But can we talk about those flashbacks Oliver has?
that first meeting
(he’s been in the dark for so long it’s all he even knows anymore… he’s been living in this dull, focused work of black and white, knowing colors from afar but never really seeing them… and suddenly, there’s color everywhere, splashes, strokes, streaks of them… there’s something that just glows and he’s like a moth, stunned by the life in that flame… it’s the first time he remembers someone knowing he’s lying and calling him out on it in a manner that genuinely moves something inside him, makes his lips curve and before he knows it, he’s surprised himself by smiling back at this glowing life of color… the reason he’ll always remember it was red…)
that first date
(where he finally picked up the courage to ask her out. he’s never had trouble asking anyone for a date but with her it’s different, he’s different. and he remembers being such a nervous wreck, because he’s taking that first step towards happiness with the woman he knows he loves… and then he sees her and everything blanks for a moment. he’s never seen her look more beautiful than she does right in that moment, waiting for him with a nervous smile and soft eyes and just… waiting for him… and he just falls more in love with her, right there…)
that first kiss
(the first time he held her face in the palm of his hands, his lips against hers, breathing her in, knowing deep into his bones that there would never be another woman for him, not as long as he lived… he memorizes this moment, so completely that he can recall it as he feels himself dying on a cold mountain, or see it in a place of everything strange. this kiss became his homing beacon, in his own mind…)
that first time
(after he knew he had to stay behind and here was no changing anything, after she’d given him the greatest gift a woman could give a man - her heart, her body, her soul, after telling him he was beautiful and she was so proud of him in so many million ways, after months and months of loving her from afar, from knowing he would die and kill for her happiness, after months of being a man committed to a woman in his heart, his body, his soul, she opened her arms to him, she accepted him. he’ll never forget that night for as long as he’ll live, not only because they made love for hours, culminating the desire that had been simmering between them for years, but also because it had been a dying wish for him, a memory of beauty in a future of dark, a memory that would give him strength in the time to come, sustain him, inspire him, and make him go back to her…. for that night, he was just Oliver and she was just Felicity and they loved each other with everything inside them)
that first proposal to the woman he loved and almost truly losing her
(he’s held so many limp bodies in his life, more than any one man should, seen blood flow out of loved ones mouths as they’d taken that last breath in his embrace… he’s held her body so many times, in so many ways, in so many moments in his arms, with love and laughter and passion and intensity… he’s held her even when she’d been limp, when her head had lolled and he’d carried her to safety, feeling her breathe in his arms… but this was different… because they’d just been kissing, just been looking at the ring he’d finally placed on her finger after harboring it for months, just asked her for the commitment of a lifetime - body, heart, and soul - and she’d smiled and cried and clung to him and said yes… she’d just made him the happiest man on the face of the earth, the happiest he’d ever been in his life, the happiest he’d never thought he’d be… and it was gone… and he could feel it in his bones… this was bad… he was losing her, in perhaps more ways than one… she wasn’t waking up and she was hit and he knew what a straight bullet to the back could do and he was panicking because no, god no, not her… not like this… not with blood coating the ring on her finger…)
that first time he married her
(he’s married her in his heart a hundred times already - with his eyes, his hands, his mouth, every part of his flesh and every part of his being… he’s married her in every way a man can marry a woman in his heart, his everything hers, he hers, for better or worse, for life… he’s been working on his vows for months now, and the moment he has her here, he knows he screwed up, and he knows she still loves him, and he knows this won’t forgive or win her back but he needs her to know, he needs to do this for himself, because baring his soul to her had always been simple, baring his heart to her, telling her she’s his always and he just wishes to be hers, sliding that ring on her finger, even for a few moments, in his heart they’re married right then - even if she’s hurt, even if he’s messed up, even if it’s all fake… for him, it’s never been more real, in the same venue he couldn’t bring himself to cancel and the same dress she was going to wear… in this moment, he’s married her… for the first time…)
Nothing screams ENDGAME like a man who’s forgotten everything, lost in his own mind, and finds himself guided back home by the sheer memories of the woman he loves. He leaves his perfect life behind to go back, in part, to be with her, where he knows he can speak her name the way he does and her eyes would soften in the way they do.
Felicity Smoak is Oliver Queen’s always.
And this episode proved than a million times.