Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Jenn's Pick: My Top 15 Oliver/Felicity Moments

I really like it when my friends find a new television obsession because it usually means that there will be a trickle-down effect throughout the rest of our friend group shortly thereafter.

If one person starts a show and talks about it enough, inevitably we all will slowly become involved in it too. This is what usually happens with my friend group. But then, there was Arrow. Instead of a trickle-down effect, the rapid succession with which seemingly all of my friends became involved could be classified as more like a waterfall. One person started a domino effect, and the rest of us soon followed. We were binge-watching the first season on Netflix and falling in love with the characters; we were rooting for Oliver and marveling over the stunt coordination. We all, too, fell in love with Oliver/Felicity as a romantic pairing and bonded over the characters’ growth (both as individuals and a pairing) and certain “shipper” moments.

That’s right, friends and faithful readers. I have a new “ship” and it’s delightful and complex and layered. In essence, it’s everything I desire from a relationship – romantic or platonic – on a television series. There’s no doubt in my mind that Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards have chemistry. They do – just like Joel McHale and Alison Brie, just like Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel, just like Gabriel Macht and Sarah Rafferty. Chemistry is so vital in order to truly sell a pairing, but that’s not all that is necessary. What I love about Olicity can really be summed up by what I love about Amell and Rickards as individual actors, just as it can be summed up by all of the actors and actresses I listed previously: they understand their characters. It’s one thing for an actor to play a character. There’s a distinct difference that you feel as an audience member, watching an actor’s dialogue or action in a scene. You don’t feel connected to them and if you do, you don’t feel that the connection runs as deeply as it should. But when Amell and Rickards are on screen together and separately, you get the sense that they just don’t play characters, but that they KNOW their characters.

A decent actor will play a character, like a child playing dress-up in her mother’s closet. You’ll believe them, perhaps, but there will also be a part of you that knows it’s a ruse; that it’s not real. And then there are the good and great actors who you can tell have evolved from playing a character to embodying and becoming that character; they understand what makes their character nervous and afraid, what fills them with joy, what they’re thinking at a particular moment. You can see, in Amell-as-Oliver the intensity and hesitancy and disappointment in himself when Felicity confronts him about Isabel Rochev. And that’s just one example of a moment where you can see that Amell understands his character so deeply that it doesn’t matter if something is written explicitly in a script or not – he just knows Oliver; he knows exactly what he thinks and feels and he acts not as Stephen Amell playing Oliver Queen but AS Oliver Queen. (The exact same thing holds true for Emily Bett Rickards because she just absolutely and completely understands Felicity Smoak and her emotions and motivations for everything and anything.)

So I decided, in the spirit of setting sail on a new “ship” (just roll with the imagery) that I would count down my fifteen favorite Olicity moments before season three’s premiere on October 8th. Join me below the cut and see if your favorite moments made my list!

15. Felicity refuses to get/eventually does get Oliver coffee.

I covered this ad nauseam in my Felicity Smoak appreciation post, but the thing I love most about her character (besides her resilience and hopefulness and general nerdiness) is that she doesn’t take any crap from Oliver Queen. When he yells at her for being in Central City, she yells right back at him. When he tells her to stay put at the Queen mansion, she protests and questions him. Felicity Meghan Smoak is no one’s punching bag and she’s certainly no one’s secretary. When she has to become Oliver Queen’s executive assistant in order to preserve the secrets of Team Arrow, she outright refuses to be demeaned to that position. It’s an amazing moment because she sasses him and reminds him that she went to MIT and it wasn’t so that she could get him coffee. She refuses to be placed into that kind of position, refuses to be thought of as anything less than the strong, capable, college-educated woman that she is.

