew me away. She’s a part of the Arrow Team and that also definitely changes her, for the best. She gets to change the world, to do good, to make a difference.
And she’s so brave on doing so – she’s a hero, too.
Well, here’s to a whole new and beautiful journey ahead!
Maira

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Naty May 16, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Hey, Tumblr directed me here, your review is pretty popular among Olicity fans over there :)

So yeah, I agree with you. This season finale was the best thing that could ever happened to Olicity. The aspect I was the happiest with was Olicity defeating Slade together, whom symbolized Oliver’s worst nightmare and put him on the edge since he learned he was alive. I didn’t think we’d get that, but I was happy they delivered it. All my OTP are partners first, so to see Olicity bring down together the big bad of S02 was delicious. I mean all the ways this season finale could have gone “wrong” for Olicity shippers, it didn’t.

Like I said in my post: They could have used Sara and it’d made all the sense in the world. Sara fights, so inject the cure into Slade would be easier and more effective than Felicity, to Slade Shado being dead was because Oliver chose Sara to live, Oliver and Sara were together for a few weeks and I highly doubt that Slade didn’t know about that. The writers could totally have pulled Laurel to give Slade the cure and that’s how she’d start to fill her BC shoes, instead of Sara giving her a jacket and saying that Oliver needed her – implying that she was passing her role as BC to her and Oliver would need her help to fight. None of these things happened. Seriously, the structure of the episode was all about Olicity. Laurel wasn’t even part of the exchange in the Slade and Oliver fight, being the spectator of Olicity and Slade fight. The season ended with Laurel thinking that Felicity was the woman Oliver loved and Lauriver didn’t have any scene to clarify what actually went down.

Anyway, thanks for writing this post :) It was great.

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Wordsmith May 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Hey there!

You make great points over what they could have done versus what they did do. That proves that he trusted her, and that they were really a team. I’d be more irked as a Laurel fan because they all wanted the BC hand off (prematurely), but instead she was an Olicity pimp (which everyone has to do for a pairing now and again – it was her turn).

I do think it was intentional to cut to Laurel after the “the woman I love” comment because she seemed surprised and if she is going to be around the new lair, it’s going to be a part of the story next season – whether it’s jealous Laurel (who hasn’t been super kind to Felicity), or selfless Laurel trying to put them together (the latter would be wrong to me – like they were trying to whitewash her. She’s got a least a season of hail mary’s before I give a damn.

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Rumy May 17, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Read for a second time this comment, because it stuck with me. Good poins, very good points! Here is what I don’t like about Laurel’s storyline ( and, believe me, I have said this many times, sorry) – Two sisters with the same guy and a dead best friend in the middle!!!! Really? It will take hell of a miracle (for me) to go with that! A passing of a jacket is not that miracle…

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Mindy S. May 17, 2014 at 12:43 am

This is absolute perfection!! I couldn’t agree more. I was a bit upset after the plan was revealed BUT THEN that most wonderful moment on the island happened and it made me see everything so much clearer. I’m glad I’m not the only person who noticed that until Felicity entered his life he had not smiled and I’m serious when I say that is one of the biggest reasons I love them so much together.

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Wordsmith May 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Indeed!

I also love the symmetry of S1 (Felicity bringing Oliver home almost unwillingly, then saving his life in the office shootout), and S2 (Felicity saving everyone’s lives, his soul, and giving him his first happy moment on the isle of Purgatory before taking him “home.”). That’s good stuff. I also love that she’s always at the ready for a zip line now.

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Maria May 17, 2014 at 4:02 am

So good. This show is worth it. The action, the story, the team and Oliver + Felicity.

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Wordsmith May 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Yes! It was a nice crisp ending that brings us back to good place to kick off of the next season with some fresh stories. I’m really excited for it.

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Sarah May 17, 2014 at 4:42 am

Could not agree with you more! I felt the same way when Oliver gave Felicity the job instead of Sara or anyone else. Just tells the amount of trust that they share with each other. The car part is so true, but couldn’t it be so that he just said that to make Felicity’s expression more real. But truth be told, people did wanted a moment like this so they got one.
Also that is the dilemma about shipping a couple, you have to wait a long while till you actually get the happy ending. But in case of Olicity i feel too that a little more time would definitely show how important they are in each others life.
Olicity Shippers Till The End!!!

