Arrow, or Hotness Brothering

(The title is supposed to sound like Katniss Everdeen. Now that I’ve told you, you hear it, right? It’s a play on the association with the bow and arrow shared between that heroine of The Hunger Games and the subject of this entry. Title fail? Wouldn’t be the first time.)

A new entry so soon? No, you’re not dreaming. You don’t even need to pinch yourself, just take my word for it. And since when has the word of a stranger on the internet not been reliable?

The fall season is upon us, and you know what that means: NEW TV SHOWS! All of the networks – in some no doubt cahootish plan – have agreed to push back most of the premieres to the end of September and October, so even though the leaves are falling, some of the new shows haven’t even started yet. And some of them have only aired an episode or two, some of them like Arrow, which premiered last Wednesday evening (lined up with Supernatural), on the CW.

At the risk of some extraordinarily unnecessary preambling, let me say that I feel like there are some people who really turn their noses down at the CW’s programming, and I can understand why a network that has never won an Emmy, a network known for Twilight rip-offs like The Vampire Diaries (a misconception!) and oversexed soaps like Gossip Girl, doesn’t get a lot of respect.  And I can admit that it takes a certain kind of person to deal with the fan-pandering, low-budget, and countless seasons that accompany many CW shows. But that doesn’t mean that a CW show can’t be enjoyable. But yes, they’re often referred to as guilty pleasures. (Though not by me. When I call something a “guilty pleasure”, I actually feel guilty about it, and in fact you’ll never hear me call it that, because I’ll be far too ashamed of it to be telling you about it)

Now I don’t appreciate snobbery in any form – particularly music snobs and movie snobs – but I’ll admit to being a bit of a TV snob myself. I don’t watch any reality programming or game shows (unless you count Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Jeopardy), and I’ll try not to judge you if you watch a lot of MTV, but I’ll fail. (Teen Wolf excepted, obviously.)

My point is, just because Arrow is on the CW, doesn’t mean that it’s actually crap. No, it’s not the same show that it would be on AMC or HBO. But the CW does its best, and if one thing can be said for them, it’s that their casts are pretty darn freaking hot, so there’s always that.

The CW does like to jump on the popularity bandwagon – the aforementioned Vampire Diaries was conveniently timed, and it’s possible that Arrow was meant to coincide with The Dark Knight Rises, though perhaps it’s just filling the void left by the end of Smallville. (I suppose you’ve gathered by now that Arrow is about a superhero.) First let me say that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with capitalizing on what’s popular. For some reason people are often contemptuous of that practice, but I don’t understand. First of all, it’s smart, so no, I’m not going to be contemptuous of someone doing something that’s smart, even if they’re obviously motivated by profit. (It’s not like the other networks aren’t out for profit.) And even more: for me, if I’m really into something, then I’m eager to find something similar. So I thank the networks and studios for trying to meet my demand. They don’t always do a good job, but that’s a different discussion.

I’ll admit: the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has left a gaping bat-shaped hole in my heart. Batman has always been my favorite superhero. I’ve not read the comic books, I don’t remember well what little of the animated series I’ve watched, and I certainly haven’t seen the older live action series. So, no, I’ll not be staggering you with my fanaticism. And it sure doesn’t mean much to have picked one of the two most popular superheroes as my favorite. But all the same, I have a deep love for Batman, his villains, his friends, his city, etc., and knowing that one of his franchises has come to an end is very hurtful. So I was in the prime market for something to fill that emptiness. Will Arrow be that cork? Probably not. But I liked it all the same.

Watch me write this whole entry only for the show to be swiftly cancelled. The nice thing about writing about movies is that you’ve got the whole thing right there in front of you. No worries that it’ll be radically changed somehow. No worries that you’ll never know what the end is.

OK, OK, enough introductory scheisse.

So, Arrow centers on Oliver Queen (yes, that’s his real name), 20-something son of billionaire Robert Queen. (Their money is from factories or something. Whatever. They’re super rich thanks to “Queen Consolidated”.) They live in the very Gotham-like Starling City. (I appreciate the made-up city – it really makes it feel like a superhero universe.) They are yacht-wrecked, and only Oliver lives, surviving on an island near China for five years. The show begins when he is found, and returns home.

Rounding out the cast we have Oliver’s mother, Moira, newly remarried;

her new husband, Walter Steele (whom I can only assume will eventually be revealed as even more of an antagonist than he already appears to be);

Oliver’s younger sister Thea (DING DING DING: INCEST ALERT);

Oliver’s best friend, Tommy Merlyn;

Oliver’s all-business bodyguard, John Diggle (yes, that’s his real name….*giggling so hard right now*);

Oliver’s ex-girlfriend, Dinah “Laurel” Lance, a crusading lawyer;

and Laurel’s father, a man of the law, Quentin Lance.

It’s also worth mentioning Laurel’s friend at work named Joanna (“Jo”); Quentin’s partner, Detective Hilton, and the house maid, Raisa. Just for clarity’s sake.

While on the island, learning how to survive, Oliver apparently became some sort of human weapon. He’s not just coming back skinny and tan like Tom Hanks’ character in Cast Away. He’s also ripped like a boxer, has reflexes like everything else is in slow motion, is proficient in hand-to-hand combat, is a crack shot with the kind of bow and arrow he certainly didn’t make by hand in the jungle, and has all sorts of other skills that are very impressive, including the ability to steal 40 million dollars from a corrupt businessman right out of his bank account. No, it doesn’t make complete sense. Judging by the playboy we flash back to, these competences are new. We don’t see much of his time on the island, but I believe the implication is that he was there alone (or else he would have been rescued, right?), so I guess he was doing karate with monkeys or something. But whatever. Just accept it.

He can also do this:which made me wonder where my panties had gone.

Oliver returns with a plan to save the crumbling Starling City, and so he develops an alter ego, Arrow, to carry out this work. Arrow just sort of wears a hood, and puts some green around his eyes. It’s not a great disguise. Right up there with Clark Kent’s glasses. But it looks kind of cool.

So, you may have already figured out that I’m not exactly a comics expert. I had never heard of Green Arrow. And if I did, I probably got him mixed up with the Green Lantern or the Green Hornet.  Whom I also hadn’t heard of until their respective movies came out. A skimming of the Wikipedia page tells me that he has been around since the 40’s, a Robin Hood-inspired hero intended very much to be an “analogue” to Batman. Apparently he was known for having a bunch of arrows with different, special functions. We see one in the pilot that apparently hacks into bank accounts, though I’m not actually satisfied as to exactly how that was done.

I’m hoping the TV show will choose to deviate significantly from the comics. I have elected not to read “spoilers” of any kind, so I feel like I’m writing sort of blind here. All of my descriptions and speculations are based solely on the pilot of the TV show. I just want to be clear about that. You are free to laugh at me, but please do not do it in the comments section.

The pilot is a pretty good pilot.  (I’ve seen it three times in its entirety, and other clips even more than that.) It starts out sort of weak: the dialogue of the teaser is not particularly sharp, nor is it delivered particularly well; I was not impressed with the title card; and the News sequence following the title card looked very cheap. But the episode just kept getting better after that, and better and better, and it’s fairly twisty. So I would recommend, if you’re even remotely interested, watching the pilot before reading this. Because THIS IS YOUR SPOILER WARNING.

OK, so to complete the picture, it’s important to know that five years ago Oliver was cheating on Laurel with her sister, Sarah (so, remember, also Detective Quentin Lance’s daughter), who died in the boat accident. So this is a pretty complicated situation for Laurel, who was cheated on by her sister and by her boyfriend, and then she lost her sister, and she thought she lost her boyfriend, but now it turns out he’s actually alive. She’s got a lot of mixed feelings. Papa Lance mostly just hates him.

Laurel is played by Katie Cassidy, sporting brown hair. I think blond hair makes her face pop a bit more. I didn’t even recognize her at first. I know her best as Ruby 1.0 from Supernatural, also known as the vastly superior Ruby (no offense intended towards the lovely Mrs. Padalecki, of course, but this is a universally-held opinion), but she also had a run on Gossip Girl as the psycho of the season. I’m not familiar with her work on Harper’s Island or Melrose Place, but those were much larger roles for her. I’m hesitant to call myself a fan, but I suppose I’m a level above indifferent to her as an actress.

Laurel works in a legal aid office with Jo, and the pilot has her nearly sinking the office in a case against an evil billionaire. You get the point. A not-in-it-for-money do-gooder type. Reminded me quite a bit of the Rachel Dawes of Batman Begins, though I have to say that Katie Holmes’ do-gooder lawyer has a lot more charm. (You know, I’ve always thought of Katie Holmes in Batman Begins as an orange-flavored Kool Aid actress in a freshly-squeezed orange juice type of film, but she does have a charming way to her.)

Quentin apparently has a saying about not needing to go outside of the law in order to get justice. I like that Laurel has subscribed to it, with him being a cop and her being a lawyer. Obviously Quentin is going to butt heads with Arrow’s vigilantism.

Before the episode is over, we also learn that Oliver’s father and several other men made it onto a raft, but started dying off one by one, and Oliver’s father killed the last man and himself so that Oliver would have enough food and water to have a chance at living. HARDCORE. But not before telling Oliver a bunch of secrets about his business, and bad things he had done, and giving Oliver a list of names of, I assume, evil, corrupt, and powerful men in Starling City. He wants Oliver to right his wrongs. And so we see Oliver crossing out one of the names at the end of the pilot after taking all of that guy’s money and giving it to the plaintiffs in Laurel’s case. (Robin Hood!) I’m not sure how that will hold up legally, but what’s important is that Arrow is super, super proactive in his efforts to clean up “his city”. More proactive that Bruce Wayne, if you think about it. I love how Oliver views Starling City as his city. He calls it so in the teaser. It’s more than just doing the right thing because you’re a superhero, or saving people because it’s the right thing and they need help, it’s a guardianship, a custodianship. That’s what I’ve always appreciated about the conception of Gotham – it’s a deeply troubled place, rife with a cancerous element. It has an identity as a city, and Batman has a guardianship over that city.

