Arrow Thursday: Back Story. Ack.

The Promise

I’m coming to the conclusion that this is just not my show any more. Lots of good writing decisions in this episode, including sticking to only two plots that are tightly related, so excellent, focused structure. I love the Russian, hope he comes back more often. I don’t trust the reverend, but that’s just me and he’s a great character. Slade is fantastic, and Slade with his hand on Moira’s shoulder is better than fantastic. Loved watching Oliver’s head explode (because he knows what that hand on Moira’s shoulder means, having put his hand on many shoulders in the past). So what’s my problem?

The actual storytelling has slowed to a crawl because the back story is sucking the life from the main story. If you look at how the story actually moved in this episode it comes down to “Oliver knows Slade is in town and is making a move on Moira.” That’s a great scene right there, but it’s not a story. All of the stuff in the present was fun (except, dear god, they’re turning Felicity into Laurel, the Bitch in Impractical Shoes), loved the stuff in the Queen house except for Sara, who ran the gamut of emotions from A to B (thank you, Dorothy Parker). But the back story . . .

Okay, here’s the problem. With the exception of how the Russian got off the boat, we knew all of that. We knew Slade was gunning for Oliver because of Shado (although trying to sell the idea that Oliver chose Sara over Shado when he didn’t is just ANNOYING), we knew that Oliver was separated from Sara. We’ve talked about As You Know Chat on here; the island story was As You Know Action. I realize that a lot of people like that, which is why I’m not saying the stuff on the island is bad, I’m saying it left me cold, while taking away screen time from the things I love about this show, the Arrow team working together and Moira being the Hot Iron Lady. Oliver, Roy, and Sara boxing in Slade was excellent; give me a whole episode of moving the story forward with the Arrow team like that, and I’m there. Instead I got As You Know and explosions in the dark. No, thank you.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t just watched Person of Interest‘s massive back story episode from this week, “RAM.” The entire episode except for the coda at the end was played in the past, and we knew nothing about any of it, so it was all new information played out in a plot that had a beginning and an end. It was, in short, story.

Finch & Dillinger

“Ram” began with a number coming up as usual, but this episode was set in 2010 so it’s pre-Reese. Finch is working with an ex-mercenary who is Finch’s compromise: he needs somebody tough enough to take out the bad guys, but that gives him Dillinger who walks the line between good and evil like a drunk on a bender. There are three different groups–Control, the CIA, and Decima–trying to kill the number this week, including Reese as half of the CIA hit team. As Finch sorts through the groups, Dillinger brings the number back to the library and steals the briefcase, and then the plot becomes a Chinese box, opening up with answer after answer to all the mysteries from three seasons–How did Finch find Reese? Who ordered the hit on Nathan? Why was Reese targeted for death in China?–while moving the story of how the hell Finch is going to save the number by himself (for one thing, he gets out of his wheelchair and limps into the real world again). Instead of back story showing stuff we already know, “RAM” is an origin story, showing how Finch, Reese, and Shaw all entered the same story space, tying off pretty much every mystery the series has been spinning since the beginning, and ending with a coda in the present that has Root bringing the number back into the game for the Machine, telling him, “She needs you.” It was magnificent storytelling, and I couldn’t look away for a moment, every second on that screen was new and moved story, which it gave both an ending–the number was saved–and pushed into the next episode–what the hell is Root doing?

Meanwhile on Arrow, I found out that Slade has the mirakuru, that he wants vengeance on Oliver for Shado’s death, and that the Russian escaped. Oh, wait, I knew all of that. What did I learn? Uh, there’s a character who’s a preacher? And the back story ends in another cliffhanger. Okay, but what about the now of the story. Oliver finds out Slade is town and is hitting on his mother. LOVE it. What else? Uh, that’s it. The big climax is Slade repeating the threat he’s already made several times. So no real story there, either. Sum up the entire episode: Slade is working to make Oliver pay. Wait, we knew that. By possibly making a move on Moira. Okay, that’s fun, but most of us saw that coming. What’s new? Nothing.

I really need story. I need a story that starts in the first scene and gives me closure at the end, I need new stuff happening all the time, I need to be surprised and delighted, and Arrow used to do all of that for me. But now their story pace has slowed to a crawl, there’s nothing new on the screen, and they’re not ending their weekly stories. So I’ll come back for the Suicide Squad (that’s next, right?), but if they do the same meaningless stuff with that that they’re doing here, I’m done. I’ll wait until the end of the season and watch the rest of the episodes together, fast forwarding through the back story and watching for the characters I love: Diggle, Moira, the Russian, Deadshot, Slade, Felicity if they put her character back together (why was she wearing all of her mother’s jewelry?). But weekly viewing? No. I need story.

I will, however, be glued to the screen every week to find out what happens next with the Machine gang, especially this chick:

Root Escapes

She could take Slade without batting an eye because she does new things that nobody expects. And then she finishes the job and moves on. Root knows story.

323 thoughts on “Arrow Thursday: Back Story. Ack.

  1. Reports are that this episode is the lowest rated Arrow episode this season. Ratings have been dropping since it became the Lance Family hour starring Super Sara. My hope is that the show runners will pay attention to when the ratings started to fall and realize their mistake.

    I liked the Team Arrow stuff, but I thought the call to Felicity was stupid. Why would he call her just to have her listen in? Why wouldn’t he call Sara? And shouldn’t Sara have been disbelieving that she was hearing Slade Wilson’s voice or is Caity Lotz such a bad actress that she couldn’t sell surprise? And if Oliver and Sara had a great love on the island, wouldn’t they have shown that the night before they stormed the freighter knowing that they had a good chance of dying? If they were going to set up a great romance, wouldn’t this have been the time to do it?

    I liked the episode for the most part, but the reason I liked it was because Slade was such a great bad guy. He was so bass ass!! I loved when he grabbed Oliver by the leg and threw him back on the freighter. I loved that he anticipated Diggle and ruined Super Sara’s plan. While I liked seeing the team work together, I don’t like Sara taking over. It just shows how entitled she is. I really hope and pray that her whole “I’m not easy to kill” is foreshadowing.

    I like the island stuff in general, but I agree that it didn’t advance the plot – which is a shame because they cram too much into some episodes and had far too little in this one. While I thought the island stuff was cool, it really went on too long.

    On the one hand I don’t like that they are turning Felicity into the bitchy one on the show, but on the other hand, I can see why she’d be bitchy. Sara makes me bitchy, too.

    I am really hopeful about the Suicide Squad episode, but I fear it’s going to have far too much Sara in it for me to really enjoy it. At this point, I don’t know if I should wish for Harley Quinn or not because heaven only knows what they’ll do to her!

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    1. Maybe Harley can take Sara out. If anybody can, she can.

      You’re right, when they shot this, they knew they were retconning Sara in as the new love interest, that would have been the perfect place to set that up. I’m wondering if part of the problem isn’t the actress. She has no layers at all, so she can’t telegraph emotion the way Cassidy and Rickard can, and Amell can’t do it on his own.

      Felicity in character would tell people what they needed to hear, but she wouldn’t do it in that way. She’d be upfront about it, the way she’s been up front up with Oliver, not play the long suffering “I guess I’m the only one who answers phones around here” martyr. At this point, I don’t care about Felicity, either, and that’s BIG.

      It makes sense that the ratings would drop when they stopped telling stories and went to ongoing soap opera. They’re sabotaging the stuff that made them a hit. But I really am amazed it would show up in the ratings that fast. It also helps alleviate some of the guilt I was feeling about being so fed up with the show. I thought it was just me, foisting my opinion on an Arrow-loving world.

      I also wonder how many of us who are sticking with it, are sticking because we know what the Suicide Squad is, what Birds of Prey is. If you don’t have that background knowledge, this show is just Oliver flailing around while Slade makes threats and Moira collects cash for her mayor bid (which is just so damn outrageous that I love it more every time it comes up). Of course, if you do have the background and watched the show sacrifice a terrific Clock King to soap opera, that could finish you off, too.

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      1. I really hate to be critical of the actual people, but I am certain that most of my problem with Sara Lance is Caity Lotz. I liked her in the very limited dose we got initially, but her range is too shallow. Both Cassidy and Rickards can hold their own — and both can command a scene. Lotz can’t do that. I suspect that I wouldn’t hate this story so much is a really strong actress was playing Sara. I’m not saying I would like it, but I really don’t think it would enrage me the way it currently does.

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        1. She’s outstanding in the action scenes, but yes, I agree. They’re putting too much of the emotional investment in the story on her shoulders, and she’s not a great actress and Sara as a character is still a usurper, so it’s a double whammy.

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          1. Usurper is the perfect noun. They really should have kept her in action mode – and called her in when Oliver needed back up ever so often. I could get behind that – and would enjoy it. She just doesn’t have the acting skills to carry the drama and that is crippling the show.

            It was also a huge miscalculation to spend so much time on the Lance family drama. I can’t even begin to imagine why the writers thought that was a good idea.

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        2. Katie Cassidy has always been the worst actress to me, and didnt miss her in this episode at all. Caity has weaknesses in her acting but I will take her anyday over Katie, her athleticism is a bonus for the role of Black Canary. For a supposedly leading lady she sure misses episodes a lot. I think its pretty telling what the show thinks of their lead actress when they seem to give the other actresses Emily & Caity more screentime and focus than they do their supposed leading lady. At this point Emily is more of the leading lady of Arrow, has been since the second half of the first season. For a good reason, she outperformed KC just as many actresses do in this show.

          Amander Waller is probably the one who sent a henchmen to kidnap Diggle, considering the next episode is going to be Digs being recruited to the suicide squad. I cant see her asking nicely.

          I dont think the phone call was specifically to anyone, If it was Felicity’s phone she wouldn’t have been asking why no one was picking up the phone.

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          1. Felicity’s been MIA, too. And Diggle gets about a minute and a half of screen time each episode, and I’m pretty sure they value him. I don’t think it’s about the actors, I think it’s about the story lines they want to pursue.

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          2. It was Felicity’s phone. They showed Oliver scrolling past Diggle to Felicity, and then calling her.

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      2. I knew little about the comic world until I started watching. But I have been erasing about it, as I was getting really into the show. I wanted to know the background. Now, I’m more ‘meh’. I feel they aren’t being true to comic canon or to their own version of this world that they carefully built up over a season and a half, and have carelessly damaged in just 3 episodes. They are falling horribly between the two, and maybe the retcon nonsense is to get them back to the comicverse. I don’t know, because I’m no expert. But it just feels like they swapped a real diamond necklace for one made of cubic zirconia, hoping we wouldn’t see the difference.

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      3. I thought it was just me, foisting my opinion on an Arrow-loving world.
        – Jenny

        Yeah, that’s you. Opinion Foisterer! LOL. I’ve learned, when it comes to TV, it’s never “just you.” I think most people are rational and nice and so when something starts to turn them off a lot of other people are out there feeling the same way.

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      4. Is it possible that they would do a “no one likes Laurel, and we don’t want them to want Felicity and Oliver together, so we’ll make Felicity act like Laurel, so people stop liking her?” It’s convoluted, but I’ve seen stupider tv before (I’ve rewatched some of the shows that were on when I was a kid. No wonder my mom didn’t want to watch them with me!).

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    2. Paula, I think that’s actually a series low for Arrow (both Season 1 and Season 2). I don’t think they’ve ever dropped below 2.3 or 2.4, if memory serves. I’d have to go back and look.

      I’m wondering if the Harley similarity is just going to be played as a sideways wink to those fans who recognize it but not called out directly as Harley Quinn since that’s a Batman thing and it seems like they’re trying to not cross them over, plus you have a new Batman franchise starting and the new Gotham series…. Ugh! Speaking of… can we again talk about my rampant fear that this coming glut of comic book/super hero shows is going to crash and burn in another season or two and cause everybody to never, ever want to look at another super hero *anything* again for a few more decades?

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      1. I think that’s standard for TV. Sometimes it’s CSI shows, cop shows, a long time ago it was Westerns, trends in TV are like trends in everything else. As long as Marvel keeps making good Avenger movies, people will be interested in comic book stuff. Look how long the Wolverine franchise has been running. I’m surprised it took it this long to get to TV in a big way.

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        1. True about comic book movies. I’ve seen some of them, skipped others, but I think the pace of those is a little better. It’s 2 hours spent with a movie a couple of times a year vs. geez, how many proposed series at this point? I’ve lost count. I think we’re up to like 12 now (Gotham, Constantine, Flash, Preacher, Fantastic Four, Hourman, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, etc etc etc) and that doesn’t even include the ones already on the air. Of course, proposed doesn’t mean actually picked up for series either but I suspect a bunch of them will.

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          1. The Netflix series are limited, and the episodes will go up all at once, so it’s a different viewing experience, but yep. It’s the New Thing.

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      2. Julie, I think it’s a series low too. I find it particularly telling that it would be a series low for the most hyped episode so far this season. I honestly believe they have lost many action loving viewers because of the Lance family drama mess. They have lost Olicity fans by moving Felicity to the child-like friend zone. They lost Laurel fans by making her grovel to the Usurper. There’s really not much left to like. I’m definitely watching Suicide Squad, but I may pass on Birds of Prey. I don’t want to watch an hour Super Sara saving everyone and everything.

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        1. I have no idea what else was on last night. I think American Idol was, so that could have pulled some audiences. They could totally rebound huge in future adjusted ratings.

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        2. Not to mention The Huntress is back. There’s something about that actress that makes me want to turn the TV off. Although I may watch Birds of Prey just in the hope Sara and Helena bond and leave Starling together for a Thelma and Louise kind of adventure.

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  2. I think my relationship with Arrow is in its death throes (until Netflix). Last week, I skipped a few scenes. This week, I spent almost the entire episode with my nose in my laptop. I just don’t care for flashbacks, in any show, not just Arrow. I’m sure they did a good job with it, it’s just not my cup of tea right now.

    I’m curious about what you said about Felicity turning into Laurel. She was on screen so little, I couldn’t see the Bitch (and I did lift my eyes from my laptop whenever they were in present day).

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    1. She came in wearing four-inch heels which is a character violation, saw the phone buzzing, and then said something like “I guess I’m the only person around here who answers the phone,” playing the martyr, instead of saying, “HEY! Buff people! Answer the damn phone!” Which is what the original Felicity would have done. It’s right in line with her giving Oliver the bitchy line while he was trying to survive Shrapnel’s shop. She’s better than that. At least she used to be.

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      1. She’s been violating the four-inch heel thing for quite some time, though. And I just thought of something else: Oliver called Felicity, so it is her phone. Why is she expecting someone to answer her phone? It’s a cell phone, why didn’t she take it with her?

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      2. Don’t forget, not only was she in the 4 inch heels expected to get the phone, she was relegated as the lunch gopher (for Sara et al.). What happened to “don’t expect me to get your coffee”. Argh!

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        1. Exactly. When did she become the Arrow cave secretary?
          I was feeling guilty for not liking this episode because at least they’d solved their focus problems, but it’s actually worse than I thought it was.

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      3. I wonder if that was supposed to be Felicity continuing to show how inferior she feels to Sara. Poor me . . . I have to answer phones while Sara trains Roy or some such nonsense.

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          1. Not only does she keep listening after she thinks she’s been butt-dialed, she actually puts it on speakerphone. Who does that?

            I can’t comment on the flashback parts of the episodes…I’ll be honest: I looked at the Twitter feeds, I didn’t actually pay close attention to the episode itself because I was bored out of my mind.

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      4. Okay, so I wear 4-inch heels, so I am all for it! It’s supposed to be slimming! The advantage to not having to be out in the field is that you can wear impractical shoes! Haha. Anyway, I still need to read the rest of the comments, but thought I would comment that I didn’t find Felicity bitchy. Maybe my personal bias b/c I am a fan? But it did seem out of character for her to be annoyed that others didn’t answer the phone. Also, she was w/Diggle, right? So I didn’t see her coming w/food as meaning now she’s food delivery. It was just unfortunate how little screen time she got, although Laurel and Lance were not in the ep at all.

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  3. Agree with everything you say. I am feeling so frustrated at the retrograde steps they’ve taken with the protagonist I’m supposed to care about, and the stalled forward momentum of the main story. There’s something wrong with an episode that could easily vanish and it would make no difference, because the only ‘new’ thing we learnt, which we’d already guessed, that he’d smooze Moira, could be conveyed in a short scene in next week’s ep. Everything else felt redundant. And annoying.

    They need to let Sara just do action as the actress really isn’t strong at conveying emotion, they need to stop ignoring or unconvincingly altering the characters they have made us care about, and they need to make every scene count. Honestly, if I were the one doing the editing, I’d have ended up with about 2 mins of the show. Slade was great so I’ll watch a spinoff of him, but Arrow is on my personal ‘likely to be cancelled’ list, unless they get rid of this evil twin version of the show. It walks around looking superficially like Arrow, but it’s not the show I have grown to love this season. And no Felicity next week? I need someone on the show I can connect with, like and respect. Diggle, Lance and F are about it for me in that regard right now, so, if they’re sidelined, I’d rather go and rewatch S7 of Buffy, or any episode of Firefly, than another hour like this.

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    1. The Suicide Squad could be excellent if they make it all new story instead of this rehash stuff.
      Can this disintegration really be tracked back to one show runner? They must have planned out the arc together, but this show feels like they switched writers on us mid-season.

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      1. Hi, I am from Spain so I don’t write very well in English, sorry. I like your posts about Arrow and I read them every week. I totally agree with “this show feels like they switched writers on us mid-season”. I think you are right. After they shot mid-season finale, CW opted to film a traditional stand-alone Flash pilot instead of doing backdoor pilot as Arrow‘s Episode 20. I suspect that some Arrow writers stop writing Arrow’s scripts and start writing Flash pilot script.

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        1. Your English is great, no worries.
          I hadn’t thought of that, that not only would the producers go over, but they’d take some writers. And I’m a writer. Excellent point.

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  4. I 100% agree with you Jennifer. I went into this episode fully expecting Sara and Slade to “die” on the island. Though we already knew Oliver believed them both dead, I felt as though this would move the island subplot forward. Now we know that we will have more island Sara and Slade flashbacks. I think that this is a cheap way to have the writers justify their rush into the Sara/Oliver romance. I’m sure they will drudge up some more Sara and Oliver romantic bonding during their last days together on the island. Aside from loving the Moira/Slade interactions, the only thing I found remotely interesting is that I think they are hinting that Ivo may be Felicity’s father. I think that I will be recording future episodes and selecting the scenes that I watch.

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  5. I also think they are building too much on what I thought was one of the weakest and most unconvincing key plot points; that Slade blames Oliver for choosing Sara over Shado, when he clearly didn’t. He never made that choice, just reacted to Sara being in danger. It irritates me that all Slade’s Machiavellian vengeance plans are predicated on this.

    And I definitely think they sat down and tried to think how to shoehorn in scenes to brainwash us into believing that Omeo and Suliet were a pair of star-crossed lovers on the island, whom we should now root for as a couple. Uh uh. I’m just not that gullible and I have DVDs of all the previous episodes to remind me exactly what we were told about their relationship before the last three episodes!

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    1. So they went from one relationship many viewers didn’t believe in to another relationship many viewers don’t believe in, and used both relationships to take away story real estate from the stuff everybody believed in, the Arrow Team. Hindsight is 20/20 but the show is called Arrow not All My Girlfriends.

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      1. Like Felicity said, “How many women were you marooned with? Are you sure this wasn’t Fantasy Island?” At least she used to have good lines.

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    2. This is yet another shitty version of The Big Mis, and I don’t see why Slade is so insistent like Oliver personally shot her or something. It makes no sense. It’s kind of right up there with the start of Farscape in Crais having a raging hard-on to kill Crichton for accidentally killing his brother by landing out of the wormhole at the wrong time. At least that plotline improved, though.

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      1. Good comparison. When you find yourself shouting at the screen, “BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENED!” over and over again, it is just a variation on the Big Misunderstanding and just as harmful to the plot.

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      2. Yep. This. This is my main issue with last night’s show. Bad dude kills Shado and gets his hand cut off. Buddy who was told by bad dude (Ivo) chose who gets to live is to blame for her death? And 3 idiots, er men, bought this? Uh, no. The person who shot her is to blame for killing her. The “I was upset and angry and acted rashly” is not a valid excuse. Ivo killed her. It isn’t Ollie’s fault. It’s just stupid.

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        1. And didn’t Sara explain to Oliver what Ivo would do? She was so clear. Then Oliver stands there forever over Ivo with bow and arrow ready to kill him and letting Ivo blab on and on about Shado. Of course Slade is standing behind Oliver and can hear the whole thing even with machine guns ringing in the background and through that mask. It was awful. Seriously Oliver, didn’t you listen to Sara?! And we had to listen to it explained and then watch it unravel. I also didn’t need the explanation about the homemade drug to block the truth serum. I knew what was going on! Lame writing.

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  6. The worst part about episodes like this is that it not only bores us with details we already know, it has the potential to ruin the rich and interesting backstory that we heard about before. When I imagined Slade turning against Oliver, I expected something much more dramatic and interesting that what they gave us this episode. It basically ruined everything that I spent months dreaming about, creating theories for, and etc. It was bland. It played out every scenario that it should’ve to make the story sort of work and that was it.

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    1. That’s an excellent point. The more you tell people about a story, the less they can make it their own, and back story is a great place NOT to tell details. If they’d done something astonishing and new with that back story, it might have been worth it. As it is, they said, “You know everything we told you happened in the past? Here, we’ll put it on the screen for you,” and then did nothing interesting with it.

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      1. Right back to that “too many peeks behind the Magic curtain of Oz” thing. Once you know how all that magic “works” you’re left with, “Oh. Is that all?”

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  7. I have been trying to figure out how Twitter works lately, and I have been looking at the feeds during Arrow. There used to be a lot of activity on it for #Olicity up until Heir to the Demon, when Twitter exploded because of the kiss at the end. The two most popular hashtags used to be #Olicity and #TeamArrow.

    I read an interview yesterday where Marc Guggenheim said there’s a variety of viewers out there: some who want Oliver-Felicity, some who want Oliver-Laurel:

    http://maka29.tumblr.com/post/78690434520

    I read that and I thought, “Yep, I’m out. If they still think Laurel-Oliver is a viable relationship, clearly, the writers and I are not on the same page.” I think the interviews have been doing a lot of damage to the show. I know Stephen Amell’s interview about Oliver not being jealous really pissed a lot of people off.

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    1. Yes, I think they’re trying to get everyone on the show to join in the retcon thing, and that just annoys smart, invested fans, who believe in genuinely organic, consistent and well crafted storytelling. If I wanted to watch a soap, there’s a longstanding British one called Eastenders that would satisfy any yen I might have for hyperbolic, unrealistic, emotional tosh.

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      1. Sorry this made me laugh with the reference to Eastenders. I can’t stand that programme (yet I used to love it in the early days). Please Arrow, get back on track!

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    2. I’ll ship Oliver/Laurel before I’ll ship Oliver/Sara. But at this point, I prefer Oliver, the Warrior Monk.
      I’ll ship Slade/Moira, though.

      I feel for Amell. They’re giving him bad scripts and weak acting partners–you can see him trying to establish chemistry with Sara, looking into her eyes, smiling at her, and getting nothing back–and then they send him out to sell retcons that nobody’s buying.

      I am so, so, so glad I don’t work in TV. At least when something I do tanks, I don’t have to keep on DOING it, I can write something different.

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      1. I’ll never fault an actor or actress for doing their job and part of that is promoting the show and the choices the show makes. Poor actors.

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    3. I saw that quote by Marc Guggenheim, and it does not bode well for Olicity.

      Maybe it is my cynical heart, but I never saw Oliver being jealous in the Barry Allen episodes. I expected it, after one of the producers said Diggle would suggest it as a possibility, but I never actually saw any jealousy. I saw Oliver being proprietary about “his” IT girl, but I didn’t perceive any jealousy at any point in the whole Barry Allen thing and its aftermath. Even when she was in Coast City, he missed her because she wasn’t there to help him, not because he was jealous. When he gave her the partner speech at the end, it was about needing her to do his vigilante job, not about having feelings for her. He even includes Diggle when he talks about needing her. It suggested to me he was speaking about both of them when he said “I can’t do this without you” (or whatever his exact words were). “You” plural, not “you” Felicity.

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      1. Yes, I said to a friend, I see it more as his rather selfish need for her on his team, but then the Diggle comment to O about Barry A threw my theory for a loop. Especially with the Slade ‘ people you love’ comment combined with a pic of F. I think they wanted to appease the shippers by throwing them a bone, but are now backtracking, as Olicity fever grew like Topsy. Well, they totally failed to convince me that Laurel was his soulmate, but even she’s better than the chemistry free zone around him and Sara.

        I’m with Jenny. The green leather trousers need to stay zipped up for a while if I’m to get back any of my liking for Oliver.

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      2. See, the thing is, people got pissed at Amell for saying people weren’t seeing what was really there but, had no one involved with the show made the allusion to romantic jealousy, I don’t think anyone would have thought twice about what Stephen said. The sad thing was, the person making the comment was actually answering a question and never once said that Oliver was jealous. They said that “Oliver doesn’t know what he feels”. People just jumped to their own conclusions instead of taking it at face value. Then, all the sudden, Stephen is the bad guy? Nope.

