‘Arrow’/’Flash’ Crossover Roundtable: Discussing Olicity

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Every week, Fangirlish writers will be discussing new episodes of The Flash and Arrow and sharing their thoughts, feelings, and speculation about the hour’s hot topics in a little something we like to call Fangirlish Roundtables.

Because yesterday’s Flarrow Roundtable would’ve been twice or more its length, we decided to do an entirely separate Olicity Roundtable. Today, we’re breaking down Oliver and Felicity in the two-part Arrow/Flash crossover event, “Legends of Today” and “Legends of Yesterday,” where we discuss the happy times in “Legends of Today” and break down the controversial in “Legends of Yesterday,” including Oliver’s decision to lie to Felicity about his son, the useless baby mama storyline, and how the writers can fix this mess. Strap in for another lengthy, angst-ridden, and cleansing roundtable and be sure to join in on the discussion!

On The Flash half of the crossover we got to see a great scene where Oliver and Barry were talking and Oliver told him that he’s never been happier, and that Felicity has brought a sense of peace in his life that he’s never felt before. What are your thoughts on that?

   

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ALYSSA

This scene – the entire sequence of events that happened prior to Vandal Savage’s arrival – was a thing of beauty. The best thing for me about Oliver being in a relationship with Felicity has been the way he has evolved into this mature man who not only wants to be happy but now knows that he can be happy and still do what he does. That’s always been the key with Oliver is him accepting that he can have happiness in his life, and now he has it. It’s such an incredible evolution of his character. Oliver Queen, who called darkness home; Oliver Queen who has lost too many loved ones; Oliver Queen who never believed that he would, yet deserve to be, happy.

Even Barry has noticed the obvious change in Oliver’s persona: he’s happy. And that’s something he hasn’t been in a long time, if ever. And that’s because of one Felicity Smoak. Oliver said it himself, he’s happy, he has everything he’s ever wanted, and being with Felicity has brought him a sense of peace that he hasn’t known before. It’s that kind of maturity in Oliver that has prompted this new heroic self. And it wasn’t just Oliver’s verbal confession to Barry about said happiness, you could see it in his facial expression, the way he carries himself, and the organic reactions when Felicity is by his side.

The whole reason for Arrow is Oliver Queen’s journey to becoming the Green Arrow. He might be referred to as the Green Arrow right now, but he’s still not entirely at that place just yet. But he’s gotten most of the way there because of Felicity. She’s influenced his life drastically and she’s made him want to be a better man, a better hero. Oliver has realized that the best way to fight darkness is with light, and he’s found his light in Felicity. There is no Green Arrow without Felicity Smoak. Thus, there’s no Arrow without Felicity Smoak.

LIZZIE

I think this is the self-reflective side of Oliver opening up. He has never been happier. He’s finally at peace. But that’s not even the important part of the statement, no. The fact that he feels this way is huge, the fact that he recognizes it and is able and willing to express it, that’s even bigger. The King of Emotional Maturity Oliver Queen has never been, so out of all the things that happened with Olicity in these two episodes, I think this is the part we should be focusing on. Or, at least, this is he explanation for so much of what comes after. Oliver is happy. So, so happy. And I’m not saying he hasn’t had to fight for this happiness, because I still remember the angst-fest that was Season 3. What I’m saying, however, is that, ever since he made the decision to be with Felicity, things have been easy. Way too easy. They’ve had a few bumps, but they’ve managed to resolve them quickly. Their romantic relationship hasn’t really been tested by adversity, even though they have. And, as we said before, the King of Emotional Maturity Oliver Queen is not. He’s never done this before. He knows right from wrong, yes, but he really has no idea what he’s doing relationship-wise.

But that’s for another question. The emotion behind this statement, the fact that he was confident enough not only in his feelings but in hers to tell Barry, that’s the foundation that we want. That’s the thing that’s taken Oliver/Felicity from regular couple that we like to see together and occasionally read fics about to OTP. That’s what keeps people watching.

LYRA

I’d like to take note on the ease he said this. For the longest time Oliver’s been this big ball of angst that wouldn’t budge or give in. He saw all the things around him as something he shouldn’t touch with his darkness, for if he did they would become lost as well. This is what he did with Thea, his mother, Laurel, Diggle, and Felicity. Slowly he opened up and became closer to those around him because circumstances made it that he needed these people in his life. They could see his darkness but he wouldn’t let them touch it. That scene in Jitters where Oliver told Barry that ‘guys like them don’t get the girl’ is just that. He loved Felicity, trusted her, yet he didn’t want to taint her with everything that was lost about him.

Now standing there with Barry he’s telling him he was wrong. He’s openly admitting that maybe he made a mistake in keeping himself separated from those he loved. Maybe if he connected with them sooner he would have found a sense of peace in his life sooner rather than later. He’s in a place in his life where he can see his mistakes clearly and can look back on it all with different eyes. Talking with Barry is him fixing a point in time and taking back some advice that left an impression on Barry.

Even though the conversation is quick, Oliver hopes that Barry will take the advice to heart and change his own life. )*hint hint* Iris sometime in the future. They’re not there yet.)