At one point in the episode, Oliver is kidnapped and interrogated about whether his father was alive and what his father told him. Oliver is a superhero, so of course he gets away. But we find out later that his mother was behind the kidnapping. Duhn duhn duhn. I’m sure she loves him and whatnot, and is genuinely pleased that he is alive, but she’s obviously got something going on. Is she in on it with her new husband? I’m leaning towards yes. And then some, probably. The yacht accident was a storm, so they can’t be blamed for that. Though wouldn’t that be a twist? She tries to kill her husband, but then it turns out that her son was on board! Gasp. But the men that Mommy Moira sent to kidnap Oliver did kill one guy during the kidnapping – just an innocent bystander that was in the wrong place at the wrong time – so she’s already got some blood on her hands after just one episode. What else has she done? What else will she do?

She insists that Oliver let John Diggle (*still giggling*) be with him constantly “for his safety”, so obviously “Dig” is a spy, though whether he’s aware of it or not, and whether he reports to Moira or Walter, is not clear. Oliver has to lose him twice in order to carry out Arrow business. I’m not sure how much longer he can keep that up.

Let’s talk a little more about Oliver right now. I have to say that I like him a lot. That’s not always the case with me and main characters. And I’m far more likely to be indifferent to male characters (I tend to love or hate female characters). So the amount of love I have for Oliver right now feels really good.

Stephen Amell is the actor. He had a small role on The Vampire Diaries as a hick werewolf, so I recognized his name and remembered that he was fairly attractive. Which he is. He reminds me quite a bit of Liam McIntyre, actually. (Maybe it’s just the haircut.) I  mean, I’m not lying on my bed, clutching a pillow, crying out with love for him, but he’s good-looking enough. Pretty eyes, that’s for sure.

Like I said earlier, I was not impressed with the delivery of his voice-over lines, but I didn’t seem to notice anything lacking when I was watching him deliver his regular lines. So I was either distracted by his good looks, or he’s just much more natural when he’s fully engaged in the acting moment. But I do think Amell is good at Oliver’s sort of subdued post-traumatic stress disordered self. He’s haunted by the accident, by the death of Sarah, by the suicide of his father to save him, by learning whatever truth about his father’s business practices, and by FIVE FREAKING YEARS of living alone on some cold, dark island.

Obviously he’s very damaged, and women love that because it brings out our maternal instincts. We just want to pat them on the head and give them long cuddles and make them feel better using our bodies. It’s a thing. Sometimes damaged characters cover up their damage by being obnoxious.

Dean Winchester (Supernatural) faces his issues head on.

Like Dean Winchester. I mean I love Dean Winchester. Dean Winchester doesn’t need to ask. But he drinks and makes jokes and changes the subject and lies instead of dealing with his shit. Oliver just sort of wears his trauma on his sleeve. I mean, he’s put together. He’s cogent, he’s well-groomed, he, for the most part, is fine in social situations. But Amell does a good job of showing that it’s there. Like there’s a certain percentage of him at any given time that isn’t paying attention, that is focused on something else. Actually, he really reminds me of Castiel when he delivers some of his lines. Like on some level he feels like an alien, and there’s a disconnect.

On the other hand, he also doesn’t go around whining about the triviality of the life the people around him lead. Which I appreciate. Tommy throws him a back-from-the-dead bash, and many characters in his situation would be all whiny about it, making every possible excuse to not have to attend, and then sitting in a corner and sulking. Oliver does use the party to his advantage to cover up some Arrow business, but he also makes every show of embracing the party. I’m sure it’s a cover up in many ways. Like Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, playing the part of the billionaire playboy as an element of his disguise, and as a way of manipulating his business competitors, lowering their expectations. But Bruce Wayne was never really a playboy like that, and Oliver was, at one point. So I’m sure he probably still enjoys a few of those things. And like Tommy pointed out, it’s probably about time he got laid.

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And probably one of my favorite things was when Oliver killed one of his kidnappers. He reminded the kidnapper that he had killed that innocent bystander, and then said, “Nobody can know my secret,” and then he just snapped his neck. I mean, that’s hardcore. I like a little grey in my heroes. Actually I like a lot of grey in my heroes. Well, I really like Captain America, too, to be fair. I love how by-the-book he is. I find that attractive as well. But generally I prefer a nice dose of non-ethical behavior. I know, you don’t care.

JUST LET ME SEX UP ALL THE SUPERHEROES I GUESS IS WHAT I’M SAYING.

My main point is that I like Oliver a lot.

Now I’m reluctant to talk about Tommy Merlyn because I feel like he’s still very ambiguous. I just have this terrible, sinking feeling that he’s no good. I have a  suspicion that he might be spying for Moira, or in collusion with her, or some such deal. Right after Oliver gets home, Raisa the maid tells everyone that Mr. Merlyn had called and wants to join them for dinner. Moira seems very pleased. At dinner, Tommy invites Oliver to come drive around the city with him, and Moira is very supportive of this idea. Oliver breaks off from Tommy for a minute to talk to Laurel, and then right after that Tommy and Oliver are kidnapped, so Tommy had the perfect opportunity to call whoever and tell them where he and Oliver were. Tommy isn’t killed, unlike the innocent bystander (though I’d like to think that Moira would tell them not to kill Tommy, whether he’s involved in her nefarious plotting or not). Tommy’s waking up from being drugged is a little suspicious. I also think that Tommy and Moira exchange a look at some point. Well, none of it is conclusive, but I don’t want to commit to thinking he’s innocent. And it could always go another direction – maybe he’s not working for Moira, but maybe he’s a Harry Osborn type that’s going to turn into a villain.

When Quentin is investigating during Oliver’s welcome-back party, he says to Tommy, “Roofie anyone special tonight?” Quentin doesn’t like Oliver, and I gather he doesn’t like Tommy much either, but am I supposed to think he’s got some sort of sex offender past? Or was he just making a generalization about what he considers to be Tommy’s type of person?

The problem is that I loved Tommy right away. He’s very attractive, though not in one of those, “I can hardly believe his face is real” sort of ways. Colin Donnell, has a delightfully Irish name, and just the cutest nose ever-I’m going to get arrested when I meet him in person and try to pinch it.

Tommy is still the playboy that Oliver used to be, so that’s going to cause some tension in their friendship eventually, though hopefully they’ll still be friends once he realizes that Oliver is no longer the same man. Long time friends sometimes survive growing apart like that. And it really seems like Tommy loves Oliver like a brother. He comes over right away, plans a number of activities for him and Tommy to do together. He jumpstarts the friendship immediately. He just wants Oliver to have some fun. And he seems like a member of the family – inviting himself to dinner Oliver’s FIRST NIGHT back, planning the party, even walking right into Thea’s room at one point. And Oliver smiles really big when Tommy arrives for dinner. jfkljajfdlsajkdj

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Tommy is sort of a force to be reckoned with – he’s not the type to really take no for an answer. And he tries to be very lighthearted most of the time. He makes a lot of jokes, or talks about lightweight matters. But he seems quite smart and observant as well. I think he’ll find out that Oliver is Arrow rather soon. He’s already suspicious that something is going on. So I’m hoping that he’ll be the guy who is in on the secret rather than ending up a bad guy. Every superhero needs a confidant. There’s always someone who knows. Superman has the Kents. Batman has Alfred.

One of the other twists at the end of the episode is that we find out that that Tommy and Laurel have hooked up enough times for it to be considered a trend. I can’t help it: OTP.

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DO YOU SEE THESE TWO?

I mean, I was always going to have a problem with Oliver and Laurel because I’m always going to ship Oliver and Thea first. (I promise I will get to the incestuous portion of this article at some point.) And while I often do ship exes, sometimes the reason they broke up isn’t enough to convince me they don’t both just instantly want to get back together. The joy of the ship is in the obstacles that keep them apart and seeing those obstacles overcome, or in the characters being destroyed by their misery. That’s why I enjoy shipping incest so much: incest is supreme among obstacles. So exes have to really, really hate each other and really, really not think that they want to get back together in order for me to enjoy shipping it.

And that just didn’t seem to be the case with Laurel and Oliver. Oliver tells Tommy that what he missed most while he was on the island was Laurel. (Awkward for Tommy – it was nice seeing that the second time I watched the episode.) And as for Laurel’s part, yeah, she’s majorly pissed at him for cheating on her, but it’s not like she ever broke up with him. There was never actually a point where she had to decide that she no longer wanted to be with this man. So this is not a pair of ideal exes for me to be shipping. In fact, on paper, I could have told you, without any context necessary, that they were highly unlikely to be my OTP. Such is my curse.

Tommy and Lauren on the other hand?

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Cookie dough.Yummy, yummy cookie dough. I mean, the fact that I feel like I’m supposed to think that Laurel and Oliver are meant to be is already a point in Tommy/Laurel’s favor. (I’m just a rebel like that.) Add to that my personal favorite trope of the second-rate best friend (sometimes “lieutenant”) taking the favored’s girl. (Second-rate because Tommy is portrayed as immature, while Oliver is a freaking grown-up for real superhero.) On top of that we have to great dynamic formed by the differences in Tommy and Laurel’s personalities. She seems to view her hook-ups with Tommy as “lapses”, and doesn’t trust that Tommy is even capable or interested in monogamy. I’m sure she thinks she’s too good for him, and he makes fun of her always trying to save the world, but I think he admires it as well.

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He argues with her protests against them as a couple, even saying that he wants to make a real try of it with her. He tells her he thought that the only thing keeping her from getting back with Oliver was himself. And she tells him essentially that he’s being far too generous.