        I think people just need to realize that the subtext one person sees could be completely different from the subtext someone else sees. It’s all subjective until a character comes right out and confirms that subtext on-screen.

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        1. There was a comment Amell made, that I thought was charming, that the thing with Felicity happened all the time in real life, something about guys taking somebody for granted until somebody else liked her. That’s not the quote, he said it much better, but it was on the page.

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          1. Yeah, I remember he said something to the tune of: “Guys this happens all the time. You don’t really know how you feel about someone until someone else is interested in them…” I can’t find the actual quote, but that sounds like jealousy to me.

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          2. When they announced that they are bringing in Barry Allen as sort of a love interest for Felicity. Most fans were so excited about the possibility of seeing Oliver jealous. But I was one of the people who said he won’t be jealous. Because at that point of time, I didn’t feel that Oliver would feel jealous. (I seriously didn’t see any reason why he would be.) I also felt making Barry Allen a love interest for Felicity was not to change the dynamic between Oliver and Felicity, but to make us like Barry Allen by putting him with one of the most loved characters on the show.

            So when I put this idea out there, someone linked me to the same interview with Stephen Amell. (I tried so hard to find that article now, but I couldn’t find it. I will try again and post it later if I find it.) So I thought, alright he’s going to be jealous then.

            And then when I watched it, I saw him as jealous. Not the kind of jealousy that says, ‘I don’t like the girl I like liking someone else’, but the kind that says, ‘No Felicity should be swooning over me not you’. Because he was used to her looking at him and only at him that way. It’s sort of not having the same attention that he was used to having. (I hope that made sense)

            Then 2×10 I believed him to be completely jealous. (‘I don’t like you being away from me because you want to be with that guy instead of me. Because I sort of like you… I think’ kind of way)

            Because Oliver got angry when she was not there and was with her ‘comatose friend’. The guy was in a coma and Oliver was angry because she was there by his side. And on top of that Diggle called it as jealousy. How could anyone say that it was not portrayed as jealousy and we saw it that way because we wanted to, when the characters within the story saw it as jealousy? Oliver had to have been giving a jealousy vibe for other characters to notice it that way. (Unless people think that Diggle also ships Olicity :p and watched it with shipper goggles.) But I didn’t think Oliver or even Felicity categorized it as jealousy though. But we could see he was.

            In fact I think he believes Felicity likes Barry more than him and he tried to overcome his jealousy by saying ‘Maybe he’s dreaming about you’ I saw the struggle in his face. Why would he struggle to bring up Barry within the conversation if he wasn’t jealous? (Or was it just that he was uncomfortable comforting someone?)

            As much as they say Arrow is not about Romance, it certainly is a big plotline in the show. They want to keep who Oliver ends up with as a big mystery. Most scenes and dialogues I think are kept opened for different interpretations intentionally, (If not, these days they give out different interpretations through interviews) because they want to keep all the fans. So every character I think ends up being inconsistent because of that. (Barry Allen not going to show up as planned may have made them change the story a little bit too, but I don’t think it should have made the characters act so out of character)

            Actually I would have been quite okay if I had never gotten the scenes in 2×10. But they did show it, now they can’t take that back. (They became partners and I don’t know where they stand now) I’m sure there are better ways to create slow burn or keeping all the fans at bay without making characters go back and forth.

            If they didn’t show that Oliver was so madly in love with Laurel or he has changed from his experiences on the island it would have been easier to believe in the way he is with women in present time.

            I’m going to give this show a chance until the end of this season.

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        2. And, yes, Diggle did point out the jealous thing but, in the end, Oliver said it was professional jealousy so… it’s only a certain segment of the audience that naturally considered it romantic.

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          1. Nope. Amell sold it as romantic. He was vulnerable, he stammered, he shifted on his feet. You do not to that with professional jealousy. But it’s irrelevant because it’s been retconned as professional jealousy, which is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. “I yelled at you because you like working for him better than for me!” People yell because they’re personally involved, not because other people borrowed their secretaries.

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          2. “Nope. Amell sold it as romantic. He was vulnerable, he stammered, he shifted on his feet. You do not to that with professional jealousy. But it’s irrelevant because it’s been retconned as professional jealousy, which is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. “I yelled at you because you like working for him better than for me!” People yell because they’re personally involved, not because other people borrowed their secretaries.”

            No, you saw it as romantic. Just like many people saw it as him being rightfully irritated that she split town in the middle of a situation that was very important to Oliver personally and as The Arrow. Then not being the kind of guy that normally apologizes for acting like an asshole (because he was even though I agreed with his general concerns), Oliver is sheepish about it. Also, there was no “borrowing of secretaries”, there was Felicity splitting in the middle of mission Oliver thought was more important than her sitting at the bedside of a comatose guy she barely knows.

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          3. People don’t stammer when they’re upset about a dereliction of duty at work. Their voices don’t go up in pitch. Sorry, it’s on the screen in that scene. I’ll agree that pretty much any other scene between Oliver and Felicity could be interpreted as somebody he cares about platonically, but not that one.

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          4. I have to agree that so-called “shipper goggles” highly influence what people believe is happening in a certain scene. I didn’t spot any jealousy in Oliver’s behavior in the Barry episodes, and I looked pretty hard. I think the explanation is that I’m not an Olicity shipper and hence I read Stephen’s body language differently. What I find even more interesting is that those people who interpret Stephen’s clenching of the jaw, stammering, shifting his feet etc. in his scenes with FELICITY as jealousy, do not sense any jealousy at all in Oliver’s scenes with LAUREL, although he may display similar reactions in those scenes. That is probably because they are SO convinced that he has no feelings whatsoever for Laurel that they don’t/cannot detect any jealousy in those scenes, although it may be quite heavily implied in the scene/script itself.

            One example is when Oliver sees Laurel chatting with Sebastian Blood and then learns that Blood invited her to his political event. There is even a conversation where Laurel tells Oliver that she and Sebastian are “just friends” and he rather pointedly replies “Does he know that?”. If this scene had been between Oliver and Felicity, I suspect that the Olicity fans would have interpreted his behavior/lines as a fire proof of the romantic tension between Oliver and Felicity. I think that this shows that any claims about what Stephen Amell is “selling” in a specific scene clearly depends on one’s shipper preferences.

            In my humble opinion it is this rather selective vision that is the most characteristic trait of the Olicity shippers (and any other shipper fandom for that matter!). Of course, they may claim that Oliver and Laurel lack chemistry, while Oliver and Felicity ooze chemistry, which makes even the most innocent exchange between them romantic. However, since chemistry is clearly in the eyes of the beholder, it may also be that SOME viewers find the “Olicicity moments” that the writers like to throw in somewhat contrived or even embarassing, rather than chemistry-laden. This difference in interpretation is something that I think Olicity fans have to learn to accept, just like Lauriver fans have to accept that many fans find their interaction devoid of chemistry.

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          5. Everybody watches and reads with his or her own expectations, and we recognize that here. So we discuss ideas here, and some times we argue them, but we don’t tell each other how to think. I like the idea of ‘shipper goggles, it’s a great term, and I’d really like to talk about how the show itself keeps trying different prescriptions on, but nobody here has to accept anything except the agreement to treat each other with respect.

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  8. Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, and Manu Bennett are all appearing in Chicago this weekend at a convention. (Bitchy comment: I am shocked that Caity Lotz was not announced (at least not the last time I saw the list) because I thought it was the Super Sara Show.) Anyway, I will be interested to see if there’s any feedback on the ratings drop, the Lance Sisters problem, etc. I have, however, been very disappointed with Stephen Amell’s trying to sell us on the not jealous thing. I realize he’s trying to sell what the producers have told him to sell, but I do find it upsetting that he chose to frame it that way because it feels as if they are all either lying to us or talking to us as if we don’t actually watch the show.

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    1. The thing is, he’s not a writer, he’s an actor, so I think (do not know the man, only guessing) he sees things through the filter of the work he does, in the same way I look at a well-acted scene and think, “Damn, that’s bad writing.” He’d said something about how great the scene with Laurel in the hall was, and from an acting standpoint, it was; they both sold it beautifully. What he missed was that it made his character toxic and unlikable. So I think if the producers say, “Your character isn’t in love with Felicity after all,” he makes the note in his script, shifts the character, and then that’s the true story.

      I’m just perplexed that the producers knew they had a popular story line in the Felicity thing, and abandoned it to concentrate on the sisters story they knew viewers didn’t like, compounding the problem by bringing in someone to replace the ‘ship that was getting all the buzz. I can understand staying true to your story vision, but they jettisoned Laurel, so it’s not that. It doesn’t make sense unless they really are wedded to the Black Canary romance.

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      1. Who said they’ve actually jettisoned Laurel? Laurel is still in the picture until the series ends with Oliver on someone else’s arm or one of them dead and stayed dead. They’re obviously not an option now but that doesn’t mean they won’t be an option later.

        To say Laurel is completely out of the picture is to say Felicity is because Oliver rebuffed her with the “someone I care about” comment and then jumped on Sara. It also ignores that things were never always puppies and rainbows between them in the comic books either.

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        1. I’m sorry, I meant they’ve jettisoned Laurel as a love interest. Felicity evidently never was a love interest.
          Again, I vote for Oliver as the warrior monk.

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          1. In a weird way it might end up being better in the long run that they kind of went back and undid the Oliver/Felicity thing a bit because they need to settle the mess they made now, start restoring Oliver and try again with a new romance. Since they never “went there” with Oliver/Felicity, that still leaves it potentially viable, thank goodness. They need to spend time rebuilding Oliver, alone and outside the soap opera junk, and then build a new romance with no expectations and actually take time with it.

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          2. The real save is the platonic relationship. If they’d torpedoed that, the central team would have been damaged.
            What they need now is a real love interest for Felicity to put that whole non-romance to rest. Preferably a charming crook. Somebody fun who isn’t angsty 24/7, sorting through his Box of Pain (I love that image).

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      2. I am convinced that they are married to the Black Canary romance. One way or another, apparently. Ugh, but there it is.

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    2. Conferences like that are usually very positive and supportive, so I wouldn’t expect anybody to really give voice (at least to the actors) about any displeasures they have with the show. they might do it in private among other fans but usually when they talk to the actors they’re too excited to complain about anything. LOL.

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    3. Popping in very quickly because I’m actually at work. I think there has been some misunderstanding regarding that jealousy comment. Amell was specifically talking about the scenes in “The Scientist/Three Ghost,” not the one in “Blast Radius.”

      Here’s the quote: “When we introduced Barry [Allen] in Episode 8 and 9, we saw a lot of people saying, “Oh, Oliver’s jealous.” I don’t know how it came across, but that certainly wasn’t the way that I was playing it. It was more curiosity about this guy and their interaction. But jealousy? Not so much. …”

      I think the jealousy was very obvious in “Blast Radius,” and the show writers made sure the viewers knew that with Diggle pointing it out. But I can buy that Oliver wasn’t quite jealous in the previous episodes. After all, he did invite Barry to dance with Felicity at the ball 🙂 Here’s the link to the full interview: http://tvline.com/2014/02/25/arrow-season-2-preview-stephen-amell-oliver-sara-felicity-slade-finale/

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    4. It’s funny you mention Caity Lotz and the convention, because I saw something come through twitter not too long after It was announced EBR was attending. It said CL would be attending convention. I was MAD LOL. But when I compared posters, they were different. There is a convention in Indiana that same weekend. I haven’t looked to see if anyone else will be attending that one— but haven’t seen anything come through twitter.

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  9. My first impression was that this one was a relief after all the bad romance.

    And yes, I’m very down for Slade as a baddie, he gets way more interesting once that patch is on. But I didn’t love this episode either and I realize now it’s because of the water-treading. The whole present day plot point was Thea’s art history tour as Slade bugged the mansion.

    And if Moira tells Ollie not to come around anymore–where the heck does he actually live? In/above the bat cave in the dilapidated warehouse? Above the club? With Thea? The fact that we don’t actually know this just points to the fact that this is a show that had a lot of stuff happening (at one time anyway) but without really giving you much insight into any of its characters’ internal lives/anything that matters. That’s so weird. It’s not usually the kind of show I respond to at all, so I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long. Olicity made it work much better for me.)

    I’m never a big fan of the island stuff anyway and I just want it to end at this point. How much time is supposed to have elapsed in island time anyway? Do we still have years of Oliver tooling around out there?

    And while I didn’t notice the heels or read into the martyrish phone bit with Felicity. I was seething a bit inside at the tremulously voiced “Please save Oliver” as Team Arrow (sans Arrow) ran out the door. Not that she wouldn’t think/feel that but…it seemed like more infantalizing and more stripping away of her agency. Meh.

    I fear I’ve caught up/tuned in to this show just in time for them to rapidly lose my interest.

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    1. Good call out on the “Please save Oliver.” I felt the same way. Why did they decide to make her a child? I don’t want her with Oliver – he doesn’t deserve her – but why couldn’t she be an adult?

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      1. Marc Guggenheim has been quoted as saying they have been “writing him as not living at home since episode 13”. To which I responded (in my head) “Where? When? On what show?”

        How can they be writing him as not living at home, when they aren’t telling us where he lives at all?

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          1. What, guys, you didn’t get that he moved out at the end of Heir to the Demon? Remember? He yelled at his mom, and then he stomped out of the house WITHOUT HIS BAGS! They didn’t show him packing, and he left with only the clothes on his back. And then, in the next episode, they didn’t show him moved into where he now lives. How could you guys NOT assume that he moved out? 🙂

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  10. One of the reasons why I enjoyed The Promise so much was that after a couple of episodes of Oliver being a combination of condescending/jerk etc, Slade shows up and renders him in a stupor barely able to be civil – for the entire present day arc. Sucker punch to the abs mate and I don’t feel bad for you at all.

    In general though it’s amazing how in three episodes I have gone from caring a great deal about Oliver and Sara to almost zlich. Also completely agree about Felicity. She was the reason I gave the show another shot.

    Like many of you I will be sticking around for Suicide Squad – although even if Diggle was in the entire 40 minutes I don’t know that that makes up for him being sidelined for most of the season. Birds of Prey – title is cool but it is going to focus on Sara/Canary, Laurel and Helena as the A story (presumably) which are three characters I cannot watch for that long. A lot of Fast Forwarding in my future.

    But Jenny – thanks for the nod to POI. I’ve gotten through Season 1 and will now bump up the other two seasons on my to watch list because I love a story told well. (I now also own 1-5 of Leverage and will be heading to my library to check out Georgette Heyer) – None of which I would have a clue about if not for your blog.

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    1. Oh, I envy you watching Person of Interest for the first time. The first season was really good. The second season was GREAT, they upped their game tremendously. And the third season is beyond great, just jaw-dropping. Plus they started before the whole Snowden thing came out, so they started as science fiction and now they’re reality. Well, semi-reality. It’s still an AI story. And every member of that cast is phenomenal. It’s right up there with Life and Life on Mars in my top TV series list.

      As for Laurel and Sara being part of Birds of Prey, no. If Sara doesn’t try to act and just beats up bad guys, I will watch her and Helena, but they’ll have to get somebody amazing to play Oracle. Hello, Felicity. It would be a way to save her from Oliver and lines like “Bring him back.” (Shudder.)

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      1. This quote is floating around the internet regarding Felicity in BoP – ‘She plays a role, but not in the way you’re hoping,” said Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim when asked whether this episode will see Felicity step up with the Birds. “Hopefully we’ll get there–that occurred to us as well but we didn’t have an opportunity to do that in [Episode] 17.”

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      2. Anyone know where one can catch up on season 3 of PoI after I’m done with the DVD’s of season 2?

        (I suspect the answer is “legally nowhere,” though, since their not putting episodes online after the first few of season 1 is why I stopped watching it originally. I’m not home the nights that show is on.)

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    2. I have a friend who keeps telling me to watch PoI. You’ve made me think I need to look for it, because I’m running out of anything to watch, apart from The Blacklist! The few shows I have been watching are having a bad season. So I need something.

      And Georgette Heyer?! I have loved her since I was a teenager and my mother got me to read her books. Every year I reread a few as they just make me happy. I will have to look out for your posts where you mention her!

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  11. Yeah I actually read some people who are not Olicity shippers who said, “I don’t ship Oliver-Felicity and I thought he was jealous.” That’s when you know the show’s in trouble: when even the viewers who aren’t invested in that relationship saw what was so obvious.

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  12. This was my favorite show and i cant believe that they’re ruining it. For me it all started with Laurel centric episode. Guys i am really sorry for the repeat, i told this 2 or 3 times, i promise not to tell it any more but i am so angry 🙁 That episode when whole city was made stupid so that she could be right, and in terms of relationship with Oliver proven right in the end sucked for me. And then Lance family drama began. I read your comments about producers, did my research and definitely Greg Berlanti is the one who listens to the public the most and isn’t affraid to take the turn from original plan. Guggenheim is pro-canon and i think that last episodes are his work because GB is doing flash. Im still going to watch till the end of the season 2 and then we’ll see. Sorry again.

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    1. I think a lot of us are there. I’m spending time looking back, trying to figure out when this ran off the tracks for me, too.

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  13. Also heads up to those expecting Suicide Squd next week – I believe its airing on the 19th March. – I don’t live State Side is there a holiday or something next week?

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  14. Actually – this Episode I think set ups that Laurel won’t get any vindication about being right in regards to Blood because the much bigger reveal that Slade was behind it has already played out. Could also be completely wrong about that since the show loves to go over old territory.

    In regards to the star/producer interviews – i no longer pay attention. In terms of trying to drum up positive vibes for the show though – I don’t know that any star could do more than Amell.

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    1. I thought that was odd, that they just threw away the fact that Blood was working for Slade in a line at the end.

      And I agree, Amell has been a terrific spokesman for the show until they started feeding the poor guy garbage to sell. I really do feel for him. He’s a good actor in a hit show whose producers are evidently running it into a wall.

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      1. I don’t think they’ve completely abandoned the Blood angle. He’s in the new three minute trailer for the rest of the season and he’s got the mask on.

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    2. Speaking of Laurel… did you see the episode summary for Birds of Prey? One line confused me (again). “To make matters worse, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is picked to try Frank’s case, putting her right in the path of Helena.” I thought she was being disbarred for the booze and pills? she just bottomed out and now she’s back on a case in what? 3 episodes? I’m so confused.

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      1. Julie, I saw that too, about Laurel. Her “bottoming out” was apparently not that torturous after all since she came back so fast. Apparently, one AA meeting can reinstate your job and license.

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        1. And apparently get placed on a high profile mob related case the next day. I’ve had cold medicine that apparently lasted in my system longer. 😉

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  15. I never pay attention to ratings, but I’m interested now because I wanted to know the effect that bad storytelling can have on a formerly good show where all the actors are still doing good work.
    Feb. 11, 2014, Arrow has 4.1 million viewers
    Mar. 5, 2014, Arrow has 2.2 million viewers
    I know ratings shift all the time, but that’s a drop, no matter how you parse the numbers. My call is because it’s bad storytelling, but that’s my bug; it might be something completely different. Still, if I ever needed confirmation that good story is what matters, I’ll take those numbers.

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    1. Jenny does the Feb 11, 2014 stats include +7 day time adjusted viewing cause that’s like the number of people who watched the pilot?. But regardless of the figures – there has been a drop and this is the first time I think where the second episode after returning from hiatus hasn’t seen a bump in the figures. Still tconfirmation that a good story does matter IMO

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      1. I don’t know, Ash, I’m a dolt with those. I just pulled them from the net, but I don’t think they were adjusted. Don’t they usually adjust up?

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        1. Ratings released right now for the 3/5 are “Live/Same Day” ratings. They’ll be adjusted up or down probably later today. If an ep is adjusted, it’s generally up. Last week’s Arrow went down like 0.01 or some miniscule number in terms of millions of viewers.

          Then, a few days from now they’ll release the Live + 3 day ratings factoring in DVR and then much later they’ll release the Live + Day. Those usually lag a lot between episode airing and data release.

          If you look at, say, Wikipedia at the Arrow ratings, the ratings they include with the episode description are Live/Same Day. If you hunt around online by episode title you might find the 3 and 7 day adjustments, but it takes some hunting.

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        2. Also, wouldn’t Feb 11th be the last new episode before the Olympic Break? One thing I learned with comics is that people, no matter how good something is, are always looking for a jumping off point, and that really, the thing is there are almost always more people looking to jump off than looking to jump on. A three week break between new episodes is way too long for mid-season, out of sight, out of mind.

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          1. I think that’s a good point. But if the show is good, they come back. And if it’s must-see TV which Arrow supposedly is, they don’t jump off. They promoted those episodes a lot, and they didn’t move the time slot so people knew where to find them.

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          2. NewGuy, I’ve seen a few comments floating around today with people surprised Arrow was back with new episodes. LOL. I think this is the 2nd new episode since the break. These breaks, hiatuses, and more breaks just kill shows. And now Arrow is gone for another 2 weeks (back March 19th). I don’t think that does them any favors. However, that said, people have DVRs set to record by series. People put reminders on their phones. I know when I’m excited about a show I know exactly when it’s coming back so I don’t miss it. So I don’t know.

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    2. FWIW, I didn’t get to watch Arrow until 10 last night because we’re in the middle of college basketball season and our CW network is also the network that airs the UT games during Arrow’s typical spot. It seems to me that the ratings for Arrow always seemed down at first this time of year but they usually always had a nice adjustment with the next day and the +7 ratings. *shrug*

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      1. Correct. I ran into a fan on Reddit who was complaining that Arrow got bumped from his timeslot (out in Florida) because the CW showed Florida State Baskeball games. That’s the problem with this network in March, its almost NCAA tourney time, when college hoops is ratings king.

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  16. I didn’t mind the flashback to the island story stuff but it didn’t excite me, either. It wasn’t “bad” but it wasn’t the “oooOoOoOoh!” Arrow I got spoiled on earlier this season.

    I think “What about the now of the story?” is pretty much where I’m at. I get that Slade is slick and cool and they did a good job of building his reveal but after a few episodes where they designated him & his threats to the last few seconds of the show, I admit it. I got impatient.

    I keep going back to this point with Arrow lately. Stop telling me stuff happened and then, later, showing me what you told me happened and expect me to care. Now they’re not only doing it with relationships but with actual story stuff like last night’s ep. Did I really need to see it? Yeah, parts of it were fun but really it didn’t add anything (though that toss away comment about never hearing Sara scream while supposedly being tortured was interesting, what’s up with that?) or move anything forward. It get boring and it prevents me from connecting with stuff on any emotional level.

    I didn’t mind Felicity in this ep. I mean, she had, what? One line? But I did notice, as a viewer, that they really need to give her a solid “spot” on the team because when they all go out to fight the good fight, she can’t just be left behind to say “Go Team!” in a pretty coat with pretty pins. LOL. I mean that in the best possible way.

    I’m kind of dreading the next few episodes because — while I feel like it’ll give some characters I’ve been missing (like Diggle) some much needed airtime and focus — it does it at the continued risk of the show being overwhelmed and overrun by characters I really don’t care about. I mean, do I need to spend an entire hour with Bronze Tiger (who I found lackluster) or the guy from Blast Radius or even, really, Deadshot? Now if Diggle & Deadshot get to mix it up more and we get more HIVE info etc than okay, cool. But then you have another episode coming called Birds Of Prey where we’re gonna spend an hour with Huntress and Canary and Laurel. I don’t really want to spend an hour with the Huntress. Of course I’m sure there’s more to these episodes but it’s starting to feel like every episode is so crammed full of “other people” that the show isn’t about the characters I started watching (and loving) this show for. Does that make sense?

    I am excited about seeing Oliver/Slade finally duke it out and for Slade to put his money where his mouth is and actually do something. It’s taking too long to kick that part off and now it feels like the show is dropping threads like… where’s Isabel? What happened to Blood? What happened to the first over Queen Consolidated?

    I sound hypercritical and I don’t mean to be but it’s been kind of one “eh” episode after another here and I’m eying the coming few with skepticism. The first part of the season was so good with the bombs and the swings out windows and diving out of plans and dodging gunman…. I want that back.

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    1. The part about Sara not screaming, I took to mean she moved into the spot of Ivo’s girl fairly quickly and didn’t protest about her new position?

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      1. That’s what I thought too — and didn’t he also say she helped torture them? All that just makes me mad about the whole Laurel apology scene all over again. Why couldn’t Sara have said something along the lines of she’d also done things she wasn’t proud of?

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        1. See, that’s the thing. Why raise the question with me (why didn’t Sara scream? who is Jessica? Why did we need to know that weird back story business with Ivo? Ivo’s boring!) if you’re not going to supply me with answers and you don’t want me – as a viewer – to draw my own conclusions because when you do fill in those gaps, you tell me I’m wrong in what I concluded? But yeah, why bring up that question? What was the point? In the Old Arrow I’d say, hey, every mention like that means something. You gotta pay attention because it factors in later… New Arrow is like Nope, didn’t mean anything, just tossed in there, forget about it.

