An In-Depth Look at Last Night's Olicity Scene
I just rewatched the “ILY” scene for the millionth time this morning (or what feels like the millionth time), and here’s a little bit of analysis on what really stood out to me. (featuring gifs by queensarrow, used with permission)
So the scene starts, Oliver has just thought up this plan to send Felicity to Slade with the cure, to make Slade think Felicity is the one he wants to capture. His plan is to say that Slade took the wrong girl in front of the cameras, slip Felicity the cure and trust her to both understand what he was saying and be willing to help. (And you had all better believe that if Felicity was like “hell no” Oliver would have gotten her out of there immediately and taken her somewhere that she’d actually be safe.)
But let’s please watch Oliver’s face during this scene. When they go in, he looks stoic, as usual. His face is expressionless, almost, blank. He knows he’s doing the “unthinkable” and he doesn’t even know how to process it.
See? There is is, the serious look. He’s not really overwhelmed with emotion other than thinking about the severity of what’s going on, focusing on the mission.
But here’s Felicity, just completely not getting where he’s going with this, meeting his eyes, determined to go with him, to help, to not be the woman he tucks away and keeps safe.
And that’s literally all that NEEDED to be said to get the message across from Slade. I think he was planning on stopping there. Think about it. “Do you understand?” while slipping her the syringe THEN makes a lot more sense than adding the “i love you” after. “He took the wrong woman. Do you understand?” See? That dialogue actually flows better because it implies “Do you understand? I love you” and lets the I love you go unsaid because he’s doing this as a ploy.
This… this is Oliver doing his best to “sell” something. He uses words and keeps his expression as blank as he possibly can and is actually a terrible liar, as has been previously established.
But who could he never really lie to? Felicity. She’s always seen right through his ploys. But not this time.
Because then there’s a moment. A moment where his blank expression drops as he’s looking at her, about to use her as bait to get to Slade, to put her in harm’s way. I can only imagine him thinking that this could be it, this could be the last time he gets to ever see her if this doesn’t work (which is completely unthinkable), and there’s very real emotion in his expression.
He whispers it. That wasn’t for the cameras or for Slade–that part was already done the second Oliver said “He took the wrong woman.” It wasn’t even enunciated enough or loud enough to guarantee that the tiny cameras Slade has installed would pick it up. That was for her.
And that right there was Oliver having literally no idea how to tell her he figured out he actually meant it. So he goes with “We both did.” A sort of way to be like “Yeah, I was acting as much as you were acting.” A classic romance trope if I ever saw one.
I think this was Oliver’s big realization that his feelings for her go much deeper than friendship, something he’s been actively denying this whole season despite all the moments his actions showed otherwise. This needed to happen to move the ship forward, and I think that next year we’ll see Oliver actually trying to cope with his feelings for her.