I’m getting a lot of feelings about this pairing that I don’t need if they’re not endgame. Which I’m guessing they’re not. I don’t know about comics, but I can tell you that the CW doesn’t tend to give me what I want ship-wise. They’ll make me ship the most wonderful things, but they’ll never be endgame or canon.

I feel like if the writing of the show is clever and innovative, it might even be possible for them to end up together. But obviously Oliver is going to need another love interest, and we’ve yet to meet another eligible bachelorette. So I’m trying not to get my hopes up. I could see a situation where Tommy is there to keep Laurel and Oliver apart for a season, then Laurel realizes she really does love Tommy, just in time for him to be killed off. That’s not a worse case scenario. It would suck, though. I’m also hoping that Tommy being a bit “off” the whole episode is not because he’s working for Moira or secretly evil, or about to become evil, but just because he’s keeping the secret of him and Laurel. While he never does anything in the episode that could be called sabotage of Laurel and Oliver’s chances of getting back together, it’s pretty obvious that he’s not pleased.

Poor baby.

Oh, no, these feelings!

And I forgot to mention that Oliver is actually a witness to this entire conversation between Tommy and Laurel. It’s not 100% clear that he heard what was said, but I’m guessing he did.

Oliver comes to see Laurel, apologizes for the cheating, etc. Laurel is pretty angry at that point. But Tommy invites her to the big welcome-back party, and by then Laurel has calmed down. But Oliver seems to have decided to push her away, and he tells her that he hasn’t changed, that she only wants to see the best in him like she always did but that there is nothing to see, that he’s the same, and that he’ll only hurt her. I guess he’s trying to keep her safe, or whatever. Hasn’t he ever seen any movie ever? That never works. And she’s a crusading lawyer, so she’ll probably be killed by someone just for that reason alone. So stupid. OR maybe he just doesn’t want her complicating his life. But if he spends all of his time thinking about her, then it doesn’t really matter if he’s dating her or not, does it? The distraction will be there either way.

I can’t with superheroes sometimes.

There seems to be a fair amount of Oliver/Laurel shippers. Curse them! Or do they know something about Tommy that I don’t know?

*crying*

OK, I think it’s finally time to talk about Thea. And about time too, because I can’t handle my Tommy fears or my doomed Tommy/Laurel ship.

Thea’s got a bit of a drug problem. I’m not sure we saw enough to really call it a “problem” problem, but it seemed to be framed that way. I am really put off by drug use. I mean, I’m not even sure how to properly get across to you how much I dislike drug-users in my shows and movies. I find it extremely hard to sympathize with characters that use drugs. I mean, that’s a personal failing. I’ll admit that. And I don’t mean to sound so insensitive. But me and drugs are just not good friends. What’s even worse is the stereotypical drug-abusing younger sibling with attitude who is acting out is one of my least favorite types of characters. I mean, I see it often enough: Jeremy on The Vampire Diaries, Vicki on The Vampire Diaries, Charlotte on Revenge, Jenny on Gossip Girl, etc, and the richer they are the worse it is. I just find it very hard to care about or sympathize with those characters, but part of that is certainly that I’ve never been where they’ve been. I had the great fortune of growing up with two for the most part sane, loving, laid-back parents. I was never an angsty or rebellious teenager. (Of course I’m making huge generalizations here.) I never wrote angry poetry or romanticized the idea of pain. I never lied on my bed and listened to sad music. I never said anything hurtful to anyone in my family (at least not while they were sober enough to remember it!). So it’s just hard for me to get how someone could be so rude or disrespectful. And I’ve never been much for peer pressure either. (Almost to a fault.) You can imagine how great college was with me being “not much of a drinker”. Fortunately for me, my idea of a good time is pizza and movies, company welcome but optional.

Anyway, Thea manages to mostly dodge that stereotype. At least, I found her quite tolerable. So that is quite an accomplishment in itself. The actress is Willa Holland. (Good name!)

I’m not particularly familiar with her, but she looks like Kaya Scoledario, which was distracting, and not really helpful on the not-shipping-incest front since everyone knows that Tony/Effy is ridiculousness itself.

She also reminds me of Alison Brie,

Elizabeth Mitchell,

and Allison Miller.

She’s just got one of those faces, I guess.

I think the biggest problem with Thea is that she’s not going to fit into the story organically. A lot of TV shows have the main action, and then a baffling high school subset that is annoying and unnecessary. It’s a major problem on Revenge, at least it was last season. So here’s to hoping that’s not the case here. I’m sure there’s a way for Thea to be included in the plot in a way that feels natural and makes sense. I don’t want a bunch of scenes of just her and her friends doing whatever. If she’s not interacting with the other main characters, then something is not being done well.

Finally it’s time for Oliver and Thea’s relationship. A brief search on tumblr for GIFs revealed a surprising number of Oliver/Thea shippers. And an extra few that probably ship it but don’t want to admit to it, or don’t realize that they ship it. EXCELLENT. You’ll be pleased to hear that Oliver/Thea and this post isn’t just a product of me always shipping incest, because other people ship it too! And it’s always nice to not be alone. I’m pleased to say that on tumblr I have come across more than just one or two people who tend to have a lot of incest ships, and not just canon ones, or ones that test sanity by not being canon, like Klaus and Rebekah from The Vampire Diaries. I AM NOT ALONE! Bless tumblr. Of course, incest shipping on tumblr seems to paired for the most part with belligerent and judgmental malcontent, so I’m not exactly looking to best friends with these people. This is the sad story of my life – I only ever seem to have 50% in common with any given person.

Oliver and Thea share four scenes together in the pilot.

SCENE 1

Oliver has been found, has made the journey back to Starling City, and has apparently undergone some sort of physical and mental exam. His mother picks him up at the clinic, and they drive back to Queen Manor. (I’m just going to call it that.) Oliver sees Walter, who he doesn’t remember or pretends not to be remember, he greets Raisa the housekeeper warmly, and then…

His eyes drift romantically to the top of the stairs as he hears a door; he drops Raisa’s hand, ignores his mother (who is actually asking him a question!), and walks over to the foot of the stairs, a slow smile forming on his face as he sees a brunette beauty on the top step. It’s all as ridiculous as I am describing it. In fact, I was about 90% sure when watching this the first time that we were about to be introduced to his childhood love the maid’s daughter, or some such creature. (Very Rachel Dawes as well.) But then he says two of the most magical words for me possible in a work of fiction: “Hey, sis.”

She freezes for a moment in disbelief, and his face is about to burst trying to contain his wide smile. Then she starts breathing heavily (I kid you not) and starts running down the stairs.

“I knew it! I knew you were alive!” she cries.

I tend to be skeptical of those sorts of sentiments. But in this case they are welcome.

She lands on the bottom step, and then pops up into a hug, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and neck. She sighs really heavily. I mean, chick is doing a lot of loud breathing. Then she says, “I missed you so much.” There’s a very strong emphasis on the “so”.

He’s still smiling, his hand on the back of her head. “You were with me the whole time,” he whispers.

She smiles at that (so do I), and sort of digs her hands in to hug him more tightly.

And then it cuts away sort of awkwardly, making me think something was cut. The funny thing is, at some parts I was actually ready to praise the editing, which isn’t a quality I often think about, but there are a couple of parts where something was cut (probably for time), and it sort of stands out to someone who is paying a lot of attention. Someone like me, who is studying every detail of the scene at hand.

Where do I even start?

I guess with the fact that this was set up to look like the reunion between Oliver and someone who is meant to be his love interest?!!! I was so sure that the girl at the top of the stairs was going to be the love interest that I’m surprised I didn’t laugh hysterically when we found out that she was his sister. I can only assume that what we’re supposed to take away from this misstep is how much they love each other, how much they missed each other, and how close they probably were before he disappeared.

The “I knew you were alive” is indicative of a very close connection between the two of them, a connection only reinforced by his “You were with me the whole time”.  His line sheds an important light on what he says later about Laurel, that was what he missed most. He didn’t need to miss Thea, because she was with him the whole time.

And I think that’s an important quality that defines the love between siblings. I mean of course you miss them when they’re not around, but it’s a sort of constant love that exists no matter how long it has been since you’ve seen each other. It doesn’t suffer the way a long-distance relationship between spouses suffers. I mean, interacting might become more awkward, but the love itself isn’t diminished or challenged by distance or time.

Or maybe I’m full of bullshit.

The shot that this scene cuts away to is a bird’s eye view of Starling City (aka New York, I assume), and it reminds me so much of the shots of Gotham in Nolan’s series. It makes me happy and sad at the same time.

SCENE 2

Dinner! (First of all can I say that I love that they’re all eating at this ridiculously large table?) Tommy is telling Oliver about all of the Super Bowls that he missed. Can you even imagine all that you would miss in five years? Oliver is listening, but I don’t think he cares. Thea is laughing at Tommy’s summaries, and smiling at him affectionately.

Oliver is making Hamlet-y eyes at his mother and Walter.

When Tommy has finished telling Oliver about the series finale of Lost (I really like Colin Leprechaun Donnell’s way of speaking, can I just say that?), Thea (they really missed an opportunity to name her Olivia), turns to Oliver and asks, “What was it like?”

Suddenly you can hear crickets. Everyone gets quiet and looks to see what will happen.

I appreciate that Thea isn’t afraid to ask him a real question. I think Oliver pretending like it’s all a fun adventure has a place, but I like that Thea isn’t afraid to be real. And she doesn’t ask it in a challenging way, but in a curious way.

“Cold,” Oliver answers. And this is one line where I really appreciate what Stephen Amell did with the character. I think it’s delivered very carefully. He’s not resentful of the question, not afraid of it. It’s an uncomfortable question, but he’s not afraid to be honest. But underneath everything you still see how damaged he is.

Thea listens carefully, she half-smiles, pleased by his honesty and because he smiled at her (pleased with her audacity), but underlying it is a troubled expression, either because the answer is sad or because she knows there’s so much more that he isn’t saying.

