I have to admit that in the season finale of Arrow when Oliver took Felicity to the mansion and asked her to stay there to be safe, I was into it. When he said Slade took the wrong woman and that he loved her, I was swooning even though somewhere in the back of my mind I thought, that was too fast…really? I instinctively wanted more even though I was getting what I thought I’d been waiting for.
In the scenes after, it started to dawn on me that the scene before this profession of love was Felicity telling Oliver he had to outthink Slade. In my gut I knew I’d been played. That’s when I started feeling manipulated. The producers and writers had played a sick joke on all of us.
And then we got to the end…that was a real Olicity moment. When Felicity confessed she had believed him for just a second the lingering smile, gaze, and silence spoke volumes.
Oliver loves Felicity and he KNOWS he loves Felicity. She on the other hand still doesn’t believe it’s possible that he could think of her in that way. Therein lies the reason that we weren’t given a true Olicity love story last night. He’s there…she still needs to get to the point where she can accept that she deserves it.
Now, for those of you that argue I am being overly optimistic or seeing things that aren’t there, here’s what I hold up as evidence. The producers admitted in numerous interviews that Olicity moments, are real, crafted, and important to the show. If you watch any youtube montage of Olicity moments you see their story unfold and it’s awesome.
Beyond that when Lance told Oliver that Slade had Laurel, Ollie said the city was more important. He wasn’t going for her. He truly didn’t have a plan to save her at that point. He said the words, I know why he took her, but chose the city over her. Even the plan that eventually saves Laurel wasn’t about Laurel. It was about not killing Slade and Felicity’s belief in Oliver that he could find another way. Her belief in him culminated in his belief in himself.
So, if Oliver knew why Slade took Laurel and was going to save the city anyway, he must have known in his own heart that Slade had the wrong woman. It isn’t until Felicity pushes him again and again that he’s able to form it into an actual plan. I believe that Oliver told Felicity the straight up truth when he spoke to her in the mansion. Sure he had another purpose but it was possibly his last chance to say it to her and I think he meant it.
Then let’s look at the fact that he trusted her to understand what he wanted her to do. We’ve been hit over the head with how he wanted Sara safe and away from Slade in the island scenes. He wanted Laurel safe and out of Slade’s grasp in the past few episodes. But with Felicity, he allows her to walk straight into the fire! Is it because he doesn’t care?
On the contrary, just like his work with Sara allowed him to see her as an equal and be in a relationship with her, Oliver’s relationship with Felicity has progressed to one of equality and trust. We know that the flaw in Oliver and Sara’s relationship is her darkness and inability to accept the hero in herself, but that’s the exact opposite with Felicity. She is the light to his dark, she sees no other path but the hero’s journey. By letting them work together to make the hero’s choice, the writers and producers have brought Oliver to the place where he can finally see his love for Felicity. He has put it into words.
I also think it’s obvious from the last scene that he knows she loves him, too. I think his smile was knowing. Knowing of the fact that she is still struggling to put it into words and that giving her that time hurts no one and maybe even protects her.
I think what the producers and writers has done is brilliant. After getting over my initial anger at the manipulation factor, I can see that what they did is the only authentic path they could have taken. The I love you in the mansion may have been real for Ollie but it wasn’t time yet for her to say I love you in return.
(By the way, I hate you Andre Kreisberg for being right about giving me what I need and not what I want, but don’t drag them getting together out much past season three. I see she’s not there yet but by the end of three they should both know who they are and be ready to explore who they are together.)