Sharp Soap: Why I’m An Arrow Fangirl

I’ve been on a writing wonk tear recently. I had two books going at once, and both were blocked, so I threw myself into good TV, trying to find a different way into story and ended up with a third book because I’ve become so fascinated by episodic storytelling. I’ve been taking apart everything I’ve been watching, trying to see how it works or doesn’t work, and there are several series I’ve been particularly fascinated by because of the choices their showrunners make, good and bad. I’ve learned a lot from Sherlock, Life on Mars, and Person of Interest among others, but the show that has reawakened my old zest for storytelling is an over-the-top superhero series that I started watching because I was stuck in a rental house and losing my mind. It took me a couple of episodes to notice what the writers were doing on Arrow, but once I wrapped my mind around it, I realized that there was a lot the show could teach me if I was just open to it. If I had to use one word to describe the showrunners and writers behind Arrow, it would be “fearless.” Also, possibly “drunk,” because these people will go anywhere.

When I was doing my MFA, the most obscene words in my vocabulary were “sentimental” and “melodramatic.” Fiction, I learned, should be cool, controlled, understated, sophisticated. All writers walk a line between over-the-top schmaltz and no-pulse distance, but it seemed to me that while romance writers (for example) often fell into melodrama, literary writers (for example) often wrote stories that sat on the page like ice cubes. Trying to walk that line made writing story really difficult until I had an epiphany while writing Bet Me: I realized that I didn’t want to be cool, that if I fell off that line, I definitely wanted to fall into the hot side: I wanted to embrace the soap and chew the scenery, I wanted to give my readers a ride.

Then I hit a very long bad patch where a succession of life trucks hit me, and I lost my way and started second-guessing myself. I was spending so much time worrying about what was smart and believable, I didn’t believe anything I wrote. Watching Arrow reminded me of the key part of “I can do anything”: I really can do anything if I start with a clear vision of what I want and where I’m going, a kind of focused insanity based on a strong protagonist with a strong goal and an equally strong antagonist, and then after that, just go for it, no fear, screw the people who raise their eyebrows. Eyebrow raising is easy, focused anything-goes storytelling is not.

The people behind Arrow are nuts, but they know where they’re going. The show is a beautiful example of controlled over-the-top storytelling, a pretty much perfect balance of grounded reality and insane fantasy, all of it intelligent, whacked-out fun, and I am now a complete Arrow fan girl, with extra grateful squee for the writers who reminded me of why I decided write fiction in the first place. So here’s what I’ve learned studying Arrow.

WARNING: The rest of this post is full of spoilers. No, really, MAJOR spoilers. Don’t whine later that I didn’t tell you. MAJOR SPOILERS.

Adapting a comic book character’s story for a general audience isn’t easy, especially if that character has been around for seventy-three years, been retconned several times, and has interacted with a galaxy of other characters, many of whom have superpowers. The sheer weight of the source material can smother storytelling (not to mention the whole “willing suspension of disbelief” thing), but the people behind Arrow have averted that by making some very smart choices.

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1. They centered their story on a strong protagonist and then grounded him in reality (or at least possibility).
If you’re writing a comic book character, you start over-the-top, but Arrow’s Oliver is a human being, not a superhero; he’s just a rich playboy who does a lot of pull-ups and then goes out and defeats bad guys with a bow and arrow. How is this possible? Oliver gets shipwrecked on an island thanks to his father’s secret career as a maniac, and then gets put through hell by a variety of Really Bad People which turns him into the beta version of the Terminator. I have to admit, the flashbacks to the island leave me cold, but they do explain why Oliver can do so many super-heroic things as a mere human: five years of torture, combat training, and new information coming out of nowhere to blindside him have have taught him to cope quickly with reversal and then put an arrow in it. Anybody coming into Arrow should realize that this is fantasy TV, but because the protagonist is grounded in reality (or at least possibility), the events of the story are grounded, too, which is good because the plots feature things like an earthquake machine and John Barrowman. If you’re bringing the crazy in the rest of the story, make your protagonist the calm, (relatively) stable, believable center that everything else swirls around. Stephen Amell gets a lot of credit here; he’s done amazing things playing a dimwit playboy, a superhero, and a superhero pretending to be a dimwit playboy. (Also, the abs.)

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2. They made their protagonist vulnerable by surrounding him with people he cares about.
The big problem with a powerful protagonist is that he’s powerful. That is, Oliver is not an Ordinary Guy hero (that would be Barry Allen); he’s a Prince, immensely wealthy, immensely charming and immensely good-looking. When you start with a Prince instead of the Ordinary Guy, you have to do something to make him vulnerable. (You may have noticed I’m hipped on character vulnerability lately. Hey, it’s crucial, okay?) So another smart thing the Arrow people did was give Oliver family and friends that are important to him. (And again, credit goes to a cast who have really inhabited these characters not only with gusto, but with a complete lack of fear.) For the family, they borrowed heavily from Hamlet in the beginning and then let go of that trope, making the stepfather a great guy and giving Oliver’s mom, Moira, a back story that the Greeks would have called too much drama. Moira has enough nervous energy to power an earthquake machine and enough secrets to keep her nervous for a long time; it’s not every mom who hires thugs to torture her son because she loves him, gets sent to prison because the entire town hates her (well, she did help kill over five hundred of them), gets acquitted through nefarious means, and then decides to run for mayor. The last I saw of her, I think she was planning to off her obstetrician. It takes guts to write somebody like Moira–when she agreed to run for mayor, I laughed out loud–but by god, you can’t take your eyes off the woman.

Then there’s Thea, the bratty little sister, who has arced through a season and a half into a strong, savvy woman who runs both her own nightclub and her boyfriend, Roy, (who used to be an adventurer until he took an arrow in the knee from Oliver; I laughed, but then I’m a horrible person). Roy was just a thug in a hoodie until he had a couple of life-changing experiences and an injection of super-juice, and now he has crazy eyes and is hanging out in the bat cave, suiting up as the Red Arrow (I’m guessing). That means Thea is the daughter of two whack-jobs and the lover of another and at the moment has no idea of either; foreshadowing and expectation: it’s a good thing. This addition of crazy family in peril does two things: It makes Oliver more vulnerable and it adds Soap: seething emotional conflict that is played out in event, not just people emoting, although they do a lot of that, too.

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Then the Arrow people left the source material again and gave Oliver a bodyguard named Diggle who learns his secret and becomes his partner with a huge, soapy plot line of his own (dead brother, crush on widowed sister-in-law, still in love with ex-wife, vendetta against a classic comic book bad guy). I really admire writers who say, “So what if he’s a supporting character; let’s give this guy enough story to make his own novel.” (Reminds me of that great writing advice: “Give everybody the best lines.”)

And then, of course, there’s Felicity, the IT girl who wouldn’t know angst if it bit her on the butt the costume department has been showcasing lately. Oliver and Digg get the tortured back story; Felicity gets chipper exasperation and no qualms about saying, “Wait a minute. You’re being dumb.” It’s a team of three equals instead of Oliver and his sidekicks, and that makes them even more important to him, which makes him even more vulnerable. Adding Crazy-Eyes Roy to the team is not going to make him any more secure, either. (Although I’m a little worried about it because the Oliver-Diggle-Felicity trio is the heart of this show. So part of me is saying, “Don’t screw with success” and the other part of me is saying, “And this is how you carefully thought yourself into writer’s block, you dummy. Take the risk.” I talk to myself a lot.)

Trust but Verify

3. They gave the protagonist a series of antagonists strong enough to shape his course.

So the writers took an iconic character, gave him a soapy family and a strong secret team, and grounded it all in reality or at least possibility. Then, thank god, they deliberately lost their collective grip. If they’d left Arrow in that quasi-reality, it would probably still be a good series, but they’d have been missing that comic book POW that’s pretty much the whole point of adapting super-hero stories. So they did the smartest thing anybody telling this kind of story can do: they put in magnificent antagonists, antagonists who cackle with evil glee, insane sons of bitches with scores to settle and cities to level. When your protagonist puts on a hood at night and goes around the city shooting bad guys with arrows, the bad guys need to be hood-and-arrow worthy.

One of my favorites is The Count, mainly because Seth Gabel is the kind of actor who chews the scenery but uses a napkin (he knows what he’s eating but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be a pig about it), but the best of the Bad Guys is John Barrowman’s Malcolm Merlin, the man who sabotaged Oliver’s dad’s boat (which killed Oliver’s dad and started his five-year finishing school on the island), impregnated Oliver’s mother (and wait’ll Oliver’s sister finds out about that), turned Oliver’s best friend against him and then (accidentally) killed him (extra points since the guy was Malcolm’s son), and built the earthquake machine which leveled a good chunk of Oliver’s city along with a good chunk of Oliver’s fortune. Then Malcolm died, except he didn’t, and now he’s back, smiling at Moira with dark irony even as she tips off a secret cult of assassins that he’s in town. Never mind how Moira knows a secret cult of assassins; that bitch has a back story that makes Maleficent look like a 7-11 clerk. Any episode that has Moira meeting Malcolm in a dark parking lot is a good episode: Susanna Thompson and John Barrowman practically quiver with glee as they snarl at each other, great foils to Oliver’s steadfast nobility. Also, a big round of applause for bringing in Amanda Waller to recruit the Bronze Tiger for the Suicide Squad. That can only lead to good things, story wise.

4. They know that great story is fluid and alive, so they abandon anything that isn’t working, they keep the turning points and the reversals coming, and they don’t save anything for later.
One of things that’s most inspiring about this show is how fast and fluid the story planning seems to be. The writers seem to recognize what any smart novelist knows: a series, like a novel, is a marathon, not a sprint, and in the long haul, as you write, stuff happens creatively that you have to pay attention to. If you want to make the story gods laugh, start with an outline. If you want to kill your story, stick with the outline while the story that’s trying to breathe beneath it suffocates. The Arrow writers were playing fast and loose with the canon even before the series started, but the way they’ve paid attention to what’s working in the story and what isn’t is brilliant. Last season’s romance between Diggle and his sister-in-law wasn’t working even though both characters were well-rounded and sympathetic; it was just too complicated with the dead brother in between them. This season, Digg’s not hanging out with the sister-in-law any more; when Oliver asks why, Digg says, “It was too complicated with my dead brother between us.” There’s such smart simplicity to a story that tells the truth and moves on.

Even when they’ve got story lines that are working (which is most of the time) they revise and upend to keep things fresh. Oliver’s immense wealth was making things too easy for him, so Malcolm Merlin destroyed half the city and took Oliver’s net worth with him; Oliver is still a long way from poor, but now he has to put up with a bitchy business partner named Isabel and a city that hates his family. (Really, Moira, you think they’re going to vote for you for mayor?) Oliver finds out Sarah is alive back on the island and barely has time to celebrate before he fails to save Shado. Oliver decides to be a good guy and not kill anybody any more only to be forced to kill to save Felicity. Every time Oliver takes two steps forward, the writers hit him with something that knocks him back a step-and-a-half. That surprise and reversal aren’t just keeping Oliver on his toes, they’re keeping the viewer paying attention, too, and the Girls in my Basement saying, “Do that, do that.”

And finally, the Arrow people understand that story should not be rationed, that keeping the things moving is what makes story great, so they cram as much action and emotion as possible into every week; one episode of Arrow would make six episodes of Agents of SHIELD and an entire season of The Mentalist. Also they are not one-note writers: if you’re not enjoying the episode, wait five minutes and it’ll become a different show altogether (see Esther Inglis-Arkells’s essay, “Arrow Splits Itself Into Four Fantastic (and Nostalgic) Genres.”) Because all the plot lines are linked to the protagonist, they’re integrated, and yet every episode is a plot fruitcake, dense and varied and a solid whole. (And yes, full of nuts.)

5. They integrate their romance subplots into the main plots (mostly).
I’ve done two posts on aspects of the Oliver-Felicity relationship because the fan reaction has been so intense, so it’s probably clear that I’m a Felicity ‘shipper, but I’m an even bigger fan of the way the show integrates its romances into the main plots of the episodes. Oliver has had one-night stands with Laurel and Isabel, whirlwind affairs with Helena and McKenna, and an extremely tense Survivor affair with Shado on the island, and only one of these relationships was separate from the main plot. In fact, one of the reasons Oliver crashes and burns so often is because of the way the romances are part of the main plots: He has to shoot Helena, McKenna gets hurt in the cross-fire and moves to another city to recuperate, Isabel comes on to him only because she’s trying to take over his company and possibly because she’s a villain, and Shado gets executed by an antagonist trying to force Oliver to tell him something. At this point, a character is taking her life in her hands if she agrees to have coffee with him. That may be because Oliver’s entire life is running his company and fighting crime so that’s the only way he meets women, but it also keeps the romances on point and under pressure.

The one place they’re failing, I think, is in not picking a lane for a serious love interest so the show can stop squandering real estate on which-woman-will-it-be scenes. Canon says that the Green Arrow’s great love is the Black Canary, Laurel Lance, but in this show, Laurel has not yet put on the fishnets although her surprisingly-back-from-the-dead sister has. Instead she’s now spiraling into alcoholism and prescription drug abuse while flirting with a politician she rightly suspects is a murderous whack job. (He’s the other candidate running for mayor. Starling City must be in New Jersey.) I’m hoping Laurel meets somebody nice in rehab after Oliver & Co. off the politician because she’s not working as the standard she’s-really-beautiful-and-sexy-and-perfect-so-Ollie-must-love her romantic interest, in part because she’s also the only love interest so far whose story is not integrated into the main plot, so her downward spiral is the story equivalent of your annoying sister who stands in front of the TV so you can’t watch your show.

In the opposite corner we have Felicity, who is not “The Girl” but a full non-romantic player in the story: Felicity has hacked every organization that has an internet presence, gone undercover to cheat at cards in a crooked casino, jumped out of an airplane (and thrown up immediately afterward), and swung through the air on a rope with Oliver three times, which has to be a record for any love interest not named Jane. The writers haven’t used Felicity to tack on a romantic subplot to round out Oliver, they’ve made Felicity and Oliver’s crime-fighting partnership one of the gears that moves the main plots, which is, I think, one of the reasons so many viewers are rooting for her: a love story with Felicity would keep the central stories moving, not distract from them. Add to that the actors playing Oliver and Felicity have remarkable screen chemistry, and that the introduction of Felicity in the third episode saved Oliver from being a boring Grim Bastard all the time, and it’s hard not to start carving “Ollie and Felicity 4 Ever” into your TV cabinet. The first writing wonk thing I did on this show was deconstruct that relationship; if I can set-up a romance on the page the way they’ve done this one, I’ll know I’m back in the game.

6. They know exactly what they’re writing, and they’re embracing that genre with enthusiasm and creativity, making every episode fun to watch.
I think that story enthusiasm is something writers often forget, especially over the long haul. It’s too easy to get trapped in an outline, to concentrate on what happens next without factoring in why the reader will care about what happens next, why the story is just fun/exciting/enthralling to read. We get caught up in parsing out information and forget that unless that information comes wrapped in emotion and action, played out by people we love and hate struggling on the page or screen, unless there are moments that make us sit up and say, “YES!” (or “NO!”), none of that information will matter. Even if the story is tragic, heartbreaking, awful, it has to be fun at a visceral level. The Arrow writers started with viscera because they started with a comic book super hero, and the temptation to try to be more sophisticated than the source material must have been strong. They have made the stories more sophisticated in execution, but at heart, each episode comes at you like a good comic book page, big visual images that explode across scenes. Oliver shoots arrows that blow things up, that disconnect laser beams, and that disarm bombers, and I can’t be the only person who keeps hoping that he will someday shoot that boxing glove arrow from the comics. Thea gets high and wrecks her car spectacularly, chases down the thug who steals her vintage purse and then kisses him because he’s really cute and tortured and future super-hero material. Digg tracks down his brother’s assassin, breaks into a Russian prison to free his ex-wife, and takes a bullet trying to stop a bomber at a crowded rally. Oliver puts an insane drug pusher in an asylum, then puts him in an asylum again, then puts three arrows in him when the bastard is dumb enough to kidnap Felicity. Moira plots to assassinate Malcolm, then kills her co-conspirator when the assassination goes wrong, then sits in her limousine and weeps over the blood on her hands, Lady Macbeth in a Mercedes Benz. Any one of those things could be a comic book page, all lurid color and hectic movement. That comic book sensibility extends to their enthusiasm for playing fast and loose with convention to get to the juice in their stories. It’s the reason Malcolm isn’t dead (do not give up John Barrowman if you want your scenery chewed), the reason Oliver didn’t save the city last season (a Perfect Hero Who Always Saves the Day is boring and doesn’t change), the reason Sarah came back from the dead to make a terrific Black Canary wrapped in hostility, regret, and fishnet, and Perfect Good Girl Laurel is now Addict Laurel Who Is Pushing Her Luck With An Insane Criminal Mastermind as she drunkenly suggests that Oliver fire Felicity and hire her instead, foreshadowing what I really, really, really, really hope is a slide into villainy, making all of that icy selfishness pay off.

Above all the Arrow writers have embraced the fun, the kind of fun I was having when Oliver yelled at Felicity and I thought, You’re jealous, Oliver, you dimwit, apologize, and then Oliver apologized, and Felicity said, “Does this mean I have a chance . . .” (Felicity, damn it, don’t blow this) “. . . at Employee of the Month?” (Oliver, you jerk, tell her she’s your partner!) and Oliver said, “You’re not an employee, you’re my partner,” and there was some serious eye action and that firm hand on the shoulder, and then they went back to work, and I had to go get a Diet Coke to recover.

Fun is all those things that engage reader/viewer emotion, that make us lean forward in our seats, saying, “Oh. My. God,” yelling at the screen because people are doing the wrong thing, because we can’t believe the story is actually going there (Moira’s going to be mayor of Starling City, you know she is), waiting impatiently for what happens next. That kind of fun in story is what makes writing story fun, damn it. How did I forget that? It’s tempting to describe this show as a guilty pleasure, dumb TV, but that’s wrong. Arrow is smart TV, skilled storytelling, as sophisticated in its structure as it is simple in its emotional hooks. It started strong, and it’s getting stronger because the writers have embraced the crazy while grounding the story in reality, keeping a firm grip on the things that make the story work, especially comic book Good vs Evil, where Good is a conflicted angst-ridden hero with an All-My-Children-From-Hell family and a secret team made up of another equally strong hero and a stealth love interest whose perkiest attribute is her brain, and Evil is John Barrowman.

And that’s why I’m an Arrow fangirl.

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277 thoughts on “Sharp Soap: Why I’m An Arrow Fangirl

  1. “Sentimental” and “melodramatic” reminds me of the judges on “Project Runway.” If they don’t like an over-the-top dress, they call it costumy, even though they’re meant to be out there (because they contain elements that will be pared back for commercial sales).

    I’ve never taken MFA classes, so I don’t know if this is true, but it seems like what they want to do is bleach emotion out of their stories. They don’t want you to feel anything strong, like love or hate, because it gets in the way of experiencing the epiphany. I guess Hemingway’s “Clean Well-Lighted Place” can be an idealized example of that.

    But only certain epiphanies can be allowed. One that turns an agnostic into a Christian is definitely not allowed (although Buddhists might have a shot, if you accuse your critics of racism). But perhaps I’m being cynical here.

    1. You know, MFA classes depend entirely on the teacher. I mostly studied with Lee K. Abbott who was a wonderful teacher, so my MFA was really beneficial. He’d studied with a professor who had been a pulp writer, so he was open to anything. His approach was that fiction is fiction and it didn’t matter what genre you were writing, the bones were the same (he’s right, too). So it depends.

  2. I’ve been hearing a lot of interesting things about Arrow lately, but I’ve never seen it. I was planning to get caught up on it in the coming month, but John Barrowman. If I knew nothing else about the show, I would watch it for him. I think John Barrowman is my spirit animal.

    1. They’re also going on break soon for the Olympics so it’ll give you a two week window soon to binge on Season 1 and catch up on Season 2.

  3. Well, if it ever appears on a UK Freeview channel, I’m definitely watching. But I’m absolutely with you on the priority of having fun, and taking risks, telling a story – it definitely shows. And I need to remember this if I ever get beyond Discovery (in order to shut my terrified-to-be-less-than-perfect, hugely over-developed inner editor up).

    1. Sometimes I make deals with mine. “Look, you know we can fix this in the rewrite, just let me write this and then I’ll get back to the plan.” “Yes, I know that scene’s too long; I’ll fix it later, let’s just get it on the page.” As I said in the post, I talk to myself a lot.

      1. And talk yourself into writers block. Who knew you could do that? (raises hand meekly) I feel so screwed at this point because I can’t UNstick myself. There’s a topic for a post one day, maybe?

  4. Jenny, Thanks for this! I’ve become an Arrow fangirl, too. Like you, I watched it as a fluke – and got hooked. I don’t think I would have stayed with it, however, if Felicity Smoak hadn’t shown up in episode three. Until then Oliver was really dark and not all that much fun. Now, however, I don’t miss the show. I usually watch each episode 2 or 3 times to catch all the nuances. (The exception was “Blind Spot” watching that much over acting by Katie Cassidy is more than I can do. I haven’t been able to watch that episode all the way through again.) Anyway, thanks for writing about this. I love your blog – and your books!

  5. Great analysis, and it pretty much explains why ‘Arrow’ at this point is the only TV series that I will actually watch as it is broadcast (though it gets DVR’d as well). In fact, this line of yours — ” Any one of those things could be a comic book page, all lurid color and hectic movement.” — captures what I have thought time and again while watching the show. And, yeah, Felicity and Moira are my favorite characters — when they show up, they are the focus of the scene, even when they seem to be in the background. Geez, Moira really is Lady Macbeth, and yet she can make me feel all warm and mushy inside– as she did last night just _before_ she told Walter that they were going to need to do something about her OB. A real tribute to Susanna Thompson.

    And, of course, I suspect this means that the writers are going to at some point set up a Felicity vs. Moira clash that should be epic. ..bruce..

  6. Coincidentally, I’m taking a genre fiction course in my MFA program right now, and we started out by studying and talking about melodrama in general as it was “designed” by 19th century French playwrights, about how the term has been (ab)used since and turned into something derogatory, and about actual useful critical applications of the term. We read John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS as an example of melodrama, but are going to be talking about in the context of pretty much all the works we read this semester. Next up, as our exemplary romance, BET ME!

