Join us for a drink… OTP – Olicity, Arrow, and More!

5 May

OTP – or One True Pairing – is a fandom term used to denote pairings fans believe are the best couples. This occurs throughout fandom mediums – television shows, books, movies…even “real life people”. In most fandoms, there are fanfics that are written by the fans in order to tell a story, the way they see fit. To be honest, some of the fics are quite well-written with compelling stories. Others… not so much (off-topic, but recently there was an announcement of a “One Direction” fanfic that was being published… excerpts of the book were released as well… it was painful drivel). But these fics also allow for fans to have their OTP as they see fit… something that may go against what the writers of a show or the author of a book series may want (for now anyway).   

Personally, I am a Spuffy or a Spander, depending on my mood. I ‘ship Trip & T’pol, Becker & Jess, and Olicity is my OTP. (I’m not sure who my OTP is for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., for the record) Most of those pairings are over- some were canon or at least implied canon, others were just me having fun, but my current OTP obsession is Olicity – the pairing of Oliver and Felicity of Arrow.

There is a beautiful chemistry between the pair- similar to the early years of Smallville between Chloe and Clark… though I never wanted them together (I enjoyed that Chloe ended up with that series’ incarnation of Oliver Queen). I deeply in my bones want Olicity to happen. And the writers know it- they even give us little hints! But alas even if it is to be eventually, today is not that day. I persevere! And I hope and want and wait (impatiently).

 

Olicity- Amell

To quote myself- “They’re not giving it to me on the show, but I want it!” (This was said during the WonderCon panel)

So, today I want to sit down with a frequent partner in crime and fellow Olicity fan – Charity – and discuss the appeal.

Elizabeth Ann – Hey, Charity, how are things today?

Charity Tran – Things are great! I started the day with a work out and didn’t manage to look as cool as Oliver, Sara, or Felicity. But I am very glad to be back on the computer and talking about OTPs! I have several depending on the show – Tiva (NCIS), Jeff x Britta (Community), Buffy x Xander (don’t even get me started with what happened in the Buffy comics).and, of course, Olicity! Olicity was even worthy of me spending time making a shirt design!

Had an unintentional Stephen Amell fangirl day when I wore Charity's Olicity shirt...

Had an unintentional Stephen Amell fangirl day when I wore Charity’s Olicity shirt…

EA – Ugh! I forgot about Tiva- probably because I’m still annoyed with how it was handled. And you know I love that shirt! Sounds like you’ve had a pretty active day- can’t say the same, just work work work. I’d so much rather think about OTP than do paperwork! So let me ask you- what is the draw of the OTP, in general?

CT – There’s naturally the romance aspect – depending on what you consider to be a good romance/good pairing and why. I think we gravitate to stories we like, but also ones that we can identify with or want to identify with/have in our lives. Maybe it’s because we see ourselves in a character for various reasons and would love to end up with the other character ourselves. Maybe it’s because we see something in that pairing that we think is important. Maybe it’s because we can’t help but compare our favorite pairing with what’s canon and think we’re right or we’re “so sure OUR OTP should be end game”. Of course, not everyone agrees on pairings – plenty of “shipper wars” and anti-shippers exist to sometimes stir the pot in unfortunate ways – but even that solidifies you a bit to your own OTP because you need to fight/argue/analyze for it. What do you think?

tumblr_n0hla1FB3d1tntfako1_250EA – I think you hit the nail on the head with seeing “ourselves in a character for various reasons and would love to end up with the other character ourselves”. Even if, say, the OTP we ship is a different gender – there are still pieces of ourselves that fit with the characters. Identifying with a character connects us to the story, overall, but also may help us to recognize pieces of ourselves.

CT – Oh totally. When I shipped Buffy with Xander, it wasn’t because I identified with Buffy so much as I did with Xander. His character is clearly more “regular human” who really cares about the heroine and I wanted that to mean more to her in a romantic partner, someone who didn’t need to be all crazy vampire strong, because she already had that for herself. In terms of Olicity, as a self-identified techie girl who loves Penelope Garcia (Criminal Minds), I was very drawn to Felicity for the same reasons. A strong female character that is smart and knows technology? I’m all for that. So I naturally want her to end up with this great-looking guy/hero in that frame of mind. So while I’m kind of saying by identifying with Felicity, I wouldn’t mind ending up with Oliver Queen played by very good-looking Stephen Amell myself, that’s not really why I consider them an OTP. I want her to end up with him because the show writers clearly present her to be the one who understands him the best from both sides of his life. And I think that’s important for both her emotional investment and what he needs in a longer-term partner. What were your thoughts on Olicity and any of his other relationships so far?

