Just wondering whether you think that 5.20 etc was planned or something they decided to do because of fan reaction? Thanks!
guessing by your use of ‘etc’ that you’re referring to Olicity’s progression?)
HOW they decided to do it, they figured out between May and August 2016, with a few addendum’s made by 5.05 was filmed. When they knew the time they wanted them to reunite (as in, at the end of a season)? Roughly when they filmed 4.16. I know there are some people who disagree, but I know the truth.
Want facts first?
Bullet point answers coming up:
- The script for 5.19 was written before 5.14 even aired – which means they’d figured it out before the ruckus that episode 15 inspired.
- They’ve known all season how much we dislike the LI’s: they still went ahead with them.
- Before writing scripts for a season, they must first plan the season. Good novelists and fanfiction authors do the same for a story they know will last a while (I don’t and I suffer for it). They don’t have enough time to change things on the spot later on or mess about with the plot because of their tight schedule, which is why they write scripts for episodes that are roughly 4 episodes ahead of the ones being filmed. And then they have to make sure the episodes work with the narrative flows of the season. Advanced prep.
- When 5.05 aired (an episode that was filmed before episode 1 aired), WM & MG both admitted that they wanted to explore Oliver and Felicity apart from each other for a bit FIRST. First. It implies that it isn’t forever. Just long enough for realisations to set in. And to drive the fandom insane.
- Before the season started no one said they were over. Yet by season 2’s end and before season 3’s air date, WM was saying said that Oliver wouldn’t be getting back with LL or Sara because their relationships were based on the past and would never last. SA specifically said NO.
- WM & MG have also said this season that there were a few stories they had left that they ONLY do if Oliver and Felicity weren’t together. It was the truth. Such as explore them with other people and see those relationships fail for a fundamental reason. As well as delving into Felicity’s changes and Oliver’s sin. His darkness. Facing himself. To find themselves before they can find each other.
- This season was THE one where they could throw Olicity utterly through the blender as they explored other avenues. We didn’t have to like it but it has been implied enough times for us to know that it’s because once these two idiots get together, it’ll stick. Even through bad times. With many seasons to come - like Stephen said - they could afford to slow down.
- Dig asked a question in episode 1 regarding Olicity that has yet to be answered because like each season there is something in the first episode that gets answered in the last. It hasn’t always been a question. It’s a device used to show progression, whether for good or bad.
(Now there are many themes and questions, I’m just picking one for each) Season 1: it delves right into making us wonder who Oliver Queen is, what his mission is and why. Who he’s become. And what it might cost. It ends with a man who is a survivor but not a hero, a man who tried and failed and the cost? Tommy.
Season 2: Can he be a hero in trying a different way? Answer: yes.
Season 3: It’s more of a choice than a question: The Arrow or Oliver Queen.
Season 4: Can Oliver and Felicity be together both romantically and professionally? Does Oliver have what it takes to be the light? Both answers are ‘not yet’. They’re both under a schism.
Season 5: is Felicity going to be part of Oliver’s future and can Oliver overcome what’s been hurting him for so long? Yes and yes.
With Felicity’s help.
It’s a question posed and meant to be answered by 5.23.
- MG recently said in a tumblr answer that he and the writers view Olicity as much more than just a romance and that it was a very good thing. And it is: it means not only will they pay attention to them as a couple, they’ll give credence to the people they are. Who they’ve become. Felicity’s had more story this year than Laurel did season 1. They’re exploring her personality, whereas LL got thrown a bunch of cases to try and fail at solving and got passed around 2 men. In fact, in each season, Felicity’s story builds. THIS year, the show has explored Oliver more than anyone else but it was always with the goal in mind of truly making him a legend: the GA. This show has always been about him.
I just mentioned Laurel and season 1…
This season, in some ways, is like a fix-it. At least, it is for me. And I promise this ties into the question :)
In season 1, Oliver tried to honour his father and did so by taking his book of names of the members and associates of Tempest and making it a list of marks to hunt, intimidate, coerce or kill. To try and make Starling better this way.