And so, she mockingly asks Oliver if she can get him a cup of coffee before explaining in no uncertain terms that she will NOT be a coffee girl. Not for anyone, and certainly not for him. It’s significant, then, at the end of the episode that Felicity does get Oliver a cup of coffee (she notes that this is the one and only time she will). And Oliver smiles because I think he knows what I know: she wasn’t getting him coffee as his executive assistant; she was getting it as his friend. Felicity and Oliver genuinely do care about each other, platonically, too you know. I think sometimes we forget that because we get bogged down in the romance (not that the romance is bad, by any means), but Oliver and Felicity genuinely do like each other as people. And when Oliver needs something from Felicity, she tries her very best not to please him or make him happy but to remind him that he is not alone. And a cup of coffee in this moment was just the way to do that.

14. Oliver is jealous of Barry.

The trope of jealousy has been played out a lot throughout my favorite shows (Jeff jealous of Rich because he was with Annie; Harvey jealous of Stephen because he was with Donna; Nick jealous of pretty much everyone because they were with Jess, etc.), and no matter how many times that trope rears its head, I find myself to still be enraptured by it. There’s this delightful implication (an implication made by Diggle who should be captain of the Olicity ship) that Oliver’s treatment of Barry Allen was somewhat rooted in jealousy. And though there are a lot of complexities to the circumstances that brought Barry into the lives of Team Arrow, including Barry discovering Oliver’s secret, I do think that there was a smidge of jealousy on Oliver’s part.

And again, “jealousy” is such a layered word that I think it was rooted in an array of jealous feelings: jealousy over Felicity mooning over a guy she could very easily have and Oliver realizing he would have no right to stop Felicity from dating him; jealousy over someone else needing Felicity’s help and him realizing that he needed her at the foundry, etc. So no matter what the reason for Oliver’s jealous behavior in the episodes with Barry Allen, this behavior makes my list because of the fact that it’s one of the first times we’ve seen Oliver’s jealousy triggered and definitely the first time we’ve seen it triggered especially because of Felicity Smoak.

He feels things, you guys, when it comes to her and this is a great indicator of that.

13. "Is that judgement I'm hearing?" "Pride."

Felicity’s little moment of surprise when Oliver admits that he is proud of her is really what makes this onto my list. She’s expected to be chided, like she’s been in the past: to be warned of the dangers of hacking into a prison network, to get a “talking-to” from Oliver about how they need to be careful, and so she likely braces herself for one of those. But when she confuses her judgment for pride, his words and beaming face (seriously beaming) trip her up, momentarily, because this is Oliver being completely and utterly genuine, heralding her accomplishments. It’s nothing really new, because we’ve seen Oliver praise Felicity for her work before but at the same time it IS new because this is the first time I truly think Felicity believes what he says and the first time Oliver identifies his feelings for her work so succinctly.

He is proud of her – proud of her character and how smart and capable she always is. It’s a beautiful little moment, isn’t it?

12. Oliver's Tarzan-like rescues.

I wish I had something more elaborate and eloquent to say regarding my placement of what I affectionately call “Oliver’s Tarzan moments” on my list but… I don’t. I really love that multiple times throughout this series, Oliver literally grabs a rope with one hand and Felicity with the other and swings both himself and her to safety. The moment right after the duo crash through the windows of Queen Consolidated doesn’t make my list of favorite moments, but it bears mentioning anyway because Oliver brushes Felicity’s hair back to see her face and make sure she’s okay.

But mostly, the swinging makes my list because it’s an example of Oliver not just being a superhero but being Felicity’s superhero. There you go.

11. "You are remarkable." "Thank you for remarking on it."

A lot of these moments, if you haven’t noticed already, focus on Oliver doing something genuine for/expressing interest in Felicity. My eleventh favorite Olicity moment is no different. Here, Oliver calls Felicity remarkable and – like the precious and delightful woman she is – the blonde then responds with: “Thank you for remarking on it.” But do you know what the very definition of the word remarkable is? Worthy of being or likely to be noticed especially as being uncommon or extraordinary.

