otp: their fierce loyalty to each other

Olicity, Upcoming Episodes, and Black Canary

As we say farewell to 2014, I can’t help but reflect about how wonderful it was to be an Olicity fan this past year.  With the back-half of Season 2 and the beginning of Season 3, we’ve been blessed with declarations of love, vows of faith and belief in each other, and that soul-searing first kiss of true love.  And then there’s the angst – God, I love the angst!

I’ve several asks in my inbox today about shipping Olicity and why they are so addictive as well as several asks voicing their fears of upcoming episodes without Oliver and Laurel taking up the Black Canary mantle. I’ve lovely anons asking if I’m going to watch the next episode, or if I’m going to wait until Oliver is back.  I’m hoping this will answer most if not all of those questions but as always, drop me another line if I failed to answer.  I hope you all don’t mind that I’m doing a “one answer to all” but I feared I would not be able to clear my inbox to start the New Year fresh.  I ask any of you that reblog this post, please don’t add a Laurel Lance or Black Canary tag, anti- or otherwise.  LL fans have a lack of respect for the opinion of others and I can do without their vitriol on my page or in my inbox.

I believe the allure of Olicity is in their unexpected chemistry. Unplanned yet explosive from the start, Oliver and Felicity’s natural spark filled a void in the show and gave me not only something to root for but to anticipate week after week.  I began shipping them in Season 1 and just could not stop.  Season 2 was a beautiful, enticing glimpse into what Oliver and Felicity could be together.  We saw their connection in so many ways but for me, it was the way they held each other’s gazes that spoke to me on a visceral level.  It was this unspoken communication, the intensity of their stares, and their fierce loyalty to each other that solidified Olicity as my OTP.  It was completely surprising to me since I thought no couple could ever replace Mulder and Scully in my heart.  But there they are, right next to Mulder and Scully, and their roots are planted just as deep.

I found the way they locked eyes incredibly addictive.  I loved how they would simply, yet with nuanced complexity, stare at each other, heat suddenly filling the scene, unfurling one tendril at a time as the oxygen slowly seeped from the room.  They said so much with those looks – everything that they dared not say aloud, that they were, and continue to be, too scared to say to each other.  I find myself holding my breath in every single one of these scenes, and when one reaches out to touch the other, my heart stops.  It’s those little things that are really not so little but instead are epic that make Olicity so special and make any scene they share eclipse an entire episode.

It’s the loss of these types of scenes, and the relatively new ease (despite the romantic turmoil) we’ve seen between Oliver and Felicity, that is going to make the next several episodes difficult to bear.  I want to believe that the show will further emphasize Diggle and Felicity’s bonds of friendship to help us survive. 

To see them joined in their grief, comforting each other and working together to uphold Oliver’s legacy would definitely help me survive these episodes without Oliver.  But I fear that will not be the case.  Everything we’ve seen thus far point to the next several episodes being about Laurel and her becoming Black Canary.  For those of you who are fans of the Laurel Lance character, I truly hope it’s everything that it is being hyped up to be….but I’m not going to lie, as apathetic as I am about Laurel, I’m not very optimistic.  I’ve had an up and down relationship with Laurel and to be honest, I actually liked her best in Season 2 when she had an arc separate and apart from the rest of Team Arrow.  Her turmoil over Tommy’s death, her problems with pills and alcohol, her dysfunctional relationship with her mother, and her estrangement with Sara were fascinating to me.  But then, it became weird; watching Laurel give relationship advice to Sara while Sara was with Oliver just creeped me out.  When all three of them were in a room together? Holy awkward, Batman!  Laurel came across as patronizing and I began to not care what happened to this character.  Season 3 further polarized me from this character, especially in episode 2 when she started directing Felicity to do this or that.  I understood what the show was trying to do and for me, it failed.  As much as I was looking forward to seeing this character develop and become Black Canary, I felt that she regressed, became too immersed in her own ego and for me, that ruined what I believed was the further development of her origin story in Season 2, that story (and what I  considered LL’s crucible) that began for Laurel when she learned her sister was on that yacht with Oliver.

For too long I’ve let the show runners and writers take responsibility for the failure of this character but no more.  When writers confess that they find a character difficult to write for, it is not always, or even solely, the writers fault.  The actor portraying the character has a responsibility as well and I can no longer deny that Katie Cassidy failed in her delivery.  I cannot tell you how much I disagree with others who say they have seen enormous progression in Laurel this season.  I find it enormously perplexing when reading a review that raves about an episode of Arrow and praises the progress of Laurel Lance, yet she only appeared for 30 seconds (okay, so I exaggerate but you know what I mean).  How is that progression?  How is that development?  In my book, it’s not.   While I concede there have been hints of improvement, it is not enough to convince me she is ready to become Black Canary this season or in any season, to be honest.  I find it incredibly troubling that in order to transition Laurel to a hero they had to permanently remove fan favorite Sara, sideline Diggle and Felicity, and “kill” the actual hero of the show.

There is no way I’m not watching Episode 3x10.    This is where we will find out what happened to Oliver.  If it is Malcom who saves him, I fear the control Malcolm will have over Oliver when Oliver finally returns to Starling City.  If it is not Malcolm, but rather Maseo, I’m intrigued to what Maseo’s actual motive is in saving Oliver and how this ties into the season’s themes this year.  Equally important, this is the episode where Diggle and Felicity will find out what happened to Oliver.  I hope to see Diggle taking up the reigns and leading Team Arrow.  I hope to see Felicity spread her wings and delve deeper into her role as a member of the team.  I want to see them comforting each other – Diggle is losing a brother and Felicity the love of her life.  After this, I’m taking it one promo, one episode at a time.  I will not be fooled by the writers if they try to use Diggle and Felicity as spoilers to lure us into watching.  I refuse to let them use these two beloved characters as a mechanism to get me to watch Laurel.  But I will give episodes 3x11 and beyond the benefit of the doubt provided that 3x10 is done right.  But what I will not do is sit quietly by should this become the Laurel show.  I watch Arrow for Oliver Queen, John Diggle, and Felicity Smoak.  Laurel does not have a place on this team.  This is my position, neither wrong nor right. 

I’ve meandered a bit in this post.  Perhaps that is the nature of a final post for 2014.  Or perhaps it is the Prosecco writing.  Or perhaps a little bit of both.  If you’ve made it to the end, thanks for hanging in there! Happy New Year, Oliciters!  Here’s to more Olicity in the rest of Season 3.