The Burden of Canon: Can We Talk About Arrow’s Oliver, Laurel & Felicity Problem?

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So, it finally happened: in the penultimate episode of the first season of CW’s Green Arrow origins show Arrow, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) sliced through their tepid sexual tension and went full-on to the bone zone (you can view the clip here). This was a moment 21 episodes in the making.  So, why did it feel so blah?

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To a certain portion of the viewing audience, any scene which involves a shirtless Stephen Amell could in no way be described as “blah.”

There is an unavoidable blandness and sense of inevitably with this pairing.  Why?  Because Oliver Queen is Green Arrow, even if the show simply calls him “The Hood,” and Laurel Lance is Black Canary, a super heroine identity the show might someday get to. Since the late 1960s, Green Arrow and Black Canary have been a couple, regardless of which version of Oliver Queen or which Lance (the original Dinah Drake or the current Laurel, Dinah’s daughter) we’re talking about.  Granted, they have frequently broken up, but in terms of comic book super heroes who are thought of as being a romantic couple (such as Cyclops and Jean Grey) these two are among the most notable.  So, their television counterparts were always headed toward some lying down together fun time.

However, one need not to have known anything about the comic books to have seen what the show was doing with Oliver and Laurel.  This is pretty standard CW – heck, TV in general – romantic brooding.  They want to be together, but until the right part of the season comes (either during sweeps or at the very end) the show will keep putting barriers between them.  There was emotional trauma to get past (her dad’s hatred for Oliver and Oliver’s own indirect responsibility for the death of her younger sister being two significant barriers).  There were new spouses to get past, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) for her, and Huntress (Jessica Du Gouw) and Detective McKenna Hall (Janina Gavankar) for him.  There were abs to try to ignore:

Olliver as he appeared in the show's pilot episode.

Oliver as he appeared in the show’s pilot episode.

Plus, there’s tradition.  Oliver’s a crime fighting vigilante.  By the rules of superhero storytelling that means there must be a girl he loves so much he pushes her away to protect her.  Sorry, Laurel.  However, entering the home stretch of the season the show finally put Oliver and Laurel together, reintroducing the two as a potential romantic couple in “Home Invasion” (EP. 20) before going there in the season’s penultimate episode.  Of course, this is all likely a prelude to ripping them apart once Oliver realizes he can never leave his life as the vigilante behind him.

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Team Arrow – Oliver, Felicity, and John. Felicity is an almost completely new version of a character from the lesser known DC comic book Firestorm, and John is a creation of the show.

Is it kind of boring, though?  Increasingly, Arrow is at its best when it focuses upon Oliver’s crime-fighting unit/new nuclear family Felicity Smoak (the fantastic Emily Bett Rickards) and John Diggle (David Ramsey).  These are the three who know the truth about Oliver’s life as a vigilante, and are the conduit through which the details of the show’s overarching conspiracy plot are discussed.  Plus, John and Felicity are so far the only ones capable of calling Oliver on his crap, with Felicity often attempting to curb Oliver’s homicidal impulses much as Cordelia would grow to do for Angel during the middle era of the show Angel, which also featured a brooding hero at its center.  To quote that show about a vampire with a soul, Oliver and Felicity have real” kyrumption.”

The funny thing is the show is clearly very aware of just how little some fans care for Oliver/Laurel and how hard they want him to be paired romantically with Felicity.  In the same episode (“Darkness on the Edge of Town”) in which Oliver finally beds Laurel he spends the majority of his time doing a heist with Felicity and John and striking poses like this with the former:

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Shots like these are no doubt sprinkled generously in many a fan-made YouTube video dedicated to Oliver and Felicity.

In many ways, Felicity is an audience surrogate character.  She is the slightly nerdy one – well, TV nerd meaning she wears glasses and knows computer stuff while looking as gorgeous as Emily Bett Rickards – who consistently stumbles over her own words around Oliver because he is just so darn handsome.  The show had been robbing Amell of his shirt for quite some time, but rarely did anyone on the show stop and admire due to TV’s unwritten rule of never acknowledging in-show how freakishly attractive everyone is.  Then Felicity became a full-time character halfway through the season, and she gets to watch Oliver work out out while they talk about bad guys and such.  She is not above staring:

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It’s like she’s looking right back at the audience and smirking, “His body really is something else, huh?  You should see it from this angle!”

The show has probably gone a little overboard with their new running gag of Felicity’s accidental sexual innuendos around Oliver.  The “too far” moment probably happened in “The Undertaking” (EP. 21) when she admitted to feeling better having Oliver inside of her in reference to the earpiece she was wearing to allow him to communicate with her while she embarks on a solo undercover mission.  However, Amell’s continued deadpan “I have no idea how to respond to that…so I’ll stay silent” facial reactions to her every innuendo never fail to amuse.

See the moment I’m talking about and judge for yourself:

The point being the show is giving the Oliver/Felicity shippers all the fuel they need even if the show’s ultimate goal appears to be establishing a brother/sister bond between the two.  I’m sure a recent episode conclusion in which Oliver assured Felicity, after a very tough day, she could talk to him about stuff like that anytime and his recent introduction of her as “a friend” to his family warmed many a yearning heart.

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Even when the two are fighting I’m sure the imagery delights those who want the two together.

There are those who would strongly argue against the show putting Oliver and Felicity together as a romantic couple (such as io9.com).  I think Rickards gives Amell a far different, more enjoyable energy to bounce off of than Katie Cassidy’s more standard anguished romance, and the two share an undeniable sexual chemistry.  That doesn’t necessarily mean the show would be well served by putting the two together.  I highly predict she’ll be getting her own equally geeky love interest next season (a Duckette for her Duckie, for you Pretty in Pink fans).

The larger concern is not Felicity but of the sense of obligation the show might forever feel to the Oliver/Laurel relationship because they are Green Arrow and Black Canary.  Does this limit the show’s flexibility to respond to what is working and what is not?  TV shows are fluid, living entities which reveal unexpected truths to its creators, such as when the popularity of Spike during season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer convinced Joss Whedon to abandon his original plans to kill off the character.  Even shows tied to canon can break away in interesting ways, such as when the DC animated series Justice League/Justice League Unlimited explored Hawkwoman and Green Lantern as a couple.

Arrow has reacted to what’s working, promoting Felicity from her original part-time role to full-time status.  However, even with the Felicitys, Huntreseses, and Shados (Celina Jane) of the world is the show destined for Oliver to ultimately have eyes for Laurel?  There is a practical reason for something like this, such as Katie Cassidy being a full-time cast member and part-timer Huntress’ Jessica Du Gouw having bolted for a full time gig on NBC’s Dracula.  Regardless of practicality and whether or not it is a good idea to do so dramatically, is the show forbidden from going there with anyone else because Oliver is destined to be with Laurel?

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Shado, should she survive the flashbacks to the island and show up in Starling City, of course.

