Arrow has gotten pretty good at crafting cliffhangers over the years, with twists ranging from Oliver being skewered by Ra's al Ghul to Felicity getting shot to Starling City literally being destroyed by a supervillain's earthquake machine. Unfortunately, there is one moment that has left fans hanging for more than a year now: the very, very abrupt breaking off of Oliver and Felicity's engagement. Luckily, some light will soon be shed on the issue. Showrunner Marc Guggenheim teased this about an upcoming episode of Arrow:
One of the things that we've always wanted to do, and I think a lot of the fans have asked for, is basically deal with the consequences of Episode 415 [when] Oliver and Felicity ended their engagement and broke up. They never really had a full-on discussion or exploration of why that breakup happened. Felicity just sort of reached her breaking point and walked out the door.
Given how many loose ends are still dangling when it comes to Oliver and Felicity's relationship in Season 4, I'd say that plenty of fans will be happy to know that Marc Guggenheim at least plans on giving some degree of closure. After all, Oliver was in a surprisingly emotionally healthy place for the first eight or so episodes of Arrow Season 4, but he started to fall into his old ways pretty quickly once he found out about his secret kid in Central City during the second Arrow/Flash crossover, and what progressed was a series of pretty shortsighted decisions on the part of our Emerald Archer.
The issues all came to a head when Damien Darhk kidnapped the secret kid in Episode 15, forcing Oliver to finally admit to Felicity - whom he was planning and marrying and who had recently lost the use of her legs - that he had been secretly visiting his child in Central City. All the secrets and being left out of decisions proved too much for Felicity, who returned the engagement ring and practically jogged out of their loft, having suddenly regaining the ability to walk.
Basically, Episode 15 of Season 4 was filled with a whole lot of plot twists, but not a lot of character development or exploration. Big things happened; we just didn't get to see too much of Felicity's point-of-view or even all of Oliver's thought processes that led to the decisions that were made. It sounds like Season 5 plans on addressing some of the narrative gaps from Season 4.
Luckily, Marc Guggenheim went on in his chat with TVLine to specify which episode will kick off the exploration of the big breakup, saying this:
This is definitely an examination of the state of their breakup. It comes out of the events of 519 and, quite frankly, all the other episodes that led up to it. Something happens in 519 that really tees up this conversation.
It should be interesting to see what drives them to finally have a conversation with each other about what really drove their split. Between Felicity's time with Helix and Oliver's time being tortured by Prometheus and then troubled by the Bratva, neither has really had the time to do much introspection on what went wrong between them. Something will evidently change by the time we finish Episode 19.
As somebody who has been 100% Team Felicity from the identical moment that Oliver revealed he'd been secretly visiting his kid while she was adjusting to life in a wheelchair, I'm curious to see if the exploration of the breakup will change my mind. I maintain my position that keeping William a secret -- especially after Oliver realized that the villain Malcolm Merlyn knew about William -- was one of Oliver's dumbest decisions to date, so I don't know that even the best-written episode in the history of television episodes could make me believe that Oliver was using his upstairs brain on this one.
Still, it sounds like this episode could be a fascinating change of pace that allows focus on characters rather than churning through plot at a furious pace. We'll have to wait and see. Arrow is currently on a bit of a break and will not return to The CW with Episode 19 until Wednesday, April 26 at 8 p.m. ET. Check out our midseason TV premiere schedule and our summer TV premiere guide for a look at all your current and upcoming small screen options, and don't forget to take a gander at our 2017 rundown of TV renewals and cancellations.