So when my beta gets me going on how Diggle and Oliver and Felicity are going to interact (read: argue) once Olicity get back and are on the team together devolved into this, beginning with the chat prompt:
But if Dig yells at Felicity in front of Oliver… THEM COULD BE FIGHTIN’ WORDS.
Oh, you KNOW that if Digg yelled at her there wouldn’t enough guilt in the world to stop him from letting Digg know that that ain’t okay.
Can you imagine if Oliver gets so pissed at Diggle that he yells out the wrong thing?
Diggle had barely closed his mouth after snapping at Felicity before Oliver’s voice roared through the new lair, “Hey! You be as pissed at me as you want, but you don’t talk to my fiancée like that!"
The very air seemed to still as his words echoed in the cavernous space, horror rapidly overtaking the glare that’d dominated his expression.
"You’re engaged?!” Thea blurted out, stepping into his line of sight. “Why didn’t you tell me?!” He didn’t even feel the slap his sister aimed at his bicep—the same bicep that’d taken a bullet earlier—because he was too busy willing the words back into his mouth.
Felicity just gaped when Thea turned to her next, a confused frown marring her face. “…I would have, had I known we were engaged…"
Laurel’s own brow wrinkled, arms still folded across her chest. "How could you not know?"
Oliver scrunched his eyes tightly shut, wishing desperately for a hole he could curl up and die in to just appear. Bad enough he’d blurted out the very thing he’d been trying so hard to keep bottled up until the right moment, but he just had to do it in front of everyone.
He opened his eyes at the distinct click of heels and a light, familiar touch at the crook of his elbow, not even needing to look to know who it would be standing beside him.
"Um, Oliver, could I talk to you alone for a second?” Despite how she tried to keep her tone light, he could hear the edge of nerves in it and that only made his own anxiety skyrocket.
Lips in a thin line, he nodded and hummed his assent, letting her lead him off into a corner of the open space, the burn all along his back telling him that the others were still watching them. But he shook that thought off, focusing instead on his blonde girlfriend—oh, now his brain picks the right damn word…
“Did you get me drunk and ask me to marry you?” Felicity demanded in a harsh whisper. “Because if you did that’s totally sneaky and not fair at all, and I should definitely remember being proposed to by you and—"
”Felicity,“ Oliver interrupted in that firm, quiet tone he’d perfected for her long, long ago, back when they were just partners, friends, people that undressed one another with their eyes multiple times a day…
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in through her nose and let it out through her mouth, lips mouthing their way down from a count of three before her gaze returned to his, her own signal that she was listening.
"I didn’t ask you to marry me. That…” he broke off on an uncomfortable sigh, shifting his gaze to the concrete wall behind her—needing just a minute to focus his thoughts before he could look at her again. “That just slipped out back there."
"Oh.” Her face fell, voice small. “Good."
That sound ripped his heart out worse than I don’t want to be a woman that you love. So with another sigh, he unzipped his vest enough to reach inside and pull out the box he’d been carrying around with him since they got called back to Starling—Star City, he corrected—wincing at the bruise on his chest from where he’d fallen right on the box earlier that night. "I didn’t ask you because I didn’t get a chance to before Thea and Laurel showed up."
Felicity’s eyes grew almost comically large behind her glasses, gaze zeroed in on his hand. "Oh,” she breathed, then her eyes somehow flew even wider, her hands shooting up between them. “Oh! The soufflés!"
Oliver ducked his head a little, letting out a soft chuckle. "Yeah. The soufflés."
She huffed out a nervous laugh, hands dropping to her sides, but her fingers were instantly rubbing rapid circles into each other—the sight of that appropriated gesture calming him considerably. "I thought you looked a bit extra upset at dessert being ruined.” Her joking tone carried an undercurrent of wonder that helped spur him on.
“Yeah, although it wasn’t actually just the dessert that got ruined. I had a whole speech and…” He winced at the memory, fingers tapping out a steady rhythm on the box as he continued, “I’ve just been waiting for the right time and place to ask you again. To ask you the way you deserve to be asked. With candles and wine and… I just wanted it to be perfect for you.”
A tremulous smile touched her lips as she beamed up at him, stepping closer. “Can I, um, see the ring?”
Oliver looked down at the box, needing a moment to brace himself before he flipped the lid and turned it toward her, heart steadily pounding its way out of his chest. “I checked your ring size first and I tried to pick a setting that you’d like, but if it’s not what you want we can always get something different—”
The light press of her fingertips to his arm cut off the rush of words pouring out of his mouth. "Oliver,“ she breathed, gaze never leaving his hand, "It’s perfect.”
He couldn’t possibly have contained the breath that whooshed from his lungs if he’d tried. “Yeah?”