It’s Smallville all over again.  During the initial season of the long-running Superboy-without-the-cape show the non-canonical character of Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) really sparked with viewers.  She was created for the show to be a teenage version of Lois Lane, rapid-fire dialogue and all, without actually being the real Lois Lane, and turned into one of the early breakout characters.  The ensuing interest in her crush on Clark Kent (Tom Welling) outweighed the rote, by-the-numbers will-they/won’t they of Clark and Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk), with Lana being a love interest of Clark’s from the comics.  The producers surprisingly chose to have Clark asks Chloe, not Lana, to the prom at the end of the first season, but only as a temporary romance before putting Clark back on path to romance with Lana in the second season premiere. Chloe’s crush on Clark went unreciprocated from that point forward, a flame she held mostly in secret until she met Jimmy Olsen a season or two later (technically the real Jimmy Olsen’s older brother).

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Savor this, Clark & Chloe fans. This is probably the height of their romance.

So, the people at Smallville found themselves with a similar problem currently facing Arrow, and their solution was to ultimately stick to their guns with Clark and Lana.  Beyond loyalty to canon, there is another factor to consider.  From a storytelling perspective, Lana functioned to provide romantic anguish for Clark as well be an unconscious damsel in distress every other week.  While also sometimes an unconscious damsel, Chloe served to advance plot via rapid-fire exposition, provide levity through one-liners/pop-culture references, and eventually keep Clark’s secret and allow him an outlet to whom he could talk openly about his crazy life.  If you give both functions to Chloe then where does that leave Lana?  The same is potentially true of Felicity and Laurel on Arrow.

Basically, when a show goes all in on a couple as being the loves of each other’s lives (as Arrow currently is with Oliver/Laurel) it’s difficult to ever completely back away from that for practical reasons, and this is made especially more difficult when the characters in question are based on an outside source.  You can pair the respective characters off with other partners, but there will always be the sense that the two are destined to end up together.  Before I completely move on from Smallville, I should point out that it did resist canon in its later years when Justin Hartley’s version of Oliver Queen was a major character romantically attached to Chloe, and when they introduced their version of Black Canary Oliver was never put together with her.

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Alaina Huffman as Black Canary from Smallville. She was a minor character, appearing almost exclusively in season finales. Photo credit: comixzone.cz

For Arrow, sticking with the Oliver/Laurel dynamic is their path of least resistance.  It allows them to continue on with their current storytelling framework and holds true to the canon thus pleasing Comic-Con-attending fans who have formed a relationship with Green Arrow and Black Canary through other media.  To be fair, the Oliver/Laurel coupling has been ill-served by having their romance suddenly foregrounded at the end of the season at the same time that Starling City is facing destruction, making Oliver discussing his feelings with Laurel feel like a far less pressing matter.  However, even if they do break Oliver and Laurel apart next season and try something with a Felicity pairing won’t it all seem like bumps on the road to Oliver and Laurel ending up together because they are, after all, Green Arrow and Black Canary?  Only time will tell.

For now, enjoy the only scene Laurel, Felicity, and Oliver have shared together to date and allow yourself to wonder how little Laurel possibly cares for Felicity on sight, as if sensing a potential rival:

What say you?  Am I crazy?  Well, not in general – we don’t even know each other.  But specifically about this?  Use our comments to render a diagnosis.

Check out this fun article from TVGuide in which two of their writers argue about the character of Felicity Smoak, one in favor and one against.

Also, take a moment to check out some of our other Arrow-related content on the site:

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117 comments

  • I really enjoyed your article………and I agree with what you wrote. Especially referencing the Smallville’s version of Oliver Queen and IT genius romance story. Right now, I think the writers are considering making ‘Olicity’ canon. I mean why else would they keep dangling those long looks Oliver and Felicity give each other in our faces? Those two stare at each other for 5 seconds straight and the camera suddenly cuts to Diggle, and I’m like, oh yeah, it’s a trio. And then that last ‘I love you’ scene in the finale which made twitter and tumblr explode in seconds! If they make him end up with Laurel, half the arrow community is gonna be seriously pissed and heartbroken. Including me.

    • My “Burden of Canon” article is just a little over a year old at this point. So, it’s safe to look back and say that as far as Oliver and Felicity are concerned season 2 didn’t quite progress as I had expected. They did kind of give Felicity her own love interest, a duckie for her duckette (as I had precited), but Barry Allen was only really around for 2 episodes. Instead, they threw in a lot of Olicity moments in the season’s first half before backing off of that in a big way to focus on Oliver/Sara before reverting back to Olicity in the final two episodes. They are teasing this out as long as possible, and the ambiguity of that final conversation with Felicity and Oliver on the island definitely indicates they’re going to keep dragging this out, playing to both of their shipping contingents (the Laurel/Oliver fans got their moments down the stretch of the season just as the Felicity/Oliver fans did) without fully committing one way or another. The way the producers talk in interviews they consider Laurel to be the love of Oliver’s life but aren’t in a rush to put them together just as they are trying to figure out what Oliver and Felicity mean to each other.

      In general, Arrow is a show which wants us to ship for most any possible romantic pairing, and any non-related female is a potential love interest for Oliver Queen. So, in the same episode where Oliver fake-told Felicity he loved her you had Sara telling Laurel to be there for Oliver. This is the game the writers are playing, and I won’t claim to know their endgame. Part of me still things their end goal is for Oliver to end up with Laurel, but I also think their Oliver-Felicity pairing, should it happen, will definitely last longer than the single episode Smallville gave Chloe and Clark.

      • I have a major gripe with the writers of this show. I can’t stand Oliver being with Laurel or Sara, I prefer Felicity. Why? Aside from Felicity being what Oliver needs (someone with a sense of humour, brains, won’t take his crap but loves him too despite his PTSD) I have an issue with being forced to accept that two sisters sharing a man is acceptable, IT’S NOT! Sisterly love should never go there, it’s almost on the same level as incest. What’s more once is a bad mistake but back & forth 5-6 times? Disgusting! If they were friends not sisters I’d be ok with it but …

      • “I can’t stand Oliver being with Laurel or Sara”

        It does make Oliver out to be a bit of a creepy creeperton, and the fact that when Laurel called him on it (kind of) but later apologized for everything (kind of) feels like a let-down.

        “I have an issue with being forced to accept that two sisters sharing a man is acceptable, IT’S NOT! Sisterly love should never go there, it’s almost on the same level as incest.”

        You’re not the only one. There have been a lot of people who had problems with season 2 for those exact reasons, among others.

      • GIven all the new spoilers about Oliver being in love with Felicity since before 2×06 (as said by marc guggenheim in comic con interviews), Stephen Amell saying Oliver/Lance sisters will never be romantically together ever again and Felicity is the only woman in his life right now, Berlanti saying Felicity represents a whole other life for Oliver, and Kreisberg saying maybe there’s a life with her in regards to Oliver wanting to be more than the Arrow and Ray Palmer coming in to take everything, including Felicity away from Oliver what’s your opinion on the state of Olicity now?
        Ray Palmer is a big deal because one of his major purposes is to bring in an Oliver/Felicity/Ray love triangle where Felicity will have to make a choice. This is a big deal for a couple who is supposedly not going to end up together because if that were the case wouldn’t it be a Felicity/Oliver/Laurel(or Sara) love triangle? Instead, Felicity has to make the choice between Oliver and another man.
        Also, when Oliver came back from the island he pined for Laurel but still had relationships. The new spoilers make it sound like Felicity will get hurt during their date and Oliver will be convinced he can’t be with her so he’ll pine for her. Here’s the difference, Oliver will be FAITHFUL in his pining unlike season one/two where he still had relationships.
        All in all, I see a lot more hope for Olicity than there was before especially with the showrunners and actors all being on board with Olicity and embracing it. Felicity is also going to be introduced to the official GA comics (not the tv ones!) so eventually the Olicity might be a canonical comic relationship. Thoughts?????