EA – I similarly always have Xander in my OTP because of his human-ness… Not only does he not have the super powers, but he sees the world in a different way than Buffy or the other supernatural characters did. Even when he started with a very black and white view, he matured to understand the greys and thus, it was easier for me, as a viewer to connect to him. He deserved to be happy! (I will not mention the comics either for they squick me) An excellent segue, by the way, to the topic of Olicity. Let’s be honest, what woman would not want to end up with Oliver Queen (or at least Stephen Amell)? I mean… yes. But he’s damaged by the traumas he has endured and that makes him a much more… interesting character. It also makes him a difficult person to connect with. Felicity has been the only female character to develop a truly deep connection because a) she doesn’t have a history of him and b) she forced her way in and wouldn’t allow him to try to shut her out. He’s tried- and she’s gotten right up in his face, on the verge of tears, and denied him or argued with him. Takes guts. And yes, I too identify with her as a tech and a nerd girl. Great to see women like me on TV (Penelope is also a fave!)… And to see them not only be friends with the hot guy (not just helping him with his homework…), respected for her brain and skills, and treated as an equal. Oliver is definitely interested- the writers have given us that moment… but he’s afraid, I feel. And in that way he’s a coward. I am trying so hard right now not to scream about the Olicity moment that didn’t happen in Arrow ep 21…

CT – I’m right there with you on the recent Arrow episode.  It seemed like the perfect time – when stakes were so high – to reveal the Olicity card.  I mean, we all knew his sacrifice wasn’t going to follow through (for obvious reasons), but in terms of the show – Oliver wasn’t supposed to know that.  He really thought it was going to all end. And under that kind of stress, it just made sense that he’d say or do something to say good-bye to her in particular.  I remember us joking earlier about how that was such a long Olicity conversation and we were wondering why Diggle didn’t yell out – like the rest of us probably did at the TV – “KISS HER!”

olicity- diggle

EA – I know I yelled it! Or why didn’t she kiss him goodbye, at least? Even Chloe kissed Clark at the end of Smallville season 5 when it looked like the end of the world and she didn’t know if she’d ever see him again. I mean… come on! Oliver had declared – and nothing Felicity of Diggle said could convince him otherwise – that he was going to sacrifice himself in order to stop Slade Wilson from hurting anyone else. Who does such a “heroic” thing without kissing the girl? That’s just… UGH! I kind of wanted to throttle him!  The character probably thought it was nobler because if they kissed it would hurt her more to lose him. Stupid male! And then, of course, to have Laurel now know the secret and tell him that she knew… this is going to throw another wrench in my Olicity because Oliver was afraid of Laurel’s reaction to him being the vigilante. But she didn’t appear to have a negative reaction. So obviously, in his head he can now think about the possibility of a relationship with her… But just because Laurel knows does not mean she understands him…

arrow-372CT – I think while Felicity could have kissed him good-bye, the ball has always been in Oliver’s court based on the series so far.  She calls him out on the women he’s had in his life since she’s known him – so it’s not about her being honest.  I think if I were her and if he wasn’t going to do it when it mattered the most, then it would always be a lie somehow, if that makes sense?  As for Oliver not kissing her, I think you’re right on track as to why.  One of Oliver’s problems is that he constantly thinks he needs to withhold the truth and that – because he wants to keep people safe – he tries not to do anything that might hurt them.  They definitely played that scene close though – I seriously thought at any second he was going to kiss her…and it did not happen.  So I yelled at the TV too.   As for Laurel, I really hope they’re not going to pursue that as a romantic relationship again.  First off, he was with Sara for a good portion of this season and, instead of it being under the radar and stupid prior to the boating accident, this has been a pretty real go at it.  But I have issues with Laurel in general.  I know what I’m supposed to believe she is – troubled, recovering alcoholic, wants to do good inevitably – but I have a hard time believing that because her transitions have been too simple for me to believe and really empathize with her.  I think “empathy” is a good word, I really just don’t really feel like I’m in her court – character life, shipping, or otherwise.