BETH

Barry’s pleased smile and his sweet, delighted teasing throughout the episode spoke volumes to how much he appreciates Felicity and Oliver as role models as well as dear friends.

Felicity certainly has brought a calm to all of Team!Arrow that has required an extraordinary amount of patience on her part. Good of Oliver to recognize it and bask on it. Surely he understands the rareness of this quality given everyone around him tends to rile each other up.

How cute was Barry and his support for Oliver and Felicity, especially in The Flash half of the crossover?

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ALYSSA

One of the things that I loved about the Flash half of the crossover was the emphasis on relationships. It served as the reunion for these characters as they came together to fight one common enemy in Vandal Savage, but it also allowed these characters to catch up on life with each other. As Barry said, a lot had changed over the past six months, and one of those changes that Barry was pleased with was Oliver and Felicity’s burgeoning relationship.

There was a great scene between Oliver and Barry where Oliver opened up about how Felicity has changed his life for the better. About how he’s the happiest he’s ever been; how he has everything he’s ever wanted; how Felicity has brought him a sense of peace he’s never known before. It was a great moment for Oliver’s character and for Barry, who was told just last year that guys like them don’t get the girl. And Barry even mentioned that. “I was wrong.” Three words you never hear Oliver Queen say came out of his mouth along with a pleasant smirk. That man is so damn happy in his life it’s ridiculous.

I swear Barry Allen is one of the captains of the Olicity ship. Right when Oliver and Barry were leaving to fight savage, Felicity pulled Oliver aside to express her concern about them going off alone to battle this immortal nut job. It’s a scene that we’ve seen several times – mostly before they were officially together – where Felicity expresses her concern for Oliver’s safety and he assures her he’ll be okay before going off. Only this time, Barry let his fanboy flag fly when he told Oliver to tell Felicity that we’ll be okay and then kiss her. And I’ll be damned if that smirk on Barry’s face wasn’t the cutest damn thing.

LIZZIE

These crossovers have done a wonderful thing that I don’t know that we really appreciate in the way that they’ve made what Felicity and Barry could have had into a non-issue, and moved on with them as friends without drama. And, as weird as it sounds, that happens in real life. Not all relationships are drama central. Sometimes you recognize that some people are only meant to be your friends. Other times the timing is not right. Whatever the reason, men and women can and are friends in real life without jealousy and/or snide remarks. It really does happen in real life, I promise. It just doesn’t happen in television.

When you’re dealing with a superhero show, drama for the sake of drama isn’t really necessary. (YOU HEAR ME, ARROW WRITERS? NOT NECESSARY!). Making Oliver jealous of Barry or a happy and content Felicity look at Barry and wonder what might have been, or even brought Iris or Patty into the episode to worry about Felicity would have made this somewhat of a soap-opera, and that’s not what Arrow OR The Flash are about. Yes, the interpersonal relationships are what makes these two shows great, but the best thing about them is that they’re rooted in reality. Barry has a step-family that he loves, Oliver had parents who loved him and still fucked up in many, many ways. That’s all normal. Barry being happy for his friends? Completely normal too.

Especially because, well, we know Barry. He wears his heart on his sleeve. We know he has a soft spot for Felicity, and we know he cares about Oliver, idolizes him a little bit. There’s no fake bone in Barry’s body. He cares about these two people and he’s really glad to see them thrive, to see them happy. I think Barry recognized what Oliver and Felicity shared from the start, and though he was never as obvious as Diggle, he was shipping them right along with us all this time. It’s just that he gets to say it to their face.

LYRA

Secretly Barry is in the Olicity fanclub with Diggle. He submitted his application after Felicity visited him last in Central City. It took a while for his application to go through (Diggle was skeptical of the speedsters commitment to the ship) but he got in! Now he basks in the glory that is Olicity! He’s happy that two of his closest allies in the world have found happiness together. Those little smiles he threw their way was him celebrating their love.

BETH

Soooo adorable! His tickled responses, giddily teasing and wide goofy grin made him seem unbearably young and adorably naive. Barry acts like the world will become a better place, a brighter world when everything in his fight on this superhuman level points to it being otherwise.

Let’s talk about the baby mama drama. What are your thoughts on how the crossover handled that storyline overall?

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ALYSSA

I hated it. I absolutely hated this storyline. While we all knew it was coming because of those spoiler photos and that fact hanging over our heads following last year’s crossover event, the way it was executed was not well. It brought with it a kind of cheap drama that Arrow isn’t known for, and that Oliver and Felicity aren’t known for. Arrow has been pretty good with bringing real-life drama to Oliver and Felicity’s relationship this season without pulling something straight from the Lifetime network. There are plenty of challenges that Oliver and Felicity could’ve worked through in this episode if that’s what they were hoping to accomplish, but it just came across as cheap, senseless drama that took away from what the show had doing up until this point this season.

What the show should’ve done is had Oliver confide in Felicity about the news. To first have him deal with it on his own and eventually – later in the episode, like that last scene back at their place – open up to her about it. To be vulnerable in the situation as he explains that his mother paid this woman to tell him she lost the baby; that he just learned he has a 9-year-old son; that his whole world has changed and he doesn’t know what to do. Then Felicity would do what she always does, which is to be the voice of reason and compassion with him. She’d tell him that things might be scary, but that they’ll work through it together because they’re a team.

