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SPOILERS if you haven't seen this week's episode of Arrow, titled "The Fallen."
Arrow has been building up to a lot all season, and tonight's episode delivered on a few major events. We could argue that Oliver's inevitable step forward toward joining the League of Assassins was the biggest event, but in the long-time-coming category, Olicity wins out. Oliver and Felicity consummated their complicated relationship, and--because of course--by episode's end, their romance was over again.
Looking at the timeline of Felicity and Oliver's bumpy relationship all season, their very physical connection tonight seemed to come out of nowhere, as Felicity had been happily dating Ray Palmer up until about five minutes before she and Oliver ended up in bed together. Ok, we know Felicity was never quite over Oliver, but she and Ray did seem to be enjoying the start of their romance. And then Ray saw Felicity talking to Oliver at the end of "Broken Arrow," and he picked up on the romantic connection between the two. Ray essentially broke up with himself during "The Fallen," after which he lent Felicity his jet. Because a gentleman's a gentleman? From there, Felicity and Oliver set off with Diggle and Merlyn to take mostly-dead Thea to Nanda Parbat. Their romantic interlude was wedged between Thea's resurrection and a brief but exciting escape attempt.
Oliver and Felicity's romantic evening was a long time coming for their relationship, but as I said, all things' considered, it felt a bit hasty given its proximity to Felicity's relationship with Ray. But it would've been out of character for Felicity to hook up with Oliver while she was still technically dating Ray. And though Ray seemed sad about letting Felicity go, the break-up -- or is it just a break? -- felt almost amicable. At the very least, the bridge between them likely isn't burned. Awkwardness is inevitable, but there was always a bit of that between Ray and Felicity.
As for Oliver and Felicity's big scene, it was more than just a kiss and a jump forward to morning cuddles. There was the romantic removing of the glasses, followed by some steamy disrobing. He carried her to the bed, and topless kissing ensued. And then we were removed from the moment with the interruption in the form of a well-timed flashback, after which morning cuddles was replaced by a toast of laced wine, courtesy of Felicity, who stole the sedative from Thea's big resurrection ceremony.
That brings us to the end of this barely-beginning for Oliver and Felicity. Their hookup was set up as goodbye sex from the start, though Felicity did attempt to rescue Oliver away from his commitment to join the League of Assassins. And with Maseo's somewhat unexpected assistance, they almost made it out of there. But then they were surrounded, and Oliver had even more incentive to stay, if only to save his friends from Ra's wrath.
Points to Felicity, not only for refusing to let Oliver go without a fight, but for her willingness to face Ra's al Ghul and essentially threaten him. It may not have done any good in the end, but it was a perfect demonstration of Felicity's bravery, and what makes her such a vital part of Team Arrow. By superhero standards, she has no special abilities, beyond her exceptional tech-savviness, and her ability to drop a well-timed remark, but she stands firm in her beliefs, even in the face of someone as dangerous as Ra's al Ghul. I believe she'd die to protect Oliver if it came to it. (And honestly, I'm kind of afraid it might at some point).
"The Fallen" left off with Oliver branded and hooded in the start of his transformation. With three episodes remaining in the season, we're left to wonder if there's even time left for Oliver to come back from this before Season 3 wraps up. Given the events of "The Fallen," particularly at the very end as Ra's spoke of extinguishing Oliver Queen from memory, the season finale's title, "My Name is Oliver Queen," seems especially relevant. Identity appears to be a big part of what's happening as Oliver begins the process of transitioning from the Arrow to Al Sah-him (heir to the demon) and Ra's al Ghul. The question is, will he complete the transformation? Is that where Season 3 is headed? We'll know in a matter of weeks.
Also left to ponder: What's going on with Thea? She awoke from her Lazarus Pit bath not recognizing her brother at first. And though she seemed a bit better after that, she was still noticeably bewildered. "The Fallen" barely had time to delve into the repercussions of her resurrection and what this means for her soul. It'll be very interesting to see what's next for her, especially considering two of the people who love her most are no longer able to be there for her.