      • I’ll just start by commending Arrow for never totally doing what I expect. I have been wrong so often about what I thought they were up to that I’d be a fool to try to figure out where they’re going with Oliver’s love life.

        But since you asked…Unless I missed it, Stephen Amell is still just an actor on Arrow. He hasn’t been made an Exec. Producer like so many other actors on long-running TV shows. So, I’m not completely swayed by him saying that Felicity will be the only woman in his life this season. The producers have previously disputed that, pointing out that there’s always flashback Oliver to think about, too. He could have another Shado in his future-past. Then again, they have said they have the whole season mapped out this time around, and Amell is possibly privy to those plans.

        Otherwise, you summed everything up quite nicely, and I don’t disagree with anything you said.

        Based upon how these things normally go, you would expect Ray Palmer to be the classic third wheel brought in to be part of a triangle until he inevitably loses out. In the short term, he’ll probably get Felicity (and by “get” I mean go out on dates), but in the long term she’ll be Oliver’s girl.

        That’s just this season, though.

        I say that because the model this show has set in its first 2 seasons has been for Oliver’s love life to be contained in the present to one woman: season 1 was all about Laurel (with Huntress and Detective McHottie being brief detours), and season 2 was all about Sara, despite an episode or two of him being jealous of Barry Allen and Felicity. Season 3 is shaping up to be all about Felicity. They could break from that in a hypothetical season 4, sticking with Oliver and Felicity, but that’s not how they’ve been operating to this point.

        Laurel is still around. Laurel still most likely becomes Black Canary before this is all said and done. Green Arrow’s most popular love interest is still Black Canary. That still carries some weight. The producers have shown considerable flexibility, recognizing they kind of lucked into something interesting with Oliver and Felicity and are going to explore that. However, romantic pairings on CW shows are so shaky that I’m not ready to annoint them as an obvious end-game couple. I’m more digging in and preparing to cynically joke about how everything’s going to go in season 3 only to continually be proven wrong.

        My only other thought is that Andrew Kreisberg likes referencing Buffy/Angel. Those are not shows who gave its couples happy endings. Moreover, Angel is a show which came off an romantic pairing for its lead character (Angel with Buffy) that was so epic it wasn’t until the third season that they turned Angel’s comic relief sidekick (Cordelia) into a love interest. Well, they keep saying Ray Palmer is like Faith from season 3 Buffy – Oliver/Felicity could be like season 3 Angel/Cordelia. Or not. I tend to see signs of Angel where there really isn’t one. I may have seen that show too many times.

    • I seriously doubt they are going to care about what the rabid Olicity community is going to think if they have Laurel/Oliver end-game since end-game will only truly be established in the last episode of the show. At that point, you can be pissed and heartbroken all you want and it won’t change a thing. Hopefully, by the time the series finale hits, I’d hope to God, they’d be more interested in the story they are telling than they are interested in serving a bunch of fangirls more interested in the Olicity romance than they are the actual story.

  • I don’t have a big problem with Ollie’s sister swapping or the cheating, but that’s probably because it’s just fictions anyway and I can’t get on my high moral horses over fictional characters and their actions. However, if we’re going to look at relationships from a real world angle, isn’t it a bit degrading for Felicity to nurse a huge crush on Ollie, while watching his various love interests parade before her eyes? I mean, she’s been more or less pining for Oliver for one and a half season, and during this time has slept with/had serious relationships with McKenna Hall, Helena/the Huntress and Laurel (after a heartfelt declaration of love). In season two Laurel broke up with him, and after that he had a one-night stand with Isabel almost in front of Felicity’s nose. A few eps later Oliver proceeded to have hot sex with Sara right in the “Arrowcave”. A sidelined Felicity was then forced to watch Ollie and Sara together in the “Arrowcave” and on various missions, knowing that they had an intimate sexual/emotional relationship (I mean, Ollie even asked Sara to move in with him, which means he was serious). Towards the end of the season Sara breaks up with Oliver and two eps later we get the Olicity “I love you” ruse.

    I’ve kind of accepted that the showrunners will milk the popularity of the O/F pairing for all that it’s worth and that we’ll probably get many Olicity moments with close ups, long/longing glances and all kinds of touching in season three as well. I also presume that the writers might take the O/F relationship a few steps further.

    What I don’t understand is that the same Olicity fans who are so indignant over Ollie’s treatment of Laurel and claim that she should never have degraded herself by taking him back apparently don’t see anything degrading in the way Oliver treats Felicity, at least when it comes to romance….I think her whole situation is a bit odd: she has a huge crush on Oliver and he recognizes this, and yet he sometimes treats her like a puppy (e.g. the “you will always be my girl” pat on the back)…. and he doesn’t hesitate to flaunt his love life before her eyes. I also marvel at the fact that the same peeps who find the Lance sister swapping is so creepy and distasteful have no problems whatsoever accepting that Felicity will be taking the Lance sisters’ “leftovers”….

    I don’t have any major problems with Oliver’s love life, but I find the double standards of parts of the oliciter fandom a tad strange. The O/F relationship may be ideal in their eyes, but in the eyes of the rest of the fandom it’s not any more healthy or untainted than any of Oliver’s other relationships.

    • You’re not wrong, and your point is, as always, well argued. However, maybe for some people preferring Felicity over Oliver with either of the Lance sisters is simply the lesser of two evils at this point. If I’m honest, the whole “it’s so creepy how Oliver is banging his way through the Lance family” stuff never occurred to me until someone responded to one of my episode reviews to announce how creeped out they were. So, I now do “get it” and see why it bothers some viewers. For whatever reason, it’s never been that big of an issue for me, though.

    • I think you are generalizing the thoughts of Olicity shippers. Not all of us actually degrade Laurel for taking back Ollie. Heck I’m not a big fan of the dude when it comes to relationships, however, I cannot get over the fact that he has zero chemistry with Laurel………and fans just can’t connect with Katie’s acting. I know she’s an amazing actress but her character makes me cringe. I remember when she was in some sort of love triangle with Tommy and Ollie, no one gave a damn who she loved the most! We were all asking ourselves: where the hell is that blonde IT girl from episode 3?. And nope, Olicity shippers are not blind to Oliver’s flaws. At least, I’m not. The dude needs to earn Felicity if the writers want them to be the end game, he’s that kind of guy who’s had absolutely no qualms when it comes to bedding women. I want them to make him work for Felicity. She deserves better than him and if she has to settle for Ollie, he damn well has to earn her. and they should give Laurel a more believable story line. She needs it real bad, for Felicity who’s supposed to be a guest character to come into the studio and upstage Laurel as the lead actress tells us that Laurel has been badly developed. I don’t know how I will stand watching her as Black Canary. U_U

  • “We were all asking ourselves: where the hell is that blonde IT girl from episode 3?”
    Maybe you’re generalizing a bit as well? I personally know quite a few people who don’t belong to the “we all” who hunger to see Felicity hook up with Oliver! And not every “Arrow” fan thinks that Felicity is the most awesome character on “Arrow” or that Emily B.R is an Emmy-winning actress either….