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          1. I’m even more afraid they’ll make Ivo Felicity’s father after this episode, because from what Jessica sounded on the phone, she had some sort of early onset dementia, maybe Alzheimer’s disease. And if Felicity meant that “my mother is… MY MOTHER” comment to reflect upon someone with a degenerative disease, then I don’t even wanna KNOW Felicity anymore. Just. NO.

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          2. I don’t know why, but when Felicity talked about her mother I thought about a careless mother or a very problematic person but not because of an illness. I think Felicity is the kind of peron who would take care of her mother if her mother need it.
            Sorry if my English isn’t good….I’m argentinian.

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  17. I was thinking about that episode with the lunge at the end. If they cut the lunge, I don’t think there’s been anything since, island story or the story in the now, that would say “These people are in a relationship.” There was a good-bye peck on the lips at one point, but there hasn’t been anything romantic on the screen or sexual. That’s . . . odd.

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    1. Exactly – and my biggest problem with it. If they had built up to the lunge, then okay. Or let’s say they didn’t build – just lunge. Cut the Lance family crap and show Oliver and Sara on a date talking about how they are going to make it work. One scene and you set up a relationship. Outside of their pecks, there’s been nothing. Not even any lingering looks. I agree one hundred percent; there is nothing that says “we are in a relationship” other than the writers telling us they are.

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    2. The more I watch and the more they don’t build I swear… they’re doing it just so when they reveal whatever they’re going to reveal (kill her, traitor, part of Slade’s plan, something else entirely whatever) it’s an excuse to add to Oliver’s box of man pain.

      I have no fondness or dislike for anything in the comic book because I don’t know any of this stuff. I don’t dislike things because Oliver’s with this girl over that girl or anything like that (story’s a story, I’ll roll with most things as long as it makes sense and entertains me) and I keep an open mind about a lot of things but honestly… does anybody really “care” that Oliver and Sara are together? (I get that the whole comic book canon iconic moment thing etc) but on the screen… as it is… do you care? Because they do nothing for me. I don’t find them cute or fuzzy or romantic or sexy. I don’t feel anything about them or for them.

      Since them getting together came as a surprise to me, I certainly had no expectations about the whole Arrow/Black Canary romance but this isn’t even a romance. It’s just boring. They’ve been “together” for what? 2 episodes? And I’m already like, “So… when’s this gonna be over?” Even if they do show me something in their past to explain their present… it’s not going to change how I already feel. Bored now.

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      1. I care when they’re in action. The two of them on that motorcycle was a great visual and Sara is fantastic in action, so I really like the two of them in action together. They’re actually better than the comics, I think.

        And then they speak . . .

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        1. That I’m totally good with. Funny thing I was talking with friends at dinner tonight about Arrow and the Oliver/Sara thing got brought up. My one friend said she totally gets the comrade in arms thing between them and that’s fine but a romance? Nada. Nothing.

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          1. I buy the comrade-in-arms bit, too. I really like seeing them together as Arrow and the Canary, fighting evil. It’s just later when they talk that makes me want to go clean the kitchen (right there with you, fiveandfour).

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      2. Julie, well said. That’s my biggest problem, too. They bore me. The writers didn’t provide a story that makes me believe in them as a couple. I just don’t care. The reasons I dislike Sara are not simply because she’s the woman Oliver is with and I want him with someone else. I don’t like that she’s been allowed to take over the cave, the air time, etc. And I don’t care when they are together. There’s no spark, there’s no real hint of a relationship — although the 3 minute trailer does show them in bed together.

        The bottom line is these writers are terrible with romance, and I suggest they go Jenny’s route: Oliver, the Monk.

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        1. And that’s really sad because I’m a romance novelist. When I say, “Enough with the romances,” you know you’ve hit the wall.

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    3. It’s odd because the entire relationship is odd. The writers know we are skeptical. It looks forced. I saw a comment on twitter this morning that said something like Oliver calling Felicity first on speed dial had more chemistry than Oliver and Sara in any scene together. Not saying I disagree…

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    4. The scene of Oliver and Sara talking in the hall way outside of Sin’s room about becoming ghosts at the end of 2 x 4 is one of my favorites of these two. They had changed, they weren’t the same people they were when they got on the boat, they were striving to be better.

      Then TPTB blew that by crippling them with more back story and then forcing them into a FWB relationship (I don’t see anything more than that happening on screen). Sigh.

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    5. I am having trouble connecting with the Sara character maily because of the choices she is making on the island. It seems like she is the instigator in getting Oliver to kill Ivo because she wanted to cover up their part in Shado’s death. It would make sense to me that she would be by his side in this showdown in the present. That part makes sense to me because of the parallel they’ve established on the island and present day- that is all I took from this episode. It seems like they’ve already established that the Promise had to do with destroying Oliver’s family before driving an arrow his eye- we had already established that so its not new information. But it did seem to be that Felicity is taking a backseat because they want Sara to be by his side for this fight . But what is going on with her directing everyone in the Arrow cave? why would the writers delegate Felicity to such a position on the team when she was already established as a partner. She was such a strong female character in the first half of the season that this girlish behavior from her is starting to look like an awkward attempt to sell us Sara as the black canary. But the thing is, they could have written both as strong female characters that don’t back down- why go with this wishy washy female characterization? I’m starting to sound like a feminist (and I am one) but the lack female development (or in Felicity’s case regression) is starting to bother. That is my number one reason for not watching this live anymore. If they’re trying to sell me a strong leading man as Green Arrow (which he will be by the end of this season according to the producers) then they need to include strong female characterizations also. It just feels like an imbalance right now…I think I’ll stick to watching it on my DVR. I gave up watching it live after Sara and Oliver hooked up.

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  18. One of the many things that bugged me about this episode was that Ivo had a sick wife back home and he was out being a villain accross the world to save her. Merlyn wanted to destroy the Glades because his wife died there, Slade is now Super Villain Extraordinaire because Shado died, and even the Clock King last week was trying to get money for his sick sister… It’s a whole lot of sick and dead women motivating evilness in just one show, isn’t it? I find it kind of creepy when it starts piling up like that. None of these women have any agency, they’re all sick or dead to advance these dudes’s plots. Ugh.

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        1. You haven’t seen Kyle Rayner’s fridge 🙂 That 90’s story was so….out there that it inspired Gail Simmone to coin the phrase Women in Refridgerators. Prediction: I think we’ll see another one (Sara) before the season is over. Yes, I agree, it is a tremendous problem.

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          1. Gail Simone is one of my favorite writers. 🙂

            I started out season 2 expecting both Shado and Sara to be fridged, but hoping to be wrong. Shado’s death was especially awful in that she had absolutely no agency over it. Being summarily executed like that just so Slade and Oliver could manpain over her dying is definitely my least favorite thing Arrow ever did. And they’re making it worse by trying to retcon it that Oliver “chose to save” Sara when he clearly jumped in front of the gun on an impulse.

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          2. I kind of disagree about Tommy having been fridged. ‘Cause while yeah, his death was a plot-point to advance both Oliver’s and Laurel’s development, Tommy had agency over how he died — he went there with the intent of saving Laurel, and he did it too. He might not have understood the risks, but he did something heroic so Laurel could live, that was his choice.

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  19. “ran the gamut of emotions from A to B” – Jenny.

    This made me LOL because it sums up how I feel about the few Arrow episodes I’ve seen. Which is the first three and, randomly, the one that introduced Barry. I watched because the discussions here intrigued me. Love the premise, love the action, but the show struck me as emotionally tone-deaf. First three episodes show me Laurel running the gamut from cold to hostile. Thea from angry to sullen. Oliver from brooding to…brooding. And the soapy, toxic romantic backstory…yikes. Normally I’d have chalked that up to writers and actors settling into story and roles during the first few episodes, but from the discussions here doesn’t sound like things get a whole lot better.

    So in episode 3, Felicity comes along and we’ve got Oliver engaging charmingly with a woman in a non-toxic context. Hooray. Because I’m procrastinating, I found this best of Felicity and Oliver video on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InwKghcK7jw

    Awesomesauce.

    Love their interactions, love their chemistry. If this show focused on the Arrow cave, on fighting crime, on Oliver’s revenge and redemption — with a moderate level of personal drama in the BACKGROUND (way back), with Felicity and Oliver NOT starting a romance (I’m thinking the Mulder-and-Scully working relationship) but still giving us the entertaining chemistry — I’d be all in. But as it’s written? Meh.

    I’ll stick with Leverage. Digging that show since I started watching it for the blog discussions!

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    1. Dorothy Parker said that first, so give the quote to her. She said it about Katherine Hepburn, I think.

      And oh, good, I’m glad you’re liking Leverage!

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  20. People yell because they’re personally involved, not because other people borrowed their secretaries.

    -There was exactly one scene where Diggle is trying to figure out how to pull up footage using the computer, Oliver looks at him because it’s taking awhile, and he says something about this not being his thing. The next day, Oliver and Diggle are talking about the bomber and Felicity walks in because she took the first train out after she heard the news.

    When Oliver attacks Felicity, he says, “I need you to get your head out of Central City and back in the game.” Then, he apologizes and says, when she’s gone, he realizes how much he needs her there. I accepted that apology because I thought, he’s jealous, he snapped, and he has to make up an excuse, but when it turned into professional jealousy, I was suddenly confused. Felicity did exactly what she was supposed to do. She basically took one night off, and came right back because she anticipated they needed her. She wasn’t in Central City working for someone else, she was there for personal reasons, to sit by Barry’s side while he was in a coma. I can’t accept the apology as professional jealousy because it makes Oliver a jerk who thinks Felicity should be around ALL the time, just because he might need her, even though she shows up when he actually does need her.

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  21. Jenny. This discussion forum is great. The more I read your comments the more I’m convinced you should write fan fiction. I would love to experience an “episode” that was well written for a change. I’m probably not the only one. I know you’ve said before that it’s not your thing and I respect that you have many more things to occupy your time, but … just saying.

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    1. It’s not my story, it’s theirs. My character interpretations would be so wildly different that it wouldn’t be enough like Arrow to be fan fiction, which is why I suspect I’m just not this show’s viewer in the way that a lot of people are not my readers. So I can speculate what my hero-who-goes-out-at-night-and-shoots-people-with-arrows would be, but he wouldn’t be Oliver Queen, he’d be laid-back and snarky and use his brains more than his arrows (I like conmen heroes). My Laurel would have explained things to him clearly in the first episode and then left the show for her own story. My Felicity would never have said those dumb double entendres and she’d rescue herself and Oliver. And Moira would have a subplot that didn’t depend on Malcolm telling her to help destroy the city or Walter telling her to help save the city for businesses. Which is why I’ll never write this story. It’s just not mine.

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        1. I like your story better too! If you ever drop by fanfiction.net let us know. I write under the same name I do here.

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      1. Your version of Oliver Queen sounds a lot like Smallville’s version of him. That show was terribly cheesy [and cheesy terrible], but they still gave me my favorite version of OQ.

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  22. The problem for me is, I should have been excited about the trailer. And I was for parts of it. But there was so much Sara that I just kept rolling my eyes and thinking how many scenes I could fast forward through. The last three eps have turned her from a character I liked into one who both bores and exasperates me. If she and her bf, Ollie, are front and centre, rather than Oliver and Team Arrow, then I feel disconnected from the very characters I should be rooting for.

    Also, I know SA was criticised for being wooden at the beginning, but I think he really raised his game when Emily and David R came on board. They all bring out the best in each other in terms of their acting and the chemistry among them. But he and CL together seem to suck the emotional heat out of their scenes. I can’t buy them as in love as there is no connection being shown to me on screen. Even when Laurel caught them gazing at each other over the dining table, the whole lightbulb moment she had of realising they were doing the nasty again didn’t ring true. He and Diggle have gazed at each other with more true emotion than is shown with Sara!

    I’m being told they’re in a real relationship. But I’m not being shown it. So I am bored rigid by the thought of several more hours of this not so epic love affair, and irritated that Sara is suddenly Queen Bee, because they haven’t given me any reason to want her to be that.

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  23. The ONLY reason I’m still watching is because I’m addicted to this blog. If Arrow is going to suck, at least I can talk about it with people who love story and the writing craft.

    The other reason is Diggle. He hasn’t let me down yet, although at the rate things are going, I’m seriously concerned about The Suicide Squad.

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    1. Lol! Me, too. I told my friend earlier that I’m tempted to give up the show before my Arrow loving heart gets completely broken, but I want to be able to follow this blog and talk about writing with clever, interesting people who aren’t going to get into the nasty, all out wars that so many fan forum members think passes for reasoned debate. So thank yup for providing this little haven of sanity.

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    2. The only OTHER reason is Diggle, I mean.

      I still love Felicity…but Diggle is the one who I can still count on these days.

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  24. Ugh, I just can’t with Sara anymore, her back story has never really made any sense and it is only getting worse with the new info they keep giving us. I understand that suspension of disbelief is key in watching a lot of these shows, and good actors go along way to help that, but bad actors do just the opposite. When Sara had to give her speech about Oliver and his family being killed by Slade the actress didn’t emote at all, she could have been reading a take-out menu.
    It has always bothered me that Sara supposedly came back to “check” on her family especially the way they set up the events: earthquake happens, prompting Sara to flee from assasin hq under the dark of night (she was sleeping with the bosses daughter, somehow I feel like a leave of absence could have been organized…just saying) Also she couldn’t manage to check on her family in any other way, shape or form?
    Also, in the family “feel-good” flash-back Papa Lance is worried she got kicked out of college indicating that she is probably not the most ardent student yet after 1 year of helping Ivo she can now analyze blood and put together a compound to help Oliver thwart the truth serum Ivo uses from herbs and berries on an island she has never been to? Her skill set is completely erratic and makes absolutely no sense in the continuity of her character. I’m pretty sure if she stays around long enough we’ll find out that she has x-ray vision and has developed the ability to fly.
    Also if she mentions again how “good” it is to cry I am done with this show, it pisses me off that they equate not crying to strength and try to soften her up by letting her cry. That’s complete bs for me and really cheesy too.

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  25. I saw this quote from Marc Guggenheim yesterday – “The fun or the agony of Oliver and Felicity is they’re always taking one step forward and two steps back and that’s what I meant when I said it was a slow burn.” http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/arrow-spoilers-ep-oliver-slade-686086 In the first half of this season that would have made me pretty happy, but I’ve been increasingly frustrated by the disappearance of “Sassy Felicity”, so now I’m not sure how I feel about it. He also mentions they will do something with those characters that will “satisfy some and infuriate others”, hmmm, hoping that I’m not in the “infuriated” bunch, but suspecting I will be.

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    1. Isn’t he the one who said the episode before last was “Laurel-centric” and then said later it was “Felicity-centric”?

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      1. He is the one who said that, Jenny. Guggenheim has been all over the map recently, retweeting this:

        “Why are people worried about Sarah and Oliver!!! You clearly don’t know what a slow burn+Olicity means!!! Why worry you don’t need to #arrow”

        and then saying this in a separate interview:

        “Whenever you’ve got characters who have chemistry and who are flirting with each other, the way Oliver and Felicity have done, you think a lot about television history and the small number of shows that have actually managed to stick that landing.”

        Which seems to indicate a big NO for Olicity.

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        1. “Whenever you’ve got characters who have chemistry and who are flirting with each other, the way Oliver and Felicity have done, you think a lot about television history and the small number of shows that have actually managed to stick that landing.”

          Which seems to indicate a big NO for Olicity.
          -Ero

          …and I’d say it also indicates a real lack of confidence in his writing team.

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          1. I’ve decided not to put stock in anything Guggenheim says. I think he’s just teasing the fans thinking it will create buzz, but he usually just annoys me.

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        2. So sick of hearing that excuse. Does anyone ever think maybe the reason they couldn’t stick the landing is because they waited until three years past the time they should have tried? And then did nothing but, “Let’s have sex” followed by “We’re now perfectly happy and living together” (I’m looking at you, Bones). It’s like there are two ways TV does a central couple: Moonlighting and Hart to Hart, and none of them bother trying to write the part of the relationship where they transition from sexual tension to total togetherness. Except Standoff. Which got canceled.

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  26. So, I just wanted to share a few thoughts:

    New things from last night’s episode (ie, things I didn’t know before), the big one, for this old fan, was when Slade cut off Ivo’s arm. In DC comics, a moment like that would be considered HUGE. The miracuru is just foreplay, and it is not what Ivo is best know for. Dr. Anthony Ivo is best known as a brillant cybernetisist, and in comics, whenever a character loses a body part, there’s always some form of emotional compenation.

    The classic example is when Aquaman lost his arm. Thus far, in Arrow, there is no hint that Ivo has done work in cybernetics (this was one of the beefs I had with the character), but this could be the catalyst. What’s strange is that the name is obviously already in his head (the name of his ship is “the Amazo”), also the name of the single thing Ivo is best known for: the andriod Amazo, one of the classic Justice League Villans. The reason I had a beef with Ivo not being associated with cybernetics is because to use him, and not give him a path to his greatest creation seemed disingenious. There are plenty of other mad scientist in the DCU, in his first twenty years of existence, Superman fought one every week. The reason to use Ivo is to strongly hint at an origin story for Amazo.

    I am 1000% positive that what people are missing about the Slade-Oliver dynamic is that Slade blames Oliver for both of his great loses in life. Both Shado and his eye. Slade considered Shado to be his family, and in a twisted, miracuru induced way, that was how he saw it. What Slade wants is eye-for-an-eye, Oliver’s family first (just like he did) and then, an Arrow through the eye. I agree that, in a clear thinking world, Oliver didn’t kill Shado, but the point of Oliver’s dream is that he feels like, in his mind, he bears a burden of responsibility for her death.

    The thing to note here is that such thinking, on the part of a hero, is common to comic book superheroes. In Death in the Family, Batman blames himself for the death of the second Robin, Jason Todd, even thought Batman had little to do with it: the Joker beat the kid to death with a crowbar and blew him up. Even the fans who called the 1-900-Kill-Robin number bear a ton of the guilt. Batman’s guilt is related to abscene of action: he should have been there for Jason, but wasn’t. Bruce is not very keen on the idea that he can’t be everywhere at once. Superheroes are type A personalities and accomplish things the rest of us don’t, specifically because they don’t accept the idea that they cannot save everyone.

    Superman is famous for not accepting it. In his mind, if two people die in two different parts of metropolis, its because he needed to be faster. It was his fault. He should have been able to save them. His solution: build Superman Robots, so that he can be in two places at once. Superman did not look at that situation the way you or I would have. We would have said “no matter how fast we are, we cannot be in two places at once” Superman says “one person died, and that is unacceptable.”

    Oliver is doing the same thing. He’s displaying the same conscious that just about every other superhero has. His reaction isn’t that Ivo killed Shado because he chose to save Sara (that’s not the right way to look at it), his reaction is he should have been able to save both girls, but couldn’t. Oliver considers this unacceptable, just like Superman, Spiderman (remember Uncle Ben? Same thing) and Batman would have, Bruce, Peter and Clark would have the exact same reaction.

    In fact, if there’s a direct parallel to what happened to Shado, its Spiderman (but not Uncle Ben). Remember in the first Sam Raimi Spiderman movie, where the Green Goblin has the bus load of children on one hand and MJ on the other and forces Spiderman to choose? That’s not an MJ story. Sam Raimi cut and pasted it out of the comics, but that is a Gwen Stacey story. As in, the death of Gwen Stacey. In the comics, Spiderman doesn’t save the girl. MJ comes after Gwen, Gwen Stacey is Pete’s first love. The other ghost that haunts Spiderman, other than Uncle Ben, is Gwen Stacey. Pete knows, and the world know, the Green Goblin pulled the trigger, but Pete made the choice. He choose to let the love of his life die, and in the comics, he wasn’t fast enough to save both. That is what the creators of Arrow are going for with this.

    Slade is, obviously, the other way around. One of the defining qualities of a comic book villan is that they blame the hero for their own problems, or problems brought about by other villans. Lex Luthor is the classic example, as he puts the blame for every single ill of his life on Superman. In Lex’s mind, he’s the one the people should worship, not this alien from another world. Comic book superheroes tend to take too much of the blame for their mistakes, and comic book supervillans do an excellent job of piling onto the hero.

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    1. Yes, but this isn’t a comic book. If it was a film made solely for comic book readers, I could buy this argument, but the majority of viewers don’t read comics. Most people’s ideas of Superman, Ironman, Spiderman, et. al. today come from the movies, not from the original source material. So it still feels like the Big Misunderstanding that Jennifer talks about, because you end up saying over and over again, ‘But that’s not what happened” every time somebody mentions it.

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      1. Okay, the point I made about Oliver in my post above is a very important thing, because, per your response it is something that has made the leap to the movies. Anyone who saw the first Sam Raimi Spiderman (which I cited above) or The Dark Knight. Remember the scene with Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes and Batman has to pick one to save? Very much the same idea. Batman is not fast enough to save both, and even though the Joker sprung the trap, and did all of it, Batman blames himself for what happens to Harvey and Rachel. The trick is that the Joker knows exactly how Batman will react, down the tee. That’s why after he tells Batman that Harvey and Rachel are in trouble, he even gives Batman the address.

        If you want to see a classic “Gwen Stacey” go all the way back to Superman the movie (the one that started it all) and the two missles headed for opposite coasts things, and chosing keeping his word to Ms. Tessbacher and saving her relative in New Jersey over stopping the one headed for the west coast and Lois. Hence the whole turning the planet backwards to reverse time thing.

        The point is, if people are getting their ideas of what superheroes are from movies, then this Oliver-Shado-Sara thing has been used at least three times, in three of the most popular superhero movies there are. The old wheel turns, and the old tropes pop up again and again, just in different costumes. In each instance (possibly not including the Spiderman one, where Spidey did save both, and the Superman one where he “cheated”) the trope was given a different outcome. Only the Dark Knight’s version was true to how this typically plays out on the printed page. In that one, Batman blames himself for what happened to Harvey and for Rachel’s death. Harvey says the exact same thing to Bruce that Slade did to Ollie: its your fault she (in this case, Rachel) died, you should have saved her. Nevermind that the Joker is the one completely responsible for the murder. That’s not how a man as broken as Harvey Dent thinks, and the Joker knows that better than anybody, because he’s equally broken (hence the hospital visit dressed in a nurses’ outfit).

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        1. Yes, but Superman didn’t feel guilty, he saved her (ridiculously, but hey, it was a nice gesture). I will confess to dropping out of the Batman movies once they made George Clooney look bad, but the Avengers save everybody, Ironman saves everybody (the human chain in mid-air?) . . .

          I’ve seen the same argument used in justifying some really annoying things in romance novels, and it doesn’t work there, either, because even if somebody managed to get away with it in the past, this is now, this is this show/book, not that one, and if people aren’t buying it, the problem is in the story, not in the viewer/reader.

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          1. “But Superman didn’t feel guilty”
            Did you see him hold Lois’ broken body and pick it up? What else could have been going through Superman’s mind other than “if I hadn’t been a sucker and walked right into Lex’s little lead box with green K, none of this would have happened.” Its not just grief Superman is going through, when you express grief, you do what normal people do: you bury the body and have a funeral. Superman turned back time to make things right.

            To illustrate how he thinks (ie, on a somewhat unnreleated note) in the very next movie, when he gives up his powers to spend his life with Lois, he couldn’t have anticipated that Zod would pick that moment to get sprung from the Phantom Zone. He feels intense guilt that he should have been there to stop Zod, but he was too busy being in love with Lois. Lois tries to tell him its not his fault, but Clark in his typical stubborn hard-headedness doesn’t want to hear it. In his mind, it is completely his fault. Superman always expects to make the right decision every time. Even when he doesn’t, he expects himself to.

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          2. Sorry, I should have said he’s not haunted by guilt because he saves her. He doesn’t carry it around with him so that everybody in the story repeats the same misconception over and over and over . . .

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        2. Now I’m stuck on this whole choose who dies idea. I need to watch Dark Knight again, but didn’t the Joker lie about who was at which address? So, Batman makes a choice, but fails because the bad guy didn’t play fair (and why should he, he’s the psycho villain). I think that made it interesting for me at the time. The choice scenario was kind of boring, but having the Joker send him after Harvey was an attempt to put a new spin on it, and they didn’t cheat the consequences like Superman. Was that before or after the prison boat and the passenger boat? If it was after, nice foreshadowing.

          Arrow not having Oliver actually make the choice was kind of a cop out if they were going to go with that trope. Like letting Spiderman save both and Superman turning back time. I suspect they did it because to actually choose one in that situation would have made him unlikeable. I think it would have been character violation too, but with the way things have been going lately, I think they were concerned about likability. Only Dark Knight gave him both responsibility and consequences. Oliver just gets the consequences.

          I don’t care for the trope in general, and I’m a little disappointed in Arrow for going there. The “you choose” I actually like is from Firefly, when Zoe has to pick Mal or Wash in “War Stories.” She doesn’t even let him get the question out before she points at Wash and says “Him. I’m sorry, you were going to ask me to choose, right? Do you want to finish?” It’s great because they subverted expectations by not having her agonize. Plus, you know she’ll come back for Mal. But they didn’t make it without consequences either; Niska did cut off Mal’s ear. Granted, they put it back on, but it still hurt.