She nodded, teary and smiling. “Yes. Can I—?” She reached for the ring, but he was already moving. No way in hell wasn’t he going to at least get this part right.
Breathing harder than he had through an entire night under the hood fresh off his retirement, Oliver pulled the ring from its nest of crushed black velvet, hands shaking as he slid it into place on her finger.
Felicity lifted her hand, cradling it in the other and staring at the ring in what little light the new lair afforded.
He shifted in place, dying with the anticipation as he watched her face for some indication of what was going through her mind. “You really like it?” he blurted out a full minute later, unable to contain himself a moment longer.
She tore her gaze from the ring to beam up at him, bright blue eyes gleaming with tears. “I love it, Oliver. It’s perfect, I—I love it."
Oliver could feel the smile stretching across his face, the one that almost hurt it was so huge, but he didn’t care because it was the smile only she could put there. "I’m glad. I kept sneaking off to the jewelry place for weeks. I was scared you’d catch me, but I had to make sure it was perfect,” he confessed, reaching out to take her hand, thumb running along the ring on her finger. The image it made squeezing his heart and filling him up to bursting with joy and, admittedly, possessiveness.
Felicity laughed, cupping his cheek in her free hand as she leaned up to kiss him. “I had no idea. I was too busy being blissed out of my mind with you. But this…you kicked perfect’s ass, Mr. Queen,” she teased.
A relieved chuckle rumbled through his chest and he kissed her back. “I’m glad you like it. So, is this—I mean—?”
She pulled back to look at him, a frown crossing her face again. “I, well, you still haven’t actually asked me.”
Dammit. His pulse cranked back into overdrive as he realized he had in fact managed to screw this part up. “Well, I thought with—” He nodded down to the ring on her hand still held in his own, then pointedly cut himself off, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath before meeting her eyes again as calmly as he could manage. “Felicity Meghan Smoak, will you marry me?”
The smile on her face could’ve lit up the entire dark basement around them. “Yes. So, so much yes!"
Oliver returned her smile as he wrapped both arms around her waist and drew her into another kiss.
But only seconds later, Felicity was pushing back to meet his gaze again. "Not that I’m only saying yes because of the ring. I would totally say yes even if I hated the ring. Which I don’t. The ring is perfect, I just don’t want you to think that I want the ring and not you. Even though I do. Want the ring. And you. Both.” She shut her eyes tight, that adorable chagrined expression taking over, and he felt himself somehow fall a little bit more in love with her.
Oliver chuckled as he pressed a kiss to the wrinkle at the bridge of her nose, then the very tip, finally brushing his lips softly to hers. “I’m glad you want me and the ring. Because now that I have it on your finger, I’d really like it to stay there. Permanently,” he whispered in the tiny space between them.
She beamed up at him, linking her arms around his neck. “Are you kidding me? I won’t be able to stop looking at it let alone take it off.”
Grinning, he leaned down to pick her up, holding her tight to his chest—despite how his gunshot wound and bruised chest protested. “Good, soon-to-be-Mrs. Queen.” And God, did he love the sound of that.
Felicity giggled as she braced herself on his shoulders to look at him properly, blue eyes sparkling. “I may hyphenate. Mrs. Smoak-Queen has a good ring to it, don’t you think?” she teased, smiling coyly.
Oliver only grinned wider. “You can call me Mr. Smoak-Queen for all I care. Just so long as I get to marry you.”
The words had no sooner left his lips than hers were attacking his. “Loft. Like immediately,” she demanded between kisses.
He smirked, replying in that low whisper he knew she could never resist. “I’m still in my leathers."
"Either start stripping or start walking, Queen,” Felicity growled back, nails dragging up his nape.
Oliver turned blindly toward the garage, arms banded tight around the precious cargo in his arms—his fiancée. Without looking or stopping—because this part of the proposal was definitely going like he’d planned—he called out to the others, “Night, guys!”
“Congratulations, Ollie and Felicity,” Thea’s knowing voice echoed back to them.
Felicity tore her lips from his long enough to shout over his shoulder, “THANK YOU! BUT YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO COME BACK TO THE LOFT TONIGHT, THEA!”
Oliver couldn’t be sure, because Felicity’s mouth latched onto the underside of his jaw then, but he thought he heard a chorus of groans follow after them.
Hi, breaking my abrupt and heretofore unexplained radio silence just to throw a few thoughts on 4x08 of Arrow out there. (To my lovely tumblr friends I abruptly disappeared on, sorry to just stop talking out of nowhere, I just had a lot happen back to back to back–some good, and some decidedly not good, and I just didn’t want to talk about a lot of it, so yeah, radio silence.) But I had a friend tell me I should write meta a while back, and here it is. My first real Arrow meta.
First off, yeah. That all happened. Let’s just get it out of the way and scream our frustrations.
Better? Eh, either way, we’re moving forward.