Evil begets evil.
His main love interest was LL, who he’d betrayed; however, he spent the season trying – to a fashion – to find compatibility from a woman with the man he had become.
Helena was the connective thread to his darker side searching for redemption.
Mckenna was his desire for some normalcy: an ordinary, functional but caring relationship.
Laurel was his need to heal the past; to go back in time and once again be the man he used to be, the one everyone missed, the man who hadn’t made a dumbass decision that ended in death, terror and loss.
A man who couldn’t love Laurel because he was no longer the man she fell in love with. That man died in the ocean.
(To anyone who doesn’t like what I’ve just written, please re-watch episode 8: Oliver says this to a version of LL. An episode were he sees people he’s lost and feels guilt over loosing, the people he needs to leave behind because they’re haunting him. The people he couldn’t save because he wasn’t who they thought he was.)
A man who wasn’t a dutiful son. Or the amazing boyfriend who hadn’t slept around behind LL’s back. And he wasn’t Ollie. He’d never be Ollie again except to his sister. It takes 2 seasons for him to figure that out.
Right before the end of season 1, he gets the girl, aims to save the city and declares that - once he’s finished - maybe he won’t need to fight anymore.
By 1.23 he’s lost his best friend, any last chance with LL by CHOICE not circumstance, this is important, he doesn’t save the city and his mother is arrested.
What should have happened after season 1 – I’m going to focus particularly on LL – if a) Oliver wasn’t as damaged as we’ve found him out to be in season 5 and b) if KC as LL had worked, is this:
LL would have found out Oliver’s secret at the end of season 1. After Tommy’s death they would have slept other but he still would have left.
Oliver and LL would have spent up to, roughly, episode 14 of S2 being apart until they couldn’t take it anymore. Instead of sleeping with Sara, it would have been Laurel.
They’d be on and off throughout until the end of S3.
Instead of spending the whole of S2 being an addict and recovering: LL would have also been using boxing or martial arts etc to try to kick her habit and vent some of her anger and guilt at Tommy’s death. She would have become a definite target for Slade and there would have been more than one episode covering this. By the end of the season, Oliver would have started training her. Personally.
In its place, we got an LL who spent an entire season – this is going to sound super harsh - feeling sorry for herself and blaming everyone else but herself for her problems. I know that sounds bad but, she drank and popped pills to take away her pain because it was too much for her. THAT’S FINE. THAT’S UDNERSTANDABLE.
What isn’t fine, is making damn sure that whoever’s with her feels just as bad, if not worse, than she does.
Because she doesn’t just feel guilty, she feels entitled to pass judgement. As if her pain gives her a free pass. It gives no one else on the show a free pass so this isn’t a facet the audience can like.
The last time she does it is with Oliver: that argument in the hallway after she’s just hurt her father, mother, sister and ex all in one go. After she blamed Sara – like she did Oliver – for ‘ruining’ her life. For making every bad decision and every wrong turn shes made, the fault of someone else.
That’s when a character being an addict loses sympathy. The addict part isn’t a problem. It’s how the character affects the people around them. She improves afterwards but, that mark stays with her.
We accepted Thea’s drinking and substance abuse, even if she irritated us, even if she was horribly immature with it; it was understandable and acceptable. She was a teenager lashing out at the world. But they deliberately didn’t push too far with it. They did with LL. They being the writers etc.
They make her into a vigilante for her sister with some ‘I care about Oliver even though I disagree with everything he says and have become a vigilante for SARA yet - when it suits me – also because Ollie’s one too and if he can do it - even though I disagree with everything he does – then so can I’ thrown in.
Season 5 resembles this movement… but it twists it on its head and mends what was broken.
Oliver has resorted back to killing criminals, to being very much the vigilante of season 1. He’s in love with Felicity but can’t be with her because he’s hurt her terribly and there’s something fundamental that hasn’t mended. That hasn’t been fixed. Something in him.
Noticed the similarity with season 1?