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    2. I wondered if the Ivo thing was going to lead to the cybernetics. I do remember reading something about that when the character was first cast. I totally get why Slade has the perspective he does about events and why Oliver has his colored by his guilt. My problem is that the show keeps having characters repeat the same thing: Oliver “chose” to save Sara over Shado.

      They keep having characters say stuff like, “Slade can’t find out you chose me over Shado!” or “How can I tell Slade I chose to save you…” That invites me, as a viewer, (totally getting the POV for Slade & Oliver’s revenge story) to throw up my hands and yell at my TV, “He didn’t choose!” Worse, they keep hammering that point home by repeatedly using “chose.” That just keeps me yelling back, “But that’s not what happened!” Over and over and over because… it’s not what happened! LOL! It’s like a puppy chasing it’s own tail.

      So I don’t think it’s about not understanding why Oliver feels guilty or why crazy Slade wants revenge. It’s not understanding why the show keeps having characters insist things went down contrary to what the viewers witnessed with their own eyeballs.

      All it takes is a simple scene between Oliver and somebody what the truth of that moment was. Oliver can still feel guilty. He can still believe he could have/should have done something more and possibly saved both women… But do something, anything, to tell the viewer, Hey, you’re right. He didn’t choose. It was a no win but the guilt is there and it makes him think maybe he could have done something more… but Slade doesn’t care, he just wants other people to feel his same pain and loss.

      Then the show should never, ever use the words “Oliver chose” again. Because it’s not what happened! 😉

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      1. What happened is irrelevant, all that matters is what Slade and Ollie think happened. To the rational viewer (you and me) it makes no sense, to Slade and Ollie, and people like them, it makes perfect sense. Nothing about this is inconsistent with the characters as they are presented, the inconsistency is in how you view the material, not how the two characters view the material. To someone like me, who has a background with this and has seen this trick pulled a thousand times, it makes sense, because its the reaction I’ve come to expect in the given situation. In Oliver’s mind, he chose Sara over Shado, which is basically saying that his guilt is in not being able to save both of them. If it had gone the other way, Oliver would have felt the exact same thing. In Slade’s mind, Oliver chose to save Sara over Shado, whether that makes sense to you or me (who would never think that way) doesn’t matter, it makes sense to Slade, and its consistent with the way he’s been presented.

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        1. Actually, it does have to make sense to the viewer. That is, we can think Oliver is wrong as long as we understand why he thinks that, but that’s not what the show is telling us. If Oliver says, “I know Ivo shot her, but it’s still my responsibility, I should have found a way to save both,” I’ll buy it. I’ll think he’s wrong, but I’ll buy it. But the way it’s presented, everybody agrees with Oliver that he chose, so the story thinks he chose, except we saw that he didn’t. So there’s a disconnect because it’s as if the story is lying to us: “Who do you trust, me or your lying eyes?” That would just be annoying, but the story has also told us that Laurel is the woman Oliver’s loved half his life while cheating on her with her sister, and that he has no romantic relationship with Felicity even though he stammered as he tried to connect to with her in Arrow cave, and he and Sara are in love even though there is absolutely no evidence of it on the page. I know other people here know more examples.

          It’s the authority in the text. If we believe there’s an authority in the text, we’ll buy a helluva lot, like the end of “A Scandal in Belgravia” which is ridiculous, but I believe in that story so okay. But if the text betrays us with gotchas or telling us one thing and then says, “No, I didn’t say that,” we lose our faith in the storyteller. That’s when a book hits the wall or a TV gets changed to a different channel. I will believe in mirakuru, I will believe that Slade got an arrow in the eye and lived, I will believe in the Bronze Tiger and Deadshot’s super-eye, I will believe that Sara will fight crime in a plunging neckline, but I will not believe that Oliver chose Sara over Shado even though every character in the story swears it’s true. I saw it. The story is lying to me. And that’s a problem.

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          1. Yes. This! This exactly, Jenny. Perfectly said. Thank you. Totally. If I smoked and had a Bic lighter, I’d be holding it high over my head.

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          2. Okay, I think this is our problem, right here: I saw the same thing, and Oliver DID choose. Ivo murdered the girl that Oliver didn’t jump in front of. If I’m missing something there, please let me know. Just because Oliver didn’t say “you know what, kill Shado, I really dig Sara just a wee bit more” doesn’t mean he didn’t choose.

            Oliver choose the same way Batman chose to save Rachel: by who his involuntary action and instinct went with. Ivo read that, and shot Shado. Again, maybe I missed something too, as I admit I’m nowhere near perfect (as MacGyver used to say…yet) but that’s how I read it, that Oliver’s guilt stems in no small measure from the fact that he didn’t consider the two lives equally but chose to block the bullet intended for Sara. Ivo’s thing is that if you care enough about Sara to sacrifice your own life for her’s (the instinct part of it, just like Batman and Rachel), they you care enough about her to take her life over Shado’s. That’s how I saw that. Batman cares deeply about Rachel and Harvey, they’re both really close to him, but he chose to save Rachel. The only difference between the two scenes is that Batman explicitly says it, Oliver does not, but the intention is the same. You don’t have to say what the choice is to make one.

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          3. This may just be in the way we saw it, but I saw Oliver refuse to choose, then Ivo point the gun at Sara and Oliver jump in front of it to save her, at which point Ivo moved the gun and shot Shado. So Oliver’s move to block the shot was to block the shot, not to choose Sara. If Ivo had pointed the gun at Shado, he would have jumped in front of her to block that shot, not to choose Shado. His only other choice was to let Ivo kill Sara; he had to make that lunge since it was a sure thing Ivo was going to shoot her, but only a possibility that he’d turn the gun on Shado immediately.

            I don’t think moving instinctively to save somebody is the same thing as choosing her over someone who isn’t in as immediate a danger.

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          4. The only difference between the two scenes is that Batman explicitly says it, Oliver does not, but the intention is the same. You don’t have to say what the choice is to make one.
            – NewGuy

            But that’s a huge difference. If one person says I Choose ABC Over XYZ then that’s very clear as opposed to throwing yourself forward when someone swings a gun at somebody’s head. If Ivo had swung it at Shado, I don’t have any doubt Oliver would have done the same thing and Sara would have taken the bullet to the head instead. He would have done the same thing and I don’t believe for a second that, at that point, should Shado have been in the same position, Oliver would have just stood there. That’s not a choice.

            One scenario takes away any need for interpretation by the viewer. It leaves no doubt as to the event. The other (Arrow) showed me Oliver never made a choice. Then it told me I was wrong. Then they keep telling me I was wrong while poking me in the eye with it over and over and over again even though there was no “Oliver chose.”

            The movie can say Batman chose. Arrow cannot.

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          5. The writers of this show seem horribly confused. I know they can write convincing feelings of misplaced guilt, because I bought Laurel’s emotional breakdown when she told her father she felt responsible for Tommy’s death. Obviously she wasn’t, he ran into that building of his own free will. But he did it to save her, so I believe she has survivor’s guilt, feels she should have gotten out faster, etc.

            If they’d done something similar with Oliver here, feeling responsible for something he couldn’t control and believing if he’d done something different he could have changed the outcome, I’d believe it. Instead it’s like they forgot what happened in the scene where Shado died. Ivo saying “You aimed the gun” made me want to throw something because IVO AIMED THE GUN and then Oliver jumped in front of it. If he’d pointed the damn thing at Shado first, Sara would be dead right now. That was not “choosing Sara.”

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        2. “What happened is irrelevant, all that matters is what Slade and Ollie think happened.”
          – NewGuy

          No, no, I think my point was misunderstood. I get what Oliver and Slade think and why. I totally get his drug trigged psycho rage. I get why Oliver feels guilty. I get their perspective on it, whether it’s “logical” or not. I don’t have a problem with that. What’s inconsistent is how the information is being presented. Since we the viewer saw what happened we know it wasn’t a “choice.” It was a trap.

          The contrariness isn’t an issue for me in Oliver’s head or Slade’s head. It’s in MY head vs the Show (not the character) because having witnessed what went down, every time the Show chooses to use the words “he chose” I know that’s not what happened. So my issue isn’t that Slade believes xyz or Oliver feels guilty enough to feel xyz… it’s that the Show let me watch it unfold in clearly not a “choice” scenario and then keeps having everybody insist Oliver made some kind of conscious choice, like he said, “Okay, her.” That’s not a problem with Oliver’ feeling guilty over his choices. It’s a problem of me listening as the show keeps perpetuating (through other characters’ dialogue) that that’s how it went down when I know damned well it didn’t ’cause I saw it.

          It’s like having somebody trip on a curb and fall into a cab and then have the show turn around and have everybody say No, XYZ Character pushed that person. All the characters on the show can believe it but I know, and the Show knows, the character tripped. So if suddenly everybody on the show (including the accused pusher) starts saying “Character can never find out I pushed them” um. What?! That’s not what happened!

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          1. I will watch it again, because I didn’t get the “Ivo was pointing the gun at Sara” part, if you’re right, and he was, and that was why Oliver jumped in front of Sara, then, you’re correct, it is a problem. Unfortunately we cannot know exactly why Oliver jumped in front of Sara, as he doesn’t give his reasons at the time. Thank you for clarifying this for me, Jenny, I appreciate it!

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          2. Okay, went to Amazon and watched that scene in three ghosts a second time, and I uncovered something I didn’t notice before.

            When Ivo is trying to force Oliver to choose, he does point the gun at Shado when he says “ten seconds” (ie the amount of time Oliver has to make his choice before Ivo kills them all, or whatever he’s going to do), the gun was pointed at Shado first, before it was pointed at Sara. Ivo shifts over to Sara when he says “five seconds”. I think I get what Ivo just did, and it took a second viewing to catch it because it is a bit subtle. I don’t think Ivo ever had any intention of killing Sara. She helped him for a year on Amazo, and might still prove useful to what he has in mind. Plus, if you’re going to shoot someone, its better to shoot the stranger.

            However, in the spur of the moment, I do not think Oliver realizes this. The gun was pointed at Shado first, and I think the reason Oliver jumps in front of Sara is because Ivo says “five seconds”. The ticking clock and Oliver realizes he’s running out of time, whereas with Shado he had ten seconds left to make up his mind. I don’t think Oliver chose to save Sara, I think Ivo chose to save Sara and maneuvered the situation in such a way that Oliver would not only take the blame, but feel as if he was to blame. The gun was pointed at both girls for an equal amount of time, before Shado was shot, its just that when eenie-meenie-minie-moe ended, the gun was pointed at Sara last. I now tend to agree that if Shado had found the gun pointed at her, and Ivo had said “five seconds”, Oliver would have jumped in front of her. At which point, Ivo would have shot Sara. However, by positioning the gun at Sara last, Ivo increases the odds that Oliver will jump in front.

            It could very well be that Oliver’s “it was all my fault” was more the result of the way Ivo maneuvered the situation. After all, the gun going back and forth every five seconds seems to imply an equal 50/50 chance, even if there never was one. I can actually understand how Oliver’s mind would reach that conclusion even if Ivo planned to kill Shado all along.

            I don’t insist upon this idea, and I agree, this is still a hole (ie, just because it seems cooler doesn’t make it the right approach. If you’re going to say that Oliver chose Sara, you need to make it a geniune choice)

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          3. That’s really interesting. I think you’re right, it would have been really dumb for Ivo to shoot Sara since she was his partner on the boat and he probably thought she’d be easier to manipulate than Shado.

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      2. I totally agree with you. In fact I think Oliver took the risk of being shot, but I don’t think he’s chosen anything.

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        1. Yup, that’s how I saw it too. I agree with newguy that Ivo was manipulating the entire situation, and that he wasn’t gonna shoot Sara anyway, but the choice I saw Oliver make was to jump in front of the gun so HE would be shot instead of either Sara or Shado.

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  27. The island stuff bores me to the point where I think I’d actually be happier doing chores. I purposefully skipped last night’s episode under the assumption that scrubbing the toilet with a toothbrush would be more entertaining, and from the sounds of things, I wasn’t far wrong.

    I’m actually a bit sad to know I wasn’t far wrong.

    I have decided to stick around for the Diggle-centric episode next week because what I’ve heard of the premise sounds like it could be really interesting and take things back to the show I liked. On the other hand, I’m super afraid they’re going to violate character again and I think it might actually break my heart to lose Diggle, too.

    Maybe it’d be better to stop now and keep one tiny bit of naivete alive and preserve my notion of Diggle as the character I know as of this moment? I dunno – it’s a dilemma.

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    1. P.S. I also meant to thank you for taking one for the team this week by not only watching, but also talking about the episode. I used the hour you saved me watching the last movie in The Matrix trilogy, but since that’s another case of the story going off the rails (at least, IMO), maybe I should’ve done something more worthy…

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      1. I was feeling very noble at one point. But then they went back to the present and Slade put his hand on Moira’s shoulder and it was totally worth it.

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        1. The present stuff was good. I’m very excited to see Slade and Oliver start this game but they need to get it rolling. Every time they get me perched on the edge of my seat with excitement over the next move/counter move between them, we get episodes that are “centric” to some other character with no Oliver/Slade stuff or a break. Now look. We’re on a break again. Gah! It just keeps deflating the excitement.

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  28. The writers’ inconsistency since the second half of the season began is ridiculous.
    Remember when Sara first popped up in the beginning and was so overwhelmingly guilty over everything she’d done that she couldn’t believe her family would ever forgive or accept her? Cut to her return to help Laurel, she reveals herself… and then promptly awaits acceptance from the sister who she betrayed…
    This ‘relationship’ with Sara is so unestablished it’s past laughable. When exactly did they form a lasting attachment? This past episode, he said, “I’m not the same stupid kid who got on that boat”… and yet, Sara had fallen for that stupid kid. And they were separated not long after the flashback in this past episode… so exactly when did they even know each other at all??
    They could have made it work. They could have had the two of them start to get to know each other again, for their new and changed selves, fight crime and slowly establish a great, trusting relationship. Why didn’t they?? All I can think is, they don’t care enough to invest in even a solid explanation for it at all, so why should I (or anyone) care enough to invest our time in it either?
    There’s nothing connecting them now… except comic book canon and ass-kicking.
    The staleness of this storyline is biting, it’s killing everything. It’s increasing my dislike of Oliver and Sara by spades. With their complete disregard for everything and everyone around them… they may as well be stupid little kids. Team Arrow is so divided now, since when is Sara in charge when Diggle’s around?? Or in charge at all? Diggle is the character who’s tactical knowledge and skill are completely disregarded on a regular basis… The writers seem to have completely forgotten they established him as Oliver`s more knowledgeable and balanced right hand.
    The way they’re structuring their episodes is terrible. They focus on one or two characters for the entirety of an episode (or bunch) and disregard everyone else, hoping that we’d stick around for whenever the other characters happened to hop back up again. This is what’s killing the ratings, there’s no stability anymore.
    This episode established less than nothing of relevance. In fact, it was missing a lot of what we already know happened! Ivo’s still alive, the Mirakuru’s not destroyed, Slade’s not dead, Sara’s not (thought to be) dead. They’ve wasted an entire episode telling such a small part of the story we already knew… and it’s gotten us nowhere.
    And my I mention the fact that the lack of continuity is alienating the viewers that actually pay attention. Not five minutes ago in the present day, just before Oliver goes to the house, Felicity was shot and drugged, the foundry was in absolute shambles, Sara was just introduced to Roy (at that party) and now they’ve gotten all caught up. Does he even know she’s the Canary that had him up in her clocktower in Ep. 3? Exactly when are they going to explain any of this… oh no, they’d much rather spend an entire hour telling us a teeny tiny bit of a long story that’s already been neatly summarized to us… 6 episodes ago! (Slade giving Blood the speech at the end of Ep. 9)
    All I can think at this point is I don’t even know what the hell is going on. All I see is, they’re screwing everything up. I can’t watch them destroy everything they’ve established anymore.
    All their characters are regressing fast enough for it to be a race to their doomed end. Oliver’s a dumbed down, careless and insensitive hypocrite, Sara’s suddenly forgotten all about the past that made her a troubled and nuanced character to begin with. Felicity’s essentially a child to be cared for as of late. Diggle is just letting all of this happen without so much as caring to advise his partner… where’s that voice of reason?
    Since this was the episode that was called the best episode they’ve ever done… I don’t think I’ll be holding my breath for what they’ve got coming for the rest of the season. I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the showrunners are running to the DC canon and are heavily investing in action sequences. Because those two thing were present in this episode, and that is what they’ve been praising themselves for.
    I find myself deeply dreading what’s coming. It’s like watching a drunk lunatic take my car and drive it off a cliff.

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  29. You know, if this episode is what the writers, producers, and actors think is the best episode they’ve ever done, then this show and I are coming awfully close to parting ways because it’s becoming more and more clear that we’re on such different pages that we’re in two different books.

    While I enjoyed watching Oliver damn near pee his pants while Slade toyed with him in his own home, that’s about all I can honestly say I enjoyed about this ridiculously hyped episode. I mean, I’m all for the writers showing us a story onscreen rather than telling us what’s happening after the fact, but they didn’t exactly show us anything we didn’t already know. Naively, I kept thinking that maybe it was because there was more to Slade’s desire for revenge on Oliver, something that we didn’t know about yet, but in the end it really was all because of Shado. Oh, and I’m still waiting to see this deep bonding that Oliver and Sara supposedly did on that island to explain their present-day no-explanation-needed relationship, but once again we got nada. Shouldn’t that be happening sometime soon since Sara’s about to end up dead again? Or are we still watching the show wrong?

    I couldn’t help but notice that the showrunners et al have gone silent today after the ratings for last night’s episode came out and they hit a series low, when just yesterday they were practically shouting from the rooftops about there not being enough superlatives to describe how awesome the episode was, and a part of me can’t help but laugh at that, as petty as it might sound. I think a big part of the reason this show has gone downhill so fast is that they let the hype surrounding the show get to their heads to the point where they think they can do no wrong and they block out any remotely negative criticism of the show, regardless of how constructive, and label it as being “annoying” or whatever. These were the same people who were so on the ball about making changes last season and fixing what wasn’t working. What happened to them? Did they get too big for their britches? I guess at the end of the day, the fans always have the last say, and I’m glad that their less than stellar work is being rewarded accordingly.

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    1. You’re right, there’s a distinctive shift as they abandon their strategy since the season began, about learning from their mistakes and embracing all the things that were working and getting rid of all the things that weren’t. They embraced the trio and their characters and their chemistry, which was great. And they started to put Laurel aside… until they made a sequence of episodes all about the Lances. And frankly, Sara’s damn near close to being up there in the ‘not working’ category, if she isn’t already. The Lance Family drama hour just highlighted the terrible behaviour of the characters we’re meant to be rooting for.
      The showrunners got a little overconfident when Season 3 looked to be a go and decided to put the stuff that was working (The trio, Oliver & Felicity) on the side for now… only they did it so badly that they essentially shut it down completely.
      That turnabout face that happened in the span of a 5 seconds flipped everything they were so beautifully developing on it’s head and went off shooting in another direction. (When they decided Oliver should sleep with Sara, for God knows what reason… to postpone Olicity, whose union they seem to think would ruin the chemistry and the show)… good thing they’ve avoided that… oh wait.

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      1. They completely flipped the script on us halfway through the season. They were clearly building up Oliver and Felicity throughout the first half of the season, nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise, and then suddenly they switched gears to Oliver and Sara because (insert asinine reason here) and *ta da* this is the mess we’re left with.

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.. in fact I’ll bet money on it.. the producers saw the favorable response for Sara as Canary at the beginning of the season and suddenly their brains started working overtime to figure out a way to fit her into the show in a way she wasn’t originally intended. The problem is that they didn’t realize WHY she worked and why so many people warmed up to her in the first place, and as usual, they went overboard and completely ruined her character, at least for me, by basically making her the second lead on the show at the expense of popular characters like Diggle and Felicity. I don’t take it well when I’m being force fed something I don’t like, and that’s exactly how I feel when watching the show now. It’s almost like Sara has taken the show hostage, and everything that suddenly doesn’t make sense was done to try to accommodate her character and give her a bigger role. It’s also completely changed the Team Arrow dynamic, and that, for me, is the biggest crime of all because they were the best part of the show IMO.

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    2. There is a famous saying that “life is too short for bad comics”, the essence of which is true. My comic book store guy is always telling his customers, if what you’re reading right now isn’t awesome, then drop it and try something else. There are too many good ones, too many talented people doing creative things, but struggling to sell a book. If what you’re reading isn’t any good, try one of them.

      Superhero comics might not be your thing, or the way Arrow is going might not be your thing. If you don’t want to watch it, don’t. Watch something else by someone who deserves a chance. There are plenty of other folks out there doing cool things, give one of them a spin. If Arrows ratings tank, it will be canceled. That’s the way the business works. Doesn’t matter how good your book is, if you can’t sell it, it gets cancelled. Conversely, it doesn’t matter how bad your book is, if its Chuck Austin x-men, maybe the most poorly written comic in history, that sold like hotcakes, you don’t get cancelled (that is a well with no bottom). Your best bet if you want to motivate change is to stop watching. Vote with your dollar, that’s the only thing the networks care about. That’s why I never bought a single issue of Chuck Autin’s Uncanny X-men run, despite being a huge x-fan.

      You watch the show how you want to, and there’s no right or wrong way. At the end of the day, who you are what your impression are is your own business.

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      1. I’ve pretty much come to the same conclusion. I don’t think I’m helping anybody by saying, “This isn’t working for me” for more than two weeks. You want to give a show a chance and not write it off because every story goes through its growing pains, but there comes a time when criticizing a show that’s not working for you is just being bitchy, not illuminating. I’ll watch again next week, but if I can’t say anything good about it, I’ll just post saying, “This didn’t work for me,” and move on. This is just depressing.

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        1. And Intelligence on CBS. One of the few shows about which I’m still getting excited. It’s early days, but all the episodes so far have been very entertaining.

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          1. Intelligence was a slow building show for me. I wasn’t fond of the first few episodes but once the dealt with the wife thing I think the show started to click along and now I really like it. I’m hoping it gets a 2nd season.

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  30. I have two great big problems with all of the island stuff.

    First, it’s the problem with Laurel all over again. There is no one I identify with on that island. Not bratty Oliver, Super-solider Slade, ninja Shado or whiny Sara. It doesn’t involve me, a character I relate to, so I tune out.

    The second problem, is that it has become an extremely long “And then” sentence. Oliver was shipwrecked on the island, and then he met Yao Fei, and then he met Slade, and then he met Shado, and then met Fyers and than he tried to get off the island, and then … and then … and then. Its exhausting. Take a brake, leave the island alone for a couple of episodes. At this rate it’s just a writer with a 12 chapter long run-on sentence.

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    1. YES. You have to end your episodes, you can’t stack one cliffhanger on another for two seasons. Dragging that back story out for more than one season, never ending a story set there, is so frustrating for a viewer because you never get closure. I think the disconnect may be that the show runners see the island stuff as really great scenes, and we’re looking for story. “And then . . . and then . . .” is the perfect description for that.

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      1. I think that’s a very big aspect about why ratings are falling. They just kept adding on story threads that they never tied up. It was starting to become really damn annoying to get Slade at the end of an episode for 10 seconds, just to leave up hanging again.
        The frustration viewers are feeling was meant to be anticipation (by the showrunners), but this is just another case of the audience not watching it the way they want us to, or not seeing the same things.
        There was no closure, things just kept piling up and piling up and nothing was ever solved. Evidenced perfectly by this episode! They drag out this entire story that was completely unnecessary. And then the next episode will be Diggle-centered, including Afghanistan flashbacks and the Suicide Squad, no island… to keep stacking unended storylines on top of each other.
        It almost makes me wish for villian-of-the-week structure just so we can get closure for an episode.

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      2. They seem stuck in “really great scenes”. Even the first episode of season 2 was an example of that. “Nothing good” happened on the island, yet Oliver decides to return and spend 5 months there. Why, so he can swing down on a vine to save Felicity? But the season progressed well. Sad about the turn. In this last episode it would have been easy to have written Felicity a better part as many commenters, and Jenny, have done, Diggle could easily have been written as the one leading the Arrow Cave crew after Sara recognizes Slade’s voice. A “who is that” from Diggle or Felicity would have cut down on the actress’ lines or “who is Mr. Wilson?” playing off what one commenter said about having had Oliver give a clue about what was going on in the house. And why isn’t Sara a far darker person having been part of the League of Assassins? That would keep the actress from talking too much.

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        1. That scene in the Arrowcave bugged me because while I’m completely fine with the fact that only Sara can recognize Slade’s voice, Oliver had already talked about Slade to everyone in that room, and the way the action goes is Sara takes over as if no one else has any idea who Slade is. What was even the point of Oliver telling people about Slade then? Jenny is completely right, this episode is entirely made up of “As You Know” scenes.