In this moment, Oliver is literally paying Felicity the highest compliment I believe he was able to: he’s expressing that she is worthy of being noticed, that she is special. Isn’t it amazing that so many heroic journies begin this way – by just one person pointing out the extraordinary in another? And isn’t it amazing that Felicity makes a subtle nod to this moment in “Streets of Fire”? She reminds Oliver that some guy in a hood told her that she could be more than just an IT girl and she believed him. (The scene did not make this list and I kind of regret that.) Oliver told Felicity that she was remarkable and it’s something she already knew about herself, probably, but it’s one thing to believe in yourself. It’s another to have someone else believe in you.

That’s the foundation of Olicity as a ship, really: when Oliver cannot believe in himself, Felicity reminds him that he doesn’t always have to; she’ll believe in him enough for the both of them. And while Felicity is brilliant and funny and witty, she’s also a fairly ordinary character, right? She was an IT girl. There are half a dozen IT people at my job. So when Felicity struggles to believe she’s nothing more than the product of her parents and a girl with a computer, Oliver reminds her that she is not just that – she’ll never be JUST that to him. No, to him, she is extraordinary. She is worthy of attention and notice. She is remarkable.

10. "Promise me"/the hug.

Is there anything more heartbreaking than the moment Felicity asks Oliver to promise her that he will return safely and he looks her in the eyes before walking away? (Answer: yes, there is, and we’ll get to those moments further on down the list.) This exchange and the hug that followed mark something extraordinary in the Olicity relationship that I don’t think any of my other “ships” across fandoms are marked by: desperation. Now, the word has a negative connotation because we often tell people that they are “desperate” when really we mean “pathetic and needy.” But in the case of Arrow, Oliver has always been desperate when it comes to Felicity – desperate to keep her safe. So desperate, in fact, that he often does some rash things (literally smashing through glass windows with her in tow and flipping over stairs, anyone?) just to ensure that she will be okay. Felicity, meanwhile, is just as desperate to keep Oliver safe as he is to keep her safe, which I think is rather touching. And so she tries to do anything and everything within her power to keep him from severe harm and when all of her efforts end, the pleading begins. Felicity is smart, of course, and so she knows that Oliver can’t promise that he’ll return to her safely any more than she can promise she won’t get into a car accident on the way home. It’s a factor out of her control and I think it scares her. Her reassurance in these situations, as you’ve likely deduced, is HIS reassurance.

And so when Oliver walks down the stairs, a bit battered but in one piece, Felicity cannot help but run up to him and hug him because he is safe. What makes this Olicity moment so wonderful isn’t that they hug and it’s adorable, but that he smiles slightly at her relief and puts an arm around her. Because I think a part of him is reminded whenever Felicity expresses her relief in his safety that he could have very easily been taken away from it all – from her, and Diggle too – and is just as glad to be safe.

9. Every single Freudian slip of Felicity's.

Again: I don’t have an extremely articulate reason for Felicity Smoak’s Freudian slips making it this high onto my list except for the fact that they are both delightful and hysterical and that Oliver seems constantly bemused by them. I like to believe that Felicity is so intelligent that the reason she babbles is because her brain works so fast that her mouth cannot keep up. This girl is brilliant, but she’s also kind of awkward in the way that Jessica Day is: the kind that momentarily makes you cringe, but then crack a smile because you’ve been in situations where you’ve said the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time. Felicity’s mind is wonderful and she is intelligent, but I also really enjoy the reminders that she’s not perfect: she doesn’t always say or do the right thing and that’s part of the reason I think the majority of the fandom is so enamored by her.

I love these little Olicity moments where Felicity just lets something slip because Oliver doesn’t chastise her or look at her in disgust. He usually is fighting back a smile; he finds it freaking delightful that she gets flustered. And honestly, I think THAT is adorable.

