The following contains detailed discussion of events that happened in the “Arrow” mid-season finale, “Dark Waters.” Spoilers follow.
They’re adorable together. They have wonderful onscreen chemistry. Everyone wants to see Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak tie the knot someday and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, this just isn’t destined to be.
Now, please understand this isn’t going to be the “He’s with Black Canary in the comics!” argument. Yes, for most of their history in the comics, Green Arrow and Black Canary have been an on-again/Off-again item, and eventually got married. Then the New 52 happened. In keeping with Dan DiDio’s moratorium against our heroes at DC Comics being able to have any sort of normal life at all, all past relationships were wiped from continuity. Barry Allen never married Iris West, Oliver and Dinah (Laurel) Lance have never had a romantic history, even the romantic history between Superman and Lois Lane was wiped from existence. Because of this, the argument that Oliver must end up with Laurel because comics just doesn’t hold water.
The mid-season finale of Arrow, entitled “Dark Waters,” saw fan favorite couple Oliver and Felicity get – finally – engaged. It then also saw Felicity almost immediately thereafter meet her demise – or at the very least, be severely injured – in an attack by season 4 main villain Damien Darhk. Maybe Felicity is dead, maybe she’ll pull through, we’ll all find out together in January. That is, however, irrelevant.
We were teased in the season opener with a funeral. We aren’t told who died, we only know that it was someone close to Oliver and at least acquainted with Barry “The Flash” Allen – which, just so we’re clear, could be almost any major Arrow character at this point. My first thought was that it was Detective Lance. I didn’t think, and still don’t, that Barry looked distraught enough for it to be Felicity, and I don’t see it being Thea or Laurel, and with Lance being revealed to be in cahoots with Darhk, it made sense.
Quentin Lance has sense redeemed himself for being briefly in cahoots with Darhk. I don’t feel like he has any sort of penance left to pay that would require his death for him to be redeemed. So, at least to me, it no longer makes sense for it to be Quentin in the grave. Maybe it is, it’s possible, but it’s not as much of a no-brainer to me as it was right after the season premiere.
If it does end up being Felicity, Barry’s reaction still doesn’t sit right with me, but maybe he’s had time to grieve already. Maybe he’s emotionally in shock. I don’t know. And maybe it isn’t Felicity at all. There are still plenty of people it could be in that grave, it doesn’t have to be Felicity, and Felicity could easily pull through from her injuries in “Dark Waters.” Again, all of that is irrelevant.
In the continuity Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg have created, this version of Green Arrow is very much a Batman analog. This has been a complaint by detractors of the series since the beginning, and they aren’t wrong. They’re wrong about it being a bad thing, but they aren’t wrong about it being a fact. Because of this, I just can’t see Oliver Queen getting a happily ever after. If he did, he wouldn’t have a reason to continue his crusade.
Think about where we met Oliver at the beginning of the season. He retired, he left Starling City, he and Felicity ran off to be happy together. He was brought back because the team needed him, but I think he and Felicity would have been happy living a civilian life, and I don’t see either of them wanting him to continue if they were to get married. Felicity wants her happily ever after. She wants a family and a normal life.
Because of this, Oliver and Felicity can’t end up together. Like Batman, Oliver continuing his crusade is dependent on tragedy. Once Oliver finds true happiness, which he has with Felicity, I don’t see him going on. Especially since he has a great team there to continue protecting the city.
Maybe I’m wrong. It’s happened before. The way I see it, this just ins’t meant to be. And just because the funeral is still several months, that doesn’t mean Felicity is out of the woods on her injuries. She could be in the hospital on life support for several more episodes, or she could even seem to recover and then some unknown internal injury could tragically take her out. We’ll just have to wait and see.