EA – You make a good point- it needed to be him. Doesn’t stop me from wanting to yell at her, too, though. And I very much agree- there is no way to have a relationship with Laurel be organic at this point. At the earliest – if that’s what the writers want to go back to – it would be early midseason next year. This season… there is way too much with Sara, Laurel’s problems, Ollie’s issues, etc., for them to work through it between now and the end of the season to have there be ANY depth, emotion, organic build, etc. Also, it would piss me off. And I also agree this whole magic turnaround of Laurel’s… it’s bullshit. I’m not even trying for realism- letting my entire career as a therapist to people with substance abuse problems aside. I’m strictly talking about even in fiction land, she has one argument with an ex-boyfriend, goes to one meeting, and the very next episode I’m supposed to believe she is hunky-dory? Won’t even mention that alcohol withdrawal causes the DTs and is generally recommended to be medically managed… nor that she was popping pills right and left and likely did plenty of damage to the chemical levels in her brain… even on a short-term, that requires time to adjust back to norm- if it ever happens! Ugh… I went to realism, didn’t I? Sorry. But… I cannot empathize with her at all. I have absolutely no connection to her. She was a decent character in season 1, with Tommy. In season 2, Laurel isn’t even a shadow of a character. Let’s bring it back to happier topics… how would you like to see Olicity happen? What would the organic path be for you?

CT – I’m all with you on the Laurel points and let’s aim for something happier.  I’m a big fan of understated moments, so I wouldn’t mind if it was something kind of simple…since it’s been simmering. But – of course – this is TV, so it’s probably going to be a big “The moment you’ve been waiting for…” how-to-do.  If they’re going to keep going with the “will they, won’t they” then I think Felicity should have a real relationship – not a “this guy I’m sort of seeing who is in a coma and will become the Flash” business, but like really have her dating someone.  Oliver was already jealous with the other situation so I’d be interested in seeing the every day real deal, since Felicity has had to sit through him dating Sara and Laurel and see him hook up with – Gross! Gross! – Isabel!  But I want it to be something that we see as part of the show, so also none of this “they end up together in the last episode of the series” business either.  I think I have more “not this” than anything!  How would you like it to happen?

Amell tells it like it is! #Olicity 4-ever!

Amell tells it like it is! #Olicity 4-ever!

EA – OMG! You mentioned the Isabel thing- ew! I feel dirty now. *shudder* I agree about her needing a real relationship – I absolutely adored jealous Ollie. It demonstrated that he actual feelings for her, even if he did not truly understand them yet. So, yes… in order to get my true Olicity, I want her to have a boyfriend. Coma boy doesn’t count. I wouldn’t mind actually getting a moment of Olicity in the season finale though. Not asking for something big – no declarations or anything – but it’d be nice to have more moments. Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards are just lovely together. To be honest, the only other character I’ve liked Oliver with at this point is McKenna. She could’ve been good for him; however, it ran its course.

CT – Apologies for the Isabel mention and a definite YES for a real Olicity moment in the finale.  I wouldn’t mind if it was just like a hand hold or extended hug kind of thing that makes them pause.  Amell and Rickards do understated so well too – I think that’s why I want it to sort of just be sweet and just kind of happen, rather than some kind of crazy passionate thing (though there should be some of that too!).  I’d be interested in seeing what kind of person they might pair her off with if they do give her a non-Oliver real relationship in the interim.  I think Oliver was jealous of Barry because he was the anti-Oliver in a number of ways, a person he couldn’t be.  He relies on Felicity so much for her intelligence – which is one of the sexiest things about their friendship and hopefully would-be romantic relationship – so I think seeing her attracted to a pretty smart guy intimidated him and I wonder if that’s also why he is hesitant to go down that path because he thinks she needs/wants someone like that.

download

EA – You make an interesting argument – does he believe he could ever truly be her equal? He believes he is broken, and thus she is too good for him. He knows he has done bad things (though with good intentions) and that makes her too good for him. He knows she is, in her own words- a genius, and he dropped out of 4 Ivy League schools (and we have no evidence that anything other than his family’s money got him in to those schools). But he isn’t stupid. He is quite intelligent. But it is enough to make him worthy? I think so. I think they counterbalance each other nicely: she has the book smarts, he the streets. She is the light to his dark. It will be (and already is) a great pairing. In the meantime… I would like to see someone from her past. We don’t have much about her background- though apparently her mom was a waitress in Vegas… How about someone she knew in college? The professor she crushed on, maybe… a few years older than she? Someone her intellectual equal would be nice for a while, but ultimately boring. So it would be a good stepping stone to incite Oliver’s jealousy and fan the flames of Olicity.