Now, despite all the Legends of Tomorrow promotional material–that felt more like a DC version of The Mummy, despite all the Indiana Jones references–this ep really rocked the Arrow ‘verse. Mainly because she’s baaaaack!
Sandra/Samantha/Yet Another Ollie Bedmate/Baby Mama AKA Plot Device.
Because that’s exactly what Samantha was here. A giant plot device. William too.
Did anyone catch the name of their street? Because it may as well be McGuffin Lane. Or they could be Samantha and William McGuffin. Or maybe it’s Samantha and Will Fuck-Up-Your-Relationship-Oliver.
Amid all the abs and wings and past lives oh my with Carter/Khufu and Kendra/Chay-Ara (with the baddie looking like a mashup of Imhotep and Ardeth Bay for good measure) on the search for their own McGuffin to save the day, we got Oliver doing his level best to multitask the mission WHILE ferreting out the truth about William WHILE also keeping Felicity in the dark.
Welcome, to the club, Oliver. We’ve been waiting for two seasons. Congratulations, it’s a nine-year-old boy. And his favorite hero is the Flash.
Sorry, but he does live in Central City. Where apparently ONE daring citywide rescue makes you a hero, but MULTIPLE ones just makes you…that guy we bash until the shit gets real?
Anyway, Oliver ninja’s his way to a DNA test with a strand of William’s hair after confronting Samantha (side note: would it REALLY have been that hard to do Connor Hawke and just cast a WOC to play Sandra? I’m just having a little trouble understanding the logic on that one, writers), but loses all subtlety by leaving the results with Barry. While Felicity is already suspicious…
Barry is no match for Felicity on a mission, superspeed or not. She finds out the truth and is understandably and righteously pissed. Some have made the parallel to Oliver finding out Felicity was lying about helping the team while they were off for those five months, and yes, they both lied about something to their significant other. Bad form. BUT Felicity was letting Oliver enjoy a well-deserved break without forcing him back to Starling just because she was unhappy with a life consisting of more brunches and flatwear than heroics. Sort of a different situation.
(Although I absolutely believe that Felicity hiding her dissatisfaction with things in Ivy Town is indicative of a larger issue–her abandonment issues; on some level she was probably afraid to rock the boat and somehow ruin things with Oliver, possibly making him leave–but that’s my interpretation of it)
Oliver keeping his son a secret from Felicity, even once she confronts him about it and he keeps Samantha’s terms to himself, is a horse of a different color. This isn’t being bored without the mission and remote hero-ing with the team, this is him hiding a HUGE part of himself from her. One that walks and talks and shares half his DNA.
She is entirely justified to be pissed off with him knowing and keeping it from her. However, I do believe some of her vehemence is again related to abandonment. When Felicity gets into an argument with Oliver, a BIG argument, she leaves or lashes out. Whether it’s just taking a break to calm down or actively putting space between them, she takes off. Better to do the leaving than be left. Better to hurt than be hurt. Felicity has her own hangups and I’m entirely ready to see them addressed front and center through whatever storylines this secret coming to light will bring.
But on the other hand…Oliver just had his entire world wrecked in like a day or two. Suddenly he has a son. A son he’s missed nearly a decade with. And it’s because of his mother. (Although really, why is he surprised at this point with Moira? HEAVILY ARMED MEN WITH TASERS, OLIVER. A LITTLE BRIBERY IS NOT A BRIDGE TOO FAR WITH MOIRA QUEEN).
Then the hits keep on coming with Ms. McGuffin slamming Oliver with an ultimatum: If he wants to even get to know William, he cannot do it as his father. Just as Mommy’s friend–although how that doesn’t sound like a euphemism for Prospective Step Dad, I’m not sure, but we’ll get to Samantha’s logic in a bit–AND he cannot tell anyone that he is William’s father.
Which is redundant. If he cannot be William’s father, what does it matter if Oliver tells his girlfriend he is? And how will Samantha know if he does tell Felicity? I somehow doubt Samantha is going to want Oliver to bring Felicity to share a playdate with the kid.
The second scene at her house is where Samantha may as well be wearing a T-Shirt that said PLOT DEVICE across it. That whole scene was contrived as hell.
She sends William to his room and expects the kid not to hear ANY of them arguing about Oliver being his father? What are the walls made of in her house, lies and concrete?
She claims that she didn’t want Moira anywhere near her son and that’s why she didn’t take her money, and yet she keeps the check within easy reach to show Oliver during a completely unexpected visit? What, does she have a Break Glass In Case of Baby Daddy emergency stash in the den?
