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The Starling City Times: News and Media about Arrow

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I like this take (especially because she basically ignores the gaping vortex of suck that is Dinah). I'm surprised at how much I'm not hating BS this season...

How the Women of ‘Arrow’ Are Saving the Show
http://collider.com/arrow-season-7-women/

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In Season 7, Arrow finally acknowledges that its female characters are worthy of their own chance to shine. For the first time in a long time, the series’ women have a significant amount of agency and autonomy within their own stories. They’re driving their own narratives, building actual relationships with one another, and making choices without considering how Oliver – or anyone else – might view them. As fans of these characters, it’s exhilarating to watch. And it’s the primary reason that this season of Arrow is the best the show’s been in ages.

As the person most directly affected by Oliver’s imprisonment, it’s natural for Felicity to step forward and fill the void he left behind. After surviving in witness protection and parenting William on her own for months, Felicity decides to take the fight against Diaz into her own hands. This choice not only brings the scattered pieces of Team Arrow back together in new and interesting configurations, it allows us to get a more in-depth look at how the fallout from Oliver’s arrest has changed each of them.
***
However, the most exciting thing about this season isn’t that Arrow’s is finally writing its women as three-dimensional people. (Though that is wonderful, and long overdue.) It’s that the show is finally building real relationships between them, rather than setting them up as romantic or ideological rivals. Sure, Dinah and Laurel are never going to be close, but they’re learning to respect one another in a genuine way.  And while Felicity probably won’t end up besties with Black Siren either, they’re now solid partners and maybe even tentative friends.

Arrow’s female characters are having real conversations, acknowledging their weaknesses, and grappling with their preexisting conceptions of one another. They’ve each undergone significant change over the course of the season, becoming messier, more complicated, and more compelling as the weeks have gone by. Given how infrequently this sort of thing has happened during the entirety of the series up until this point, it all feels positively revolutionary now.  And if the midseason finale is anything to go by, Arrow seems set to push the pedal to the floor on female-centric storytelling.

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1 hour ago, kickingnames said:

I didn’t realize until looking at these reviews that Felicity’s last line implied marital separation for her and Oliver. I did not get that at all.

Because it didn't. I'm always amazed by reviewers who write as if they have never watched TV before. 

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It's funny how its all the sites I associate with being anti Olicity and Felicity that are taking the Felicity is evil in the future storyline at face value.  

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11 minutes ago, BkWurm1 said:

It's funny how its all the sites I associate with being anti Olicity and Felicity that are taking the Felicity is evil in the future storyline at face value.  

I was having a convo with someone on another site today who was like..."I don't know why she would have those plans if she wasn't the person behind it." 

Uh...so that she could figure out a way to stop it? And that's probably why she wanted the fuses and whatever from possible child/definite fight club cutie BlackstarMaya, because she was building something to counteract it? This is so obvious to me, it's truly shocking when people are just going along with it, LOL.

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3 minutes ago, apinknightmare said:

I was having a convo with someone on another site today who was like..."I don't know why she would have those plans if she wasn't the person behind it." 

That seems to be Dinah’s reasoning ... without any proof to back it up except she says Felicity went totally evil. So if that’s what the writers want us to think now, they’ve succeeded with some people?

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21 minutes ago, BkWurm1 said:

It's funny how its all the sites I associate with being anti Olicity and Felicity that are taking the Felicity is evil in the future storyline at face value.  

Also Olicity is getting divorced. The papers were basically filed at the end there. 🙄 

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48 minutes ago, apinknightmare said:

I was having a convo with someone on another site today who was like..."I don't know why she would have those plans if she wasn't the person behind it." 

Uh...so that she could figure out a way to stop it? And that's probably why she wanted the fuses and whatever from possible child/definite fight club cutie BlackstarMaya, because she was building something to counteract it? This is so obvious to me, it's truly shocking when people are just going along with it, LOL.

When you're getting what you want, why would you stop to examine if it's really true?  I've also read a number of comments that Black Star has to be Laurel's or Sara's daughter because she's blonde.

I'm amused at how easily it is to bamboozle them. Beth must be laughing.

Edited by statsgirl
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I've said this before, but we often complain here about how the show and writers are really heavy handed with some things and treat the audience as though it's dumb, but all it takes is a glimpse at the comments on other sites or half the reviewers to realize... yeah, a good portion of the audience is dumb.

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TV Review: ‘Arrow: Unmasked’
DECEMBER 4TH, 2018 BY DARRYL JASPER
http://sciencefiction.com/2018/12/04/arrow-review-unmasked/

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It’s been a long time come for Oliver; after months in Slabside, he’s finally a free man but he’s finding reintegration into society and a city that knows he’s the Green Arrow is not as seamless a transition as he wou ld have liked it to be. Moreover, he finds that things can’t always return back to the ‘good-old days’ just because you want them to.
*  *  *
Iffy action plots aside, the primary story arc in “Unmasked” revolves around Felicity and Oliver realizing that a lot can change in seven months. Oliver’s mostly at fault here, expecting his wife to be the exact same person he left, despite her nearly being killed multiple times by Ricardo Diaz, in addition to upending her life for a failed time in Witness Protection. If there is one character that’s truly grown this season, it’s Felicity. She’s no longer the meek damsel waiting for a rescue. She still has some of those same qualities of determination but there’s a hardness to her now, a ruthlessness created by her realization that Oliver’s not always going to be there to save her. In truth, her change is an admirable one though Oliver’s reaction to Felicity finding her own inner strength, even if she’s touching a bit more of violent cord, is disappointing. More to that point is that, at the end of the day, the two find themselves at a divide in the road, unsure of what path to take and, as Felicity says, “I just don’t know if what’s best for me right now is the same thing as what’s best for us.” Dramatic as it sounds, people do grow apart or, if that’s not the case here, require time to reacquaint themselves with the changes in their partner. This may be that watershed moment for the Olicity ‘ship…or it may just be another dabble in the overly dramatic that goes nowhere.

Edited by tv echo

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I was listening to Jbuffy's podcast review about 7x08 and have to say it was pretty entertaining. I laughed so hard when she went off on Oliver's reaction to Felicity with a gun. Honestly, everything regarding Oliver's reactions to Felicity.

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2 minutes ago, SmallScreenDiva said:

When was Felicity ever this? ISTG, some of these reviewers have never watched this show. 

I know! I actually agree with a lot of the points in that article but that is just so ridiculous. She didn't always win against the villains (mostly because, despite her years as a member vigilante team/eventual status as the wife of a vigilante, no one, besides Dig briefly, ever bothered to teach her self-defense) but she was never a meek damsel waiting for rescue.

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12 hours ago, Chaser said:

I was listening to Jbuffy's podcast review about 7x08 and have to say it was pretty entertaining. I laughed so hard when she went off on Oliver's reaction to Felicity with a gun. Honestly, everything regarding Oliver's reactions to Felicity.

Agree!  I've tried several Arrow podcasts, but I'm just too partisan and opinionated about this show.  Also, beyond refreshing to hear both jbuffyangel and callistawolf admit they were getting tired of being so positive all the time.  That said, Jen has WAY more faith in MG than I ever did LOL

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13 hours ago, Chaser said:

I was listening to Jbuffy's podcast review about 7x08 and have to say it was pretty entertaining. I laughed so hard when she went off on Oliver's reaction to Felicity with a gun. Honestly, everything regarding Oliver's reactions to Felicity.

I didn't realise they had a podcast...you just made a 4+ hour drive tolerable and pretty entertaining.  

I agree with @Kymmi other Arrow podcasts are not or me.

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5 hours ago, Genki said:

I agree with @Kymmi other Arrow podcasts are not or me.

I really like the guys at Tee Vee, and Sarah Netzley (who used to write the EW recaps) on DC TV report. The other ones I’ve heard lean a bit too heavy into comic history for me.