    If you go to the big online forums like the imdb board and reddit, there is currently quite an anti-olicity backlash and you get loads of fans declaring that they don’t want to see Oliver and Felicity together as a romantic couple. And this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are Laurel or Lauriver fans…they just don’t find anything enjoyable about what they call the Olicity fan pandering-in fact, many of them think that the need to provide some kind of ersatz romance between Oliver and Felicity has ruined her character.

    So, they fact that the Olicity fans seem to dominate comment sections like these, as well as other social media doesn’t necessarily mean that the whole fandom is dying to see Oliver and Felicity hook up and become the main romantic couple on “Arrow”. Lots of fans would even prefer if the writers toned down the romance part and focused more on the action/adventure part. I personally enjoy Laurel’s storyline more than Felicity’s and I’m really looking forward to seeing her become Black Canary. I may be rare as a unicorn, but at least I prove that unicorns exist in the “Arrow” fandom!;-)

    • Thank God you said “a few people” aren’t into this whole “Olicity” phase. And yes, Emily might not be an award winning actress but she has done a lot of work concerning her character. She’s managed to upstage Kate as Arrow’s leading lady and we’ve gotten to that point where most Arrow fans couldn’t care less about what happens to Laurel. If you say you like the character and you support Lauriver or whatever they call that pairing these days, then that’s your preference. But majority of the fandom, including the cast of the show are fans of Felicity. Manu recently called her “the heart of the show” and Amell is considered the captain of the Olicity ship. As for me, I’ve tried my best to like Laurel but it’s just not happening, she lacks depth even with all the background stories they’ve given her, she can’t connect with any of the other characters(I mean the ones besides her family). Heck, I even prefer Sarah to her. And you say you prefer Laurel’s story line to Felicity’s????? LOL Felicity doesn’t even have one. We know absolutely nothing about her, except she went to MIT and grew up in Vegas, yet, over half the Arrow fans love her. How Laurel is going to pass for Black Canary is so beyond me. Sarah raised the bar by being the coolest BC yet, I don’t see how Laurel will match her in both skill and charisma. I can’t wait for more on Felicity’s background, and more of team Arrow……………and definitely less of Laurel Thank God you said “a few people” aren’t into this whole “Olicity” phase. And yes, Emily might not be an award winning actress but she has done a lot of work concerning her character. She’s managed to upstage Kate as Arrow’s leading lady and we’ve gotten to that point where most Arrow fans couldn’t care less about what happens to Laurel. If you say you like the character and you support Lauriver or whatever they call that pairing these days, then that’s your preference. But majority of the fandom, including the cast of the show are fans of Felicity. Manu recently called her “the heart of the show” and Amell is considered the captain of the Olicity ship. As for me, I’ve tried my best to like Laurel but it’s just not happening, she lacks depth even with all the background stories they’ve given her, she can’t connect with any of the other characters(I mean the ones besides her family). Heck, I even prefer Sarah to her. And you say you prefer Laurel’s story line to Felicity’s????? LOL Felicity doesn’t even have one. We know absolutely nothing about her, except she went to MIT and grew up in Vegas, yet, over half the Arrow fans love her. How Laurel is going to pass for Black Canary is so beyond me. Sarah raised the bar by being the coolest BC yet, I don’t see how Laurel will match her in both skill and charisma. I can’t wait for more on Felicity’s background, and more of team Arrow……………and definitely less of Laurel Thank God you said “a few people” aren’t into this whole “Olicity” phase. And yes, Emily might not be an award winning actress but she has done a lot of work concerning her character. She’s managed to upstage Kate as Arrow’s leading lady and we’ve gotten to that point where most Arrow fans couldn’t care less about what happens to Laurel. If you say you like the character and you support Lauriver or whatever they call that pairing these days, then that’s your preference. But majority of the fandom, including the cast of the show are fans of Felicity. Manu recently called her “the heart of the show” and Amell is considered the captain of the Olicity ship. As for me, I’ve tried my best to like Laurel but it’s just not happening, she lacks depth even with all the background stories they’ve given her, she can’t connect with any of the other characters(I mean the ones besides her family). Heck, I even prefer Sarah to her. And you say you prefer Laurel’s story line to Felicity’s????? LOL Felicity doesn’t even have one. We know absolutely nothing about her, except she went to MIT and grew up in Vegas, yet, over half the Arrow fans love her. How Laurel is going to pass for Black Canary is so beyond me. Sarah raised the bar by being the coolest BC yet, I don’t see how Laurel will match her in both skill and charisma. I can’t wait for more on Felicity’s background, and more of team Arrow……………and definitely less of Laurel Thank God you said “a few people” aren’t into this whole “Olicity” phase. And yes, Emily might not be an award winning actress but she has done a lot of work concerning her character. She’s managed to upstage Kate as Arrow’s leading lady and we’ve gotten to that point where most Arrow fans couldn’t care less about what happens to Laurel. If you say you like the character and you support Lauriver or whatever they call that pairing these days, then that’s your preference. But majority of the fandom, including the cast of the show are fans of Felicity. Manu recently called her “the heart of the show” and Amell is considered the captain of the Olicity ship. As for me, I’ve tried my best to like Laurel but it’s just not happening, she lacks depth even with all the background stories they’ve given her, she can’t connect with any of the other characters(I mean the ones besides her family). Heck, I even prefer Sarah to her. And you say you prefer Laurel’s story line to Felicity’s????? LOL Felicity doesn’t even have one. We know absolutely nothing about her, except she went to MIT and grew up in Vegas, yet, over half the Arrow fans love her. How Laurel is going to pass for Black Canary is so beyond me. Sarah raised the bar by being the coolest BC yet, I don’t see how Laurel will match her in both skill and charisma. I can’t wait for more on Felicity’s background, and more of team Arrow……………and definitely less of Laurel Lance.

      • No EBR really hasn’t managed to upstage Katie as the lead actress. That would require EBR to actually act. Not sure how one can call throwing out snark and tacky one-liners “acting”. Even her more emotional moments, always involving Oliver, have felt like line readings. Much like this whole ridiculous chemistry Laurel/Oliver vs Felicity/Oliver argument, though, because EBR gets to be the unemotional, silly, happy go lucky, snarky one, somehow people latch onto it like it makes her better than Katie and it so doesn’t.

        If you ask me, it seems like TPTB are resisting giving Felicity anything too deep to work with because they don’t trust EBR yet to be able to pull it off.

