“Olicity” Watch: Team Arrow Battles Grief and Guilt

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

And we’ve come full circle. The season started with Oliver standing by a grave and this week we watched the scene play out in real time. Only now we know who’s buried down there and how everyone is reacting to that death. This was a transitional episode that was heartfelt at times and a little ridiculous at others. There wasn’t much “Olicity,” but the embers of their relationship are clearly still burning. I’ll take whatever I can get at this point.

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Here’s our Olicity Watch for 4×19, “Canary Cry”:

Recap:

It’s (another) episode about guilt, with everyone jumping over each other to take the blame for Laurel’s death. It’s a toss up to see who feels the most responsible. Oliver? Felicity? Diggle? Luckily, the three are a well-oiled machine of pep talks and they all manage to comfort each other in the show’s more moving moments. Officer Lance is dealing with his grief too, running around Star City trying to find a way to bring Laurel back to life. You can’t blame him for hoping, considering how many times he saw his other daughter return from the dead. But Nyssa destroyed the Lazarus Pit – THANK GOD – and Quentin finally has to confront the fact that Laurel is gone for good.

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In other news, a woefully-undeveloped character is pretending to be the Black Canary and destroying Laurel’s good name. Oliver eventually outs Laurel as a vigilante, but not before the flashbacks show Oliver and Laurel right after Tommy’s death, with some “Lauriver” scenes thrown in for good measure. Which means our only kiss of the night was between the chemistry-less former lovers. Fine, whatever. I’m not bitter (she says bitterly, with a bitter expression). Regardless, Laurel is gone for good, Oliver is a surprising pillar of strength, and Diggle seems poised for a spiral of guilt and anger. An Olicity reunion can’t come soon enough.

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Olicity Moments:

After failing to reassure John that he isn’t to blame for Laurel’s death, Felicity finds Oliver sitting in his former campaign office. She opens up to him, telling him that she feels like she’s the one to blame. Instead of playing a game of “no, I’m the worst,” Oliver reassures Felicity by telling her that he usually blames himself because at least it’s an explanation for why the unexplainable happened. I feel like the clouds just parted and a mature Oliver finally stepped out into the light. Then, of course, their conversation gets cut off by a phone call. Is there a running tally yet on how many times the ringing of a cell interrupts these two? 102,298 and counting?

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Felicity is once again at her computer, directing the team like a boss. This isn’t really an Olicity moment so much as me being SO HAPPY to see her in the lair again. She’s the glue of Team Arrow as far as I’m concerned, and having her and Oliver at odds doesn’t do the show any favors.

Oliver joins Felicity in the limo after the funeral, and now all the anger and sadness between them in the previous flash forward finally makes sense. Oliver doesn’t think he can beat Darhk and Felicity gives him one of her you-need-to-keep-fighting-speeches. She should just patent them at this point. She also manages to slip in a little comment about why she fell in love with him in the first place, and if that isn’t a blinding beacon of hope for all of us Olicity fans, I don’t know what is. Add in all the hearts that are falling out of Oliver’s eyes and I’m about finished. If these two don’t make out again soon I’m storming The CW offices.

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Moments of Hope: This was a heavy “Lauriver” episode, which I’m sure might annoy some of the more dedicated Olicity fans. I completely get the annoyance: there was some definite retcon following the events after Tommy’s death, with Laurel and Oliver kissing again, and Oliver pledging his undying love to Laurel. Okay. Fine. But do I think that undying love is a romantic one? Hell, no. Firstly, the lack of chemistry in their scenes should tell you everything, not to mention the undying love Laurel expressed for Tommy during his funeral. Also, Oliver’s panicked, “Oh, holy crap what did I just do?” expression after the kiss is not the look of someone besotted. Even when Oliver speaks at Laurel’s funeral, it feels more like a family friend than a former lover.

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I do believe Oliver will always love Laurel –- as a friend, as someone he grew up with, and maybe even as a nostalgic first love. But what Laurel said right before she died is true: she’s not the love of his life. And even though we had to watch a “Lauriver” kiss go down, as far as I’m concerned it was the final nail in the coffin on the relationship between the two. Laurel is dead and the writers were throwing the fandom a bone. Whatever, it’s over. Now that Oliver has outed her as the Black Canary, no other character can step in and take on that role – which just adds to the finality of her death. So let’s get back to what matters.

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Which is Olicity, obviously. Because while there has been a lot of anger between the couple in the past month or so, this episode felt like a turning of the tides. When the going gets tough, or when one of them is down, Oliver and Felicity are just there for each other. No matter the circumstances. They turn to each other in “Canary Cry,” for pep talks, to alleviate their guilt, to lean on one another during a dark time. Like I said, there was less Olicity than normal last night, and I think that was a deliberate choice by the writers to try and give Laurel (and “Lauriver”) one last time in the spotlight before the story is closed for good. But the Olicity that was there was heartfelt, loving and speaks volumes about their relationship. Laurel’s death is a positive thing for a lot of reasons, but the biggest (for me!) is that it evaporated the anger and awkwardness that existed between Felicity and Oliver post-break up. Now Felicity is back on the team, Oliver is dealing with his crap, and the two can finally start to heal and rebuild.

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Steamy or Loving or Supportive: Felicity and Oliver truly fell in love because of their mutual support for each other. She believes he’s a hero and she pep talks him out of his darkest moments. He knows she’s a genius who’s strong as hell, but he also takes her vulnerable moments seriously and provides a constant steady support. These two have their issues right now, but when faced with tragedy they instantly turn to each other and offer up exactly what the other needs. For Felicity, that means a caring talk where Oliver assures her that she isn’t to blame, even as he begins to unpack some of that guilt he carries around all the time. For Oliver, that means a tough-love convo in a limo with Felicity reiterating that he will find a way to defeat Darhk. I love watching these two make out (in a NOT creepy way, of course), but I might love moments like this more, where they’re just being there for each other, a clear light in the darkness.

I have a feeling we’re getting closer and closer to an Olicity reunion. Maybe next week? A girl can only dream. In the meantime, here’s the trailer for 4×20, “Genesis”:

 

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