You'll be hard-pressed to find a bigger Olicity fan than Emily Bett Rickards herself. Felicity Smoak's chemistry with Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen is the foundation for a hugely popular TV couple. Why have they earned such a devoted fan base, after seven seasons on Arrow? Rickards shared her thoughtful take on the ship:
I hope that it's because it's honest and working towards a place of what we all sort of want and where we can see ourselves bettering ourselves. I don't know what the magic equation is to writing something that hits somebody at a certain time. We're so grateful. I mean, I really like them as a couple, I'm pro-them as a couple. I think the way that they communicate and talk to each other is about them growing. That's not always interesting to watch on TV... it's not always great to watch happy things on TV all the time, even comedy has very dark themes, but there is such a purpose towards them working as a couple and working through it. I hope that's what grounds people to their relationship.
I really like that "honest" is her first description here. Emily Bett Rickards' Felicity Smoak wasn't even envisioned as a regular Arrow character back in 2012, but now she's an indispensable leader of Team Arrow. The chemistry between Felicity and Oliver grew organically from colleagues and friends to a lot more. They weren't pre-made as a couple. The two characters just clicked, and slowly over time we've seen them grow as a realistic couple -- even in a not-so-realistic superhero universe with endless obstacles and drama across multiple timelines.
As Emily Bett Rickards noted to TV Guide, that helps to make Olicity a perfect inspirational "goals" couple. Maybe it's a stretch to think we can all find our own Olivers or Felicitys in our personal Star Citys, but they make it look possible and grounded in reality. That authentic connection helps fans stay invested in the characters' journey. And it has been quite a journey so far.
Prison walls are keeping Felicity and Oliver apart in Season 7, which has been tough for the fans and the characters. We know it's not going to get easier anytime soon. Showrunner Beth Schwartz warned TV Guide that Olicity's marriage will truly face the test as we move forward in the 2018-2019 season:
For their arc [this season], what I like about it the most is we're really going for the real struggles in marriage, so that's kind of where we're approaching their relationship. It's going to feel really authentic.
There's that term again: Authentic. Sounds like that honesty may be threatened in the Monday, Nov. 12 episode, "The Demon," when Felicity discovers a secret about Oliver "that shocks her." Beth Schwartz had previously said that, even though we won't see Felicity and Oliver together right away, their stories are working toward the same goal.
So they connect without physically connecting, which I think is really cool because they're both fighting for their families, so you don't need to see them together to get that connection.
During last summer's San Diego Comic-Con, Emily Bett Rickards told CinemaBlend she'd like to see more small-scale crossovers in the Arrow-verse, including having her Felicity call The Flash's Iris West for tips.
For now, Arrow continues Mondays at 8 p.m., with the three-night "Elseworlds" crossover coming December 9-11 on The CW. Check out our fall TV premiere guide for more bookmark-worthy dates.