‘Arrow’ (Season 4): The Fall of Olicity

Alright, that title is probably a bit hyperbolic, but such is the state of the big, central relationship on Arrow at the moment. Really, it’s not so much a demise as it is a minor speedbump on the road to lasting happiness. Well, as much as any happiness can last on a CW drama, I suppose.

Still, even as a fan of Oliver and Felicity going all the way back to when the show was trying to push Ollie and Laurel as a thing, I’m kind of glad that the two are apart right now. With all the messed-up stuff that’s gone on between the two this season, it’s for the best that they’re taking some time apart. Ultimately, both have made some mistakes and questionable decisions this season, and their break-up gives them the space to reevaluate what they really want.

Let’s start with Oliver, who was the first to start down a questionable path when he learned about his son William and decided not to tell Felicity. Granted, he was given an ultimatum where telling Felicity meant he wouldn’t get to have William in his life, but he should’ve known that was a decision that was doomed to end in heartbreak. Actually, he did know that, thanks to the time-travelling advice of The Flash (side note: how nuts has Arrow gotten this season?)

Ollie being Ollie, though, he figured he knew best and went on with the lie, which of course blew up in his face later in the season when Damien Darhk took William hostage. In the fallout of this incident, Felicity decided to leave Oliver in a truly heart-breaking scene, with Felicity regaining the use of her legs just in time to walk out on her ex-fiancée.

Of course, while Oliver could’ve handled things better, it’s not as if Felicity is entirely blameless for some of what went down this season. For one, it definitely feels hypocritical for Felicity to tell Oliver that he’s impossibly addicted to the vigilante lifestyle; it was her decision, after all, to leave the peaceful suburban life they had built together. If anything, she had to drag Oliver back to Star City, when all he wanted was to propose and truly start a life with her.

And yes, once he’s back at it, it’s no surprise that Oliver would fall back into the groove of being the Green Arrow; give an addict their vice, they’ll forget why they ever let it go. Instead, despite her initial desire to return to the superhero life, it’s Felicity who’s found herself ready to return to civilian life. As she noted in the most recent episode, she’s done being accosted by psycho hackers with armies of robot bees.

But it’s frustrating to have her so distrustful of Ollie’s ability to leave this life behind when he’s done it for her before. At this point, he’s still just trying to take down a threat they’ve been dealing with since getting back; why wouldn’t he be willing to step away again once HIVE has been dealt with? Alright, the fifth season renewal guarantees that’s not likely, but the point is that these two have more in common with their goals than they realize. If it takes them the rest of the season to realize that, so be it, but hopefully wedding bells will be in their future again before too long.