Oliver says that he wants to swing by the office, which makes Walter very displeased. I can only assume Walter is doing something at “the office” that he doesn’t want Oliver knowing about or getting involved in. There’s not a lot of variety of what that could, but I’m hoping to be surprised. Moira’s displeasure is much better hidden, but she’s a little startled as well. With Oliver she plays the part of the good cop, though.

Oliver speaks some Russian to Raisa (which surprises everyone), and Walter says, “I didn’t realize you took Russian in college, Oliver.”

Now I’m confused, because I doubt, no matter how much Russian Oliver took in college, that however many years later he can just produce it like that. But even so, if Oliver studied Russian in college, why is Tommy all like, “Dude, you speak Russian?!!!!!” and Raisa and everyone is surprised. So obviously Oliver did not study Russian in college, he learned it elsewhere. So did he study it secretly before the yacht crash? That seems unlikely. Because WHY? So did he learn it on the island? I thought he was alone. He was on an island near China. Russia isn’t too far from there, relatively anyway. So was he actually hanging out with Russians at some point? Or maybe he had a book and learned it from that or something. I don’t know. Russian mystery.

Well, Oliver’s response to Walter’s question is, “I didn’t realize you wanted to sleep with my mother, Walter.”

AWKWARD.

First of all: Sure you did, Oliver. Your mom is pretty hot for a woman of her age. Of course he wanted to sleep with her. Second of all, just because it’s obvious that there is something of an intimate nature between your mother and Walter does not mean you need to phrase it like that. I mean, he makes it sound all sexy and illicit. Maybe they’re in love?

Now if you haven’t watched the episode, or if it has been a while, you may not realize that we didn’t actually know at this point that Walter and Moira were married. We only know him as someone from Queen Consolidated. Who just happens to be invited to dinner the first night of Oliver’s return.

Well, Moira and Oliver exchange some looks. Oliver seems very defiant. I’m not sure why he’s so proud of himself. This is the kind of acting-out crap I would expect from who I thought Thea was going to be.

Moira looks at Thea, who assures her that she didn’t say anything.

Moira tells Oliver that she and Walter are married. Dude, it has been five years. In Hamlet, Gertrude married Claudius within one month. One month! Lay off, Ollie.

Eventually Oliver says, “It’s fine,” but he doesn’t look like he thinks it’s fine. And then he gets up and leaves the table. But he does ask to be excused!

Oliver picks up an apple from the table, winks at Thea, and then leaves. I don’t really understand. They make such a big deal out of him taking the apple, showing a close-up of his hand while he does it, with Thea in the background watching. And why is he winking? Just to cheer her up? She looks pretty glum in her final reaction shot as he leaves the room. Still, the wink pleases me.

SCENE 3

The next morning.

Oliver brought back a chest from the island. In it he has the book of names from his father, some other things we don’t see. Perhaps a Russian lesson book?

He knocks on Thea’s door. She’s inside with a friend, chopping up prescription pills for snorting or something. Bad drug stuff. Oliver doesn’t wait for the OK, he just walks right in after knocking (what’s even the point in knocking if you do that?), and he sees the girls scrambling to cover something up. With his superhero psychic senses he seems to know immediately what it is.

She greets him as “Ollie”, but she’s not the only one who calls him that. Laurel does at one point as well.

She and her friend are both in uniform, so we know immediately that they’re in high school. We find out later that she’s 17, so I’ll go into her age later. But for now let me say that her uniform is all undone – the tie is loose, the button-up shirt is unbuttoned almost scandalously low, and the jacket is unbuttoned. I mean, she basically looks like she’s in the process of taking it off. So definite sexy vibes from the costume department.

Oliver responds by calling her “Speedy”, which she says is, “the worst nickname ever.” Oh sweet summer child. That is definitely not the worst nickname ever.

Then he says, “What? Always chasing after me as a kid? I thought it fit pretty well.”

Adoring younger sister. It pleases me. She literally had a nickname for how fast she was when she was following him around.

Then he says, “Maybe it still does,” in reference to the drugs. Nice one, Ollie. Clever.Her friend says, “See you at school, Speedy,”, then sort of not-winks but winks at her and leaves. The not-wink is perhaps about getting away with the drugs, or maybe she’s just reinforcing the tease about the nickname, but maybe it’s a “wow he’s hot” not-wink. It’s possible.

And Thea says, “Sorry about her.”

I don’t know what Thea is apologizing for. I do think that if your brother was dead for five years and then came back, that it’s really stupid for you have a friend over the next day. And who gets together in the morning before school? (Especially at a mansion, because it probably takes as long to walk up to her bedroom as it does to get to her house.) But I still don’t understand what the apology was about.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Once the friend is gone, Oliver pulls something out of his pocket. It’s a ——  hosen? (insert foreign word) and in Buddhism it represents reconnecting. It looks like a rock with things carved into it and dyed, but it also looks a lot like an arrow head. Eh? Ehhhhh? He tells her, “I kept it, with hopes that one day it would reconnect me with you.”

Jdklajkldjajfdlaj

Now I know I talked a lot about how they have this strong connection, and now he’s talking about reconnecting, and it’s all sort of contradictory, but whatever. Reconnecting physically still remains. Reconnecting, you know, IN BED.

She smiles at him as she takes it, and she presses it against her heart.

She always looks at him with such adoration. I mean, she’s still getting used to the fact that he’s alive, of course. But still. She obviously thinks the world of him.

“A rock? That is…sweet,” Tommy says sarcastically, appearing in the doorway. He totally interrupts the tender moment, and then just strolls right in like he owns the place, making a joke about how he wants a gift too.

.

Both Oliver and Thea are clearly annoyed at being interrupted, which I love, and also are a little put-off by Tommy’s mocking, BUT, they are annoyed in an affectionate way, which really just reinforces the idea of him as another member of the family. Thea tells Oliver to not let Tommy get him into too much trouble. Again, teasing of a very familiar nature.

Oliver kisses Thea on the cheek as they hug. I don’t think I’m seeing things when I say that it sort of looked like he was going to kiss her on the mouth at first. Something about the way he angled his head. Ignore me.

It’s a long hug, and just perfect.

Oliver leaves first, and then Tommy gives Thea sex eyes as he leaves the room.

“Have you noticed how hot your sister’s gotten?” Tommy asks once he and Oliver are out in the hallway.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. For real?

Oliver glares at him.

“Because I have not,” Tommy finishes.

Merry Christmas to me!

First of all, almost every single incest original story or fanfiction I have ever written involves one of the primary characters’ friends mentioning how hot the sibling is. I mean, it’s a staple. So basically I got to watch this scene and say to myself that if I was writing an incest fanfic for Oliver and Thea this scene would have been in it.

It’s just so great to see Oliver confronted with a certain sexual objectification of his sister.

And we can assume his visible alarm is due to Tommy’s womanizing ways and Thea’s age, but no one can say that it isn’t jealousy.

Furthermore, I go into a lot of detail in my entry on The Fades how I feel about siblings getting involved with best friends, but suffice it to say that if Thea is ever interested in Tommy then I’ve got a lot more fodder to work with. Especially since it would seem that  Tommy is A LOT like the Oliver she used to know/chase after.

I have to say that I do ship Tommy and Thea, though not in the OTP way I ship Tommy/Laurel and Oliver/Thea. Though if they did end up together, I would be fairly happy. I mean, I really couldn’t ask for more. I’m never going to get Oliver/Thea anyway. And I’d love to see Tommy marry into the Queen family, to see Tommy and Oliver be brothers through marriage.

If you can’t tell, I’m extremely protective of Tommy. So anything that makes him look good, like winning the love of the beautiful Thea, treasured sister of Oliver, is going to make me happy.

SCENE 4

So Tommy throws this kickass party for Oliver. I think it might actually take place the following day, which is super impressive. I mean, that takes skills. Especially since it’s an ENORMOUS-ASS party that takes up an entire warehouse/planetarium?, and is full of, I’m assuming, almost complete strangers.

Tommy wants to get Oliver laid, and I’m sure a small part of that has to do with luring him away from Laurel. He points out some girls to Oliver, and God bless him, he’s actually paying attention and seems remotely interested. Thank you God for not giving me a superhero who he thinks he’s above casual sex.

Well, Oliver’s eyes wander around the room, and guess where they almost immediately land? That’s right: on Thea. She’s in a circle with two other friends, passing around illicit substances. Oliver takes off right away to intervene. He walks aggressively over to her and grabs her arm and pulls her aside.

The funny thing is that she doesn’t seem to realize at first that she’s in trouble. I guess she’s used to him doing that. “This party is sick,” she says. Good work, Tommy! I am so proud of my boy. (Also, “sick”? I’m only as hip as the characters I watch on TV, but I’m pretty sure that’s outdated by at least five years.)

Oliver demands to know who let her in.

She points out, quite rightly, that she’s his sister and was welcomed.

Oliver is not pleased. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“I’m not 12 anymore.” She’s annoyed now.

“No, you’re 17!” Well, he’s right and he’s wrong, isn’t he?

“Ollie, I love you. But you can’t come back here and judge me. Especially for being just like you,” is her response.

“I know that it couldn’t have easy for you while I was…away…”

“Away? No, you died. My brother and my father died. I went to your funerals.”

“I know!”

“No, you don’t. Mom had Walter, and I had no one. You guys all act like it’s cool, let’s forget about the last five years. Well I can’t. For me it’s kinda permanently in there. So I’m sorry if I turned out some major disappointment, but this? Me? Is the best I could do with what I had to work with.”

Oliver blinks painfully.

And she sort of storms away with her friend and leaves the party, after noticing that her drugs are missing. Hee! Oliver pick-pocked them and then he throws them away.