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Arrow Season 7 Episode 8 Review: “Unmasked”
Chris King    December 6, 2018
https://www.tvovermind.com/arrow-season-7-episode-8-review-unmasked/

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“Unmasked” is the most divisive episode of Arrow this season and quite possibly one of the most hotly debated hours in years, and it’s mainly due to the final string of scenes that close out the episode, as it’s revealed that Diaz is still alive and Dig and Lyla apparently need his help, Oliver and Felicity appear to have grown even further apart from each other while he was in prison than either of them realized, and Robert Queen’s daughter, a long-lost half-sister of Oliver’s, is the person behind the new Green Arrow mask. Of those three major moments, I have only issues with one, so let’s get it out of the way.
*  *  *
After last week’s subtle but powerful look from Diggle, when he watched Oliver and Felicity reunite, I believed he was moving forward as a character, back to the Dig we knew and loved, and his behavior during the first half of “Unmasked” aligns with this theory. However, his final act with Lyla, if it is what it appears to be, undermines any strides of progress and indicates that Arrow viewers are in for more of the same, frustrating choices we’ve seen from him recently in this season’s upcoming episodes. I’m still trying to be hopeful that the writers room will turn this Diggle arc around, especially since Beth Schwartz and her team have gotten so many other important things right in Season 7, but my patience is wearing thin. How much more damage can Diggle’s character take before he’s essentially irredeemable?

And Oliver and Felicity need the old, real John Diggle more than ever after the events of “Unmasked,” which show that, despite how hard the two of them fought for each other while Oliver was in prison, the changes they needed to make in order to survive, in order to be there for each other, may be what ultimately drives them apart . I can understand why some fans may be frustrated with how Oliver and Felicity’s storyline develops, as we go from their powerful kiss at the end of last week’s episode to Oliver repeating his wedding vows to her on their anniversary to Felicity uttering these words in one of the hour’s closing scenes: “I just don’t know if what’s best for me right now is the same thing as what’s best for us.” It’s enough to give any Arrow viewer emotional whiplash, and yet, to me, it also feels like the most honest and, frankly, best direction the show could go in right now.

While I don’t believe everything that Oliver and Felicity say to each other in that final scene rings 100 percent true (particularly the fact that she had to “learn to protect myself,” as if she hadn’t done this in the past), it would feel completely false if the Arrow writers attempted to bypass everything that Oliver and Felicity have experienced over the past few months. Oliver’s decision to give up himself up to the FBI in the Season 6 finale was a major, game-changing decision for the series, and it should therefore have major, game-changing repercussions. That’s why it’s so satisfying to see Felicity fully call him out on his selfish choice, one he made without ever consulting her or William, one that left her and William vulnerable and alone, forcing them to fight for themselves. That’s why it’s also so satisfying to watch Oliver suit up again as the Green Arrow but without wearing his mask, as he partners with Dinah and the SCPD to take down Fuller. These moments of agency, of both Felicity and Oliver claiming their own power in different ways, could not have been achieved without Oliver’s actions from last season’s finale, and ultimately, even if the two of them are being pushed in different directions right now, at least these directions are authentic and active and interesting ones, directions that are so much more vibrant and honest than most of the manufactured drama of Arrow Season 6.

But with these new actions, with the time and the distance that Oliver and Felicity spent away from each other, must also come a rehabilitation period of sorts, a period of time where the two of them rediscover each other, and that certainly won’t be easy. One of the key lines in Oliver and Felicity’s final scene together is when she tells Oliver that she’s not the same girl he first met, chewing her red pen, and frankly, after everything she’s been through the past six months, let alone the past six years, she shouldn’t be. If Oliver has been allowed to evolve over the last six seasons of Arrow, Felicity should be able to as well. She can still be Oliver’s beacon of light, his source of goodness and kindness and love, even if the light she is providing isn’t always the brightest, even if her morality has become more gray than black and white.

And now, in hindsight, I believe this is what Turner’s conversation with Oliver from last week’s episode was hinting at: not that Oliver would have some type of new philosophy about the foes he faces in Star City but that he would have to try to apply this type of mindset, this acceptance of the morally gray, to the most important person in his life, Felicity. Maybe this is the vital lesson that Oliver takes with him from prison, and maybe, just like so many other lessons he’s learned before, it will take a while before it fully sets in. Because make no mistake, my friends, this is the end of one chapter for Oliver and Felicity but also the start of a new one. Their journey together has always had ups and downs, peaks and valleys, but they’ve always pushed their way out of whatever darkness they have faced together. Even if they’re going in different directions now, even if it takes a good chunk of this season, they will meet in the middle and fight their way out together. Because that’s what heroes do, and that’s who the two of them are.
*  *  *
Also, I know it’s not that much of a risk to say this, but I’m placing my bets now: Season 8 will be Arrow‘s final season, and it entirely take place in the future with older versions of our beloved characters alongside their children. Calling it now.

Edited by tv echo

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7 hours ago, Genki said:

I didn't realise they had a podcast...you just made a 4+ hour drive tolerable and pretty entertaining.  

I spent Friday running a ton of errands, which would normally annoy me, but listening to their podcast made it bearable. I highly recommend the special episode about Laurel. It's such an entertaining look back at the early seasons of the show.

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Also, I know it’s not that much of a risk to say this, but I’m placing my bets now: Season 8 will be Arrow‘s final season, and it entirely take place in the future with older versions of our beloved characters alongside their children. Calling it now.

Ugh, the make up department is just not good enough to handle doing this for the whole cast.  Plus, would the CW really want to age up all their characters on the show full time?  And what about the yearly crossover?  Do we just take a leap back in time?  So no, I do not think they will age up all the characters and just do it in the future. 

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14 hours ago, BkWurm1 said:

Ugh, the make up department is just not good enough to handle doing this for the whole cast.  Plus, would the CW really want to age up all their characters on the show full time?  And what about the yearly crossover?  Do we just take a leap back in time?  So no, I do not think they will age up all the characters and just do it in the future. 

I do wonder if they try doing an episode that's mostly Flashforward like the first couple of seasons have a mostly Flashback. But then I dont see it working for me unless they reveal Old Man Diggle and Oliver plus We get Older Felicity and Maya is revealed to be their daughter AND we get hardly any or No Dinah at all

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jbuffyangel's review of 7x08 is very, very long (believe it or not, I only quoted some of it)...

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 Arrow is being extremely sloppy about the kinds of situations they are putting their characters in, particularly Felicity. They are conflating very different scenarios into the same scenario and then saying it requires same response. This could not be further from the truth.
*  *  *
There have been several times Felicity Smoak is acting in self defense and that is perfectly acceptable. There are other times she is making the same moral judgments I disagreed with Oliver over and I’m going to call her on it even though it is Felicity. Am I saying I don’t like Felicity or believe she’s a bad person who has gone all evil? No, absolutely not. 

This is part of the hero evolution process and Felicity Smoak is as much of a hero as Oliver Queen. This is why exploring a darker arc is vitally important. Is Felicity morally justified in some of these more questionable choices? Yes, but simply because you can morally justify a choice doesn’t automatically make the choice morally right. I also hold Oliver, Felicity and Diggle to a higher standard than I do a regular Joe because they are heroes.
*  *  *
No, Oliver was not the marrying type until he met this genius, funny, warm, insightful, bullshit detecting, red pen-chewing, blonde sunshine and then all he wanted was to have lots of sex and babies with her. Catch up Fuller.
*  *  *
So, clearly Felicity is experiencing PTSD no different from what we witnessed with Oliver in the shower earlier.
*  *  *
However, this break in is clearly meant to echo the one we saw in the premiere with Diaz. Her security system failed then too. Only she was home alone with a 12 year old boy and Diaz was the one with a gun. All Felicity had to defend herself was a pot of coffee and a poker stick. 
*  *  *
She is literally reliving Diaz’s attack, so Felicity responds to this goon with what she wished she had back then – a gun. It doesn’t matter Oliver is there now because her trauma is triggering this response. 
*  *  *
Oliver’s response to it drove me nuts. He’s more concerned she has a gun than with how she’s using it. This is missing the forest through the trees.