  7. I just binge-watched season 1 of Arrow last week (I love it – have not yet seen season 2) and every time my husband saw some of it he commented on it not being realistic and I had to keep telling him “Comic book – it’s based on a COMIC BOOK”! It got to be a running joke. He also makes comments about the characters on Nashville and I tell him “Soap Opera – it’s a SOAP OPERA”!

    1. Good for you. This insane insistence on reality as a yardstick in all of story-telling has got to go. Realism is fine but so is fantasy.

  8. The no-holds-barred feel of Arrow is why I kept watching after the first episode and why I am glad I did. Also, the nerd in me is happy Oliver knows dark green is the correct color for modern bight fights. Black is too “dark” because of ambient light but the eye skips the dark green.

  9. AMEN! So brilliantly explained and why I’m an Arrowhead too (and an total Oliver/Felicity “Olicity” addict). It’s such a good show and I know that so many people hear “It’s on the CW,” wrinkle their nose and walk away thinking it’ll be teenage melodrama but Arrow. is. different. It is. Really. I swear! Everybody should watch it a couple of times because, like Jenny said, it’s just neckbreakingly fast and so brave and well done. They go big and then they go BIGGER.

    1. I hate to say this since it’ll sound sexist but does it have to do with the EX-PRO being the 3 MEN and shows/TRASH like ‘TVD’ are written/CONTROLLED by A FEMALE/JP?? I mean, URGH! TVD and TO are just CLICHE’S after cliches and overly-used plot-devices..

      Since women are more “romantic” in nature and you all know it’s TRUE, deep, DEEEPPP down and men, well…??? They’re men! It might also have to do with the whole ‘comic-book’ geared more towards MEN audiences?

      1. I’m not sure about cliches. I don’t watch those shows, but vampires have been done for centuries. They’re more of a trope than a cliche.
        I don’t think women are more romantic by nature; I think we talk about feelings more, which is different, but there are many men out there who are romantic. The comic book audience was originally boys, but the world has expanded since then, and this show has spent considerable time and thought on the relationships, something the classic comics never did. It’s especially interesting here because this show is not a romance; any romantic subplot is in support of the main plot line or the main character, not because it’s sexist but because it’s an adventure story. I think the general climate of the CW might have something to do with the problem–the network likes young beautiful people in their shows more than it likes good writing–but I wouldn’t blame that on gender.

        1. Well, let me tell you something..I have not seen ‘TVD’ at all..I mean, the ONLY reason why it CAME to my knowledge was through reading ONE X-OVER that has ‘TVD’ fandom and THAT’S how I came to know that TRASH of a show..I mean, I really hated that the RAPE wasn’t even ADDRESSED at all but just swiped aside for that “BITCH/dopploet” etc since the show should’ve been CALLED “elaen” or whatever. GOD, I don’t know how I can HATE ONE SHOW so much without watch it..It’s just disgusting, since the rapist/damon has a pretty face and the audience just forgives the rape due to him being “handsome”..URGH!

          Well, women might talk about feeling and all but deeep, deep down, we’re the romantic of the species between men..NOT ALL but most.

  10. Arrow is brilliant. In my opinion, it’s one of the best shows on tv right now and dare I say it: Ever. Not only are all the men in the show brilliant actors and handsome (it makes all the difference) they bring a tale of heroism into something we can all relate to: Humanity.
    Oliver, Roy, Diggle, even Malcolm Merlyn are human, they have reasons for their actions. They are flawed but are also hero’s (or villains in Malcolm’s case) in their own right. As for the women they are sassy, smart, strong (My three S’s that every women should be on a tv show). My favourite is obviously Felicity, if not for the fact that she’s the most honest women on the show then for the way I relate to her in that ‘babble till you’re making a fool of yourself’ way. She has flaws, but for once those flaws aren’t caused by traumatic or painful events in her past. They are flaws because she isn’t used to being in such high quality presence. Not because she doesn’t deserve to be in such company, but because we all know a Rich-man like Oliver in real life would most likely overlook her as nothing more than an employee or at least that is the realist in me speaking.

    I think the fact that Oliver called Felicity ‘remarkable’, trusted her even before she knew who he truly was is why so many people ship ‘Olicity’, It’s a simple tale of the underdog, babbling nerd winning the handsome billionaire (which is crazy enough) but on top of that to also win the City’s hero too? It’s a tale I can honestly say would warm my heart to see happen, if not for the 80% of the fan base who’d stop watching if Olicity didn’t happen, but then for the fact that Oliver needs her, whether in a platonic (pun intended) or romantic way.

    Moving away from Characters the show doesn’t slow down it’s pace one bit, even after such an epic end to season 1, the drama, the suspense, the humour never stops coming in ways that leave us at the edge of our seats, wanting next week to be this week.

    On another Note, I love Person of Interest, Sherlock, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes and many other brilliant tv shows, they never fail me when I am in need of inspiration. I don’t write professionally, as my Grammar is absolutely terrible (as you can probably tell) but I write for myself, as a creative outlet to all the bottled up emotions I can’t quiet voice in vocal words.

  11. I love Arrow, I became addicted to the show when Felicity appeared, I am a huge Olicity fan, I enjoy so much their scenes, and Diggle is great too!! I can´t wait to see how the new season develops!!

  12. I so loved this article, Jennifer. I’ll be sharing it on my blog for others to read. You write in such a wonderful, snappy and zingy way that a big paragraph reads like a few smooth sentences.

    And I couldn’t agree more with what you said about, well, everything. Not only on Oliver and Felicity, but if I can ever set up and write a relationship as well as theirs I’ll be in writing heaven for sure.

  13. Thank you this has been brilliant. My latest submission came back, the editor said, “let the story go – try not to get in the way with writing!”

  14. I love this blog! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I bought Arrow’s first season as a birthday present for my husband and, of course, I got hooked, too. I am in total agreement about the fun and enthusiasm factors. They are part of the reasons that I am addicted to foreign dramas. Sure, there are bad ones, but most are adept at hooking the audience in and keeping them that way. Reversals, jaw dropping plot twists, and fully developed characters keep audiences glued to the screen, and they are never afraid to bring in over the top fun. I’ve just discovered the Hong sisters, a writing team from Korea. I finished, “The Master’s Sun” and I plan to re-watch it in order to study their technique. It is a horror/romantic comedy, and I don’t EVER watch horror. Never. Not even something slightly scary, but the first episode pulled me under. I like a strong heroine, but they gave the protagonist a great reason for being a scaredy cat. And even though it is flat out scary in the beginning (with great special effects), they gave me mysteries to figure out and characters that made me care. I had to keep watching (with my hands over my face, peeking through my fingers). The Hong sisters are known for changing from fun to heart-breaking in the middle of a show, and they didn’t disappoint. Every rotten thing the hero did and said came back to bite him in the end, but they did it in a way that was unexpected. I knew that the heroine would end up being sassy and courageous, but they didn’t write a cliche. Also, they didn’t shy away from mixing horror with lighter beetle-juicesque comic moments, and they went for sentimental without shame. It’s taken me years to embrace the fact that I love stories that go for drama without apology. As an English Literature student, no one in my classes would have dared to be low-brow enough to admit that they wanted to read something fun. But, I’m older now, and I’m not afraid to admit that I love story. Also, I know that I’m not supposed to start a sentence with a conjunction, and I’ve done it twice in this post. It’s a rule. I know. I’m breaking it.

  15. I consider myself one of the “mature” viewers of Arrow (meaning: never watched a CW show in my life) but got started on Arrow b/c it was on Netflix and Breaking Bad was done. I’ve hidden my love for Arrow as a guilty pleasure, fearful of being judged by my high-brow friends for enjoying it so much. I love your intelligent analysis explaining why I am so hooked! I agree about the character dynamics, love the Felicity/Oliver chemistry and the depth of their relationship (which is subtle, not consuming). I agree that Laurel having an evil path would be rewarding, and rather consistent w/what we’ve seen already. I personally dislike nothing more than a character that we are “supposed” to like, but somehow don’t (Laurel from the start), and love nothing more than a character who we’re not supposed to like, but we can’t help liking. Great analysis!

  16. I too am a huge fan of Arrow. Loved what you wrote. Thanks for the heads up on the Suicide Squad. I do rather wish I had a better understanding of the DC universe because I think knowing some of the characters – villains and heros alike – would be great fun. It would be like finding the Easter eggs. However it could prove incredibly annoying depending on how they brought in the character & what they did with it (Laurel could be an excellent example here.).

    Also, Speedy is the name/nickname of The Green Arrow’s sidekick. I was super psyched when Ollie called Thea “Speedy” in the first or second episode. I was so happy that they changed Speedy to be a girl & was hoping Thea would change out of her Too Stupid to Live character. (She is much better this season despite dressing like a prostitute.). Sadly, it looks like Thea will not be the sidekick but simply another woman kept in the dark. Roy is going to be the sidekick, just don’t know if they’ll call him “Speedy”. I rather doubt it.

    1. I’m betting Thea suits up in Season Three. They seem to have a long plan, and I doubt they’d use the “Speedy” nickname and not use it. That character actually had three names–Speedy, Red Arrow, and Arsenal–and given that Roy’s sporting a red hoodie and that Oliver gave him a red arrow awhile back to use to summon him, I think they’ve probably just divided that character into two. The comic book backstory is so convoluted and retconned that they have a lot of leeway.

  17. I’m now very tempted to give Arrow a try, but frankly, I’m not sure I’m ready for John Barrowman as bad guy.

    1. John Barrowman is a bad guy you LOVE to hate…only you can’t quite hate him…he is THAT good. I think one of the things I love about Arrow is that the Big Bad (there is one per season arc) isn’t pure–or simplistically–evil…you actually see the motivation behind their actions. Arrow does a good job of making them vulnerable. There is a monologue delivered by John Barrowman at the end of the first season that makes you really feel for him, crazy as he is.

      I am still holding out hope Oliver will be forced to work with him, because how cool would that be to have the Green Arrow and the Dark Archer team up to save Thea (coz who else would the Dark Archer be willing to save)?

      What I have learned in the last month is that I am not only an Arrow fangirl (I saw it on Netflix a month ago, and then caught up and now watch it on the night it airs–the first show in years I’ve done that for), but also, apparently I am a Jennifer Crusie fangirl. I love how you deconstruct and analyze these shows, and I wish there were a way to take a writing class with you all the way from California! (send me an email if there is anything you can suggest!)

      1. Thank you! There was, but this is my last year doing it. However, someday I’m going to do a writing book, I swear. In the meantime, I inflict my opinions on the Argh people who over the years have shown heroic patience in letting me ramble. So there’s a lot of stuff on here. Oh, and there are writing articles that were published other places over on the website, too. Look at the menu to the right and click on the “For Writers.”

        1. I’ve saw him on the comiccon panel for Arrow after season one. He is a very different personality in real life than as Malcom.

          Someday I will make time to watch Dr. Who. Then I’ll come back here and reread all the Who Sunday posts.

  18. Thanks to Arrow and Sherlock, I’ve just found your blog and I’ve been reading it all morning! I’m totally obsessed. I just thought you should know that 🙂

  19. Such an awesome article! I laughed out loud at the Maleficent – 7-11 line, literally. (And not the weird modern kind of literally where I actually mean figuratively, but the traditional literally.) As for the writing, on my last book, I was grinding my way through the words when a beta reader said to me, “you’re really writing fairy tales,” and I realized, oh, yes, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I flew though the rest. The book wound up being–well, my dad was telling me about his reading experience with it this week and he said, “it was slow going for a while, but then it was like you started the roller coaster.” The roller coaster was me embracing the fairy tale. And my current project feels gloriously over-the-top. Who knows where it’ll go, but it’s so much fun to write that it really doesn’t have to go anywhere to be satisfying. So, anyway, I hope Arrow has helped you find your inner roller coaster!

    1. The same thing happened to me on Bet Me. Once I realized I was writing a fairy tale and Fate was an active antagonist, everything kicked into gear.

  20. I am an Arrowhead (full stop) Never before have I been hooked on a show like this! Up until this show the only show I chiseled out time for “live viewing” was NCIS, but now my one hour of live viewing a week has moved to Wednesdays. There are so many different elements they have managed to roll into this one show, especially the action! Wow! Everything you said Jenny, was spot on, and if could add to that — I love stunts and These. Are. Stunning.

    bfwebster mentioned Felicity becoming the focus of the scene even in the background and this is so true. For example, after the show was on hiatus for a grueling FIVE WEEKS I sat down to watch its return and soak it all in, but what I found was that even though I love Oliver and Diggle, the show didn’t kick in for me until Felicity was back in town and on screen — after what seems like 30 MINUTES into the show. Whether that unbalanced feel was truly intended to come off screen to the audience so we could feel it all gel when she came onscreen (if that WAS the case then Bravo!) or if it was just me in major withdrawal. LOL

    I agree with bt in that “I personally dislike nothing more than a character that we are “supposed” to like, but somehow don’t (Laurel from the start), and love nothing more than a character who we’re not supposed to like, but we can’t help liking.” My examples for this are Merlyn and SLADE. I love Slade and he is supposed to be the biggest baddest! (this season at least and maybe future).

    I love reading your thoughts on this show—looking forward to more!

    1. You raise a great point. There is no show out there whose bad guys I like more than the ones in Arrow. John Barrowman was great as Merlyn, and Manu Bennett is killing it as Slade.

      I am especially interested in the Moira storyline because, again, she’s morphing into a potential big bad, and yet I’m worried for her. I don’t want her to get caught! And I don’t want Walter to be corrupted! How does this show do that? Why am I so in love with the bad guys?!

      The only issue I consistently have with the show is Laurel. They somehow managed to make me love every character, even the bad guys (I love Summer Glau as Isobel Rochev) and yet their supposedly leading lady–love of Oliver Queen’s life–I can’t stand. If they do write Laurel off, my enjoyment of the show would soar to new heights…and if they wrote her back into Supernatural somehow, I wouldn’t mind that either.

    2. The stunt work on this show is remarkable, particularly for a show that’s not on a network with big bucks. But they don’t actually add to the storytelling for me. They do underscore the comic book visuals though and I should have mentioned them there.

      1. Home Invasion. Oliver fights with the hit man on the stairs of his mansion. Give it another watch. The choreography is awesome.

        I do like the action scenes and wish they had more original ones like the one in Home Invasion, season 1 (it’s the one in the end, with the guy who was in Angel).

  21. It is because of you that I started watching Arrow after not feeling strongly enough about the pilot to watch another episode. And you’re also getting me into watching Person of Interest again after giving up on it halfway through the first season in spite because CBS was being a dick and not allowing it on the Internet any more.

    That is all 🙂

    1. The UK Life on Mars DVD is only sixteen episodes. Do not watch it on Hulu; they edited it for some reason and whoever did the editing (which was a crime no matter what they cut, that show was beautifully done) decided that the unnecessary parts were the scenes between Sam and Annie, aka the romantic subplot. IDIOTS. Although if they were going to cut it, it was going to have to be a subplot because there is no fat in those shows at all, but the romantic subplot was woven into the main plots completely so you’re left with holes in the story. Do NOT watch it on Hulu.B The Region 1 DVD with all the episodes is fifty bucks which is not cheap, but it’s worth it. I first started watching it because it kept showing up as #1 on Best TV finale lists, but the whole thing is just wonderful.

  22. I can’t be the only person who keeps hoping that he will someday shoot that boxing glove arrow from the comics.

    No. No, you are not.

      1. I’m thinking it’s a scene at a boxing ring, and he needs to hit somebody or something without puncturing it, so he improvises . . .

  23. Sheesh, I really do need to check out Arrow (although it sounds like they are doing Black Canary no favours).

    If you’re ever keen on checking out the DC universe, I would recommend Gail Simone’s work on Birds of Prey (I think she also invented the character Sin…so that’s awesome). BoP is kind of wall to wall women being awesome (and weird and funny).

    1. They have a terrific Black Canary, Laurel’s sister Sara. As long as the writers don’t kill Sarah to make room for Laurel, the Black Canary is just fine on this show.

      They have a great Sin on there, too. One of the things I love about this show is the relationship between Sin, who’s Roy’s long time friend, and Thea, Roy’s girlfriend. Roy and Sin go off on their own all the time, and Thea never gets jealous; they’re friends and that’s good with her. Roy is crazy about Thea and Sin never bats an eye that her long-time close friend is spending a lot of time with somebody else. Their scenes together are so much fun, two women who obviously like each other and enjoy each other’s company, no jealousy at all.

      I’ll have to check out Simone’s Birds of Prey again. I had tried Birds of Prey a long time ago (like years ago) and didn’t connect, but I may have just gotten the wrong issue to start with.

      1. There are other writers who have written BoP (I haven’t checked out the latest incarnation) but I think Simone was the first comic writer to put in deep complex friendships/made family into the mix.

        Also she invented the utterly adorable Misfit.

  24. Wow. So you’re uninterested in Laurel because she’s not just a prop for Oliver? That’s actually quite why I like her. We actually know stuff about her and she’s actually done things that don’t relate to him at all.

    As opposed to Felicity, whose only purpose has been to serve Oliver? Whose “relationship” with him is so great that everyone forgets it started with lies and the only reason she knows he’s Arrow is because it was easier to just tell her so he could keep using her.

    That said, I don’t know how you can say Laurel’s storyline doesn’t connect to Oliver’s when she’s the only one that was onto Blood (don’t forget the druggy and alcoholic Laurel is still smarter than everyone in this case) while Oliver had his head up his you-know and a good deal of where Laurel is at psychologically can be directly traced to Oliver’s actions.

    But, alas, damn Laurel for having real human feelings and not dealing with the combined trauma of her boyfriend cheating on her with her sister, both of them “dying” in the process, her mother abandoning the family, her father turning into a raging alcoholic for her to clean up after, Oliver and Tommy using her like a tug toy and shoving her at each other because “you love him more than me”, Tommy dying saving her life, Oliver leaving for five months, getting kidnapped multiple times, getting guns pointed at her face, nearly murdered twice, etc. very well.

    Meanwhile Oliver has/is going through pain of his own but THAT’S just “great” story-telling. Puh-lease. We’re seeing before our eyes, in a very short period of time, Laurel going through mental traumas just like the ones Oliver faced. Laurel is on her own island right now but, from what I understand from your posts, where Oliver’s is sweet, delicious man-pain, Laurel’s is just “annoying”.

    That’s rather sexist, tbh.

    1. That’s not what I said, but I can see where I didn’t put it clearly. My fault. Let me try again.

      The main plot line of any story is where the drive for the entire story originates. That’s Oliver fighting crime.

      Subplots shouldn’t just run parallel to the story, they should interact, echo, reflect, act as foils, in some way enhance the main story line. Moira’s subplot last season, for example, interlocked with Oliver’s main plot line of trying to save the city. Roy’s interlocked because he was the only character who actually lived in the Glades. Laurel’s subplot was an emotional complication for Oliver; she never really made an impact on the main story, which was a failure of the writers. Felicity doesn’t have a subplot; she’s a supporting character in the main plot along with Diggle. Oliver doesn’t define her any more than he defines Diggle, although they both could use a little back story in there.

      I disagree with your summation of the Oliver-Felicity dynamic, but that’s okay, it’s all subjective. We do a lot of disagreeing here, so you’re good.

      Your point about Laurel being the first one to catch on to Blood is a good one, but I think that’s part of the writers trying to fix the mistakes they made in keeping her “The Girl” for the first season. It was a knee-jerk writing thing to do, tack on a romance, and it kneecapped the character. Her integration into the main plot now is a big step in the right direction, but it started three episodes ago which may be too little, too late.

      Your list of things Laurel has had to endure is spot-on. The problem is that you can make similar lists for Moira, Thea, even Diggle, and definitely Oliver, and they still engage with each other. Laurel doesn’t; for example, she uses her traumas as an excuse to refuse an AA meeting, claiming that nobody in there has the problems she has, when as Quentin points out, they probably have worse. So I have problems with Laurel as a sympathetic character. Your mileage may differ, and that’s great, it leads to good discussion, and I think the whole Laurel vs. Felicity comparison can lead to a good analysis of how female characters are used on a male-centered show.

      I’m positive I did not describe Oliver as “sweet, delicious man pain” because I’m a better writer than that, so I’m assuming that’s you being sarcastic. Yeah, we don’t do that here. You’re welcome to disagree here, we do it all the time, but do it cordially please, arguing your points without sneering at anybody else’s opinion. I know demeaning comments are okay in a lot of other places on the net, I’ve read the fan boards, but we treat each other with respect here, so if you could come back in and discuss this without the sarcasm, that would be great. I think you make a lot of good points, and I have yet to see any discussion on this that isn’t people yelling at each other and being snide, so I think somebody like you who understands Laurel at a deeper level than we do can contribute a lot to a respectful, friendly discussion.

      As a heads up to anybody who’s thinking of anything but a calm discussion about this issue, I will pull immediately any comment that answers this one in the same tone it was delivered. She’s new, she gets a warning. Everybody else here knows the ropes; don’t descend to that level because somebody new doesn’t understand how we argue about things. We’ve got a nice little community going here, AND IT’S GOING TO STAY THAT WAY.

      Thank you,
      The Management

      1. Thank you, Jenny. There need to be more moderators out there reminding people about common courtesy when posting on forums/comment boards.

        I was reading fan boards last night and I was SHOCKED by how nasty the Olicity/Lauriver fans were to each other, to the characters, and to the actresses playing the characters. I do wish that the discussions were more diplomatic, rational, and respectful. I can see how Olicity shippers are getting a bad rap because of the things that are being said against Katie Cassidy, and I feel for her. How awful it must be to come on a show as the lead female only to be slowly pushed out towards the end of the first season because of an extra who not only became a fan favorite, but also made her character the object of so much disdain. That can’t be easy. It must really suck.