8. The apology/"You're my partner."

Oliver Queen isn’t always right. If you watch the first season, you’ll see this quite clearly: he’s often irrational and brash, especially when he’s wearing a hood. He can sometimes be unnecessarily harsh, not thinking before he speaks. In “Blast Radius,” he takes his anger (or anger and jealousy, whatever you may call it) out on Felicity who takes – as I stated earlier – none of his crap and doesn’t back down when he challenges her. She stands up to him and eventually leaves the foundry to cool off. At the end of the episode, Oliver does something we rarely see him do – struggle to form an apology. And when he apologizes to the air, not looking directly at Felicity, she does something beautiful and wonderful AGAIN: she calls him out. She doesn’t accept things as they are; she challenges Oliver at every turn in the best way possible. But she also forgives him, which is important to note.

But the reason this makes my list as one of the best Olicity moments is because of how earnest, how sincere Oliver is in this scene. He tells her that he needs her and we’re accustomed to believe that Oliver Queen doesn’t need anyone. The truth, as he explains, is that he was going to go about the whole vigilante thing alone. But the reason he got upset with Felicity earlier in the episode was not because of Barry (entirely), nor because she was in Central City. The reason he was upset was simply this: it made him realize how much he couldn’t be alone; how much he needed HER. And that’s something that is pretty frightening for Oliver to discover, don’t you think? He was and still is, to an extent, dooming himself to a life of loneliness. But then Diggle and Felicity appeared in his life and it made him realize – however cheesy – that he is not alone in the world, that there are people who care about them. And when those people are gone, it reminds him of how much he needs them there.

The exchange ends with Oliver declaring that Felicity is not his employee, but his partner – his equal. He doesn’t see her as just an asset to the team or even a sidekick. He, Diggle, and Felicity are on an equal plane, one just as important as the other. It’s a beautiful moment because not only is Oliver admitting that he considers Felicity to be his equal, but he’s also acknowledging how MUCH she means to him. Then she begins to babble and he places a hand on her shoulder (their THING because it just happened to become that thing they do) and I think that in that moment I just knew the depth of Oliver’s feelings toward Felicity not just as a person but as a partner.

7. "You are not gonna lose me."

When Felicity confronts Moira Queen about her discovery that Thea Queen’s real father is Malcolm Merlyn, Moira warns her to tread lightly. This is a great scene, mainly because we’re used to seeing Felicity as more of a meek character in regards to the rest of the Queen family, but she is anything BUT meek when she handles Moira. And though Moira scared even me as a character because of her potential to destroy the lives of others, Felicity was equally as impressive for standing up to her in the first place. Felicity found out about Thea’s parentage because of her curiosity and her desire for the truth and she didn’t threaten Moira with this information because Felicity Smoak may be intelligent and capable, but she’s also pure-hearted and good. And then Moira tells Felicity that she can never let Oliver know about Thea; he will hate his mother but a part of him will always blame her for being a part of the secret.

This stings us and it stings Felicity, especially because Moira knows how much Felicity cares about Oliver. “I see the way you look at him,” she says. And as we watch Felicity leave, we think that – for a second – maybe Moira is right; maybe Oliver will blame Felicity in some small, unconscious way, for delivering the news to him and being a part of his mother’s secret. We should know Oliver Queen better than that, though. Throughout the following days, Felicity is distracted, waging war with herself over revealing the secret about Thea, and Oliver takes notice. At his mother’s campaign rally, he follows after Felicity, knowing that something is wrong with her and insisting that she tell him what that something is. Let’s pause because this is partially why this moment ranks so high on my list: Oliver knows something is wrong with Felicity but not only that, he also WANTS to know what it is. Most people and men would be content to let Felicity deal with her own issues. But Oliver? Oliver wants to know what is wrong with her partially because he wants to HELP. Furthermore, when she tries to brush off her problem (“it’s nothing”), he challenges her: he knows that something is wrong with her, knows when she’s hurt and lying, and wants to fix it in any way he can.

So Felicity talks cryptically about her family (sidenote: this moment also makes my list because of how Oliver admits that he notices the fact that she doesn’t discuss her family. He NOTICES that.) and when she begins to discuss how her dad abandoned her and the pain of losing someone that close to her, Oliver does what he always does best with Felicity – he reassures her. He promises her that she will not lose him and I honestly believe that he makes promises to Felicity wholeheartedly and truthfully. And because of that promise, Felicity tells him the truth. Moira Queen may have noticed that Felicity is smitten with her son, but I don’t think she realized how much her son cared for and about Felicity or else she wouldn’t have made that threat.