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  31. I was one of those people who liked Sara and was looking forward to seeing her and Felicity have a growing female friendship, but now I don’t know. Like many have already said, I don’t like Sara suddenly being front and center in the Arrow cave. Just because she’s sleeping with Oliver she’s now appointed the leader when he’s away? Ugh! She was so much better in smaller doses.

    I interpreted the Oliver speed-dialing Felicity scene as she’s the only one he knows won’t hang up the phone and will find out what’s really going on (like connecting the phone on speaker). I agree Oliver and Felicity weren’t even in the same room and they had more chemistry in that one little scene than he and Sara have in their entire “relationship”. Also Sara should’ve been at least shocked to hear Slade’s voice again. Caity Lotz’ delivery was so awful. I’m still trying to like Sara, but it’s getting harder to do so. We have at least 3 more episodes of Oliver and Sara’s “relationship” to go and I can wait for it to be over already. It’s so boring and listless and now we get to see them in bed together in an upcoming episode. Oh joy (not really). The writers/producers are acting like parents who force their children to eat their vegetables. That’s how I felt when they forced Oliver/Laurel and now forcing Oliver/Sara. It’s like they’re saying: “It’s comic canon! You *have* to like this!” But the latest ratings should tell them otherwise. I’m still hanging in there for Olicity. It’s only season 2. If they keep doing this stuff in season 3 then I’ll have to rethink things.

    Another thing I notices was the lack of continuity. This episode was supposed to pick where last week’s episode left off. So how did they repair all the computer equipment that was destroyed in the cave and how did Felicity change her clothes and recover from her gunshot wound that fast?

    And I don’t care what anyone says Oliver was jealous in 2×10. He acted like it and Diggle said as much, so to me that’s canon.

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    1. We have at least 3 more episodes of Oliver and Sara’s “relationship” to go and I *can’t* wait for it to be over already.

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    2. I’d forgotten about the destruction of the system and her gunshot wound. You’re right.
      Oh, hell, what happened to this show? When the Clock King blew up the cave, I thought, “Oh, good, now Felicity can do another makeover.”
      What a hot mess this has become.

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      1. It’s come to the point where I’m not even sure they want us to care about what’s happening. Are we supposed to forget that Roy & Sara literally just met are that party before the foundry was blown up… and now they’re buddies in the span of 10 minutes, her tying him up and questioning him all forgotten…
        I don’t know what they’re selling us, but if it’s just going to be comic canon and action sequences at the expense of a good storyline and characters that… stay in character… then I don’t know what’s holding Arrow together anymore.

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        1. I also want to know what happened to Oliver introducing Felicity and Diggle to Roy as being the only members of the team that matter. It’s like they forgot what they had previously written, they’ve disregarded the fact that Diggle is a highly trained soldier with more experience than Oliver and Sara planing operations, Felicity has gone from being the smart girl with no filter and a quirky sense of style to the team mascot who needs to be patted on the head everyone in a while and made fun of for trying to dress like the “grow-ups,” seriously that coat this week was a travesty and needs to be burned.

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    3. “Another thing I notices was the lack of continuity. This episode was supposed to pick where last week’s episode left off. So how did they repair all the computer equipment that was destroyed in the cave and how did Felicity change her clothes and recover from her gunshot wound that fast?”

      -The same way that after an earthquake leveled Gotham City, you turn the page when the story is over and Gotham is exactly as it was. (see the end to the no man’s land story, the arc ends, the next issue comes out, and not a scratch).

      -The same way that Batman, when he gets the bloody pulp beaten out of him, is perfectly alright by the next issue. However, Barbara Gordon, who gets shot through the back and is Oracle is not able to walk again for many years. That’s because when Batman gets injured, he gets to use the big purple healing ray in the watchtower, but they never use it on Babs, who really needs it.

      So, the answer to your question is: the big purple healing ray in the JLA watchtower. (this is a very old, and very bad, joke)

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      1. LOL! that’s funny NewGuy. 🙂 I think, for me, the problem with that lack of continuity is that Arrow took great pride in saying during S1 that they were honoring and acknowledging “real time” passing, etc. They were really good about it from episode to episode and now, in season 2, it seems to have fallen apart, including the passing of time they used to really pay attention to

        Honestly, it’s so strange to me. I have been really good with so much of season 2 up until that one darned ep… Heir to the Demon… kapow. I really do wonder why. Then I realize I don’t care, I just want them to yank it back and get it back on track. 🙂

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    4. Everything I know about this show I learned from here and EW magazine. I’m surprised to find out it’s Caity Lotz playing Super Sara. I really liked her performance in The Pact. She didn’t seem to be having any trouble emoting as that character. The thing is, though, she played a loner who was her own worst enemy in that movie. She was solitary for most of that movie, not acting off a scene partner. Her strengths as an actor might be conveying existential angst rather than establishing chemistry with other actors in a scene. Great chops for a vigilante character who exists at the fringe of the main cast, not so much for a character thrust into the center of them.

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  32. The good news is the flash back in Suicide Squad belongs to Diggle, so at least it won’t contain Sara and the island.

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  33. So…I went on social media to check the chatter, yet again. And…there is none. Stephen Amell is pretty active on Twitter and Facebook, and today, there is nothing from the producers, Stephen Amell, or Arrow Writers…which makes me hopeful they are working hard, re-writing the remaining un-shot episodes on Season 2. I hope the second ratings drop, two weeks in a row, has them evaluating the show and looking at what worked and what hasn’t.

    I am convinced that a huge fan base is on the Olicity ship. An individual poll might not mean much, but I’ve looked at the different polls out there and there is definitely a trend (I’m with you, Jenny–I’d rather Laurel than Sara, but I have to tell you, Sara is–by far– more popular; fan hate is very much directed at Laurel out there). Consistently, on every Arrow poll that looks at the romance aspect, Felicity gets majority of the vote. When I try to figure out why I’m so annoyed, I can’t separate that from the rest of it–that I was SO invested in Felicity and Oliver, and so happy with the way their relationship, and Oliver, was developing. Then, in one fell swoop, the writers undid it all with a stupid kiss, followed by an episode that assassinated Felicity’s character, followed by another that gave her two lines and no interaction with Diggle or Oliver. And when I try to figure out WHY I don’t enjoy the show anymore, it’s because grim Oliver is back, and he thinks he’s holier than everyone, and neither Felicity or Diggle is calling him out on his crap. So it’s that, for me: Olicity and Team Arrow. They made Oliver likable, and without them, he’s not someone I want to watch.

    I remember a comment I read about Blind Spot that said, “Oliver didn’t smile the entire episode, until the end when he was talking to Felicity and Diggle.” So I watched that part again, and it’s true. He’s all angst ridden and angry the entire episode, and then Felicity says something like, “You certainly know how to talk yourself out of a victory,” and he smiles a little and replies, “It’s a gift.” Then Diggle says, “Take the win, man…” I love that scene. It had everything I loved about Arrow.

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    1. – ‘I was SO invested in Felicity and Oliver, and so happy with the way their relationship, and Oliver, was developing. Then, in one fell swoop, the writers undid it all with a stupid kiss, followed by an episode that assassinated Felicity’s character, followed by another that gave her two lines and no interaction with Diggle or Oliver. And when I try to figure out WHY I don’t enjoy the show anymore, it’s because grim Oliver is back, and he thinks he’s holier than everyone, and neither Felicity or Diggle is calling him out on his crap. So it’s that, for me: Olicity and Team Arrow. They made Oliver likable, and without them, he’s not someone I want to watch.’

      You’re completely right, the trio was making everybody better. Oliver was supported and encouraged when he needed to be, and called out when he needed to be. Felicity was growing and becoming more invested in something than she’d ever been. That scene when he apologized and called her his partner was one of the best. Because Oliver had grown and become better. (Remember last season when she pushed him to apologize to Diggle and here he was… doing it all on his own). And the way Felicity was in that scene, he reaffirmed her ‘partner’ status and it was so good. And I thought, look at them, making each other better. They were better together than either one of them was with anyone else.
      And then the showrunners killed it… and Felicity went from secure and self-confident to such a sad child… all for the sake of Sara. Sara and Oliver do nothing for each other.
      That’s what viewers are picking up on. Things were evolving and growing between the big 3, but now with Sara… things are just stuck.

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    2. Sara, good observation. I loved that scene in “Blind Spot,” too, and I really didn’t like that episode so much. You’re right, since they started with the Lance family saga, grim Oliver is back in spades.

      I miss the scenes of him as a CEO. I enjoyed the whole Team Arrow alter egos. I miss everything about the first 10 episodes.

      I’m reminded of what I read – I think on this blog – something to the effect that the writers know people love Felicity, but they don’t know why. I think Arrow the show is the same. The writers knew we loved it, but they didn’t understand why. I hope they got the message last night that they’ve got some fixing to do.

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      1. You guys ever notice that this show succeeded in creating good characters (arguably the best) that weren’t based in comic canon. Felicity and Diggle are the backbone of Oliver as the Arrow, Oliver as the CEO, Oliver as a person… these two weren’t in the comics. They were established in the storyline of the show.
        I think the showrunners would do well to embrace the naturally developing realism in Felicity & Dig (as a team for Oliver) instead of chasing after the purely canon Canary love interest for the sake of the comics, because it clearly doesn’t work.
        The more they delve into their canon, the more they lose sight of what making a good TV show means. If people wanted to see everything happen as it did in the comics, then let them read the comics… If you’re making a good TV show, make a good TV show, regardless of what the comics did. Holding onto them as you’re sinking won’t make the fall any less painful.

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        1. I saw that too. I think it’s because Felicity and Diggle were developed for television. That’s why they work. On another post, Jenny put the link to a TV Tropes website that covers this kind of stuff…but I won’t post it here because I’ve been avoiding that site like it’s the flu…last time I was on it, I spent over two hours reading it. It’s addicting. You’ve been warned.

          One of the things to consider is that a show’s success doesn’t just rely on ratings here–although that’s big–the network also looks at how the show fares overseas. For example, Nikita didn’t do well here (the CW put it on Friday, the kiss of death time slot), but the network kept it going because it was HUGE in Asia (my brother is a screenwriter, which is how I know about this stuff). Overseas, comics aren’t as popular as they are here, which leads me to my second example: My sister lives in the Philippines, where Green Arrow isn’t big AT ALL, and she says no one there knew that Laurel was supposed to be Black Canary or the One True Love of Oliver Queen, so most viewers there are rooting for Felicity because they think she’s supposed to be the actual love interest. Sticking to canon is sticky when clearly, the show is succeeding on very different merits, because most viewers are not going to know what the story is SUPPOSED to be. They’ll only see what’s on the screen.

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        2. Apparently the comic book writers have now written Diggle in they thought he was so good. It was mentioned during ComicCon by the Arrow Exec Producers

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  34. Backstory. I know one of the ‘promo’s for the last episode was that we would get the ‘The first time Oliver put on the hood’ and the ‘first time Slade put on the mask’. To be honest that moment was meh for me mostly because Oliver had been wearing the hood for 30+ episodes and Slade completely took out Blood men which completely diminished any ‘ah’ moment I was supposed to feel at seeing those two events.

    Also if they were going to do back story – I would have found it far more compelling to show me how did Slade react when he found out Oliver had made it back to Starling. How long has this revenge thing being in play. How did he get off the island if Oliver left him for dead buried with an arrow in the eye. How did he accumulate his wealth and position……………

    Aside from POI and Leverage does anyone have any good examples of when backstory has been used really well/to propel the present story along in a series?

    Just confirming though that seeing Oliver off kilter for an entire episode and Slade smoozing Moira. Episode was worth it.

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    1. Ash, I’ve been thinking A LOT about this, and the one show I can think of that needed the backstory was Veronica Mars. Honorable mention goes to The Vampire Diaries. In Veronica Mars, you see the same situations Veronica is in present day compared to how it was before she became a social outcast. In The Vampire Diaries, you assume Damon has always been the bad brother, until the flashbacks show you the REAL story of the two brothers. Both those shows used backstory to tell you things you wouldn’t otherwise have known, move the story forward, and develop their characters. Arrow’s backstory is not succeeding in doing that, in my opinion.

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      1. Oh, also Veronica Mars is trying to solve the mystery of her best friend’s death…so the flashback sets up the friendship (which can only be done because, spoiler, her best friend is dead).

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        1. OH OH OH, my husband just pointed this out: LOST. It is the ONLY show were I preferred the backstory…mostly coz the island stuff was a mess and clearly they didn’t have a plan. That show was so character driven, and since I liked most of the characters… I wanted to know how they all ended up on that plane. But…that being said…I would NEVER recommend Lost to anyone. And I’d never watch it again.

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    2. does anyone have any good examples of when backstory has been used really well/to propel the present story along in a series
      -Ash

      Firefly comes to mind. The episode where we see Mal and Zoe in the war and within a couple of scenes we know how the dynamic of their relationship was formed as well as the exact moment when they became the people we know now worked for me.

      When I think of things I’ve liked when shown in flashbacks, I guess they work best when it doesn’t feel completely necessary to have seen that moment to get into what’s happening now, but because it adds an additional layer to what I know/understand, I like that I’ve been let in on what happened in the past.

      If Arrow used the concept of flashbacks more sparingly – as in, just a few scenes for key things and not lavishly for a bunch of stuff I couldn’t care less about – I think the island stuff could’ve really been interesting and worthwhile.

      I guess I want to feel like I’ve been let in on a super important secret when I see a flashback, not told an exceptionally boring life story that focuses on what time he got up that morning and how long he took to brush his teeth (unless he’s Harold Crick).

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      1. I think brevity is key, too. It’s not just that the more real estate you take away from the story in the present, the more you weaken it, the longer you spend away from the story in the present, the more you break the continuity. I like Leverage’s thirty-second flashbacks; they give you an image, a moment that defines a character or a con, and then they go right back to the story in the present. Person of Interest does longer flashbacks, and I could do with those being shorter, but I have no quarrel with “RAM” which was a single episode flashback because for that episode, 2010 was the now of the story. I got a full story in one time period, so in a narrative sense, it wasn’t a flashback at all. It was just a story set in 2010, right up until the coda at the end that linked everything to the story in 2014.

        One show that used flashbacks creatively was Life on Mars (the UK version; I’ve never seen the US version). Because the protagonist’s grip on reality was left a mystery to the audience and to the protagonist, he’d get flashbacks on his TV or other people’s radios, although those were flash forwards if you want to be technical. He also had impression flashbacks, quick memories of somebody in red running through the woods, that increased the sense of something being very wrong; those weren’t paid off until the end of the first season (eight episodes). It was a really creepy way of dealing with other times, and it was brilliant. Everything about that series was brilliant. I wish the DVDs weren’t so damn expensive or we’d do all sixteen episodes here.

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  35. I interpreted the Oliver speed-dialing Felicity scene as she’s the only one he knows won’t hang up the phone and will find out what’s really going on (like connecting the phone on speaker). I agree Oliver and Felicity weren’t even in the same room and they had more chemistry in that one little scene than he and Sara have in their entire “relationship”.

    -I LOVED that he called Felicity, and that’s how I interpreted it, too…that he knew she wouldn’t write him off. What I didn’t like was that she expected someone else to answer her phone, then said, “I think we’ve been butt dialed” and then put it on speaker because it makes her look stupid…and then Sara comes in and saves the day by recognizing Slade’s voice. We’ve talked a lot about how the romance subplot is just that–a subplot. Arrow is not a romance show. That being said, I can’t help but feel the writers are constantly trying to please all the ‘ships. So, take that scene: he calls Felicity (Olicity fans rejoice) and then the focus switches from her to Sara (insert Sara-Oliver shipper name here–I don’t know if it’s Saliver or Sariver…both sound gross), who recognizes the voice, and comes up with the plan to save Oliver (which fails).

    I would have really loved if that scene was more focused because it had SO much potential: Oliver calls Felicity, and Felicity listens quietly to the conversation after awhile and realizes that he’s trying to tell her something, and then he says something like “So what do you think Mr. Wilson?” which uses his name to tip her off about what’s going on. If the writers had done THAT, it would have highlighted the relationship between these two: he trusts her not to hang up, she listens because she knows Oliver does things very deliberately, and she figures out what he’s trying to say. It’s character driven and it develops the relationship. What happened was plot driven–she places the call on speaker, which is so stupid if she thinks she’s been butt dialed, and then Sara swoops in and figures the rest out to move the plot along. There are too many assumptions for that to work: that Felicity would be in the same room with Sara, for one. He called Felicity’s cellphone, so the motivation behind that was “Felicity will figure this out.” Not: I’m going to call Felicity and hope Sara is with her so Sara can recognize Slade’s voice. There would have been no way to figure out who Slade was without Sara, which makes the stealth phone call very, very stupid on Oliver’s part.

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    1. Sara, I like how you developed that scene better. I’ve heard comments that people liked that Sara was the leader when Oliver wasn’t there and she took charge and everyone followed her, but to me that was annoying. They keep saying that Team Arrow is still really the core three and the others are just visitors, but how annoying to be a visitor and totally take over. I know so much of it is having the time to squeeze it all in, but it might be worth it to create consistent characters and better story. I am sure there were some scenes in the Queen mansion or the freighter that could have been cut!

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      1. I was really upset by that phone call because it was just so stupid. There’s a scene in Veronica Mars that uses the cell phone call “trick” perfectly. She’s talking to Logan, and then some guy walks up to her with a gun, so she drops her cellphone BUT she makes sure to mention the motel where the guy is taking her, so Logan shows up and beats the guy up.
        The result of that: Veronica is smart, and Logan is smart. The result of Oliver’s stealth phone call: Felicity is dumb (really, I’m stuck on this: who assumes they’ve been butt dialed and not only continues to listen in but also puts it on speaker for everyone to hear?!?) and Oliver is dumb (who tries to send a message through a stealth phone call and doesn’t give more hints as to why?) and it didn’t have to be that way.

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        1. Is that the scene where she kisses him for the first time? It’s been a long time since I watched that series, but that was a perfect TV moment.

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    2. “There are too many assumptions for that to work: that Felicity would be in the same room with Sara, for one. He called Felicity’s cellphone, so the motivation behind that was “Felicity will figure this out.” Not: I’m going to call Felicity and hope Sara is with her so Sara can recognize Slade’s voice. There would have been no way to figure out who Slade was without Sara, which makes the stealth phone call very, very stupid on Oliver’s part.”

      You’re right about that. It’s almost as though the writers are afraid to let Felicity be as strong (personality wise) as Sara or even stand up to Sara as she would have with Dig and Oliver. It’s like they have to tear Felicity down to make Sara the Alpha-Female. Isn’t Felicity supposed to be an equal partner in this team?

      “What I didn’t like was that she expected someone else to answer her phone, then said, “I think we’ve been butt dialed” and then put it on speaker because it makes her look stupid…”

      Yeah, what was that all about? Felicity didn’t like Sara touching her computers in the last ep. and now she wants others to touch her cellphone? Why would she leave her phone behind in the first place? I think the “butt-dialed” comment was a failed attempt at capturing her quirky humor.

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  36. New guy, thanks for the comic book “behind the scenes.” I do get the feeling that I would enjoy the show more if I knew some of the background stuff. I didn’t mind this episode though. I agree that it didn’t advance the story, but there were some enjoyable scenes. Oliver missing the first shot to light the fire made me lol. I like the “hitchcock-esque” tension w/Slade in the house, and the reveal that Slade was really there to put bugs in the house. I love Slade as a villain, although I just don’t get his anger @ Oliver. First, Oliver did not kill Shado. Second, was Slade all that close to Shado? It seemed he didn’t have much of a relationship with her on any level, other than that one scene she nursed him. It is somewhat hard for me to buy that he’s been trying to seek revenge for 5 years b/c Oliver didn’t really save Shado. And it’s not b/c Oliver shot him in the eye b/c the promise was made before that. So it all seems like overkill. But i suppose that’s a common villain trait? But i want a smart villain with a better purpose!!!!!

    Some speculate that they had to raise the level of the Oliver/Sara relationship so they can kill her off and allow Slade to fulfill his “promise” to Oliver — make his loss more dramatic and severe if Sara meant more to him. But, the audience must believe the relationship in order to feel the intensity of Sara’s loss. From my perspective, it’s the same level of loss I am believing Slade feels w/Shado’s loss — not much. So yeah sloppy character development and more telling us what we’re supposed to feel, rather than making us actually feel through story and character development.
    Also, i am seeing lots of chatter about whether Ivo’s Felicity’s dad. Lots of people think so, but I hope not. Other things I’ve read is that if they made Oliver love Felicity then they’d have to kill her, and no one wants that. Seems strange. But, I am trying to keep the faith that this is all leading somewhere.

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    1. I think it’s incredibly… what’s the word? Lame? that viewers have been conned into thinking that if a show puts 2 people together it means a couple can’t work. That the only interesting relationship on a show is the perpetual chase — will they/won’t they/oh no here comes a misunderstanding that busts them up just in time for the season finale — and that once the couple gets together the fun, the thrill, the romance, and story are over. That is one of the reasons I got so fed up with Castle. Felicity doesn’t have to be killed off to keep Arrow or Oliver interesting. Romance can last longer than that, especially considering Arrow apparently thinks it’s a C Plot.

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      1. Well, in Castle, getting the couple together ruined the show! But that’s because they were afraid to show them romantically so much of the time they act like friends with the odd bone thrown at us to appease the shippers. But I agree that good writing means it doesn’t have to be like that. It’s working fine on Bones, a show that had really lost its way with the WTWT storyline but has turned things around.

        To me, the last three eps seem like a totally different show. As if a more pro comic canon part of the creative team sat down once those others had gone off to do the Flash, rubbed his hands together and said, ‘Right. Time to get back on track. Let’s ditch all the non canon stuff. I mean, Felicity? She’s not even a real comicverse character. She needs to be sidelined. And GA and BC need to be a couple. How can we do that ASAP?’

        Unfortunately the genie was out of the bottle and many fans were already invested in the way the characters had even developed and the story arcs that had been established. Rewriting history and a series of clunky, unconvincing, undeveloped scenes as new exposition are not going to cut it or make us see things the way they want. You want me to buy into the grand romance of Saliva (well, that relationship does made me want to spit!) or see Felicity as a minor little sister character? Too late. You shouldn’t have done such a great job of convincing me otherwise for the last year or so.

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        1. For me, Castle lost me as a viewer with the constant back and forth and some weird stuff with Kate. I never even hung around long enough to see them become a couple.

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        2. What’s the WTWT story? I loved Bones but haven’t been as faithful lately. Couldn’t find my footing in Castle.

          I’m lost with the Oliver Sara Laural thing because I don’t see why any of them would like each other. For the life of me I can’t figure out why either of the sisters would have liked “Ollie”, it couldn’t have been for his faithfulness. I never knew he liked Sarah, I just thought she was a means to an end. 3 episodes into their relationship and I still don’t see why Oliver or Sara likes the other.

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      2. I am with ya Julie. I stopped watching Castle because I lost interest with the “slow burn.” I would like to see a show do a relationship right. And if any show has a good setting for it, it would be Arrow because it’s not the main plot. And there’s so much fun you can have with it! But there’s also this notion out there that an interesting “superhero” needs to somewhat be “on the market” so the end-game can’t happen until the end. What shall they do in the meantime? Toy with people. If they do it in a consistent and interesting manner, fine. I can be patient. But you run the risk of losing people if characters are stagnant. It’s like that girlfriend who keeps telling you about the guy she likes but nothing happens, after a while her stories about him become a chore to listen to (sorry, did I sound like a horrible person just then?)

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    2. From Slade’s comments last night – he wants Oliver to feel absolute despair at having lost everything just as he had. Interestingly he denied having any children or serious relationship (so i have a couple of theory’s running around about his son Joe) – which just screams at me that Slade’s reason for wanting Oliver to despair could be so much more than just the death of Shado if they put it on screen. Eg because the didn’t get the chance to escape his wife moved on and his son called someone else dad or he couldn’t return to Australia because of X.

      So much untapped potential. Argh – Loving everyone’s input :-p

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      1. A deeper reason for Slade’s hate to be revealed on the Island was what I was hoping for, but they just told me in Ep 15 that Slade was back to deliver on his promise, and his promise was made post-Shado and pre-anything else, so in my mind, that is the sole basis for his revenge. I am sure more happened between them (including getting his eye shot by Oliver), but it all started right there in Ep 15, right? I was hoping for more from Slade.

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  37. Okay, not gonna lie. I am a sucker for these bits of teasing from the EP. Clicked on the link that Sara provided re: interview with one of the EPs (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/arrow-spoilers-ep-oliver-slade-686086). Here’s the part I found interesting:

    Question: Last week’s episode featured a sweet moment between Felicity Oliver that made “Olicity” fans happy. Any more of those in the future?

    Answer: (Laughs.) The fun or the agony of Oliver and Felicity is they’re always taking one step forward and two steps back and that’s what I meant when I said it was a slow burn. I will say by the end of the season, you’ll see another big evolution of their relationship. But at the same time I don’t want to spoil when and how that’s going to happen. I do think part of the fun of the show and certainly Oliver and Felicity, things happen in the least expected ways. We’ll be doing something with Oliver and Felicity by the end of the year that will really confound and satisfy some viewers and infuriate others but I think that’s when you know you’re taking chances.