I think she’s a little hard on him. Actually no, I think she’s way way too hard on him. He doesn’t want her at the party because he doesn’t want her doing bad things. And then she lashes out at him like everything is his fault. Nothing is his fault. And I’m sure life on the island was a picnic. Just because he described it as cold doesn’t mean that was the only thing that was bad about it, Speedy! I’m not saying it wasn’t tough for her, and she needs to get those feelings out, but I do not appreciate the way she went about it.

But of course I like that the fact that she’s responding to a fear that he’s disappointed in her. And I like that she’s trying to come across as lonely. It would seem there’s no boyfriend or friend that she’s devoted to.

And can we talk about how Thea sees herself as permanently changed by living five years with the loss of him? Losing someone you love is always going to have an effect, and especially losing a sibling or a parent when you’re a child is devastating, but she was already 12. It’s a big deal.

And she really saved herself in my eyes by talking about the drugs as a way of dealing with her grief. She’s not like, “My life sucks so I take drugs.” Or “I’m such a rebel so I do drugs.” Or “I’m a bored rich girl so I take drugs.” No, she’s like, “I was so broken by the deaths of my father and my brother that I turned to drugs.” I can handle that.

And Oliver was pretty devastated by her rant. Laurel blamed him for Sarah’s death and told him that she wished he had died instead, and he seemed less shaken than after Thea’s little speech.

OK, now I’ll talk about her age. So she was 12 when he was in the accident. She’s 17 now. I don’t know how old he is. Sarah Lance, in the flashback, calls him an Ivy League dropout. But we don’t know how long it has been since he dropped out. I know that people under 21 drink, but I think he was probably 21 at the very least when the accident happened. That would make him 26 now. He might even be a little older than that. So I’d say he’s probably 9-10 years older than Thea. That’s a lotta years. I mean, we’re verging on Spencer/Carly territory here. Now I think I’ve already established on this blog that I have no problems with a 17 year-old being old enough to consent to sex, or with an age gap of 10 years+, but I’ll reiterate those facts in this entry just to be clear. When I say I have no problem, I literally mean that I have zero problem and it does not bother me at all.

And she’ll probably be 18 soon anyway.

In some ways this presents an ideal incest-launching situation. She’s a child when he leaves. 12 years old. Still a girl. He comes back and she’s 17. Full grown. Full grown AND beautiful. And it’s almost funny that never once did he remark, “Wow, you’re all grown up.” Or, “When I left you were still a kid,” or anything at all like that. That sort of situation alters the Westermarck Effect, don’t you think?Or maybe it only does in fiction. But since we’re dealing with fiction, I think it’s a valid point.

Can I just say before I finish that Stephen Amell and Willa Holland have some crazy chemistry? I mean, that’s why Oliver/Thea already has so many shippers. There’s even a blog for their relationship, although it’s probably supposed to be platonic. But we all know how much respect I have for “supposed to be platonic.”There are already some fanfics for them out there. If they aren’t on the regular archives, you can check tumblr. I don’t understand it, but there are some people who post their fanfiction only on tumblr, or sometimes livejournal.

Well, I think that’s really all I wanted to discuss for Oliver/Thea and for this show. New episode Wednesday night. I’m very excited. Even though Oliver/Thea will never happen, I’ve still got Tommy/Laurel and Tommy/Thea developments to look forward to, (maybe? cross fingers) as well as the show in general which I do enjoy. I mean, I focus so much on the shipping, and I do care about shipping more than anything else, but I hope it’s clear that even though I mostly just write about shipping, I do enjoy other parts of these movies and shows.

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29 Responses to Arrow, or Hotness Brothering

  1. aK says:

    Glad you’re posting again! Wanted to welcome you back after your last entry and ask if you were going to watch ‘Arrow’, but obviously didn’t get around to doing it ^^;;
    What a pleasant surprise that you did in fact watch it and even wrote a whole awesome post too! Looking forward to reading more of your commentary on this series 😉
    Also, have you watched ‘Ben & Kate’? Incest aside, their sibling relationship is really sweet 🙂
    Cheers!

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Writing about Arrow was just too good to pass up. Sometimes the inspiration just hits. I didn’t know much about Arrow before it started, but it was definitely the type of show that I would at least give a try. I was so happy that I ended up loving it. And I’m glad to hear that it coincided with your interests, too! I’m hoping the next episode will give me plenty to want to write about.

      Ben and Kate is on my radar, but I haven’t watched it yet. A friend recommended it to me, and when she told me that it centered on a brother and a sister (without knowing how much I love that), I knew I had to try it. But then I forgot what it was called, LOL. I knew it was Ben and someone. Now that you’ve reminded me, I’m going to track down the episodes and get started it. Thanks!

      • J says:

        Hey there! I just wanted to send you a quick note to introduce myself and thank you for creating your site! I just stumbled upon it after doing a search looking if other people saw this insane chemistry and incestuous undertone in arrow. I knew I wasn’t the only one that is drawn to arrow not only for the action and Stephen’s killer body! I look forward to reading your posts on arrow and talking to you.

        • Shipcestuous says:

          I’m so happy that you found your way here! You are definitely not the only one to notice the ridiculousness that is the chemistry between Oliver and Thea. No complaints about the action or Stephen’s body, but I am first and foremost a shipper, that’s for sure. Welcome welcome welcome! And please, always feel free to comment and discuss!

          • Paris says:

            Thank you! Your posts are like a box of candy that needs to be savored! How did you find out about Arrow, did you just happen to stumble upon the pilot? I saw the preview for it when I was watching a special from the CW and at the time I thought it looked kind of cheesy and stupid, but I gave the pilot a go and loved it so much – now it is one of my favorite shows. I just hope they keep developing the Oliver/Thea storyline and don’t take her out of the show or anything because on IMDB she is only down for 5 episodes so far!?

            On a side note I wonder if the CW or actors are conscious of their actions or if it was intentional. The CW is also home to Supernatural which I love, and that show has a HUGE following of Dean/Sam shippers!

            • Shipcestuous says:

              Thank you!!!! What a fantastic thing to hear. I just love you all so much!

              Each new TV season I try to read a summary of the new shows and pick out which ones I think I might like. Then I’ll watch the first episode to see if I get hooked. If I really want to like it, I might force a few more episodes to see if it gets any better or more geared towards my TV interests. With Arrow I only needed one episode, that’s for sure. I don’t typically watch any of the promos or read any of the promotional material, so I almost always go in blind.

              With Arrow, I had sort of heard of it earlier in the summer, just a brief sentence about a show on the CW about the Green Arrow. I love superhero stuff, so that was really all I needed to hear in order to decide to give it a try.

              I’m not surprised the promo came off a little cheesy – I hope that didn’t stop anyone from watching the first episode, because I think we can all agree that the show is actually quite good. I’m glad you gave it a go anyway.

              Yes, I’ve seen this IMDB/Willa Holland news, but I believe there are spoilers for her in episodes after that, so it is generally believed to be a mistake. Personally, I don’t think it makes any sense to kill her off, and I’m hoping the writers agree with me, and will continue to agree with me for a long time. I love how the episodes so far have had a big focus on Oliver and Thea’s relationship. I hope the writers are able to keep focusing on it and writing it well and favorably for us shippers. I think at this point they’ve committed to that, so I just hope they stick with it.

              I wonder the same thing about the actors. I really can’t believe when Willa Holland was pulling down Stephen Amell’s shirt to get a better look at the scars that she didn’t think to herself that this scene had some sexual overtones. I think the writing is probably not meant to reflect anything suggestive – chances are – but I just think it’s impossible that the directors aren’t seeing the Oliver/Thea chemistry when these scenes are being acted out.

              I’m a fan of Supernatural, and I know quite well what you mean. In fact, I’ve thought about Supernatural at many times with hope for Oliver/Thea, because the popularity of Dean/Sam and the number of shippers has definitely had an impact on the writing of the show. Even in the most recent episode there was that line about an “office romance”.

              Thank you for commenting and welcome!

              I know it’s so late, but I’m working on a post about episode 3. I’ve already written the entire thing out, I’m just adding the visual aids and such, which is a long and tiresome process. But it should be done in a few hours.

              • Paris says:

                Oh bless you for making another entry, I can tell it must be a lot of work! I was wondering if you were or not, so thank you so much for taking the time to write another entry for us. I have learned so much already from your other posts. I can’t wait till tomorrow for my Arrow fix. Do you have any special Halloween plans or are you going to ring it in with Arrow. It is so funny you mentioned that scene in Supernatural – I love that show and was laughing so hard when they used that line. I am shocked (but very happy) with how the writers subtly include hints towards Dean and Sam’s relationship. You are definitely right, the shippers of that show have definitely impacted the show. So anything is still possible for this show too.

                • Shipcestuous says:

                  Thank you! It is a lot of work, although the problem is really how long it takes. But it’s so much fun. The only tedious part is waiting for the images to load. I have to do them one by one.

                  I’m so glad you appreciate the posts – I really appreciate your comments!

                  I don’t have any particular Halloween plans this year, although I’ll probably watch a Halloween-themed movie before enjoying my TV shows. I like to download Arrow in high quality before I watch it, so I usually don’t end up watching it until the next day or even later, depending on what I’ve got going on. I just love it so much, I always want the moment when I watch it to be perfect, so sometimes I end up putting it off a little. But I learned this week that I need to watch it earlier so I’m not scrambling to finish the episode entry on Tuesday night! I still don’t know if I’ll write an entry for every episode, but as long as the Oliver/Thea scenes keep coming, I don’t feel like I have a choice. Plus it’s so nice to connect with my “readers”.

                  Ah, Supernatural. It gives me so much hope, because it is such a different show in so many ways. And the way the fans have influenced it is one of the best ways in which it is different.