But that’s not what happened. Instead, the show opted to go with a longer-drawn out drama-filled arc, which when you think about it makes sense with the way television is. Oliver decided that he wanted to keep his two lives separate, which doesn’t really make sense. I get that he doesn’t want William a part of his dangerous world, but what I don’t get is how he can justify keeping Felicity out of his personal life in a way that’s so huge.

But the secret is going to come out; they’ve all but confirmed that. Of course there’s going to be that trust issue regarding Oliver keeping this secret from her, but if he actively chooses to tell Felicity instead of her finding out on her own or someone telling her, then that shouldn’t be too big of a deal. Because we know Felicity kept the secret about working with Team Arrow when they were away – not that that in any way compares to the secret of having a child – but she came clean about it. Instead of trying to weasel her way out of it, Felicity told Oliver about it and they were able to work through it.

If there is one good thing to come out of this storyline it’s the potential for a good parallel that it serves to stand with Felicity’s own abandonment issues. I’m really hoping that once the storyline gets past the shock of learning the truth – hopefully by Oliver telling her – that we can visit Oliver’s relationship with his son and tie that into Felicity’s father issues, especially seeing as Felicity’s father is coming to the show soon. That’s the kind of drama I want; that’s significant drama that builds these characters up. While I’m not a fan of the baby mama drama, I’m hoping that something good can come out of this mess.

LIZZIE

There are two answers to this question – the first has to do with common sense and business. TV is a business. The main purpose of Arrow, The Flash, and any TV show, really, is to make money. That’s the main purpose of entertainment, you’d say, but when I write a book, I usually put the story first. If that makes me money, great, and if it doesn’t, it’s still my book.

TV is not like that. The story you’re telling is important, yes, and you can’t, under any circumstance, completely fuck it up in the name of business – but you can and should shake it up. Because it’s good business.

So, in that sense, I think the baby mama drama, or at least the way they’ve handled it is complete and utter bullshit, story-telling wise. I can understand Oliver being insecure, I can understand needing time, I even get that he could keep this a secret from Felicity for the time being, but I can’t understand building up this relationship, making the point that these two people trust each other with everything, and then have Oliver just lie. He could have said, “Look, there’s something and I can’t tell you. I will as soon as I can.” He could have asked Felicity to lie. He could have approached this a number of different ways. But he didn’t. And you know why? Not because it made sense story-telling wise, or because it was in keeping with the insecurities Oliver had already shown, but because it made sense business-wise.

Fact is, Olicity sells. Olicity makes people turn on the TV. Olicity is the biggest draw DCTV has so far, and with three shows on the air and another one coming, Olicity is really the only couple that gets people talking. So they’ve got to milk the Olicity for all they can. And that means they just can’t have them be together and happy for all of one season. That’s boring!

(For the record, I would have taken together and happy. I would have continued watching. No complaints here. None whatsoever).

So, baby mama drama is just a way to throw a wedge on the Oliver/Felicity relationship, create drama for a while, and then get them back together. I understand it. I just hate it. I hate it because it’s cheap drama for the sake of drama. I hate it because it’s something you’d find in a soap opera, and I always thought this show was better than that. But mostly, I hate it because they haven’t really explained it to me, plot-wise. They’re telling, not showing. And that’s what I don’t buy.

I want to add also, that the way they wrote Samantha was my biggest pet peeve about this episode. I get that she’s scared. I get that she’s raised this kid by herself all these years, and I get that she wanted to get the kid far, far away from Moira. Maybe I would have done the same thing. What I don’t get is her asking Oliver to lie to everyone, placing conditions on him and having the nerve to tell him that she knows he’s changed, but his life is still too messy for her kid. What does she know about him? Absolutely nothing. Google does not show you the real Oliver Queen, and this woman who shares a kid with him didn’t even try to take a step back, give him the benefit of the doubt. And sure, it’s only been one episode, but they better flesh her out FAST if they don’t want her to be hated. Right now she comes off as one-dimensional and silly.

LYRA

It was bland, recycled, and not well laid out. Anyone remember how this baby mama drama played out on Gilmore Girls? It tore the couple apart and set them on a path that didn’t do them any good (we’re looking at you Christopher.)

I understand that Samantha was protective of her son, always has been, but what she did was wrong. She told Oliver that he was a changed man and that he wasn’t the jerk of his youth. So why can’t he tell the most important person in his life that he has a child. She didn’t even give Felicity a chance or even consider her words. It was all about her. If you want your child to have a loving and strong relationship with your son…wouldn’t you want him to be stable and happy? Wouldn’t you want him to leave and return to your home excited and not scared that he’s hiding something essential from his love?

The whole thing makes me want to turn away and ask for someone to call me when it’s over.

BETH

Introducing Oliver’s son now seems appropriate because politics and out of wedlock children in fictional narratives go hand in hand. However the absolute abhorrent bit is that refused to allow Oliver and Felicity to weather this secret together.

There were two different timelines in this crossover event. The first one we saw Felicity learn that Oliver lied about having a son and it looked like she ended things with him. What are your thoughts on that exchange?

