Well friends…those promos for 3.21 look like they’ll wreck us emotionally. Oliver as Al Sah-Him, the League Attire, the difference in his appearance is such a stark contrast to the Oliver and Arrow we know and love. The Oliver that Team Arrow knows and loves. Heck, the Oliver HE knows.
I was thinking about what we see in the promos, how different Oliver appears, the fact that Stephen said he is most disappointed in his character in 3.21 and the agony and angst we’ve had all season with this show and with Oliver and Felicity. After 3.20, we knew where they both stood - they love each other and both want to hold on to hope that he’ll make it home…someday.
This thought occurred to me… Stephen clearly wrote “Remember 3.20” on that fan’s script (and from what we now know, clearly spoiled for her what was to happen in 3.20). We all know no one ships it like Amell ships it. There’s a reason this man is the Captain.
At that point (when he wrote that) as the lead on the show I am certain he knew what was ahead beyond 3.20 - that he would be portraying Oliver as Al Sah-Him and what would lead up to the season finale. The Captain KNEW what would become of Oliver and what Team Arrow and Olicity as a couple were headed for. Potential brainwashing by the League or use of those tea leaves as Malcolm did with Thea, Team Arrow grieving for the loss of Oliver, what he would do as Al Sah-Him in 3.21 (his disappointing actions), etc.
I may be someone who sees the world through rose-tinted glasses and a lot of hope (yes, a hopeless romantic) but what if his words were meant to REMIND us as fans (REMEMBER) to hold out hope as well? Hold out hope beyond 3.20. Hold on to and REMEMBER what happened, what was SAID between Oliver and Felicity in 3.20? I mean, Oliver even said to Felicity the only way he’d survive is if he knew she was put there attempting to be happy and holding on to that belief that life is precious. He REMINDED Felicity of her own words to him. Oliver remembers things (“It was red.”). We know Stephen abd the writers love those parallels. He knew what was coming. He (the CAPTAIN of the ship!) knew post-3.20 would lead into some incredibly emotional and unusual territory with who Oliver is, what he was doing, how it would impact his relationships with every character on the show, etc. He knows what he loves about the show. He knows the world loves Oliver and Felicity. He knows what he loves about the Oliver and Felicity relationship. I would NOT put it past Stephen Amell to have written that in part to not only have us excited about what WAS to come in 3.20 (since he wrote it on a script several episodes prior to 3.20 in the midst of Oliver and Felicity fighting and the existence of Raylicity) but knowing what would come AFTER 3.20. Pain, hurt, angst - absolutely. He knew we would be getting that. But like I said, this man knew what would be coming in 3.21, 3.22, 3.23. He knew that pain was coming after the glory of 3.20. I’m choosing to hold on to hope because of that. He knew…and that’s a clever choice of words. “Remember 3.20” It can reference what is to come and what can come after. I love that Stephen kind of paralleled Oliver reminding Felicity of her words with him (Stephen-as a fan of Olicity and the writing) reminding us of that as well.
“Remember 3.20” and all that we saw and heard, friends. Remember as we go into 3.21, 3.22… It’s gonna hurt like a bitch but we’ll come out on the other side. I believe it. Olicity for the win.