6. Felicity believes Oliver deserves better/Oliver just about confesses his feelings.

We’re approaching my top five favorite Olicity moments and this particular one nearly made the cut. It’s the first moment that we see thinly veiled references to Oliver’s true feelings for Felicity. When Felicity shows up at Oliver’s hotel room in Russia and Isabel – smug and annoying – walks out after having a one-night-stand with Oliver, Felicity is hurt. But take note of this, too: Oliver tries to explain himself to Felicity and begins to apologize. Why would he do this if he had no feelings whatsoever for Felicity? Why would Felicity care who he slept with? The answer, of course, is that he wouldn’t. And so, at the end of this episode, Felicity poses a question to Oliver. Let me quote what I had stated in my other post:

The episode depicts Felicity as clearly hurt but not spiteful; she’s stung but that doesn’t mean she acts petty or childish toward either Isabel or Oliver. No, instead she merely asks a question: “Why her?” There’s no sense of judgment and no tone of condescension. In fact, Felicity actually notes that it sort of makes sense because of how physically attractive Isabel is but… there’s a part of it that doesn’t make sense to her and so she inquires. There is palpable tension in this moment and it’s not out of jealousy but from a place of concern – a place of love. Felicity loves Oliver and believes that he deserves the best that life has to offer, even if HE doesn’t believe that. And so her question is just that – a question. When Oliver gives her an answer, when his explanation thinly veils that he is not with Felicity because he could really care about (see: love) her and he can’t risk her life for that to happen, Felicity seems to barely accept his excuse and leaves, but not before turning around to make her peace.

This Oliver/Felicity scene is extremely important because it has Oliver vocalize what we presumed to be true: he cares about Felicity. And you can tell that Oliver wants Felicity, specifically, to understand that he means her – that the reason he isn’t pursuing her is because he could really care about her and doesn’t want her to get hurt (either physically or emotionally). Let me briefly take a moment to dote on Stephen Amell for this scene because every little facial nuance and the way he delivers his lines is filled with intention. He understands Oliver’s difficult decision and he understands how his struggle to tell Felicity he cares about her without overtly telling her so. And the way that he closes his eyes as she walks away because he’s a) probably afraid she thinks less of him and b) is worried she didn’t understand that he was talking about her is just SO brilliant. The tension in these moments between the two of them? It’s completely and utterly palpable and I have to commend Amell for doing such a fantastic job with this scene.

But Felicity doesn’t accept things the way that they are. Ever. She always expects others to not be better, necessarily, but to be the happiest they can be. She wants that for Oliver and wants that for herself. So she tells him so, right before she leaves. She tells him that he deserves better. And then she walks away. This entire scene is just so brilliantly constructed to remind us that these two honestly and truly care about each other and each others’ happiness that they’re willing to sacrifice a lot – even their OWN happiness – to make it so.

Feels, man. Feels.

5. "You will always be my girl, Felicity."

Rounding out my top five Olicity moments is one that I’m pretty sure makes everyone’s lists. In “Time of Death,” Felicity Smoak begins to feel a bit left out. Sara has appeared and is awesome and kind to Felicity (like, genuinely kind and I praised the writers profusely in my other post for not following the standard television trope of making Sara the victorious girlfriend and Felicity the sulking and pining one), but she’s also a trained fighter. And she knows her way around a computer. And she also knows her way around a microscope. And suddenly, the one thing that has made Felicity unique to Team Arrow disappears. Or so she believes. Felicity spends the majority of the episode trying to prove her worth, not compete with Sara. And Sara notices this. And Diggle notices this. And at the end of the episode, Oliver notices this (because Dig told him, apparently).