 

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ALYSSA

That scene was brutal. We knew it was coming, but it felt like a death blow to the fandom. Thankfully that wasn’t what went down – but could potentially happen in the future now that Oliver is still lying about it – but the entire exchange just didn’t sit right with me. The thing is it was so completely out of character for Felicity to react the way she did. I understand where Oliver was coming from – him being shaken because his whole world was just shaken – but it made sense because that’s how Oliver would react; it’s true to his character. Who wasn’t true to their character was Felicity, who went against who she is and how she is with Oliver. Despite everything that’s happened, Felicity has always been someone who has never held Oliver’s past against him. Whether it was past mistakes that he’s made or decisions that directly impacted her, Felicity has been angry about it, sure, but she’s always forgiven him because that’s what she does. She’s always been accepting of every part of Oliver. That’s the depth of her love for him. There’s nothing that he could do that would make her love him any less. And Oliver knows that. He’s seen firsthand how accepting and loving she’s been of him over the years even when they weren’t together. He knows that she’d never turn her back on him. And yet she did in this scene. But at the same time, Felicity was justified in her feeling of betrayal because this wasn’t a little lie about working with the team without telling him, this was a lie about something so significant that impacts not only him but her, as well.

Acting-wise this scene was a thing of beauty. Once again Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards thrive together with scenes built upon intense emotion. We haven’t gotten these really emotional scenes between Oliver and Felicity this season, apart from episode 4×06, so even though the scene itself guts me, it’s really incredible to watch Stephen and Emily absolutely slay it onscreen together. It was gut-wrenching to watch these two people we love in a situation like that, and both actors were able to reach really deep emotionally for this moment.

LIZZIE

The whole thing felt completely OOC for Felicity, and this is a problem Arrow sometimes has, in that they have to cram so much into forty minutes that some things end up looking rushed. I get being mad, but when exactly would Oliver have found the time to tell her? She confronts him, and when he doesn’t fess up right away, she breaks up with him? That’s not Felicity. If it were this relationship would have never even started.

If anything, Felicity in that scene reminded me of the few Laurel/Oliver flashbacks we’ve had, when Oliver had a girlfriend who, though undoubtedly right, never really pushed him to be better, she just expected him to be, and when he wasn’t, she was done. Oliver and Felicity have never had this sort of relationship. And I know they’re now supposed to be partners in everything, and this feels like another level of betrayal, but Felicity is supposed to be the emotionally mature one here. She promised him they were going to figure this out. He stood by her while she freaked out an lashed at him not two episodes ago, and though the situations are not comparable, my point remains: Crossover Felicity just gave up too fast, and real Felicity never would.

Again, this is a case of – to make this story work, I have to make character A say a few things she probably would never say and character B react in ways we’ve taken great pains to show he’s overcome. But hey, plot wins! (Or in this case, business wins. But that shouldn’t be surprising. Business always, ALWAYS wins)

LYRA

I don’t think it was Felicity ending things. Maybe I missed something. It looked like one of those arguments where people ask where they’re going and why are they traveling down this path if they don’t trust each other. It’s just questioning things. We’ll never know what Oliver would have done next. He probably wouldn’t have told her but maybe he would have made her understand that he needed some time before he brought it to her. When you’re upfront with Felicity she’s willing to give you some leeway.

BETH

Still fuming! They (and Oliver) after all this time should know to have faith in Felicity. Secrets of this kind regularly are shared with the ones most trusted knowing that if the knowledge got back to the sharer of the secret in the first place, there would be consequences. Not realistic of Oliver to keep this one from Felicity when she will feel the most betrayed by its revelation.

But after everyone literally died because Oliver didn’t have his head on straight because of his conversation with Felicity, Barry ran back in time and reset things, which gave Oliver a second chance to do things differently with Felicity (though he didn’t know it). But he chose to lie to her. What are your non-rational thoughts about that decision?

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ALYSSA

Sometimes it’s hard as a fan when you feel that you know the characters better than the writers who are writing them do. I have to admit that I’ve calmed down since initially after the episode when I was spitting fire over Oliver’s decision to lie to Felicity and to somewhat justify it, but I’m still mad as hell about it. So let’s get to the irrational…

Oliver Queen is not someone who lies to Felicity Smoak easily nor convincingly. We’ve seen that in these now four seasons where Oliver has told ridiculous lies that Felicity saw right through or where he couldn’t even manage to lie. Oliver and Felicity’s relationship has always been founded in trust and respect – trust that they can tell each other anything and that they’d accept every part of each other, and respect that they would be able to trust each other with even their darkest of troubles. That’s the reason we all love Olicity so much because of the foundation of their relationship. Sure, we love the hot kisses and sexy times between the pair, but the reason we all began shipping Olicity is because of that deep-rooted love, trust, and respect, all of which it seemed were absent in Oliver’s decision to lie to Felicity about something that is such a big part of his life now.

