Arrow’s 100th episode took Oliver, Sara, Thea, Diggle, and Ray to a collective alternate universe, thanks to the Dominators, and showed them what their lives would have been like if Oliver and Sara had never gotten on the Queen’s Gambit. Would they have been happy?
Oliver Queen loves Felicity Smoak. Fact. Oliver Queen lost Felicity Smoak. Also a fact.
No one is denying that Felicity broke his heart and that residual feelings remain. That their love might be one of his great loves. That they might even be each other’s last loves. But currently they aren’t each other’s anything. Wouldn’t it be ideal if they were?
Why didn’t Oliver’s subconscious conjure up a perfect world where Oliver was married to Felicity? It would have been easy enough to do. Oliver is marrying Felicity. Green Arrow Diggle is working with Black Canary Laurel. Or DA Laurel. Or Laurel is married to Tommy and lives in Chicago. These are all probable scenes that could have played out.
Oliver Queen loves Laurel Lance. Fact. Oliver Queen has always will always love Laurel Lance. As stated his subconscious could have conjured up an ideal life with the woman he loves, Felicity, but instead it chose Laurel; while Felicity may have captured his heart, Laurel lives in his soul.
The love that Oliver and Laurel have, it transcends time and space and reality. It’s ever lasting. It’s the kind of love one imagines soul mates having.
In the alternate reality, after Oliver has flashes of Felicity, of being engaged to Felicity, he rushes to Laurel. They must be married right away. Nothing makes sense to Ollie. Laurel makes sense, because Laurel has always been there. Laurel is his constant.
After he remembers everything, he still kisses Laurel the way lovers do. He still tells her he loves her. Not loved. Loves. He doesn’t have to do any of that. It’s not real. It’s of no consequence, but he can’t not tell his pretty bird how much he loves her. He needs to convey love and loss and longing to a computer program so it doesn’t crush him.
This was an episode that truly explored Oliver’s heart. His commitment to his cause. He had everything he ever wanted. This wasn’t just some dream. This was his happily ever after. It’s a life he’ll never have. (Maybe with Laurel as she will return to the show somehow, but his parents are gone).
It’s the life he should have had the chance to live.
It’s also the life Laurel deserved to have. To be taken care of by the love of her life. (That’s not to say she can’t take care of herself, of course she can, but to have your partner in life put you first? She deserved that.) Laurel deserved to have a romantic rendezvous in the shower. She deserved to be engaged to the love of her life.
She deserved to wear the Canary around her neck because Ollie recognized her for Pretty Bird she is. Laurel deserved to be put first. The alternate reality showed Oliver that he never put her first, but deep down he knew he should have.
On her deathbed Laurel told Oliver he was the love of her life. In the 100th episode of Arrow, we learn that Laurel is truly the love of his.
Arrow‘s midseason finale airs Wednesday, December 7 at 8/7c on The CW!