  • Look I rarely comment on actors skills, but because someone has come out and made some ‘remarkable’ statements for EBR and against Katie then I will make a comment or two,

    ITA with BEFASTORDONTBE comments regarding EBR in response to NOMSKI.
    I find her a young actress with very little experience, and yet she has pulled off the cute IT geek girl off well, an easy trope to do IMHO. The thing is that when all the other characters are given extremely emotional, deep and character altering story lines you need someone to bring a lighter side to the storyline. Arrow is an extremely dark story and it does need some lighter moments in the mix. Now Felicity is well placed to offer those comments because she involved in the plotline, it matches her bumbling, socially awkward and immature characterisation. However, every single time she has been given an emotional scene it is overly done. Classic example are the crying scenes, they really are not the best acting I’ve ever seen. So I doubt Katie Cassidy’s leading lady status is at threat. And I agree that TPTB are fully aware of her acting limitations, are playing to her strengths mostly. But with the more dramatic scenes we are left cold.

    In fact, now that Laurel knows Oliver’s secret and she will be training towards the Black Canary we should see Laurel tied into the storylines in season 3. Why they didn’t let her know sooner I will never know. And yet we still know very little of Felicity’s story line, oh yes we will see glimpses, but don’t hold out completely fleshed out character storylines like we have for Laurel or Thea, it just won’t happen. It will be a one or two episode story arc I suspect, as there is way too much else going on and plans that need to come fruition.

    To say Laurel doesn’t connect with other characters is again, total BS. Laurel has had great connections with Tommy, Thea, Moira, Joanna, Kate, and even Sebastian Blood. So perhaps take your Olicity shipper glasses off and you might see what others do see. The TPTB have said that Katie has performed everything they have thrown at her, which shows they have immense faith in her abilities and skills as an actress. So frankly, I don’t take too much credence on your opinion.

    You know everyone who I have met who watches the show and doesn’t go online has seen Oliver and Laurel together. So I think the claim that the majority of the fandom wants O+F together is total BS. That’s is just pure puffery by Olicity fandom. Frankly, even though there has been lot’s of Olicity moments, it has still not changed Oliver’s feelings for Laurel, and I can’t really see O+F ever getting really together. A kiss maybe, but a real hook-up and a relationship I can’t see it honestly. Especially as they are touting for Felicity as an Oracle type person for future Birds of Prey storylines, then I can’t see the love triangle going on when you are going to need to trust people with your life. It would be 50 Shades of Awkward. And yes, I like Dinah Laurel Lance, I think she is a great character, maybe the writing has been off, but she has nearly all the classic characterisations in place for her comic book character the Black Canary. In season 3, we shall see the remaining character traits and skills come into play. Once Laurel is fully equipped there will be no holding her back and she will be front and centre where she belongs.

    SPOILER ALERT WARNING
    Do I see Laurel or Felicity being a love interest for Oliver for most of this season, no I don’t, as I believe Sandra will be coming along with Oliver’s son called Connor Hawke. While I don’t believe Sandra will be around for the long time, she will be around enough to create drama for Oliver and Laurel. I can see Oliver taking custody of Connor at some point, so this is another reason I can’t see Felicity with Oliver. Do I really think a young girl like Felicity should be burdened with a young child, when she hasn’t even experienced life herself – well the answer is a BIG NO!

  • “Do I really think a young girl like Felicity should be burdened with a young child, when she hasn’t even experienced life herself – well the answer is a BIG NO!”

    While EBR is 23 the show has Felicity as 27, (would have graduated MIT in 09 at probably 22) Laurel is 28 (went to law school 6 years ago on the show at probably 22) There really isn’t an age thing on the show. That said I suspect the show runners might not even address the unknown love child this year. The plot lines already sound pretty full and if they do address it, I would think it would put another nail in the coffin for Laurel. Not only did he sleep with her sister but got another girl pregnant while they were together? I don’t get why I should want her to be with Oliver.

    When it comes to acting, I think KC tends to make some poor choices for Laurel. Yes I have found her big emotional moments often lol worthy (the eye darting when Slade tells her of Oliver’s secret – think cat and laser pointer or the Joey Tribiani School of Acting) but the big issue I have is in her normal everyday scenes. Laurel too often comes off cold, judgmental and arrogant. Like the clip mentioned in the article of the first time Laurel meets Felicity. Laurel is bristling and treating Felicity as a rival when in that moment there shouldn’t have been any reason for Laurel to be catty. Too often, I see the same haughtiness infect Laurel with everybody. It IMO makes her unpleasant to watch.

    Comedy is called by most actors the hardest thing to do so I wouldn’t discount EBR’s flair in delivering a one liner but I also have found her very compelling when the moment calls for it. I enjoyed her attempt to sway Oliver in the 2nd secret lair but in that case it was more about expression and movement than specifically what she said but then the whole clock tower speech to Oliver just blew me away. “You honor the dead by fighting and you are not done fighting.” Chills. The emotion was so raw I actually got tears in my eyes.

    Neither actress is ready for her Oscar, but I have to say that EBR nails her character and the correct interpretation of the script day after day and I don’t think KC does, which is why I think the show runners are still desperately trying to fix the character and make her finally work.

    I think that’s what we’ll see in season 3, Laurel working on Laurel. Having a connection to the main storyline but probably only loosely (cooking them in the law system) while mostly trying to become a solid character rather than a copy of her sister. Not sure how that’s going to be accomplished but if TPTB can’t make her character work, then big decisions are going to have to be made. I see this season as a test ground for what they want to do with the rest of the show. I think right now all options are on the table and that in itself is an astounding change from what they originally intended.

    In the meantime, Felicity continues to be the good will ambassador for the show, using her to endear fans to Barry and sending her over in crossovers to The Flash plus making use of the cheery banter by bringing in Ray Palmer. Chances are good that the show runners will also try to sprinkle some of her charm on Laurel and we’ll see a friendship spring up.

    See! Felicity likes Laurel, so should you!

  • Hi Kelly, I just saw your reply to my question/comment about Oliver and Felicity and I have to say I agree with almost everything you say in the sense that it’s so true that we never know what the Arrow writers are thinking. The big thing that stood out to me was EP’s saying Oliver has been in love with Felicity for a while now because that’s a big thing to state for a non canonical couple. However, as far as BC and GA go yes, once upon a time they were a comic supercouple but now, even DC agrees that they have no use for each other and are better apart. That couple actually brought down the sales of Green Arrow after their wedding special which was used as a promotional tool. Also, GA/BC from the comics were actually likeable to a certain point unlike Oliver and Laurel’s messy, sister swapping angst fest. Also the New 52 Green Arrow #36 shows Felicity (in a superhero suit) and Oliver on the cover so it’s very possible that they will eventually turn her into his love interest in the comics as well. And if DC is willing to break up Lois/Clark the ultimate comic book couple who’s to say they won’t let Felicity be his new primary love interest in the comics as well as the tv show, now that BC is at least temporarily out of the picture(the DC HQ even has a giant #Olicity poster on their wall). Andrew Kreisberg has stated that Ray’s primary purpose is to give Felicity another option besides Oliver and specifically present problems on the Olicity front so it seems like they treating them like a potential end game couple. Laurel is going to be friends with Felicity and is getting a new love interest as well in Ted Grant (WILDCAT!!!!) so she can finally train and start her journey to be the badass BC that she was always meant to be.