This season for Oliver and Felicity has been about the establishment of them as a team within a team, which means that they not only rely on each other but confide in each other. Which means that they’ve been able to be honest with each other in a way that they haven’t been with anyone before. Sure, Samantha had a condition where Oliver couldn’t tell anyone that he’s William’s father, but if Oliver was going to lie in any part of this messed up situation don’t you think he’d lie to Samantha instead of Felicity, aka the love of his life? Where is the logic in that? It’s not as if Felicity is someone who blabs Oliver’s secrets. Sure, she told Barry that one time that Oliver was the Arrow, but that was to save his life. Felicity has always maintained Oliver’s trust in her, and kept his secrets because she loves him and knows how important they are to him.

With this whole second chance storyline with Oliver and Barry making the wrong decision the first time in the Arrow half of the episode, which ultimately resulted in everyone dying, it seemed as if the point of the second chance was for Oliver and Barry to correct every wrong, whether that was involving the other members of the team when confronting Vandal Savage or Oliver being open with Felicity about him having a son before she found out on her own and they had a huge falling out about it. While they learned their lesson about confronting Savage, the writers chose to have Oliver not learn a damn thing when it came to him once again lying to Felicity about his son. It made no damn sense. Oliver has lied to many people in his life, but the one person he’s been able to be the most honest with is Felicity. So why did he lie? For the sake of useless drama that will rear its ugly head later in the season. Because apparently the writers forgot that there are many other ways to portray tension in Oliver and Felicity’s relationship.

With the spoiler regarding an upcoming engagement, it makes me wonder how the writers think we can support Oliver and Felicity being engaged. Because if Oliver can’t be open with Felicity about a secret this big, then they’re not ready for that type of commitment. Not to say that I wouldn’t be happy if they get engaged next week – because honestly, I’ll probably start to cry – but it won’t be the same as it would’ve been because Oliver is still keeping this big secret from her that we know will probably result in a temporary break for the pair.

Some will say that this isn’t a regression in Oliver’s character development, but in truth it is. Up to this point we’d seen an incredible maturity from him as he’s learned to be open, to trust more openly, and not to keep the big things to himself. But that was all set back with him agreeing to keep this secret from pretty much everyone in his life except for Barry, who learned the truth because of the other timeline. Sure, it’s okay for Oliver to regress in character, but the whole point is, why? Why have the writers decided to go with this cheap drama that we know will build to this huge secret being revealed to everyone and causing the kind of drama that Arrow has never been about? It’s times like these where it’s hard, but we have to remember that this is a television show, and sometimes the characters regress as a result of it. It doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is.

LIZZIE

I love Oliver. He’s an idiot, but I love him. I, however, wanted to strangle him after this episode, and not only because he lied twice, but because it doesn’t look like he’s gonna stop lying anytime soon. (And also because the lie is ridiculous and unsustainable). I’m not gonna lie, I consumed a lot of chocolate while watching this episode. And a fair amount of wine. And it hurt. God, it hurt. In that regard, kudos writers, your silly story-line was backed up by good writing and amazing acting so I could really and truly suffer. I don’t know if I should be commending you or planning your murders.

On re-watch, I think Oliver was even LESS likely to tell Felicity the second time around, because what Barry said ignited the little flame of fear that was always there. Oliver didn’t tell her the first time because he was scared, and because the circumstances conspired against him, but mostly, because he was scared. And that fear of Felicity leaving was exacerbated by Barry telling him that on the first timeline he got into a fight with Felicity and she broke him with him – and that it all had to do with his kid. To even think that Oliver Queen, the same Oliver Queen who still, to this day, doesn’t understand why Felicity would choose him, can turn around after that and be RATIONAL, that’s just absurd. But, dang it, he’d come so far. He was almost a mature adult involved in a mature relationship. We almost had it all, and then you took it from us.

LYRA

My non-rational thoughts?! He should’ve told Felicity. Without a doubt he should’ve lied to Williams mother and told Felicity. How would she know that Felicity knew? And if he wants to keep William safe what better person to have your back than Felicity? It’s the same thing with Iris on The Flash all over again. If Iris would’ve know about Barry’s secret she would’ve been able to help instead of getting in the way. If Felicity knows about William she could make sure no cameras capture Oliver in the area or that his calls aren’t connected to his son. Damien is checking Oliver out and is willing to do anything to gain the upper hand with the mayoral candidate. He’s going to find out because Oliver’s not a brilliant and cunning mastermind of stealth.

Baby mama is making Oliver hide his son not just from the love of his life but his partners on Team Arrow. He can’t do this all by himself no matter what is rattling around in his brain at the moment. Didn’t he learn anything from last year when he worked with Malcolm Merlyn behind everyone’s back?

BETH

There is nothing rational to say about it because this bit of forced tension is not rational. So all I can do is wail – Why? No! Felicity is Oliver’s significant other and this kind of secret is one a couple of their caliber of openness shares even if it is suppose to be kept secret from everyone!

I know it’s hard right now, but let’s try to look at this from a rational perspective. Rationally speaking, why do you think Oliver chose to lie to Felicity after the warning from Barry?