  2. Ivy says:

    Hi, I am so glad to see you posting on this blog again! I watched the Arrow premiere too, so this was an interesting read. But really I’m commenting to say that it would be sooooo great if you could do a post on Dexter (Dexter/Deb) because Deb’s in love with him in canon (omg). I have just gotten into the show but this is amazing to watch, especially now that she knows the truth about him!! I would love to get your thoughts on it. 🙂

    • Shipcestuous says:

      First of all, thank you so much! I’m glad to see that someone is still interested in this blog, and I’m really excited that another one of my “regulars” has an interest in Arrow.

      So here’s the thing about Dexter. I watched the first season about four years ago or so. I liked a lot about the show – the premise, the tone, Dexter and Deb’s relationship, etc. But I just didn’t get into it enough to continue with it. Then this winter I learned about the developments in Deb’s feelings for Dexter, so I checked out a couple of scenes and decided that I had to start watching it again. I decided to skip all of the seasons in between, so I just watched the sixth season. So that puts me in sort of weird position. I read episode summaries for the episodes I skipped, but I still feel sort of odd about having missed so much, even though I find it perfectly easy to follow what’s going on presently.

      I started writing an entry for Dexter/Deb about what happened last season, and then got distracted by something else and just never finished it. The timing is perfect for me to continue with the new season just having started, so I guess I’ve sort of been waiting for another development in order to jumpstart me. (I haven’t seen Sunday’s episode yet.) But now that I know I’ve got someone who’s really interested, I guess I don’t really have any choice! So I don’t want to make a promise I can’t keep, but keep your eyes open and I’ll try to it done.

      Thanks again for commenting!

      • Ivy says:

        I actually haven’t see the entire run of Dexter either; I’d seen some of it before but the recent developments, shall we say, have got me interested again, so I’ve been skipping around, cherry picking what eps I watch. I would recommend checking out 4×05, 4×06, and the first half of 4×07, which cover a mini-arc in which Deb is shot and Dexter a) takes care of her and b) plans revenge on the man that shot her. Definitely good stuff therein. 🙂 I’ll keep my eyes open for the post, if you get a chance! ❤

        • Shipcestuous says:

          Thanks for those episode recommendations. I will have to check them out because that arc sounds pretty juicy. This past episode was good for Dexter and Deb’s relationship given the obstacle they’re now facing, but it was light on references to Deb’s new feelings. I’m hoping this Sunday will have something a little bit bigger that might give me that extra oomph to finish the entry for them that I already started.

  3. anonymous says:

    “So, you may have already figured out that I’m not exactly a comics expert. I had never heard of Green Arrow. And if I did, I probably got him mixed up with the Green Lantern or the Green Hornet.”

    Or Booster Gold. (This is a reference to a “Justice League Unlimited” episode. It makes sense in context.)

    “The joy of the ship is in the obstacles that keep them apart and seeing those obstacles overcome, or in the characters being destroyed by their misery. That’s why I enjoy shipping incest so much: incest is supreme among obstacles.”

    YES. It’s an obstacle based on biology rather than just some contrived cultural differences or other whatnot.

    This is one of the reasons I don’t ship Charlie and Nate from “Revolution”. Marvel at the starcrossed nature of it all! Her father was killed by a member of the Monroe Militia and he’s…revealed to be a member of the Monroe Militia! GASP! Whatever. I just hope the writers pass out a knife and some poison and kill this particular plot.

    “There seems to be a fair amount of Oliver/Laurel shippers. Curse them! Or do they know something about Tommy that I don’t know?”

    There are two things.

    The first is that in the comics, Oliver Queen/Green Arrow and Dinah Laurel Lance/Black Canary end up together. And I think he cheats on her at some point. We still don’t know if she’ll actually become Black Canary in the show, but the group she works for is called CNRI.

    The second is the unknown way that the show will treat Tommy. There is Merlyn from the original comics continuity who was an archenemy of Green Arrow and Tommy Merlyn from The New 52 (where DC Comics rebooted everything). Merlyn was the archer that inspired Oliver to take up archery and Tommy Merlyn was a friend of Oliver’s. I don’t know anything more about that.

    “I think the biggest problem with Thea is that she’s not going to fit into the story organically. A lot of TV shows have the main action, and then a baffling high school subset that is annoying and unnecessary.”

    Well, it depends on what they do with the character. Thea is an original character and was not originally part of the comics continuity. However, Oliver had two sidekicks with known as Speedy. The first was Roy Harper…and he had a drug problem. The second was Mia Dearden who had been teenage prostitute (later revealed to be HIV-positive) that Oliver had saved. So, it’s possible that we could have a Speedy who has a drug problem and is female. There is another possibility, but I’ll put that at the end of my post in a probably inaccurate wild guess.

    “So obviously Oliver did not study Russian in college, he learned it elsewhere. So did he study it secretly before the yacht crash? That seems unlikely. Because WHY? So did he learn it on the island? I thought he was alone.”

    To a non-comic reader, that was the first real suggestion that he wasn’t alone. However, when he’s leaving the island at the beginning of the episode, there is tattered mask that’s like half red and half black. It’s the mask of the DC Comics villain Deathstroke the Terminator.

    “I don’t really understand. They make such a big deal out of him taking the apple, showing a close-up of his hand while he does it, with Thea in the background watching. And why is he winking? Just to cheer her up? She looks pretty glum in her final reaction shot as he leaves the room. Still, the wink pleases me.”

    Apple? Knowledge? Sexual temptation?

    “Now I know I talked a lot about how they have this strong connection, and now he’s talking about reconnecting, and it’s all sort of contradictory, but whatever. Reconnecting physically still remains. Reconnecting, you know, IN BED.”

    That’s basically what I thinking when I heard that. 🙂

    So, I think it’s time for my wild mass guess:

    Thea eventually learns about Oliver’s nocturnal activities and wants to join in. He teaches her in scenes reminiscent of two scenes of the same event from two episodes of “Smallville” where Oliver gives Chloe a lesson on how to shoot a bow. But slighly less suggestive than that so as not to frighten those who might not be as open to incest ship as we are. She becomes Speedy, per the comics. And as this is going on, Tommy eventually ends up with Laurel. However, Laurel gets killed or at least extremely hurt while working on something that Oliver and the love his life are working on. Tommy blames Green Arrow and becomes his nemesis. Thea becomes Black Canary to honor Laurel.

    This would allow the series to be its own thing while still hewing close to certain DC Comics. They’ve already changed the name Star City to Starling City. So, a Black Canary who’s actually the Green Arrow’s sister? And involved with him in a secret incestuous romance? Not seeing a problem.

    And it would allow the series to do actually do something like Chlois without chickening out. That’s the idea that “Smallville” was originally going to have Chloe Sullivan revealed to be Lois Lane. It certainly doesn’t hurt when the character who eventually shows up and is supposedly called “Lois Lane” has little chemistry with Clark and is pretty much dumber than two bags of hair. It also doesn’t hurt that Nois (as in “Not Lois Lane” or “No Lois Lane”) was played by Erica Durance. It became so bad that several posters at Television Without Pity would cringe pretty much any time she was onscreen.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I’m really flattered that you took the time to write out such a thoughtful and informed comment! At first I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to know about the comics, but I’m emotionally invested enough in this show and my ships right now that I’d rather know all of the worst-case scenarios and how likely they are, so your summaries were really helpful.

      I do watch Revolution, so I know exactly what you mean about Charlie and Nate. I appreciate that there was an attempt at a pretty significant obstacle, but it’s not really doing it for me.

      I think a lot of the Oliver/Laurel shippers that I encountered (mostly on Tumblr) are new to the characters, but I was spoiled enough about the comics to know that Oliver and Laurel end up together, which was disappointing to learn, but not surprising. Good catch about CNRI! Her transitioning into a costumed superhero is sort of hard to believe at this point, but the TV show will probably still go there.

      As I voiced in my article, I’m pretty terrified about Tommy’s future, but it’s good to know that there is a Tommy Merlyn that isn’t a villain.

      I did not realize that Thea was an original character. But with her nickname having been Speedy, I do wonder if they’ll make her a sidekick. That would be pretty awesome, though I’m sure Oliver would spend forever trying to talk her out of it. I like his protective side, but the two of them working together would be so much more lucrative.

      That’s good to know about the mask on the island. A villain to come, I assume? Of course it could have been possible (to a speculating mind) that the mask had washed up on shore, but really it should have been my first clue that Oliver wasn’t alone on the island. I feel pretty stupid for not thinking about it more.

      I LOVE YOUR IDEAS ABOUT THE APPLE! I’m surprised my mind didn’t go there.

      And I like your wild guess as well about the future of the plot. It would certainly make me happy. If Tommy ended up becoming a villain because of Laurel – I think I could handle that. And I could see Thea actually becoming Black Canary. Sort of like in The Dark Knight Rises, where John Blake’s first name is actually Robin (like Thea’s nickname was Speedy), but he becomes Batman and not Robin, and Thea becomes Black Canary and not Speedy.

      You’re a fellow TWOPer? I haven’t checked out the Arrow boards there. Some shows I just can’t wait to get on to TWOP and see what everyone had to say. Other shows I steer clear because they’ll just ruin it. I do go on the Revolution board sometimes though. It cracks me up how they call Charlie “Bratniss”. Their nicknames are so clever.

      I only watched the first couple of seasons of Smallville so I have a general sense of your comparisons but not a perfect understanding. Smallville is a nice exception to the One True Pairing trend of the CW, in that the main pairing of the show introduced in the pilot – Clark/Lana – is not the endgame one. It gives me some hope re: Oliver/Laurel.

      Thanks for all of the information! And it’s great to hear from another shipper!

      • anonymous says:

        “I think a lot of the Oliver/Laurel shippers that I encountered (mostly on Tumblr) are new to the characters, but I was spoiled enough about the comics to know that Oliver and Laurel end up together, which was disappointing to learn, but not surprising. Good catch about CNRI! Her transitioning into a costumed superhero is sort of hard to believe at this point, but the TV show will probably still go there.”