    Question: It was established early on that Sara Lance’s Black Canary is the first iteration, but as the series has progressed, has that changed?

    Answer: The one thing that’s always very safe to say with Arrow is never make assumptions. One of the little tricks that we have up our sleeves is we’d like to use the audience’s assumptions to surprise them and twist things. All I really want to say on the subject of Black Canary is, there is absolutely a plan and you’ll have to watch the show with some degree of patience to see how that plan gets unfolded. But we know exactly where we’re headed and we hope that everyone will stay along for the ride.

    I get the “slow burn” and stepping forwards and back (at least for now in the second season as Oliver is apparently still needing to grow — and I think Slade making his life miserable will be part of that.) But what’s this “big evolution of their relationship” and “We’ll be doing something with Oliver and Felicity by the end of the year that will really confound and satisfy some viewers and infuriate others but I think that’s when you know you’re taking chances.” Do I dare feel hopeful or should I be scared? haha!
    Also, the BC story seems to be evolving. I don’t know. It used to be that Laurel will be BC was the line, but now it’s “it’s not what you expect.” Will BC be evil maybe? Is that what we wouldn’t expect? Some theories out there is that BC may be working for Slade. Haha. That would be interesting.

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    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Laurel was out of the running for Black Canary…but the writers don’t listen to the viewers, so…

      As for Felicity, I am desperately hoping what he’s talking about is that Oliver realizes how he feels, but by then Felicity is hooking up with whichever hot actor is playing Nightwing (I really hope it’s not Steven McQueen). I really, really need to see the romance contract by the end of the season if I’m going to stay invested. They already said Season 3 would be more intimate, so if that means more original Team Arrow, I might tune in…but if it means more Sara-Oliver-Laurel, I’m out.

      And Jenny, I LOVE Leverage. The only problem is it’s SO GOOD, I can’t watch it while folding laundry…which means I get through very few episodes a week, because I’m pretty much always folding laundry…What I adore about Leverage is I find myself laughing out loud, which is in stark contrast to my Arrow viewing these days. I’m going to pick up POI after Leverage.

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      1. Honestly, I can’t stand reading anything Marc Guggenheim tweets, says, or writes. Um, we’ve already seen the big evolution of Oliver and Felicity’s relationship…and then the writers flipped a switch and killed all the romantic undertones that were there. That’s not two steps back…that’s before Oliver-and-Felicity-first-met-sparks-back. Then, there’s this:

        “We’ll be doing something with Oliver and Felicity by the end of the year that will really confound and satisfy some viewers and infuriate others but I think that’s when you know you’re taking chances.”

        If, before you even show the story, you’re already saying: People are going to take this in different ways, you *may* want to re-evaluate what you’re doing to see if you can get majority of your viewers to have the same interpretation of what’s on the screen. It’s like the Oliver-Sara lunge/kiss/hook-up/relationship–even the actors had to come up with the characters’ backstory because IT WASN’T ON THE PAGE. So, you come up with a scene, and some people say, “Well there’s got to be a backstory there,” and others say, “What the hell was that?” And then the ratings drop. Not saying they’re related…okay, I’m totally saying they’re related (which is my opinion, and only an opinion).

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    2. The producers teases are something I try not to take on board anymore/read because that ‘sweet Olicity moment’ last week with the You’ll always be my girl was just – no and I am a Felicity Fan and until the Sara/Oliver kiss the development of their relationship met my standard of Slow Burn. Being that TPTB change their minds often and recont after a few episdoes – the tease about their relationship could mean anything and their a multiple scenarios I can imagine where I wouldn’t be happy eg. Oliver just splits up with Sara and goes to Felicity for comfort. That technically meets what the EP just said.

      As for BC – despite what I think of Sara as Character I love her as BC and I just don’t see the point of developing anyone else to take that role.

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  38. If Oliver doesn’t live at the mansion, why did he throw the Welcome from the Dead party there? I thought they agreed to keep up appearances for Thea, how does that work if he moved out? By the way why didn’t he throw the party at the club? That was so weird for me.

    I’m not sure I buy Moira not being more cautious around an unknown like Slade. She’s swam with some pretty big sharks, doesn’t like recognize like?

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      1. LOL hilarious. So I guess he’s been smoozing her for a while if he’s comfortably seated at her house. I have to “guess” because I didn’t watch it. I looked for Youtube video’s and saw Felicity bring in the lunch and do the ‘butt dial’ bit and thought, “Why bother?”.

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  39. Watching Scandal tonight crystalized what’s gone wrong with Arrow in the last few episodes for me.

    Previously on Arrow, we would see Oliver do horrible things – kill people, lie, be a total hypocrite, and so on. Thing is, almost everyone on the show called him out on that behavior: his mother, his sister, Helena (on the hypocrite thing), Malcolm (on the hypocrite thing), Isobel (on the responsibility thing), Sebastian Blood (all of that), Slade (on the being an idiot thing), Shado (on the sleeping with two sisters thing and general honor), Fyers (on the being an idiot thing again), Laurel (on his behavior in general), Tommy (on the killing), Quentin (on the killing), the Russian mobsters (on Oliver’s tendency to assume things) and Felicity and Diggle on his comparative morality. We also watched Oliver have to try to earn everyone’s respect. In doing this, the show let us know that it knows that a lot of what Oliver is doing is not at all ok – and let us hope that Oliver would be improving. Which I think he was up until episode 12.

    Also previously on Arrow, we had Sara, the only one so far on the hero’s side whose previous actions have been worse than Oliver’s. (In fact depending upon what we learn, she may even have been more evil than Slade is now.) Oliver resisted Fyers’ torture; Sara actively helped Ivo conduct experiments on humans. Oliver at least told himself that all of the killing he did was in the name of justice (even as others correctly called him out on this). Sara worked as a professional assassin. And Sara did all this to save her own life; Malcolm Merlyn and Sebastian Blood at least claim to be working for the greater good. She could have jumped off Ivo’s boat. She didn’t. She fell in love with someone who thinks nothing of cutting down airport employees. Oliver turned away from Helena for much less.

    Up through Heir to the Demon, though, Sara was at least calling herself out – telling Oliver in Starling City that her family would reject her, being surprised when Felicity accepted her.

    And then things changed. Suddenly, in Time of Death, not only is Sara not calling herself out, but almost no one else is either. Laurel, who on the show has only killed one person, and that sort of in self-defense, gets called out and dressed down for saying anything to Sara, and ends up having to seek Sara’s forgiveness, not the other way around. It was sorta cathartic because Laurel has been annoying, but it also felt wrong. Felicity, who has never killed anyone, and put herself at risk several times to save others, now wants to be like this other character. And the show wanted me to believe that the Clock King was absolutely dead evil even though he was trying to save someone else, not just himself.

    The only other guy to speak up against Sara was immediately framed as an evil, bad guy – even though Sara is the one who helped keep him in a cage and tortured him. He was hands down right about not trusting her, and yet the show seemed to want me to side with Sara.

    I’m all for immoral, evil, characters on television. I watch and love Scandal (talk about soapy), House of Cards and Game of Thrones. But I need to know that the creators are aware that their characters are evil, or at least grey, which those three shows usually accomplish. (I say “usually” since I’m not always sure with Scandal, but I am sure about the other two.) They take the time to acknowledge the pain of those getting crushed along the way; they have characters calling each other out; they have characters admitting they screwed up.

    If Arrow can go back to this, I’ll just take the last couple of episodes as a low point for the show and stay on board. If the show continues to have episodes where the writers seem oblivious to their character’s morals, I may be out.

    I, too, have noticed the decidedly non-romantic nature of the Sara/Oliver hookup. If I’d only seen this last episode, and not the two episodes before this, I would have assumed, just from this episode, that they were just friends/fighting partners.

    Which makes the decision to hook them up all the odder, to me, since it currently feels as if the plot would be working just fine without the hookup.

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    1. Chris, you said very well what I have been thinking about the character of Sara all along. You are exactly right. She may actually be the character on the show who has done the worst things for the poorest reasons, but we are all supposed to embrace her and applaud for her even though she’s done nothing to redeem herself. In fact, she’s done nothing but act entitled since she’s been back in town.

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  40. “which makes the decision to hook them up all the odder, to me, since it currently feels as if the plot would be working just fine without the hookup.”

    Exactly. What does the romance angle add to the plot? It would still make sense, even more sense, actually, without it. When O and S were just partners in vigilante

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  41. Oooops. Shot too soon. Wish we could edit our comments! I’ll try again…

    “which makes the decision to hook them up all the odder, to me, since it currently feels as if the plot would be working just fine without the hookup.”

    Exactly. What does the romance angle add to the plot? It would still make sense, even more sense, actually, without it. When O and S were just partners in vigilante-ism, I understood that, and liked both characters. Since ‘Heir’, it’s hard to like either of them or care what happens to their lovefest. How does the romance develop the story in any meaningful way?

    Maybe it’s being done to make it more ‘tragic’ if she dies, so that O can add to his Box of Pain? Um, wasn’t the death of Tommy one of the most gut wrenching scenes ever, and didn’t that hurt O so much he ran back to the island? Where is it written that tragedy needs to be connected to a romantic relationship? I would buy O being grief-stricken by the loss of S, his friend, as he was by Tommy’s demise. But, if Sara, suddenly second-in-command, full of mad skills at everything, entitled, thoughtless, girlfriend of Ollie, is killed, my immediate reaction will be relief, not sadness.

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    1. Not only does their “romance” add nothing to the story, it actually makes them both look thoughtless and uncaring about the effect it’s having on Laurel, the person they both claim to love and yet betrayed anyway. Yes, Oliver and Laurel are not together anymore, but I’m sure she’s going to be reminded of their betrayal every time she sees them together. How can she not? But, you know, they don’t care because they’ve been through hell and deserve to be happy.. conveniently forgetting why they went through hell in the first place.

      If their intention was to hook Oliver and Sara up just for the sake of adding drama to this war with Slade, then I call foul because there was still a way to do it without them actually being in a “relationship.” Oliver and Sara were there with Slade on the island. They are the only two people who know what he’s truly capable of. That alone was enough to bond them and give them a reason to team up to take him down. We all know Oliver cares about Sara, so he would have been worried about her regardless of whether they were sleeping together or not… and Slade would have gone after Sara whether he knew she was with Oliver or not because Sara was the one Oliver “chose” to save instead of Shado.

      So pretty much any way you slice it, Oliver and Sara hooking up has done nothing positive for the show except allow the writers to tick off the box on their “to-do” list next to “Make GA/BC canon on the show” .. even if it’s to the detriment of other characters and the narrative as a whole because, really, who cares about that, right? *smh*

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  42. Thanks for another interesting Arrow post, Jenny. I really enjoy coming here to read your take and also everyone else’s great comments. This is one of the few places where people can discuss the show’s writing choices in a respectful environment, and I really appreciate that. It’s also great to get more of the comics perspective from commenters like newguy and TK because I am not a comics person. This episode had much better structure and focus with just the 2 plots. I liked parts of this episode – present day Slade at the Queen mansion was great. He is such a great character. The island scenes weren’t as strong for me. Part of the problem for me was the ship scenes were darkly lit so I couldn’t see a lot of the action scenes very well. I also couldn’t tell what happened to Dr. Ivo- after Slade drew his sword the camera cut away from Ivo and we heard the scream so I wasn’t sure if Slade killed him or what. Thanks to whoever said Slade cut off his arm ( I’m assuming the arm that shot Shado.) I’m not a huge fan of the island scenes in general, I usually prefer present day and that happened to me again- I kept wanting to see more of present day Slade & Oliver rather than the big Amazo showdown. I was very curious to see the ratings for this week and I wasn’t surprised that the ratings went down for a second week in a row. I think a lot of viewers have been growing tired with the storylines and the character development (or lack of it) and have decided that Arrow is not “must see” live viewing. Even this much hyped episode. College basketball is on so that may account for some of the drop, but 20% I think signals that there are definite issues. I agree with others that hopefully this will cause the showrunners/writers to take a good look at what they are doing. Although I wonder how much they can do at this point in time for this season.

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  43. Notes:

    After this one ended, my initial reaction was relief that it made more sense than last week. Gratitude for sticking to one plot really shouldn’t be all I feel at the end of an episode.

    Ivo was the most annoying bad guy on Earth in this episode; the bit about “he chose, it’s all his fault, don’t kill me” struck me as both whiny and delusional, and I wish Slade had cut off his head instead of his hand.

    So Roy knows Sara is the Canary? Then why was he all surprised when Sin hugged her at the party? The “particularly firm handshake” was fun. I like Roy, especially when he’s with Thea and Sin. Can the Lance sisters move to Central City with their mom so the writers can give their screen time to those three? Their Junior Team Arrow/Scooby gang dynamic when investigating Sin’s missing friend was great.

    Oliver, Sara and Roy facing down Slade was good. I like Sara when she’s Canary. Her fellow soldiers relationship with Oliver has always been excellent; their action scenes are great. The fact that they’re old friends with a similar redemption arc (at least that’s what it looked like before “Heir to the Demon”) added a layer to that. But the romance is just not there. It’s almost worse than with Laurel in season one, at least Cassidy has the emotional range to make the acting in those scenes decent, even with the toxic back story. Lotz was doing fine with the character when she was brooding and emotionally closed off, but now that she needs to express something else, she’s just bad. Even if her acting was better and being together didn’t turn these characters into people I don’t like, it would basically be Oliver dating himself, and that does not advance his character arc. It would be like Reese and Shaw going on a date. It’s. Just. Not. There. Saying it’s there in every interview does not make it so.

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    1. Thank you! It’s exactly like Reese & Shaw going out. They’re a kickass team, but only because they’re so alike. Oliver dating Sara is exactly like him dating himself.
      That’s why Felicity was such a wonderful choice. They were so different that they brought out things in each other that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
      Oliver has regressed into being with Sara… and with Sara on the island, too… I think the viewers are suffering from Sara-overkill.
      My God, they’re drowning the show and they can’t even see it… I can’t get over the fact that they actually think they’re getting better. Where does that even leave us for the rest of the season…

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  44. The showrunners and actors have been quiet about the drop, and I have to wonder about how much farther it would’ve dropped if they hadn’t been shouting from every rooftop that this was the best episode ever. Not to mention the huge cliffhanger of Oliver finally discovering Slade’s alive…
    If you combine these things… it’s really quite shocking how far the numbers fell. It’s more than just, ‘viewers are losing interest’. It’s pretty severe when you and the viewers couldn’t be further apart.
    Here’s what I predict… Laurel will be gone by season’s end. They made a big mistake choosing to refocus 3+ episodes on Laurel when they absolutely knew viewers didn’t like her. I seriously doubt that Cassidy will want to return to the role that had her taking hate like never before. And, unless I’m mistaken, she was one of the only cast members that didn’t tweet anything about the Season 3 pickup, leading me to believe… she won’t be returning even if Arrow does. I’d like to think she dies (producers will want to add turmoil to the characters and quiet those who still say Cassidy should be Canary – that’s if they chose to double down on Sara).
    I don’t even know what I prefer at this point. Like mentioned above, Cassidy’s acting is far superior to Lotz’s… but this is an action show…
    I also think that Sara will be taken back by the League of Assassins. I don’t know what the plan is, but that seems to be coming. (We know Nyssa’s coming back eventually). This will probably lead to Oliver pining over her and planning to take on the League to bring her back… yikes…
    It’s very difficult to see the motivation for anything the showrunners are doing… I’m not sure what direction they’re even taking us down now…

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    1. Plus, I think the showrunners are quiet because they have a big of restructuring to do.
      They said that they were doing their second season as if it was their last, that’s why the first half saw so many great things. With S3’s renewal, they’ve taken their time in hashing out crap storylines. But what they didn’t realize (I hope this dropped helped) is that if they decide to change their direction to slow down or leave stuff for later (Oliver & Felicity), no one’s going to be around later to enjoy it. No one’s sticking around.
      – Also, remember that 3-min trailer they released. All these things point to a rise in the numbers. I think they collectively expected this episode to be the highest rated of the season… I’m glad of the drastic drop, maybe it’ll wake them up to what they’re doing wrong.

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      1. I don’t think they’re restructuring anything based on one night’s ratings which very well may surge up once adjusted for Live + 3 and Live + 7. Plus, they’re already filming episode 20. There’s only 23 in the season, I think, if they go the same # they did last year. At this point I think all the scripts are on paper and ready to go. They might insert some pinks (rewrites) between then and now obviously, but I’m betting everything’s pretty much done for season 2.

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        1. And really, trying to change the show on two weeks of lower ratings after the Olympics break and, as somebody else pointed out here, the NCAA stuff would be overreacting. I think the drop is great enough that it’s not just those things, but you’re right, a TV show is a lot like a battleship, you can’t turn it on a dime.

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          1. It’s a little more than two weeks of lower ratings. According to TV by the Numbers, Arrow peaked this season with Tremors (Ep. 2.13) at 2.95 million viewers (these are the final numbers, ie they factor in the fact the show was preempted in certain areas by a sports event, and adjust the numbers accordingly). That was on 1/29/14. The episode after that, Heir to the Demon, dropped to 2.86 million. Then Time of Death, dropped to 2.45 mil, and The Promise, to 2.21 mil. This is a steady drop since the end of January. (These numbers are only the live viewing numbers, and don’t include streaming, DVR, 7 day viewing and what have you.)

            People are definitely bailing, for whatever reason.

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          2. True, Ero, but I’m waiting on the adjusted figures. Look at City of Heroes. Live ratings were 2.73 million. When the 3 day ratings came out, it jumped to 3.68 million. By the time the 7 day ratings landed, it was 3.97 million. I don’t think we’ve seen those figures yet for any of the recent Arrow eps.

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  45. Sarah, I agree with you. I will be surprised if Laurel lasts, and I also think something will happen to Sara. Given the hype of this episode, 20% is a huge drop. I know I watched it thinking something amazing would happen. They kept comparing it to “The Odyssey” from season one, which was a big episode. Of course, I loved it because Felicity found out the identity of The Hood, but it had lots of good information and did set up the rest of the season. This episode didn’t tell us one thing we didn’t know.

    I really don’t think they are going to have Ivo be Felicity’s father. I think that’s another game the writers are playing with fans. I think that’s all a tease.

    I am very hopeful that Berlanti and Kreisberg are back paying attention to the show – especially Berlanti. I think Berlanti gets that you have to tell your story, but your story must be one that the fans want to watch. I also think Guggenheim and Kreisberg are huge comics fans, but many, many (most of us on this blog) don’t know much if anything about the comics, so we want to see the story. We don’t really care about the canon so much as we care about a good story. I think Berlanti gets that. I hope that they don’t sacrifice Arrow for Flash.

    As I viewer, I can say that if the Lance sister crap isn’t done, and Sara isn’t gone by the end of the season, then I’m done watching this show. I didn’t sign on for the Super Sara Show. I didn’t sign on for the Lance sister junk. I signed on for Team Arrow, and Team Arrow has THREE members only: Oliver (NOT Ollie), Diggle, and Felicity. Everyone else is just a guest.

    I will watch Suicide Squad, but I’m not sure that I’ll be there for Birds of Prey.

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    1. Paula, you’re right about the majority of the viewers not being comic book fans, most of don’t know what the canon is. For the entirety of the first season, Oliver’s obsession with Laurel was something that was just sitting there, making no sense to me. Until I saw that she was meant to be his ‘true superhero love’.
      They must realize that the service they’re doing to their canon is alienating all the viewers who don’t understand anything that’s happening, or why it’s happening.
      Sadly though, they get their most vocal support from the comic fans. I’ve been reading all over the social media that everyone thinks this was the best episode ever.
      And I’m left here wondering… what is happening??
      You’re completely right about The Odyssey being great, but it was Felicity’s involvement and the fact that the island story was completely new to us that did it. It was exciting, all of it.
      And in The Promise, besides the (much-hyped) action and production value, nothing at all happened. This on the heels of the Lance sister drama (each episode making Oliver – our main hero – more unlikable by the minute) it’s too much of a shift away from everything that was good.
      Team Arrow, the big 3, are all being compromised as of late. Dig just hangs around, Oliver’s stopped consulting him altogether. Part of what made Ep. 6 (Russia trip) so good was that, even if it deviated from Starling or an Oliver-centric villain, it was all about Dig and the team supporting each other, always.
      And even when Barry came in to the cave, there’s a scene where Oliver asks Dig for help with his ghosts, and there’s a sweet older-soldier advice thing that happens.
      They didn’t compromise the team when they brought in Barry. Even though he was Felicity’s love interest. So it’s not that Sara is Oliver’s love interest… it’s her involvement (and destruction) of all the glory that is Team Arrow. It really just is the fact that the show has become the Super Sara show… it’s too much. She’s taken far too much control over everybody.

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      1. I agree with this so much Sarah.

        I’ve never read a comic book, they just aren’t my thing. I don’t know anything about Green Arrow other than what is put on the screen and I really wish the writers would figure out that saying, “This is how it is in the comic,” is not an explanation, it is an excuse.

        The best example I can think of, for me, is Gone with the Wind. My favorite book/movie combo. If Rhett had walked onto the screen and fallen as flat as Laurel did in Arrow, saying but he’s the love of Scarlet’s life in the book would not have saved his character. That movie stands alone and so does the book. Different in their own regard with a few characters and situations missing or changed but both work fantastic; independently.

        Side note: If in the first 5 minutes of the next episode some Queen staff member doesn’t show up with a camera in their hand going, “Um, I was dusting a picture and found this,” I’m really going to be annoyed. Suspending belief is one thing but being asked to be stupid is another.

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      2. To me, who is another that doesn’t know the comic canon, the problem with Arrow isn’t that I don’t know the comic canon. It’s that the story on the screen keeps skipping over needed information or relationship builds that are necessary for *any* show to supply. Even if I didn’t the comic book source material, it wouldn’t really help me here because the Arrow writers have repeatedly said: we’re not following canon. Arrow has to be its own thing. We’re taking “inspiration” from the source material (which to me seems to be mostly names and winks at things) but we’re re-imagining them for our very own version of the Green Arrow’s journey.

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  46. I enjoyed the episode for most part but am always bugged by so many annoyances. Am glad that I was not the only one who thought that Felicity saying “Please save Oliver” was lame! Plus why would she expect anyone else to answer her phone? And why would she put the call on speaker phone because it’s been butt dialled (yes I know it was so Sara could hear Slade’s voice). Other plot-holes that have been bugging me. Oliver left Sara at Verdant to return home to the Queen Mansion where he met Slade in 2 x 14. Wasn’t Sara in a maroon dress – why would she have changed in that (what I assume to be a) short span of time? Just to help Roy train? Felicity showing no aftereffects from being shot and subsequently sewn up. And Oliver not caring about what happened to Diggle? What, did he palm off that responsibility to Roy or Sara? Phew, glad to get these all off my chest 🙂
    Btw, Felicity has been rocking sexy heels since she started the start of Season 2. I like her shoes but it was incongruous to see her deal with The Clock King in that skirt and those heels (though I thought she looked great in them). I do miss her panda flats sometimes.
    Best scene of the night for me: Slade flirting with Moira and touching her (subtly menacing to us cause we know he’s a baddie but probably coming across to Moira as an interested ‘suitor’)- lol – thought Oliver was going break a couple of teeth, he clenched his jaw so hard when he saw that.
    And why is Slade keeping Ivo alive? Thoughts?

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  47. I don’t think Laurel/Katie is going anywhere. She is going to appear in two major comic cons this spring and summer, which to me indicates that she will be around in the third season as well. Heck, she will even be wearing her Black Canary costume!

    I wasn’t too crazy about the latest episodes and I don’t think Sara is a very interesting character, but I find this emphasis of Team Arrow as the single worthwhile aspect of the show a bit odd. I like many other aspects of “Arrow”, including what you call the “Lance sister drama”, while I find the contrived Olicity fanservice rather annoying. And I know for a fact that there are many viewers who would prefer if the writers would just let go of the whole “Felicty is having crush on Oliver and he might reciprocate” will they/won’t they dance and let them remain just friends. I also have a hard time understanding why some Olicity/Felicity fans behave as if the “Arrowcave” is Felicity’s sacred turf, where no other woman is allowed to thread! I mean, there is no implication that OLIVER himself feels this way, otherwise he wouldn’t have brought in Sara. Furthermore, the “Team Arrow” is already growing with the introduction of Roy Harper and possibly Thea/Speedy and Laurel/BC in the future. Given this, I think that the Felicity fans have to accept that “Arrow” isn’t only about Diggle, Felicity and Oliver and that there are many viewers who enjoy the show as a whole, rather than one isolated aspect/storyline. This is an ensemble show with Oliver as the sole protagonist, and if they can’t accept that, I guess they’ll just have to stop watching….