Felicity admits that she’s so used to being Oliver’s go-to girl that it was difficult to try to find her place among a team of people she felt rather useless being around and with. But then, as we all held our collective breaths and sighed dreamily, Oliver tells Felicity sincerely: “You will always be my girl.” Here’s what’s so important about this moment: Sara is still a really good fighter. She still knows her way around a microscope and she can still work a computer. None of that changes. Felicity incorrectly assumes that her value and worth in Oliver’s eyes are tied to her abilities to hack a computer. But what’s beautiful and so significant is that her value and worth to Oliver is not tied to those things. She has intrinsic value to him in this moment: she is valuable because she is Felicity Smoak. Because she exists, she has worth. It’s not what she can do that makes her special, though she can do a lot. No, it’s simply SHE that holds the value.

Here’s another moment in which I’m going to commend Stephen Amell (get used to it, because it will be happening a lot more frequently as this post wraps up): he plays Oliver Queen with such gentleness and warmth whenever he has emotional moments with Felicity. I really am impressed by Amell’s range – we’ve seen the darkest parts of Oliver Queen, the most self-destructive, self-loathing, angriest parts. We’ve seen him joke and jest. We’ve seen him care about others. But the only time we ever see him extremely and vulnerably gentle is when he’s reassuring Felicity. Literally, Amell sometimes whispers his lines. If that doesn’t seem significant to you and if this scene doesn’t make you feel like Oliver truly and honestly values Felicity (remember what I said earlier about him always keeping his promises to her?) then you should probably stop reading this post. Or re-watch that scene above like, fifteen times in a row.

4. The "I love you."

Speaking of a scene I’ve watched fifteen times before, I’m now going to discuss how Stephen Amell has ruined my life as an actor and cite this scene as evidence of that. Above, I explained how intentional he is with his choices regarding Oliver Queen and, in particular, his choices regarding Oliver/Felicity scenes. (Don’t fret because I’m going to effusively praise Emily Bett Rickards soon too.) In the second season finale, fans were thrown a jaw-dropping scene at the Queen mansion: Oliver drags Felicity there and instructs her to stay put. The blonde is extremely confused, as she should be. Oliver is never like this and Felicity doesn’t care to be sequestered while the rest of the people she cares about are fighting Slade’s army. She vocalizes this, too, and all Oliver tells her is that he needs her to be safe. But then, a bomb is dropped and it goes a little something like this:
Oliver: Slade took Laurel because he wants to kill the woman I love.
Felicity: I know. So –
Oliver: So he took the wrong woman.
Felicity: Oh.
Oliver: I love you. Do you understand?
Felicity: Yes.
Now, just to get this out of the way: the confession was part of Oliver’s plan to administer the cure to Slade. He trusted Felicity and knew that his house was being bugged. He wanted her to be taken so that she could – at the right time – inject Slade with the cure (he hands her a syringe in the mansion). But now that THAT is out of the way, let’s talk about and dissect a scene that has been dissected more than a Biology frog. Someone noted on Tumblr that Oliver Queen is a terrible liar. Like, he’s REALLY bad. Remember all of the lies he told to Felicity at the beginning of the series? So let’s establish those as our baselines for Oliver lying, shall we?

Oliver wasn’t lying. All the Olicity shippers believe this to be true and as a newly self-proclaimed one and also analyzer of television, I also believe this to be true. Let’s talk about Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards in this scene for a moment because they are utter perfection. First of all, as I noted earlier, Amell plays Oliver with such gentleness and sincerity in every scene involving Felicity, but never more than THIS one. You can see the thoughts flickering through his mind and the complete and utter letting down of his guard when he utters the “I love you.” There’s nothing fake or phony about the way he smiles after his confession and nothing phony about the way his body relaxes, almost as if he’s finally unburdened after carrying those unspoken words around. And then there’s Emily Bett Rickards whose face conveys the progression of every emotion throughout that scene: frustration, fear, confusion, understanding, hesitation, unspoken reciprocation, shock. One of the most powerful moments is when Oliver leaves and Felicity exhales a gasp that she must have been holding in. (Take note, shows: sometimes less really IS more.)