    • The only reason Oliver is being paired with felicity is because of the major backlash that the writers gets from fanbases so they are doing damage control by pairing Oliver with felicity because the whole Oliver claiming to love felicity by season finale of arrow season is completely false and out of the blue and doesn’t make sense at all because in the entire season one and going into season 2 Oliver was all about laurel romantically and then by episode 11 Oliver feelings change towards Sara by episode 13 and then they ended things by episode 20 and they made Oliver not wanting things to end with Sara in that episode and if Oliver were in love or love felicity as he claimed in season two finale then he wouldn’t have feelings for laurel up until blind spot episode and he wouldn’t have dated Sara and thirdly what Oliver supposedly had for felicity during the Barry Allen situation it completely fade away or should I say Oliver feelings for laurel trumps it all and then there’s the whole Sara dating thing. The writers is only pairing Oliver with felicity because they are repairing the damage they did between Oliver and laurel because of the whole Sara and Oliver thing and the past so by the finale season three ends or before that felicity and Oliver thing will end maybe perimental.

      I wouldn’t get too excited about felicity and Oliver being a couple considering they brought in a love interest in for felicity when they are claiming that felicity will be with Oliver as a couple while saying that felicity and Oliver might not end up as a couple in season three and I have a feeling that they are repeating season one relationship with whole dancing around the idea of whether or not they are into each other or whether or not they could be together and since the writers told us that they will go on a date but pull the plug on them as a couple and have them do the whole dancing game on won’t they are will they be together as a couple like they did with the whole laurel and Oliver and Tommy thing in season one and 2 at least some of season two until they brought back Sara from the dead and then decided to pair her up with Oliver only to receive major backlash from fanbases . My point is they had a window of opportunity to explore a romance with Oliver and felicity but they decided not by basically having Oliver to continue show that Oliver still have feelings for up until blind spot episode and the whole Sara thing.

      If the writers have put Oliver with felicity at the end of episode of blind spot and going to the finale season of arrow of season two by end them as a couple or making them realizing that they want to see if they could have a future with each other and then they continue to explore the relationship between Oliver and felicity in season 3 then I could of by the whole I love you speech that Oliver made to Oliver in the season finale of season two of arrow but they did nothing to indicated that Oliver feels that way towards felicity because if he did then they wouldn’t have Oliver showed that he still have feelings for laurel up until episode 11 and they wouldn’t have pair Oliver with Sara only to have Oliver to declare his so called love for felicity in season two finale because Oliver showed no signs of being romantically interested in felicity when laurel was in the picture romantically and potonically and Oliver have never shown that he was interested into felicity that way when he was with Sara and in fact Oliver didn’t want Sara to break up with him in episode 20 but Sara did it anyway by claiming that she is way too damage to be with him but only to end up telling laurel that Oliver needs her while giving laurel the canary leather jacket at the end before Quentin collapse on the floor.

      I know Stephen amell said that Oliver got one woman this season three but I don’t believe him because he’s saying one thing and the writers are saying another while bringing a love interest in for felicity for season three. Why would they bring in a love interest for felicity if they were going to really pairing Oliver and felicity for the whole season three of arrow on less they aren’t really going to pair felicity and Oliver together as a couple but only to make it look like they are together or they are both into each other to please the olicity fans so they could fix the damage and problems between Oliver and laurel so they could put them back together and so they could fix the major backlash from fanbases for pairing Oliver with Sara and for the ending of episode 13 and for the episode of 14 and every episode up until episode 20 when they decided to end Sara and Oliver relationship and I sure know why people are wondering why did Sara came up with such a lame excuse to why she and Oliver have end things between them for good and the answer is because the writers receive major backlash from fanbases of the show and characters whether they like them or not and which is why people are constantly expecting Sara lance to die and it’s because of the damage that was done to character when they turn her into a victim when it comes to laurel character and also the way they end things in episode 13 in season two between Oliver and Sara lance and things have been going hill from point on and it didn’t help the actress at all when she temporarily took over laurel lance alter ego identity which people that that somewhere into season one or two that laurel lance character would be transforming into her alter ego but caity Lotz temporarily took over the the role which doesn’t sit well with others or the comic books fanbase who loves the black canary or laurel fanbase or some viewers of the show in general.

      My point was caity Lotz was already doomed from the get go by having her character taken up some else alter ego whether it’s temporarily or not and then having her character paired up with Oliver with laurel into the mix doesn’t sit well with fanbases whether people wanted to admit it or not. Sara lance character have fans but those who like isn’t sure about Sara lance character safety on the show because they so badly damaged the character that people who loves or like Sara lance character are expecting for the character demise in the show.

      • Felicity’s love interest is only meant to be around for 14 episodes.

        Everyone knows Ray Palmer was cast so he could push Oliver towards Felicity. In the spoilers, we see that Oliver asks Felicity on a date but something goes wrong and she gets hurt which just serves to push them apart because of his whole, “I can’t be with someone I really care about.”

        But with the entrance of Ray into the cast and his work in Applied Science in QC, he’ll just make Oliver really jealous so he can finally fight for Felicity.

        And if you say Olicity only exists due to fan pandering, then hell yeah! The show is meant for fans, so the EPs should give us what we want and like.

  • From what I’ve seen of JR. Ramirez, I would actually say that Laurel is the lucky girl in season three! So, Felicity can have stiff old Oliver, while Laurel is having fun with her hot Latin lover Ted Grant!;-)

    As for Oliver and Felicity, I’m actually kind of glad that the TPTB are so much in love with Olicity that they are giving them a proper romance in season two. At least that means that we’ll be seeing something meater and more real than the half-assed Olicity ship baiting that we got in season two.

  • It’s a bit sad that a major DC character/guest star gets reduced to a prop for Olicity. I really don’t think that this was the only reason why the “Arrow” writers/TPTB decided to introduce Ray Palmer.. In fact, I have a hunch that the Oliver/Felicity romance might not be as pivotal/prominent as some posters here like to believe, at least not for those of us who watch for other things than Felicity or Olicity. It is also a fact that there are some fans (and by no means only Laurel/Oliver shippers) who are not very happy about the season three Olicity romance, so don’t expect everyone to be ecstatic about this turn of events.

    • I expect Ray Palmer will be primarily a role model CEO for Oliver and a crime fighting rival, as well as giving Felicity a job worth her IT talents, to demonstrate to Oliver what he could be if he lived a rounded life, which I take is the theme for season 3.

      They promoed a ton of “Barry romances Felicity” last season and that pretty much came to nothing.

      • “They promoed a ton of “Barry romances Felicity” last season and that pretty much came to nothing.”

        True. This is a “fooled us once….” kind of situation in terms of how we should react to interviews and pre-season ads.

