Why "Olicity" is Killing Arrow

SPOILERS. How the forced romance is hurting the third season of what had been a very good show.

Editorial Opinion

It’s no secret that season 3 of Arrow has been woefully disappointing, and last night’s episode did them no favors. 

The show's most recent installment, “The Fallen”, was initially sold on Thea’s resurrection using the Lazarus Pit – it was to be the first time the audience saw just what the mysterious and magical waters could do, but unfortunately we only spent about 5 minutes on that because we needed to see Oliver and Felicity finally happen. 

It started with a ridiculous scene where Felicity actually confronts Ra’s al Ghul and demands he allow Oliver to leave. Matt Nable then delivers a beautiful dialogue harking back to his own past lives and telling her that she needs to let Oliver know how she feels, a luxury that he did not have many years ago when he was forced to leave his family. She took this as, go have sex with Oliver so all the fangirls can tweet about how they “literally can’t even, rn”. 

Olicity

“So that happened” (an actual quote from the show) and directly afterwords she decides, by herself, that it would be a good idea to drug Oliver and escape from Nanda Parbat and all of their ninja guards – keep in mind, she had no idea what substance she was giving Oliver and had no idea if it was a lethal dose…

The escape scene was basically used to eat up about 5-7 minutes because it literally didn’t lead to anything other than Malcolm killing some ninjas, Diggle shooting some ninjas, Maseo helping them by harpooning his brethren ninjas, and Felicity knocking out some ninja with a giant candlestick. 

This took away from what was actually a decent episode and one that could have been much better. This leads me to argue that this forced romance between Oliver and Felicity is actually hurting the show, badly.

“Olicity” is the epitome of a forced relationship. Apparently Marc Guggeneheim likes to please his Twitter and Tumblr followers because he completely shoehorned this entire romance into the story.  In fact, Felicity’s character actually has far better chemistry with two other characters in the universe, Barry Allen and Ray Palmer, but her relationships with them were only used to create angst between her and Oliver. (And love rhombus’)

The Flash

The way her character has been written this season is appalling. More screen time has seen her become arrogant, hypocritical, whiny, and act as if her opinion holds more weight than anyone else on the team, including Oliver’s. If she doesn’t get her way, she just throws a little temper tantrum until everyone agrees with her.

She was loved so much in season one because of her cute, quirky personality and her crush on Oliver that was completely one-sided. She would blurt out awkward innuendoes that would cut the tension and help lighten up a very dark show. She acted as Team Arrow’s Oracle and was given minimal screen time to instead allow for the development of actual plot. 

Olicity

Unfortunately she has lost her light. She has become as convoluted and morally ambiguous as any other character (i.e. She doesn’t want Oliver to work with Malcolm, but she tells him that he needs to kill Ra’s…) At this point we are basically being given a romantic drama with some crime fighting and superheroes mixed in. Felicity has taken over the entire show, and, no surprise, the show is experiencing it’s worst season thus far. I don’t care about ratings, as far as actual plot, character development, pacing, and story telling go, this season is far worse than the previous two. 

So what is the point of her character now? She doesn’t bring any light to the show, she’s not morally strong, and, outside of the Olicity shippers, she is becoming increasingly unpopular. All she brings to the table now is teenage drama and a forced romance that will drive away many viewers if it continues to be showcased during every episode. 

On the flip side, her increased screen time has basically pushed Laurel/Black Canary to a supporting role. In last night’s episode she wasn’t even alerted that Thea, a friend that she’s known probably for most of her life, was killed and resurrected or that Oliver was planning on leaving for the League of Assassins. It’s ironic, because Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr fans alike all voiced their displeasure with Laurel last year due to her very realistic meltdown. This season has seen her character redeem herself in a very big way, but the Olicity fans have spoken, so we only saw Laurel for about 12 seconds last night when Felicity came crying to her about Oliver.

It’s obvious that the Arrow writer’s are catering to the Olicity shippers, and I don’t blame the shippers, they enjoy that pairing and that’s absolutely their right to do so and tweet about it all they want. I blame the writers who were so easily influenced by the more vocal group of fans and, by doing so, allowed the quality of the show to suffer.

I do, though, believe that they, like Laurel, can redeem themselves. Yes, they're limping to the finish line this season (although the show has seen an increase in quality over the past few weeks) but the final couple of episodes sees much higher stakes than anything we've yet to see from season three. The one thing Arrow always seems to get right are premiers and finales. While it's too late for this season to be held in the same esteem as season two, there is still hope that they can deliver a strong finale and set up and epic season four. 

Arrow

 
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