        I actually didn’t make the catch about CNRI, someone else did.

        The thing about Oliver and Laurel is that since they’ve added Thea, they’ve written themselves into a corner. The same thing happened with Chloe in “Smallville”. (But I’m pretty sure that was actually a deliberate move by the original showrunners.) To make Oliver and Laurel end up together because “canon says so”, they’re going to REALLY ignore the amount of sexual chemistry Oliver and Thea give off and just how much sexual chemistry Laurel and Tommy give off.

        But now that I’m wrtiting this, this might be deliberate on the part of the showrunners/writers. Something like seems to have this occured on the ABC series “Flashforward” with Demetri Noh (John Cho) and Janis Hawk (Christine Wood). If you haven’t seen it, you can see it on Hulu. Hulu has the entire run. And it’s on regular Hulu not Hulu Plus. If you can’t access it for some reason or just don’t have the time, I can go into explanation with spoilers.

        “I did not realize that Thea was an original character. But with her nickname having been Speedy, I do wonder if they’ll make her a sidekick. That would be pretty awesome, though I’m sure Oliver would spend forever trying to talk her out of it. I like his protective side, but the two of them working together would be so much more lucrative.”

        I think Thea might kind of manipulate him into it and he might know that he’s being manipulated into doing it. Maybe she playfully tells him that she might just go out anyway because she knows she can’t get away with and he’ll let her get away with it. This, of course, would make him need to teach her. And then we can have sparring sessions with the same amount of chemistry that Annie and Auggie had in their first sparring session in “Covert Affairs”.

        “That’s good to know about the mask on the island. A villain to come, I assume? Of course it could have been possible (to a speculating mind) that the mask had washed up on shore, but really it should have been my first clue that Oliver wasn’t alone on the island. I feel pretty stupid for not thinking about it more.”

        I hadn’t thought of the mask floating up on shore. But I rewatched the episode on Hulu and realized I had forgotten that there had been an arrow through the right eye hole of the mask. That reminded me that Deathstroke, a.k.a. Slade Wilsom, was blind in one eye, so I did some Googling and went to the Wikipedia entry on Deathstroke. Well, Deathstroke is blind in his right eye. And in turns out that in the comic miniseries “Identity Crisis” Green Arrow shot an arrow through his right eye socket. (This was years after the incident that had originally blinded him.) Slade manages to get away and leaves his cowl and note that’s stuck to a wall using the same arrow. So, based on this reference, I’m guessing that Oliver and Slade Wilson did meet on the island.

        But this raises some questions and implications.

        We’ve already established that Tommy Merlyn is part of The New 52 continuity. But how much will the series hew to The New 52 continuity? The writers have said that The New 52 will keep some of the major storylines while dumping others. One of the storylines being kept is “Identity Crisis”. When I read about this, I was originally hoping that they would reveal that they weren’t keeping “Identity Crisis” because that would make the use of the mask in the episode a clear indication that the series was going it’s own way. However, I realized that while the use of the mask could be seen as an indication that the series is hewing very close to the comics, it might actually be the opposite. There are two reasons. The first is that in the comics the arrow through the eye happend later in Oliver’s superhero career while in the TV series it happened before Oliver made his big splash. The second is that the mask had two eye holes. In the comics, Deathstroke wears a mask with one eye-hole. Since The New 52 is keeping “Identity Crisis”, it’s likely that it’s keeping the idea that Oliver shot through the eye socket years after Slade was blinded. But in the series, the masks has both eyes, so it look like Oliver might have been the one to take his eye. And if this is a separation from the current comics, the series might develop it’s own continuity.

        One of several problems that “Smallville” had in the last couple of seasons was that it tried to slavishly devote itself to a certain take on modern Superman “canon”. The problem was that “Smallvile” had developed its own canon that the last two season just tried to totally obliterate/ignore. This was really a slap in the face of the fans of the series who had watched the series since the beginning. And it was also big problem because the original seasons weren’t based solely on modern Superman canon. It borrowed form the original Golden Age comics, the Silver Age comics, the modern comics, and the movies. And there were even nods to “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and the animated series. By doing this, “Smallville” itself was the biggest argument against certain events needing to occur. Let’s hope that the writers of “Arrow” have learned what happens when you go against your own canon.

        “I LOVE YOUR IDEAS ABOUT THE APPLE! I’m surprised my mind didn’t go there.”

        And when I was watching the episode on Hulu, I noticed that the apple is green. While there are green apples, it could be symbolic of things that haven’t yet ripened. So, that would make sense, because their true relationship is hasn’t full ripened yet.

        “And I like your wild guess as well about the future of the plot. It would certainly make me happy. If Tommy ended up becoming a villain because of Laurel – I think I could handle that. And I could see Thea actually becoming Black Canary. Sort of like in The Dark Knight Rises, where John Blake’s first name is actually Robin (like Thea’s nickname was Speedy), but he becomes Batman and not Robin, and Thea becomes Black Canary and not Speedy.”

        And I just realized the writers could just put Laurel into a coma if they wanted. When the showrunners were forced to use Nois, there was a portion of the contract that said they couldn’t kill her off. There might be something like that with Laurel (and probably several of the other characters). But, if the showrunners/writers are savvy enough, they might get away with a permanent or semi-permanent coma. It could just like the John Candy movie “Delirious” and the jokes about brain tumors in soap operas.

        “You’re a fellow TWOPer? I haven’t checked out the Arrow boards there. Some shows I just can’t wait to get on to TWOP and see what everyone had to say. Other shows I steer clear because they’ll just ruin it. I do go on the Revolution board sometimes though. It cracks me up how they call Charlie ‘Bratniss’. Their nicknames are so clever.”

        Yep. I’m a TWOPer. I haven’t posted for several months. And I haven’t even checked out the Arrow or Revolution boards yet.

        “I only watched the first couple of seasons of Smallville so I have a general sense of your comparisons but not a perfect understanding. Smallville is a nice exception to the One True Pairing trend of the CW, in that the main pairing of the show introduced in the pilot – Clark/Lana – is not the endgame one. It gives me some hope re: Oliver/Laurel.”

        Well, here’s how “Smallville” as it was originally set up worked. The pilot actually set up TWO romantic triangles. In most romantic comedies you introduce the main character before you introduce the romantic rival and you show the meeting of the main character and the character you want the audience the main character to end up with. In the pilot, the scenes during the meteor strike introduce Lex and Lana before Clark is introduced. However, in the scenes set during the present day, Clark and Chloe are introduced before we are introduced to Lana. And during the first season, the first meeting between the characters that the writers wanted the audience to focus on were mentioned. In “Metamorphosis”, we learn about Lex’s first meeting with Lana. Lana’s first meeting with Clark doesn’t seem to be important enough to be mentioned. But, in “Obscura”, we definitely learn what happened when Clark met Chloe. 🙂

        Also, Chloe’s name is mentioned only once in the pilot and not in her presence and not until she’s described in terms that are traditionally used to describe Lois Lane. There are quite a few people who missed bits and pieces of episodes and thought she was a blonde Lois Lane.

        This all ties into Oliver/Thea and Tommy/Laurel and kind of the identity of Black Canary. First, we have the obvious chemistry between the two potential couples. Second, we have the nature of hair color. In the comics, Dinah Laurel Lance was the second Black Canary. She had dark hair and work a long blonde wig as Black Canary. She later just dyed her hair blonde. However, the Black Canary from “Smallville” had wore a dark a dark wig and had short blonde hair as Black Canary. So, it could be possible that Laurel will become Black Canary. However, it’s equally possible that Thea becomes Black Canary. And for an even twistier version, Laurel becomes Black Canary but gets killed/put into a coma and Thea takes over.

        • Shipcestuous says:

          I’m still hoping that Tommy and Laurel might be an endgame possibility, but Oliver/Thea will never happen. Even if they had Thea be adopted, I still don’t think a show on CW would ever go there. Which is really too bad, because not only are they writing a fantastic relationship with Oliver and Thea, but Stephen Amell and Willa Holland have chemistry off the charts.

          Introducing Thea does complicate the idea of the writers sticking to canon I guess it’ll take more time to know how much they are going to deviate from the comics. Smallville does sound like a cautionary tale. It just makes so much more sense to stick with the canon of the show established in the first few seasons rather than to compromise all of that for the sake of comics canon.

          I take it you were a Clark/Chloe shipper? I was too. I never cared for Clark/Lana and I stopped watching before Lois was really a factor. Though Lex/Lana was probably the ship I cared about most when I did watch it.

          I’ve seen Flashforward. Do you mean how Demetri and Janis seemed a bit flirtatious and then she was revealed to be a lesbian? I can understand why they chose to do that on Flashforward, though I really can’t see the point of writing Oliver/Thea and Oliver/Laurel so chemistry-heavy.

          I could see Thea manipulating Oliver into letting her be a sidekick type exactly the way you said. I wonder what her motivation will be. Just adventure? It would be cool if she had something driving her. Revenge, maybe.

          Fascinating stuff about Deathstroke. I guess when he finally appears, that’ll give us some clues about how the writers plan on handling the various canons. I’m excited because if Oliver knew him on the island, those interactions should be pretty interesting.

          And your idea of a coma is pretty interesting. I have zero understanding of how those contracts might work, but power to the writers for finding loopholes if they can. Laurel’s character seems rather indispensable right now, but I could see that happening later on after they introduce new characters. I complain about the CW’s tendencies a lot, but they are very good at hearing fan feedback and rolling with the flow. I know both The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural both had characters that were supposed to have a small 2-4 episode arc and then be killed off, and they both became regulars at one point because of how popular they were.

          I don’t know if Arrow will stick to any of the hair-color canons. That always seems to be one of the first things to go out the window. But it could also be a clue.

          Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comments!