        I think when I look at the Oliver-Laurel dynamic, I am against it because I think it’s too toxic. There’s too much history there, and not the good kind (from what we are shown). Has Laurel been through a lot, absolutely. Does that mean she should return to the guy who left her not once, but twice (after his declaration of love in S1, he disappears for five months following Tommy’s death instead of being there for her and supporting her)? Should this strong, independent woman really forgive that and subject herself to more fo? Because that was a selfish choice, on Oliver’s part, although I understand why they did it for dramatic and plot reasons (he left his sister too–again–and his mom was in jail!)

        1. I was stunned by how vitriolic it was, too. It’s a TV show. I was especially appalled by the things that were said about the actress, some of them suggestions of physical violence, not against the character which would have been bad enough, but against the woman who plays her. It was vile. I really feel for the people who value Laurel, so I’m not surprised they’re angry and defensive, but again, it’s a TV show. It does go to show the power of story and what happens when people invest in the characters.

          1. And also, not indicative of any fanbase either. The negative people are a minority. Sadly that’s usually all that gets noticed while the nice “normal” people just enjoying the show somehow fly under the radar. You learn to ignore it.

          2. No way!! I’m a major Oliver and Felicity fan but there’s just no-way that, there are ppl/individuals/fans out there, no-matter whom they support or ship, that would ACTUALLY want to HURT someone in RL? No-body can be that CRAZY or insanely in-love with a character..? Well, thinking and actually doing are two different things, so, maybe that’s possible. I mean, I ADMIT that I HATE certain female lead characters and wish them harm; but IN MY MIND, and I believe EVERYONE, anyone has those moments..

            Still, I’m surprised by what you said..I notice that A LOT of replies here or everywhere else stated that Oliver cheated with ‘laurel’ sister and all but WE just FOUND out that it was ‘LaRUEL’ whom BACK-STABBED Sara to start with..Not wanting to give her ANY CHANCE to date or have Oliver and she DID JUST THAT!!

            What does that tell you of the ‘oh so’ perfect and “URGHbeautiful” laurel if she’s was THAT WAY back when she was TRYING TO GET OLIVER and GET one OVER her sister.. I know I love the character Sara and she’s a magnificent BC..Laurel just isn’t needed and WHEN the CW kills her off just so “Lureal” can be BC, I’d be pissed off and I’m sure I won’t be alone.

          3. Hi,

            Just for saying, i’m glad to not read the base at all et find your blog instead, that much better for any kind of discussion and energy 🙂
            Thank you all.
            But yes, fan/people have to make the difference between the characters and the actresses who personify them.

        2. I wasn’t aware it was so bad on the fan boards; now I know to keep avoiding them. I agree about Oliver and Laurel’s history. When they set it up in the pilot, I may have actually rolled my eyes at the CW-soap choice of obstacles to that relationship. Granted, Tommy and Laurel’s relationship, as it relates to Oliver and Laurel’s handling of Tommy’s death, and Sara being on that boat with him both came to relate to Oliver’s arc or the crime-fighting plot. But at the time, all I could think was, “Really?” Him lying to her about being a superhero and losing her respect because he’s pretending to be a useless playboy, not to mention her father trying to arrest his alter-ego, aren’t enough to keep them apart for a reasonable length of time? No it had to be “he cheated on her with her sister, which caused her sister’s death, and now she’s sleeping with his best friend.” At a certain point, it stops being a barrier to a relationship and starts being a reason to go to group therapy. I hope they can be friends again, I’ve enjoyed seeing them try in the few scenes where they bothered with that, but I really hope they don’t try to get back together.

      2. Jenny- how do you do that? Take the words right out of my mouth (more eloquently, of course)? I do like it when people challenge my perception, and so I read the previous post with a lot of self-reflection: am I being unfair to Laurel (BTW: I don’t have particularly strong feelings against her, I just don’t have the positive feelings that I suspect I am supposed to)? But I think that’s what brings us to this discussion — to explore WHY we feel the way we do about these characters. I think your response to the previous post is SPOT ON. Yes, Laurel has gone through a lot, and in a sense she’s very sympathetic. But she’s not the only one– so many people on Arrow went through worse. Can anyone really say Laurel’s life is so much worse than, say, her sister Sara’s? How a person copes with these trials, however, is what makes them either great or not. Isn’t that how a hero is usually born vs a villain? Whether you take your grief and do something constructive vs. destructive? Whether you find compassion for others vs start blaming/hating the world? It boils down to thinking in terms of “it’s not all about me.” Small comparative example of Felicity (since that’s the “battle” right now F v L). She got abducted by Vertico. Pretty frightening stuff. She has no one she can go home and get support from (that we know of). But instead of crying “why me! I suffer so much!” her focus was on: 1) Oliver, you were shot, 2) let’s get a cure for Diggle, and 3) Sorry Oliver I put you in a position to have to kill. It’s that difference in her character that simply makes her more likeable. I like that the writers are aware of this side of Laurel- her own dad points out that there are people who have it much worse.
        I think the toughest part for Laurel is she’s set up for certain expectations, and it is not quite working out and so we, as viewers, are confused. If she were a clean slate like Moira, who we don’t know is good or bad, we might be able to overlook her negative qualities more as intentionally ambiguous. But as it is, I feel like I am supposed to think Laurel’s great because they are telling me she is, but no one is actually giving me examples of why I should like her. As a side note, this latest episode did the Laurel character no favors. Her response to her dad about the mess in her house, “Without a job I can’t afford a housekeeper.” Wow, b/c I have a job, and I still manage to clean up after myself w/out a housekeeper. And then later suggesting Oliver should give her Felicity’s job? Granted, these things happened b/c she was probably depressed and drunk, etc. But I think after so long, we just have to stop making excuses for her.

        1. You know what the problem with the drunk thing is? And there was a podcast this observation came from called the Arrow After Show. The observation was that her behavior while drunk isn’t really different from when she wasn’t drunk and was ‘normal.’ The only difference is now she does it with glass in her hand. That’s it. But the end result for me is I just don’t care. I’ve tried. I really have because I do like the show so much but everything they do to her, all the so-called pain and loss and everything I watch and give a mental sigh about because no matter what happens *something* about this character just does not touch me in any way. Ever. I feel more for Slade and am more excited about watching him manipulate and torment people. I care more about The and Roy for crying out loud (2 people I was eh on in season 1). Everybody else works so this one thing sticks in my paw like a thorn and I just want someone to pull it already. LOL!

          1. I think it’s her coldness. Even in her relationship with Tommy, she was more of a strict mother than a loving girlfriend, which may have been what he wanted (I don’t judge). I think it’s a combination of the way she’s written and the way she’s played, but in a show that’s very hot, moving fast, people having ridiculously sharp emotional arcs, she just chills the screen. I think she could be a terrific enemy because she’s smart and driven, and that would make the chill work for her.

          2. Being drunk isn’t an excuse..Being drunk and saying whatever you’re saying IS THE TRUTH..It’s just ppl tend to think otherwise.YOU KNOW CW/ARROW is trying to MAKE viewers LIKE and sympathies and route for her since SHE’S the leading female and due to that ONE aspect of her character, WE, as the viewers, HAVE TO LIKE her just becuz of that ONE FACT!

            I say, to hell with her and her snotty, bitchy, higher-then-thou mannerisms!!

          3. I don’t think the network or the writers are trying to make people like the character. They just wrote her being mean to Felicity. That’s like touching the third rail in the Arrow-verse. You might as well step in front of Oliver and say, “Betcha can’t hit me with an arrow.”

          4. Julie, Great point! You are right, her character had been consistently that way, so none of this is new. So it does make me wonder if the writers are intending for us not to like her and if so, to what end? At one point I wondered if not caring for Laurel is a strong female thing. That guys will overlook the “mean girl” b/c she’s pretty (I know, sexist on my part, but I am exploring all the angles), but most men I know find how they are writing her character off-putting too. Very curious about where they take this. Hope they don’t disappoint and make her nice, because viewers will definitely notice the lack of continuity.

      3. First, I want to apologize for my sarcasm in the original post. It was uncalled for and undeserved.

        To address your original post and response to mine:

        Re: Laurel not being connected to Oliver’s crime-fighting plot. The first guy Oliver crossed off his list was a guy she was already going after. Oliver used her a couple times to get info on or go after guys on his list through legal means. She’s as connected as anyone to his crime-fighting, especially, now with Blood and Slade going after her.

        As far as the writers trying to fix mistakes, why not let them? Why hold her responsible for their mistakes? I’m as guilty as anyone to enjoying the show, probably more than it deserves, when they do something I like but TPTB have always been terrible at handling plot and characterization for the sake of the jaw-dropping reveals. It’s not just Laurel. But somehow people seem to overlook all of that until it comes to Laurel and then she is just terrible and annoying.

        Case in point, your assertion that her comment about firing Felicity is akin to “icy selfishness”.

        Allowing your idea that Laurel thinks negatively of Felicity, that’s not her fault. She only knows Felicity in regards to Oliver. What should Laurel think when the pretty, blonde that she met last season at Verdant, off-hours, who was introduced to her as the IT girl from QC, suddenly becomes Oliver’s executive assistant and she just happens to show up at Verdant, off-hours, to deliver super important information to Oliver that she could have easily have just called him with?

        Especially given Oliver’s past, why wouldn’t Laurel think something was going on? Just like with Isabel, if Laurel thinks bad of Felicity, it’s only because of Oliver’s selfishness in putting Felicity into that situation.

        People are holding Laurel to personal and social standards based on information that she doesn’t possess and you can’t do that. It isn’t fair. She doesn’t know Felicity’s real deal with Oliver. If she did, I can guarantee she’d have a better understanding.

        Laurel turns her pain after the ship went down into a law degree and enough success as a lawyer that she forms CNRI with Jo. The first case we see her take on on the show is against Adam Hunt, a guy on Oliver’s precious list, and she was trying to that within the limits of the law and she didn’t let Hunt’s threats stop her. I’ve already listed what she’s dealt with since Oliver is back. Her way of dealing with the pain? She turns it onto herself by developing a habit. She pushes people that love her and that she loves away because, as Oliver says, “… you want people to think that none of this gets to you and that you don’t need anyone’s help.”

        Yes, Laurel is wrong. She does need help. But, see, the problem is the people that should have been helping her through Oliver and Sara’s betrayal and subsequent “deaths” completely abandoned her. She had to be the adult/parent in her relationship her father because of the alcohol problem he developed. Why? Because her mom left and left Laurel to clean up the aftermath of a mess that she, Dinah, may have been able to stop.

        Because she’s refusing help? Addicts and alcoholics sometimes think they don’t have a problem. Even when they know they have a problem, for whatever reason, they refuse help. Laurel, seeing herself as the strong person she has been, still sees herself that way. She’s not wrong but she’s afraid to admit she needs help. Who, out of all of us, hasn’t been there?

        You made a list of others who have endured pain and commented on how they engage with each other while Laurel doesn’t. Fair enough. But I don’t think you can look at those people as prime examples of how Laurel should be acting, really. Do you?

        Moira: Dealt with her pain by trying to take down Malcolm’s plot from within and literally waiting until five minutes before her complicity helped murder 503 people before she decided it’d be smart to warn people and the authorities. Now she’s running for Mayor and suggesting that Walter do something to make sure her OB/GYN doesn’t spill the secret of Thea’s paternity. She’s also apparently one of the few people that know Malcolm is still alive and she hasn’t thought to tell the police?

        Thea: Turned to drugs, drinking, breaking & entering and robbery to deal with her pain. Her way of interacting with Oliver when he came back from being stranded on an island for five years was to say, “What about what I went through?” Also, do you really think she’s going to handle the truth of her paternity with grace and aplomb?

        Oliver: Turned to mass murder and vigilantism. “Engages” with people by lying to them constantly or using them as a means to his end, putting them all in danger in the process.

        I’m not even going to get into Sara.

        These people deserve our sympathy and respect and support?

        But not Laurel, the one who helped her father out of his darkness? Not Laurel, that has put her life in danger to help her clients. Not Laurel, who made Tommy want to be a better person? Not Laurel, who helped out Thea after the girl lashed out at her? Not Laurel, who found it in her heart to forgive Oliver the things he did to her?

        I just don’t get it and don’t understand the double-standard.

        Anyway, thanks for reading. I appreciate having a place to do so without getting shot down from the start.

        PS: Sorry for the novel but I wanted to get as much out there as I could so you could see where I come from as a Laurel fan. 😀

        1. No worries. Every place on the net is different, so it’s just a matter of getting the hang of a new place. Welcome back!

          I haven’t seen tonight’s episode, I get them a day late, so I’ll come back in tomorrow when I’m up to speed on the latest. At this point in the series, I’m more interested in talking about Laurel than any other character, so I’ll definitely be back to discuss your points. One thing I need to clear up: I’ve been dividing the responsibility for my dislike of the character equally between the writers and the actress, but after your comment I went back and looked at Laurel again, and I think Cassidy is putting on the screen exactly what the writers have put on the page. So as far as I’m concerned, we’re talking about the character only, not the actress.

          This is going to be fun. I love really looking at a character. Very glad you’re here to talk.

    2. You’ve got a good list of what Laurel has had to endure and most of it was due to other people’s decisions, therefore not her fault. But, Tommy’s death I totally put on her shoulders. The writers had her behave so stupidly in the season finale it was irritating to me. Oliver asks her to not go to the Glades. She says she won’t. She hears Moyia’s announcement and runs directly into trouble. (So does Thea which was also irritating. Thea should have simple used a phone.). Then as she and others are at the office trying to save paperwork, her Dad calls seconds before the device is going to go off and still she stubbornly stays put. What she should have been doing is encouraging all the people to get out now! Because she knew they only had seconds, but she doesn’t listen. Then the 3rd man in her life who knew she’d have been stupid and stubborn goes in to save her because like the first two he loves her. He gets her out and she runs out without watching to make sure he’s behind her. Then screams in the street while her Dad holds her from running back in. I do not believe her father would ever had let her go back into that building in time to see Oliver leave and find Tommy dead. The writers are not doing her any favors. She’s been the damsel in distress. Even the time she went and got a shotgun & could’ve taken out the bad dude in her apartment if she had saved the pithy quip until after she shot him. Then Ollie wouldn’t been needed to save her, Tommy, and the kid.

      It is nice to see someone is rooting for Laurel!

      1. You know, I don’t agree that Tommy’s death is Laurel’s fault. He had free will, he made the decision to go into the danger zone, she didn’t ask him to come save her, and in fact didn’t need him to come save her since she clearly survived. You cannot take responsibility for other people’s decisions (took me YEARS to figure that out).

        The person responsible for Tommy’s death was Malcolm Merlyn who deliberately caused the earthquake to kill everybody in the Glades. The fact that he didn’t know his son was going to run into a building there doesn’t let him off the hook; he killed Tommy.

  25. I am new to Arrow, having bought the box set of series one only a few weeks ago. I watched it over a week. I absolutely loved it! It hooked me, particularly after episode 3. For me, the Team Arrow dynamic is the best part of the show. There are times that Oliver, Diggle and Felicity can convey so much without saying a word. Oh and John Barrowman was so good as the big bad! I was impressed.

    Unfortunately I missed the first half of Season 2 so I hope Sky repeats these episodes before the second half comes back in February *fingers crossed* I am looking forward to seeing more Slade Wilson.

    I do like Laurel and I liked her scenes with Tommy and Quentin. I think for me her history with Oliver just got in the way of her relationship with him, so I just have this sense of bitterness and lack of warmth in the scenes between them, to the extent I can never see them ending up together. So if they are planning to take her in another direction, I would welcome it.

    And to those who haven’t watched the original series of Life on Mars, please do. I watched it when it was first screened and it gripped me from the off. Fantastic series (DCI Gene Hunt is a legend!)

    1. I love Gene Hunt. Talk about a guilty pleasure. A sexist, homophobic, bad-tempered bully, and yet . . .

      One of favorite moments:

      Gene Hunt: I think you’ve forgotten who you’re talking to.
      Sam Tyler: An overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline-alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding?
      Gene Hunt: You make that sound like a bad thing.

      1. This was the one that put me all of the way onto being on his side

        *spoilers for LoM*

        Gene Hunt: A month later I took my first back hander.
        Sam Tyler: How did it make you feel?
        Gene Hunt: Like shit.
        Sam Tyler: How do you feel now?
        Gene Hunt: I try not to think about it. I do the best that I can, to take care of my men and the people in my city.
        Sam Tyler: But when you do think about it, how does it make you feel?
        Gene Hunt: Like there’s an animal eating away at me insides.
        Sam Tyler: Fancy doing something about it?
        Gene Hunt: Thought you’d never ask.

        1. One of my favorite moments in the series is in the pilot when they’re standing behind a desk and they’ve been fighting for the whole episode, hating each other, and they hear something that tells both of them who the murderer is. There’s a split second when they look at each other in perfect understanding, and then they both leap over the desk at the same time and go catch the bad guy.

          I love that series so much. SO much. Another favorite episode is the Camberwick Green one. And the one where Sam and Annie go undercover as a married couple. Oh, hell, ALL OF THEM. Sixteen perfect stories that make one perfect story when taken together.

  26. You have no idea how much I needed to read this right now. My friend Christine sent me this link because I’m stuck on Chapter 8 in TWO novels right now. It’s like someone turned out the lights on me. There’s just nothing on the other side of the scenes I’m stuck on. I’m at the point where I’m going to have to run through the dark to get to the other side. It’s probably about time. 🙂

    1. I feel your pain. I’ve been stuck on You Again for ten years.

      My advice: Forget about Chapter 8 and just go write something from the stories that feels like fun. I used to power through writing in chronological order. I’d write one scene and love it, then the next one would be something I’d write because I had to in order to get to scene three where things would be fun again. Finally I realized that if the second scene was boring me, it was going to bore the reader to, so I just started writing the Good Parts. Anything in the book, anywhere, any scene that seemed like it would fun to write I’d go there. I haven’t written in chronological order since. You’ll have plenty of time to put the scenes in order once you’ve got them all done and you’re going to rewrite them anyway so you can fix the continuity then.

      Just write the good parts.

  27. Like Donna said, I liked Laurel’s scenes with Tommy in season one. I also liked her scenes with Quentin, but that’s probably just because I love him. I agree that they didn’t weave the Laurel/Oliver romantic subplot into the Arrow vs. Merlyn story. Even the Huntress was more integrated into the crime-fighting plots, and I really dislike that character. My main problem with Laurel in the first season wasn’t so much with her (although her personality, or lack thereof, was part of it), it was that I didn’t like Oliver when he was with her. That in itself is a problem – I shouldn’t only have been judging that character’s worth in relation to Oliver, but that was all they gave me a chance to do by treating her as nothing but the love interest and not making her matter to the main plot. He abandoned Diggle after making him a promise to be with her, and that wasn’t just keeping their relationship separate from the main plot, it was actively competing with it and making Oliver someone who leaves his best friend hanging for his ex-girlfriend. Why would I root for that relationship? That’s changed this season; he’s been trying to be a good friend to her and nothing else, and that’s working for me a lot better than their toxic, tortured attempted romance.

    Another thing that bothered me last season was her supposed ability to defend herself. She could save Oliver and Tommy from a bullying night club owner, but every time the main bad guy in the episode came after her, she got in a few punches and then got kidnapped so Arrow/Quentin could rescue her. That wasn’t the character’s fault, it was the writers. It was like they were trying to say “Look, she’s tough enough to be a superhero in a few seasons” and “Look, she’s The Girl Oliver has to rescue” at the same time. Obviously that didn’t go so well.

    It just seems like they don’t quite know what to do with her, hence her almost total absence from the first half of the season. Not having her there dragging things down made those episodes so much stronger, which just make her stronger presence now that much more difficult to take. I get that her addiction problems are part of getting that character to a place where she’s actually a part of the main story, but the way she’s treating her father is really pissing me off. Intellectually, I know she’s an addict, I know this is realistic behavior, but there’s a part of me that thinks everything she went through helping Quentin get sober should be informing her experience here, and all I see is destructive self-pity. If this was happening to a character I was really invested in and respected (say, if Quentin relapsed), I’d be feeling sympathy for them and hoping for recovery. But this is Laurel, and they didn’t build up enough good will in season one for me to care about her while she’s hurting everyone else I actually like with her unhealthy choices. I don’t hate Laurel, but I don’t like watching her either.

    1. You know, that’s an interesting point about her being incredibly tough unless they needed to show Oliver rescuing her. I’d missed that entirely, I think because Laurel going into hand-to-hand combat always seemed so odd because she was never physical in any other way. Like so much else, it wasn’t integrated into her character and then it was undercut by Oliver rescuing her. Trying to have it both ways was just another way the writers weakened her. And you’re right, then they dropped her, trying to figure out a way to reboot her, and then they brought her back drunk and addicted without making her vulnerable again. Actually, that whole story line is dumb; there’s no way she’d get disbarred on the testimony of a man who was revealed as part of a conspiracy.

      I think if you’re trying to save a character, you have to look at what you’ve established for that character, and they have really not built her well. She’s smart, but she does dumb things (like stay in an earthquake to save paper files that almost certainly must be online somewhere). She’s tough, excellent at martial arts, but she needs Oliver to save her. She’s vulnerable, calling out “Daddy” when she gets arrested, and then she looks at a room full of AA members and laughs scornfully because they can’t possibly have troubles as great as hers. The characterization is all over the place; the actress must be getting whiplash.

      If I were rebooting her character (not that anybody’s asked), I’d look at the things that have stayed constant. She’s very confident, even now in the midst of all her troubles. She tends to arrogance (especially around other women); she patronizes her co-worker in the pilot, she dismisses Felicity as just a secretary, she betrays her sister to get a man, she violates basic legal procedure in talking to Moira in the prison, she thinks she’s better than the losers in the AA meeting, etc. That confidence combined with arrogance makes her really strong; I’ve never seen her as weak even when she was crying; those were bad moments for her, but you always know Laurel’s going to get back up again. Then she’s incredibly beautiful, and that’s a form of power, especially since she only uses it when she wants something and doesn’t define herself by her looks.

      She also always seemed cold to me except when she was with Tommy; that relationship brought out a lot of warmth in her, but it was also another relationship where she thought she was better than he was. He tried to live up to her, to please her, and she let him know how he was doing. There’s a French saying that in every relationship, there is one who kisses and one who is kissed, and Laurel is the one who waits to be kissed because she knows Tommy will come to her. So while he made her warmer, he didn’t make her less arrogant. That relationship was never a partnership.

