This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Arrow, including last night’s 2x13, “Heir to the Demon.”
Trust, or its lack, was a major player in last night's fantastic episode of Arrow as Felicity was forced to decide whether her relationship with Oliver could withstand the truth about Thea's father and Sara finally had to take the plunge and reveal herself to her whole family. Did Oliver prove himself a true friend, justifying Felicity's faith in him? And did Sara's family welcome her back with open arms, demonstrating their unconditional love for her?
Yes and, er, sorta.
First, let's talk about Olicity's progress, because let's be real, a lot of us are here primarily for the delicious tension between them, and last night's episode was a perfect example of why:
See, Felicity—extraordinary Felicity Smoak, ladies and gentlemen—found out the truth (offscreen) about Thea being Malcolm Merlyn's daugther rather than Robert Queen's, which set up that potential Olicity hurdle I mentioned at the top of the post. Moira, when confronted by Felicity, immediately turned things around on Felicity by telling her that if she told Oliver the truth, he'd hate her simply for being the messenger. Low blow made even lower by the fact that she called out Felicity's clear feelings for Oliver (“I see the way you look at him”), which was how she knew Felicity's greatest fear would be losing him. Oh, snap! So understandably, Felicity spent some time angsting over whether or not to come clean with her friend/hero/dream man.
Happily for fandom, Oliver endeared himself to Olicity shippers by: A) quickly recognizing Felicity's distress, if not the cause, and B) pouncing on the opportunity to hear all about her problems and promising anything her heart desired (in this case, his unwavering friendship) to make her feel better about telling him. Thanks to her confession, we not only found out some of Felicity's backstory in case we needed a reason to love her even more (her mom is difficult and her dad abandoned them when she was a child), but we also got to see Oliver pass that unwritten friendship test with flying colors (not to mention in a SUPER HOT way). Basically, we got further confirmation that Oliver and Felicity can be pretty wonderful together.
For fun, let's break it down: Oliver pursued her across a crowded room and grabbed her arm to make her turn to face him again as he sing-songed her name. He made and kept eye contact. He even held both of her arms as he tried to reassure her that nothing she could say would change his mind about her. This approach worked, understandably, and she finally spilled the beans (along with that brief family history). Their whole exchange was so fraught with emotion I could hardly stand it.
Okay okay, but back to trust and faith. The second time that theme that stood out to me was in Sara's scenes with her family. While she came home out of concern for Laurel, she ended up staying because Nyssa (whom we learned was actually her mentor/best friend/love in the League of Assassins) released her from service to the League. But staying meant finally stepping out of the shadows and revealing to her family that she did, in fact, survive the shipwreck and various other awful things. Despite her fears that they wouldn't accept the person she'd become, Sara did show herself, and while Dinah Lance was overjoyed to see her daughter again, Laurel proved that Sara's fears about resuming life in Starling were perfectly justified. 'Cause instead of welcoming her home, Laurel claimed that Sara ruined her life and screamed at her to get out. Not that she would care right now, but Laurel completely failed in the sister department.
Sara has already demonstrated what a tough cookie she is several times over, though, so I can't wait to see how she adjusts to life back in Starling, especially with her family and with Team Arrow. Anyone else curious to see how being friends with benefits with Oliver will affect her relationship with the others? With Felicity? (Seriously, Show, you'd better not mess up their relationship over a man, because that would be dumb. I gotta have some faith that you won't let me down in this.) And who else here needs lots and lots more badass Canary fight scenes? Bring 'em on!