  • It is my observation that Oliver does not yet know what true love is. From his past relationships with the women in his life, and his parent’s example of love, he is not able to discern what love means or how to trust it. I believe that Felicity will be the first woman to show him what a real and honest love relationship is and how those who love each other choose to treat one another. I would like to see who Oliver would choose after that. Personally, I am currently a Felicity fan I just feel that Laurel and Oliver lack the same level of chemistry. (Plus, I always cheer for the underdog. I like the idea that relationships are not destined. I think every story should develop on it’s own and with Felicity coming in and owning her small part, it makes this TV show’s experience special and unique. What are the odds?) However, once Oliver learns what love is, and he sill chooses Laurel, then for me that would feel fine. I think that another factor that will help Oliver learn about love in it’s purest form will be the relationship he will develop through his child. Love for Oliver at this point is still made mostly of passion and lust. Just as he is struggling with finding his “Green Arrow” he is growing into a man with deep emotions and sense of duty in all aspects of his life. So, for me, I hope Oliver does not decide on any woman of substance right now, because he could only protect them physically at this point. In my opinion, he lacks the emotional depth and experience for anyone of marriage material. Let’s let him continue to grow.

  • In his con appearances, Manu Bennett talks about the audition Stephen Amell did with him for the role of Spartacus. Amell didn’t get the role and Bennett concludes that ‘it wasn’t his time. Arrow is his time.’ Whether or not Spartacus would have been, Arrow is definitely Stephen Amell’s role, not just physically and in terms of stunts, but also taking a progressive role in terms of the direction of the show. “You have failed this city” is going to be back next season because Amell hear his fans asking for it; Oliver is going to have only one love interest next season because Amell took to the producers the fact that Oliver has slept with every age-appropriate woman on the show that he wasn’t related to and asked for the “caravan of women” to stop. I do think that a lot of the break in the logjam of comics failing on TV has been because of Amell.

    The Green Arrow/Black Canary should have been a slam dunk as they make their way back to each other through the course of the series like Castle and Beckett. Unfortunately, Laurel Lance is not Katie Cassidy’s role. And that left two holes: Oliver’s love interest and the Black Canary.

    At this point, I think Caity Lotz owns the role of the Canary. Her portrayal of Sara in normal life may not be as strong but in the black leather doing stunts, I can’t think of anyone who could do it better. This creates a substantial problem for the producers if they are still thinking of making Laurel the Black Canary because she will always be compared to Lotz’s Sara.

    Felicity was supposed to be a one shot with the chance of a recurring role, the Team Arrow equivalent of the police IT guy who appeared in various episodes and was killed by a mirakuru crook in City of Blood. But when she appeared in the third episode, Emily Bett Rickards made her a fun, funny character who had more chemistry with Stephen Amell than Katie Cassidy did. It’s a good role, the quirky character but it’s also easy to lose the potential to make her into a well-rounded person and leave her as comic relief (e.g. Abby on NCIS and Garcia on Criminal Minds). Rickards works very hard to make Felicity into an interesting, complex character, harder than Cassidy does in my opinion. (Look at the scene in ep 1×21 The Undertaking in the bar of Verdant when Laurel and Felicity meet for the first time.)

    it’s a shame that there are shipping wars (although this is mild compared to what went on for House M.D. or ER) but they will probably continue until either Lotz&Rickards or Cassidy leaves the show.

    • “They will probably continue until either Lotz&Rickards or Cassidy leaves the show.”

      It’s unavoidable. You have two actresses vying for what in the comics is only one role, Black Canary, and you have another emerging as the show’s breakout character to such a degree that she’s already earned the requisite “I don’t get all the fuss; she’s great, sure, but not that great” party-pooping response. When there’s a minor backlash to your immense fandom you’re doing pretty well for yourself.

      In a perfect world, Cassidy would be Laurel Lance, Lotz would play Laurel when she dresses up as Black Canary, and Felicity would be shacking up with Barry Allen by now. Of course, that’s not what’s happening.

  • “Unless I missed it, Stephen Amell is still just an actor on Arrow. He hasn’t been made an Exec. Producer like so many other actors on long-running TV shows. So, I’m not completely swayed by him saying that Felicity will be the only woman in his life this season. The producers have previously disputed that, pointing out that there’s always flashback Oliver to think about, too. He could have another Shado in his future-past. Then again, they have said they have the whole season mapped out this time around, and Amell is possibly privy to those plans.”

    I’ve been thinking about what you wrote and I wanted to reply.

    One of the EPs, I think it was Guggenheim and possibly also Berlanti, confirmed that Oliver will have only one woman in his life this season, by which I assume that they mean present day Oliver will have only one. I’m expecting flashback Oliver to sleep with at least one woman if not more (although hopefully not with Katana since she’s Maseo’s wife) to balance the celibacy of the present day one, and bedroom scenes are a staple of CW shows.

    It makes sense to have only one love interest in the present in that the show has always been about Oliver’s hero’s journey in addition to being an action show (it’s one of the things that elevates it about the usual CW show). In the first season, it was about being back in Starling City and reconnecting with people beyond being the stone cold killer with a List. The second season was about becoming a hero and not killing. The third season is supposed to be about becoming both the Arrow and Oliver Queen (hence Ray Palmer, who is a good CEO, proto-vigilante and admires Felicity, all three things that connect with either Oliver or the Arrow). As someone (Amell? Guggenheim?) said in an interview, to have Oliver continue sleeping with a number of women nullifies the emotional growth he’s gone through over the past two seasons.

    On the other hand, this show changes track like crazy so everything could be different after Christmas.

    • There is a the potential for an almost Godfather 2 thing in season 3. Godfather 2, of course, is forever praised for the way it chronicled the rise of the father in the past and the decline of the son in the present. Arrow could have something vaguely similar where we watch the continual deterioration of Oliver Queen in the flashbacks (losing more and more of his soul) contrasted to his continued heroic growth in the present. It’s because of that I totally wouldn’t be surprised if he knocks boots with Katana even though she’s married. But, as I’ve said in my reviews, the flashbacks (at least the ones centered on Oliver) hold my interest less and less so I really haven’t given much thought to what will happen with Oliver in China in the flashbacks.

      As for the present, let’s see here….to this point, Oliver’s love interests have been:

      Season 1
      Huntress
      Detective Mackenna Hall
      Laurel Lance
      Felicity (kind of; more she had a crush, made him uncomfortable about it)

      Season 2
      Shado
      Isabel Rochev
      Felicity (his jealously over her flirtations with Barry Allen)
      Sara Lance

      I’ve joked about this stuff a lot, but I don’t think it was really that extreme in the first season. It all flowed perfectly naturally. But then the hook-up with Isabel really bothered me, and not the relationship itself but the way they had Oliver and Sara got together. Then the whole “he knocked someone up in the past, has a son he doesn’t know about” stuff later in the season just annoyed the heck out of me, even if it is based upon something that happens in the comics. I’ve watched enough TV to know that whenever you give a character a kid or sibling out of nowhere it’s a sign of desperation and almost never works, and I hope Oliver’s son Connor never shows up.

