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The Long, Chaste Road to Wednesday Night’s Big ‘Olicity’ Moment on Arrow

Oliver goes in for the kiss. Photo: CW

Last night on Arrow, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and his trusted techno-whiz teammate, Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), took their friendship to a new level via a hubba-hubba sex scene. Predictably, “Olicity” fans, who’ve been waiting for this moment for nearly three years, are in states of catatonic bliss. But those who are only vaguely aware of Arrow (and have no idea what Olicity is) may be wondering what all the fuss is about.

For one, the pairing was never meant to happen. Felicity was originally intended to make a onetime appearance in the series’ third episode. But Rickards’s chemistry with Amell was sufficiently intense, so the writers immediately expanded her role, eventually having her become a full-time member of the Arrow’s team in the middle of season one. Second, in the Green Arrow comics, Oliver Queen’s destined love interest is Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). As the first season progressed, it became clear there was more heat between Amell and Rickards in a simple friendly shoulder touch than there was in a make-out scene with Amell and Cassidy. Essentially, Amell and Rickards’s onscreen connection was so strong, the show seemingly reversed course mid-series on the expected Oliver-Laurel romantic pairing.

But prior to this season, Olicity fans had to glom on to the most modest of interactions — a head tilt here, an intense stare there — to satisfy their ’shipping needs. But thanks to Amell and Rickards’s natural chemistry, even a brief elbow graze could raise temperatures. Here are the six best Olicity-centric Arrow episodes from seasons one and two (available now on Netflix).

“The Dodger” (Season 1, Episode 15)
Felicity starts officially working with the Arrow.

When Felicity uses her tech skills to electronically override the foundry locks to stop Oliver from hurting a widowed father, the two have a tense but surprisingly steamy exchange. (“You’re not the only one who knows how to reboot my system,” Oliver near-whispers in her ear as he unlocks the doors). It also sets up one of the best aspects of their dynamic: Felicity calling Oliver out on his messed-up vigilante view of the world, with Oliver eventually coming to his senses. Plus: Oliver gives a brief but noticeable eyebrow-raise at Felicity’s short hemline while tracking a thief who has stolen Oliver’s “family jewels.”

“The Undertaking” (Season 1, Episode 21)
The one where Oliver and Felicity become friends.

At this point, Felicity and Oliver are spending a lot of their nights together saving the city, so some cover story is needed. She starts as someone who is merely “setting up [his] internet,” but by episode’s end, after Felicity helps Oliver rescue his kidnapped stepfather, Oliver introduces his family to his “friend” Felicity — a more poignant moment than the Oliver-Laurel romantic scene that follows. Another highlight: Felicity goes undercover to infiltrate an underground casino, with the Arrow connected via earpiece. (“It feels really good having you inside me. And by you, I mean your voice. And by me, I mean my ear. I ought to stop talking. Right now.”)

“City of Heroes” (Season 2, Episode 1)
Things start to get physical.

Season one had a lot of double entendres, but season two kicks off with more than words: a sweaty, shirtless Oliver covering Felicity with his body to protect her from a landmine; a debonair, corporate Oliver grabbing her to jump through a glass window to avoid gunshots; a sweet, concerned Oliver gently moving Felicity’s hair away from her face after said jump to make sure she is okay. Olicity goes from quiet dream to remote possibility.

“State v. Queen” (Season 2, Episode 7)
Oliver kills for Felicity.

At the beginning of season two, Oliver vows to save the city without killing. But when a villain takes Felicity hostage and threatens to inject her with a dangerous drug, Oliver flips out and immediately shoots three arrows straight into the villain’s chest. His lack of hesitation and immediate attempt to reassure a shaken Felicity make Oliver’s feelings clear, even if he himself hasn’t caught on to them. Later, when Felicity tells Oliver she regrets putting him in a position where he had to choose to kill, Oliver takes her hand and tells her, simply, “He had you. He was going to hurt you.” Then, in a whisper, he adds, “There was no choice to make.” But no more is said, and Oliver walks away.

“Blast Radius” (Season 2, Episode 10)
Jealous Oliver learns to apologize.

Felicity takes a few days to visit her comatose love interest Barry Allen in Central City. When she returns, she mishandles an Arrow-related task, and a jealous Oliver quickly blames her “Central City” distraction. By episode’s end, Oliver apologizes to Felicity, admitting to her that he’s not used to relying on people as much as her. When she refers to herself as his employee, Oliver stops her: “You’re my partner.” As for the comatose Barry Allen, Oliver offers: “Well, maybe he’s dreaming about you.” Oliver’s sweet, hopeful tone suggests that Barry is not the only one. Cue smoldering shoulder touch.

“Streets of Fire” (Season 2, Episode 22)
Felicity and Oliver hug for the second time.

Although season two’s penultimate episode only provides a few Olicity moments, they’re memorable ones. First, after Arrow’s sidekick Diggle pulls an unconscious Felicity out of a crashed van, a limping Oliver, who can barely walk, insists on carrying her himself. Later, when Oliver starts to crack from self-doubt as the city delves into chaos, Felicity makes an impassioned speech in his defense. Rickards and Amell’s performances turns otherwise clichéd dialogue like “You are not alone” and “I believe in you” into a swoon-worthy scene. Felicity goes in for a hug and, for only the second time in two seasons, the usually stoic Oliver hugs her back.  Get a room, you crazy kids!

The Road to Last Night’s Big Moment on Arrow