I don’t have any problem with Felicity carrying a gun. I’ve had a general annoyance with Oliver and Diggle for the past seven years regarding Felicity’s training. They’ve trained her to defend herself somewhat. Is she as physically proficient at self defense as everyone else on Team Arrow? No. Not even close, which I find grossly irresponsible on Oliver’s part. 
*  *  *
Diggle warned Oliver about this when Felicity joined the team. Oliver’s entire defense strategy for Felicity was HIM.
*  *  *
The security system Felicity had in witness protection was A.R.G.U.S. and they were completely worthless. What does A.R.G.U.S. do besides screw up? Their big plan was to watch Felicity and William, which equated to a failed security system and taking five minutes to respond when she’s under attack. News flash: it doesn’t actually take that long to kill someone.
*  *  *
It is irresponsible for Felicity not to have some kind of weapon to defend herself with. Oliver, Diggle, Dinah, Rene and L*urel all carried guns, but the minute Felicity does it’s, “GASP. OH NO! SHE’S EVIL.” Talk about your Madonna/Whore complex. She has a gun so she’s a whore! Unbelievable.
*  *  *
Oliver: You what? I’ve barely been gone seven months and you’ve aligned yourself with two of the most immoral people we know?

Listen, pretty boy. I am glad you’ve found moral enlightenment and are now walking the higher plane, but you’ve been there for all of five minutes. 
*  *  *
He’s not focusing on the clear trauma Felicity has suffered. He’s not asking why she feels unsafe, what her fears are or how he can help her. It’s all about who Felicity has been working with, which is again, missing the forest through the trees.

I have a real beef with Oliver’s remark, “This isn’t you.” Felicity is going through a dark spiral and is reexamining her morality. However, this concept Felicity is this lily white Virgin Mary character is baffling to me. 
*  *  *
Arrow is really focused on Oliver putting people in boxes because he has to learn not to. I get it. However, it’s resulting in some sloppy writing because he’s blatantly ignoring Felicity’s history to keep her on this pedestal. Oliver needs to realize his wife is human. I thought he already realized this in Season 5, but I guess we’re repeating it in Season 7. It’s fine. Hopefully they do a deeper dive on it than they did in Season 5.
*  *  *
“This is me because of you,”  is the line I’ve been waiting seven months to hear Felicity say. We had a little taste of it when she visited Oliver in prison, but she couldn’t unleash her anger full force because he was in prison. 
*  *  *
Oliver’s actions have consequences. He continually lies and believes an apology will somehow be a magic wand erasing all the damage he’s done. Marriage doesn’t work like that. Life doesn’t work like that.
*  *  *
Felicity has told Oliver several times she feels abandoned when he makes decisions without her. This behavior hits Felicity where it hurts. This is her greatest fear. Her pain is raw and exposed. Yet, Oliver continues to make decisions without consulting her. I don’t even think he checked with her before going back out into the field as Green Arrow. I hope to God he did, but if not this is exactly what she’s talking about.

Felicity is required to make changes inside of herself due to the impact of Oliver’s decisions. Oliver abandoned her. He left her alone, with a child and defenseless. As did their “friends.” 
*  *  *
Oliver Queen wasn’t the only one on an island. Felicity is on one too, but her island was made by her husband. Oliver may be home, but Felicity is not. 
*  *  *
Felicity is still on that island, fighting alone every day to survive, because she can’t trust Oliver won’t make another decision without her. Felicity doesn’t trust Oliver won’t abandon her all over again.
*  *  *
Oliver can say he’s sorry all he wants, but it doesn’t erase the trauma Felicity is dealing with now. Oliver needs to walk through these consequences with his wife and understand the impact he’s made. There’s no magic wand.

I understand Oliver is dealing with trauma too and acclimating himself to life outside of Slabside. He’s missed a lot and needs a moment to catch up. We are dealing with two traumatized people. However, Felicity has always treated a traumatized Oliver with compassion. One of my main frustrations with Oliver in “Unmasked” is he’s coming to this fight with a lot of moral condemnation.
*  *  *
I shared Oliver’s shock because I too cannot fathom Felicity ever viewing herself as weak. The line really bothered me, but it’s supposed to. This is another manifestation of Felicity’s trauma. She’s viewing herself as weak both physically and emotionally. The person she was couldn’t physically protect herself.  The gun and new security measures are all coping mechanisms for Felicity’s deep rooted fear.
*  *  *
Oliver is shocked and saddened by Felicity’s remark because her humanity inspired his humanity. 
*  *  *
It’s why Oliver believes Felicity is the best part of him. Anything to the contrary is unfathomable. Felicity needs to see herself through Oliver’s eyes, just as Oliver saw himself through Felicity’s eyes. He needs to be a hero to Felicity like she was to him. That’s the love, the light, which will illuminate the path out of the dark.
*  *  *
However, there’s another reason Oliver repeated those vows. “You’re the very best part of me” assigns an ownership and responsibility to Felicity over her husband’s soul that is unfair. It’s something Felicity touched on when she tells Oliver ultimately who she is, and the decisions she makes, aren’t on him. Those decisions are on her.
*  *  *
The same goes for Oliver. Felicity can’t be responsible for harnessing Oliver’s light all the time. He has to inspire himself. Oliver has to harness his light on his own. He did a good job in Slabside, but now that he’s home he can’t fall back to relying on Diggle and Felicity to be his cheerleading squad. Oliver has to be a good person all by himself without someone holding his hand.

This pushes both Oliver and Felicity in new and important directions. This dark spiral gives Felicity’s character a freedom she’s never had before. Oliver’s enlightenment gives him a new sense of accountability.
*  *  *
Oliver may not be able to talk Felicity into her old self, but maybe he can inspire the new hero she wants to be. Someone who has light and dark. Someone who is impacted by their trauma, but not ruled by it. Someone who makes choices not out of anger, fear or pain, but from compassion. This is the hero Felicity inspired Oliver to be. So, now it’s his time to return the favor.

I am not remotely concerned about Olicity. There is no shortage of love between these too. They didn’t spend seven months fighting to be together just to separate.
*  *  *
She’s going through the same trajectory Oliver went through. It’s a mini trajectory. It won’t take Felicity seven years to get there, primarily because she’s smarter than Oliver, but I do hope the writers give the character the freedom she’s earned. I certainly was patient with Oliver crossing lines, so I have to give her character the same in turn.  
*  *  *
The idea that Felicity’s darkness is incompatible with their relationship makes me want to pull my hair out.  
*  *  *
To be honest, it feels like the toss away divorce line. NO I AM NOT SAYING THEY ARE NOT GETTING A DIVORCE.  In fact, that’s why I’m annoyed with the line because I know they aren’t getting a divorce. Arrow isn’t even considering divorcing Olicity. It’s just relying on a tired, old television trope to bring viewers back after winter hiatus. “Oh no! I better tune in January to see if Oliver and Felicity get a divorce!” This is spectacularly lazy writing. 
*  *  *
If Arrow is incapable of drumming up drama in Olicity’s marriage without threatening divorce every time there’s a bump in the road then they are just crappy writers. Plain and simple. Dig deeper, Arrow. There’s plenty to mine in Olicity’s relationship without fake threats of legal proceedings.
*  *  *
We know Felicity has the Mark of Four tattoo because she inspired it. Courage, compassion, selflessness and loyalty are the very best parts of Oliver Queen. The Green Arrow encapsulates the four pillars because of the light Felicity harnessed in Oliver. When Oliver became lost in the dark he looked to Felicity for his way out. She was the North Star for Oliver, so he could become the North Star for everyone else.
*  *  *
Felicity is on the same path. She is not only Oliver’s great love, but his equal in every way. They are becoming full realized superheroes together. Oliver will remind Felicity her humanity is the very best part of her.  We all become lost in the dark at some point, but Felicity will find her way again. She simply needs to find the North Star inside herself again.  Felicity inspired the four pillars because she is the four pillars. The Mark of Four is the kind of hero Felicity will become because it’s the hero she’s always been.
*  *  *
So, either Felicity or Oliver don’t have any more children other than William, which makes me sad or William has been separated from his family even longer than we anticipated. This also makes me sad. Neither option is great. Fingers crossed William is just pretending not to know Blackstar to keep her cover (but I doubt it).
*  *  *
Unfortunately, we aren’t getting a lot of hope in the flash forwards and it’s casting a shadow over any happiness in present day.  This is why we’re not supposed to know the future. Not that there’s much happiness in present day because the writers are trying so hard to sell Felicity is becoming evil. I know the flash backs were dark too, but the present day scenes countered it because we knew Oliver was moving towards a happier place, even when things weren’t going well. Unfortunately, we don’t have that balance this season.  
*  *  *
It’s making me very concerned about a tone shift. I know I said the minute the flash backs were introduced the writers expanded the story and they needed a Lian Yu level event to kick it off.  However, I understand the frustration and sadness. Oliver either never saves the city or his happy life with Felicity is destroyed in a relatively short amount of time. It’s difficult to get hammered with despair on top of despair every week. Oliver needs a win at some point.
*  *  *
Dinah has her own Canary network and Blackstar hates vigilantes. So who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?