      So I’ve got smart, beautiful, confident, arrogant, and so guarded that she’s cold. She’s basically Isabel with a substance abuse problem. I can work with that, but I need some kind of desire, a need that she’s hot to pursue. While the whole addiction/alcoholism bit does give the actress something to do finally, it doesn’t give her a direction. I know, downward, but I don’t believe for a minute that Laurel is going to stay down. More than that, she’s still not integrated into a subplot that interacts with the main plot; in fact, she doesn’t have a subplot at all, she has a falling character arc. So she doesn’t have a goal, she doesn’t have an antagonist, she’s just snarling at everybody and denying her addiction, floating free from the rest of the narrative.

      So I’d give her something she wants passionately because if Laurel wants something, she’s going to get it. I’d use that goal to get her out of the dumb addiction plot (reminds me so much of that stupid magic-as-addiction plot for Willow in that horrible season of Buffy), and send her off after it, loaded for bear. Bringing down Blood is a good one, stopping Moira from becoming mayor is a good one, anything that will drive a subplot that belongs to her but that also complicates the main plot, not because she’s an extension of Oliver but because the story is about Oliver’s goal to save the city, it’s not about Laurel.

      She really is the only character who’s not either part of the main plot or in an active subplot that complicates the main plot, and I think that’s just a holdover from starting as The Girl. Get past the idea that she’s a romantic interest for Oliver to break her free of that box, make her matter in the ongoing plot, and I think her character could be saved. And honestly, I think she’d make a terrific antagonist, right up there with the Count and Malcom Merlyn.

      1. I’m hoping she goes back to trying to take down Blood. It was so nice to see her finally involved in that plot-line, and then it only lasted for, what, two episodes? The substance abuse thing could even work for them there, since that’s what’s undermining her credibility with the other characters when she says Blood is evil. And I’m sure she could do it if she wanted to; that single-minded focus on behalf of her clients in season one was actually something I liked about her. It made her willing to work with the Hood – maybe going after Blood would get her to go vigilante on her own. That could be interesting.

  28. Hi Cj —

    I just want to comment on one point you made, about Laurel being the only person smart enough to suspect Blood despite being in a drug/alcohol induced daze.

    See, this is where I disagree — because Laurel was fine with Blood, to the point where she was actually starting to date him, UNTIL Sin and Thea came to her with their concerns, sharing evidence that something was up with Blood’s blood drives. (Wow, I hate typing that.) Roy was concerned enough to go break into an office — which is why he’s now been shot with Mirakuru.

    And at some point, Slade figured out Blood was bad news and thus ripe for corruption/intimidation/partnership. Walter and Krycek flat out stated that Blood was bad news for the city, although to be fair in their cases I think what they meant by “city” was “banks.” They’re worried enough that they are putting up a woman who was just acquitted of conspiracy to mass murder as an opponent for Blood. (Very silly plot. But the show’s going there, so…handwave.)

    So your statement that Laurel is the only one who figured Blood out just doesn’t seem to be born out by the facts, which showed at least three characters and arguably six characters suspicious at the same time or well before Laurel.

    I’d also say that quite a few of her actions during that two episode investigating Blood plot line weren’t exactly smart, and I cringed watching the way other characters seemed to be dumbed down in order to let Laurel have this plot, but those two are definitely in the “your mileage may vary” category, and I’m willing to be disagreed with there.

    1. LOL on Krycek. So glad he survived that gunshot between the eyes and made it to Starling City. It really was fun to see him again, especially since he’s probably still a duplicitous bastard.

  29. One thing I’m looking forward to this week is some sort of hint (per very light spoilers) that “something” will be filled in about Felicity Smoak’s backstory. I think viewers are so curious about who she is and where she came from and I just have no idea where they’re going to go with it. There are, of course, little things on and off in the 1st and 2nd seasons that give you some idea or that you could interpret certain ways (the loyalty to Walter, loneliness, her building a ‘family’/team with Oliver and Diggle) that I think you could use to help take a stab in the dark but I am fascinated by what we might find out this week. I’m not expecting anything huge but a bone of some kind to chew on until they flesh it out would be really nice.

    1. I get the feeling that this whole thing got away from them. They were carefully building a superhero show and the reaction wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, either, and then in third episode, a one-off actress came in and the internet exploded and they’ve been trying to deal with that and their master plan ever since. Both Felicity and Diggle have become so important and while they’ve sketched in Diggle’s back story because they’d planned it, they’ve really ignored Felicity which they can do because people invested in her anyway. But really, give the woman some kind of history, if only to give the actress something to work with. I think backstory can strangle a plot (I’m really tired of the island, but I know I’m in the minority on that one), but no backstory is almost worse.

      1. It’s funny about the island. People either love the flashbacks or hate them. I’m on the fence. I don’t love it. I don’t hate it. But sometimes I resent – for lack of a better – the time it takes away from the present day stuff. I get the theory of the island flashbacks and slowly revealing the truth of what happened, throwing in twists that change how we perceive the present or lay the groundwork/mirror for a present situation blah blah blah but yeah. I wouldn’t cry if the island stuff vanished. I don’t need them to dive in and linger on Felicity’s backstory forever. Diggle’s isn’t really that developed either. But knowing something about her would be nice. I’d much prefer they round out Felicity’s life in the present. Give the girl some friends. LOL. She us where she lives. I really like her with Quentin Lance. Let them interact more, same with Felicity and Sara, Moira, Thea, Walter, even Roy at this point. She has lots of tendril connections to a bunch of people. It would be nice to see her out and playing. 🙂

        For some reason the CW/Arrow seems really reluctant to let the women do anything. We’re starting to see a little more but is Thea interacting with her own mother really something I should think, “ooh, new interaction!” over? I think not. LOL. Like I said before, I don’t expect huge revelations for Felicity this week but a little kernel would be most welcomed.

    2. Here’s my prediction of the Felicity back-story teaser. We won’t find out too much about her other than where she lives (what her place looks like and maybe a little about her home life). And the reason for that is Sara needs a place to stay when she’s back in Starling City, and w/Moira out of jail, Queen mansion is out. Plus, didn’t one of the writers says it was fun to see Felicity and Sara interact and get to know each other better? Makes sense to me!

      1. Ha! that would be interesting. I like Sara and Felicity. I can’t even imagine the two of them being roomies for a bit. Ha!

  30. MY VIDEO STORE HAS ARROW!!!!! Sorry to shout, but I’ve seen the pilot and the next two episodes . . . oh, lordy, will I be spending some quality time with Oliver Queen this week. Then I can come back and read this post (-:.

    I really love how “real-life” it is, and then suddenly you remember that it used to be a comic book (the action sequences). I’m a little squeamish about how “the hood” takes out the lower-level guys, but leaves the big guys to face justice and prison time (or they get murdered by someone else). But, I’ll see how it plays out.

    I’m really excited to see how this develops!

    1. He tries really hard to stop killing in the second season.

      As a romance writer, look at what happens to Oliver’s character when Felicity shows up. And pay attention to the tiny, incremental ways they’re arcing that relationship. I have no idea what their endgame is for Oliver’s love life, but the Oliver/Felicity dynamic is an almost perfect example of the slow build. I’m convinced the introduction of Felicity saved this show.

      1. “Oliver/Felicity dynamic is an almost perfect example of the slow build. I’m convinced the introduction of Felicity saved this show.”

        I agree!!!

        I must admit I stopped watching after episode 2 (Laurel was a big turnoff that I just couldn’t get past), but picked it up again on Netfix after reading about how much it improved. There was so much buzz about Felicity and Oliver and Felicity that I was curious and decided to give it another shot. I am so glad I did! Arrow is my favorite show at the moment.

      2. It never fails to amaze me the number of people I’ve met and talked to who tried Arrow, gave up on it super early on and then – once they hear about the addition of Felicity – give it another try and wind up sticking with the show because Felicity changed everything. She brought humor and fun, she added a layer to Oliver’s character that turned him into a “real boy” who had some warmth and depth and just “more” to him than the early episodes showed. I remember a comment by the show creators awhile back that mentioned Felicity fixed a problem they didn’t even know they had. It’s so weird to me that all this was just an “accident.”

        1. This is something we’re talking about in the McDaniel class right now, making people care. It’s a very slippery topic because different readers care about different things, but in terms of film, I think it makes a great deal of difference who you’re acting with. It’s that elusive chemistry thing, but it’s also vulnerability and contrast and an acting partner who engages with you. The thing I noticed the first time I saw the first Felicity scene, was that Oliver smiled. He’d been so grim for the first two episodes, and he was so alone and tortured and everybody was giving him grief, and it was just hard to watch. And then Felicity made him smile, and there was a whole new side to him, the key being “new;” he wasn’t making peace with his past or apologizing for having been a bastard before, he was starting fresh. It was like somebody opened a door for the character and said, “Okay, there’s hope, here’s a way out of hell. Start over.” When I was researching that scene, I went looking for commentary on it, and somewhere Amell said he hadn’t intended to smile, but he couldn’t help it, and I think that’s part of it, that she gave him something new to respond to and that solved a problem with his character. Plus the fact that their rhythm is so good so their scenes flow really well, while his rhythm with Cassidy feels disjointed, like they’re waiting for each other to stop speaking so they can respond. That can be really effective if you want people who don’t like each other talking to each other, but it’s death for lovers.

          1. I think that “new start” “hope” vibe is definitely what came out of that first Oliver/Felicity scene and their scenes since. Oliver isn’t dealing with the baggage of who he was with her. She knows him in the ‘now.’ She knows both sides of him. She’s not judging him per say on the crap he did before, only what he does now. Diggle’s in that same boat, of course, since he’s a new player in Oliver’s life too, but Diggle is still a heavier toned presence for Oliver. I think you’re definitely right. Felicity gives Oliver (and the actor) something new to play with and what he gets to show and play is likeable and fun.

  31. I’m not a big fan of the island either, but I will say that I did notice something interesting about season 1 and season 2. Early in Season 1, Oliver seems so devoted to Laurel. He looks at her picture, talks about her often, feels guilt over kissing Shado, etc. In the second season, he clearly has passionate feelings towards Shado, resulting in him killing a mercenary for her and then sleeping with her afterwards. There is a shift there: the writers no longer seem to be pushing a past of Oliver trying to survive for Laurel (whereas in the first season, he says that although there were moments he wanted to die, in the end there was something he wanted more–he was looking at Laurel when he says this…I think this may have been the episode where I initially stopped watching Arrow because I thought the acting was so flat, it was just not convincing). Like many others, I only tuned in after reading about Felicity having become a regular and possible love interest. Now I love the show.

    So I definitely agree that the whole Felicity thing got away from them. I am hoping that, judging from the tone of the island flashbacks, in terms of love story, they are backtracking on the Laurel-Oliver romance. They have done too much damage there to salvage it, in my opinion. Sometimes, it’s better to just admit you made a mistake and move on–and in this case, I think that applies to Oliver, Laurel, and the Arrow writers.

  32. I need to put this here because somewhere I said that one of the problems with the Laurel/Oliver romance was that it wasn’t integrated into the plot:

    The exec producer told EOnline:
    “We have some romance coming up, we’ve had a little bit in season 2. It wasn’t romance per se that we were trying to steer away from, it was the way we were doing romance. I think if you look at all the “romantic” storylines last year, we sort of felt like they were siloed off from the main action of the episodes. Whenever we went to a “Thea and Roy” or “Laurel and Tommy,” their romantic storylines felt separated out from everything else that was going on in the episode with the Arrow and everything else. One of our big goals in season 2 was to avoid those sort of separated off story lines. The result is that maybe we haven’t had quite as much romance, but each episode has been better for not feeling so schizophrenic. It’s been better for not feeling like we were suddenly a different show when we got to the C story. But for people that are fans of romance on the show, there is quite a bit of romance coming their way. The difference between this year and last year is that the romance will be integrated into the body of the series.”

    I have no idea what romance they’re talking about, but I love it that they’re going to integrate it. Fingers crossed for Sarah and Nyssa; the show has been really hetero so far.

    1. I’ll be shocked if they don’t go the Nyssa/Sara route.

      And to go back and touch on an earlier comment from above, Jenny, by you (no reply button to it that I could find) you said:

      “I don’t think the network or the writers are trying to make people like the character. They just wrote her being mean to Felicity. That’s like touching the third rail in the Arrow-verse. You might as well step in front of Oliver and say, “Betcha can’t hit me with an arrow.””

      I have that conversation with people all the time about Arrow. You don’t take a character – any character – you’re trying to make people like and make them be mean to the character viewers already like (like Felicity). The viewer is automatically going to get their hackles up and assume a protective stance over the Liked Character against the Other Character and their opinion of that Other goes down and keeps going down. It’s that kitten analogy again. Nobody likes a kitten stomper!

      Some take this kind of event on a show as “trying to create fanwars” and flame the online junk, but as a reader/writer/viewer I’m looking at it thinking I’m not *supposed* to like this Other person. The show writers aren’t ignorant to what they’re creating in those moments. They’re writers. They make a living doing this stuff. They know full well and good what happens when you write A + B you get C emotional reaction. Word and action choices are always very deliberate.

      It’s like when some people were surprised during a Q&A with the actor who plays Oliver when he said something like 99% of what you see on the screen, including gestures, expressions, etc, are scripted. I’ve never thought they weren’t but for some reason others thought they were all “actor choices” as if the actor and the writers are two separate entities allowed to interpret and portray things different ways vs. script.

      So there you have Arrow writing Felicity as someone who is smart, capable, strong, honest, caring, and protective and who understands friendship, trust, honor, loyalty, and who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself against anyone, including Oliver…. and then you have the other who never has a kind thing to say about anybody, comes across cold and aloof and (now) manipulative, whiny, self-serving, and righteous.

      I find myself sitting here wondering did the writers know? How could they NOT have known even as season 1 was filming? If they did know, why didn’t they fix it? And if they are trying to fix it why do they keep picking situations onscreen that just make it worse? Was the whole alcoholic/pill popper thing really supposed to drive up my sympathy because it’s done the exact opposite (and just confirmed that the character is more interesting being dark/snarky/villainous)?

      Are other people right when they say it’s just miscasting? Would it matter if, say, the actresses were flipped and played the opposite role? Or is this a combination of writing oopses and casting missteps?

      It’s kind of sad that I’m more interested in why the whole trap was sprung in the first place and figuring out why this story element didn’t work than what they’re actually doing with the character. LOL. I really hope they do have the balls to go the antagonist route because then maybe I will be interested. Maybe.

      1. I’m with you, I’m more interested in writing decisions than I am in the show, and I’m fascinated by the show.

        I think they went with the knee-jerk love interest as a C plot. Cast her so she’s incredibly beautiful and sexy and have her fight with the hero in the C plot to build sexual tension. It’s a dumb, dumb way to add romance to an action series and people do it all the time. I think that’s why they say Felicity solved a problem they didn’t know they had: they thought they had the romance solved because Laurel is so beautiful. Then when people preferred Felicity so rabidly, they had to rethink the way they did romance, and the changes are clear this year. There are no big fights and supposed-to-be-steamy sex scenes, even Thea and Roy are past moronic Big Misunderstandings are are being patient with and supportive of each other. Moira wants to get back with Walter. (Run, Walter, run!) So I think last year was a genuine misunderstanding of how to write a romantic heroine, and this year they’re a lot smarter about what they’re doing. There is no way they didn’t know that scene with Laurel draping herself over Oliver and telling him to fire Felicity so she could be his secretary (with the not so subtle promise of sex as part of the job) was going to make viewers go “Ick. Put her in a cab,” which Oliver did, thus cementing his good guy status. That’s not even subtle characterization.
        I don’t think it’s miscasting. I think Cassidy is putting on the screen exactly what’s in the scripts. And in the scripts, Laurel is cold, self-righteous, self-pitying, extremely strong emotionally and physically, and mad as hell at the world. That’s a great character as long as the story doesn’t ask you to like her, root for the hero to end up in the icebox that is her life, and feel sympathy for her when she turns to drink and sneers at those she thinks are below her. It’s sort of like asking people to root for Ivo and Sarah to get back together. He’s a murderous psychopath; no. But I wouldn’t want him off the show, I just want him firmly seated in the villain’s section. I think she’d make a fabulous Bad Girl; I think she could kick Slade’s ass at this point, she’s so full of alcohol-fueled rage. I liked Cassidy when she played Ruby, the demon, on Supernatural, so Laurel, the Arch Nemesis could be a lot of fun.

        1. I’m not sure how I should feel about the romance plot of Arrow being considered a C Plot by the show sits with me, to be honest. I mean, I’m glad that they’re focus is on the action and Oliver’s main journey from vigilante to hero and that (apparently?) the romantic angle is more sidelined so maybe Arrow will avoid tumbling into the overly melodramatic “soap opera” spiral so many other shows fall into. Yet part of me thinks C Plot? Really? It’s the love story! Love is a huge part of a person’s journey, especially when he’s a crime fighting super hero. You need some sparkle of hope and light and love for them otherwise the darkness would just become so overwhelming and oh. Wait. Okay. See? I think we’re right back to how Felicity fixed a problem they didn’t realize they had. Huh. That’s interesting.

          “There is no way they didn’t know that scene with Laurel draping herself over Oliver and telling him to fire Felicity so she could be his secretary (with the not so subtle promise of sex as part of the job) was going to make viewers go “Ick. Put her in a cab,” which Oliver did, thus cementing his good guy status. That’s not even subtle characterization.”

          SO true. I didn’t find it subtle. My reaction was immediate and swift and a huge gasping WTF?! OMG! Not subtle. at. all.

          I think you’re totally right. It’s a great character as long as that’s not the fate Oliver winds up with. I know I want Oliver, when it’s all said and done, to face a future that has some happiness in it for him. Dooming him to a Hey She’s a Pretty Icicle does not factor into that at all.

          I really hope all this was just a misunderstanding on how the romance portion of the show should work and that, having realized the oopsie in it, the show’s serious about correcting it and making it all work for them. The romance is a small piece because I really do enjoy the heck out of this show but it’s a piece that can’t be neglected either. I’ll be really curious about where they go from here.

        2. Wow, I was catching up on all the comments and already had a comment formulated and then I get to this last post of yours and there it is — my comment! You brought up Ruby. That is what really solidified it for me with this last episode. Last season when I was ‘trying to like Laurel because I was supposed to’, I went back and looked at an episode of Supernatural because I found out KC had appeared in some episodes. “Really?” said I. So on a quest of “is it the actress, or the story,” I hunted her down and low and behold, I LIKED that Ruby! She was good! Fast forward to the season 2 and all I keep seeing is that Laurel would make a good evil person, and then this last episode SOLIDIFIED it. She was good at being bad. I still don’t really care for her like I really *like* some of the other villains, but she could definitely do villain. So Ruby comes to Starling City … problem solved. Trap her in a salt trap and send her back to hell LOL

          1. I was actually really bummed when they replaced Ruby with a different actress on “Supernatural.” That’s how much I liked Katie Cassidy in that role. She played a demon, and yet I enjoyed her every time she came on screen. She also shines in the small role she had in “Taken” (She plays Maggie Grace’s friend). When I found out she was the female lead in “Arrow,” I tuned in because of her (I knew nothing about Stephen Amell). I liked Amell’s acting opposite Tommy, Moira, Walter, Thea, Raisa (his housekeeper), and Diggle–but that first scene with Katie Cassidy was such a turn off. I couldn’t believe how much I immediately disliked not only Laurel, but also Laurel and Oliver together.

            I know there are Arrow fans who are upset about the whole Olicity phenomenon and “fan pandering” because they think it takes away from the show–that “it’s a comic book superhero show and not Grey’s Anatomy” (actual comment I saw from one of the boards). I don’t think they are aware that the inclusion of Felicity as a regular, and her introduction as a love interest, helped seal Arrow’s success. There may be a lot of people who will watch to geek out at the superhero/comic book roots of the show, but there are even more who will tune in because of the human drama aspect, and the romantic subplot factors into that.

            Do I think writers should do everything that fans say? Absolutely not. I have certainly tuned in to shows that “jumped the shark” because the writers let the characters make decisions that did not move the story along, or who made choices that seemed out of the blue. But in this case, I think when the internet erupted the way it did after Emily Bett’s performance in Episode 3, the writers saw the same spark the fans did. I don’t think they are pushing a romance to pander to the fans. I think they, themselves, see it. Early after her introduction, there is a scene where Oliver asks Felicity, “Is that your way of saying you missed me?” In the episode with the Dodger, after she locks Oliver in and he goes over to her to reboot the system, I saw a lot of sexual tension between them. Even the way he looks at her when she’s all dressed up in that gold dress (the way the camera panned up–they were setting up that Felicity is attractive in that scene…which means early on, they already recognized her as a love interest). And the more I re-watch the show, the more I see the subtle and not-so-subtle hints that the writers are really having fun writing this love story. If I were them, I’d have fun too. The relationship is new, dynamic, and passionate (among Stephen Amell’s best acting are when he is fighting with Felicity–the way he reacted to Barry finding out, for example, was very compelling). Oliver and Felicity together is something that is theirs, through and through. They don’t have to look at the canon and study someone else’s story to make this work. They make their own rules (which is what should have happened with the Oliver-Laurel love story, only because it was already supposed to be an epic love, they didn’t make an effort to really build it, they just told us that’s how it was). And it’s the stuff the best love stories are made of–their main character was already betrothed to someone else when he met someone he was never supposed to be remotely interested in. He wasn’t supposed to smile, but he did. The rest is history (and is making television history–here on out, I expect to see some spectacular acting from extras trying to make the same leap Emily Bett did).

            The canon love story’s got nothing on what Arrow has on their hands!

        3. I wonder if they are intentionally leading Laurel towards villainy in the same vein as Huntress. I don’t know much about the DC universe but I have heard that Huntress and Black Canary worked together. If all the heroes are on their own journey (The vigilante to Arrow to Green Arrow/ Roy to Red Hoodie to Arsenal etc.) perhaps Laurel is on the same path as Huntress. Maybe they will split the Black Canary into two parts for the two sisters. Could Laurel still be on the path to being Black Canary if black implied evil or filled with anger? Right now Sara is only called Canary. Who’s to say she’ll ever be Black Canary? I love that the writer’s play fast and loose with the original stories…they have to be able to make it their own.

