THE SHOW: Arrow
THE PAIRING: Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards)
THE EPISODE: “Keep Your Enemies Closer” – (aired November 13, 2013)
THE MOMENT: Oliver tells Felicity that he can’t be with someone he could really care about because of the life he leads.
Now I know I am not the only one who came into Arrow a little disappointed that Laurel (aka Black Canary in the comics) held the power to lull me into a deep sleep right off the bat. I tried to root for her and Oliver (I really, really did) but the writers just made it so darn difficult. I mean, Oliver ended up on the island because he was cheating on Laurel with her sister? Yikes! And because of this less than romantic choice, Sarah (the sister) ‘supposedly’ ended up dead. Nothing sells true love like a cheating ex that caused your sister’s death. I know that makes me swoon and get all weak in the knees.
I found hope in the awkward but still adorable Felicity Smoak.
So what was I to do? I love a good romantic story in a superhero film or TV series: Thor and Jane, Tony and Pepper, Bruce and Betty, Lois and Clark (the Christopher Reeve film), Chloe and Oliver in Smallville….But what about on Arrow? Sure, Oliver returned home years later a changed man but is this the man I think should be with Laurel, the ex he caused so much pain and me torture in the process as I endured a season long arc in which Laurel and Oliver ended up sleeping together by the end and causing someone else a world of hurt: this time Oliver’s best friend Tommy. I actually liked Laurel and Tommy together because she helped make him better and he helped her to move on. They were a good fit until she couldn’t contain her old feelings any longer. Then of course, she had to go and be irrationally stubborn by refusing to leave the danger zone, thereby luring Tommy back to save her and then die. All this did not make me root for Laurel and Oliver, the two leads. Instead, I found hope in the awkward but still adorable Felicity Smoak.
When the blond, bumbling IT girl first made her entrance, the show started to show promise of actually being funny. I looked forward to the next episode she would return. And once Felicity came in the know and joined team Arrow, it was all the better. After sitting through Smallville for years, I no longer have patience for the female characters that MUST be left in the dark for their own good. I have always preferred when the female characters are included such as Roswell. They get right to the point in episode one. Thankfully, Arrow has given me a female character that isn’t being made a fool of as she continuously sits in the dark.
Up to this week’s episode, the feelings between Felicity and Oliver have been ambiguous other then we know that she likes to watch Oliver work out (who doesn’t?) and gets a little flabbergasted in his presence as she spouts off accidental innuendos. We do know that their friendship has continued to build into one of complete trust. Felicity has no fears to stand up to him and tell him when he is in the wrong. She helps keep in check and that to me is the right kind of woman for ex playboy Oliver Queen and also vigilante. This season (now that Emily Bett Rickards has joined the cast) has given us several saves and personal moments between the two with deepening friendship conversations.
And then there is my selected romantic of the week: an odd choice I confess. But why choose the obvious hug, kiss, or declaration of ‘true love’ that lacks any chemistry? This week, I consider a genuine build-up of love between two friends (or moment that suggests the possibility of love in the likely longish future). Perhaps some will argue that I am looking too deep into things or that Felicity and Oliver will never happen because they aren’t destined to be like in the comic books (neither was Chloe and Oliver by the way). Nevertheless, whether actually romantic or not between Oliver and Felicity, I personally found it perfect because of the implied suggestion of romance and because this is a friendship that has revealed a depth that several TV relationships lack lately and that is welcoming.
In the episode, Isabel (the other partner of the Queen business) thinks that Oliver and Felicity are a couple (understandable deduction) but Oliver claims otherwise and even ends up sleeping with Isabel while they are in Russia. Unfortunately for Felicity, she comes to Oliver’s door just as Isabel is leaving.
Yeah, she can’t hide her disappointment in him that he would choose to sleep with this less than friendly woman. She walks away, clearly distressed after claiming “what happens in Russia, stays in Russia.”
But she can’t help bring it up while still in Russia, revealing just how much his choice has distressed her, and then finally again in the end scene (not Russia), the scene that is our romantic moment of the week. Felicity just never keeps what she is thinking to herself and that is part of what makes her so loveable. She can’t help but once again fearlessly confront Oliver about why Isabel, “why her?”
Oliver just says “it didn’t mean anything.”
Felicity’s disappointment is written all over her face that even Oliver can’t miss it.
“Hey,” He says gently to get her to look at him.
“Because of the life that I lead, I just think that it’s better to not be with someone that I could really care about.” She nods and then begins to walk away. Oliver closes his eyes next in pain but why? Because he knows he has hurt or/and maybe because he know she is the one he could really come to care about?
Is this Oliver (through subtext mind you) revealing that he already has feelings for Felicity knowing that she also has feelings for him, but he’s never going to pursue it because of who he is? Based on the looks and emotion in this scene it is very possible.
But Felicity isn’t done. She says, “Well I think…” They throw in some more intense stares.
“I think you deserve better than her.” And then she walks away as Oliver looks on, his face saying more than a thousand words.
This isn’t a scene where a couple confesses their true feelings but something about this scene felt genuinely authentic between the characters. I believed their friendship and Felicity’s desire for something better for the man she has clearly come to deeply care about (whether romantic feelings or not at this point though I’m guessing she does have some feelings already). This scene feels like the writers captured a beautiful moment of a friendship deepening into something real because they are so honest with one another. Personally, I can’t wait to see how their relationship continues to bloom in the coming weeks. Hopefully, a nice mix of the tender moments and the adorably awkward but funny scenes too!
What did everyone else think of Arrow this week? Do you find yourselves rooting for Oliver and Felicity? Sound off below…
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