olicity- diggle 2

CT – I think the Olicity relationship is interesting in terms of shifting dynamics depending on how you look at it.  I think he sees her as a partner and an equal in one sense.  I don’t necessarily think he frames it as “too good for him” – but I think the stakes might be too high (because they’re friends) and too different (because she’s so different from other women in his life).  Look at his past relationships – he’s been an unfaithful guy (esp. to Laurel historically) or attracted to women who are aggressive/tough fighters…who I think he thinks he can’t really hurt because they have a distance/wall too.  I think part of his ability to be more open with Felicity is that she is this “bare your soul/heart on your sleeve” kind of person, even when she doesn’t mean to be.  He can’t help but be pulled into that, but he’s hyper aware of it and reacts to that in different ways.  Laurel, arguably, is kind of like that in her chaotic way, but I think it’s easy to see their relationship as having already been tainted by the Oliver he used to be and – up until recently – the Arrow side of himself he hid away.  He hasn’t “damaged” Felicity.  In fact, the last episode gave this impression that in a lot of ways he’s elevated her (in addition to saving her multiple times).  So there’s like this mutual respect that I think he covets because he has nothing else like it.  So maybe if he doesn’t want to ruin that and it’s even more troublesome if he perceives that he doesn’t really have a choice anyway because [insert Felicity love interest who is probably really smart].  I think it’d be great if it was someone from her past.  I love things like that and we definitely don’t get enough backstory for her.

EA – Bring on the backstory!  Additionally, not only is the Laurel thing tainted by Oliver he used to be, there’s the ghost of Tommy between them. To ignore that would be a HUGE mistake. Felicity… isn’t perfect. But she is real. She isn’t the fantasy. She isn’t a superhero (which so many of his ladies have been). She is a real flesh and blood human (you know, for a fictional character) and she is empowered by her emotions and the connections they give her. Sure, she’s all about the Salmon Ladder and his abs (seriously, who isn’t?) but she has always seen who he can be and seeks to elevate him to that. So yeah, he has elevated her – but she did it first. From her first scene, there has been a spark – she cannot be another notch on his bedpost. And hopefully when he is finally comfortable with all the parts of himself, he’ll see her for everything she is… and our Olicity desire will finally be realized. Speaking of Arrow pairings… what is your thought on Roy & Thea?

tumblr_mhsfifTczK1qb9n2vo1_500CT – I feel like the impact of Tommy’s death has been overshadowed by Laurel’s personal drama.  I realize that it’s part of her drama, but everything else seems to be louder and more annoying and Tommy is only mentioned when he needs to be.  But, yes, it is the ghost between them and so I hope they don’t bring us back to Oliver and Laurel for that reason too.  As for Roy and Thea – I totally ship them.  Up until the Mirakuru business they were doing so well (sans Roy’s obsession with the Arrow…and look where that led him!).  I really feel for Thea because she’s a victim of so many lies at this point and she’s lost so much.  At the same time, she’s so incredibly strong.  I think she’s holding out hope for Roy – she still has their picture on her phone in the last episode – and she has always believed in him.  I hope that carries them through…and, you know, a cure.

EA – I think they had Tommy’s ghost as part of the story for that first episode of season 2 and then yeah, everything else overshadowed it. Which is unfair to Tommy. I also ship Thea and Roy- they have another counterbalance relationship. Or they did before the Mirakuru. Here’s hoping the cure is found and he can be helped. And that what they have can be saved!

CT – I really want Tommy back in flashback/ghost form.  A) Because I miss seeing Colin Donnell and B) Because it really does seem like he’s been forgotten unless it’s convenient to bring up…and he’s such an important character.  Quite frankly, sometimes I get tired of those island flashbacks – even if they do connect to the present-day – because so much of the show’s best momentum is what is happening now even if it is connected to the past.  Oooh – something we haven’t touched on is the reveal that somewhere in the world Oliver has a kid!  That’s too good for them not to bring in later.  Thoughts?

EA – More Tommy would be fabulous! How long is Colin’s commitment to “Violet”? I am currently watching season 1 again and it makes me miss him and his character. I enjoyed the recent flashbacks- not to the island but to Oliver’s past pre-island. Was a nice change up. Oliver did say that he wasn’t on the island for the entire five years – I look forward to seeing where else he was. But yes, sometimes the island can be a bit tedious. Changing gears – YES, Oliver has a 6 ½ (or so) year old kid somewhere. No point in bringing this up to us in a flashback (except as a connection between Moira and Oliver) unless as some point in the future this is going to come back to bite us all in the ass. I look forward to the conflict it brings. Perhaps it’ll be one of those final nails in the Laurel/Oliver coffin- especially when she does the math and realizes they were hot and heavy at the same time.