          1. I’m pretty sure that the Birds of Prey worked outside the law but on the side of good (I broke down and bought the Simone comics but they haven’t arrived yet), so Laurel could just be the Black Canary without having to be hardcore evil.

            You know DC has another female triumvirate, the Sirens, that I love. That’s Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. Come on, Arrow, SIRENS.

  33. Sara, you should google the one guy from TV Guide who actually talked about the whole Fan Pandering thing a few weeks ago. His name is Matt… Roush? I think that’s right. I think that really addresses that topic well. I think the whole argument of “fan pandering” (and I mean this when it crops up on all shows not just Arrow because it is used A LOT these days) is a crutch for a lot of people and just tends to mean more “the show isn’t doing what I want” so therefore it’s pandering to other people. I’m just tuned that particular argument out because I’ve heard it bandied about toward several shows I watch.

  34. I’m really worried about the character Sara thou..Since EVERYONE knows she’ll have to DIE/BE GONE for “laruel” to become BC which I believe is a mistake, since SARA is a magnificent, STRONG BC and honestly, laruel is just unnecessary.

    When they DO kill off Sara, I’d be so disappointed in CW/Arrow…I mean, she has everything to BACK her up as BC and unless “lurael” is somehow MAGICALLY/SUPERPOWERED to be BC, then I don’t see how she can BE BC!!!

    Since it’s NOT a stretch NOW for ‘superpowre’ serum or whatever to exist on Arrow, that’s be a COP-OUT since she didn’t WORK for it…I wonder..

  35. Jenny, I like your point about Laurel. I can totally support her as a villain. I really hope that’s where they are headed. Based on your comments, I caught a couple of clips of her from Supernatural, and I agree. Before I thought part of it was the actress, but I liked what I saw in the clips, so I do think it’s a problem with the character UNLESS they are going to turn her dark. Keep Sara as BC and have Laurel join the baddies. Now that would be great fun.

    1. See, now I’m wondering about that Season 2 cast poster way back when where they had Oliver/Felicity/Diggle in the front and then, in the background, Thea/Roy on the right and Slade/Laurel on the left. Hmmmm. Was that a precursor? A hint? Just coincidence? Wishful thinking? 😉

        1. It’s amazing to me how much there is to analyze. When I was reading through the comments about that scene where drunk Laurel suggests Oliver fire Felicity, it occurred to me that she has every right to act possessive and bitchy. As much as I dislike Laurel, her reaction is spot on, even justified, because so far, every time Felicity shows up, Oliver leaves Laurel to talk to her. The first time is when Felicity is “setting up the internet.” The second time, she asks to talk to Oliver at the party. The third time, she hasn’t even interrupted yet, and already Laurel has attacked. Ever since Laurel met Felicity, she has responded with hostility–because she knows she has just met the competition.

          1. There’s a different quality to the Oliver-Felicity relationship, especially in public, that I think would be galling. They work calmly together, they confer quietly on the sidelines; if he asks for something, she goes; if she shows up, he goes to her, they give each other their full attentions. It’s a serious, adult, business relationship that’s clearly very close, and at this point, pretty much bulletproof (unless somebody shoots her). It’s the antithesis of the fast, passionate, convict-ridden immature relationship Oliver has had with Laurel. So I’m not even sure it’s competition; Laurel has to recognize that it’s something completely different.

          2. I don’t know that she is justified in acting that way w/Felicity, since she has no claim on Oliver, but I get your point. Laurel does seem to sense something w/Felicity, b/c she gives Felicity a look every time. I just assumed it was Laurel being Laurel, but maybe it’s more than that. Maybe she sees a relationship different from any other in Oliver’s past, including the one w/her. Off-topic: Anyone notice Felicity never calls Oliver “Ollie?”

          3. New people in your life rarely call you by your childhood nickname. When I call my brother “Jacky” or my cousin “Rusty,” everybody, including their wives, looks at me like I’m nuts. It’s a good demarcation of those who still see you as the kid you were (I’m sorry, I know he’s about to turn sixty, but he’s my baby brother) and those you know you and treat you like an adult. Ollie would have loved Laurel draping herself over him and would have fired Felicity in a second to get a secretary who put out. Oliver’s living a different life.

  36. Hmm..END of the DAY..”Laruel” is the MAIN female LEAD and I HATE to admit it but that means something..GOD, she’s a urgh!!

    Why can’t CW/ARROW/THE 3 Ex-Prod just SEE THAT BC IS SARA and be done with it INSTEAD of planning HER DEATH so that someone as USELESS and DARK/SOULED as ‘larjel’ can TAKE OVER!! URGH!

  37. Where does it say that Sara will die? This is all speculation, and it is completely possible for the writers to go in a different direction. Also, if you check Stephen Amell’s Facebook page, he put a new fan art banner and it’s clearly Sara on there as BC. I wouldn’t count her out just yet.

    Here is a clip of an interview with Stephen Amell: (original link is http://13thdimension.com/mighty-qa-stephen-amell-of-arrow-talks-roy-ras-and-ollies-women/)

    It’s the natural question when you’re doing a comic-book show: “How aware are you of what’s going on in the comic books” or whatever: Are you at all aware of what’s going on with the character in the comics or how that’s playing off the show, or is just totally in a separate bubble?

    It’s a completely separate bubble. I live in the bubble of our show and I actually don’t like any outside influences.

    I am not convinced they will kill Sara off, mostly because that’s what everyone assumes, and as Jenny so aptly put it, the Arrow writers are “fearless” and “drunk.” I mean, holy crap, Sara survived! And was trained by the League of Assasins! And returned to protect her family! And came back to save her drunk sister! And possibly had an affair with the daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul! (This storyline just keeps getting better and better…)

    I have been wondering if this was always the plan. On the one hand, I don’t recall Oliver outright saying in the first season that she died. On the other, they cast a completely different actress in the pilot, so if the plan was for Sara to return as the Canary, it would have made sense to cast the same actress for continuity sake. It makes me wonder if the negative fan reaction to Laurel was so strong, they made adjustments to their plan.

    I also do not agree that she is the main female lead. It may have started out that way, but Emily Bett has gotten way more screen time that Katie Cassidy in the second season, and is right beside Oliver in the Season 2 Arrow poster, while Katie Cassidy is at the very back (beside Slade, as was pointed out by Julie). Felicity has a huge fan following, and the reception has been much more positive than Laurel’s introduction to the show. The love triangle Eonline poll currently has the Oliver and Felicity pairing hovering at the 75-76% mark versus Oliver and Laurel at 24-25% (I was actually shocked because I expected a much larger margin…like 85-15%…but hey, somehow Veronica and Logan are only at 80% and 20% of the fan base actually voted for Piz). My point is: Arrow’s Oliver-Felicity dynamic is so big and has such a following that not only did they beat out the canon love story pairing, but also, they surpassed shows that actually set out to create love triangles, like The Vampire Diaries, which is split 62-38. Arrow never set out to create a love triangle, they accidentally stumbled unto one (and hopefully, with deliberately squash it and have Oliver move on from Laurel once and for all). They had the One True Love/Epic Love Story covered before their pilot even aired…only it turned out to be the weakest part of their show. Would they still go in that direction? Possibly. But I wouldn’t count Felicity out just yet either.

    Bt, as for Felicity never calling Oliver “Ollie,” this makes complete sense to me. I have a nickname too, and everyone who knew me up until college called me that. When I went to college, I used my real name and everyone I met from college to the present only knows me by my real name. People from high school/childhood/family still use my nickname. Laurel and Thea use “Ollie” because that’s Oliver’s nickname and they grew up with him, whereas Felicity and Diggle call him Oliver because they met him when he outgrew his nickname/as an adult.

    1. Ollie was also established as sort of a “scolding” nickname, something people used when Oliver was misbehaving. I recall the actor saying he preferred Oliver over the nickname because it’s like when you do something wrong and your mom wags her finger at you. So yeah, I prefer Felicity never call Oliver “Ollie.” It’s a negative connotation for me.

    2. One of the things about writing a series that lasts longer than one season is that you end up rewriting in front of people. All that stuff that I do in the rewrite of a novel, they do as the series progresses. That’s terrifying enough–NOBODY looks at my rough drafts, including my editor, unless I’m doing something here on Argh (and even then, it’s just a scene)–but then you factor in that people have become emotionally invested in where you began, and you know you have to change it because it’s not in the right place, and now you have people yelling at you. I’d lock the door and never come out again. I think TV writers get beat up so often they develop thicker skins, but it still must be hell.

    3. I was also disappointed since the poll actually went DOWN for Oliver/Felicity and went UP for Oliver/larel..

      O/F was at 76% and went down to 75 and O/l was at 24 and went up to 25!!

      I thought the scores/polls would be higher then it is..Hmmm.

    4. Also..Was there any DOUBT that Sara IS ALIVE!! I mean, I never doubt at ALL that Sara was dead..It would be TOO EASY if she was in fact DEAD the first time..I mean, whom out there really thought she was dead at all..I know, I didn’t!

      As for my thinking that Sara is going to be killed off, WELL, I LOVE the CHARACTER SARA and too me, SHE IS BC; but I have to be realistic about this show and A SHOW IN GENERAL that places someone as USELESS and ANNOYING and AGONZING TO watch as “laurla” as a MAIN FEMALE LEAD since she is, second only to ‘SA’ and for BITCHY to become BC, Sara has to DIE! It’s that simply..THE SHOW will probably USE Sara’s death in some ways to motivate laruel into becoming BC etc and that’s just cliche and lame, since L becoming BC makes no-sense since L doesn’t HAVE what SARA and Oliver does…A BACK-GROUND/STORY into all the suffer and physical training SARA/Oliver has…I still think the show will just ‘super-power’ laruel into her powers somehow, just like ROY; except her’s will be that sonic voice thing.

      So, NO, I WANT SARA TO LIVE and SHE IS THE ONLY BC IN MY BOOKS but ‘head-shakes,’ Sara will disappear in the show later on/die…I hate it but urgh..

    5. I thought of the pre-island vs post-island thing as well, but Diggle calls him Ollie. I’ll have to pay more attention to the island scenes b/c I don’t recall if any of them ever call him Ollie. I just find it interesting b/c I like that she calls him Oliver only, but I don’t know why I like it. Just wondering what it means, if anything.

  38. Well I just finished binge-watching Arrow so that I could read this thread (which is great by the way). I love Felicity and Oliver together. I can’t see how Oliver could ever have a relationship with Laurel when there are so many lies between them. She has a relationship with him as Oliver AND a relationship with him as Arrow. If they ever got together, they would be a disaster. He’d either have to keep lying to her, which isn’t what “true love” does. Or he’d have to tell her the truth, which would paint him in a much darker light. And she’d have to take a step back and sort out her feeling for him again. They’d have to RE re-start their relationship because she isn’t with the man she thought she was. No matter how you feel about Laurel, does she really deserve a guy that has done nothing but lie to her for 6 years?

    He needs to be with someone who knows his secrets and likes him for the man/men that he is. That would be a stronger relationship and I could buy that one working.

    I love all the reversals and the plot twists and am so happy that Tommy stayed true as a friend. I really feared they were going to make him the arch enemy super villain.

    After the Blind Spot episode and the last episode, I think the writers are making it clear that Oliver doesn’t see her the same way he used to. I can see them setting her up to fall hard and cross to the bad side. Especially when she sees her sister is back from the dead, and that everyone but her knew about it.

    Maybe she’ll go train with Merlin. 🙂

    I like Oliver and all his angst but why why why (if Oliver likes Felicity) did he sleep with Isobel? I was very disappointed in him for doing that.

    1. Because he’s a guy and it had been awhile. I still think she was trying to get pregnant, but then I’m a suspicious bitch and Ollie is a guy but he’s not stupid so I’m assuming he was careful. She really offered it to him with absolutely no strings. He said, “I don’t have time, I have an appointment,” and she said, “I’ll be quick,” which is one of the best lines ever. Then he got up and said, “Sorry, I have to go,” and she said something like “Do I look like somebody who wants to cuddle?” I thought it was funny as all hell, but I didn’t think it was out of character. At some point, the poor guy has to blow off some steam, and he’d already had budding relationships with Helena and McKenna end horribly and tried to go back to Laurel which lost him Tommy’s friendship (as it should have, the dumbass); I would imagine no strings sex with someone he’s completely uninvolved with emotionally would be pretty much irresistible. Plus then we get Felicity’s “We’re still in Russia” line, which was great. I really loved the way they played that out.

      I have no idea where they’re going with the relationship stuff; I worry more about them offing Sarah to make room for Laurel as the Black Canary. I think Felicity is pretty much un-killable at this point until the last season, whether she ends up with Oliver or not, but I think Sarah’s in the crosshairs.

      I love it that you came to the series new and had the same reaction to Felicity. She really saved the series. The writers do seem to be building the relationship carefully, all of that stuff can not be accidental, but I have no idea where they’re building it to. I just want to watch it. It’s such an adult relationship and there are damn few of those on TV, especially in comic book shows. It’s the endgame in romance novels: two people who understand and trust each other completely in a partnership that makes them both better.

      I really, really hope they make Laurel go bad. She’d be so wonderful.

      1. Re Tommy/Oliver mess in Season 1:

        …as it should have, the dumbass – Jenny

        OMG yes. Can we talk about that horrible decision. I’d been trying to talk my mother into watching Arrow because it really is something she’d like. She’s a huge action/adventure fan and I think she’d enjoy the show. She saw maybe 2 episodes of the 1st season and came back to me with, “Yeah… NO! I don’t like this show. Oliver’s a dick, his ex girlfriend is a hideous person, and I don’t like any of the other characters.” I spent all of Season 1 trying to convince her ever since that things have changed, that Felicity really revamped a lot of things, etc., but she stood pat. Then, at the end, she gave in, flipped it on and watched Oliver tank his relationship with Tommy. She was not amused.

        “So Oliver goes to Tommy,” she said to me afterward, “tells him he’s the one the ex girlfriend wants, tells him to man up…. Then runs outta there and bangs her in front of an open window for his ‘Best Friend’ to see? Yeah. Oliver’s changed. What a guy.”

        {{{beats head against desk}}}

        She’s been resistant ever since, though she did catch some of it recently and she liked the Team Arrow (Oliver/Felicity/Diggle) stuff a lot. I almost had her going back to watch City of Heroes but the stupid cable company took it off OnDemand. LOL! I’ll lure her in one day.

    2. Isabel made sense to me. And I liked her better in that episode than I ever had before; she was finally interesting to me instead of just being someone Oliver makes excuses to when he bails on a meeting to fight crime. They were out of the country and away from the office, they’d had vodka…and like Felicity said, there was “the obvious leggy model reason.”

    3. I, too, liked that he slept with Isobel. There are so many layers to that hook up and not only was it fun, it led to Oliver saying he couldn’t get involved with anyone he could really care about–the strongest indication by far (in my opinion) that he is fighting his feelings for Felicity. Also, as Jenny mentioned, he’s a guy and it had been awhile…over 6 months in the Arrowverse.

      Also, I think it HAD to be Isobel, where Felicity’s reaction could still be interpreted in a different way. I actually did not take Felicity’s reaction as plain jealousy, there was another layer to it. Her response wasn’t, “Why did you sleep with someone else?,” it was “WHY HER?” This is the woman who tried to take his company away. I assume Felicity was trying to figure out a way to help Oliver save Queen Consolidated before his mom brought up Walter, so sleeping with Isobel would be irritating, even if Felicity had no romantic feelings for him. Plus, it further illustrated why I am so against Laurel with Oliver. I saw more chemistry between Oliver and Isobel, and I actually understood why they hooked up.

      I also loved that Felicity demanded an answer as to why he did it. She didn’t act out. She didn’t pretend it didn’t bother her. She didn’t channel her disappointment anywhere other than towards Oliver in a calm, mature way. These two are close enough to have this conversation, and even after she said “What happens in Russia stays in Russia,” she still confronted him because at the end of the day, it bugged her. I love how honest Felicity is, and this is so true to her character throughout the show. She is loyal to Oliver, but she consistently calls him on his crappy decisions. She doesn’t let herself be a doormat. She tilts her head questioningly when he feeds her that first lie, walks away from him when he pushes an agenda she doesn’t believe in (The Dodger), and yells back at him when he is out of line.

      But whereas Felicity’s disappointment is understandable, even if she had no romantic feelings for him, his response clearly points to romantic feelings for her. She questions him on her choice of WHO he slept with, he responds with “I can’t be with anyone I could really care about.” And the way this line was delivered, it’s clear who he’s referring to. When she says he deserves better, I don’t think she meant herself. I think she says exactly what she means–he deserves better because Isobel is a cold, cutthroat bitch.

      I agree with Jenny–I thought the writers handled this storyline perfectly.

      1. I loved it when she started in on it again in the car, and he said, “I thought what happens in Russia stays in Russia,” and she said, “WE’RE STILL IN RUSSIA.”

      2. “I can’t be with anyone I could really care about.”

        You know, when I first saw/heard that LINE, I thought to myself “whom is he referring too?” Then a few days later I saw a interview where he did in the lair and the interview was somewhat old since I came onto ‘Arrow’ late, very late, since I binged watched season 1 sometime during sep/when the DVD came out etc and started following S2 of Arrow, so, ALL INTERVIEWS/VIDEOS etc were NEW TOO ME, but old to everyone else; anyways, in that interview ‘SM’ said that in a LATER ep ‘HE’ talks about someone he CARES about etc and HE mentioned “URGH/laruel” by name, so, imagine my DISAPPOINT after seeing the Russia ep…Any thoughts on this one? I WANT to believe he meant Felicity but my FIRST thoughts where not, “it’s Felicity,” it’s “WHOM is he referring too”…

        1. I think the interview you are referring to, he is asked about Laurel, and his response was he had just said on the show that he can’t be with anyone he cared about…Stephen Amell used that line to explain why the relationship with Laurel was not being pursued at the moment, but when he said it on the show, I think he clearly meant Felicity. It doesn’t make sense to me for the writers to have him say that, given the situation and tone of that scene, and have him mean Laurel or anyone else. Take into account after this episode, they address Oliver’s jealousy head on with the arrival of Barry, so clearly, they are building up romantic tension in these episodes.

          The writers know Olicity is a big deal. They must write these scenes with the intention of building up a potential romance for these two characters, whether or not they are doing it to set up the endgame or just a hurdle in the Oliver-Laurel canon love story. Oliver already explained. He said it just happened, it meant nothing. He could have stopped there, but he didn’t. He knew he hurt her. He felt the need to explain and comfort her somehow, so says, “Hey….because of the life I lead, I just think that it’s better to not be with someone I could REALLY care about.” His intention is to let her know he has to keep that door closed between them.

      3. *She questions him on HIS choice…

        I hate reading back my own typos!

        And yes, Jenny. I laughed out loud when she said that. I think the way they handled Felicity’s response was so refreshing. You can feel her frustration, and yet she isn’t annoying in revealing her feelings about what happened. I like that her feelings about it were out in the open and addressed in the same episode. In contrast, Oliver’s jealousy arc lasted three episodes.

  39. Oh, I totally bought Oliver sleeping with Isobel. She’s hot, for one, the guy jumps in bed with everyone, for two, and I thought they actually managed a nice little connection/bond during their entire minute of sipping cocktails beforehand — in fact, right after watching, I noted to a friend that I thought he bonded more with Isobel than he had managed to do with Laurel for the entire first season. I also thought Oliver had more in common with Isobel than he did with Laurel, which is kinda sad if the show wants to return to Laurel/Oliver. And even though I think Isobel is going to turn out to be evil, I did buy her bit about feeling lonely at the top — that felt real. So I might not be shipping the two of them, but I thought their hook-up was great and made sense for both characters.

    I’m disappointed that apparently we’re not seeing Isobel again until the 18th episode – I keep getting the feeling that there’s a lot more to her story and I want to see what it is.

    1. I really need Isabel to have a point here. The show keeps saying she might not be a traditional Arrow bad guy but I can’t decide if that’s just to get viewers to let their guard down so it’s more dramatic when she is revealed to be something more or if they’re serious and it’s really this boring. I expected so much more from the takeover subplot. Some devious scheming, manipulation, really smart/evil genius moves by Isabel, etc. So far it’s been a snore.

      1. I think their problem is that they have enough plot lines for three shows. I love that, this show goes a hundred miles an hour at all time, but it also means not much Isabel, Diggle and Felicity in the background, and Walter disappears. Those are four characters I want to see more of. Laurel’s back story: not so much.

  40. The thing about this show is that, one can’t really HATE most of the villains; be they male or female…I mean, I even like Isabel more then I can tolerate “laruel” at all. She adds a bit of spice to Oliver and Felicity relationship, no-matter WHAT stage it’s at, at this point in time..I even don’t hate or dislike Slade much; but his so called revenge/obsessive behavior, LOVE for Shado kinda blind-sided me there..I mean, on the Island, I get that there was a BIT of jealousy/attraction, whatever but to go from that to WANTING to kill Oliver for her death etc is a HUGH LEAP but I guess it’s NEED for whatever he’s to become..NOT a comic fan, so, have no idea.

    The only one I truly HATE to see or even LOOK at is, blood brother or whatever his name is..He just has a WEASEL, ugly face/mannerism to him that I am just disgusted with. No other ways to put it..

    Helena is just a Psycho, and she’s entertaining and that’s about it..Nothing more too her really..

    AND whom doesn’t like John Borrowman/men?? Anyways, the only thing I don’t get about him in general is him NOW valuing his “daughter” that spoil, selfish, brat that choose a GUY over her own MOTHER..WHAT a pointless character..She’s ONE character that’s just THERE and I just don’t give a crap about at all..Anyways, by how Macolm treated his OWN son, now he comes back all “I want my daughter” etc is just doing a 180 on his character..I was like ‘WTF’…

    1. When I was 18, my parents planned a trip to Las Vegas, Canada, and a cruise to Alaska for my entire family one summer. I was a freshman in college, and I told them I had to take summer classes to be able to graduate with a minor in Creative Writing. The truth? I had started dating a guy I had been infatuated with for awhile. I didn’t want to risk the relationship even though I love my family dearly.