Diggle and Lyla are the stupidest to ever stupid by going to Diaz for help. They could have talked to Oliver and Felicity about it beforehand, but noooo. Can the whole “Diggle only gives a crap about himself” storyline end now?
*  *  *
Stop wasting my time with all the Newbie crap. I swear, this show is tone deaf to what an audience is interested in. I also need about 50% less Dinah.

Edited by tv echo
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From The New Indian Express - sounds like they're just starting to air S7...

Emily Bett Rickards is your best bet
Published: 08th December 2018
http://www.newindianexpress.com/entertainment/english/2018/dec/08/she-is-your-best-bett-1908723.html

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Canadian actress Emily Bett Rickards’s breakthrough role came in 2012 with her first television casting, as Felicity Smoak in the TV series, Arrow. Originally, her character was supposed to be a one-episode appearance, but following the largely positive response to Smoak, she went on to become a series regular. As Arrow returns for Season Seven, we speak to her on what the season has in store. 

It’s been revealed that Felicity Smoak is in protective custody at the start of Season Seven. 
EBR: Wait… How do you know that? Who’s been spoiling the storylines? Well, first of all, Felicity is a grown-a** woman. She is not in anybody’s custody.

She is in witness protection. Yes, that is what’s happening — but she isn’t in anybody’s protective custody. She has constantly battled being a woman who has to continually check her back, but I think she’s tired of doing that. 

The show airs on Tuesdays at 11 pm on Colors Infinity.

Edited by tv echo
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7. Felicity Smoak (Arrow)

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How could we talk about current Jewish representation on television without mentioning Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards)? Even if she says a simple mazel tov or performs small Jewish rituals during the funeral of an old friend, Felicity with her Jewishness, her intelligence, her poise, her strength, and her beauty make up who she is — a superhero in her own right.

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20 memorable shipper moments of 2018

Entertainment Weekly   |    December 10, 2018

https://ew.com/tv/best-shipper-moments-2018/?utm_campaign=entertainmentweekly_ew&utm_term=D8B18916-FC94-11E8-8197-0EEC4744363C&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_content=link#oliver-and-felicitys-reunion-arrow

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Oliver and Felicity's reunion, Arrow

Oliver and Felicity spent the first half of season 7 separated from each other because the former went to prison at the end of season 6. The fan-favorite couple barely had any scenes together after Felicity’s tearful visit in the premiere; however, their separation finally came to an end in “The Slabside Redemption,” which saw Oliver literally fight his way back to her and gave us the passionate reunion kiss we all needed. —CA

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2018 in Review: Biggest Plot Twists!
By Team TVLine / December 11 2018, 6:00 AM PST
https://tvline.com/gallery/tv-plot-twists-2018-biggest-moments-the-walking-dead/#!6/2018-plot-twists-arrow/

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ARROW
The new Green Arrow is the half-sister Oliver doesn’t know he has!

Quotes of the Week: The Voice, Gifted, Outlander, Mrs. Maisel, H50 and More
By Team TVLine / December 9 2018, 8:00 AM PST
https://tvline.com/gallery/crazy-ex-girlfriend-series-of-holidays-best-tv-quotes/#!10/arrow-crab-cake-face-quote/

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ARROW
“We didn’t get this treatment when we put Diaz behind bars.”

“Envy is not a good look on you. Neither is that crab cake on your face.”

Rene (Rick Gonzalez) and Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) arrive for the city’s celebration of Oliver’s release

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‘ARROW’ 7×09 REVIEW: ELSEWORLDS, PART 2
Alyssa Barbieri   December 11, 2018
http://fangirlish.com/arrow-7x09-review-elseworlds-part-2/

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While there was so much focus on Oliver’s pain in prison, as there should be, it’d be easy to overlook the own turmoil Felicity faced. She had to readjust. She had to change who she was in order to survive. That was a lot of change that she was forced into in such a short span of time. And when Oliver was released from prison, Felicity began to truly acknowledge that change. She believed, she feared that she’d changed so much that perhaps she wasn’t the same person Oliver fell in love with. She believed that because she changed, because she hardened and lost some light, that their relationship couldn’t work.

Now, obviously she couldn’t have been more wrong. Oliver and Felicity have accepted every part of each other. The good, the bad, the ugly. But it’s their love, that true love, that makes everything else irrelevant.

When we find Felicity in this crossover, she’s continuing to stress about the turmoil in her relationship with Oliver. She can’t believe that she didn’t recognize that something was off with “Oliver,” she still harbored feelings of anger towards Oliver for how he left her and William to fend for themselves. All she wanted was the respect, the trust for Oliver to come to her and discuss this. Like the team they are. 

As Felicity talked with Caitlin, we began to see that she was starting to worry if too much change would be too much for her relationship to handle. That maybe love wasn’t enough if it didn’t come with trust and respect. But Caitlin reminded her that “as long as there’s love, you can’t give up on it.”
*  *  *
While it’s usually been Felicity that’s had to bring Oliver back, now it was Oliver’s turn to be that anchor for Felicity. He reassured her that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He reminded her that they’re growing and that they’ll continue to grow. He stared into her soul and told her that “love is too small a word” to describe how he feels about her and that she will always be “the love of my life” and that “people change. That never will.”

I love that this show is acknowledging that change isn’t a bad thing. That it’s actually an opportunity to allow these characters to grow in their lives as individuals and as a couple. It was refreshing to get to see a married couple work through their issues in a way where they’re both allowed to feel and allowed to express themselves, because that hasn’t always been true for these two on Arrow. It feels like there’s more of a balance now.
*  *  *
Okay, so I’m officially agitated with this universe’s repeated disrespect towards Oliver Queen. Hell, it’s bad enough when they were taking digs at him behind his back, but this crossover has had characters say it to his face. 

Why would anyone want to be like Oliver Queen? Where to start?

  • How about the fact that Oliver is a hero that has been through the darkest of times and has still managed to save his soul while saving his city?
  • He’s sacrificed his happiness and well-being too many times to count.
  • He’s been through literal hell.
  • He’s disrespected and underappreciated as a hero and yet he continues to save the city without a thought.
  • He will defend and protect those he loves without hesitation and with the passion and dedication of a thousand lives.
  • He was thrown in prison for protecting his city.
  • He’s had “friends” betray him and yet he takes the higher road.

I could go on. Now, Oliver Queen is not perfect. (Who would want to watch a show about that?) But he’s proven in these past seven seasons that he’s always willing to work to become better. He has his moments, and he still has more growing to do as a person, but Oliver isn’t someone that’s going to not put the effort in.

Is Oliver selfish at times? Of course. Does Oliver make stupid decisions? Duh. But let’s not get all high and mighty and pretend like other heroes, like Barry and Kara, are perfect. They’re not. (And don’t get me started on Barry of seasons’ past.)

After the first hour of this crossover (The Flash hour) really laid it on Oliver, I thought that the Arrow hour would no better. But, nope. Once again there was Oliver trashing, including bringing up his past that hasn’t been a part of him for more than a decade. And all at the expense for a laugh for Barry and Kara and the audience. Ha, ha, ha, let’s laugh at the person Oliver used to be before he grew into the hero he is now, ha, ha, ha.