      But that’s my little tangent there. In general, after what they did with Oliver’s love life last season I think it is absolutely the right move to pull back on that front and focus strictly on one woman, presumably Felicity, with their potential coupling not being as big of a deal to the season as many are probably guessing it will be. I think your observation about Ray Palmer is probably spot-on, as bringing him in acts as a neat mirror to Oliver’s quest to have the girl, be the big business guy, and also fight crime at night, though Ray may not get to that last part right for a while.

      • The Godfather thing is actually what the EPs have said they are doing on a five year plan with the show. As present day Oliver gets back his humanity, flashback Oliver grows into more of a soul-less killer. At the Montreal con, Stephen Amell was asked whether he preferred playing The Arrow or The Hood (he replied that the Arrow was more complex but it was fun playing a killer) and said that we would be seeing the Hood again at the end of season 5 as Oliver turns into him.

        It may help if Felicity is with Barry Allen although he’s going to have his own romantic triangle, but it’s not going to help solve the problem that you have nailed with the title of this piece. In the last week two kerfuffles have blown up in the fandom, one with the s3 poster where people either hid Laurel or replaced her with Sara, and another when a well-known blogger said that anyone who doesn’t like Laurel is a misogynist. She’s a Oliver/Felicity shipper so it’s not shipping wars, it’s the character of Laurel herself, and also the fear that Sara will be killed off so Laurel can assume the Black Canary leather. I hope the producers settle it soon because it’s hurting my enjoyment of the fandom. I for one am not looking forward to Oliver and Laurel talk about his cheating if his kid shows up, although if they can finally admit they were more in love with the idea of love than each other in the past, it might be worth it.

        I’d say the s3 poster is amateurish (Oliver and Roy have misshaped torsos, Diggle’s head is too small for his body, Felicity looks ready to start junior high) but I’ve seen fanart do better. Strange for an organization as large as WB.

      • I think that it’s a bit dangerous to generalize on the basis of FB, tumblr or twitter fandom activity, because the people who post on these social media are not representative of the whole fandom/viewership. I lurk/participate on several large discussion forums, and many of the regular posters on these forums (including many Olicity shippers) were appalled at what happened during the poster debacle, both on SA’s FB page and on the official “Arrow” FB page. There was even quite a backlash against those fans who some folks regarded as petty/entitled oliciters (although oliciters were by no means the only ones who protested/manipulated the original poster).

        Furthermore, most members on these forums seem to have accepted that Laurel will be the show’s Black Canary, even though they may not be overly enthusiastic. So, it’s not the case that Sara is universally loved by the “Arrow” fans, who are now rioting to make her the show’s permanent BC…in fact, in my experience it is pretty far from the truth. There were people who did not who did not find Sara’s character an ideal BC, nor did they think that Caity Lotz is a very good actor. So, even if the showrunners had given in and let Sara become BC, there is absolutely no guarantee that the majority of the online fandom would have agreed that this is the better choice.

        There is a tendency to paint a picture of the “Arrow” fandom as unanimously against Laurel and for Felicity or the so-called “Original Team Arrow”. The picture is more complicated than that, even though the most vocal parts come off as non-Laurel friendly. One reason for this is that social media like Facebook have almost been taken over by Olicity fans/and or peeps who dislike Laurel, while those who like Laurel or are indifferent towards her mostly avoid posting on these pages. There is also a perception that almost all fans are happy with the season three Olicity turn, which isn’t really true either. Many non-shipper fans are indifferent and others view it as fan pandering. I’m not saying that the Oliver/Felicity pairing isn’t the most popular, because it is, but many people I know believe that other aspects are more important than who Ollie romances/finally ends up with.

        Finally, I don’t think the reaction against Laurel is a case of fandom misogyny…What happened to Laurel has already happened in earlier comic book fandoms like the “Smallville” one, where Erica Durance’s Lois Lane was viewed as threat to a fan-popular ship (Chlark) and as a rival to a popular side-kick character (Chloe). Lois Lane/ED was also subjected to some pretty ugly attacks by the online fandom, so Laurel’s case is not unique. I think that she will be able to survive as a less fan popular character, if only because the casual viewers are usually less partisan and less entrenched in shipper politics than those who spend a large amount of time on social media.

  • I didn’t watch Smallville so I don’t know what went on in that fandom but I’ve heard it was bad.

    Maybe we desperately need new episodes because the fandom seems to be imploding. The idea that one is a misogynist if you don’t like Laurel is…. certainly not helping.

    How they put Laurel in the lair is going to be tricky. They can’t have an antagonism with Felicity because ugh, catfight, but the idea that they’re suddenly BFFs because they both care for Oliver is almost as bad.

  • I personally believe that the reason why they are letting O&F happen is two-fold. Firstly, it is too early for Oliver and Laurel to get back together as she has only just begun her journey to become Black Canary. In order to do so would mean that Laurel needs to train in secret (as per her comic book canon), and I don’t think this could be done if she was paired with Oliver this season. However, they do appear to have begun developing their relationship as a partnership – a business partnership (as per the comics) so I would imagine that ripping them apart in season 2 and having Oliver doubt Laurel, it will be over Season 3 that their friendship bond is back stronger than ever. I would imagine over time Felicity will see the special bond that Oliver and Laurel share and take a step back, just like Tommy did in Season 1. I also think it also Katie to focus on becoming Black Canary and not continue to take hits from two sides of the fandom, the Sara and Olicity fans.

    Secondly, the TPTB can give the Olicity fans something to fangirl over. Now Oliver could have been paired with someone else while Laurel was transforming and the storyline would have been more true to me, as it seems to me with O&F they have bowed and are fan pandering to a vocal and portion of the fandom.

    I have no doubt in my mind that KC will rock as the Black Canary and that eventually we will see Green Arrow and Black Canary united. If you have any doubts how popular the pairing is then you should check out some of the recent issues of Injustice: Gods Among Us. In this series, they gave Green Arrow and Black Canary the happy ending they deserve. And the fans loved it!

    • I’ll start at the end of your comment-I, too, have loved Green Arrow and Black Canary in Injustice: Gods Among Us, particularly their pairing with Harley Quinn and the way he calls Laurel “pretty bird” (or something equally adorable).

      As for the Oliver/Felicity pairing in season 3 and what it means for Laurel, I think it all comes down to what you personally view as being endgame. If Oliver and Laurel are still endgame to you because they’re Green Arrow and Black Canary and they have to end up together, then everything they’re doing right now can seem like a necessary precursor to an inevitable conclusion. I argued in the “Burden of Canon” article that this was a mindset which would always hang over the Oliver/Felicity pairing because wouldn’t it always just feel like something the show was doing to bide its time until getting around to giving Oliver and Laurel another shot. However, if you think that nothing is necessarily set in stone with this show anymore, and that there is no real endgame or if there is there’s no reason it can’t be Felicity then you’d clearly be looking at season 3 very differently.

      Right now, I’m trying to just take it all a season at a time, hoping that they reign in some of last season’s craziness but looking forward to all of it, regardless. I’m also preparing for the likely possibility Oliver/Felicity to not be quite as big of a deal this season as the pre-season hype would lead you to believe, and I’m actually probably more excited to see how this crosses over with The Flash than anything else.

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