      I’m 33 now and I live in a different continent from my family. I married the guy I started dating that summer, but sometimes I regret not having spent that time with my family now that I am with my husband every day and see my siblings and parents once a year. My point? At 18, first love can be all consuming, irrational, and the root of some pretty stupid choices. I’m with Thea on this one. Choosing Roy was completely on point for an 18-year-old.

      Also, that summer? Awesome. Lots of firsts. Las Vegas, Canada, and Alaska are still around. My husband promises to take me someday. And my parents? They still love me, as I knew they would. No matter what I do/did, my parents would have stood by me, and I knew that. I already knew their love was unconditional…even if I chose someone else at the moment.

  41. STILL..A SHITTY and self-absorbed thing to do…I can’t imagine choosing ‘A GUY’ whom you just meant over the LIFE of your own mother, no-matter what wrongs she may or may not have committed..I don’t EXCUSE SELFISH actions like that…I don’t CARE if she’s “YOUNG/17,” it’s still pretty unforgivable in my books but I’m not a mother, so, I can’t sympathies with such a CRAPPY daughter! I’ll give you that.

    1. I don’t remember Thea risking her mother’s life over a guy. In fact, she’s forgiven her for a lot of things I’d have drawn the line on.

    1. I’m sorry, I’m being really thick here, but I don’t remember that. I know Moira’s had some really bad times, all things she brought on herself, but I don’t remember her being in a situation that would have been different if Thea stayed by her side. Is this when Moira was in prison and Thea wouldn’t visit? Because I don’t think that was because of Roy. But again, I’m slow tonight.

      1. What I meant when I said ‘HER life is ENDING’ is that, her life is absolutely OVER/JAIL TIME FOR LIFE or DEATH SENTENCE during that point in time for confessing on LIVE tv that she was a PART of whatever MM was doing/going to do to the GLADES and thea thought NO-ONE but the GUY she just meet!! I mean, what does that really tell you about her, besides being HER FATHERS/MOTHERS daughter NOW!! I just really don’t like thea, so, I’ll have NOTHING to say about someone LIKE HER.

        Cheers,

  42. P.S. I’ve changed my mind about Katie Cassidy. Girl’s got serious acting chops when you give her the right material to work with. Won’t say anymore so that I don’t spoil anything.

  43. I’ll check back tomorrow then. I’m very interested to see your viewpoints on a couple of things that happened.

    1. Well, I was pretty much “Best show ever!” until the last scene and then I was just confused. Also Oliver just moved from the edge of man-whore territory into owning major real estate. WTF?

      1. I’m starting to wonder if they’re just so attached to the idea of the Arrow/Canary love story that they can’t let it go – it wasn’t working with Laurel, so they brought in a better Black Canary. My first reaction was just “Uh…” followed by “Well, at least it’s not Laurel.” I like her, but the more I think about that last scene, the more annoyed I get.

        1. I loved her with Nyssa. It was just such a nice surprise. Then Oliver just seems like a huge step backward.

          I think the love story arc on this show just jumped the shark for me. I understand that guys will be guys, and that Sarah was just rejected by Laurel (although the rest of her family is thrilled to have her back), and that Oliver just got a wake-up call on his mom, but I still don’t see how that ending works. They weren’t comforting each other, they basically looked at each other and Sarah said, “My sister is still a bitch,” and Oliver said, “So is my mother,” and then they groped each other. It was a little abrupt. Unless we’re working on the theory that Oliver’s going to hit every woman under fifty on this show except for Thea, that seemed out of character.

          I went and read the interview. Really, they didn’t want to label Sarah as bisexual? What a cop-out. That was one of the best things about a really great show. Sometimes show runners are incredibly tone deaf.

      2. I don’t see the Sarah/Ollie, BC/GA thing lasting long. I do think it’s a way for BC/GA to exist in the Arrow universe, even for a short time. They can say they went there. I really don’t see Laurel becoming BC now especially since they did do this. I also don’t see BC/Sarah sticking around. There are too many characters, especially in the Arrow cave. She either dies (I don’t think this will happen) or she leaves and pops up every now and then. So now the question remains… What becomes of Laurel? Maybe she does become bad.

        I loved the Oliver/Felicity, Felicity/Moira, and Oliver/Moira scenes!!!! Seriously, when Moira is thinking clearly again she’ll respect Felicity for what she did.

        Felicity is awesome!

        1. Felicity doesn’t need to work out on the Salmon Ladder for an hour to be badass. She’s just BADASS!

        2. No-matter how much I want ALL of you that’s commenting on ‘luarel’ turning bad, she wont or she will for a bit but turn good again, since she’s FEMALE LEAD..IT’S this TITLE that destroys what FANS LOVE the most or whom or what’s happening..I HATE IT but it’s true. I’d rather she just die and be replaced with SARA permanently..

      3. Comforting each other, emotionally etc..I say, let them have it..I mean, SARA and Oliver does deserve happiness and EVERYONE knows it’s not going to last, so, why not just let them be happy for awhile..I mean, I LOVE Sara’s character and SHE IS BC but I know she’ll die..I hate it but I have to be real about it. I mean, do you see some of the things ‘larul’ fan writes about her!? THEY wait for SARA to die so THEIR LOVELY Laurel can be BC.. I mean, have any of you really SEE the actress laruel!! She was pretty enough back then but now, she has a weight problem and obviously has done some work on her CHIN!! I mean, WHY turn herself into this ‘thing’ when she was fine before! ‘shakes-head’..She looks like she’s ‘ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE’… I know I’m not the only one seeing this..

        1. Kay, we really talk more about the writing and the characters on here rather than bashing other fans or the actress, who’s doing a pretty good job. I know that kind of response is just fine every place else, and you’re pretty new here so you’re still learning the ropes, but we don’t do personal attacks on people, ever.

          I agree, I think Sarah’s doomed and I hate that. I really like her character and she makes a great Black Canary.

          1. Not really bashing if it’s TRUE but I’ll try to KEEP my dislike of ‘luarel’ to myself in future.

            As for Sara..I KNOW!! It’s so sad..Reason why I don’t see why some to many are making such a big deal about that LAST scene..I say, give the girl some LOVE when WE ALL know she’ll never make it into SEASON 3…URGH!! I hate, HATE IT!!!

          2. Jenny, I don’t think you have to worry about Sara being doomed. While I’m so far from trusting the writers at this point, I just don’t see bringing her back from the dead, giving her pretty much all of BC’s traits except for the actual cry just to kill her off. Especially since they’re introducing the Birds of Prey with her in that episode.

            Since Dinah Laurel Lance wasn’t the first Black Canary, I can see Laurel taking the mantle up from Sara but I don’t see them killing Sara to get it done. Sara has so many traits of the comic book Lady Shiva that she could go back to the League like Shiva did. Or something physical could happen to her that she could become Arrow’s version of Oracle because I don’t see Felicity staying Team Arrow and working with the Birds of Prey at same time.

          3. It really is wide open. I don’t see Sarah as Oracle because I don’t think she has the computer skills, but I agree the only way Felicity goes into a Birds of Prey story is to leave Arrow, and the writers aren’t about to let her go.
            I’m not sure why I don’t think Sarah will last. It may just be that I’m not buying five people in the bat cave, or that her acting skills aren’t on a par with the rest of the cast, although I love her as the Black Canary in action.

  44. I like the episode. I don’t miss the island part on that one.And the end make sense too me. They both had a very emotional rejection from a member of there family and need to express some desire and frustration. All characters are very interesting and human.
    And yes EBR’s awsome like always 🙂

    1. Jenny, thank you! I feel the same way about Sara’s acting. I think her chemistry with Oliver is better than Laurel (Laurel is so cold…but now that it is clear that is who she is, I am really enjoying her). I still don’t want her (Laurel) to be Oliver’s love interest, but I am not on the Write-off-Laurel team anymore. I’m firmly on I-CAN’T-WAIT-TO-SEE-WHAT-SHE-DOES-NEXT team (Katie Cassidy playing a bitch, how I’ve missed you!). She is finally interesting to me!

      Oliver says all these sweet things to so many women in his life. He tells Laurel: “I will never leave you.” He tells Sara: “I’m not losing you again.” He tells Felicity: “You will never lose me.” The problem for me is that I only find it compelling when he is talking to Felicity. With anyone else, the lines fall flat, and the romantic chemistry is just not there (in my opinion). It’s the shows mad attempt to string as many shippers along as possible (this is so going to blow up in their face!). I thought Oliver’s chemistry with Sara was great until it turned romantic. I agree, the love scene was awkward…Stephen Amell’s previous kisses with his romantic interests were slow and gentle…this was fast and (looked) sloppy.

      I hope if they ever explore that first kiss with Felicity, it stops there–with a kiss. I would hate for them to just jump into bed together (my husband and I were best friends before we dated…and even then there were a few months between our first kiss and sex…so I’m not convinced kissing must immediately lead to sex),

      I am trying to drop the Olicity ship. It is too frustrating to watch it unfold, and I’d rather have no expectations and be pleasantly surprised than hopeful, invested, and eventually devastated. At this point, I am barely invested in Oliver’s happiness. It’s Felicity I care about most (Diggle is a close second).

  45. I would have rather had Island scenes than Lance family flashbacks. I felt these scenes were not needed. The only thing of interest was the fact that Sarah was hesitant (via texts with Oliver) to go on the boat and he only agreed to meet with him after she had a fight with her sister. It paralleled the ending scene in that she ran to Oliver again after fighing with her sister. I feel no great love for Oliver from them either then or now. He just feels like a pawn in their sibling rivalry. Oliver on the other hand is a man whore. I did feel like they were leading up to this all episode, but before this episode I would have never Oliver would do this…. again. At least Felicity didn’t walk in. I know it’s a slow build, so that means angst. Doesn’t make it any easier, lol. I do hope by the end of this season/the beginning of next season we will have some clarity on which direction the show plans to take in regards to Oliver’s romantic lead. No more of this triangle/quadrangle crap. Seriously, my heart can’t take it.

    1. It’s not even my heart. I can’t get invested in chaos. If I can understand motivations, I’m fine, but when I end a damn near perfect episode with a WTF? I start giving up on that subplot.

      1. I wasn’t shocked they did it. The whole I’m hurt, you’re hurt let’s bang thing. I’m curious if this is just going to be used to create team conflict or what. But yeah, I just sighed, “Oh, Oliver. Idiot.”

  46. Oh and any thoughts on Felicity’s father? Dr. Ivo? I heard Slade Wilson had an illegitimate daughter in the comics? Out of the two I’d rather it be Slade.

    1. Why not Ras al Ghul instead of Slade or Dr. Ivo??? I mean, I had this thought, for one sec, mind you, that CW/ARROW could be so cruel as to make Felicity the daughter of Robert Queen..That WOULD KILL ME instantly…

      1. Felicity knows who her father is. He was someone who was important to her at the time. Sounds like he left when she was pretty young though since she doesn’t really remember him. Even if he was going by another name I’m sure she’s seen pics of Robert Queen, so we can rule that out.

        1. A child’s mind is a mystery when it comes to hurt and esp a PARENT, so, I’ll rule out nothing..I HOPE to GOD, it’s not true.. All pic’s of RQ would’ve been when he was OLDER and Felicity’s mind is that of a toddler etc?? I’d still want her as ‘Ras al Ghul’ child then say Slade*whom isn’t exactly OLD enough?* or Dr. Ivo, just becuz of his scientific background..I mean, that’s pretty weak and EVERYONE is just choosing between these two..

      2. it would be cruel, but at the same time smart if they wanted to stick to cannon while keeping the olicity fandom at bay: even the most diehard olicity fan would not ship half sibs. ugh! horrible though.

        1. I was also thinking when ALL this ‘who’s the father’ going on, that Mrs. Lance cheated and only SARA is the legit child of Det. Lance and that Luarel is RQ daughter..THAT would be a laugh and just down-right-PUKE worthy since O and l already slept together etc..Yeah, I know, not going to happen but for SEC, that crossed my mind. If it were true, GOODBYE ‘laruel’..AHAHHA!!

    2. I don’t think Slade would target his own daughter. Also, he seems kind of young to be Felicity’s father.
      But I would not be at all surprised if Daddy didn’t have some major villain issues next year.

      1. I’m hoping that they’re not going to make her father someone we’ve already seen on the show. Use it to introduce a new big bad for season 3. Making it someone coincidentally tied to the whole island thing would just tip the scale of ridiculous for me considering everybody on the Queen’s Gambit ended up in the same place and are now together in the past and present and then the super drug comes back and Sara’s alive! Slade’s alive! The serum is back! Then Ivo is also Felicity’s dad? Ugh. Maybe it’s because I don’t find Ivo interesting either. LOL. I’d like to aim a little higher/bigger for that her. I don’t see Slade being her dad and I definitely don’t see Robert Queen being her dad.

        1. I think they’re about to start raiding the bottom of the DC closet for antagonists, which could be very wonderful. I’ll buy that Felicity’s dad is around Starling City or comes back; that’s entirely logical. The island, no. There’s a limit to the willing suspension of disbelief.

          My pick for Best Bad would be Harley Quinn. I love that character with a passion as insane as she is.

          1. So would Felicity, probably.

            Better yet, bring in Harley and Poison Ivy. Then the show runners can explain that Harley and Ivy aren’t bi-sexual, they just have a lot of sleep-overs.

          2. Oh god..I just had the JOKER as her father a few minutes before reading your post..I mean, I thought, that would be neat..Joker and then GOTHEM/BM, and then I was like, “No, can’t be the JOKER, since then BM” would be in the mix and ARROW isn’t ALLOWED BATMAN in anyways..

          3. All this talk of the DC universe is making me want to go back and watch that WB Birds of Prey show. Pretty sure Harley Quinn was the villain there. It probably wasn’t that good, but I have a vague memory of liking that version of the Huntress.

          4. I love Harley Quinn, but my love expanded greatly when she rescued an abused dachshund and rode through town with him on her motorcycle, the dogs’ ears flapping in the wind. I’m pretty sure Amanda Connor drew that, and it was joyous.

      2. YES!! THAT’S what I’ve been saying EVERYWHERE and EVERYTIME SLADE is mentioned..He just seems TOO YOUNG to be Felicity dad..Too me, anyways…Dr. Ivo also but whatever…Now, Ras ah Ghul has been EVERYWHERE and his AGE is ?able and NO-ONE can say THAT man isn’t BEYOND intelligent and just down-right scary and mysterious..I love, LOVE ‘Liam Neeson’…Too bad, ARROW can never GET HIM to reprise his ROLE as ‘RAS’ since anybody ELSE would be a disappointment compared to him..Ah well.

    3. There’s definitely going to be something revealed about Felicity’s dad. The EPs mentioned 2 things from Felicity’s back story will be important later. Being that her back story is that her mom was, “well, her mom” and her dad abandoned them, it’s got to be about that. But again, more support for why Felicity is such a great character in contrast to Laurel. She is quite vulnerable, yet can rise above it, and has done well for herself, has a positive perspective, and has shown strength and conviction from the start.

      As for Laurel/Sara, I just don’t get it. I have sisters. Laurel/Sara’s treatment of each other is so contrary to what I understand is sisterly love (other than the boyfriend stealing, Sara was actually ok, and maybe w/a sister like Laurel, I might be driven to that myself). But especially Laurel’s treatment of her sister. It just gets worse. She comes from a loving family with doting parents, so I just don’t get her attitude toward her sister. If I thought I lost my sister who I love so much that her death destroyed me, I would be so happy to see her again. My thought would not be “you ruined my life,” particularly if my life included going to law school, dating Tommy and basically living a normal life. This is especially compared to what Sara had to endure during those same years. It is just weakness of character to be so self-absorbed that you can’t even appreciate what you have, only regret what you think you should have. And Laurel’s whole rant about how her sister ruined her life b/c she didn’t call to tell them she was alive? Um, using what phone in the middle of no where was she supposed to make that call? Ugh! Regardless of whether the character Laurel has hit rock-bottom on the show, she has definitely hit rock-bottom in my opinion of her.

      1. The sibling dynamic can rest on any number of things beyond parenting. My big surprise was that Laurel was the younger sister, probably trying to live up to Sarah, in competition all the time which Sarah obviously joined since she did the whole sleeping-with-her-sister’s-boyfriend thing. I thought the most interesting thing about the flashback was Sarah having second thoughts until Laurel was rude and then texting back that she’d be on the boat. I thing Laurel’s actions are justified: she gets hit by the double whammy that her sister was sleeping with the man she loved at the same time she finds out her sister is dead, she tries to deal with that for six (?) years and then finds out that her sister is alive, and her father has known about it and didn’t tell her and beyond that her sister let the family think she was dead, which led to her parents’ divorce, all of which trauma Sarah could have fixed with one phone call. So I’d be annoyed, too. Laurel had a pretty nice life going until Sarah snuck onto that boat, a really selfish, cruel act. Now Sarah’s back and she’s the Golden Child and Laurel’s lost everything. There’s gonna be some tension there.

        1. Umm..Sara is the YOUNGER child, laruel is the OLDER one..I’m sure of it..

          Sara is the baby of the family…

          Laurel was the one that stabbed Sara in the back first and manipulated their father so that laurel would GET her chance with Oliver BEFORE SARA…

          1. I thought so, too, but Sarah came home from college in the flashbacks and Laurel was just applying to law schools so she wasn’t in college yet. Or did I get that wrong? Maybe Laurel had finished pre-law and was applying grad school? Confused. I think I may have assumed that Laurel was living at home, but she could have been visiting from college, too. Up until that scene, I’d thought Laurel was the older sister. That would actually deepen the competition, the little sister trying to compete with the big one by sleeping with her boyfriend. Frankly, they’re both awful in the past.

        2. Jenny,

          Law school would have been Laurel’s further education after she finished her four-year bachelor’s degree. According to DC’s wiki she was born in 1984 while Sara was born in 1987 while Sara was born in 1984.

  47. I’m sorting out thoughts on Oliver/Sara. There’s a part of me that thinks, “Shared history, pain/trauma in common, both just had horrible experiences with family” and hopes it was just a mistaken attempt to feel better. I want to see where they take it in the next episode before I make up my mind, but right now I’m ambivalent/leaning toward annoyed. It feels a little too much like him going back to Laurel in season one and risking a friendship, in this case Laurel’s instead of Tommy’s. It’s time he grew out of that behavior, and I really thought he had.

    I loved the stuff with Felicity. Not just her standing up to Moira, which by itself was great, but also her telling Oliver almost immediately. They handled that perfectly – to have her keep it from him out of fear of his reaction, or have him get angry at her for telling him, would have been a complete betrayal of that relationship. So I’m thoroughly pleased with the writers for having both of them behave like friends/partners and mature adults.

    There’s an interview with the show-runners on the episode here: http://tvline.com/2014/02/05/arrow-season-2-spoilers-oliver-sara-nyssa-felicity-backstory/. I found it very reassuring in terms of how they plan to treat Felicity as a character and the Oliver/Felicity relationship, at least in the near future.

    1. Ok so Ivo’s not good because Oliver say his name in episode 9 and Felicity didn’t react at it. She also says “i don’t know WHAT he is” talking about her father … i wonder too

      1. The writers said they knew her parentage since season one, which leads me to believe it’s someone who was introduced then, which would be Slade, but I guess it could be someone who they knew in season 1 was going to be introduced in season 2. I think Ivo is still in play. Felicity has heard Slade’s name too and it hasn’t rang any bells. I’m assuming she knew him as someone else, so Ivo wouldn’t be Ivo to her. I’m leaning more towards Ivo since abandoning your wife and child seems like a shitball thing to do and Slade was basically a good guy before the whole drug thing.

      2. I think he’s a new villain from the Green Arrow canon. No idea which one. Maybe he’s the set up for the third season Big Bad. THAT would be interesting. Felicity helping to bring down Dad who deserted her. That could be some very crunchy character work.

  48. Ok Sasha i bite. Assuming Ivo’s one of the all bunch of people Oliver though dies (like Lawton, Slade, Merlin … note to Oliver forgot the arrow into the eye, it doesn’t work). And in that case, why not the blur who kills Barry’s mother then but not Ras ‘al Gul.

  49. If Felicity’s father plays out at the end of this season I would think it is someone who is alive. Much more impact than simply seeing some picture of him (but maybe who her father is is not really important). I assumed Ivo was dead. I thought that Slade found out that Ivo killed Shado (after he disclosed the info on Oliver’s choice) and killed him. Maybe he made it out alive.

    1. You know some of these people are going to have to stay dead or it just gets ridiculous. I know there’s a Lazarus Pit somewhere, but at this point it must look like the local swimming pool in August.

      1. I had that same reaction with a friend last night, Jenny. I was like, Good lord can’t someone dead just STAY dead?! This is getting ridiculous and it just voids the point of death in a story.

      2. I agree, Oliver’s pretty good at not killing people, he just doesn’t realize it ! (he sucks at it actualy but that good for someone who want’s stop killing ^^)

  50. I have all these thoughts churning around my head and the majority of them have to do with the crucible the EPs have been tossing around all season — Laurel, Sara and Roy would all be going through their crucible. Two things stood out for me in this episode, and I wanted to get Jenny’s opinion to see if I am reading too much into it all.

    First, with each new episode, I am wondering if the writers are really going to be brave enough to turn Laurel evil! After Laurel’s little tyraid, my thoughts flew to something that Blood told Oliver in episode 4, so I went back to it and here it is, “Sooner or later we all go through a crucible … two types of people who go into a crucible. The ones who grow stronger from the experience and survive it, and the ones who die. But there’s a third type. The ones who learn to love the fire. Who choose to stay in their crucible because it’s easier to embrace the pain when it’s all you know anymore.” (Crucible — Episode 4)

    I assumed that the crucible stories of the three would all lead to Hero at the end; however, I am seriously questioning that now. We saw four people go through their crucibles on the island — Oliver, Slade, Shado and Shado’s father. Two died, Oliver is working through to Hero and Slade the villain. So why should all three of the present day crucibles lead to Hero? The EPs HAD been harping on Laurel becoming the BC, but what if they had the balls to do something totally different, and having Laurel choosing to embrace the pain? I think that would be far more interesting personally. Especially now if Sara is staying for the time-being — that might be what drives her over the edge especially if she finds out about Oliver and Sara! AGAIN!