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Wordsmith May 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

I never really saw Sara getting the job, because she’s as good a fighter as he is, and as obvious, but I see your point.

I don’t think that he would intentionally use Felicity like that, though that crossed my mind. I do think he knows how she feels about him, but that he’d think he thought she’d catch on sooner. That’s why it’s sweet to me, because it doesn’t even cross her mind that she could be the one he’s talking about.

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Françoise May 17, 2014 at 8:47 am

I agree 100%!!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH WRITERS FOR THIS PERFECT RELATIONSHIP SINCE THE VERY BEGINNING BETWEEN OLIVER AND FELICITY!

Felicity is the soul of your show…

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Wordsmith May 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm

She is indeed! Thanks Francoise!

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Sam May 17, 2014 at 9:36 am

So prefect. Thank you. The only way I could say any of this was the word clarity. The show gave me clarity that they will get together in the end when the time is just right. You said it so well! I can’t wait for next season! You know I like the little moments we get.. The hand on the shoulder, the smile… It’s what we live for when watching arrow! Too much too soon isn’t going to be right!!

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Wordsmith May 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Thanks Sam! I appreciate you saying so! It was a lovely set up. I think if people just go to the convo where he badly he explains how Isabel “just kind happened” and “didn’t mean anything” (even compared to telling her he can’t be with anyone he cares about) and the scene from the mansion back-to-back, they’ll see everything they need to.

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Rumy May 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm

I was not surprised with the mansion scene, that was not my moment, it felt like a plan. The Unthinkable for me was Oliver ‘s decision to not say anything about the plan to Felicity. At the and, Felicity was the one to destroy Deadstroke and let Oliver deal with Slade. Nor did I expected a kiss at the island – if it was just a plan, why should he kiss her? Still don’t like where the characters of Laurel and Felicity are positioned at this moment.
the ine moment that make it for me in therms of Olicity was that little Oliver’s line affront of Slede, Felicity and Laurel: “the one that I love like you loved Shado”. If one think is for sure, that is Slade love Shado, always for distance, always silently and always as a “just friend”. The same way Felicity does. But that is not the case with Laurel….

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Wordsmith May 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Ooh! I really like that, Rumy! I’m all about the Shado/Felicity symmetry, as I think it was a huge lesson for “Ollie.”

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Rumy May 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm

for me, Shado was the first female friend for Oliver and it ended in disaster. So now, even if he does not loves Felicity, he will do whatever it takes to protect her. But now he has one more lesson learned from Slade – what can go wrong when a “just a friend” loves you!

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Wordsmith May 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I very much agree with that. It was the first time it likely really hit him that he’d used women/that they, you know, have feelings. He wants to protect her, including from himself.

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Sarana May 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm

OMG, that was such an amazing text, I’m happy someone shared it on youtube. While I wrote many things alike in a comment under one of the Olicity scene vids I am so amazed by this, being well argumented and not insulting in any way.
I can not agree with you any more and am extremely thankful that I got to read this.

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Wordsmith May 19, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Thank you so much, Sarana! I’m glad you like it!

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Sarah May 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

This is very well written.. beautifully done.. I feel ashamed because I read this yesterday at my campus library and I cried.. especially on this part “But he’s not broken. He’s got his team, but he’s also got Felicity – a girl you commit to once, and he knows that.” Hit right thru my heart..
Thank you for all of the things you wrote :”)

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Daniela May 18, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I soo agree with you. But I’m a little bit conflicted. When Sara came back, she said to Oliver, that she will do everything to protect her father and Laurel. Then Lance comes and says, that bad guys kidnapped Laurel and she does nothing? It’s like she know that Oliver takes care of it. When Oliver came later save Felicity, Sara is there with him, she knew about his plan.. Maybe it all was about distract Slade from Laurel? I don’t think he could sacrifice Felicity for Laurel, but maybe Laurel was really more important in this than we saw at first sight?
I don’t know, I don’t need Oliver and Felicity happend right now, but this insecurity killing me. Doubts if writers really want them together at the end or if she always will stay only good friend for him.
I have bad feeling, that they are trying put Oliver and Laurel together as a star-crossed couple and I don’t like it at all (and it obviously doesn’t work, not for me!) .
Sorry if it doesn’t make any sence, I have such a mess in my head about these two. :)
Sorry for my english also.

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Wordsmith May 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Well, that’s one where personal interpretation comes in, but I do think that Oliver knew that he couldn’t save Laurel and the city, so it didn’t really matter.

Also, there has to have been at least an hour lapsed between the mansion and the call between Slade and Oliver, so it stands to reason that he let Sara in on the plan any time after that. If it was really about Laurel, then all of the follow up scenes would have been between Oliver and Laurel, but it was Oliver/Felicity and Laurel/Sara.

Sara’s unthinkable was going back to the league. Oliver’s unthinkable was jeopardizing Felicity to save the city. He wouldn’t want her to get hurt anymore than she would him, but she’s on the team as much as he is and we’ve established repeatedly that she’s willing to take the risk – and that’s the important part to me.

I think the writers want both pairings to work – truly – but they’ll go with the fans and I’ve never seen Lauliver or Laurel trending.

Thanks Daniela!

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Nillachaps May 19, 2014 at 5:30 am

You have summed up Felicity and Oliver’s relationship perfectly. For me, I am hoping for ‘Olicity’ as the endgame – not the for now. I wouldn’t even mind if the show revisited the Oliver/Laurel slant before then, to get it out of the way so that he can end up with Felicity when all is said and done. I can wait – just give me more moments like the ones in the S2 final :)

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Wordsmith May 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Yes, I never understand why people can’t just be happy that there are two solid (well, I don’t know if Laurel is sold is a character, but as far as canon goes) love interests for a steady triangle in a show that will probably do eight seasons. Felicity is actually the best thing that ever happened to Laurel/KC. It gives them interlude time to try one last time to save the character.

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India May 19, 2014 at 6:35 am

Wordsmith,
This is a beautiful piece and I completely agree with you.
Sometimes, love just needs a moment while other times, it may need a very long time. They both love each other, always have. In those little sporadic moments which we have witnessed throughout the series, that love has always been easily palpable. The way she cares for him and He, just the way he looks at her, the way his eyes soften. But they need time. Neither of them is ready for it. And honestly, nor are we. We must wait and see their relationship grow. We must grow with them.
The mansion and island scenes were just a small peek into where they are headed. Let them travel. Let us too.

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Wordsmith May 19, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Thanks India! I agree. That’s the fun part!

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Laura May 19, 2014 at 7:58 am

Here is a rather different take on the ILY scene in “Unthinkable”:

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Arrow-Finale-Oliver-Felicity-Ruse-1081795.aspx

I fully understand why “wordsmhithwesson’s” article appeals to Olicity fans. However, for those who don’t ship Olicity it is quite apparent that the poster puts forth quite a few arguable claims.

Everyone is free to ship whatever they want and also to support their pairing, as the original blogger does in this article. However, I think it’s a bit dishonest when people distort what is actually happening on screen in order to “prove” that one pairing is somehow better/more suited than any other pairing on the show. This article perpetuates one such distortion, which is so common among Olicity fans that it has become a meme that is repeatead over and over again in tumblr blog posts and online comments. It is the myth that Felicity is the ONLY person in the “Arrow” universe who can make Oliver crack a genunine smile:

What was great, was that Oliver, who hadn’t smiled once before meeting Felicity in season 1, and who pretty much only smiles genuinely around her now, was nothing but enigmatic grins from ear-to-ear when Felicity told him she almost believed him. He was one happy camper. Oliver Light. ON THE ISLAND.

Excuse me for saying so, but this meme is simply not true. Stephen Amell may have mentioned in an interview that the Felicity scenes were the first where he really smiled, probably because he wanted to say something nice when accosted with questions about Olicity. However, he must not have watched his own scenes very carefully, because there are plenty of scenes where we see Oliver crack a genuine smile, long before he met Felicity Smoak. And the ludicrous idea that Felicity is the ONLY person in the “Arrow” universe who can make Oliver smile in a genuine way can easily be refuted by providing gif-sets with Ollie smiling happily and seemingly genuinely at Diggle, Thea, Roy, heck even Laurel…But I guess on screen proof doesn’t really matter if you have decided to interpret things in a certain way. Also, what is a “genuine smile” and how do you distinguish such a smile from a “fake smile”…especially when you are talking about an actor who is only playing a part and doing whatever the director is telling him to do in a certain scene? I really like the Oliver/Felicity interaction, but I think it’s totally unnecessary to distort what’s happening on screen just to prop Felicity/Olicity and make them seem more important than they really are.

I would say that examples such as the above illustrates how some Olicity fans tend to disregard or even retcon away scenes and plot details which show Oliver’s emotional connection/love for Laurel or Sara (or any other woman in his life) in order to prop Olicity. In my humble opinion this is the most problematic aspect of the whole Olicity shipper fandom, and something which at times makes me feel like I’m watching a totally different show. I’m sure that Laurel/Oliver fans sometimes diminish Felicity’s role in Oliver’s life but this tendency seems to be more prevalent among Olicity fans.

I think the article illustrates a problem with shipping in general. If you are aboard the Olicity ship every pro-argument makes perfect sense. If you’re not, you can always find arguments against Olicity as well or even arguments for other “Arrow” pairings, such as Lauriver or Canarrow (Sara/Oliver).

Also, when talking about what the writers should or should not do with the Olicity situation/problem, one shouldn’t forget that there are quite a few fans who are against the idea of making Oliver and Felicity a romantic couple. On other boards I have seen long threads where posters basically say that they don’t want Olicity to happen and that they would prefer if the writers stopped what they call “the Olicity fan pandering”. These fans may be in the minority, but it still shows that there is no real consensus in the “Arrow” fandom, despite all the social media buzz surrounding Olicity (twitter, tumblr, fan forums).

I’m sure that there are peeps who would want to discard this post as just another Laurel/Lauriver fan trolling. If you feel this way, let me just say that many Olicity fans seem to be very busy trolling social media with their anti-Laurel, pro-Felicity/Olicity arguments. Since freedom of speech is a founding principle of the American constitution I can’t imagine that anyone would object to seeing a post that presents a different POV on the whole Olicity phenomenon.

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Wordsmith May 19, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Thanks for posting, Laura. I can understand where you’re coming from, but respectfully, I disagree/think much of what you say actually applies to your own argument.

People like certain pairings and hate others – that’s TV. And it’s ironic in a show that supposed to be about superheroes, but the point of this post was to put perspective on the immediate negative reaction by Olicity shippers. That doesn’t mean I’m not one of them, and I stand by all that I wrote.

I think KC did enough damage to herself with the snotty comments about pairings post-finale, and I’d argue she doth protest too much, so I don’t need to slam her/Laurel, but it’s pretty freaking clear that there’s a “Laurel Problem” and it’s not just about Oliver, it’s about KC and her ability to play the character in and out of leathers – because she hasn’t proven she can/got blind-sided by two other actresses arguably more talented and suited for the part/the romantic lead.

Good luck following in Sara’s footsteps with a few martial arts classes. The show also says they’ve had trouble with the character, but they shouldn’t. She’s supposedly beloved, so why doesn’t anyone care enough to make it a non-issue/inevitable? Two reasons: The wrong actress was cast in the part; and the character in and of herself is not rootable. Felicity is. That’s the beauty of her character – no baggage. Same with Sara. Baggage, yes, but baggage that could be used to the show’s advantage.

The reality is, the show has reached a tipping point. I’d love to see stats on how many viewers are female, how many watch because of Olicity (it has brought in many, many viewers), and how many have of us have seen a single TGA comic. It’s the CW. The shows are largely geared towards women, and while the showrunners have certain obligations to the DC universe, their first obligation is to the fans who, at least it appears so, seem to care increasingly more about the romantic pairings than the show’s overall OQ arc. Otherwise, they’d stay on canon more than they do. And whether people like it or not, the buzz is around Olicity. Not because we’re super stealthy social media mavens, but likely because there are more of us. If people loved Laurel/Lauliver as much as they do Felicity, there wouldn’t be a Felicity.

All I really need to know is that they rewrote the show and killed off a character to make room for EBR – that’s not a small thing.

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Laura May 19, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Actually, I posted mostly to point out that the “Felicity is the only one who makes Oliver smile” meme is incorrect. There are plenty of gif-sets on tumblr where you see Ollie smiling happily at various “Arrow” characters, before and after Felicity/Emily joined the cast. Some of these gif-sets have been put together specifically in order to disprove this very frequent oliciter claim.

As for you other points, I think we’ll have to wait and see. In season one “Arrow” had about 3.5 million viewers, long before Felicity first appeared. This season the numbers have fallen to around 2.5 million in the later episodes. I honestly don’t believe that even a full throttle Olicity romance will bring back all those viewers….and as we all know, it’s the ratings that matter most to the networks, even a network like CW that thrives on social media buzz.

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Lucy May 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Great article! I loved it. At some point, I thought I read we were going to see more training for Felicity. What if Sara/Laurel is really just a ruse, and they are setting up Felicity to become Black Canary? Now that would be fabulous.

I truly don’t understand why everyone thinks they can’t change Laurel from being Black Canary when they have changed just about everything else. I do think she was intended to be Black Canary in the beginning, but I don’t know that I still believe that’s her path. If it is, the writers have taken an interesting path for her character. They put her and Oliver in a toxic relationship complete with a sister as the other woman and made her a shrew most of the time. Interesting choice for your heroine.

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Wordsmith May 20, 2014 at 3:05 pm

We’re in mind meld, right down to the fact that, while I don’t imagine it will happen, I’d like to see Felicity become the BC b/c I think she could do it and because it would be a compromise on the TGA/BC epic love thing. Sara was never a canary in the books, Laurel shouldn’t have to be either.

At this point, I would be astounded if Laurel’s character could be redeemed without a lot of eye-rolling and resentment. I do think eventually the need to satisfy viewer demographics will overtake the need to appease DC fanboys and gals.

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Lucy May 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm

I doubt they would ever make Felicity Black Canary, but it’s a fun fantasy. I do think, however, that Kate Cassidy is not doing herself any favors with her comments. I really don’t see Laurel regaining the ground she has lost.

Let’s think about the finale: this finale was supposed to be about destiny and making your choice. Who made choices?

Lyla chose to risk her child’s life to be with the man she loves because she knew he couldn’t do it without her. She chose to commit treason to do the right thing.

Diggle, a soldier, chose to commit treason — and he chose the man who was his mortal enemy to help him save the city. Without Diggle & Lyla, Oliver could not have won.

Roy chose to fight for his city even if it meant leaving the love of his life behind. He chose his city over his love.

Thea chose what she considers strength over weakness. She chose a psychopath who has never lied to her over her boyfriend & brother — both good men who just have a problem with truth.

Sara chose Nyssa and the life she wanted over the life society dictates she should have.

Slade chose to let pain and despair ruin not just his own life but a number of others. He chose to make misguided revenge his life’s ambition.

Felicity chose to believe in a crazy man in a hood when he told her they could make a difference. Felicity chose to be brave and literally walk into a lion’s den because she chose to believe that together she & Oliver could win.

Oliver chose to believe he could win. He chose to believe that he is a hero and not a killer. He chose to find another way when nearly every single person told him there was no other way. He chose to do the unthinkable and deliberately let his partner walk into danger without knowing whether or not he really could save her.

Laurel chose to accept a leather jacket from her sister.

Now if Laurel were really going to have a big future, wouldn’t they have given her more of a choice in the finale?

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Trish May 20, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Tara, I’m beginning to think the replies are more entertaining than the article. And that’s saying a lot since I firmly believe your article to be nothing short of brilliant. Lucy, rock on, Miss Lucy…rock on.

Be well my lovelies.

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Wordsmith May 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I love it, Trish! The post that keeps on giving. Xo

Wordsmith May 21, 2014 at 6:48 pm

You make very interesting points! You’re right. There was no choice for Laurel. I knew was in the background, but that’s nearly invisible in the grand scheme!

“Laurel chose to accept a leather jacket from her sister.” Kills me.

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Rumy May 21, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Read the other post, from TV Guide, all the post(painful) and the comments, the 93 of them. Pointless to say how bad that post was slammed. When you write about how much Olicity is a mistake and fans can disprove all of your point and even start talking about TVD….you now is bad! Not because of the Olicity theme, but of the bad facts that are used to prove a point! And I am amazed of the dedication of the fans!