    I also think that the so-called “slow burn” romance between Felicity and Oliver might be something that the writers will continue to turn on and off to keep the shippers hooked, while letting Oliver become involved with various love interests over the course of the series. That may sound cynical, but I have a hunch that this is how they will roll…

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    1. This comment was posted before you could possibly have read my reply to your last comment, so this isn’t your fault, but once again, this is reading too much like some of the stuff that starts wars on fan boards. It’s fine to be a Laurel fan here. It’s fine to be a Felicity fan here. I think our biggest fan contingent here is probably Slade, which would be worrisome except that Slade is awesome. However, we post our ideas as individuals, we respect each other as individuals, and we don’t tell anybody what he or she has to accept or think. It’s always an adjustment when people start posting here for the first time because it’s hard to see where the line is drawn at first, but a shorthand guide is, “How would you feel if somebody told you that you had to accept a certain way of thinking?” People who become annoyed will miss the great points you make.

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      1. I understand what you’re saying. I did exaggerate a bit for the sake of the argument and I apologize if I insulted anyone by my comments. However, reading the posts on your blog, I have to presume that it is OK to comment about characters and their relationships and even about actors and their skills. Otherwise I imagine that you would have regarded the many disparaging descriptions of Laurel’s or Sara’s character (or the comments concerning Caity’s and Katie’s acting skills) and the likewise rather disparaging comments concerning the Laurel/Oliver relationship as inflammatory as well. Given that such opinions are accepted, I can’t imagine that anyone would be offended if I said that an Oliver/Felicity romance is not something that I find especially exciting or interesting, and that at least some of the Olicity scenes come off as contrived fanservice in my eyes.

        Like many posters here I’m not happy about the Sara storyline, but I don’t think that her role in Oliver’s life and in the Arrowcave diminishes the role of Felicity or Diggle, since they are not protagonists, but just supporting characters with the same status as, for example, Roy Harper and Thea. If you look at Roy’s or Thea’s amount of screen presence and importance in the plot, you’ll find episodes where they have played a very insignificant role. In fact, I would say that Thea has been much more mistreated than Felicity in this respect. Felicity has a steady presence in every episode and she is actively involved in the “villain of the week” plots, while Thea has been barely visible in any other capacity than as Roy’s girlfriend. As for Diggle, I would say that he has been sidelined since the beginning of the season, and many of his current scenes only involve sitting beside Felicity and delivering expositional information. So, the Diggle fans have been quite upset by the treatment of Diggle even before Sara entered the picture, and many of them put the blame on the writers’, who have marginalized Diggle in favour of Olicity moments/interaction. Finally, the Laurel fans (and there are a few, though few of them post on this site) are disappointed with Laurel’s lack of screen time and weak storylines. So, everyone has something to complain about, and sometimes Felicity’s status on the show is quite far down on that list of complaints.

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        1. Hi, Marre. Thank you again for “story-goggles.” I’m going to be driving that one into the ground.

          You wrote: “I can’t imagine that anyone would be offended if I said that an Oliver/Felicity romance is not something that I find especially exciting or interesting, and that at least some of the Olicity scenes come off as contrived fanservice in my eyes.”

          Absolutely. You can state your opinion on just about anything except other posters.

          “Otherwise I imagine that you would have regarded the many disparaging descriptions of Laurel’s or Sara’s character (or the comments concerning Caity’s and Katie’s acting skills) and the likewise rather disparaging comments concerning the Laurel/Oliver relationship as inflammatory as well.”

          “Inflammatory” is the key word. If you say, “The Oliver/Felicity relationship always seems like a partnership to me, I don’t see the chemistry that other people see,” that’s fine. But if you say, “The Oliver/Felicity relationship seems like a partnership to me, so the Olicity fan base is going to have to accept that it’s not going to happen,” that’s inflammatory because (a) it lumps a lot of people into one group and assumes that they all think the same, (b) it assumes that your opinion is fact and they’re wrong. And that’s when people start yelling.

          “Like many posters here I’m not happy about the Sara storyline, but I don’t think that her role in Oliver’s life and in the Arrowcave diminishes the role of Felicity or Diggle, since they are not protagonists, but just supporting characters with the same status as, for example, Roy Harper and Thea.”

          This is where the story-goggles concept comes in. Oliver is absolutely the protagonist, but after that perception put characters into a hierarchy: these are major characters, these are minor characters. So for Season One, Laurel was a major character and Felicity was a minor character. I’d argue Diggle was always a major character, but then I’m a big Diggle fan, so story-goggles again. So this season, my perception was that the major characters were Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle, and when in these last few stories, Felicity and Diggle and fighting crime have taken a back seat to the Lances and relationships, I felt the story contract was broken. But if a viewer feels that Laurel is still a major character or accepts that Sara is now a major character, and that relationships are really the focus in Arrow, a perfectly logical conclusion, then these last episodes haven’t been a break in the contract.

          For the record, I was really impressed with the way the writers were writing the Oliver/Felicity relationship for awhile, but I think they’ve broken that contract, and I am no longer a fan of that relationship. I am still, however, a big fan of the central three, and when I’m sure that contract has been broken, then I’ll probably give up, not because I think Arrow is bad for everybody, but because it’s not giving me the story I signed on for.

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    2. It’s not just that we love the trio (Oliver & Dig & Felicity), it’s more about them staying true to their established characters as we go forward. I know they couldn’t have always stayed just the three of them, eventually people were going to be brought in.
      But the problem is how they’re being brought in. Roy was told the secret and shoved aside for a few episodes. Sara was brought in and is suddenly the head of the team. Where is Diggle?? Why was Felicity made to feel insecure about her place after just being validated as ‘partner’??
      It’s the fact that they’ve completely disintegrated the Team Arrow that they’d developed, not that they were just making the cave bigger. I would have loved Roy’s introduction to the team if it involved more than a handshake. If Oliver and Diggle had actually made an effort to accommodate him and take him under their wing.
      Sara’s taking over of the Arrow-cave leaves Diggle useless, which he’s not!
      It’s not that there are more members, it’s that the new members completely dislodge everything in their wake.
      Why have they established such a strong base of the show (the trio), regardless of the Oliver & Felicity thing, why build up the partners if they were just going to be tossed aside for Sara. (Yes, both Dig and Felicity were tossed aside for Sara)

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      1. Sarah, that’s it exactly!!! They devalued the team (almost family) by tearing down two characters that many love to make another character appear important. There are plenty of ways they could have incorporated Sara into the team that would hace kept the intregrity of the story they had already created. In Roy’s case, Oliver talked to Digg & Felicity about Roy’s joining the team. Then he introduced them. In Sara’s case, we’ve got the lunge followed by the 3-way stick fight. There was no integration into the team. In addition, we see Roy introduced to the team and then 3 episodes later, he’s being trained by Sara, someone we never saw him meet in current context. Consider how the original team came together. By not showing us the story, the writers lose so much richness that could have made us root for Sara & Roy as team members rather than being confused and annoyed.

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        1. Exactly, the thing that made Team Arrow so strong was that it developed. Over time, it grew richer and deeper and the members grew closer and relied on one another.
          The introduction of Roy & Sara was not developed. I know the fast pace is an element in the showrunners’ way of doing things, but this is a case in which it failed spectacularly.
          You’re right, they lost so much richness. They could’ve developed a bond between the new and old members, made it into a stronger, more cohesive team. Except now we’re not remotely invested in Sara or Roy. Easy come, easy go.
          I’m only just sad that they destroyed so much in their entry, that’s all. We haven’t gotten a Team Arrow anything for a few episodes now. The core of the show is missing. The characters are not in tune with each other anymore. Oliver was completely oblivious of Felicity the moment he got together with Sara. And again, it’s not that romance that’s the problem (though it is another problem), but it just made Oliver back into the guy that was careless and inconsiderate. After all the growing and developing in the first half, it’s a bit much to take now.

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          1. It’s an interesting paradox. One of the things I loved about Arrow was that it was so story dense, so many different interlocking stories packed into one show, and one of the things that’s disappointing me now is that there are so many stories that none of them are being developed with that richness you’re talking about. I think I loved the multiple story lines because they gave so much dimension to the world of the show, you saw things from so many angles as you watched characters arc and plot lines evolve. And then, for me, the center didn’t hold and it fell into chaos.

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  48. I’m sure that there are fans that the writers are currently writing for, but I’m not one of them. I love the Felicity, Diggle Oliver scenes. I think Digg & Felicity make Oliver a better person. I think they help him grow. I don’t like the Felicity crush story either, and I prefer her as his PARTNER, but that’s not what she is these days. Digg is no longer the right hand and level head. There’s no team – it’s all Sara all the time.

    I think the Lance sisters turn Oliver, the potential hero, into Ollie, someone who interests me not at all. The writers are writing for the Sara & Ollie fans rather than the fans of the original Team Arrow, and that’s fine, but I won’t continue to watch a show about a protagonist, who to me appears to be getting worst instead of better. There’s too many other shows to watch and too many other things to do.

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    1. Note: This reply isn’t really to Jennifer whose comment is absolutely fine. She just started a train of thought and then I took it through the tunnel into what I wanted to talk about.

      Because every reviewer is just a human being in front of a keyboard, so there are a vast number of interpretations out there. The fact that something sees print in a magazine or newspaper or on a blog (like here) doesn’t mean that any of us are right or wrong, it’s just one person’s opinion. It’s really good to read opinions that don’t agree with yours because they make you reconsider your arguments, sharpen your thinking. That’s why it makes no sense to become angry with people who disagree with you about ideas (which is NOT what you did, Jennifer, your comment is fine) because they’re just ideas, and opposing ideas smacking up against each other can break open real insights.

      Completely off topic from Jennifer’s comment (sorry, Jennifer, comment hijacking):
      One of things that I was most interested in when I went to look at the fan boards way back when I started doing this was how some viewers formed communities so quickly and so passionately, and then turned them into armed camps. I never liked the terms “Olicity” and “Laurelver” because they became pejoratives so fast, and they made it so easy for people to sneer at and insult large numbers of other people who disagreed with them, thereby reinforcing their own sense of community (“How we think is how smart people think”). We’ve been talking about community in fiction here but mostly in a positive sense–the communities characters make that support them–but the fan boards seemed to me to be the opposite side of that coin, communities that shut people off from each other using terms that ignore people’s individual approaches to the show.

      The show is clearly working well for a lot of people: two million plus viewers is A LOT of people watching. They’re not wrong, they like the show. We’ve talked here about how story is always collaborative, what the storyteller brings to the reader/viewer, and what the reader/viewer brings to the story. I really like Marre’s “story-goggles” term. Everybody who reads or watches a story is reading or watching through his or her own story-goggles, so of course we all see something different. I’m really interested in the way story is constructed, so I’ve forced writing-anaylsis-story-goggles on everybody here, so we tend to focus on technical/craft problems. But the vast majority of viewers wouldn’t know what a protagonist was if one bit them. So the things that make me crazy are things that have no impact on other viewers, and that’s fine.

      It reminds me of watching a movie I love with a friend who had film production experience. I love that movie with a passion, but it tanked completely in theaters decades ago, Roger Ebert hated it, so it’s fairly obscure. When the movie started, my friend said, “Well, I know why Ebert hated it, the production values here are wretched.” And she pointed them out in the beginning, and I could see she was right. I think in one scene there was a boom shadow, it really was very bad. But then she got caught up in the story because the actors were really good, and the writing was fun (she’s a writer, too), and when the movie was over, she ordered a copy from Amazon because it was that much fun. She could still see all the craft problems, but the story itself was enough for her to take off her production-goggles.

      I really like the idea of story-goggles. Thank you, Marre.

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      1. I think it also comes down to the two very different shoes being filled for two entirely different functions.

        Show reviewers (and I’m making a generalization here, of course) look at the entertainment value of an episode. Like Jenny mentioned above, if the story is presented with authority, you can go along with just about anything (Giant worm created by a radiation leak that threatens to devote Japan? I can go with that!), so when reviews are written, I think they answer the very basic question: Was I entertained?

        I think I mentioned in here somewhere that I was okay with this episode. I wasn’t captivated and enthralled and Oohing over it but I watched the whole hour and thought some parts were really good, enjoyed a few lines, and some of the stunts. The I-Want-To-Be-Entertained portion of me was fine.

        Then there are the 2nd set of shoes and those are the ones I put on when I come here because they’re the Storytelling/Writer Shoes. These are the shoes I put on when I start looking at consistent characterization, plot holes, oversights, story inconsistencies, and the other elements of how the story is actually crafted and the pieces fitted together.

        And sometimes wearing those shoes create vastly different opinions. It’s like Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory. He’s such a smart, logical guy but his love for the great Indian Jones flick blinded him to the glaring logic flaw in that movie. There’s nothing wrong with that because sometimes a movie is just an entertaining ride. I love the Mummy movies (1 and 2. I like to pretend 3 never happened) and I can watch them over and over again but it doesn’t blind me to the one scene where the pilot, in 1920s Egypt, is sporting a modern day watch either.

        To touch on the whole story-goggles and fanbase rose colored glasses thing…

        “…communities that shut people off from each other using terms that ignore people’s individual approaches to the show.”
        – Jenny

        Exactly. I may like one character or one pairing and someone else another, but that doesn’t mean opinions aren’t valid and can just be discounted with a “Well you’re an XYZ fan so clearly you can’t see how things ‘really are,’ so your opinion on anything doesn’t matter.” To me it’s always struck me as a technique used to avoid having to get into deeper conversation/debate. I love debate. I love talking about story stuff. I can argue three sides to every situation. LOL. It drivves everybody I know nuts because I can put myself in the mindset of just about anybody (doesn’t mean I agree with it, just means I can understand it). It’s why I don’t bother with fanboards or getting into arguments over stuff. Respectful, thoughtful give and take discussions like the ones that go on here, however… Love them! I like that everybody brings something new to the table and can challenge me to see things in new ways. Exercises the old grey cells.

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      2. This particular comment spoke to me, Jenny, because I have a background in film, but it has never been reason enough for me to enjoy a movie/TV show on technical merit alone. I might be in awe of Arrow’s production value week to week, and their stunt team is by far the best one I’ve ever seen on TV, and I get a kick of the different ways the directors and editors find every week to cut from present time to island flashback, but that to me is just bonus. I’m watching for the story.

        And of course I have my story-goggles on, and also my ‘shipper-googles, and my favorite character goggles, and my favorite tropes goggles, and so on. Everyone comes to a story with those, and reading the discussion here has elucidated to me A LOT about what I enjoy about serial narratives, and why I’ve been so frustrated with the turn Arrow took in the last 3 episodes.

        I started watching from the start because it was Green Arrow [I was already a fan of the characte], and I will watch any and everything superhero they put on TV, because that’s my thing. But the thing is, I didn’t really like the show that much from the start because I didn’t like Oliver that much from the start. I think I had the extra problem of not seeing this Oliver Queen same as the one “in my head” from previous versions of the character. That is, until Diggle and Felicity came along and they formed the Arrow team [and *teams* are my favorite trope in superhero stories], and then I could see potential in Oliver because D and F saw it in him. And now that I’ve been reading the comments here, I realize that that first story contract — “Oliver Queen fights crime” — wasn’t ever gonna be my favorite story. When they changed it into “Team Arrow fights crime”, that was when I was in because that’s when all of my several goggles were met by the show’s narrative. I got the team, I got a favorite character in Felicity, and then I was able to enjoy Oliver’s story fully.

        I feel like since the last few episodes turned the story away from Team Arrow and onto the Lance sisters drama and the island flashbacks got more prominent [they were never my favorite part of the show], it’s like being back in the first half of season one, when yeah, I was watching, but I had very little attachment to Oliver and his story. It feels like none of my goggles are working anymore, and I’d have to get new ones to enjoy the new story contract, which — not really gonna happen because it’s not like my preferences are suddenly gonna change. Arrow was “my” show for half a season there, but maybe it’s just not anymore.

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        1. Multiple goggles. I like the image I got of all your goggles layering like the lenses in a optometrist’s office until the story came into focus as the one you wanted to watch.

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          1. Hee! This discussion is making me realize that THAT is exactly what everyone does when they open a book, or go to the movies, or turn on their TVs, always in hope to find the story that’ll come into focus. And the stories we see clearly are the ones that become our favorites.

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  49. There are several sites that, surprisingly, liked the episode. The thing to consider about the drop in ratings is that it is not necessarily an indication of whether people thought this episode was good or not, it’s a response to both Heir to the Demon and Time of Death. The former was great–right up until the end. The latter was pretty terrible. As much as you hype an episode, if the show starts to lose footing before it airs, people aren’t going to tune in to see why THIS episode is so great (for me, it wasn’t). It goes back to what Jenny has been saying: you’ve got to grab us now because if you don’t, we’re not going to be there later.

    So when Marc Guggenheim talks about the fun of Oliver and Felicity being one steps forward, two steps back, I think: “I’m not going to tune in for that.” They’ve got to be great ALL the time, and that doesn’t mean they get together in the next episode–it means the relationship keeps developing, even when he’s involved or she’s involved. They put Sara and Oliver in a relationship and said, “There’s a story there.” But Jenny is right: it doesn’t matter. You can’t tell your viewers to wait for the story. Maybe they’ve got an episode down the line that will show me why these two belong together. By the time they get there, chances are I’ll be watching Persons of Interest instead.

    I think the Arrow writers are definitely writing to hook a variety of people. I also think this is where they’re floundering. They’re trying to cater to three different fanships–it’s NOT just Olicity. They created a whole retconned BC/GA love story to satisfy canon fans. They’re not putting the lid on the Laurel-Oliver love story (to me, that’s dead, but clearly, Marc Guggenheim still thinks that’s on the table) to satisfy the Lauriver fans. I think THAT is the problem. There’s no focus because they won’t take a chance and make a choice (which is why I laughed out loud at the whole “That’s how you know you’re taking chances” comment. Dude, you’re not taking ANY chances. You’re trying to please everyone). I think, if at the beginning, they decided to keep Oliver-Felicity purely platonic, and then continued to try to retcon Oliver-Laurel, the Felicity fans would have stayed on board. But they didn’t do that–they teased the relationship in one direction, and then swerved and took it somewhere else with no set-up–just BAM! And then they take in pride in having surprised people (How many people are pleased with finding out the murderer in a mystery is someone NO ONE predicted because there were NO CLUES leading in that direction? This is the same thing. It’s much more satisfying to figure out the WHODUNNIT when you’ve put the little clues together…and it’s the same with relationships). The result is, viewers who were invested in that relationship got pissed off because they feel led on. When you piss viewers off, they stop watching. I said this is in the earlier posts: fanning the shipping flames will eventually tank the show. You can’t please everyone. You’re not going to have a fan base that is 100% for one love interest (even Lois-Clark in Smallville didn’t have 100% of the fan vote). So, the show needs to choose so people can get invested. Otherwise, it takes away from the rest of the story.

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    1. I’ve been thinking about series storytelling (film and books) and the idea that the first page/scene is a promise you make the reader/viewer. I absolutely believe that: the introduction to a story makes a promise to the reader, says this it what this story is going to be about, here are the people to root for, here’s the genre, the mood, the setting, the tone, everything. And then people read/view that promise and decide whether to sign for the story and by extension, the series. If you’re writing a stand-alone novel, that’s fine, you’ve only locked yourself in for that story. But if you’re writing a series, that’s a long-term promise that I think you almost have to shift. Not break, but gradually steer into the direction you’re finding works better if you begin to see a problem. A lot of long-running series in both books and film never break the promise, but they run the risk of going stale, so evolution is important and change is often good. I think the problem comes when the perception is that the promise is broken, that this is not the story the reader/viewer signed on for, that the writer was doing a kind of bait-and-switch. And I think that’s where the assumption that this story is about Oliver-Diggle-Felicity comes in, that the promise this show made was that it would primarily be about Oliver Queen fighting crime. As I remember, the pilot had a lot of relationship stuff going on, too, but I read that (my story-goggles) as subplots, the things that would make Oliver’s life more difficult, not the thing the story was about. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that some people may have seen it as a relationship drama, so that when episodes focus on relationship issues like the Clock King episode did, they don’t see a fragmented story that has gone too far and broken the promise, they see exactly what they’d been promised.

      I think that’s why, when you’re telling a story, you have to nail the essence of that story on the first page. The books that start with the protagonist staring out the window thinking about her life, or with the author explaining the character’s back story, miss the opportunity to open the door to the reader and say, “Come on in, this is the kind of party this will be,” and establish it firmly in the reader’s mind so that while the reader can still write her part of the story into the white spaces, she can’t say, “No, it’s not about the main plot, it’s about the subplot.”

      So through my story-goggles I saw Arrow’s story promise as “Oliver Queen fights crime,” which became “the Arrow team fights crime,” a change that fit perfectly within my understanding of that story promise, and that’s been my touchstone for the story. That may be why I’ve been so critical of the last two episodes, because I don’t see the fighting-crime as the center of this story any more. That doesn’t make me wrong or right, it’s just my concept of the story influencing my appreciation of the story.

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      1. I like what you said about establishing a story and evolving it. And even though viewers may be detecting it as Oliver and Felicity’s relationship that’s taken a downfall, or Diggle being lost in the background, or Sara’s sudden all-encompassing involvement, it’s really the bigger picture I think they’re sensing. It’s that ‘this isn’t the story that we were following’.
        Thanks for putting in a way that’s clear, I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, because it’s not just all the little things, a big thing did change, the story promise.

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      2. That may be why I’ve been so critical of the last two episodes, because I don’t see the fighting-crime as the center of this story any more. That doesn’t make me wrong or right, it’s just my concept of the story influencing my appreciation of the story.
        – Jenny

        That’s a great observation. It may very well be why those episodes didn’t sit right with me either. One of my biggest gripe with any TV show – and when they lose me the quickest – is when they turn, as I like to say, “soapy.” Start pulling that daytime drama angst for the sake of angst stuff and I start to disengage from the show. I start to feel like the back & forth emotional BS starts to override the actual plot/story part of the show and I loathe stories like that. Which leads back to this:

        And I think that’s where the assumption that this story is about Oliver-Diggle-Felicity comes in, that the promise this show made was that it would primarily be about Oliver Queen fighting crime.
        – Jenny

        Yep. Me, too. If I look back on Season 1 and how it started with the pilot, yes, there was a lot of relationship drama. Look at the last episode and they brought all that stuff to a head and dealt with it. I think that’s consistent. However, when you look at Season 2 and it’s premiere episode and then look where we are now? It’s like night and day to me.

        The focus for the majority of Season 2 has been Oliver and Team Arrow (Oliver/Felicity/Diggle) fighting crime. There’s been far less relationship drama. In fact, I’d say most of all the relationship drama in S1 was kind of “settled” even in that very first episode. Everybody seemed to be on nicer, friendly, less-drama-mama footing. It stayed like that through 13 episodes and then… bam! dropped right back into all the relationship drama they’d pretty much avoided for half the year.

        I think maybe that’s my problem. I really liked the change in tone/direction/emphasis in Season 2. Which is a good thing because I left Season 1 thinking that if they were going to keep going in this direction (the drama, the Laurel/Oliver etc) I wasn’t long for this series. Season 2 made me think the show was correcting those missteps and it stayed solid in that for 13 episode. It got me all comfy thinking Okay, this is good, I like this. I can trust this. Then *smack!* Ha ha fooled you! Here comes the soapy stuff! It’s the same pattern as Season 1 when they put Tommy/Oliver/Laurel at each other’s throats. Blah. So I feel conned in a way. I dislike feeling conned.

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        1. Julie, I think we have very similar tastes when it comes to television. During Arrow’s first season, it wasn’t a show I paid all that much attention to. A friend recommended it about the time it premiered, so I watched it, and I liked it well enough to watch when I didn’t have anything else on my viewing list. I kept up with it, but it wasn’t really must see TV. When it started up again, I watched it the same way, but at about the second episode of the season, it got me and became “must watch.” Suddenly, I really loved Team Arrow. I liked all the Queen Consolidated stuff and wanted to see more of that world. I was a huge “Firefly” fan, so I was thrilled with Summer Glau and her ice cold Isabel. I loved every single episode until the infamous kiss. Since then, however, I have to force myself to watch it, and I feel guilty about the all the friends I’ve turned on to Arrow because they don’t like the new show either. If I had an inkling where we were headed with all the Lance drama, I might not feel so disconnected, but I feel as if the writers have teased so much and have out right lied at times — and I’m talking about what was on the screen — not what in interviews. They show me one thing (Oliver jumping in front of a gun) and tell me another (Oliver made the conscious decision to save Sara). When I’m watching a show like Leverage, I know that there will be a twist and that I can’t completely trust my eyes, but Arrow isn’t that kind of show. I should be able to believe what is on the screen.

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    2. “I think, if at the beginning, they decided to keep Oliver-Felicity purely platonic, and then continued to try to retcon Oliver-Laurel, the Felicity fans would have stayed on board. But they didn’t do that–they teased the relationship in one direction, and then swerved and took it somewhere else with no set-up–just BAM!”

      This! Yes, I didn’t like the Laurel character or the actress from ep 1, long before F appeared. But, if they had told the story convincingly, I would have been on board with their romance. But it’s the changing lanes that has thrown me. You created a certain mindset and steered me in one direction, and now you want me to go off on a new and, to me, incomprehensible, tangent, with nothing to back it up? No. It’s too late.

