I we're done with Raylicity THANK GOD but I just wanted to ask this because I feel like the idea of Felicity having a love interest outside of Oliver was an interesting idea but the execution fell flat because it was Ray Palmer The Atom. Do you think this triangle would've been better had he just been a normal, nice guy who is a lot like Felicity in intelligence and wit but not trying to be propped up for a spin off? Oh and also not take her away from Digg and Oliver, the two she works best?
I will join you in a “Thank God” that Raylicity is done.
That said, back before the premiere of Season 3, when I was fresh-faced and youthful in my enjoyment of the show, I was really looking forward to Felicity’s new love interest. Most of my knowledge of the DC universe came from what I could glean from Batman movies, so I had no idea who Ray Palmer was. Brandon Routh seemed charming enough in the trailers, and I was on board. I wanted Felicity to get a taste of a nice, safe, normal life with a guy without a mission or a crusade or a crippling case of PTSD. It would make an ultimate realization that she would rather have a dangerous, unpredictable, crazy life with Oliver much more poignant.
With Ray Palmer, it felt as though Felicity was replacing the man that she couldn’t have with a less intense version of him rather than deciding that she wanted to expand her horizons and dip her toe back into the dating pool. Between her literal clinginess and the painfully obvious parallels between Oliver and Ray, I was embarrassed for everybody involved. Ray was unwittingly part of a triangle, Felicity was trying to shove a square peg into a round hole, and Oliver was miserable at watching a man who was a healthier version of who he should have been sweep Felicity off of her feet.
Contrast this with a hypothetical relationship with a nobody who turned up and just happened to mesh well with Felicity. The show could have explored Felicity beginning to understand Oliver’s past difficulties with lying to his loved ones as she is forced to tell tales to her new guy to explain away her absences. The show could have portrayed Felicity coming to a natural realization about her priorities as she tries to juggle a day job, a night job, and a boyfriend. The show could preserved Felicity her dignity and shown that Oliver and Oliver-esque figures are not the only fish that she would consider in the sea. The show could have skipped over the slight skeeviness of Felicity engaging in a relationship with her boss. There was too much overlap in the Venn diagram of Felicity’s life, and she was lost in the clutter of her own purported arc.
A John N. Ormal could have been so great for Felicity’s character, and it could have been genuinely entertaining to see Oliver impotently threatened by a regular guy so different from himself but against whom he couldn’t really raise any objections. It’s why it was fun to see Oliver fruitlessly railing against Barry in Season 2 for distracting Felicity and why it was a total bummer to see him watching Ray with Felicity. Barry was a fun new figure carving a niche for himself in Felicity’s affections; Ray was a replacement. Barry jaunted off to another city to be struck by lightning and launched into a spinoff almost entirely separate from Arrow; Ray hung around for an entire season. Barry was seasoning to an already tasty dish; Ray was an entirely new ingredient that overwhelmed the meal.
Besides, I would have liked to see Felicity get some attention for reasons other than possessing skills valuable to any hunky guys with dreams of effective vigilantism. She’s young and pretty and engaging all on her own without needing to be mined for assistance. I can just imagine her John N. Ormal taking initiative and asking her out without an agenda…which just convinces the boys of Team Arrow that he’s a secret operative with a nefarious plot. Seriously, it could have been fun before it became melodramatic, and I think that the conflict between an average life with a welcoming John N. Ormal and a crazy life with a temperamental Oliver would have been genuinely compelling.