As Arrow aired its 100th episode on the CW last night, fans who have been with the show for the entirety of its four and a half seasons were able to reflect fondly on their favorite character's journey through the series. Familiar faces like Laurel Lance and Moira Queen were back to remind us where the show began and just how far its come. But 'Arrow' fans aren't the only ones who did a little reflecting as the show reached its centennial. Producer Marc Guggenheim — who has been with Arrow since it was just notes on a pad of paper — also took a look back at his four seasons worth of work, and his biggest regret for the series just might surprise you.
While there have been many highs and lows on Arrow the past four years, most of the usually divided fans of the CW's DC shows seem to generally agree that Season 4 was less than stellar. During the season the writers — Guggenheim included — stood by the direction they had taken the show and the characters, but it seems now Guggenheim has changed his tune. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Guggenheim admitted if he could do just one thing differently from the past four seasons, it would have been the pace at which Oliver and Felicity's romance took place.
"I’d say probably my biggest regret is I wish we had allowed the Oliver-Felicity storyline in Season 4 to unfold at a more natural pace. We had set these tentpoles at the beginning of the season, and we were a bit too rigorous on how we hit them. That was a case where the planning overtook the storytelling. We didn’t do things as naturally and as elegantly as we should have.”
Guggenheim's sentiments coincide with the majority of fan complaints surrounding the series. Hints that the couple — coined "Olicity" — might actually become an item began in Season 2 as the pair grew closer with the actors' chemistry heating things up even more. By the end of Season 2, Oliver had admitted he loved Felicity but only to save Laurel's life — or so he said. The pace at which the pair's relationship was budding was what we call a slow burn — and it was working.
However, suddenly at the start of Season 4 Oliver and Felicity are settled down in a small town living normal lives with Oliver planning to propose. This is only months after Team Arrow defeated Ra's a Ghul and Oliver and Felicity finally decided to be an item. As the season progressed he followed through and proposed and they became engaged. Then there were engagement parties, cuddles in the loft, and fake weddings. Even for fans of Olicity, it was all going too fast after taking three seasons just to get them together in the first place. Seasons worth of great moments between Oliver and Felicity were crammed into 15 episodes — and the season suffered for it.
Oliver and Felicity's relationship has always been met with some controversy by fans who had hoped the Green Arrow/Black Canary romance from the comics would play out despite Arrow showrunners confirming that was never a direction they had planned to take. However, had the relationship been slowed and not used for unneeded drama in the show, Oliver and Felicity's pairing may have been more favored and accepted instead of blamed for the show's failing season.
Does Olicity Still Have A Chance?
Despite not being together currently, the 100th episode of Arrow proved that Oliver and Felicity still have a chance and that it likely will be a direction the writers take again. When under mind control by the Dominators, Oliver is introduced to Felicity Smoak for what he thinks is the first time. However the moment he looks at her he sees flashes of his real life with her the past four seasons — including their first meeting, first kiss, and their first, you know, in Nanda Parbat. Flashes of his life with Felicity are what drive him to leave this simulated world back to one where their history exists.
Not to mention the line between Laurel and Oliver at the beginning of the episode came straight from the Olicity Season 4 playbook. This was Oliver's memories with Felicity creeping into the simulated world. To me, this definitely points to the significance of Oliver and Felicity's relationship in the show, and fans can rest assured that the writers are not done with them — they just might take things a little slower this time. All in all, the 100th episode of Arrow lived up to its hype and left the feeling that the show is definitely back on track.
Arrow Season 5, Episode 9 — "What We Leave Behind" — airs Wednesday December 7 at 8/7c!
What did you think of the 100th episode of Arrow? Was it everything you hoped it would be?