Edited by tv echo
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Arrow Review: Elseworlds, Part 2 (Season 7 Episode 9)
December 11, 2018  Brianna Martinez
https://www.telltaletv.com/2018/12/arrow-review-elseworlds-part-2-season-7-episode-9/

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Meanwhile, I appreciate that regular Arrow viewers get some more follow through on the state of Oliver and Felicity’s relationship struggles even amid the crossover and the body (mind?) swapping.

Things are tense between the pair, especially after she finds out about the body swapping. But it’s Olicity’s final moment together in the crossover that serves as a solid start to working through their issues together and has me looking forward to seeing where it goes.

Oliver: No matter who you are or what you become, or who I am or what I become, you will always be the love of my life. People change, that never will.

He’s accepting that with his own choices and situations the pair face on a daily basis, growth is inevitable, and that means they have to change and adapt. It’s a small, lovely moment that I hope serves as the beginning of this arc and not just a neat resolution.
*  *  *
Will Oliver’s characterization during the crossovers ever be consistently current to the season and his corresponding growth? ...

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10 Last Minute Changes That Hurt DC Shows (And 10 That Saved It)
BY ERIC BLATT – ON DEC 12, 2018
https://screenrant.com/dc-tv-shows-changes-hurt-saved/

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17 SAVED – NOT TURNING FELICITY INTO “ORACLE”
...
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak is the heart of Arrow. It was all almost not to be. She only was supposed to be around for one show, before producers asked her to come back. Showrunners decided to take her from a bit role to becoming the point–person for Team Arrow’s field missions.

But one change was when Felicity was shot and paralyzed during the show’s fourth season. Fans immediately jumped to the conclusion that she’d not only be in a wheelchair but take on the mantle of Oracle, which is Barbara Gordon’s codename in the Batman comics. However, by being “taken” by someone else, we now have Overwatch and thankfully very soon, perhaps and[sic] Oracle in the Arrowverse’s future as well.
*  *  *
14 HURT – GROSSLY UNDERUSING MICHAEL EMERSON
...
It might not be as much of a “last minute” change per se, but boy, did Arrow completely waste the talents of Michael Emerson. For nearly ten years prior on both Lost and Persons Of Interest, he effectively played a creepy little bastard. Considering he pulled that off while being both a villain on Lost and a hero on POI is a testament to his greatness.

That greatness really could have made for an outstanding season with a memorable, eery villain for the ages. But the writers not only used him as fodder for the season’s real big bad, Ricardo Diaz. They also made him just another “Arrow killed my (insert family member here),” which might have been impactful had Prometheus not been done a season prior.
*  *  *
2 HURT – TAKING SUICIDE SQUAD AWAY FROM ARROW
...
Imaging the frustration from an entire cast and crew of diligent writers and actors. They do their best every week to entertain us for a measly hour a week. They bust their chops over what stories and characters to introduce. Then the boss’ bosses swoop in and make you change a whole heap of story and characters just to serve their own misguided vision.

Hopefully, the Arrowverse’s producers didn’t have to do much extra work when DCEU bosses came in and decried no more Suicide Squad. A huge chunk of supporting players gone at the stroke of the most powerful weapon in entertainment - the pencil.

1 SAVED – NOT MAKING OLLIE MERLYN’S SON
...
At some point, it was revealed that Malcolm Merlyn, the show’s first antagonist, was Thea’s father. While it’s a bit of stretch to reveal such a soap opera style bombshell, it’s still much better than the original idea. Merlyn was set up to be Ollie’s real father.

That moment would ruin the whole crux of the show. Oliver returned to Star City to right the wrongs of his father, Robert Queen. Finding out that the big bad was actually your father would complete reshaping your mission statement. Yes, the revelation could have been mined for better drama, but it still would have been a groan-inducing moment.

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Jen and Calli discuss how Oliver was portrayed and what Oliver might've done in the crossover in their latest Watchover podcast - they say a lot of the things I feel and think, although I don't agree with them completely (warning: podcast mentions a popular but unconfirmed Arrow 'spoiler')...

Edited by tv echo
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Another analysis of Oliver Queen was included in this A.V. Club review...

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The true star of this crossover event, however, is Oliver Queen. I found that especially impressive given that Arrow is a show I pretty much only engage with during these crossover events, so I have no real built in affection for the character. Yet Stephen Amell was not only the comedic MVP of “Elseworlds,” but its emotional heart as well. In the first two crossover episodes, the talk of Oliver and Barry needing to embrace their true natures (and/or each others’ true natures) felt like generic touchy-feely stuff. But this episode digs into that idea in a really compelling way. In the episode’s best scene, Oliver admits that he isn’t a superhero in the same way that Kara and Barry are. He may take out bad guys and protect his city, but he’s too dark and violent to inspire people in the way that Supergirl and The Flash do. So when he learns that Kara and Barry are destined to die in their attempts to slow down time by speeding around the Earth in opposite directions (which seems like it would just cancel each other out, but sure), he goes to The Monitor and makes a deal to save their lives.

We don’t know what that deal entails, and I imagine we won’t until “Crisis On Infinite Earths,” unless Arrow is planning to explore it this season. But the idea of Oliver’s sacrifice adds some gravitas to the otherwise fairly easy defeat of Deegan. From a plot perspective, it’s frustrating that it’s yet another tease for a future story. But from a character perspective, I like that Oliver keeps the sacrifice a secret from his friends, choosing to take on a dark burden himself so that they can continue to be the sunny, optimistic heroes they are at their best. It’s a far more interesting take on self-sacrifice than just a superhero putting their life at risk.

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Bravo - I loved his whole section on Oliver, so I quoted it...

Arrow Season 7 Episode 9 Review: “Elseworlds”
Chris King   December 12, 2018
https://www.tvovermind.com/arrow-season-7-episode-9-review-elseworlds/

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... But despite how much superficial fun these three episodes have (and there’s so many fun moments, from Oliver and Barry’s reactions to using each other’s powers to Clark and Lois’s bantering back and forth), this year’s crossover fails to capture the heart and depth of “Crisis on Earth-X” or even 2016’s “Invasion!” and a major reason for that is its complete disregard for the character growth of Oliver Queen.

Throughout all three hours of “Elseworlds,” particularly “Part 1,” the Flash episode, the writers paint Oliver Queen as a dark, vengeful, murderous vigilante, who is only able to take down criminals because of how angry and broken he is. It’s as if all of the episodes’ writers, including Marc Guggenheim, who used to be the co-showrunner of Arrow, haven’t watched the series since Season 1. By depicting Oliver in this way, they neglect all of his development over the past six years, the relationships he has formed with people like Felicity, Diggle, and even the Newbies, the new roles he has taken on, including father, husband, and mayor, and, most importantly, the demons he has recognized and reconciled with, particularly his ease and almost enjoyment of killing (if you want to see that arc, watch “Kapiushon” and the episodes that immediately follow that hour).

No, Oliver’s not as happy-go-lucky as Barry or as optimistic as Kara, and he shouldn’t be. Oliver Queen has always been an intense, focused, and serious individual. However, none of those qualities are what are being discussed throughout “Elseworlds”; instead, the crossover essentially tries to tell us that Oliver is not a hero because he’s more damaged than his peers. You know what, try spending nearly five years on an island in the middle of nowhere and seven months in prison while also seeing your mother, best friend, and former girlfriend die right in front of you, in ways that make you believe that their deaths were all your fault. Try being a father to a motherless son, a mayor within a government that’s so corrupt that you can’t trust a single political ally, and a hero to a city that would rather arrest you than celebrate you (let alone name a goddamn coffee after you). Try being the leader of a team whose members undermine you and betray you, a best friend to a man who has recently let his jealousy and selfishness cause a rift between the two of you, and a husband to a wife who is heading down a dark path that frightens you. Yeah, try dealing with all of that and tell me that you wouldn’t be a little damaged, a little broken, a little more inclined to retreating into the darkness instead of stepping into the light.

