This 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.
She 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.”
He 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.