Hello Anon, I don’t know that anyone is changing their tune about when they believed that Oliver fell in love with Felicity. I was offline last year and so I never read anything from anyone about when they think Oliver fell in love with Felicity. I think I read something when I came on-line, but to be honest, I don’t remember what it was or who wrote it. I also missed the interview where Marc Guggenheim said at SDCC 2014 that this was the episode that Oliver realized he was in love with her. I guess having SA confirm it just has everyone super excited.
But you bring up an interesting point about whether having SA confirm 2x06 changes my perspective. I sat and thought about how I perceived that episode as an offline viewer and I’ll be honest….I didn’t see it as Oliver realizing he was in love with Felicity. I just didn’t. I know that the group consensus (and now confirmed by SA) is that when he was telling Felicity he can’t be with someone he could really care about was his way of telling Felicity he was falling for her. But being offline, I saw that differently. I saw it as a way of him trying to undo the hurt he caused her because he know how she felt about him. I saw it as a way for him to let her know that she is not the type of woman that he would have a fling with (yes, close to saying she’s a woman he could love), but I never saw it as a realization of his own growing feeling for her. Call me blind or thick, but that’s just how I saw it. And the look on Oliver’s face when Felicity says he deserves someone better? I always thought it was surprise. Surprise at Felicity’s spirit and that despite how low he sunk by sleeping with Isabel (Dude, she was on the list of names in the frakkin’ book….), she still believed he deserved more than what he believed he was worth.
I’m happy to be wrong and that 2x06 was it….I always thought it was 2x22…when he is hugging her back with one arm, and the scene ends with an upclose shot of his face - that is when I thought he realized he loved her. But then I had a great twitter convo and a valid point about 2x22 was made that put it into perspective for me. 2x06 was when he realized he loved Felicity and that moment in 2x22 was when he accepted it. This is a wonderful distinction and plays into the story so nicely.
I decided to re-watch 2x06 over the weekend, and I have to admit, watching Oliver stumble over the lengths of Felicity’s skirts, the way he looks at her at times during the episode…well, those scenes took on new meaning in light of SA’s confirmation. And when Oliver asks Isabel about what people are saying about him and Felicity, I could see an unease in Oliver I never noticed before and sleeping with Isabel took on new meaning. It was almost as if Isabel’s comments to Oliver about Felicity were forcing him to face things he was more intent on avoiding. The random sleeping with Isabel became more of a “I do not think of Felicity that way and by sleeping with you, I’m going to prove it….” and made a bit more sense.
I don’t know if that makes sense, Anon, but these are just a few thoughts that came to mind in light of your question and re-watching the episode.