I’ve never seen a more genuine and heartbreaking moment on Arrow than this one, honest to God, and it’s just so tightly packed with emotion and truth and pain and joy that I doubt this blurb has even done it justice. Just go watch the scene and then come back here to melt into a puddle of feels in the comments section.


Need I remind you all: THREE. ARROWS.

I’m not going to romanticize Oliver killing The Count for Felicity. I don’t think that was, necessarily, the romantic moment of this scene. (But yes, he did use three arrows to kill him when one would have completely sufficed because of how enraged he was that someone would endanger Felicity. So, THREE ARROWS remains my mantra.)

No, the real romance of this scene was when Oliver checked on Felicity. Again, his voice drops to a whisper and he touches the side of her face and while she is worried about him (he got shot by The Count during their scuffle), he gently and quietly tells her: “It’s nothing.” I think I tweeted this when I re-watched the clip in preparation for this post, but the unspoken end to that sentence was: “[…] compared to losing you.” Wasn’t that the reason Oliver killed The Count? Not because he was on a list in a book but because he had Felicity and in that moment, there was no choice. (Hold those particular feelings for a moment.)

Stephen Amell can literally transition from rage one second to utter affection, compassion, and genuine concern the next and he DOES within the context of this scene. He goes from killing someone to gently reassuring Felicity that she’s okay and safe and no one will hurt her. It’s unspoken but clear in this moment: Oliver really loves Felicity and wants to protect her, so much so that he was willing to put aside his own pain (both the emotional anguish over killing again and the physical pain of, you know, being SHOT) to ensure that she was okay, that she was safe. He touches her face, which is another one of their things – Oliver always touches her face to make sure she’s okay – and you can just see the fear in her eyes. Kudos to Emily Bett Rickards who played that entire scene so beautifully, by the way. And when Oliver sees her fear, he also sees his job: to make her SAFE.

I’ll hold for the feels because in this scene, they’re plentiful.

2. "You are not done fighting."

The silver medal for my favorite Olicity moment is mainly because of Felicity Smoak and is a moment that I referenced and praised throughout the character appreciation post, but I think it is important t hat I reiterate how amazing this particular moment is again. Remember how earlier I noted that Oliver doesn’t always believe in himself and that Felicity fills that void? She is the one w who places faith and belief and hope in him even when he’s lost all hope in himself. It would have been easy in the “Streets of Fire” to write Felicity as meek, as terrified, and as defeated. But that is not who Felicity Meghan Smoak is at all. When Oliver becomes so hopeless, so dejected, so TIRED that he utters the words: “I have failed this city,” it is Felicity who steps up and reminds him of who he is. She yells at him – actually yells – that he is not done fighting, that he can stop Slade and that even though she doesn’t know HOW he will, she does know THAT he will.

Emily Bett Rickards completely and utterly nails this scene and brings tears to my eyes every time because of how evident it is that she cares about Oliver. She loves him in this moment and sometimes love means looking at someone with hearts in your eyes and sometimes it means flirting and smiling, but sometimes love means being brutally honest and helping pick your partner up when they are down. I have a theory and I don’t know if it is entirely accurate but it is my theory, so whatever: I believe that this is the moment Oliver realizes how much Felicity loves him and how much he needs her and trusts her. It’s a true display of faith on her part and I think it is the moment where Oliver realizes what he must do to stop Slade. Felicity believes in him when he cannot believe in himself, sees the light in him when he sees only darkness, and fills his life with hope and joy.

This moment is such an extremely powerful one to me, not just because of how bold and amazing Felicity is, but how humbled Oliver is in the moment. She keeps him hoping and she keeps him fighting. I don’t know of anything more beautiful than that, do you?

1. "He had you and he was going to hurt you. There was no choice to make."