He spends the season unconsciously working from the viewpoint that he is someone who infects others. Someone who killed his own happiness and didn’t save the people he cared for.
Tommy, his mother, his father, Laurel etc… Felicity’s presence by his side. She closed off her heart to him and that’s his fault.
But he tries, like in season 1, to build something. He – at Felicity’s behest – builds a bigger team. He tries to be the politician Star City deserves. He tries to move on and date. He tries not to succumb to the monster he was the year before he returned home. He tries to atone and move forwards.
Professionally he mostly succeeds. Personally, he utterly fails.
Rory has left by choice. Evelyn betrayed them by choice. Curtis has destroyed his marriage through choice.
Rene and Dinah are flourishing.
As a politician, he’s destroyed his legacy as the Arrow, even though he thought it the right choice: it’s hurt him and he doesn’t know how to come back from that.
He killed Billy, thereby once again, hurting Felicity and reminding him again that it isn’t the worst thing he’s done.
He settled for the first offer at a relationship that came along, from a woman who he knew initially thought little of him because he needed to prove to someone like that, that he wasn’t bad and could be better. And if he could convince someone like her – even as he lied and was subpar about them – then maybe, just maybe he could be worthy of more. Worthy of Felicity.
He now feels he was an idiot to even try and once he saw that for what he was, once he realised why he’d tried in the first place he dumped Snoozan in the coldest break up I’ve seen on TV in a long time.
He’s been forced to see why he destabilises everything in his life. He’s fallen to his lowest ever point.
And like with every season, Felicity will be the one to make him rise back up.
Unlike season 1, Oliver and Felicity won’t have a quick 2-minute thing and then spend 3 episodes ignoring each other like he and LL had between 21 and 23 S1.
Olicity had episode 19 to air out the big problem between them. She thinks he doesn’t trust her and he has no idea how to tell her the truth because once he does he thinks he’ll lose her love forever. They’ll have 5.20 to circle back round to each other, to have Oliver explain why he’s been acting the way he’s been acting and have Felicity be openly vulnerable to him. 5.22 it’s his b-day party and 5.23 they all end up on Lian Yu.
Not city wide attack, no loss of a best friend (Diggle), no loss of a love that’s his life and his always and his future.
Perspective will be gained as will a new life. He’ll let go of the rope around his neck: his promise to his father. He’ll FINALLY step off the island. He’ll have the girl who completes him to help him and him, her.
THEY COULDN’T MASH THIS UP TOGETHER IN WEEKS OF PANIC OVER THE OUTCRY OF FANS.
They would never - EVER - give THIS much simply for fan-service. It’s far too much.
They aren’t that stupid. A waste of money, time and resources on pleasing some fans.
Look, we know fans have some power. We know that. They listen to what we like and if enough people like something, they either look at it more closely or it’s given credence.
But it isn’t their motivation for action. And the CW guys, the directors, the producers, Warner Br’s etc: they make calls that we don’t know about BEFORE fan reactions even occur. Before they we loved Felicity, THEY fell on love with her first and asked her to be brought on for more episodes.
By seeing the scripts for season 2 and 3, we’ve had it confirmed that all the small moments between them over season 1 and 2 were created with an epic romance in mind. The break up has been coming since the beginning. We all know LL was the original LI, until they watched the pilot before it aired and realised they couldn’t re-cast their female lead.
up and the space between Oliver and Felicity has been deliberate and something they’ve
been planning for a long time. As is their reunion. As is Oliver’s rise to
All of this, the romance, has all been about Oliver becoming the GA. It has NOTHING to do with fan reaction.
Take a brief look at season 4’s narrative cues first:
They’re together, moving in with each other and getting married. All in 9 episodes. Wow. At the time I didn’t notice the speed but looking back at it, I’m super stunned I didn’t see the it until it was too late.
They rushed their progress to break them up. To give them lots of time to live differently without each other. I’ve already posted that I believe they’re aiming for 5 more seasons to reflect on the first 5. It had nothing to do with whether whoever makes the decisions likes Olicity or not; it was a piece of the story. They realised they were going to get more than 5 seasons – A LOT more. Revealing this secret child and having them work through that was probably going to happen all in one season. Until the glorious news of more seasons.
