Warning: Spoilers for Arrow ahead! Turn back now if you haven’t seen the first half of season 5.
We’ve made no secret of our fervent love of Arrow’s favorite couple “Olicity” here at BookTrib. So this season, with Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) separated, we’re having major romance withdrawals. It doesn’t help matters that there seems to be a large divide in the fandom surrounding the couple. True “comic book fans” are rejoicing in the fact that Arrow’s focus is off the unconventional romance, while Olicity fans are bemoaning the lack of screen time devoted to the chemistry-laden duo. The producers are even weighing in, with creator Mark Guggenheim vocally regretting how quickly he moved their romance along in season 4. And while we definitely think certain storylines could have been handled better last season (*cough* secret love child *cough*), it’s hard not to miss the good ol’ days of lair-flirting and loft make outs. When Olicity was together in the early parts of season 4, we all saw how successful their relationship could be: filled with respect, understanding and a maturity that is rare in on-screen couples. Then the show threw contrived drama their way, tainting what was otherwise a healthy and promising relationship.
Arrow has certainly taken some risks this season, and not just with benching the powerhouse that is Olicity. They added new people to the team (some more successful than others), had a major crossover event, introduced aliens, and recently brought back Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). In some ways, it feels like old-school Arrow: the darkly gritty tone of the first couple seasons, flashbacks we actually want to watch, humor used sparingly but effective. At the same time, something just feels like it’s missing. Before Olicity became a couple, the will they/won’t they chemistry between Oliver and Felicity was bright enough that we all needed sunglasses. Now some of that promise feels dulled as we watch both characters spin their wheels in other relationships (although, RIP Detective Malone), trying hard to deny the pull that keeps bringing them back together. It’s time to let that chemistry soar again, and to officially reunite Olicity — only slower, with two more mature characters, and no secret kids popping up out of nowhere.
Here are our top five reasons for why we want Olicity back together:
It Makes Sense for the Story
At its core, Arrow is Oliver Queen’s origin story, from playboy billionaire to well-rounded vigilante. Over the years we’ve watched Oliver slowly, painstakingly try and overcome his trauma and guilt in order to become the Green Arrow. He’s not quite there yet, but he’s getting closer. Initially, fans thought that Laurel, The Black Canary, would be by his side throughout. But when it became clear that the chemistry between Amell and Cassidy resembled that of a dead fish, producers scrambled for an alternative romantic choice. That came in the form of the IT girl who made Amell’s face light up. Since season 3 — and, arguably, even season 2 — Felicity has been Oliver’s sole romantic interest. (Let’s just ignore all this recent Susan nonsense.)
True love couples on TV shows get together, break up, and get back together again. It’s just what happens. Drama, romance, partners kept apart by circumstance — it’s what we’re actively looking for in a strong story arc. So it makes sense to keep Olicity apart, at least for a while, concluding with a grand, sweeping declaration of love during the next sweeps season. It’s coming, trust us. Because at this point, there’s no denying that Felicity Smoak is the love of Oliver’s life:
Last year, certain fans claimed that Olicity was killing Arrow and that the pairing was to blame for the dip in the ratings. And sure, the ratings went down a little in season 4, particularly after Laurel was killed off. But the premiere of season 5 was a massive 36% lower than the season 4 premiere. It’s a huge gap in ratings, especially when you consider the fact that season 4 opened with Olicity happy, in love, and making out in their kitchen.
Overall, season 5 has had lower ratings than 4, despite a surge during the huge The Flash/Legends of Tomorrow/Supergirl crossover event. It’s enough to even fuel speculation that this could be their final season. So while some fans tend to point to Olicity as the blame for Arrow’s ratings drop, the numbers don’t lie. The romance brought in the viewers, and can most likely do so again in the future.
Oliver Just Can’t Forget Her
When Oliver is locked in a false reality by the Dominators in the 100th episode, he seems to have it all: his parents, a normal life, an impending marriage to Laurel. But of course it’s all fake, and there are a few key moments that help Oliver remember his real life. One is looking up at the Smoak Technologies sign. Another is staring into Felicity’s eyes and flashing through their moments together. And what does he remember? Not their easy friendship, but the defining moments that mark their love:
Just try and tell us these two aren’t endgame.
It’s not like Olicity fans just sprang up out of nowhere, one day convening on Tumblr to share their far-fetched fantasies of badass Oliver ending up with his nerdy tech sidekick. No, Olicity started with chemistry, with the way Amell and Bett Rickards made moon eyes at each other in every scene, with the way Oliver could barely contain his smile every time the blonde babbled away. As they progressed to friendship, so did their chemistry, until it just made sense for them to be together. Now that their relationship history is filled with lies, hurt feelings and dead boyfriends, things are a lot more complicated. But it’s not like that chemistry has just disappeared. Even as friends, they sparkle in every scene together, and the show clearly knows it, too. Otherwise we wouldn’t get flashback scenes like this:
They Make Each Other Better
We’ve never seen Oliver smile as much as he did at the start of season 4 when he was happy and in love. Of course, we all know that he wasn’t truly complete — he needs to embrace his Green Arrow side for that to be the case — but it was an eye-opening revelation. Oliver needs Felicity. She’s his light. There’s a reason they were the only two left standing at the end of last season: even as friends, they need each other in order to survive. When Oliver dips too far into darkness, or pushes the new recruits too hard, it’s Felicity who pulls him back. They’re more effective as a team, which is why we’ll always be rooting for these two to get back together.
Right now, things look grim on the Olicity front. Oliver is kissing other girls, and he killed Felicity’s boyfriend — by mistake. But even Felicity’s reaction to that (pinning the blame solely on Prometheus) shows how much the two have grown and are continuing to grow. In the words of Emily Bett Rickards (as reported in Enstars), “You do grow apart, sometimes, before you can grow together.” So while it might not happen next Wednesday, we’re confident that Olicity will (and should) find their way back to each other soon.
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