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ALYSSA

After a night to sleep on it – and after expressing my anger in my review – I’ve come to a place where I can be rational about this. Let’s be honest, the immediate reaction to this entire thing was going to be anger. Because it should anger us. But the more time you have to think and write about it, the less angry you become and the more you’re able to approach this from a rational point of view. So, rational…

When considering why Oliver chose to lie to Felicity after Barry’s warning, the answer is in that question…Barry warned him. While Barry watched from the porch as Oliver and Felicity had a really bad fight, which resulted in Felicity walking away, the only thing Barry knew about the situation was that the fight – and ensuing potential break-up – happened as a result of Felicity learning the truth that Oliver has a son. Barry doesn’t know that Felicity was really angry not because of his son, but because Oliver lied to her about something so huge. So in turn, neither did Oliver. So Oliver thought that Felicity ended things with him before because she learned her had a son. Something that we’ve learned this season is how much Oliver cannot survive without Felicity. And in that moment – when Felicity gave him an opening to come clean – he chose to hold back because of that intense fear that he’d lose her to this secret. So make no mistake, Oliver’s decision to lie to Felicity wasn’t due to ill intentions. It was due to fear of losing her when he’s come to this point in his life where he knows that he cannot live without her.

I’m in no way defending Oliver – because he knows how secrets and lies come back to haunt you – but I can see why he made the decision he did. There is no doubt in my mind that Oliver Queen loves Felicity Smoak more than he’s loved anything in his entire life. My faith in that belief has never and will never waver. But the fact is that Oliver would literally break if he lost Felicity. So if he feels like this revelation about him having a son would cost him her, then I understand why he would make the decision he did. I just hope that Oliver eventually realizes that this is something that Felicity would be supportive of. Because he knows that she’s forgiven him for a lot worse. Sticking to the rational perception, I have faith that Oliver and Felicity will emerge from this stronger than ever. Because even when the stakes continued to be raised and drama threatens them, Oliver and Felicity are two people who love each other more than anything and have proven time and time again that they can overcome anything together.

LIZZIE

As I said before, I don’t think Oliver is even thinking rationally. He’s trying to keep all the things he loves close, Felicity, his kid…he doesn’t want to lose anything, and he’s trying to juggle things that he can’t possibly juggle, but he’s Oliver, so he’ll continue to do it for as long as he’s can, and then perhaps for a while longer. Because that’s the way he’s lived his life. And because he’s afraid that if he doesn’t, he’s going to lose everything.

Before, Oliver might have thought he was ready to be alone, to lose everything. And maybe he was. He sacrificed everyone more than one. Now that he has Felicity, though, now that he knows what it means to be with her, to be her partner and her lover, he just can’t imagine losing her. Fear is clouding his very judgment, just like in Season 3. Except in Season 3 Oliver wasn’t really thinking about his feelings or hers, he was thinking about her safety. Now, with enough time to be sure of his feelings, Oliver can’t help but focus on hers. Does she love him? She says she does, but can she really love a broken man like him? Would she really stand by him even in the face of the living proof that he’s betrayed everyone who ever loved him? He doesn’t know, and that’s, ultimately, why he stays quiet. He still has to learn to trust Felicity beyond the lair and beyond the Arrow. He might trust her with his life, and he might trust her with his heart, but he doesn’t really trust her to see the worst parts of him and stay.

Part of the problem is that Oliver has put Felicity up in a pedestal. She’s too good and too pure and a whole host of other things, while he’s broken. And yes, he’s been putting himself back together with her help, but this is something Oliver can’t fix, a problem that he can’t put an arrow through, and he just doesn’t know how to handle it, so he does nothing. He’s at an impasse. He’s waiting for something, someone to tell him what to do, what his next move is.

LYRA

Rational speaking I think he chose to hide William from Felicity because…he’s ashamed. This is a part of his life that he’s wanted to forget about. The idiot young man who got that girl pregnant also ended up on the yacht with Sara, changing both of their lives forever. This is the only rational reason I can come up with him choosing to hide this from someone that knows a great deal of his secrets and who he loves dearly. *crosses arms* He’s an idiot who’s self sabitaging himself with the mistakes of his past. I’ve got news for you Oliver, you’re not that idiot young man anymore. Get yourself together and be the strong, self assured, and confident man we know you are. Felicity, Diggle, Thea, Laurel (hell even Lyla) will back you up. You just need to let them in.

Secrets don’t get anyone anywhere.

BETH

You mean why he irrationally chose to hide it from her? There is no rational in this thought process. Nothing the mother of his child can do can hurt him as much as losing Felicity. And if the mother tried hiding, running away or threatening Oliver with his son; guess who would be his greatest champion and aid in making sure none of the worst case scenarios Oliver is letting cloud his judgement happen? He is letting that misguided sense of nobility allow him to screw over the one who deserves his loyalty the most!

The Arrow half of the crossover felt out of character for both Oliver and Felicity and the bulk of that anger falls on the writers. What would you like to say to the writers about the whole situation?

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ALYSSA

That’s the whole thing for me, the moments that pissed me off were moments that were out of character for the both of them. Felicity is always the one person that Oliver is able to confide in; not only that, he relies on that ability to be able to confide in her in such an effortless way. She keeps him afloat during the times he feels like he’s drowning. So while I understand that Oliver was afraid about Felicity learning the truth – and how that would affect their relationship – he wouldn’t choose to keep it a secret from her. He wanted to tell Felicity, as we saw when he was trying to reason with Samantha about not keeping this from her. Honestly, this was a failed opportunity for Oliver and Felicity to handle this situation in the mature way they’ve handled things this season. Oliver would’ve confided in her, Felicity would’ve supported him, and they would’ve worked through this together all the while honoring Samantha’s wishes about it being a secret.

