When it comes time for Arrow season 6, what will happen to Oliver Queen's relationship with Felicity Smoak?
In the season 5 finale, there were a lot of meaningful pauses and looks, plus a kiss -- to which Oliver essentially responded that this was to be continued.
Meanwhile, the mother of Oliver's child -- who effectively broke the pair up, albeit accidentally, by demanding that Oliver keep the child secret from anyone and everyone -- seemed surprised to see the pair no longer together, and slightly put out by the fact that they were ignoring their obvious feelings for one another.
That kiss, and Oliver's response, didn't mean nothing.
Oliver finally seeming to come to a mature version of a realtionship recently -- and saying things like "let's talk about this more later" instead of allowing everything to become an all-consuming crisis, is a good sign for the show's flagship relationship.
After a full-court press of Olicity -- either the pair being IN the relationship or drama adjacent to it, from fights and breakups to bigger-picture stuff like supervillains targeting her -- in season 4, Arrow dialed it way back in season 5, reaching the point where most viewers were begging for some closure on what happened between the two between seasons.
“It is a challenge. That’s what makes the show what it is,”executive producer Wendy Mericle said of the balancing act she and the other writers have to attempt every week. “Everything we’ve heard in the press is that the people who love it this season were the ones who didn’t like it that much last year. It does make you aware that you really can’t please all of the people all of the time, so what I try to focus on is what’s right for the characters, what are the best stories to tell, and when is it right to bring in these other elements?”
Mericle knows that it isn't a challenge unique to Arrow, but something pretty common to most entertainment.
“I think that it’s true of any series that you’re constantly balancing the action stuff with the character stuff, unless you’re on a true character series, which there are honestly very few of these days,” Mericle said. “I think that the bigger thing is always telling the right story for where the characters are going, and we do try to allow the natural progression of where Oliver would be and where Felicity would be emotionally and psychologically at this point in the series and season,a nd let that dictate it more than anything. I think that’s part of what makes the show successful is having all of these various angles. It’s a crime series, it’s a superhero series, it’s got all this action and it has this character component as well. It’s what the show is, and it’s very much in the DNA of it.”
The organic development and mature dynamic between the two in the last handful of episodes has really shown that when the relationship picks back up in the fall, it has potential to grow and develop in a different way than the toxic, self-sabotaging way it played out in seasons 3 and 4.
Exactly how will it develop? That is anyone's guess, although Mericle had at one point told ComicBook.com that season 6 would see Oliver once again trying to balance his personal life -- in this case, the office of the mayor -- with his vigilante work.
That could be even more difficult if Samantha Clayton (William's mom) is among the dead or injured on Lian Yu; the season ended with a massive chain reaction of explosions on the island, and while Oliver and William are safe, literally no one else's fate is assured, except for Thea, whom EP Marc Guggenheim has said he will never kill.
It's likely safe to assume Felicity Smoak and John Diggle are safe, too, since the "Original Team Arrow" going out offscreen seems pretty unlikely. Similarly, Rene Ramirez and Dinah Drake are probably fine becuase Rick Gonzalez and Juliana Harkavy recently signed on to be series regulars in season 6.
Samantha would be a wildcard, and if something happened to her, what happens next to William -- and by extension pretty much Oliver's entire personal life -- could be completely up in the air. That, though, wouldn't necessarily mean anything bad for Olicity as an older, more mature Oliver facing parental responsibilities is more likely to turn to someone he knows he can trust to help him with the task than push her away for...Arrow reasons.
In any event, after a season "away" from the Olicity romance, it seems likely (but isn't guaranteed) that season 6 will once again revisit the reationship, this time thorugh the lens of Oliver and Felicity's new headspace. On the face of it, that seems like it can only be a good thing...!
More Arrow news: