Wed
Nov 20 2013 5:06pm

Arrow to the Heart: Why Oliver Needs to Give Felicity a Chance

Felicity and Oliver in Arrow Season 2This season of Arrow is blowing the first one away. The first outing with Oliver Queen as the playboy cum vigilante of Starling City had him not letting anyone in, trying to rekindle a relationship with his ex Laurel and simultaneously set her up with his best friend. He was a man who didn’t know what he wanted.

This season, the show’s writers have found their path. They’ve given every character on the show much more depth and we’re seeing that character development make for much more interesting relationship dynamics. While we could get into the bromance with Ollie and Digg (and probably just include a slideshow featuring photos of the two working out), we’re 'shippers here at Heroes and Heartbreakers.

You see, I’m not the only one noticing Ollie’s depth this season. We’re seeing him grow, change and become someone worthy of the title of hero.

Felicity Smoak is brilliant. She’s the IT genius behind all the tech wonder we see on Arrow and basically Ollie’s backbone. She’s smart and funny and, oh, she wants to be with Oliver something fierce.

Felicity and Oliver in Arrow Season 2She acts as a proxy for many Arrow viewers, too. Her jaw drops while watching him work out. She admits to loving watching him do the salmon ladder, because who wouldn’t? She gets flustered when she says things that could have sexual connotations around him. Felicity is us, and maybe that’s why we 'ship her and Ollie.

She helps him keep track of Laurel and save her. She is there to aid in working with Black Canary. She has to watch him want other women, and remain his friend while blatantly crushing on him.

Here’s the thing, though: Felicity is a good match. She’s clever and her wit challenges Ollie. She makes his job a whole lot easier, and who doesn’t want to back a friends-to-lovers trope on this show?

In the November 13 episode (SPOILERS for 2.07, “Keep Your Enemies Closer”), she finds out he’s slept with the Queen Consolidated business partner and her words rang so true—“You deserve so much better.”

Oliver and Felicity in ArrowHe does. He’s becoming someone who deserves love and someone who understands his depth. Oliver is still seen by almost everyone as that jackass who used women and partied and didn’t care about anyone but himself. They don’t understand he spent five years fighting for his life on an island. They don’t know he’s learned about sacrifice. He isn’t done doing penance for those earlier deeds, and watching him play into that hand hurts. Felicity wants better for him, and so do we.

For now, Oliver says he can’t be with someone he cares about because of the danger he puts himself in. That’s what he’s supposed to say, but he has to know it isn’t realistic, and eventually he’s going to see that a life without love isn’t enough.

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While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. Her appreciation of Alexander Skarsgard is well documented. Bother her on Twitter — @ChelseaVBC — she likes it.

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24 comments
Heather Waters (redline_)
1. redline_
I've been hearing such fantastic things about this season (like this post) that last night I started Season 1 again last night (thanks, Netflix) and am eager to catch up to the latest episode in Season 2. A big part of the appeal is definitely Olicity; I maaaaay have gotten a little obsessed with this Oliver/Felicity vid, which I stumbled upon quite by accident while watching Mindy/Danny vids the other day. They seem like just the type of couple I could get behind.
Brianna
2. carmenlire
The scene at the end of lasts week's episode KILLED me. Felicity finally really gave voice to her thoughts and Oliver acknowledged them--and his own-- by saying that he can't be with anyone he truly cared about. Felicity if definitely a favorite character on the chow: she's quirky, smart, and has tons of spine. Oliver , as you said, has also grown a lot and I', liking this season so much better in fact. There is more depth, and while every episode last season was it's own little story, things are unifying and everyone is getting a lot more development. Thea is great--I love her boyfriend-- and Diggle is awesome too. I also loved the returning of Sarah.
The only thing I'm not a fan of is Laurel and her pill thing.
And I actually changed from shipping Ollie/laurel hardcore, to wanting him and Felicity to get together.
And I kinda actually hate that he slept with the business partner.
Kiersten Hallie Krum
3. Kiersten
I totally agree that this is the match of the show, but for once, I'm willing to wait for it because Oliver is not ready for Felicity as a lover. He's barely worthy of her as his partner/teammate at this point, though he's definitely improved greatly on that this season. I love the hard, steady looks Ollie gives her when Felicity's verbal diarrhea gets the best of her. He gets it; he gets her. Best of all, he gets that all he could do for her in that realm at the moment is hurt her. So he doesn't. It's clear Oliver would literally cut off his arm to save Felicity without a second thought were it necessary and, for now, that's enough.

One of the best things about Felicity in this show and in her relationship with Ollie and position in the Bat Cave is that right from the get go, she has called Oliver on his shit. Even when she was still in the IT division and he was trying to play her for information, she didn't let the wealthy prodigal son walk all over her. That's gumption and, best of alll, that's a woman who knows her worth and isn't afraid to let the guy know it too however much he might turn her glorious brain inside out. Now he just has to catch up.

Arrow has definitely raised the stakes this year both in the action, story, and the character's emotional risks. The introduction of the real Black Canary has been genius. More than Helena (though j'adore Huntress) and oh so much more than Laurel, Sara has been the best alpha woman yet and has such a painful history with Oliver that there's just yummy angst waiting to be mined to death there.
Brianna
4. carmenlire
Kiersten,
I titally agree! I love the Sarah/Ollie plotline though I don't see the chemistry. They both went through something horrendous and it's bonded them. I think that sarah is a great alpha female. I also agree that Oliver isn't ready for Felicity. He still has some work to do. But I LOVE, absolutely LOVE that the both finally acknowledged, though not in so many words, that they know that they have feelings for eachother.
Redline,
I watched the Olicity video and it was so good!!
Heather Waters (redline_)
5. redline_
@carmenlire -- Glad you liked! Whoever edited it has some mad skillz, that's for sure. And great taste in music.

OK, you guys are making me soooo desperate to catch up to the Black Canary stuff.
Darlene Marshall
6. darlenemarshall
Sorry, I'm not on board with this. In fact, I stopped watching Arrow with Ep. 13. What I loved about Felicity was that she wasn't Oliver's squeeze. I wanted more of the strong, capable (if slightly ditzy) tech woman whose value to the show wasn't connected to a romantic relationship.

Part of the reason I adore the psychopathic Shaw in Person of Interest is that her value as a character is not predicated on a romantic relationship. If that character's motivation and purpose changes, I'm likely to drop that show as well.
Heather Waters (redline_)
7. redline_
@darlenemarshall -- That's fair; it's frustrating to see female characters written as merely the romantic lead. I mean, in the Thor movies, Jane has never really had her own arc, which is disappointing.

I can't really comment on how Felicity has been treated in Arrow yet, since I'm just starting to catch up, but in general I don't mind someone developing into a romantic interest--as long as she gets her own arc, too. (Like Black Widow and Hawkeye eventually hooking up in the Marvel movies--I'd be all for that! And unless something went very, very wrong post-Joss, I could never see their relationship being any less than equal, with Widow continuing to be totally kickass in her own right, with her own beliefs and agenda.)

Making Felicity any less strong and capable and, well, awesome than the girl we instantly liked in Season 1 of Arrow would be a damn shame, and I think in the end it'd really hurt the show. But I don't know that I agree that her having feelings for Oliver (and it sounds like she does) automatically means that that's all the writers have planned for her from now on and she'll be stripped of what made her so cool in the first place. If they're smart the writers will recognize how much both Oliver and the audience love her as she always has been and give her her own plotlines. If she and Oliver happen to eventually come together to form a power couple, well, that'd be icing on the cake.
Chelsea Mueller
8. ChelseaMueller
Did you guys check out last night's episode? ALL THE FEELS!!

@carmenlire - Yeah, I no longer even care about the Laurel storylines. Just a misfire there.

As for Felicity, I want to see Oliver grow to be worthy of her.

@Kiersten - Yes, the slow burn is what we need here. Oliver's still finding himself again. ...but when he does? Oh, hell yes.

@darlenemarshall - I get what you're saying, and in lots of situations I'd agree. However, I don't feel like they're sacrificing Felicity's character arc in order to make a romantic thing work. It's just another facet of her. I expect her to continue being a strong, (mostly) confident woman while this possible romance with Ollie develops.

@redline_ - You need to get caught up. There will be much love when you hit season 2.
Heather Waters (redline_)
9. redline_
@ChelseaMueller -- You know what's interesting? I clicked on the Arrow tag and realized I'd written a recap for Arrow episode 14 and said something along the lines of "I'm intrigued by Oliver/Felicity potential." I did not remember that at all, but apparently I was heading toward shipping them the first time around.
Travelover
10. Travelover
A beautiful summation, Chelsea. I feel the exact same way. I also want Felicity and Oliver together - in the future. But I do want to see those longing looks - from BOTH of them. I want that fabulous humor and friendship between them, BUT I want Oliver to DROOL and ache and burn (he thinks he was "tortured" on the island - just wait LOL - I don't like the island btw) before we get to the romance and sex. I want BOTH characters to EARN it. And since we all can't have a smoke afterwards - perhaps we can all give them a toast with whatever we have on hand.
Chelsea Mueller
11. ChelseaMueller
@Travelover - Thanks! I think you've hit the nail on the head. These characters need to earn it, and watching them do so will be sweet agony.
Travelover
12. whiskeywhite
Thanks for the video link, @ChelseaMueller. Beautiful. A re-watcher for sure.

I wasn't impressed with Felicity when she was first introduced, and said so back then. I thought she was too stereotypical -- slim, beautiful blonde, perky and a bit ditsy, with the big black-framed glasses. So predictable and comic-book. But the way they have developed her character has been marvelous.

She screws up the courage to join the team, supposedly temporarily, and then become a vital part of it. As others have said, she stands up to Oliver. In this last episode, she stands up to Digg and goes into extreme danger by herself. Of course, in the end Oliver has to save her, but it was a brave effort and he's had to save Digg in the past as well.

I agree with all that's been said about the Felicity/Oliver romance ('Olicity' is it? :-) According to YouTube, Emily Bett Rickards was playing with the idea of a Digg/Felicity relationship which she named Delicity).

I would sign up for the Oliver-Digg slideshow. There was a scene after Digg saves his ex-wife when he's in bed wearing just undershorts. When he sat up, the view literally took my breath away.
Chelsea Mueller
13. ChelseaMueller
@whiskeywhite - Hey, I'm here to help. :)

Seriously, though, you read my mind kind of across the board, including Digg in those boxers. Nom.
Travelover
14. Jennifer R
You guys need to read this:
http://www.arghink.com/2013/07/19/the-felicity-smoak-problem/
Chelsea Mueller
15. ChelseaMueller
@Jennifer R - Thanks for sharing the link. Though, I think based on what we've seen of season 2, the TV show is taking liberties with the source material. So I'm not saying it's not a possibility. Mostly because TV Laurel is a dud chemistry-wise with Ollie.
Heather Waters (redline_)
16. redline_
Mostly because TV Laurel is a dud chemistry-wise with Ollie.

I feel the same. I'd root for Oliver/Sara over Oliver/Laurel, though to be honest Ollie's history with the Lance ladies is so painful and ugly that I think that's part of the reason people have latched onto Felicity and Olicity--it's a fresh start.
Heather Waters (redline_)
17. redline_
@Jennifer R -- Thanks for that! As if I needed another reason to admire Jenny Crusie--she voiced my thoughts EXACTLY. Whoa. I love love love how no one understands things like this like fellow romance writers/readers. Anyway, I'll be VERY curious to see how the writers do tackle the issue. They've already made Sara the first Black Canary rather than Dinah Lance. Who knows, maybe they'll make even more changes? Felicity could probably pull off a mask as well as Laurel... Just sayin'.
Nicole Leapheart
19. BoxyFrown
How did I miss this post! I am so happy to see Olicity *maybe* have a future. I'm totally fine with being patient-if I can wait for Katrina and Ichabod to get ghost divorced or whatever, I can wait for Ollie and Felicity to find their HEA. I'm sure it won't happen this season, or if something happens, it will be a one-off passionate incident that will put a strain on their relationship.

The writers seem to be on a great path-in fact, their influence can even be felt on the other side back to the comics. John Diggle (drool) wasn't a character in the comics, and now because of the popularity of his character, he is being introduced in the comics. Pretty cool!
Rakisha Kearns-White
20. BrooklynShoeBabe
That moment they had when she thanks him for saving her left me rooting for a relationship like nothing else. Felicity gets him. And Ollie needs someone like Felicity because he can be his true self around her--no secrets.
Heather Waters (redline_)
21. redline_
@BrooklynShoeBabe -- Aaahhhh that last scene of theirs just about killed me dead, and if I weren't already shipping them, I would be after that. Such chemistry OMG.

And yep, though Oliver may think Laurel knows him best, she knows the old Oliver best. It's Felicity that gets him completely now.
Darlene Marshall
22. darlenemarshall
OK, y'all have convinced me that maybe I need to give the show a second chance. Once I work through the other stuff backing up on my Hulu & DVR queues, I'll check it out.
Heather Waters (redline_)
23. redline_
@darlenemarshall -- Wow! You'll have to report back with your thoughts.
Travelover
24. NocturnalRites
I have one overriding reason I would like to see Olicity come to be, and that is that just once, I would like to see Hollywood's ironclad rule about girl geeks be broken. Not just broken; shattered.

There are few double standards in Hollywood which are more glaringly obvious than the treatment of female geek heroines versus the treatment of male geek heroes.

Think about it. How many shows or movies can you recall where the geek hero ends up with an alpha, beautiful, kick-ass heroine -- or, at the very least, a decidedly non-geek, mainstream (and of course, attractive) heroine? Chuck is the first that comes to mind, but the list keeps scrolling.

But what about the reverse? I cannot think of a single situation with a geek/nerd female where she has not been politely diverted from a romantic relationship with a mainstream, attractive alpha male. Generally, just when things look promising for her (or things seem to be getting just *too* awkward for her potential love interest) bingo! Out of the woodwork pops an appropriate geek hero, just for her. If by some miracle she *does* end up with an approximate equivalent, it's only after her romantic interest has been dumped by someone else. It's not quite as blatant as a consolation prize, but it's still there. Worse, her ongoing crush can even become a source of audience ridicule.

For examples, I can point immediately to Criminal Minds and the relationship between Penelope and Derek Morgan. (I always considered Penelope got the *real* short end of the stick, because not only did she get a romantic interest 'created' for her, he was just far into the unattractive end of the scale.) Chloe and Clark on Smallville also come to mind. Though Chloe does end up with Oliver Queen over there, again, Lois was his first choice. I could continue, but I think we can all immediately come up with our own examples.

I have to give Arrow's writers credit for letting Felicity be a *lot* more like the female geeks and nerds *I* know. We like manis, pedis and fashionable clothes as much as non-geek girls. The difference is, it's just not the ONLY thing we care about -- that, and the fact that, if you're like me, you might tell the manicurist that you want that 'Tardis blue nailpolish'.

So I, for one, would love to see Felicity break that glass ceiling. We need to teach our up and coming geek girl generation that brains and beauty can co-exist, and men are not so shallow that they're scared away by that potent combo.
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