Now, I can understand SOME of what Samantha must be thinking. Oliver knows she lied to him about the baby. She’s kept this kid in the dark about his father. If they tell William the truth, she’s going to look BAD to her son. The son she’s had to herself for nearly a decade. And yes, the Oliver she knew was NOT Father of the Year material. But she also knows that Oliver is running for Mayor, and even spending a few minutes with Oliver you can see the difference between this guy and Ollie.
Ollie pees on cop cars, Oliver saves people from speeding cars.
Ollie says he’s lucky when Samantha miscarries, Oliver looks heartbroken at the idea of not getting to know his son.
So, that argument doesn’t really hold water, missy. Plainly put, Samantha is Plot Device first and logic second. She’s there to plant a time bomb on the Olicity ship and to sprinkle the barest amount of reason around it.
Many have made the very salient point that Oliver could sue for rights to see his son. And they are absolutely right. Legally, that is the appropriate course of action. But Oliver has had all of ONE interaction with this kid prior to this. Would you want your first introduction to a child you’ve missed a decade with to be you suing the other parent he’s known his entire life? Yes, Samantha lied to William, but she is his mother. She’s been with him through everything. Oliver is the guy who handed him his action figure in a coffee shop once and then showed up outside his house and creeped out his mother twice.
Oliver’s first moment with his son, he name drops knowing the Flash to the kid as his opening line. He is DESPERATE to make a good impression. So, playing nice with Samantha seems paramount because she controls how much access he has to his son.
So, while Oliver clearly doesn’t win in terms of logic, his actions there aren’t a bridge too far for me.
But afterward, when he doesn’t tell Felicity the truth (again, how would Samantha know if he did?) that is when things feel off. Especially at the end when Felicity begs him to let her be a good partner to him. Felicity has been his partner since S2–S1 if you ask me, but we’ll go with when he actually said she was his partner–and he chooses to honor a promise made to a girl he had sex with once a decade ago?
Now we delve into Oliver’s issues. Felicity pointed out Oliver’s trust issues, and that is a big part of it. But Oliver ALSO has abandonment issues. He’s lost his father, his mother, Shado, and many other people over the years. Loving and losing those important to him is what he knows, and there is NO ONE he loves more than Felicity. And having Barry tell him this is something that breaks him and Felicity up TERRIFIES him. It terrifies him probably all the more considering he and Felicity are just now back to normal after 4x06 where she was questioning what their relationship did to her identity, in turn making Oliver question why she was even with him in the first place.
Oliver will do just about anything to avoid losing Felicity. And desperation usually doesn’t breed excellent decisions with Mr. Queen. Siding with Malcolm Merlyn. Joining the League. His endgame with Ra’s being a kamikaze trip to save Starling from the Alpha Omega. Handing the actual devil power over an elite group of assassins and direct access to a form of near-immortality…
(We could go on but this meta would turn into all the reasons I’m STILL pissed off about Nyssa being repeatedly screwed by the narrative last season, but that’d take a lot longer than I have time for today)
So, Oliver in his fear and desperation not to lose the woman he loves BUT also form a relationship with his son made questionable decisions. Is it wrong? Hell yes. He’s ensuring this will all blow up in his face spectacularly and that Felicity will in all likelihood break up with him outright when it does.
But this actually fits for Oliver with me.
He has a MASSIVE family-shaped blind spot. He was surprised over and over by his father’s sins in season one. He refused (and continues to refuse to) believe how much his mother manipulated events in his life. And he just takes Thea at her word over and over and over despite all the lies and evidence of her making questionable decisions–like going to Malcolm Merlyn for advice on how to STOP killing.
It makes sense that his blind spot would extend to William. But since William hasn’t done much more than make sound effects with his action figures just yet, Samantha dominates the blind spot as the gatekeeper to William.
And she does it in true Moira Queen fashion: emotional manipulation. Samantha is the ghost of Moira here when she dangles Oliver never seeing his son if he refuses her terms. Oliver reacts from a place of pure emotion instead of logic. This is not unprecedented for him.
It would be very nice if he calmed down enough to tell Felicity the truth. But this is TV. That won’t happen. You don’t defuse the bomb you just planted, you draw out the tension and let it blow.
Maybe it’s that I grew up around women in my family watching soap operas, but this sort of thing has a cycle: person A loves person B, person A keeps secret from person B, person A agonizes over secret and contemplates telling person B, person B finds out the truth in the worst way possible, person B goes off on person A, they break up…and what happens from there is TBD depending on the couple involved.
But this is Olicity. We’ve been watching them build this ship from literally nothing since S1. This is a bomb that they will not only weather but come away from stronger.
As much as I’d love to see them happily engaged and planning a wedding by now, I’d much rather see all the issues they have individually and as a couple come to light first. Because it’s better to have that out in the open before they say I do than after. Then we won’t have divorce drama.
So as far as I’m concerned, despite McGuffins and plot devices that put a new shine on contrived and cliche, we’re good. Bring on the angst.