orangeisorange replied to your post “Well… hello there. Very interesting. Lyla is back for 5x19.”
I love your reviews, thanks for writing them. The problem I have with Olicity is that a reunion would be contingent upon things we haven’t seen on-screen. Oliver and Felicity hardly feel like friends anymore, so it’s all based on the fact that the writers are delaying the confrontation to end all confrontation. My fear is that it might not happen.
I thought your comment was really interesting @orangeisorange, so I wanted to kick it up to a separate post to respond to it. Hope that’s okay. I would say that if we are feeling a distance between Olicity this year then that’s appropriate. There is a distance between them. Yes, they’ve figured out how to work together. They are fighting crime together, but they haven’t worked out their personal issues. They aren’t addressing them, because (like I said) if they do then they’ll get back together and Arrow is trying to milk this. Not unusual for a television show. We want the conversations to happen in 5x05 or heck even in Season 4. Arrow decides to push it to the back half of Season 5. The push/pull dynamic on pacing between writers/network and audience is always a frustrating one, but it’s the reality of a television show.
Are Oliver and Felicity as close as they were in Season 4 or maybe even Season 3? NO. That is intentional. They are intentionally leaving this wall between them because A) they are trying to move on and B) they don’t know how to fix what went wrong between them, despite the intense love they feel for one another. Is that frustrating as a viewer? Yes. We can scream, “TALK!” at the top of our lungs, but it’s not going to happen until it happens. Does Olicity work better together than apart? Yes. Does the show work better when they are together? Yes. I’m not saying there isn’t room for complaint, but I don’t necessarily find Oliver and Felicity’s behavior towards one another out of character for the situation they are in.
That’s not to say there isn’t a rebuild. That’s not to say Arrow hasn’t put in the narrative beats so that when these conversations finally come it makes sense. Closing this distance, finding their way back to one another, is a huge piece of their individual arcs. Simply because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Nor should we really expect it to happen in episode 5 or episode 14 of a season. That’s just not how episodic television works. Frustrating? Yes, but watching a 23 episode season live is a long and arduous process.
I don’t really agree this confrontation is contingent on things we haven’t seen on screen. We’ve seen the progression of this rebuild on screen all season long. For those who don’t see the rebuild, there’s something I do sometimes. It’s a little trick I play in my mind. Arrow is very much like Buffy where the romantic relationship is a core tennant of the show, but it’s not a main focus of the show. There’s episodes that focus on Olicity and then there’s many episodes that don’t. We get smaller moments, snip its, or none at all. This is true of every single season of Arrow. So, sometimes what I do to see the narrative beats, is remove those in between episodes and focus on the big Olicity ones.
5x01 - Diggle kicks off the season long question that Oliver has to answer.