People You Love

“I don’t want to be a person that you love.” ~Felicity

This is the second time Felicity has rejected Oliver (the first time being when he kissed her) and I think this is a good lesson for Oliver (and for us).  What exactly do we usually define as “love.”  Felicity is calling Oliver out on this.  He claims to love others but is what he does and how he treats those he loves really love?  

Oliver has been stuck in the “Playboy” stage in the department of relationships for most of the show.  He always “gets the girl”…until now.  I think it’s good for Oliver to hear about the damage he is causing in his relationships department.  Felicity is right.  She is calling him out on his playboy attitude and Oliver has the experiential knowledge to know better.  He is acting like a playboy when he should know better.   He claimed to love Laurel…that sure didn’t go well.  Then he claimed to love Sarah but she takes off with no objection from him.  He says he loves Thea, and no one could say that taking her place with Ras-Al-Goul wasn’t a demonstration of love…but is he really doing that for Thea or is he doing it for the people of Starling city that would die if he didn’t, or is he doing it because he doesn’t want to get hurt and it is easier to die?  After all, at this point, he is lying to Thea every day.  And finally, he flippantly kisses Felicity in the beginning of the season and then says he loves her before going off to die at the hands of Ras.  This is inconsiderate of how his actions/words/death would affect Felicity.  Good for her in calling him out.  Maybe he can start transitioning toward hero in his relationships as well.

On a more practical note…I think this is really similar to what many of us do in real life.  We act like playboys (saying cliché phrases like…”there’s a plan for everything,” or “it’ll all be ok.”) when we know better.  Those who are NOT playboys should not act like they are…yet I think we do because it is easy, the playboy stage was the last time we “knew everything” and we are taught to speak like a playboy rather than use our experiences to step up, acknowledge the truth, and help others (bad training).  I wonder why we make ignorant unhelpful comments sometimes…why do we present ourselves as if we know it all (Playboys).  Personally I would rather be seen as Broken, Surviving or even a Vigilante than as an ignorant Playboy. (click here for the Stages in Becoming a Superhero)

Refusing to be Broken

Boyfriend: All I’m doing is unleashing the true potential of what you made.
Felicity: Why, this isn’t who you are.
Boyfriend: 5 years for the NSA, you learn a lot about how the world works. How we can’t be saved or salvaged.  How it is every man for himself.  You also learn that when a city bank goes under a, say, significant cyber attack, the mayor will reach out to the treasury department.

First, this is very classic abusive, trying to turn the ill-will and actions of yourself off onto the other person as if they are responsible. Obviously not a good guy at heart.

Secondly, what phase is he in?  Playboy? Broken?  I don’t think he is surviving.  He isn’t really trained.  Looking more closely I’d say he is still in the playboy phase and is refusing to be broken, kinda like Laurel was in the beginning of season 2.  He is totally unaware of so much (what he is up against, who can stop him, or even that Felicity’s mother has a watch with wifi), he can’t do anything on his own (I mean he has to kidnap Felicity), even his goal is very small, uncreative, and has little heart or passion behind it.  It’s like he was immediately removed from jail to work for the NSA and so he never had to face the reality of what he did.  He never broke…but he is resentful and now he is more of a puppet.  A true villain like Slade) could use him as a pawn but on his own he is kinda pitiful (even Felicity could take him out).  This is the danger of not allowing yourself to be broken.  Laurel was there (with the alcohol and pain killers) but she eventually allowed herself to feel, it broke her…but now it has allowed her to move into survival, and hopefully on to much more.  Noone likes to be broken but if we avoid this phase we can never move past it.  The extent to which we are broken is the extent of a hero we can become.