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Aryn May 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Great read – thank you. I’m not ready for Oliver and Felicity to be a couple. I’m so scared that it’ll be ruined like so many great TV relationships in the past. Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls being one of my biggest disappointments.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like Katie Cassidy and think she’s a pretty terrible actress, but my problem with Laurel isn’t Katie. It’s that I can’t think of her as Oliver’s one and only because we’ve never seen them have a relationship. Any flashbacks are of the Oliver who wasn’t a great guy and was lying to her. Both Oliver and Laurel changed a lot in the 5 years he was gone, so while there might still be feelings, does he really love her? I don’t know. But with Felicity, we’ve seen them meet, become friends, partners, etc., so it’s more likely we’d want her to be happy instead of wishing it for Laurel. Plus I just really hate Katie Cassidy!

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Thandi May 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm

great article, loved it. It brought clarity to a few issues I had with the finale. When I saw the masion scene I thought NO WAY, it’s fake. There was no way the writer’s were going to give Olicity fans what they wanted just like that, NO WAY and sure enough there was a catch. I want Olicity – eventually & it’s gotta be slow burn for sure. As for when it happens, I think it depends on whether the writers think the show will go to season 4 or 5 and we’ll get something near the end so be prepared to wait.
Laura brought up the issue of low viewer figures, girl did you not see how many Lance-centric episodes there were??? They should have renamed the show ‘Arrow and the Lance family’. I/we know more about that family than everyone else combined (including Felicity and Dig) why?? I would have preferred to know more about Moira, her secrets and her insight into pre-island Oliver but no, I know more about ex Mrs Lance, her new job & man in Central city, why? So forgive some of us for NOT rushing to watch when we were told it was all about the Lances.
Season 3 is gonna be hard to watch because Laural is going to be back in our faces full force, uh huh! I wish she would not become part of the team (at least Oliver should have the decency to ask his ‘partners’ if they want her in and we all know Dig doesn’t really like her and she’s always been nasty to our girl Felicity so that should be a NO and I definitely do not want her in the new lair/arrow cave, that’s sacred ground and she’d be contamination.
Felicity cannot/should not sit and wait for Oliver like a nun while he’s being a man-whore (truth hurts I know), she need a relationship or more than one so she can grow in confidence and some can put her first, tell her she’s smart, beautiful, funny and love her back for a change, maybe even have her be in control of a relationship where she decides what happens, toughen her up a bit. I don’t think that’s Barry since we know there’s an Iris.
I liked Sara as Canary, thought she rocked and I cannot in all honesty see Laurel in that kind of roll, they cast her character badly but don’t want to have egg on their faces so they continue to push KC in our faces hoping we’ll like her one day, don’t hold your breath. Weirdly enough my biggest issue why I don’t like either Laurel or Sara with Oliver is one their shippers never justify. THEY ARE SISTERS! It’s so wrong for two sisters to share a man, once is a big mistake, 4-5 times is disgusting, it’s morally wrong. Do they not have any respect for themselves or each other? Sara actually passes the baton (Oliver) back to Laurel, really? I know it’s only a show but it should have a moral code, kids watch it too. If it was wrong for Oliver and his dad to dip in the same honeypot (Isabel) what makes two sisters ok? If they were just friends then I’d say fair game but… It’s like Beyonce and Solange both involved with Jay-Z, uugh!
Last thing, question: what did Slade say to Oliver in the Maximum prison as he was walking out? He mentioned something about ‘do you think I won’t escape?’, did he mention something about getting ‘her’?

Anyway, that’s my two cents, good article.

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Lucy May 27, 2014 at 11:57 am

I totally agree. The sister swapping is disgusting, but even more disgusting was Laurel happily accepting him back from Sara: “Oliver needs you.” Truthfully, I don’t think Oliver is good enough for Felicity – at least not yet. Until the Lance sister crap started up again, I was all for Olicity, but now I hope it takes a long time to get there.

I nearly quit Arrow during “As the Lance Sisters Turn,” and I will quit if it becomes the Laurel Lance hour. I can’t stand Katie Cassidy, and I think Laurel is a terrible character. And I watch the show for Team Arrow. I do not watch for the Lances, particularly Laurel. I actually liked Sara until she was love struck with Oliver. I could have taken a friends with benefits story, but when she talks him into a family dinner and then Laurel gave dating advice, I was done with both Lance girls. If Arrow hadn’t moved away from them during the final few episodes, I would not be planning to watch in the fall. I’ll give it a shot, but if it’s all Laurel all the time, I’m done for good. I didn’t sign up to watch the Laurel Lance show.