But personally, I’m happy all of that has happened to Oliver. I’m happy he has dealt with the kind of pain and suffering and struggle that would break lesser individuals because it has shaped him into the hero that he is today. A hero that values his friends so much that he’s willing to make a deal with a cosmic being, knowing full well that saving their lives will more than likely cost him his. A hero who can admit his mistakes to his wife, who can acknowledge that, even in the face of uncertainty, his love for her will always be a constant. A hero who steps up to make the tough choices and never accepts defeat, even if the odds are stacked against him. A hero who doesn’t let how other people perceive, hell even how he mostly perceives himself, define him. Because make no mistake, even though he’s not super-speeding around the world in order to slow down time, it’s Oliver Queen’s actions that save the day in “Elseworlds”; it’s his confrontation with The Monitor that not only sets up next year’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover but, more importantly, illustrates the type of person he has evolved into, much more than any words from Iris, Barry, Kara, or even Oliver himself could.

The Oliver from Arrow Season 1, the one that the writers try to force down our throats during this crossover for plot-over-character reasons, would have never gone to see The Monitor to talk things out. Like how Barry deals with the robbers in Gotham, the old Oliver would have tried to use his brute force and escalated the situation to the point where nothing could be resolved. However, this older, wiser, and more mature Oliver understands that violence does not always provide the answer and that heroism is almost never black or white but mostly exists in shades of gray. He sees the bigger picture Because the characters in the Arrowverse may want to call Oliver mean, rude, and angry, and that’s fine. They don’t have to like him. But they have to respect him for his strategy, tenacity, and, most importantly, his selflessness. That selflessness is born out the love he has for the people he cares about most, William, Felicity, and Diggle; it comes from their hope, compassion, and determination, their choice to see the best in Oliver, their choice to love him and inspire him to be the best man that he can be.

This selflessness comes from a love that, as Oliver tells Felicity during one of the crossover’s very best scenes, is “too small a word” to truly describe how Oliver feels about his family, just like the word “hero” is not sufficient enough to describe the rich, complex, and constantly evolving character that is Arrow‘s Oliver Queen. Unlike the “Elseworlds” writers, I won’t forget everything that makes Oliver so entertaining, so frustrating, so powerful, and so special anytime soon.

Edited by tv echo
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Again, this was a very, very long review, so I had to be selective in what I quoted...

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Sure, absolutely. Totally right call, Oliver. More lies are exactly what are required to fix your marriage. Since Felicity is angry about lying you should lie even more, so she trusts you again. Your logic is spectacular. I couldn’t be prouder.
*  *  *
IR*S DID NOT KNOW IMMEDIATELY. She spent the better part of an hour figuring it out. When she wasn’t pawing Oliver like a cat, she was throwing B*rry and Oliver in prison because she thought they were crazy. Oh by the way, one of them was her husband, so she knowingly threw her spouse in meta human jail. She very slowly and reluctantly began to believe them 20 minutes into the episode. Yeah, that’s right. I clocked it.
*  *  *
Felicity spent 30 seconds with Oliver and B*rry compared to Ir*s’ 20 minutes. Yes, I clocked it again. Maybe if Felicity was given the same amount of time then she would have figured it out too.
*  *  *
I know we’re all as tired as Felicity is with the lying. However, this isn’t just about Oliver lying. This is about what will never change in Oliver. He will always be the one to fall on the sword. His heroic actions will often be detrimental to his relationship with his wife because those actions require sacrifice. It requires Oliver to put other people and other things before his own happiness. His selflessness won’t always be what is best or healthiest for his marriage.

This is why it’s important they are hashing this out. Oliver hurt Felicity. He shouldn’t have excluded her from the decision, even if he was afraid she’d talk him out of it. Felicity needs to be part of these decisions, so it’s easier for her to deal with consequences. At least then she can feel like she has some control or say in her own life.
*  *  *
However, when Oliver returned home, and saw firsthand how Felicity has changed, she wasn’t treated with the same respect, trust and unconditional love she’s shown Oliver all these years. Felicity encouraged Oliver to find another way, but she was never judgmental about it. Felicity believed in Oliver no matter what.
*  *  *
As I said, I have no problem with Felicity owning a gun, but I didn’t agree with how she used the gun in “Unmasked.” Oliver may have cause to be concerned, but he wasn’t asking the right questions to help Felicity. He was focused on what she was doing rather than listening to what she had gone through. Felicity trusted Oliver even when he was dropping bodies on a weekly basis. His judgment felt like a lack of belief and trust, which he has never felt from her even in his darkest of moments.
*  *  *
As speeches go, this is a spectacular one. If you are a long time Arrow fan, then you know this another role shift for Oliver and Felicity. Typically, it is Felicity fixing problems with a grand speech. She’s the one who expounds on how long and how much she loves him. It doesn’t mean Oliver loves Felicity any less, but he is more quiet and simple in his declarations.
*  *  *
Felicity is on edge when Oliver begins talking. He tells her everything will be okay and acknowledges people change. However, none of that eases her anxiety or anger. It’s only when Oliver reassures Felicity his love for her will never change that we see her relief. Oliver may be right about all the other stuff, but this hits home for Felicity. We can see how worried she was that the person she is becoming is going to cost her Oliver. What Felicity really needed to hear was that could never happen.

It’s also one of the first times Oliver’s love declaration is focused on Felicity. I love his vows, both sets. 
*  *  *
However, when Oliver is telling Felicity how much he loves her in these moments he focuses on the impact she’s had on his life. It’s a lot about what Felicity’s love has done for him rather than what he feels only for her.
*  *  *
It’s not bad thing. It’s doesn’t make his vows any less powerful or amazing, because Felicity has had a life altering effect on Oliver. However, I don’t believe this was the kind of speech Oliver needed to make in this moment. He needed to focus only on Felicity and how he feels about her.
*  *  *
And Oliver does focus on Felicity. BIG TIME. His judgment is gone and in its place are respect, love and understanding. Change is not a bad thing. Oliver understands as life goes on both Felicity and he will become different people, but no matter who Felicity becomes Oliver will always love her. He marries every version of Felicity Smoak, now and forever.
*  *  *
Of course, we knew Felicity is the love of Oliver Queen’s life. Hearing him say the words is another thing entirely though. Oliver quantifies his love for Felicity just as she has done for him. 
*  *  *
“Love of my life” puts a stamp on his relationship with Felicity in a way Oliver has never done before. There never was or ever could be another woman in Oliver’s life who he loves more than Felicity Smoak. 
*  *  *
Trust is Felicity’s love language. Apologies don’t mean as much as Oliver’s belief and trust. So, Oliver saying he loves every version of her, and will be with her no matter what, is exactly what Felicity needs to hear. Oliver is giving Felicity the same love, trust and belief she’s always given him. This is the kind of husband and superhero she deserves. 
*  *  *
Mr. Let’s Lay off the Public Displays of Affection doesn’t seem to mind at all. Oliver has no problem with PDA. It just depends who he’s PDA-ing with.
*  *  *
Felicity has always believed in Oliver’s light. She’s always seen the hero Oliver truly is and his ability to inspire hope. Her belief is what made Oliver believe. He became that man because Felicity Smoak loves him.
*  *  *
This is why the unconditional love they share with each other is so important. Even among “friends” Oliver is treated with condemnation and judgment. Felicity is a rare gift and Oliver knows it. So, he chooses to give her the same unconditional love she’s given him. Oliver experiences the loneliness of judgment and never wants Felicity to feel alone with him. This is how you bridge the gap and build a marriage which will last until “death do us part.”
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The theme for this year’s crossover is “Trash Oliver Queen.” It was two hours of nonstop dragging. 
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It is so bad it became distracting. I couldn’t appreciate some of the genuinely funny moments because I was too busy fuming. 
*  *  *
Alright, this was a tiny bit funny, but why are we rehashing the Sarah/Oliver/Laurel debacle? IT WAS TEN YEARS AGO. 
*  *  *
This is all an effort cast Oliver in a terrible light, while K*ra and B*rry gloat over it because he’s Gandhi and she’s Mother Theresa. Here’s a hot tip: If you are trying to get Arrow fans to watch the other shows then don’t insult their favorite characters.
*  *  *
The Oliver being described in this year’s crossover hasn’t been around since Season 3. In fact, it feels like neither The Fl*sh nor S*pergirl writers watched an Arrow episode after 3x02. I am willing to acknowledge Oliver has some anger, but he has not been controlled by it or fueled by it for YEARS. I’m not talking a few episodes or a season. I’m talking actual years of character growth being ignored to write this bullshit. SEVEN YEARS to be exact.
*  *  *
Oliver is defined by the love he has for his wife, son, team and city. This is a man who is willing to sacrifice everything for the people and city he loves. If Oliver was merely fueled by anger and vengeance he would have been done or dead years ago.
*  *  *
And yet, despite everything Oliver suffered, he retained his goodness. He fought his way back from the depths of hell and held onto his humanity. He found a way to love and hope again. Oliver Queen is a miracle.
*  *  *
Frankly, this year’s crossover feels like a retreaded ground. This argument B*rry is light and Oliver is dark was one made in the first Arrow/Fl*sh crossover. Both men had to learn and appreciate the kind of hero the other was. All the lessons B*rry and Oliver are learning this year are ones they’ve already learned. Only this time B*rry and Oliver have to switch lives. This is what running out of ideas looks like.
*  *  *
I mean, come on y’all. They actually had a scene where B*rry is held hostage, but convinces Oliver not to kill Deegan because “there’s a better way.” 
*  *  *
WE. DID. THIS. EXACT. SCENE. IN. SEASON. 2.
*  *  *
Arrow has been moving Oliver toward a more defined moral code. He’s becoming the light for Star City. However, everyone acting like there’s been no character growth in this man for the last 7 years simply to sell this “Oliver is going to die” storyline in the crossovers is pure madness.
*  *  *
Are they going to kill Oliver? Yes, but it won’t be permanent. I mean, just say it out loud with me and you’ll hear how ludicrous this sounds.