So, then they have that scene in 4.16 where Felicity says to Oliver that he would always be on that island and that, though she loves him and wants to be with him, he’ll always resort to being that person. To the man created in those 5 years away. The kind of fiancé who would make the kind of choices that would leave the ones he loves bereft, even if that wasn’t his intention. The man she loves who could one day simply leave her, because of a choice he might make.
It’s a progressive point: something for him to aim to beat. A wall to climb over. And some walls are really high and terrifying to scale.
They’re at a stale mate and a cross roads and to be honest, I understand why. As much as the patience they asked of us is wearing very thin, I get why it took so long.
They couldn’t get back together in season 4 because Felicity was right: eventually he’ll make a decision that will ruin them. And she needed to face her demons. Until he could understand himself, understand what lies at the root of his decisions, they were null.
And Oliver… well he’s the king at burying what hurts. It’s very characteristic of his character to take a full season to GET IT.
This is the core of season 5. His evolution. Stepping past that and becoming the hero Felicity has seen in him since day one.
And yet he hasn’t managed to do this without her.
She’s a pinnacle piece of his puzzle. Their break up is at the root of what’s hurting him.
Most of his choices this season have ended in failure and/or pain. The things he’s doing as the mayor, how he’s resorted to killing once again, then openly renouncing the GA without discussing it with his team, dating SW and then dumping her like she was nothing (she was and he knows it which is why he doesn’t understand why he dated her: it was because he was lonely btw), they’ve been based on an underlying principal that he is this bad person who destroys the goodness around him. He went in search of something to prove that wrong… what he found was much worse. He found the truth: or a partial truth.
Being alone hasn’t helped him: it’s simply made him see what he was denying for years. In a very real way, it is a sickness.
But honestly, he was never EVER going to understand himself fully, was never going to see the missing pieces without Felicity Smoak.
I believe 5.20 will be about this: about the revelation in 5.17 and Felicity showing him that there might be a different way to see this.
The way they’ve filmed the episode tells me they’ve put a good deal of thought and MEANING into it.
It’s sounding like the Olicity episode to end all other episodes: they’re in each scene together. It’s been made so that Felicity has to depend on him, something she’s been deliberately not doing all season. It will be brutally honest, gut wrenching and heart-warming MAYBE OTHER THINGS.
WITHOUT proof, why would they do all
that just to tide over a fan-base?
If the narrative flow to Olicity and their reunion wasn’t obvious to some people it’s because they were either too close to the subject or too angry at their break up. I get why. It was a crappy breakup and the length of time we’ve had to wait for the pendulum to swing back around has been almost too much – but they could never get back together until Oliver is at his lowest, until he is at a place he can fully open like he’s never been before.
All because of her, because she’s changing his world view of her and it is certainly not in any bad way.
And in doing this - in confessing to the one person he’s most afraid to confess to - he’ll free himself of a burden AND have what is likely going to be an amazing response from the woman he loves. Something to give him hope: a different point of view. Maybe it’s that simple. It’ll connect to their breakup. It ALL connects.
They’re tying up 5 years of story in 5 episodes, but there will be a focus on his secrets (William/his break up with Felicity) and his loose ends (the return of some major villains etc).
She’s been through something now, and she sees him in a different light — and he also sees her in a different light. There’s a lot more mutual understanding, and even though I think it’s hard to top the mutual respect they already have for each other, that goes up as well.”
WM said this and do you see how brilliant that is?
That they’re creating a couple who no one can stand against, a couple who love, respect and admire each other the most out of everyone. A couple who understand each other enough that their future encounters are bound to fascinate us.
Like someone once said, they’re the DNA that make Arrow what it is. The essential make up now of the show.
Fan-service, they will never be. They were decided BEFORE we wanted them by Warner Bro’s, CW, the directors etc.
(DID I GO ON, OR DID I GO ON? I DO APOLOGISE)