Actually, there is one more moment between Oliver and Felicity that I would rank above the stellar one from episode 22 last season and it’s actually from an episode we visited a bit earlier in the list titled “State v. Queen.” (If you’ve ever read my other ship ranking posts, you know that I like to switch it up with my #1 moment and choose something unexpected.) Earlier in the episode, we saw Oliver kill The Count in order to save Felicity. At the end of the episode, Oliver returns to the foundry to check on Diggle and Felicity. And when he goes to leave, Felicity thanks him again for saving her life. He nods and then turns to leave, but not before Felicity apologizes. Then, the conversation shifts in the best possible way, because Oliver becomes confused and concerned. Let me pause again to give massive credit to Stephen Amell whose voice is so reassuring and gentle (he whispers my favorite line) that it fills my heart with a lot of feelings toward Oliver Queen.

See, Felicity apologizes because she knows how destroyed Oliver was a few episodes earlier about Tommy’s death: Tommy died believing Oliver was a murderer and so Oliver vowed to not kill again in order to honor his friend. But he makes a decision to break that vow when The Count threatens Felicity’s life. And, understandably, the blonde feels guilt for putting Oliver in the position where he had to choose. This is my favorite Olicity moment not just because of how sweet it is but because of how important it is: these characters learn something about each other in this scene that is fundamentally important. Oliver learns that Felicity thinks about and cares about the promises he makes to himself and others. She places weight and value in those promises and has real, tangible feelings toward them. She thinks about how her actions affect Oliver. But what Felicity learns about Oliver is equally as important: when it comes to her, there is no choice.

After Felicity makes the comment about having to choose between saving her and breaking his vow to Tommy’s memory, Oliver takes Felicity’s hand and says: “He had you and he was going to hurt you. There was no choice to make.” That may be, in fact, the most significant thing that Oliver has ever said to Felicity when you really think about the implication of it. Oliver, at this point in the series, refused to kill people in order to preserve his vow. He didn’t kill The Dollmaker, right? But while Felicity presents Oliver’s predicament at Queen Consolidated as a choice, he corrects her: there was only one option in that moment and it was saving her. How utterly beautiful it is that Oliver whispers those words to her in this moment while holding her hand? He tells her that she was the only option and that she did not force him to choose because there was never any question of what would happen. Stephen Amell’s acting in this scene is so underrated but so impactful and sincere that I cannot help but be consistently impressed. And Emily Bett Rickards is just as impressive as Felicity who is budding with guilt – watching her face transition from guilt to confusion to relief and contentment is so delightful.

If you re-watch one Olicity scene tonight, re-watch this one because it is my absolute favorite and is so telling in terms of characterization both individually and for the pairing. Plus, as we say on the Internet: FEELS.

And now that I’ve provided this massive (sorry) blog post of my fifteen favorite Olicity moments, I’m turning it over to y’all: what are YOUR favorite moments? Did I miss some of your top picks? Sound off in the comments and let me know your thoughts. And, as always, have a great week! :)


  1. Excellent choices throughout. I would bump your #2 up a spot. If I had been in charge of Emily Bett Rickard's Emmy campaign, I would have forced every TV Academy member to watch that scene over and over.

    The only thing missing here is something that happens a couple minutes after the hug in #10, when Felicity puts Oliver's mask on him and says it makes him "like a hero." That was the moment I knew that the showrunners were 100% serious about this ship.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Jeffrey! I was so torn between #2 and #1 that it was a very tight race (I did have her speech at #1 at one point in my pre-planning). That scene honestly and truly is my absolute favorite of hers at this point in the series and it should earn her an Emmy (or just, all of the awards), hands down.

      Ooooooh, that moment was so good too and it's true -- it felt very organic and real in that moment.

  2. Well, you make me cry. In fact, Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards make me cry. His special Felicity voice is the BEST! They really sold it. Both of them, in every scene. If this couple doesn't become end game of this show, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. The #1 was unexpected. I was hoping it'd be the 'You're not done fighting' Felicity speech. Brilliant post, Jenn! I've no words.