    That end scene just hurt my soul and my poor heart aches for Felicity, but I did see it coming so I wasn’t that surprised. It didn’t make it any easier to watch, but I knew it was going to happen eventually. I am just hoping that the purpose of this was to seal tight the lid on the L/O coffin. Yuck. And I honestly can’t see this lasting, they are both too damaged. I just hope they don’t take Felicity down the cliche route of jealousy. She has proven herself a very mature adult time and time again. That and I like the dynamic between the two and hope to see a good friendship built. Oliver though! Grrrrr! He just showed that his selfishness still resides within — more concerned with his own pain and need for comfort, WHAT IF FELICITY HAD WALKED IN! Angry face.

    The last piece is this. Going back to the crucible, the EPs have only ever mentioned the three players above as journeying through their crucible, but something that seemed to be glaring at me after last nights episode was could this also be Felicity’s crucible and this is what the season has been building towards? The reason being is that even though Felicity and Oliver appear to be growing closer and their bond is strengthening, the is season she is still very much alone. She is alone and yet it appears she has multiple crosshairs on her that have been building all season, culminating with Moira’s last night.
    –> Isabel who tried to wedge herself between Felicity and Oliver and is still lurking out there somewhere.
    –> Moira, as stated (DID NOT see that one coming though!)
    –> Laurel being snide and making insinuating remarks about her position
    –> The still circulating rumors about Felicity and Oliver that we haven’t wrapped back around to yet
    –> And then Oliver himself who jumped down her throat for visiting a friend who is in a coma, one of the ONLY friends she has from what we know. And now on top of that, he jumps into bed with Sara and will presumably be in a relationship with her even after his whole speech (I can’t be with someone blah blah blah) showing that while they may be partners, his pain and comfort come first.

    So am I crazy in thinking that this is Felicity’s crucible as well? Were the EPs were just being crafty in not spelling it out, AND it just wasn’t as blatant because she has so often demonstrated strength and morality that we know she will come through this in the end? She was a strong in season 1, you saw it in her unwillingness to cave to Oliver, but this season, especially so evident last night, she is in her own right made of steel — to confront Walter and then Moira. To be able to stand up to Moira and do the right thing in the end. But even then in the end she is still enduring all of this by herself. She was clearly shaken and upset, but rather than thank her and assure her, Oliver jumped in the sack with Sara.

    Any way, it was just really bugging me and if I could ask the EPs I would! LOL Too chicken to Tweet them on it LOL

    1. Nice call on that crucible quote. That’s really interesting.
      One thing to keep in mind: They only have about four hours of story left in this season. (Five episodes left? I could be wrong there.)
      They’ve got Moira running for mayor, Merlyn lurking in the background about to tell Thea he’s her daddy, Laurel heading south fast, Sarah coming back to life, Isabel trying to take over Queen Consolidated, Roy becoming the Red Arrow, Thea finding out about Roy about the same time she finds out about Dad (I’m betting), Nyssa coming back,and of course, Slade, not to mention the Diggle-centric episode coming up (and about time). They’re pretty good about shoving twenty pounds of story in a five pound bag, but there’s a limit. If I were them, I’d keep planting hints about Felicity’s back story while I wound up one of the fifty-six plots they’ve got running now, and then let it rip next year. I love Felicity, but at this point, I think she’d get lost in the crowd. As long as she and Moira keep having their little moments, I’ll be happy.

      1. I agree and I think that’s why the writers have said they’re saving the Felicity backstory stuff for season 3. Though I gather they’re calling Episode 14 “Felicity centric,” so I’m curious what that’s about. It seems more about team dynamic changes, Sara joining the team, and I’m sure realization that Oliver and her have had sex. But yeah, I think the backstory stuff won’t come into play in a big way until S3 and her dad will be the big bad. Though I was honestly more intrigued by Felicity’s description of her mother in that speech. LOL. She sounds like a MOTHER.

    2. I am responding before reading other comments so I might not be saying anything new. I remember that crucible quote too, but was too lazy to look it up, so thanks. And when Blood said that, I was thinking about where Laurel fit into that too. I think I mentioned in an earlier post about how people keep making excuses for Laurel’s behavior, but I always thought heroes and villains have in common struggles and painful life experiences, but what distinguishes a hero from a villain is how s/he handles/responds to those life trials. So far Laurel’s self-absorbtion (is that even a word?) is pointing toward villian. It’s usually the selfish, self-absorbed ones that can’t see past their own pain and problems, that end up bad (Huntress is an example).

      As for Felicity, I read somewhere that they touch more on her family by end of the season, and heard elsewhere that her story was bigger than what they could do this season. Putting two and two together I predict a season cliff-hanger that is Felicity-backstory-centric!

      I agree that the whole Oliver/Sara thing was painful to watch, but for different reasons. I actually prefer that they hook up now, because then I know they won’t be end game — no way can the end game couple hook up so soon, right? I just had a hard time w/that scene because it felt forced to me. All of those Oliver/Sara scenes suggesting romance seemed to come out of nowhere. Oliver saying “your family needs you…I need you,” “I don’t want to lose you again,” and the friendly chat turning to make-out session (in the Arrow cave no less – sacred grounds!), seemed out of thin air to me. Was there build up that I missed? I don’t mind for them to get together at this point, but it just didn’t seem natural.

      Anyway, I have some ideas on how this will all unfold (although my predictions have consistently been wrong, which is why I love seeing what the writers actually do). I see the rest of this season will be the Arrow/Black Canary hook-up (give the comic book enthusiasts the cannon they demand — give them all the lines they’ve been waiting for (I think Arrow calling her “pretty bird” is one if them)). But, alas, Sara must die (third and final), maybe in the big Deathstroke battle. Meanwhile, the island story will address the battle with Slade, showing the arrow to Slade’s eye and the second supposed death of Sara, leading to…
      Third season will be the beginning of Laurel training to become Black Canary, taking over for her sister, paralleling the island, which will be when Sara is found by the League and starts her training. We’ll see the two Canaries’ jouney to become Canaries in parallel. At the end though, the Arrow twist will be Laurel is bad, not good. Which makes it possibke for Oliver and Felicity to be end game. Cannon will have been satisfied, while the Laurel character is utilized in the best way possible, since she is already disliked and clearly plays evil well. Ha! okay, so that’s not my prediction. It’s more what I would do if I were the writers and had to work with what there is to work with. Good thing I am not one of the writers, right? If they get more seasons than the five years on the island, they can turn Black Canary into Birds of Prey (along w/Huntress) and Felicity can be their Barbara Gordon (this is me speaking w/ no knowledge of comics). Almost too neatly packaged, never will happen.

      1. You know if Laurel goes bad (fingers crossed, Cassidy is wonderful when she plays bad) and hooks up with the Huntress, another tough, angry, powerful woman, that could be a new spin on Birds of Prey, a loose cannon vigilante group. That could be a lot of fun.

  51. This was episode 13, and I think the show has a 22 episode order. So nine episodes left.

    Honestly, I’m bouncing all over this episode, which is why I wanted to read your opinion. It was a major roller-coaster of a ride, with FEELS everyplace, and I was so thrilled to see a bisexual superhero on my screen (and writers, she made out with both genders during the episode. Don’t dance around this. If Revenge, owned by family-friendly Disney, can openly state that Nolan Ross is bisexual, you can too), I was kinda riding the high.

    At the same time I did get a sick feeling in my stomach during the Sara/Oliver scene, because I just do not see this leading any place good for any of the characters. I think a Sara/Oliver romance could have made sense, but this wasn’t romantic – this was Sara getting ticked off at her sister again and repeating the same mistakes she made six years ago. This was Oliver, infuriated at his mother and the world. And it’s a moment that is going to hurt other people. Felicity, at least a little — if she was hurt about Isobel, this isn’t going to help, especially since it came right after the “You aren’t going to lose me,” Laurel and possibly Quentin. I can’t imagine Diggle is going to be thrilled either. And Slade? YIKES. Ok, Oliver and Sara don’t realize he’s around, but of everyone on the show I have to assume that Slade is going to have the worst reaction.

    So what it feels like now is that instead of having something arise organically between characters, something was added for the sake of killing off the Laurel/Oliver ship (I really don’t see that returning after this); pleasing those who wanted to see Black Canary and Green Arrow together (that I can see); putting up an obstacle between Oliver and Felicity, who already seem to have enough obstacles; giving Slade even more reason to be furious; and creating drama for the sake of drama. I don’t think the fallout from this is going to be good at all. So now I’m all worried.

    1. I loved the scenes of Arrow and the Black Canary together. Best thing I’ve ever seen on a comic book show. And I love Sarah as the Black Canary. I would have bought that “we need comfort” bit at the end completely if they’d set it up. As it was, it was just . . . odd. “I just found out my mother’s a liar, let’s have sex.” They could have taken a minute from one of the Lance family flashbacks and done the scene so it made sense instead of the two sentence lunge. I think I was most annoyed because it was such a stellar episode right up to that point.

      Really annoying that the producer said Sarah’s not bisexual. Uh, yes, she is. Unless they’re going with the idea that all they did was cuddle for a couple of years, which that kiss kind of undercuts. Come on, Arrow, go there. Don’t wimp out now.

      The part I found most fun was Felicity vs. Moira, first the showdown in the living room, and then Oliver being tuned in enough to know that Felicity was really upset and pressing her, and Felicity telling him the truth (oh, thank GOD they didn’t drag that out) right before he got up on the stage. That was such good storytelling, including that whispered, “I know” at the end that set up the big mother-son confrontation. There is the small problem of Oliver being a hypocrite about the lying part, but at least he hasn’t killed 500 people . . . oh, wait. Oliver, you’re a hypocrite, but I’m still on your side.

      I do think that by now Felicity is pretty used to Oliver having sex with a lot of different women, so I doubt Sarah will be a big surprise. (Remember “How many women were there on that island? Are you sure that wasn’t Fantasy Island?” She knows.) I think the only reason she objected so sharply to Isabel is that Isabel is the Enemy. Plus she probably knows that sex with Oliver always gets you killed or injured and shipped off the show, so she may just see it as thinning the herd.

      1. The Felicity/Moira stuff was such a shock to me, in a pleasant way, I mean. I thought Felicity was really strong in those moments. I liked how she stepped right up and came out her face both with Walter and Moira. I get a kick out of this show with it’s running “Who?” whenever Felicity pops up with certain people. How could you not feel bad for Felicity when Moira pulled that I know how you feel about him, I see how you look at him…. and if you tell him he’ll hate you and you’ll lose him.

        Given we later learn losing people is Felicity’s biggest fear, that was just the perfectly placed dagger to manipulate her. The fact that Felicity didn’t allow it to happen, that she trusted Oliver and told him the truth knowing what it could cost her was a huge thing for me. You admire that honesty and loyalty even if she feared she’d lose him as a result. That says a lot about her as a character, imo.

        I loved that Oliver was so aware of Felicity’s mood and reactions. That scene at the rally when he was hugging Moira and she was looking at Felicity was just evilly delicious! Him going after Felicity to insist she tell him what’s going on was one of my favorites of the night.

        Arrow did a terrific job setting up that moment. That shot of Oliver’s face as we see the stage and his mom in the background. That whole stilted speech where you start to see Moira think Oh crap he knows… to a moment of phew! to that whispered “I know.” Damn skippy that was awesome!

        And yeah, it’s hard to hear Oliver lecture about lies when his whole life is a lie. LOL. But you’re right. I’m still on his side.

        If all this is just the tip of the Felicity iceberg, I’m really excited about what they’re going to do next.

        1. I’m excited about everything, to tell you the truth. Any one of these plot lines would be the major plot on an average show.
          One of the things I really, really, really loved was the no-drama of the Oliver-Felicity stuff. She was upset, he asked what was wrong, she told him, he believed her, there was no Big Misunderstanding, and it all demonstrated how strong that partnership is. It’s a good callback to when to Diggle tried to tell Oliver his mother was involved, and Oliver rejected him. This is the same thing, but this time Oliver trusts his partners; I’m pretty sure that if Diggle had been the one to tell Oliver, he’d have accepted it in the same way. It’s such an adult relationship that the three of them have.
          I am not happy about how crowded the bat cave is getting, though. If I wasn’t fairly sure that Sarah was going to bite the dust by the end of the season, I’d be worried.

        2. Julie, agree w/ you completely. Really impressive acting by all involved, and the characters behaved consistent to their characters. Just loved how it unfolded, and loved that Felicity stuck to her guns against people who really intimidate her. The Felicity vs Moira battle should be interesting, but I’d never I underestimate Felicity.

  52. We have 10 more episodes – “Heir to the Demon” was #13 – and they are shooting 23. Entertainment Weekly is reporting the following:

    In Wednesday night’s episode, Felicity revealed a few nuggets from her past to Oliver in a touching speech, and at least two of the things mentioned in that monologue will be brought up again this season. “You’ll get payoff to those two things later on in the season,” says Guggenheim. And as for her relationship with Oliver, look for it to be “strengthened” after this week’s episode, in which she was the one to reveal to Oliver Moira’s big secret about Thea’s real father. “All Felicity is is the messenger here,” he says.

    I think it’s interesting that Guggenheim used the adjective “strenghtened” to describe Oliver & Felicity’s relationship – especially since so many fan boards are blowing up in outrage today. I wonder where this is going. All I know is that I’m still a little numb. I saw it coming – and I was still surprised by the big hook up at the end.

    I like Sara well enough, but I don’t think she and Oliver will last more than a few episodes. They are too much alike to make the long haul – and far too damaged.

    1. So about eight more hours of story (each ep is about 40 minutes). Huh.

      That’s still not that much time to pay off that much story. Slade has to take up some serious story real estate on the back end. You know there’s more island stuff coming; Oliver still has to save the Russian mob guy and lose Sarah back there, not to mention put an arrow in Slade’s eye. Roy’s losing his grip on his rage. Merlyn’s lurking. Diggle has a big back story episode coming up (YAY!). Nyssa’s coming back. Laurel is about to chew some serious scenery. Also, if there’s a god, Felicity and Moira will throw down again. Oh, and Oliver should put some arrows in some bad guys.

      God, I love this show. It just eats story lines.

      I’m actually more curious about Felicity’s mom. Dad left, but Mom has issues. She should fit right in with everybody else in Starling City.

      1. I so want Moira and Felicity to throw down. OMG. I love that. I can’t decide if Moira will want revenge against Felicity, if she’ll want to pry Felicity out of the picture and away from Oliver so she can try to mend fences… Would Moira throw in with Isabel to manipulate Felicity on the QC front? So many options here.

        I know people locked on to the Dad part of Felicity’s speech because she doesn’t really know who he is, but I locked on to the Mom part of that speech because wow… WOW! The look on Felicity’s face was like Ugh, she’s a hideous, awful, horrible she-demon and just thinking about the time I spent with her makes me want to cry. Who doesn’t love a mom like that? LOL! Oh dear. Can you imagine that Mom meeting Moira? I’m totally stoked for this.

        1. Yeah, I want to see Mom, too.

          I can’t imagine Moira cooperating with Isabel on anything. Stabbing her in the back, yes. I don’t think Felicity’s in danger. Moira buys people off or kills them, but I don’t think she does it for revenge. She seems very practical; she acts to get people out of her way so she can get what she wants. If she was going to kill people she didn’t like, Isabel would have been toast long ago.

          1. Yeah I don’t think she’d kill Felicity, but I do wonder if she’ll work to make her suffer a bit for costing her her family. Of course she could be way too busy with Blood and Slade to worry about Felicity anymore. LOL.

  53. Katie Cassidy does bitch with conviction. It is the first time, ever, I have enjoyed her in this show. When she said, “You stole my life,” I couldn’t help thinking that Caity Lotz “stole” the whole BC storyline and love story from Katie Cassidy…which made that line all the more awesome. Dark, angry Laurel is definitely much more enjoyable.

    I don’t see a love quadrangle on this show. I think they may have sank the Lauriver ship last night, which was a major highlight for me. Stephen Amell’s chemistry with Caity Lotz isn’t as strong as what he has with Emily Bett, but it’s leagues better than what he had with Katie Cassidy. I can see how he would fall back into Sara’s arms (although I hope it’s temporary), because of what they have been through (that night alone, her sister wanted nothing to do with her, whereas he told his mom he wanted nothing to do with her). The show at least established their bond. I do think that they are paying homage to the canon love story of the BC/GA, but as has been mentioned, the comic book version is so convoluted and the characters do break up/divorce. I desperately hope this storyline is heading in that direction. That hook up came out of nowhere, and what was most disappointing was that I was really looking forward to the Nyssa/Sara love story. It’s only the second season, so getting BC/GA together now could be a good sign for Olicity as endgame, right?

    I thought the acting last night was just phenomenal from most of the cast (I’m not blown away by Caity Lotz’s dramatic acting chops–she is likable enough though). One of my favorite parts was Paul Blackthorne as Lance, telling Sara he is glad someone loved her while she was gone (I forgot the exact words). Honorable mentions to Alex Kingston screaming for Sara, Katie Cassidy screaming AT Sara, Stephen Amell noticing Felicity was troubled and then telling his mom they are done, Susanna Thompson threatening Felicity, but most of all, Emily Bett. She was clearly uncomfortable around Moira and conflicted about whether to tell Oliver. She showed a completely different side of Felicity that still highlighted her vulnerability, strength, and honesty–all the things I love about the character. Apparently, even without the babbling and with a heavier storyline, Felicity is still lovable. I hope she handles Oliver and Sara’s relationship with maturity in the next episode. So far, I love how the Oliver-Felicity relationship is developing because it’s breaking stereotype. She told him the truth! Right away! I don’t have to dread a tortured reveal in the next episode. He told her she’d never lose him. This is the stuff endgame romances are made of.

    (On a side note, both Barry and Moria notice how Felicity looks at Oliver. Arrow Writers, it’s about time for someone to point out how Oliver looks at Felicity! I notice that far more often than how she looks at him).

    As for Felicity’s father, she supposedly has a superhero stepson, Firestorm, in the comics. The canon character is much older. I am hoping that in the Arrowverse, Firestorm is actually her dad instead of her stepson. I don’t know how they would do it without superpowers, but I think that would be interesting spin on the canon. I would also eliminate a canon love interest for her, which is why I really want this to happen.

    1. Flamethrowers. Arrow swaps superpowers for super science and super inventions which is so much fun, like modern steampunk.

      I agree, I’m hoping Felicity’s dad is going to be a big bad, which could be such crunchy storytelling. But I’m really more interested in Mom. Dad just left, but Mom is evidently something else. Although how bad can she be: Felicity is very sane. So far. Yikes.

  54. I don’t get it. Oliver is a hypocrite and a man whore and I’m still rooting for him. Why? By the way, am I the only one who doesn’t like Sarah?

    1. Sarah’s a little flat, but she’s got a bullseye on her forehead, so I can just appreciate her for how great she looks as the Black Canary.
      As for Oliver, incredible charm, risks his life to save people, treats Diggle and Felicity with respect, loves his little sister without limit, just told off his mother, Lady Macbeth . . . there’s a lot to love there. Plus he keeps secrets and lies for a good reason, to save people, not to protect his skanky past. Also, the abs.

    2. YES!! LOL…I LOVE SARA’S characters..What’s not too like..The girl went through shit and came out mostly sane and still is a HERO in her own rights! Can’t say the same about “THE SISTER”…Remember it was Luarel who back-stabbed Sara FIRST to get OLIVER NOT SARA! EVERYONE tends to FORGET this everywhere when Laurele FANS says SARA stole her sister BF..That annoys me to immensely!

      1. You know if Oliver really wanted Sara, he would have went after her first instead of waiting for HER to pursue him. You’re forgetting that Laurel and Tommy and Oliver were buds from at least eighth grade on. Sara snuck out to pursue Oliver at that party. You honestly believe that Sara didn’t know Laurel liked Oliver that way before she went to try to get him first? And since the current Arrow comics are canon, did you know that Sara had a reputation for going after other girls boyfriends in school?

        1. Yes, but that was five (six?) years ago. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t count, but it does mean that the difference between Sarah the college freshman who stole her sister’s boyfriend and Sarah the survivor of Ivo and the League of Assassins are vastly different people. In the same way, Laurel the high school senior who planned to move in with her boyfriend is not Laurel, the attorney who is dealing with loss and betrayal, and Oliver the dimwit playboy is not Oliver, the vigilante and CEO of Queen Consolidated. All three have been put through a crucible and irrevocably changed.

          1. Jenny,

            Sara is younger then laruel and they weren’t EVEN dating then…Everyone keeps saying that but it’s DURING the yacht trip that 21yr(?) laurel is dating Oliver and 19yr old Sara went with him….

            That whole bit about laurel stabbing Sara in the back is when Sara was probably 15-16yrs old…

          2. I was specifically addressing how Laurel’s detractors have been throwing around a teenage drama to justify Sara acting the way she did however many years later. I guess because “Laurel did it first”? I literally don’t understand that myself but that seems to be their excuse for Sara when the two situations are completely different.

            Irrevocably changed except for the fact that the first thing Sara did when Laurel didn’t greet her with open arms was to jump in Oliver’s pants to spite her. Just like she did six years ago when Laurel didn’t take her “love advice”, which amounted to her telling Laurel what a cad Oliver was while at the same time texting him so they could hook up.

            Sara hasn’t changed at all and neither has he.

        2. You can say that about Sara now but YOU’RE also saying that about “laruel” since to most and all “larel” fans, SHE’S the TRUE BC, which is BS, IMOO..

          Also, ‘Arrow’ comics..Do you mean, comic 52 or the OLD ones?? I’m a bit confused here.

          Yeah, she wanted to get together with Oliver..What’s to say, she wouldn’t have succeed if, laurel didn’t Back-stabb her?! Laruel did something that despicable just so her SISTER couldn’t EVEN HAVE that ONE CHANCE! You’re really telling me you admire that quality in a person..Who hasn’t gone to a party and meant and started dating a guy..Be it, if it’ll last is ANOTHER story..Luarle basically PUT A STOP to it altogether back-handily.. She connived, manipulated and just out right is a bitch.. I don’t see how Sara is in the wrong when laruel wasn’t even DATING him during that time yet Luarle DESTROY her sister chance altogether.