Oliver dies during the “Crisis of Infinite Earths” or sooner. Felicity raises their children on her own. Star City goes to hell in a hand basket in 20 years. Felicity becomes an evil super villain determined to destroy the city and then she’s murdered. 

HERE ENDETH THE SHOW.
*  *  *
No. Absolutely not. I reject all this entirely. This is what Arrow (and the crossovers) are telling us happened, but these are same people who said Oliver is all darkness. So pardon me if I find their word suspect.
*  *  *
I believe there’s a high likelihood Season 8 could be Arrow’s finale season. In the midst of all this trashing of Oliver Queen, there also seems to be a consistent “passing of the guard” mentality. B*rry and K*ra are the heroes the world needs and Oliver is a piece of crap that kills people with arrows. It’s all in an effort to disentangle the Arrowverse from Arrow and Oliver Queen. Then they re-center it around B*rry All*n.
*  *  *
He wants to hang up the hood and live in peace with his family. The point of the “Elseworlds” promise is for Oliver to sacrifice his happy ending so the world can have the true heroes like B*rry and K*ra fighting for it. However, Oliver sacrificing his happy ending proves he’s just as selfless a hero as they are. But balance I guess.
*  *  *
The fact they are threatening to kill Oliver so early is good for us. We always want the premiere and mid season to be a shit show, so we can get a happier ending in the finale. Consider the last time Oliver “died.” 
*  *  *
So, it’s tough for me to see death as the ending for Oliver Queen. Yes, it’s possible. I won’t deny that, but I feel it is the more unlikely scenario. Particularly since the writers are heavily hinting at Oliver’s death and want us to be worried about it.
*  *  *
Joe Wilson is a scarier villain in the two minutes he had on screen than Diaz has been in a season and a half.

Edited by tv echo
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Does anyone know why jbuffyangel puts asterisks for vowels in people’s names? I noticed it with Laurel before, but I assumed that was because SHE’S NOT LAUREL. But she’s done it with Barry and Kara, too. Is it so people searching those names won’t find her stuff?

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7 minutes ago, bethy said:

Does anyone know why jbuffyangel puts asterisks for vowels in people’s names? I noticed it with Laurel before, but I assumed that was because SHE’S NOT LAUREL. But she’s done it with Barry and Kara, too. Is it so people searching those names won’t find her stuff?

She does it with the other show names as well, so yes, I believe you are right.  

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‘Arrow’: In Defense of Oliver Queen

Lynsey Neill     December 12, 2018

https://www.purefandom.com/2018/12/12/arrow-in-defense-of-oliver-queen/ 

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Ah, crossovers. How we love you. We love the endless bonding moments between our favorite heroes, and we love that big inevitable superhero team up.

Unfortunately, sometimes when said heroes are featured on other shows that are not their own, things can get problematic. Either their character is written out of character (OOC), or their characterization is completely mishandled.

This seemed to be the case for Arrow‘s Oliver Queen during the three night Elseworlds crossover. If you don’t watch Arrow and only experience him in the crossovers, I’m sure you see nothing wrong with this portrayal.

But as an avid Arrow fan, I am pleased to report that the Oliver Queen you witnessed and heard characterized, is not the Oliver Queen I have watched for seven years. Here’s why:

Seven years of development

I think it is a safe assumption that Oliver has changed and grown in some way through out the course of his show, which is now on its seventh season. But hey, I have no control if the external factors that be choose to ignore that. However, I can control how I respond to it, and I respond by saying: NOPE.

Sorry, Oliver is not this rage-filled person who puts his arrows in everyone who pisses him off. I even argue that he wasn’t like that in season 1 (but it’s debatable). Oliver has always been calculated and determined to get justice. And in season 1, he did things much differently than he does things now.

He killed people on Lian Yu, and he killed people when he returned home. But he doesn’t do that now. Do you want Oliver Queen to pay for those sins? You do? Great! Because he does. On his own show. Watch it, it’s good.

Darkness

During the crossover, someone described Oliver’s motivations for heroism as “completely defined by anger [and] vengeance.” Could this mischaracterization have been intentional? I’m going to go with no considering no one else tries to counter that point, including Oliver himself.

This statement basically sums up everyone’s attitude towards Oliver in Elseworlds. Thankfully, I have actually watched Arrow so I can recognize that this is the furthest from the truth. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t compelled to pull my hair out in the process.

***

Barry Allen

Because Barry and Oliver body swapped the main comparison of heroism was between these two. There was a lot of propping Barry up and putting Oliver down.

Since when is Barry the only one that inspires? Or represents the best in humanity? Oliver went through hell, and instead of becoming a useless alcoholic lump that he had every reason to be, he fought for Star City. And he still fights for it, and inspires people to do the same.

***

Do better

All I ask is we don’t have a fundamental misunderstanding of one of the main characters when they crossover. And if they do, it gets addressed, and they are put in there place.

Also, treat Oliver Queen better. Admittedly, he has had a far different hero journey than Barry and Kara. But can we treat that as a strength and not as a weakness?

Thanks.

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Even though it's the review for the Supergirl hour of the Crossover, it's mostly a defense of Oliver. I'm glad to see some reviewers objecting to his characterization in the crossover as much as the fans have.

‘SUPERGIRL’ 4×09 REVIEW: ELSEWORLDS, PART 3

Posted on December 12, 2018 By Alyssa Barbieri

http://fangirlish.com/supergirl-4x09-review-elseworlds-part-3/  

Quote

As a fan of all these DC television shows, I understand the hype and thrill that comes with these annual crossovers. Bringing together prominent figures in DC Comics for these epic battles pulled right from the comics. Allowing these characters to interact in a way that feels epic beyond belief.

But there’s also a fundamental problem with these crossover events that perhaps reared its ugly head in the most obvious way in Elseworlds.

These writers don’t understand these characters.

And I don’t know why I’m surprised. These aren’t the typical show writers. They might think they know these characters on the surface, but they really don’t understand all of the growth and maturation they’ve gone through, how they’ve changed. Not to mention this storyline is already in place, already planned, and they basically write the characters in as they need them to operate. A storyline shouldn’t dictate a story. The characters always should.