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Thandi May 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Couldn’t agree more. Oliver is no-where near good enough for Felicity, no where. Unfortunately it’s gotten to a stage where I root for Felicity to be happy instead of Oliver, our ‘hero’. That’s sad. Oliver seems to have regressed this season, still making unbelievably bad decisions (i.e.. giving Isobel QC company when you know her name is in your dad’s book and that book has NEVER led you astray, your mum even warned you about her but, you do it anyway, huh?) Felicity just needs someone who’s in a similar league to Oliver (successful, body of a God, face of an angel) but who’s willing to take an emotional risk in Felicity.
The only other character I thought had chemistry with Oliver was Shado but of course they killed her off. I doubt Oliver actually knows what love is, even though he talked that crap about loving Laurel half his life, when did he love her? In-between the cheating and lying, break-ups and fear of commitments, when he asked Sara to go with him? On the island? It doesn’t feel like love. Oliver needs to practice celibacy for a while, lol. Curious, since he made that speech about not ‘being with someone he could really care about’, does that mean he didn’t care about Sara or if he gets back with Laurel he doesn’t care about her? Felicity needs to call him out on that BS.
I think Stephen Amell is doing a fantastic job with his character, sterling. He does so much ground work into his character. I only hope the writers don’t mess things up for him with bad, unbelievable scripts.
Katy C. though seems to have no idea about her character, she says Laurel is compassionate and caring, please! She goes on to recite how in the comics they are meant to be, that’s not knowing your character. The writers don’t help much, I hope they are not going to do something really stupid like have Oliver train Laurel and then BAM, she’ll be as good as Sara just like that. It’s an emotional journey that she hasn’t gone through, one filled with pain, suffering, loneliness & while she’s gone through some of this it’s no where near enough. Granted the writers should not cater to the whims of fans BUT at the same time they shouldn’t underestimate the power of fans. Example since Ziva left NCIS, there viewer numbers dropped, why? Take ‘Beauty and the beast’, it has bad editing, dodgy scripts and generally not up to scratch BUT it’s heading towards that 3rd season, why? They got Catherine and Vincent down to an art form, perfect and fans keep coming back for that magic chemistry despite everything and supporting the show.
During the second season I didn’t like the way Sara seemed to takeover from Oliver to be in charge when he was away considering she’d only been there 2 seconds. Surely it should have been Dig or Felicity, it reduced their value as team members I felt. Felicity is the heart of team Arrow, she hacks into networks, gets intel, tracks people, vehicles, money, arms, disables security systems, communicates with Lance, does the purchasing of everything, made the foundry into a home as well as keeping eyes on each team member, where would they be without her? Still I think she could be sooo much more without kicking ass, turn her into a cyber legend, she has the brain to come up with amazing new software or designer props/arrows for the team.
I hope when Laurel confronts him about ‘the woman he loves’ speech with Slade he won’t tell Laurel that Felicity means nothing and it was for show, I swear I’ll hate him.

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david August 27, 2014 at 12:49 pm

I accept and agree with most of the comments and with the article. I love Oliver and Felicity connection/chemistry. Surly Oliver and felicity have feeling for each other, and those feelings are romantic full of love and care. The season finale was great and the writers know when they can pull the rope and when to let go. The writers should take it slow and carefully. I think that Oliver some times gets it to far as he can have sex with other people while loving one person which is Felicity. I feel sorry for Felicity as she waits and get through all the pain the Oliver can give. Felicity went through the crazy olivers x, Laurel, Sara and even the women that sleped with Oliver and his Father. Oliver certenly needs to develope a bit more in order to be ready for Felicity as they different but the chemistry pulls it togerther. I dont like Laural and Sara as they share Oliver like toy. Especiolly when Sara gives Oliver to Laural not knowing who oliver really loves cares about. The oliver and felicity thing should happen at the end of the show as if it happens soon the relationship cant go on for long as the dangers and environment of Olivers life would pull them apart

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Lisa April 29, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Could you analyse or explain 3X20, just like you did with the season 2 finale? You explained it SO well! I had so many ‘aha’ moments! Thanks!

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