CT – I could see them doing that! Maybe they’ll get closer and then the kid comes into the picture.  I could also see with Moira’s passing (sob! I hope she lives on in many flashbacks!) that it’s the perfect time to bring the former fling/mother of his child back into the picture or at least that somehow he finds out about his kid.  Given that he has no more money, it will hopefully not have anything to do with money.  Of course, I think Felicity would be totally comfortable with the kid, while still being all kinds of awkward and too honest about him having one –  “Did you know you had a mini-you running around…and are there others we should know about…?”

EA – Haha! I would love awkward Felicity explaining to Oliver that he has a kid. (And yeah, there are probably others…) And she would be very comfortable with the kid… We’ve seen Laurel with kids and she’s been fine but I think with his kid, who was conceived during their relationship, she would be angry and that would be something that she couldn’t truly hide. Though we have never seen Felicity with a kid, her personality is one that I think would be great with a kid. Kids are also very honest, without a filter… So I want to bring up something… someone we haven’t touched on yet- how fricking awesome is Officer Lance? Paul Blackthorne is a delight! An excellent member of the show- he better survive the season finale!

CT – I love him.  I love the strength of his character and his conviction.  The strongest people are the ones willing to admit that they’re wrong and do what they need to do for good and for right – and he’s that kind of guy.  He went from being determined to catch the Vigilante to working side-by-side with him.  He was so forgiving of Sara and understanding of her…and Laurel! I really hope he stays on – I really enjoy Blackthorne’s performance in this role.  Returning to our talk about empathy and characters.  He’s someone you empathize with so when his character has gone through the stuff that he has – you believe it.

EA – I love Paul Blackthorne’s performance and character so much. And yes, unlike the path and character of Laurel, I am completely invested in Lance. The character growth has been very organic; the changes he made – from being an alcoholic to becoming sober and being in a support group, for one – haven’t occurred in a split second but over time. Not to mention that the emotions presented are relatable because they make sense. I love that he’s seen that maybe following the letter of law isn’t always the best way to save the city. And who hasn’t hoped that they would be able to save that old relationship – i.e. his marriage with Dinah – once they deal with some of the issues? Oh, my heart hurt watching Lance’s face fall when it turned out she had a boyfriend!

Salvation

CT – My heart broke for him when he heard that – especially because as an audience member you could totally tell it was coming. I really want Dinah to come back though.  I have an eternal love for Alex Kingston since her amazing performance in The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders and, of course, her subsequent roles in ERDoctor Who, and that most excellent guest spot on NCIS.  More Dinah please!

EA – Yes, sometimes it is hard to be in the audience… we know, or at least have hints that should clue us in, things that are coming and going to affect our characters before they know. From the first moment John Barrowman was in a scene, it was clear that he was going to be a major player- you just don’t have him as a nothing, you know? And yes, more Dinah would be lovely. She brought a new element to Lance and Laurel in season 1 and her own energy revitalized the whole family in season 2. But oh lord… I so wanted to give Lance a hug after that dinner party.

Sacrifice

Not gonna lie… a favorite scene of season 1…

CT – Well, as we well know, John Barrowman can make the people of the world move heaven and earth…and it’s worth every step.  I really do like how the show utilizes guest actors/characters – for one episode or multi-episode arcs.  They’re not used lightly and it’s so well integrated with the main characters generally.  I admire that kind of thoughtfulness and tightness in the writing and the choice of actors.  Which reminds me that I am rather glad that Felicity did date Barry because that means Rickards might show up on The Flash!

EA – Yes, John Barrowman is a delight in all ways. *swoon* I also enjoy the guest characters- nice to see so many genre favorites appear. And as we’ve now had 3 characters from The Flash appear on Arrow I think it’s possible anyone could appear there- but definitely Felicity. And I think we are starting to go off-topic… wait, what was our original topic?… Anyways, perhaps this is a good end point. We must do this again!

 

YES YES YES! sigh

YES YES YES! sigh

 

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4 Responses to “Join us for a drink… OTP – Olicity, Arrow, and More!”

  1. lucky October 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    You’re a two face hypocrite when it comes to laurel.

    • elizabeth ann October 5, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

      OK… did you read this post? Because your comment makes no sense.

  2. lucky October 5, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    You are also a two face hypocrite when it comes to laurel and Oliver as a couple because of your jealousy and obsessions over Oliver and felicity being together.

    • elizabeth ann October 5, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

      Considering it is a post about our OTP Olicity, and we discuss why we dislike Laurel in season 2, I am not sure where you are getting “hypocrite” from.

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