Again, it’s nothing new, not really. The only thing these crossover events care about are big storylines, big fights, big names, and big numbers. That’s it. Never mind the cast of characters that define certain shows and the certain title heroes that lead this crossover. Never mind undermining the maturation and journey of a hero from darkness to light because it’s the easy thing to do. Never mind disrespecting two prominent female characters for reasons that are purely idiotic and the result of a severely bruised male ego.

Every part of this crossover has managed to disrespect one or more characters. In The Flash’s hour, it was Iris West-Allen. In Arrow’s hour, it was Felicity Smoak-Queen. In Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl, it was Oliver Queen.

I understand that a crossover event is a reason to go bigger than ever before. To introduce new layers, new characters, and new heroes. But it doesn’t need to do it at the expense of its preexisting characters. It’s blatantly obvious that the writers of the crossover don’t watch these shows regularly. If they do, they really don’t pay attention. Because they don’t understand these characters at all. (Well, at least in Elseworlds Part 3 they understood the importance of Kara and Alex’s relationship.)

It sucks because I really do look forward to these crossover events, and I did enjoy a good portion of this year’s. But it’s always the disrespecting or underutilization or ignoring completely of important characters that manages to take a little something away from it.

***

Elseworlds, You Have Failed Oliver Queen

If there was one thing that was consistent about this Elseworlds crossover it was that all three parts found some way to disrespect Oliver Queen. But perhaps none more so than the finale, which managed to weave Oliver as a man that isn’t recognized as a hero and spews filth from his mouth relating to others inspiring hope and being better than him.

“You don’t have to channel your darkness. You can be better. Maybe that’s the whole point?”

Can we stop with recycled speeches? Because the original was better when Felicity delivered it on numerous occasions. This storyline isn’t accurate with what’s going on with Oliver’s journey on Arrow right now. This is a path he’s already traveled, already bested.

Can we stop with this whole “Oliver is darkness” shit? While that was certainly true in seasons 1-5, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Oliver has already found a way to stop channeling his darkness, to embrace his humanity, and find a better way to execute as the Green Arrow.

Oliver’s already been on this journey, and if the writers had watched Arrow seasons 1-7, they’d recognize that. Instead, they took actual Oliver Queen out of reality and replaced him with an older version of himself because it fit their narrative. Another example of how these writers don’t put characters first. They use them as they like. But given who wrote this story, it’s no surprise, really.

Don’t get me started on Oliver talking about Kara and Barry being the only heroes that inspire hope. That they’re the best of humanity.

Come the fuck on. These writers are messed up. Oliver Queen does not deserve this level of disrespect. Why are Kara and Barry the best of humanity? Because they didn’t go through literal hell on Earth? Because they’re the lighthearted ones? Heroes sacrifice. Heroes fight. Heroes protect. And whatever happened to them in the past doesn’t define them. So excuse me if I don’t believe for one second that Oliver Queen isn’t a hero that inspires hope or a hero that represents the good in humanity.

I’ll be the first to admit that Oliver is far from perfect. He can be selfish, careless, overbearing, and frankly make some downright stupid decisions. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s spent these past seven seasons sacrificing his own happiness to save people. That he’s sacrificed relationships, lost countless loved ones, and all for a city that when it learned he was the Green Arrow locked him up for it. But here he is again, released from prison, still fighting to save them. Now tell me that’s not a fucking hero right there.

“I’m not as good as you think I am, but because of you I think I will get there someday.”

I’m sorry, when did Barry Allen become the one that harnesses the light inside of Oliver? When did Oliver himself believe that? What the hell is wrong with these writers?

Let’s just completely ignore Felicity Smoak-Queen, his wife, who single handedly has saved him from the brink of himself several times over. Felicity, who is the light that guides his way. Felicity, the one where “love” is too small a word to describe how Oliver feels about her.

Perhaps the one thing this crossover got right about Oliver — besides his undying love for his wife — was that he once again helped save the day. For all this talk about Kara and Barry being the ones that inspire hope, Oliver sure as hell did, too.

***

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I was listening to the Tee Vee review of the crossover and one of the points they made that I hadn’t heard before was that Oliver keeping the body switch from Felicity was shorthand for the non-Arrow viewers. Instead of just saying there is tension in their marriage, it was a way to show the kind of crap Felicity always has to deal with when it comes to him. I still don’t like it, but now I understand it a bit more from a writing point of view.

(It’s under “Tee Vee” on iTunes or here: https://www.theincomparable.com/teevee/511/)

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18 Character Exits That Hurt The Arrowverse (And 7 That Need To Go)
BY BEC HEIM – ON DEC 16, 2018
https://screenrant.com/arrowverse-character-exits-hurt-needed/

Quote

25 NEEDS TO GO: RICARDO DIAZ (KIRK ACEVEDO)
...
A problem with a lot of bad guys across the Arrowverse is that they tend to be too much. While we understand the need for a strong bad guy to match wits with the heroes, there is such a thing as being too strong. Ricardo Diaz is definitely one of those chess masters. Known as the Dragon, he seemed to be ten steps ahead of Oliver (Stephen Amell) and his crew. And even when he was down, he always seemed to have the advantage.

Currently, he resides in Slabside Prison. Though, we have to wonder how long that will be for. If he returns, then let him be brought down a little, but for now, he should stay gone.
*  *  *
16 HURT: PROMETHEUS/ADRIAN CHASE (JOSH SEGARRA)
...
Easily one of the best villains that Arrow produced, Prometheus was a terror to behold during season five of the show; part of it comes from the fact that there was a dry spell of weak Big Bad's. Fearsomely competent, a planner, and ready to take revenge on Oliver, Prometheus never crossed the line into ludicrously overpowered.

Unfortunately, it was a shame that it ended on the final act of his plan to cause Oliver pain. The aftereffects of Prometheus’ reign are still being felt today on the show, which is the mark of a great villain. 
*  *  *
14 HURT: DEATHSTROKE/SLADE WILSON (MANU BENNETT)
...
Deathstroke is one of the best Big Bad's to come out of the Arrowverse as a whole. Played with fierce intensity by Manu Bennett, Slade Wilson is everything you want in bringing a classic character to life. While most Big Bad's tend to focus on the big picture: dominating the city, ruling the world, etc, what makes Slade (and Prometheus) work so well is that he focuses on making Oliver’s life difficult.

He doesn’t want to rule or to dominate, he wants to eliminate Oliver Queen and his world, which is the sweetest thing he could think of. When he left permanently, it was definitely a sad end.

Edited by tv echo

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Long AS interview from two months ago - mostly personal, non-Arrow talk...

Curious Radio #068 When you know, you know with Andrea Sixtos
Published on Oct 15, 2018, by Curious Radio

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9 hours ago, tv echo said:

25 NEEDS TO GO: RICARDO DIAZ (KIRK ACEVEDO)
...
A problem with a lot of bad guys across the Arrowverse is that they tend to be too much. While we understand the need for a strong bad guy to match wits with the heroes, there is such a thing as being too strong. Ricardo Diaz is definitely one of those chess masters. Known as the Dragon, he seemed to be ten steps ahead of Oliver (Stephen Amell) and his crew. And even when he was down, he always seemed to have the advantage.

Currently, he resides in Slabside Prison. Though, we have to wonder how long that will be for. If he returns, then let him be brought down a little, but for now, he should stay gone.

Yes, he needs to go but their reason is not why or at least not well explained why he needs to go.  Chase was ridiculously 10 steps ahead as well but DIaz is not a chess master, his plans hinged things poofing into place with no work or explanation or on so many lucky coincidences that can't be explained or counted on without a a genie on command to make such things happen. 

And his motivations rarely make sense and of course half what he says is lost in mumble growl and he's just not a menacing presence on screen because of all the silly, unbelievable stuff that happens to make it possible for him to come out ahead when it's clear he's NOT a strong threat without constantly being lucky.  I'd better buy into Diaz as a villain if he was a meta with a gift of luck.    Because there's no way anything they've shown of him will convince me he's just that good.  lol.  

Edited by BkWurm1
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