      And I would have been fine with a platonic relationship. On Warehouse 13, the main lead twosome are friends and partners, but there has never been any attempt to create a shipper vibe. I don’t follow social media for that show, but I don’t think there’s been some huge fan backlash because there was no romance between them, because they never set up those expectations, so we weren’t disappointed.

      If they are going to continue to tease the Olicity thing, with no intention of honouring that romance contract, to appease a portion of the fanbase, then I’m done. Kill it off, but have legitimate reasons for it in the story you’re telling. Give F a SO of her own, and make them partners again. Or even get rid of her, rather than diminish a character that was becoming such a strong part of the emotional heart of the show. Same with Diggle.

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      1. I think maybe this is just not a show that’s good at romantic relationships. The West Wing was like that: great show, terrible at romance, but that was okay because it wasn’t about romance. If Arrow is an action show about Oliver Queen fighting crime, then the fact that they’re bad at writing romance isn’t a problem as long as they don’t focus on the romance. I thought the romance writing for the Oliver-Felicity relationship was great, but evidently that wasn’t a romantic relationship, so never mind. The stuff they put on the page for Laurel was toxic, and they’re not putting anything on the page for Sara, so I’m thinking “warrior monk” again. Oliver’s really, really good at fighting crime. So is Sara; she’s a terrific Black Canary. Maybe they should forget the romance, and just fight the good fight? Although I am now a BIG Moira/Slade ‘shipper. Moirade? Sounds like a poisonous soft drink. Slaira? Japanese monster that topples cities. Actually, both of those are probably good analogies for that relationship.

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        1. Lol on the shipper names! I’d enjoy watching that relationship, I have to admit!

          I really love The Blacklist, and it is not a show with a central romance, even though the female lead is married. It’s more about the plots and about giving James Spader opportunities to show off his spectacular acting skills. I eat up every scene he’s in and love each moment. I don’t even want a romance as it’s not that sort of show. I love sci-fi and fantasy as genres, and they often don’t include anything romantic. I’d have watched Arrow as an action show and enjoyed it. But they included all the emotional drama and they set up these love triangles, or love squares. Or is Ollie (I can’t call him Oliver right now as I feel he’s vanished) now in a love pentagon with The Huntress coming back?!

          They should forget the lovey dovey stuff, if they aren’t getting it right, as it’s harder to do than people think, and there are enough elements in the Arrow world to create great stories without it.

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          1. Oh, The Blacklist. It’s wonderful. And they shot any ‘shipper thoughts in the knee right off the bat by setting up the “Is Red Lizzie’s father?” mystery. Her marriage isn’t even about romance, it’s about whether her husband is really the crunchy-granola good guy he seems to be or the devious assassin Red thinks he is. Ha. Like Red is ever wrong. LOVE that show.

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          2. I just wandered onto Tumblr and there are actually people shipping Red and Liz. So I was wrong about them shutting down ‘shippers . . .

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      2. “You created a certain mindset and steered me in one direction, and now you want me to go off on a new and, to me, incomprehensible, tangent, with nothing to back it up? No.”
        – Sarah

        Not only that, Sarah, but they try to go back while waving a Jedi hand in your direction while saying, “This is not the romance you’re looking for. This romance is a non-romance and not what it seems…” Like they didn’t set it up, blatantly tease, and even now, still assert the “slow burn” thing. So which is it?

        It touches back on that one review of Arrow that said, look, I can take 2 love interests but if you’re going to introduce 3 or more? No. You need to pick a lane and stay in it or else you risk losing people.

        Now look what the show is doing and what’s happening as a result.

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  50. I don’t mind if a story I read or watch doesn’t work out like I want, emotionally speaking, as long as I can believe in the direction the creator has taken it. Buffy and Spike are the couple dearest to my heart, but Joss never let them have their happy ending. But I could understand why he wrote the show the way he did, the characters generally stayed true to themselves, and the resolution had an inner logic and truth that fitted with the world he’d created, even if it made me sad. Stephen Moffat also famously does terrible things to beloved characters, and he’s still a brilliant writer.

    I don’t have to have F and O get together to enjoy the show and think it’s still great. I could even stomach Sara’s and Ollie’s ‘Epic Lurve’ if it were written in a way I could believe in. But it just isn’t. It came out of left field, it involves revisionist tweaking of their own canon on the show, and it adds nothing to the narrative that makes sense to me, considering what’s happened in the last year or so. I know little about the comics, but it’s ok if they make the show true to that, if they show me that onscreen. It shouldn’t be done through interviews or tweets or scenes that are now trying to be a do-over of things that I know I saw in earlier eps, just so they fit with this current ‘plan’ for the story.

    It’s all about the narrative for me, even if I love F and Diggle more than anything else (except maybe the salmon ladder..;) ). When that the story is working, I’ll accept whatever the writers throw at me. I’ve been a Doctor Who fan all my life, and no other show’s writers are more likely to stomp on your heart! Except Joss Whedon, maybe. So, I don’t need to be happy, just convinced.

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    1. “. . . I don’t need to be happy, just convinced.”
      This is so key to good storytelling, beyond the willing suspension of disbelief, that sense that while this isn’t what I wanted, this is right for the story I’m being told.

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      1. Aha! See, even if I don’t want Oliver with Sara, if they made it so that it was a valid connection between, I would’ve taken it.
        And someone mentioned before that Marc G actually said that some people want Oliver & Laurel together and that’s still an open door… and I’m just confounded… again.
        They booted out all the first season’s romance-contract credibility when they decided to make Sara ‘the one’. Oliver was established as having spent 5 pining away for Laurel, the thought of her was the only thing that got him through the island.
        It was bad enough when they threw all of this out and decide to rewrite the island storyline. But now, they’re still keeping the Laurel door open, for what?? To appease the shippers?? They don’t need to be happy, they need a believable story. Give the viewer a believable story and they’ll get behind it or leave. If you don’t, they’ll leave anyway because there’s no story left to hold onto.
        If they turn around and have Oliver be with Laurel again, I don’t know which character they’re butchering more with this regression.
        Is it still forgivable to claim the writers are bad at romance? Trying to satisfy all the different shippers (romance & comic canon) is not succeeding. I know that this is a CW production and that was bound to seep in eventually. It’s just all the more hurtful now because it was going well for a while there.
        My vote’s with you, Oliver the warrior monk is the way to go. Even as an Oliver & Felicity fan, I would’ve bought that completely. All you had to do was give us a reason. Just say, the life Oliver’s chosen means he’s bound to hurt anyone who is involved with him, so he’s closed off that door to protect everyone else, and then he’ll come off as the unselfish, tortured hero… it’s a damn sight better than this.

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  51. I enjoyed it.
    As many I didn’t like Felicity’s please save Oliver line.
    I like Sara as Canary but she starts showing up in every story: island, sisters drama, arrow cave, fighting, love interest.
    Next episode should be more about Diggle but I dont know, because last episode was supposed to be about Felicity and that didn’t really happen. And then again more sisters Lance (and + Sara) in BoP. It is a bit too much.
    Ivo possibly being Felicity’s father. What if Oliver’s known all along that Ivo was her father?How would you feel Felicity?
    And finaly, I miss Team Arrow (Oliver, Diggle, Felicity). I think they are crucial. They are an organic part of the show. Hopefully bring this dynamic back (sorry, english is not my first language)

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    1. I know Ivo as Felicity’s father is being kicked around as a theory these days and while I really hope he’s not (unless he gets way more interesting because I just don’t see where the conflict for Felicity comes in other than Wow, my dad’s a nutjob who tortured my friends for years on a boat? Wow. What a jerk!), that thought occurred to me as well. Did Oliver know from Day 1 that Felicity was his daughter? And if he did… what does that change? The show didn’t give any glimmers of that, so it’s all just What If-ing for me at this point, but I did think it.

      I think it touches back on a comment made in previews for The Promise episode, “There’s a lot of skeletons in Oliver’s closet and secrets he’s been keeping from Diggle and Felicity that will start to come home to roost…”

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  52. Here is an interesting interview with Marc Guggenheim:

    http://collider.com/arrow-the-flash-marc-guggenheim-interview/

    This quote shows that Laurel’s storyline is going to take a major turn for the better in the “Birds of Prey” episode:

    What can you say to tease the return of The Huntress on the “Birds of Prey” episode? Who will she be now, when we see her again?

    GUGGENHEIM: It’s been literally a year, in story time, since we’ve seen her. One of the things we told Jessica De Gouw, who plays The Huntress, was that we weren’t interested in treading over old territory with Helena. What we pitched her was the idea that basically Helena Bertinelli is gone. The only thing that remains is The Huntress. It’s been a year of her literally scouring the world to find her father, who was on the run at the end of Episode 17 of last season. We really wanted to show that wear and tear on her. We even aged up her costume a little bit, so you really get the sense that she has been traveling the world and literally has just spent a year killing people to try to get at her dad, and it’s done quite a number on her soul. We get to explore all that, in a really fun episode that also deals with Laurel Lance, in a very big way. One of the things we wanted to do with the episode was give Laurel her groove back, as it were. We have obviously taken Laurel down a very dark path, this year. As we started to see at the end of last week’s episode, she’s going to start turning the corner. And this episode with The Huntress is a very big move in that direction. end of quote

    Now, what is the heart or the core of a show is always a subjective intepretation. For me personally the “villain of the week”/crime-fighting bit was always just one part of the show, and not always the most interesting one. Also, if I may make one note concerning Oliver’s crime-fighting activities: in the early episodes the crime-fighting team was actually made up of Laurel the lawyer and Oliver a.k.a. the Vigilante, something many posters here seem to forget in their enthusiasm for the Diggle/Felicity/Oliver team. So, Oliver/the Vigilante co-operated with LAUREL before Diggle (and long before Felicity) entered the “Arrowcave”. I feel the need to emphasize this, because Laurel is so often dismissed as a useles “love interest” or “drama queen” with no function in the plot or in Oliver’s crime-fighting activities, and that is simply a distortion of what actually happened on screen in the first fifteen or so episodes. So, no matter whether she is “fan popular” or not, Laurel has never been simply “the ex-girlfriend” or “the Girl” as you call her, nor is her role in the current season only to create Lance family drama…in fact, in “Blind Spot” she co-operated as much with Oliver as Felicity or Sara do, trying to find evidence against Sebastian Blood. So, IF the writers finally will let Laurel put on the Black Canary dress and join the Arrowcave team, she won’t in any way be an “imposter” who encroaches on the Oliver/Felicity/Diggle combo, since she has collaborated with the Hood/Arrow many times before. I would even say that her legal knowledge would be a valuable asset to the team. The way they’ve handled Laurel’s storyline so far does not give me much hope that this will happen soon, but I think it will happen some time in the future. I suspect that some posters here may not be as enthusiastic about Team Arrow if that happens, but I won’t say anything more, since we’re not supposed to comment on other fans.

    To return to the original question-is “Arrow” primarely a show about the Team Arrow and their crime-fighting activities? For me it’s definitely not. I loved Tommy and the portrayal of the Tommy/Oliver friendship and Tommy had no connection whatsoever to the vigilante/crimefighting plot. The same goes for Thea and Moira, who have no direct connections to Oliver as Arrow, though Moira’s involvement in the Undertaking was a major story arc in season one. For me there are many characters and relationships outside of the Arrowcave that are more interesting and engaging than the mostly procedural crimefighting A-plot, if only because they let us see Oliver the son, the brother, the friend, the former lover/boyfriend….something which provides us with an important canvas of relationships that goes far beyond what Oliver has with Diggle and Felicity. If these aspects are stripped from the show and we only get Oliver, Felicity and Diggle and their relationships, it would be a lot less enjoyable and engaging to me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the team and their interaction (in fact, I love Diggle)…it’s just that to me they are not the heart of the show. Besides, there is the whole backstory/flashback plotline, which again has very little to do with Diggle and Felicity, but which features fascinating characters such as Shado and Slade.

    P.S. I use quotation marks sometimes, but they are not meant to be ironic. I just want to emphasize that these are not my words.

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    1. Quotation marks are good; it’s really hard to see where quotes begin and end in comments.

      This is really interesting. It really is the story goggles thing, the way we both have written our own interpretations of the center of the show, both valid. I think it goes back to the show not establishing a firm center from the beginning, but I haven’t rewatched the first season, so that’s a guess.

      But as an example from another show, Leverage established from the beginning, I think, that it was first a show about community and then a show about the cons. The two were inextricably linked, but if the focus had been on the cons, they wouldn’t have pursued Nate’s alcoholism at such depth and would instead have used it as a liability and a complication for the cons. Instead, even though Nate has a raging alcohol problem, it doesn’t affect his ability to run the cons. What it does have an impact on is the team, which is why they try to help him. The center of the story is the team, and the team is explored through the cons, not the other way around.

      Or take Person of Interest, which was established as an Equalizer/Crime-of-the-Week story in the first season, which then evolved into a Equalizer-against-secret-government-agency story, which then evolved into a Equalizer-against-forces-beyond-your-wildest-dreams story. There are intense personal relationships within that story, but none of them are romances (I consider Reese/Zoe a team-member-with-benefits because it’s clear that’s how they consider themselves.) The stories evolved, and as they evolved and the danger grew greater, the team established relationships that went bone-deep, we’ll-die-for-each-other levels, but the show always kept the central promise: this team will fight for the helpless against the powerful forces that try to hurt them. The way they’ve defined “helpless” and “powerful forces” changes, but the promise stays the same, this show is about the fight between good and evil, not about relationships. The fight forms the relationships and drives the relationships, the relationships do not drive the fight.

      Arrow is not those shows, its premise was always sloppier and less focused because of its comic book roots, but it still had to pick a lane, make a promise. And since you and I see that promise so differently, I think the problem is in the promise, the contract. The show gave us too much leeway in deciding what they were promising us.

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      1. I blame myself for my disappointment. I didn’t like Arrow when I started watching it on Netflix. I was looking for a show and it was on but it’s not my usual thing. I told my kids I wouldn’t be watching it after the 1st episode or 2. I started watching it after viewing some Youtube vids of Oliver and Felicity. But when I started watching it I didn’t see her in the show so I thought oh, this isn’t really happening on the show someone just put scenes together because they liked them. But when I tuned back in and saw Oliver in her car and the way they showed her getting involved with him and Diggle I got excited for the show. I was really happy with it from the last 1/2 of the season through the first 1/2 of this one. I thought the Oliver Laurel hookup was lame but didn’t care much because it didn’t seem fated to last anyway. Plus with all the team arrow goodness it was easy to over look, plus Felicity and Diggle mentioned it wasn’t a good idea. So what I thought was,” Oh, look the show is acknowledging what I’m seeing, this relationship is toxic”. I totally sat back and settled in to enjoy the show and let my guard down. Wrong move. But I blame myself because what the contracted in the beginning with the Laurel Oliver angst must be what they are really about and not the awesome Arrow Fighting Team I thought it turned into.

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  53. Morre,

    I agree with you that I want Oliver to have a canvas of relationships well beyond the Arrow Cave.

    My issue with Laurel as a lawyer in the first season was that she was a terrible attorney. Even trying to leave aside her advice to the clients who got sudden windfalls in their checking accounts in the pilot, in every single episode she ended up needing the help of Oliver or the Hood to win her cases. She also rarely brought in any new cases – most of the people she went after were already on Oliver’s list. The people who did get Oliver to look at bad guys who weren’t in the notebook were Diggle and Joanna, not Laurel. And she needed Tommy’s help to even keep her little legal aid clinic going.

    In this season, we’ve seen her try one case and lose (although that wasn’t her fault) and then in an investigation, ending up shooting the wrong person and letting the bad guy get away with it.

    So it was very frustrating to me to see this beautiful, supposedly intelligent attorney always needing someone’s help to do something, and always needing rescue. And it’s very hard for me to see her as a potential partner for Oliver on the crime-fighting level. Felicity and Sara, in contrast, have actively worked with/next to Oliver as crime-fighting partners, and they’ve both taken down or helped to take down bad guys or dismantled bombs or whatever. When Laurel has been out in the field she’s needed to be rescued, and the only bad guys that she’s taken down were the guys in the club and the guy she shot in the back – who was the wrong guy.

    I’m not at all happy with the direction the show has taken in the last few episodes, but I can’t argue with the decision to have Felicity and Sara be Arrow’s crime fighting partners.

    In season one, Moira had a very direct connection to the Hood/Arrow: she shot him and nearly killed him. That connection/history seems to have been completely dropped this season, which seems odd: you’d think the mayoral candidate would have something to say about the city vigilante. I am puzzled.

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    1. …I should have said in “almost” every episode, or at least the episodes where Laurel was trying cases/going after various people who were harming her clients, since she didn’t do attorney work in every episode.

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  54. My issue with Laurel as a lawyer in the first season was that she was a terrible attorney. Even trying to leave aside her advice to the clients who got sudden windfalls in their checking accounts in the pilot, in every single episode she ended up needing the help of Oliver or the Hood to win her cases. She also rarely brought in any new cases – most of the people she went after were already on Oliver’s list. The people who did get Oliver to look at bad guys who weren’t in the notebook were Diggle and Joanna, not Laurel. And she needed Tommy’s help to even keep her little legal aid clinic going.
    In this season, we’ve seen her try one case and lose (although that wasn’t her fault) and then in an investigation, ending up shooting the wrong person and letting the bad guy get away with it.
    So it was very frustrating to me to see this beautiful, supposedly intelligent attorney always needing someone’s help to do something, and always needing rescue. And it’s very hard for me to see her as a potential partner for Oliver on the crime-fighting level. Felicity and Sara, in contrast, have actively worked with/next to Oliver as crime-fighting partners, and they’ve both taken down or helped to take down bad guys or dismantled bombs or whatever. When Laurel has been out in the field she’s needed to be rescued, and the only bad guys that she’s taken down were the guys in the club and the guy she shot in the back – who was the wrong guy.unquote

    I have another intepretation of the Laurel/the Hood collaboration, an explanation that I think Jennifer will agree with, because it deals with narrative techniques. The writers had two protagonists/former lovers who they wanted to connect on two levels. One was the level of civil Oliver Queen, shipwreck survivor/night club owner and former playboy. Another was Oliver Queen/the Hood, crime-fighting vigilante. Laurel was involved with both of them, although she didn’t know (and still doesn’t know) that Oliver is the Hood/Arrow.

    In order to accomplish this, they created stories where the Hood was connected to Laurel through her cases. Remember, it’s a fictional story, not real life. So, Laurel didn’t need Oliver to solve her cases because she was a poor lawyer-she needed him because it was a convenient way for the writers to tie these two characters’ storylines to each other in a verisimilar manner. That is also why the crooks on Oliver’s list for some mysterious reason also turned up as the crooks that Laurel was going after! Furthermore, you’re wrong about Laurel turning to the Hood..it was actually OLIVER/the Hood who contacted Laurel first, because he thought she could be useful to him (the Declan case).

    As for your allegations that Laurel as a perpetual damsel in distress who can’t go out on a case without getting in trouble..it is true that she was rescued by Oliver on a number of occasions in season one. But Felicity (and even Sara!) have also been “damseled in distress” when they have been out on assigments. Again, it’s a superhero trope that the guy in costume will save his ladies when they get themselves into a sticky situation. So, even Felicity has been portrayed as needing rescue, mostly when the writers felt they had to ramp up the Olicity romance a bit, because these rescues are unfailingly followed by “a moment” where Oliver holds her hands and they look deeply into each others eyes!;-)

    And as for Laurel needing Tommy’s help to fund her legal bureau…well, if I were a pro bono lawyer and had a billionaire friends, I would also try to make them donate a bit of money! It is only if you really dislike Laurel that this would be considered an unforgivable sign of weakness!

    In general I think you’re maybe trying a bit too hard to prove that Laurel is a weak, dependent woman who can’t do anything by herself. That is very apparent in the way you interpret the scene in “Blind Spot”, where Laurel saved Oliver’s life. First of all, she had no idea that the man who attacked Oliver was the wrong guy and secondly, even if he were the wrong guy, he would have killed Oliver anyway. So, I would not interpret this as yet another sign of Laurel’s general incompetence-in fact, I think what she did was just as heroic as anything Oliver does when he kills in order to save someone’s life.

    As you understand I don’t agree with you, and I have given you my reasons. However, I have a hunch that our views of Laurel are so different that we will probably never come to an agreement!;-)

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    1. I see what you’re saying about Laurel not being the only ‘damsel in distress’, but an argument could be made by the fact that Felicity (and Sara) needed Oliver’s ‘rescue’ while on missions.
      It was never just, ‘oh, this girl’s in trouble, off I go to save her’. It was, ‘Felicity went chasing down a lead and got caught’ or, ‘Sara needed saving after she exchanged herself for her mother’.
      Felicity and Sara work with Oliver and get into trouble. There’s more to it than just a damsel in distress.

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    2. So, Laurel didn’t need Oliver to solve her cases because she was a poor lawyer-she needed him because it was a convenient way for the writers to tie these two characters’ storylines to each other in a verisimilar manner.

      To me, that isn’t convenient, it’s contrived. It shows me that the writers didn’t really consider Laurel a full-fledged character from the start. She was always a plot-driven character. To me, that’s bad writing.

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  55. I’m sorry, I didn’t catch this in time. We’re over 300 comments and the blog is definitely breaking on the dashboard, so I’m closing this, but I’ll open another post. If you could cut and paste the part of the post here that you’re referring to over there, that should make things easier for everybody.

    Move to The Contract with the Reader post, please.

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  56. Julie, if you’re still reading, could you tell me where you find those 7 day adjusted ratings? I’ve sort of been keepting track of Arrow ratings since I am (still) invested in the show’s success, and I couldn’t find anything on Google. TV by the Numbers isn’t clear (to me) on those adjusted ratings. Arrow seems to have dropped off their report, which I think Newguy (or was it someone else?) indicated meant they weren’t seeing the huge increases in post-live viewing numbers that they used to. I’m curious to see those numbers myself.

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  57. For me, it’s not a question of whether the Hood contacted Laurel first or Laurel contacted the Hood first. The issue is that Laurel was not the one solving the cases or winning the cases; Oliver/the Hood was.

    Laurel wasn’t just rescued in season one. In the first episode of season two, she started to fight back, then lost her gun and had to be rescued. She then was kidnapped again in the third episode and needed to be rescued. She then was kidnapped in the eleventh episode and needed to be rescued.

    Since she’s only been in 12 episodes this season, this means that 25% of her appearances involve her getting kidnapped. I actually can’t think of a single character, male or woman, outside of Game of Thrones who is enduring that level of treatment, and I think it’s a problem.

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  58. Well, actually the majority of the cases Laurel needed to be saved was when she was in a joint mission with Oliver/the Hood. For example, when she was saved by the Hood in the Iron Heights’ prison, she was there because the Hood had asked her to go there to talk to Declan. So, I think it’s a matter of interpretation whether Felicity or Sara are not damsels in distress when they find themselves in exactly the same situations as Laurel…It is also a bit odd that a person with genius capacities like Felicity would go out alone on a mission without any back up and wearing her QC employer tag, thus making herself an easy victim for the Count. Now, if that’s not lazy writing and OOC behavior I don’t know what is! This shows that ANY character can fall victim of bad/convenient/contrived writing, something which has happened to Felicity quite a few times lately IMHO.

    As for Laurel not being a full-fledged character I could say the same about Felicity, who is in general a much-beloved and much-admired character in this comment section. I would say that Felicity is as much a plot-driven, deus ex machina device as Laurel. In fact, almost everyone I have talked to online agrees that Felicity has been quite poorly treated when it comes back story and characterization. I mean, we don’t know anything about her private life (apart from the fact that her Dad left the family when she was little) and she has no human/familiar connections apart from Diggle and Oliver. I would say that Felicity, despite all her charms, is not a very “round” character and I put the blame on the writers, who have done very little to develop her, despite the fact that she has been a regular cast member for a season and a half now.

    Furthermore, the “Arrow” writers often use Felicity as what one poster has called “human plot spackle”. This means that her main task in many scenes is to retrieve information that moves the plot forward and come up with deus ex machina plot solutions, such as erasing Oliver’s blood sample in the “Odyssey”. So, she is as much a plot-driven character as Laurel, and the Felicity/Oliver connection is just as contrived as the Laurel/Oliver plot connection in season one. However, most of her fans can’t see that because they think that she is such a sweet and awesome person..which is she is, but that doesn’t change the fact that her role in the plot is pretty well defined and not very different from the role of tens of other IT-mavens on television.

    I think the bottom line is that we are quite ready to find faults with the characters we don’t like and quite ready overlook the flaws in the characters we do like.That goes for me, too. However, I think it would be a good idea if all characters could be judged by the same standards, because then it would become apparent that Laurel is not the only female character who is the victim of poor writing….

    I think that this will be my last contribution to this thread, because I’m pretty sure that no matter what I write I will not be able to convince the regular posters on this site that Laurel is as worthy of screen time and development as Felicity or any other character on Arrow.

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