Then there was the scene where Felicity felt out of character in her reaction to learning that Oliver lied to her about having a son. It wasn’t out of character for her to react angry about him lying, but it was out of character for her to turn away from him because of it. It’s funny because we the fans were analyzing that brief shot from the trailer of the pained looks on their faces and said, ‘They’ll be fine. Felicity isn’t walking away; she’s just turning her head for a moment.’ Because we know that’s what’s in character for Felicity. She’s someone who has never turned away from Oliver because of his past, whether it’s things he’s done personally or things that he’s learned about his past. That’s what makes Felicity, Felicity. She’s always has and always will be accepting of every part of Oliver. The good, the bad, the ugly. So watching Felicity turn her back on their relationship and, what it appeared to be, break things off because of it was so out of character it made me sick. That’s not who she is, and that’s not how she would’ve reacted.

Here’s the thing, Arrow is my favorite show, and I love these producers and writers to death, but right now I’m upset with them. I’d like to tell the writers that they’ve done an incredible job this season with portraying Oliver and Felicity’s mature relationship in a way that you don’t see that often on television, and it’s a truly beautiful thing. They’ve managed to throw obstacles their way that isn’t for the sake of petty drama, which is what that whole baby mama drama felt like. The drama they forced upon them now – to reappear again sometime this season – is drama for the sake of drama, not drama for the sake of the characters. There’s a difference. I understand that the Oliver’s son thing was an Easter Egg that some comic book fans really wanted to see (myself not included), but that right there is the problem. This was one of those few storylines that the writers have gone with because of that need to pay homage – or just to play with some cool Easter Eggs – to the comic book lore. There really was no need for this storyline at this time in Oliver’s life or ever. It’s merely been thrown our way for the sake of unnecessary drama that has pissed off a lot more people than it has pleased.

So, writers, I beg of you to do Oliver and Felicity’s characters justice. To honor the trusting relationship that you’ve cultivated over the course of now four seasons. Don’t demean it for the sake of CW-esque drama. Because I know that you haven’t run out of ideas as to what real-life challenges Oliver and Felicity can face. And you respect that relationship as much as we do. All I ask is that you do right by the characters. Fine, Oliver is lying to Felicity about this. I’m not entirely okay with it, but I understand. But please have Oliver be the one to tell Felicity and not have her learn the truth on her own. That would be a major setback in their relationship and undermine everything you’ve built in their relationship.

P.S.: Go easy on us with the midseason finale because I saw the multiple promos and DEAR GOD.

LIZZIE

Dear Arrow Writers:

I’m a writer, I get it. I understand business sometimes has to take precedence over story and over characterization. It’s a shitty deal, but hey, money is the name of the game, right? But just because I understand, doesn’t mean I like it. Or that I approve of it. Because I don’t. The story always takes precedence, my creative writing professor use to say. I bet yours said the same thing. The story always takes precedence. Except when it doesn’t.

So, yes, I understand it. Doesn’t mean I didn’t curse a little (a lot) when I first saw it. Doesn’t mean I’m going to like it (I probably won’t). But it means I’m willing to give you a chance. A chance to make me think Samantha is anything but a one-dimensional Lifetime character. A chance for me to care if Oliver spends time with his son or not. A chance for Oliver to not drag this out longer than he has to, and tell the woman he wants to SPEND THE REST OF HIS LIFE WITH, that he has a son. I’m willing to trust that there’s a plan behind all of this, and that even if you’re now putting business first, deep down, you care about these characters, you care about this story and you won’t let it get too far. Oliver and Felicity are still the people you made me fall in love with four seasons ago. Don’t turn them into something unrecognizable. I beg of you.

Sincerely,

Me

LYRA

Stop backtracking. I know that human drama is interesting and throwing wrenches into things is fun…but progression in a relationship doesn’t have to be dramatic and painful. There are plenty of things that Oliver and Felicity can experience as a couple that will test who they are and make them stronger. Why go for something that’s been used before and came straight out of a soap. You’ve taken a couple who has fought long, shifted into something new and wondrous, and asked them to take a couple of steps back for no reason! What happened to all he learned last year or in the beginning of the season when he was trying to gain John’s trust back? Basically, if you’re looking for progression and to keep this show on for a couple more years, stop messing around with our characters and throwing character development out the window.

On a side note, why is it that all the ugly anger/angst has to fall on Arrow? We can have pretty things. Oliver and Felicity have proven that there are moments of fluff where they’ve both got heart eyes for each other. This crossover made the writers segregate the happy go lucky show with the brooding man pain fest. It’s unbelievable and sets a presadent that Arrow will never truly be happy.

