Arrow Signals the Olicity Fandom
Arrow’s “Broken Hearts” engages themes of love and death while playing a winking game with the Olicity fandom. Cupid’s broken heart serves as a catalyst for an episode and a fandom littered with them. Felicity ends her relationship with Oliver despite his “I’ll do better next time” pleas and wounded puppy-dog eyes [which Stephen Amell rocks BTW]. Arrow then makes a remarkable gesture to reach through the screen and mend our broken hearts.
The wonderfully deranged Cupid flies back into town and sets up shop in a bridal gown storage facility of all places. She then proceeds to act out every jilted high-school girl’s revenge fantasy. Cupid kidnaps, tortures, and murders Star City’s celebrity couples. And she does it with such zest. Coupledom, happiness, love – they all make her crazy because she wants in so badly. Arrow mocks America’s hyper-obsession with Brangelinas, Bennifers, and Kimyes – untouchable and imagined love invented by tabloids.
Oliver and Felicity represent another imagined love, one brought to life by active fans and perceptive showrunners.
At the moment, however, Felicity is not feeling the love so she ignores her heartbreak by packing boxes. Oliver makes repeated efforts to connect with her while she moves through the apartment, lair, and the episode barely hiding her anger. She does not want a future with a man who lies to her, yet that same man “gives [her] life purpose,” inspires her to be her “best self,” yada yada yada, you know the rest.
Team Arrow’s work is never done so Oliver and Felicity pose as a bride and groom [a favorite trope] in an effort to lure out Carrie Cutter. Oliver throws on a tuxedo and Felicity appears at their faux-wedding in a bridal gown that takes his breath away. A star struck officiant prompts the couple to recite their vows. Felicity passes. Oliver takes the opportunity to pour out his heart, telling Felicity that she is the light to his darkness; he will never lie to her again, etc. Felicity will have none of it until Cupid interrupts.
Eager to avoid getting blood on a gown she hopes to return, Felicity tells Carrie that “love is real” and that she has found it, inadvertently giving Oliver hope. Mayhem ensues. The gown is saved.
Back at the lair, Oliver makes one last attempt to win back Felicity’s heart and fails. This time she leaves him and the team for good (a sensible choice because what woman could work alongside Oliver Queen every night and not fall in love with him?). Love is dead.
Just when the weak among us might think our ship has sunk, Arrow breaks the fourth wall to communicate with heartbroken fans. On the screen within our screen a newscaster describes Oliver and Felicity’s non-wedding with a banner below that reads: Olicity’s Secret Wedding Foiled. Olicity. Arrow signaled the Olicity fandom with their own call sign, christening Star City’s most famous celebrity couple with the ship name coined by Arrow fans.
Read the fine print on the screen. Love is not dead. Olicity lives. And everything is going to be just fine.