The Oliver / Felicity dynamic on Arrow is for many people one of the most appealing things about the show, but what happens when that starts to fall apart at the seams? Does disagreement breed better television? This is one of the things that we will find out in two weeks when “Dangerous Liaisons” airs on The CW, and the new extended promo below gives you a few reasons to be excited.
For us, one of the biggest things that this relationship needed was a genuine source of conflict, and that meant Felicity standing up for herself and not just going along with what Oliver thought was right. Seeing her in this environment — dangerous, daring, and willing to take risks — offers him a chance to have empathy and understand more of what he did to her. For years, he kept secrets from her, even when they were dating and then engaged. Our problem was that even though Oliver cared about her during their relationship, it still felt one-sided, as though she was putting so much more into it than he was. As a matter of fact, we never quite felt like he earned her in the first place.
Maybe these next two episodes will offer the show a chance to explore this further. As for whether or not this is the right time to pair these two characters up again, that remains to be seen. We’re not opposed to the idea, but the fact of the matter is that Arrow is not a romance. It’s a show about redemption, about ethics, about vigilantes, and about trying to discover the real meaning of heroism. Romance can be a component of the story, but it shouldn’t be what you hang your hat on. If the Oliver / Felicity relationship is an accessory to everything else going on and it doesn’t change the characters, we welcome it.
If the show becomes dominated by the two, to the point where their separate stories go by the wayside (we like Oliver and Prometheus, and Felicity’s whole arc with Helix very much), it may be better to hold off on anything more for now.