          1. There was no back-stabbing.

            Oliver was in nothing but a “hey your sister is one of my best friends” relationship with Sara AT BEST when Sara went after him, a moment he doesn’t even remember so she must not have left much of impression. Meanwhile, Laurel is in what she believed to be a committed relationship with Oliver when Sara went and decided she was going to screw her sister’s boyfriend.

            There is no comparing those two situations and finding them even remotely equal.

    3. I wondered about the hypocrisy, too. What I came up with is, yeah, he’s a hypocrite, but all the lies he tells stem from the one big lie about being the vigilante. And it would just be stupid and dangerous to blab that one to Moira and Thea. Less so now, I’m hoping Thea finds out, but in season one? Not a good idea.

      And I have less sympathy for Moira’s lies. She gets a pass on the Undertaking because she was afraid of Malcolm after he killed her husband, and her cracking at the last minute probably drastically reduced the body count. Thea’s paternity is something else. At this point it’s about not having a fight with her kids; that’s for her benefit, not necessarily theirs. Worse, she had an opportunity to come clean when she told them about the affair, and she didn’t take it. There’s no good time to deliver that news, but that was as close as she was ever going to get to it. Instead she said “I’m telling you the truth about everything now,” and then held back. So Oliver was justified here.

      1. I keep going back to her telling Oliver that Daddy cheated all the time, but Momma was true blue, an absolute angel. He’s ended up blindsided by her lies so many times now that I’m not surprised he broke on that one. And I’m not buying the “I didn’t speak up to save my children.” She had enormous power; if she’d gone public she could have saved five hundred people. Honestly, she went irretrievably into evil when she talked the one guy into joining her in the plot to kill Malcolm and then when the plot failed, knifed him to keep her secret.

        1. True, she could have stopped it sooner. I’ve always been conflicted about Moira, particularly during that crying in the car scene. She set him up for execution and then begged for his daughter’s life and wept over it. It was like the writers were sending mixed messages, but not in the schizophrenic way they did with Laurel, in way that made her complicated, even if she isn’t likable. I’m starting to see parallels to my reaction to Victor Frankenstein: she’s smart, but weak and selfish in a lot of ways. It was easier to for her to lie and keep secrets, so that’s what she did. I believe she genuinely cares about Oliver and Thea, but she has an unfortunate tendency to manipulate for the sake of her own convenience. There’s a distinct lack of respect and fairness for the people she supposedly loves in the way she treats them. Frankly, she’s the perfect politician for that insane city.

          1. I agree. I think she’s probably representative of the much-reviled 1%. She so rich, she’s lost touch with the real world.
            One thing I really like about her: she ACTS. She doesn’t sit there hoping for the best, she moves swiftly to get what she needs. Even threatening Felicity was a smart move in her world: Felicity’s a secretary in love with her son, one of the vulnerable little people. She doesn’t say, “I’ll kill you if you tell my son,” or even “I’ll have you fired,” she says, “You’ll lose the one thing you care about, being close to Oliver, because he’ll never speak to you again.” She completely failed to read Oliver’s relationship with Felicity because she couldn’t understand how her confident, powerful son could be equal partners with a stammering blonde employee in glasses.

        2. What bugs me about the whole Moira thing is Walter, tbh. I thought he was one of the good guys and then this obvious plot to get her into office that I’m sure is about something much more nefarious than Blood supposedly bankrupting the city. He was so indignant about getting caught up in her mess with Malcolm and all her lies and now he’s willing to buy off her OB/GYN to get her into office?

          More inconsistent writing, imo.

          1. I think politicians and bankers are a lot more open-minded about bribes than the rest of us. I was worried when I thought he was agreeing with her to kill the ob-gyn. Bribery was a big relief. But yeah, I want Walter to stay one of the good guys.

  55. I love your blog! I love the writing instruction and insight and I especially love the intelligent conversations that happen on here about Arrow. If you had a blog ONLY devoted to the show, I think it would do quite well.

    I’ll go back to lurking now. As you were…

  56. I think if you interpret Firestorm “outside the box” as Arrow tends to do you can find a way to make Papa Smoak work. I’m not well versed in the comic book origins but from what I have read, Firestorm is a “nuclear-powered super-hero with the ability to transmute elements” like turning lead into gold (rearrange subatomic particles to create objects of different atomic characteristics of equal mass). There’s lots of ways to take that pursuit, lots of applications, and turns the superhero into a normal man. Firestorm could simply be a codename for the project or the theory her father has. How he’s applied it — if he is going to be a villain — is a whole other kettle of fish. Plus, if the mother is a heinous person too, and if they worked together in this pursuit, there ya go. 2 people becoming 1 to “share” the Firestorm. It’s all about the AU thinking.

  57. Okay so I really respected Sara and felt for her because of everything that she went through. However that last scene between her and Oliver was so horrible that I may have just lost all my respect for her and Oliver as well. Five years ago they made a mistake and fine we get it, they were different people. But now? It makes no sense, Oliver kept on telling Laurel that sleeping with Sara was the worst mistake he ever made. He also told Felicity he couldn’t be with someone he cared about. I’m pretty sure he cares about Sara. Based on spoilers there are chances that Oliver and Sara will be in a relationship of sorts for at least a few episodes. On the bright side,the whole line about Oliver loving Laurel for half his life makes sense as he wouldn’t mean it in an I still love you way. Also all the relationships that Oliver has been in so far start the way his relationship with Sara did, they sleep together and then break up a few episodes later. As Sara is a recurring character this relationship can’t possibly be end game. The way I see it is that Oliver /Sara fulfill the Green Arrow and Black Canary relationship and also closes the lid on Laurel/Oliver as endgame. Sleeping with her sister once was bad enough,but more than once is horrible especially after he declared that he was still in love with her. This might pave the road for Olicity as it is the only romantic one that is a slow burn. Also, Oliver showed more emotion in that rally scene with Felicity than he did in that last scene with Sara. What are your thoughts on this new development and do you agree that this could potentially pave the way for Olicity? Also kudos to Arrow for the Felicity backstory, the exec. producer said we will be finding out a lot more about her by the end of the season. This is important stuff people, please tell me your honest opinions! One last thing, is there still hope for Olicity endgame?

    1. Asking me? I have no idea. At this point, I’ve detached from Oliver’s love life. It’s just too tacky.
      I’ll follow Felicity’s arc to the ends of the earth, and if she ends up with Oliver, that’s great, but as long as they don’t fridge her, I’m good.

    2. Personally. I hate laurel but SHE’S MAIN LEAD/Female GEARED toward BECOMING the 2ND BC..I don’t CARE what the laurel fans says, SARA IS BC not a fake or whatever..I’m here, and ONE of the MANY WHOM LOVE, LOVE Oliver and Felicity since seeing them together on screen and have been FOLLOWING ‘ARROW’ ep by ep and I have NEVER, in my life done so. I just don’t care enough about tv/show/movie etc to FOLLOW anything..It’s just not important enough nor would I care..I usually just WAIT till what interest me and binge watch on DVD’Z but I’m actually FOLLOWING a series and I can’t believe how PPL/VIEWERS WAIT for whatever info/spoilers/pic..It’s crazy; but getting back to the point of your ?..Hmm..I would WANT A SLOW, SLOW burn for Felicity and Oliver and want them to have their ‘Happily Ever After’..I hope and HOPE TO GOD the CW/ARROW isn’t just messy with the fans just to END UP having Oliver with ‘THE THING’..

      NOW, if CW/ARROW has SARA not dying AT ALL and have her as BC permanently, I, along with EVERYONE ELSE can TELL YOU 100% that Oliver and Felicity is ‘IT’ but since Sara is going to die, and ‘the thing’ is going to be BC, URGH..THAT MAKES NO-SENSE, since I don’t see how she can without somehow being POWERED up so, that she can TAKE the easy way out to be BC, 50/50 chance for O/F with ‘larel’ still in the pic as BC. HATE IT!!

      Lastly, POOR, POOR Sara!!! Slades’ going to kill her!! It’s just a matter of time.

    3. I wrote my thoughts above before reading your post. That’s what happens when you respond as you go rather than wait til the end!

  58. Holy Smoakes!(See what I did there?) Am I reading too much into it or did the writers just give Oliver and Felicity something in common last night? They now both have dads who are gone and mothers they (seem to be) estranged from!

    I definitely think there is hope. I am, unfortunately, still attached to Oliver’s love story (I’m really more attached to Oliver-Felicity; I don’t want to be, but I am), but I don’t think I will be for long (I think my obsession is peaking and will come down if the show continues in this direction). If they don’t move Olicity in that direction soon, I would just be bored with being left hanging. I’m all for the slow burn, but at some point, you’ve got to decide whether you’re putting them in the friend zone or moving in the direction of romance, and I’m not sure the writers know which way they are going yet. I think they saw the Laurel clearly wasn’t working, so they tried resurrecting Sara, making her BC, and trying to reboot the canon love story that way.

    So far, the past few episodes have cemented that Oliver and Felicity care deeply about each other, but not necessarily that they are in love. For example, last night, she brings up her dad and says she can’t lose someone that important to her again (i.e. family member). It wasn’t a declaration of being IN love with him, but that she loves him as she loves a member of her family.

    I read somewhere that when Moira emotional blackmailed Felicity, she underestimated how much Felicity loved Oliver to tell him the truth. The other side of that is she also underestimated how much Oliver loves (platonically or otherwise) and trusts Felicity. As the producers said in the interview after the show, it would never even have occurred to Oliver to be mad at Felicity. They also said, and I quote, “She’s the rock.” I thought it was interesting how they put “the” instead of “his rock.”

    I also think it’s interesting that it turns out Felicity has a dark backstory, and yet she has emerged from that seeing the best in people. Again, they have created a character who complements Oliver’s darkness perfectly. They continue to establish the strength of this relationship. It is great to see this unfold…but it’s also unrealistic to me that two people who fit together that well, trust each other so completely, (seem to) love each other (unconditionally), who look at each other THAT way would only stay friends.

    (On another point about the Eonline poll, I think if there were three categories–Oliver/Laurel, Sara/Oliver, and Oliver/Felicity, we would see less than 25% for Laurel. I have a feeling that fans who are rooting for BC/GA would vote Oliver/Laurel instead of Oliver/Felicity. Either way, 75% is a huge percentage of the fan population for a show that never set out to create a love triangle).

    Felicity’s dad as a possible BIG BAD for the third season arc. I love it! Another reason why I love coming here and discussing this show. You guys come up with the best possibilities!

  59. That’s really good sara, but why everyone wants to a bad daddy ? Mom is clearly special and dad left, maybe is the sane one :p

  60. Everyone, including myself, seem to think ‘BIG BAD,’ but couldn’t there be SOME BIG HERO that is her dad?? Just saying.

    But that would go against the whole, abandonment issue but still, Hero’s do so, too..Ah well.

    1. The problem with that is that a story has one hero, one protagonist, and that’s Oliver. He can invite in as many partners as he wants, but he’s always going to be the center. The fresh blood that the story needs each episode is the antagonist, the man or woman who tries to take out Our Hero and causes the story to happen. Arrow is full up on good guys–Oliver, Diggle, Roy, Sarah, Felicity–but since Oliver keeps putting arrows in the bad guys, there’s always a job opening there.

      1. Plus, also, conflict, conflict, conflict. What’s the point if Felicity’s dad shows up and he’s… a nice guy? And then? I think that’s why I’m hoping her parents are sadistic, crazy, villainous freaks of the most awesome variety. 😀

        1. The thing is, Felicity is a product of whatever they are. So she’d inherit their brains, and then make a vow to be as practical and as sane as possible, to not be them, plus attachment/abandonment issues. So it could work.

      2. I suspect Barry (having been struck by lightning) will put in for the job sometime in the future. 🙂

        While processing the last episode, I kept thinking/ hoping that Oliver comes to his senses and decides to pull away from Sara before things go too far. Maybe they won’t actually hook up. However, that is probably wishful thinking on my part. Could it be that Oliver doesn’t believe Felicity deserves him? Perhaps he continues his old relationship patterns because he knows he always screws up in that department and doesn’t want to screw up with Felicity. Or are the writers men and indulging in “man fantasies” (which, I assume, is to score with every hot woman he can). *shrugs*

        1. He made that speech about not being able to be with anybody he cared about (sorry about that, Sarah), but my take is that the last thing on Oliver’s mind at the moment is settling down with anybody. He has a band of assassins probably gunning for him, his whack job mother is running for mayor, somebody’s building an army with the mirakuru . . . I don’t think commitment is weighing heavily on his mind.

    1. Ah..Liked Barry Allen fine but he’s just too “KID” like in appearance for me to ‘SEE MORE?’ I don’t know…He just doesn’t have the LOOK to fit the FLASH and thats’ only from ONE pic I saw of ‘The Flash’. Honestly, I pic heroe’s to be older/NOT OLD, older and more mature looking and just not some skinny kids…Sorry..He just does nothing for me..As for the show, is ‘The Flash’ really a big deal..I mean, I KNOW nothing about the comic world, except for BM and SM..BM rules over SM anyday, since BM actually WORK his ass off for everything he did..SM/ALIEN, with powers, NOTHING THERE…

  61. I think one of the main issues I currently have with Arrow is that they are going too fast. On the one hand, the story lines have been great and the twists just keep on coming. On the other, the romantic subplot is clearly suffering, and Oliver (and Sara’s) character development in the process. I also feel like the best aspects of the show (for me) are taking a back seat. In the last two episodes, they’ve added two more members to Team Arrow. First, they add Roy. A week later, they add Sara (I mean, you know she is going to stay and work with them) AND she and Oliver sleep together in the same episode. I’m all for moving story lines, but how about developing what is already working?

    I really, really miss Diggle. And I liked seeing Oliver as CEO of Queen Consolidated. I miss Isobel Rochev, and I’d love an update on Barry.

    1. Well, Barry’s in a coma and then in about six months he gets his own show, so I figure he’s still unconscious. And I think the next episode is Diggle-centric, so that’s something. But yes, I agree; they have an amazing cast that they need to spend time with before introducing any more good guys. Actually, I think we’re full up on good guys; bring on the Bads.

      I was watching the pilot of Leverage last night, pulling it apart again, and that’s a team of five who all have plenty of screen time, but they didn’t have the insane number of subplots that this show has. Person of Interest has always topped out at five on the Machine Gang (Carter dies, Root joins up, Finch, Reese, Shaw, and Fusco remain), but again, very focused plots. They need to clean up some of the subplots–would somebody just sit down with Thea and explain the whole mess to her?–and get back to the Big Three in the Bat Cave.

      1. He’s getting a pilot not a whole series just yet…Hmm.. I know I’ll not be watching at all.

        Like I said, series/show/movies just don’t interest me at all..The Flash has nothing I want nor like.

  62. In the Arrow Season 2 Episode 14 “Time Of Death” Guide article we find
    “Meanwhile, Oliver throws Sara a welcome home party, but Laurel (Katie Cassidy) refuses to attend. After Lance (Paul Blackthrone) makes his case for a family dinner, Laurel acquiesces, but when Oliver shows up with Sara, she loses her temper on both of them.”
    Really ?? Even a “simple minded person” will know that is the most stupid thing to do.
    At least give the sister’s a little time before … i don’t know why there pushing things to be that hard at every characters. But i do believe the writers never do anything without a plan.

  63. I’m not sure I’ll be watching The Flash either…mostly because I think I am done with Superhero shows that dictate love interests (it was the reason I stopped watching Smallville after one season) and love stories. It’s too heartbreaking when I can’t get on board with the love story they decide is epic.

    I think the Lauriver fans discovered you could vote more than one time. Oliver-Felicity is down. If you guys are interested, vote here:

    http://www.eonline.com/news/506041/tv-s-hottest-love-triangles-who-should-be-together-vote-now

    1. I wonder if the Felicity/Oliver numbers are down because some are thinking Felicity is too good for Oliver now. I’m starting to think so. Maybe he and Laurel deserve each other as endgame after all.

  64. Episode 14 is, according to the show execs, “all about Felicity in team post-Sara.” It sounds like they’re going to be using Felicity’s established fear of abandonment to make her feel squeezed out/unneeded. Poor thing.

  65. I actually wondered when they’d broach the whole “Felicity feels out of place on the team” as more and more people are added who are all fighters and seem capable of handling pretty much anything. From the promo it looks like the computer system in the lair gets fried as well. So I’m wondering if the lack of follow up between Oliver/Felicity this week, the addition of a new team member (one Oliver’s currently banging) blah blah blah is going to raise the specter of Moira for Felicity in thinking maybe Oliver does blame her and maybe the team just doesn’t need her. I don’t know how I feel about it all yet. I always try to wait to see how things play out before jumping to conclusions, but oddly I’m not surprised.

    1. The awful thing about being a writer is you create these characters you really love, and then you make them miserable so they struggle and change. As long as Felicity keeps fighting the good fight, I’m with them. If she degenerates into a puddle of misery who needs rescued, not so much. So far they’ve avoided the biggest mistake which is creating misery with a Big Misunderstanding. If she keeps talking to Oliver and he keeps talking back. I’m good.

  66. I think it’s understandable that Felicity might start feeling left out as the tech person with the four fighters. And that she might be feeling at least some jealousy – I don’t think she’s acknowledged her feelings yet, or if she has, she’s told herself that if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s not happening, so move on, but that doesn’t mean that she won’t feel a twinge or two or even more.

    What I don’t like is the episode description that suggests she’s going to try to prove herself against them by heading out into the field alone. When she last did that, with Count Vertigo, it went badly, and she apologized for screwing up. And at that point, she had better reasons for heading out in the field — Oliver was stuck in court, Diggle was sick. I’m not exactly happy with the thought that she’d be repeating this same mistake just to prove that she’s as good as the four fighters. Hopefully it’ll play out much better on screen.

    1. You know that’s a good point. I’m researching a series of blog posts right now on writing community, and one of things that’s clear as I study different groups in different stories is that for a group to work, you need each member to be sharply different from the others, each contributing a different skill. So Oliver is great with a bow and arrow, Digg backs him up with military training, and Felicity is their tech whiz. That works. But then you bring in Roy, who is Oliver Lite, and Sarah, who is the Girl Oliver, and you’ve got too much duplication. If they brought it somebody with a new skill set, a grifter who could scam their targets, an acrobat who can get into places Oliver can’t, anybody who’s more than a fighter, then the group is strengthened narratively. Think of Leverage with its Mastermind, Grifter, Hacker, Thief, Hitter. If Sarah joins Team Arrow, it’s Hitter, hitter, hitter, hitter, hacker. That’s weak (but it’s also comic book story).

      1. I think that tendency (hitter hitter hitter hitter) is why comic book based shows flop so often. You need a different team dynamic (hitter, hacker, grifter, thief, mastermind) so that each stays interesting. Along that vein, I’m watching Arrow establish these super soldiers who can kick Oliver’s butt, then add one to the team, now bring in other people and I start to be concerned that Oliver gets kicked back in his own story. It’s so funny that we all have these “oh please don’t go there. don’t mess this up. keep the balance and know what works for you & us and don’t mess it up!” and it’s because the show really set that bar high pretty fast.

  67. I cannot believe that I am still so angry two days later. I was upset enough with the ending of the show, but then when I read the spoilers about Felicity for the next episode, I’m about ready to quit what was my favorite show. I’ll give them to the end of the season to redeem this story, but they have ruined Sara for me – and I’m not sure I’ll like Oliver again any time soon either. And I was really starting to see him as hero and not just a selfish boy playing at being a hero, but if he lets Sara make Felicity feel anything less than awesome, then I’m hoping Deathstroke gets in a good shot at the Arrow.

    1. If you look at it narratively, Felicity can’t grow as a character, and her relationship with Oliver (whatever it is) can’t change unless she’s hit with conflict. If Felicity doesn’t become uncomfortable enough to act differently, cross some boundaries she’s set for herself, everything stays in the same weird limbo it’s in right now. It’s good to find out she has abandonment issues, but if she’s never challenged on them, she can’t grow, and she’ll end up as one of those clingy people who will do anything to conserve her relationships, and if Oliver protects her, he’s keeping her a child. She has to fight her own battles, and she’s completely capable of doing so. So I think it’s smart to make her unhappy enough to start dealing with her issues and with Oliver.

      1. Oh. Question. Do you think that having Moira and Felicity square off in that last episode also started building up the ‘Felicity will have more confrontations and battles ahead and be able to handle it’ angle of the character? It certainly would make interactions/confrontations/etc with other the plethora of other existing characters feel more natural. I didn’t think about it from that perspective.

        1. My opinion as a writer (no idea what the Arrow writers are thinking):
          If you want to develop a character and move her center stage, put her in the direct line of conflict.
          A character who helps the protagonist solve his problems is a supporting character.
          A character in conflict with an antagonist and who fights her own battles against that antagonist is a lead character (protagonist). She may only be the protagonist of a subplot or a scene, but she owns that plot or scene. I think that scene with Moira may have been the first time Felicity was ever a protagonist in a scene in this show. Could be wrong, but generally she’s either a supporting player in Oliver’s scenes or an antagonist (all those scenes where he asked her to do something for him and fed her a dumb excuse, for example).
          So if Moira goes after Felicity in the future, that will be a subplot, and Felicity will be the protagonist in it, and everybody else will be supporting players. If Felicity squares off against Oliver over the Sarah development, whether she’s a protagonist or an antagonist will depend on if she has scenes in that subplot without Oliver that aren’t about Oliver but are about her own need for security and independence, showing her character change; otherwise she’s just complicating Oliver’s life. Any plot move that gives Felicity scenes without Oliver is a move toward independence from his plots and subplots.

  68. That is why I’m hoping that if Felicity puts herself in trouble, she will be the one to save herself with what is her own strength, her computer and hacking abilities and her smarts. I really don ‘t want her to be rescued by any member of the team. Any other way would make her feel weak and right now, she needs to feel like she is as strong as the fighters in her own way. I think this episode will say a lot about what the writers want to do with this character. I hope she will come out of this stronger.

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