BETH

Truly I have nothing but frustration for their lack of respect at the blooming and respected development of Felicity, who not only as a mature female chose Oliver as a partner but has been abundantly communicative in her intentions, feeling and expectations from this relationship. I wanted to see Oliver give in like because it is rare for this kind of reciprocation on television and unfair to Emily who has nurtured this strength in Felicity. For the writers to put her in such a cliche situation is frankly upsetting and misogynistic.

How do you think the writers can fix this mess of a situation?

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ALYSSA

The only way that I can see the writers somehow redeeming this mess is by resolving it in a speedy manner and by allowing both Oliver and Felicity to handle it in their own, non-OOC way. That means that Oliver needs to be the one to tell Felicity about his son, and not the other way around. If Oliver tells Felicity – even after having lied for a bit – it’ll be a softer blow than if Felicity finds out on her own. And she will. You know she will. This is Felicity Smoak, the most badass woman on the planet with an intelligence that puts even the smartest to shame. This is a woman who knows Oliver Queen inside and out. She knows when something’s bothering him, and that means that she’s going to do her damned hardest to 1) fix it, and 2) find out what’s the root of the problem. And we’ve already seen how Felicity reacted to learning that Oliver lied to her. But to be honest, that whole scene felt out of character. 1) Oliver doesn’t lie to Felicity, and 2) Felicity wouldn’t give up on Oliver because of a lie, like she did in that scene. She’s been able to forgive the most horrible of things that Oliver has done: lying to her about being in league with Malcolm Merlyn for months, lying about the false betrayal of them with Ra’s al Ghul, and his plan to prepare to die because of it. If she can forgive him for all of that, as she has, then she can forgive him for a lie about this shocking revelation that came out of left field.

The other part of this equation rests with the timing of everything. With the tease that something bad is probably going to happen to Felicity in this week’s midseason finale, perhaps that’ll be the wake-up call Oliver needs to come entirely clean with her about everything. Because with him holding back this very important piece of information – he has a son! – he’s holding a piece of himself back from her. And when he feels like he might lose her and later knowledge that she almost died without him being entirely truthful with her might just be the trigger for Oliver to come clean about everything. So while the producers have said “midseason” regarding the further exploration of the storyline, technically midseason starts with episode 10. I just hope that whenever this storyline returns that it’s within the next few episodes, more like a 11-12 kind of range instead of 15-16.

Regardless of the situation, we know that Felicity will forgive Oliver…eventually. She’s never held his past mistakes and his experiences against him, so why should this be any different? But the situation itself is entirely different, and a huge part of that rests with Felicity’s past of being abandoned by her own father. That’s going to make this a tougher pill for Felicity to swallow, which means that it’s probably going to take some time for Oliver to earn her trust back.

The thing for me is that Oliver and Felicity has always been a relationship where the trusting foundation has outweighed everything. But this is the first time where I felt like that trust was tattered a bit. While these two have had their disagreements, they’ve always been honest with each other in the end. While Oliver did lie about the events of season three – Ra’s al Ghul and preparing to die – the thing is he did tell Felicity about it. Right there is where the answer to this questions rests: the eventual outcome. How can the writers save this mess of a situation? By making sure that the circle of trust between Oliver and Felicity isn’t shattered and having Oliver eventually tell her the truth. So long as he manages to stick to his true character – and being honest with Felicity – then this mess of a situation can be forgiven and resolved. Eventually.

LIZZIE

By having Barry go back again and again until Oliver gets it right? No? One can hope.

I think not dragging out the secret for long would be a step in the right direction. Oliver has a ring. A RING. How can he ever share a life with Felicity if he can’t share this with her? It makes no earthly sense, and he should know that. The writers should know that. The fandom does.

I think they need to make Oliver struggle with this secret. I think they need to make Felicity realize that he’s keeping something from her. I think they need her to confront him. I think he needs to be the one to finally fess up, not have her find out for some other convoluted reason. I think Felicity needs to take a step back after she finds out that he lied to her. I think they need to make Oliver earn her trust once again. Basically, I think there need to be consequences. So often in this show (Oliver marrying Nyssa, Laurel resurrecting Sara) there’s no real backlash from character’s idiotic decisions, and this time, there needs to be a backlash. Oliver deserves it, and the writers should know that.

LYRA

Felicity needs to find out. Hell, the rest of Team Arrow need to find out. And instead of them individually confronting him they have to do it as a group. They are more united now than they’ve ever been. Showing a united front will show Oliver that they’re going to take care of Star City no matter what so he better fess up. They’re strong enough not to take his shit anymore.

An even better solution is for Oliver to tell Felicity & Co. Who cares what Samantha thinks. he wants to hide her own shame at denying her son a father/family by making Oliver suffer. Communication is key Arrow writers. With the way that you handled this past weeks crossover I now wonder if you remember the progress he’s previously made or if you’ve conveniently chosen to forgot it.

BETH

One way and one way only – Oliver tells the truth in the very next scene! No more withholding the truth. I think though I might be waiting until the ends of time for it.

What are your thoughts about Olicity in “Legends of Today” and “Legends of Yesterday?” Sound off in the comments to keep the discussion going!

Join us next week for roundtable discussions for the midseason finales of The Flash and Arrow!
It’s sure to be one hell of an emotional ride.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c and Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.


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