          • anonymous says:

            “I’m still hoping that Tommy and Laurel might be an endgame possibility, but Oliver/Thea will never happen. Even if they had Thea be adopted, I still don’t think a show on CW would ever go there. Which is really too bad, because not only are they writing a fantastic relationship with Oliver and Thea, but Stephen Amell and Willa Holland have chemistry off the charts.”

            I definitely think they wouldn’t go there overtly. This isn’t HBO. 🙂 But it would be fun to see a Oliver/Thea relationship portrayed in a way per your analysis of the relationship of John and Samantha Grimm in “Doom”. (I have that DVD because of your analysis. Ooh. And I saw “Vertical Limit”. Must get DVD in the future. No question about the subtext in either of those movies.)

            And the series could even steal from “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo”. Several years ago I was on a site that I cannot remember the name of and found that there were Daphne/Shaggy shippers but then forgot about it. And a couple of years ago later I remembered that and did a search. I found that there hints for the couple in a several of the Scooby-Doo series, one of them being “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo”. That shocked me because I remembered actually watching it when I was a kid and couldn’t remember anything that could be considered romantic/sexual between the two. So, I decided to see if I could find a few episodes and see if the posters were accurate. It turns out that there were a few instances that my innocent eyes missed. In the very first episode there’s a hug that lingers longer than you might expect. Here’s an excerpt of the episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RtYNu8vpx8 The hug starts at about 2 minutes and 50 seconds in. While some of the length could be argued to be caused by the use of the limits of cel animation, that doesn’t explain why Daphne closes her eyes during the hug. And when the scene changes perspective, Daphne still clings to him. And based on that hug and the existence of Flim-Flam, one person even came to the conclusion that they were a couple and for several years afterwards had thought that kid (Flim-Flam) was their adoptive child. There were Shaggy and Daphne check-in to one room that has one bed with two pillows. And in one of these episode (possibly the same episode) Shaggy is shown relentessley packing their stuff to leave and doesn’t have a problem grabbing her clothes to pack. Even if the bed hadn’t been an indication, his being able to handle her intimates might be a clue as to their relationship. And in yet another episode, Shaggy and the group (minus Daphne) are watching a light night horror fest. Daphne comes down the stairs in her pajamas, she joins in and they make popcorn. Shaggy and Daphne are actually living together in the same house.

            “I take it you were a Clark/Chloe shipper? I was too. I never cared for Clark/Lana and I stopped watching before Lois was really a factor. Though Lex/Lana was probably the ship I cared about most when I did watch it.”

            Yes. But one TWOPer put it better than I could: “That said, I’m still a Cloiser, with Chloe as my Lois.” I never cared for the Clana either. But there was one Clana-heavy episode from the 8th season that I actually really liked (if I recall correctly it was called “Power”), but I–like most of the people who posted to the episode thread on TWOP–really just watched it because it was Allison Mack’s (Chloe) directorial debut. The script was odd in parts, but AM’s directorial choices made the Clana actually watchable. But what’s even funnier is that most people who hated Clana during the early seasons starts watching the early seasons again to get the bad taste of the EradiClark/Nois from seasons 9 and 10. EradiClark is the name TWOP gave him because we were sure that this…jerk (had to clean up the language) couldn’t be Clark. Many of the posters who HATED Clana marveled at how FANTASTIC it looked in comparison to EradiClark/Nois. They LONGED for those days. That’s how bad things had gotten.

            And I forgot to mention a couple of things that might tie “Smallville” into “Arrow. That is if Oliver, Thea, Laurel, Tommy can be seen to be Clark, Chloe, Lana, and Lex in regards to certain story elements. In the series, one of the various ships was Chloe/Lex. While not really anywhere near canon, there were a few times when some heat could generated by them. And we already have some level of interest in regards to Thea by Tommy. And in regards to Lex/Lana, they actually dated and got married late in the series. And then everything went to hell for her in regards to Lex. I’m not sure if the series will ever go there in terms of dating and marriage. But with the amount of heat the two generated, I don’t think it would serve the writers to just ignore it. But they’re probably not ignoring it because they obviously wrote it. And in the first season, Lex actually encouraged Clark to pursue Lana even though Lana was dating Whitney Fordham, a football player. And in “Arrow”, we have Tommy actually driving Oliver to see Laurel, who’s been having several “lapses” with Tommy.

            Anyway, I would love to see Oliver and Tommy work together to save Thea and Laurel. Oliver saves Thea and Tommy saves Laurel.

            “I’ve seen Flashforward. Do you mean how Demetri and Janis seemed a bit flirtatious and then she was revealed to be a lesbian? I can understand why they chose to do that on Flashforward, though I really can’t see the point of writing Oliver/Thea and Oliver/Laurel so chemistry-heavy.”

            Well, it’s not the fact that she’s was a lesbian that I was focusing on. We as the audience see Demetri and Janis as a possible couple before we’re actually introduced to his fiance Zoe (Gabrielle Union). From a story structure perspective, when we see the lesser amount of chemistry that Dem has with Zoe–at least from my perspective and at least a few others–the eventual hookup in Somalia that Demetri has with Janis so she can get pregnant seems less of a betrayal than it would have been if Dem and Zoe had been introduced first and had substantially more chemistry. And from a character perspective, the episode where we see flashbacks from Janis’ past could be used to argue that one of the reason Dem suggested the hookup was that he had always been in love with her since their training at the FBI academy.

            But back to the revelation of Janis being a lesbian. Revealing that she’s a lesbian creates a bit on confusion. People who were sure that they would hook up because of the flirtatiousness and the fact that her flashforward showed that she was pregnant were now thrown because they were so…sure. And this actually ties into the first episode, because we all thought Thea would be someone other than his sister when he turned to see who had opened a door in Stately Wayne Manor.

            “I could see Thea manipulating Oliver into letting her be a sidekick type exactly the way you said. I wonder what her motivation will be. Just adventure? It would be cool if she had something driving her. Revenge, maybe.”

            If she learns more about his mission and what really happened to her father, revenge would probably be a good one.

            “Fascinating stuff about Deathstroke. I guess when he finally appears, that’ll give us some clues about how the writers plan on handling the various canons. I’m excited because if Oliver knew him on the island, those interactions should be pretty interesting.”

            And I learned that Deathstroke IS appearing in an upcoming episode. Like episode 5 or so.

            “And your idea of a coma is pretty interesting. I have zero understanding of how those contracts might work, but power to the writers for finding loopholes if they can. Laurel’s character seems rather indispensable right now, but I could see that happening later on after they introduce new characters. I complain about the CW’s tendencies a lot, but they are very good at hearing fan feedback and rolling with the flow. I know both The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural both had characters that were supposed to have a small 2-4 episode arc and then be killed off, and they both became regulars at one point because of how popular they were.”

            That’s very promising to hear. Anyway, one of the few things that gives me pause about writing her character out is that Katie Cassidy is a MUCH better actress than Erica Durance will ever be. If the writers can find a credible way to keep her out of the Black Canary action so that Thea can do that while still keeping Laurel relevant to the series, I would completely support that.

            • Shipcestuous says:

              I no longer trust my judgment as to whether subtext is intentional or not.  But if Oliver/Thea resembles John/Sam from Doom in any way (especially in the way it ends), I will be THRILLED. That’s not impossible, so we can hope for it. But the CW panders to shippers so much that I find it difficult to believe that both Oliver and Thea will escape without “epic” love stories. But as long as the show prioritizes Oliver and Thea’s relationship, even if they have significant others, that will be a win. (I’m glad to hear you agree with some of my Doom and Vertical Limit analyses!!!!)

              I watched the part of the Scooby-Doo clip that you mentioned. That hug does last for a really long time. All of that evidence does seem to add up to something. If I was a writer, I would be laying down subtext all over the place. And certainly if I was in a position where I wanted to have a couple that couldn’t end up together because of what the network was demanding, or because I had already written too many couples like that (like if it was a brother and sister, or if there was a severe age gap, or something like that), then I can think of about a billion ways I could leave hints that the couple I wanted is meant to be, and that things aren’t really working between the technically canon endgame couples. So I always think that there are writers out there who do that sometimes.

              I like that about still being a Clark/Lois shipper, just with Chloe as your Lois. That makes perfect sense to me.

              Those Smallville parallels are interesting. The set-up of the love square does have the potential to be almost perfectly analogous, though we’re obviously at different points in all of the respective relationships. What I need to do is learn more about the shows that the writers for Arrow have already worked on and then just compile all of that information.

              Yeah, the writers have made Tommy and Laurel canon, they can’t just ignore their chemistry. Even if Tommy and Laurel is not their endgame plan, they need to take a long, hard look at those two and realize they’ve got gold.

              Now I’m dying for an episode where Oliver and Tommy work together to save Laurel and Thea. It makes so much more sense for Tommy to the one to help Laurel and for Oliver to be the one to help Thea. That would just be the perfect commentary on the way the coupling should go.

              OK, I understand better what you’re saying about Flashforward now. The chemistry was a way of supporting what happened between Demetri and Janis.

              Yes, I’m hoping Thea learning that her father was murdered (and almost Oliver, too) will make her want some revenge. If Oliver was afraid of what Thea would do without him there to guide her and watch over her, it would make sense that he would let her be a sidekick.

              Yes, I do like Katie Cassidy, and I like Laurel most of the time, just not as Oliver’s love interest. As long as she’s not usurping what I want for Thea, I want her around.

              I wrote about the second episode here, if you haven’t seen it yet and you’re interested.

              Thanks, again, for your comments!

  4. had to post here! I’m that crazy person who started the “Reconnecting” blog for Ollie/Thea. And it’s mostly in appreciation for their romantic chemistry, although I suppose people who are just there for feel-good sibling blogs would enjoy it, too. ::shrug:: Anyway, thanks for the shout out! Also, I really enjoyed your EPIC post. This is the first post of yours that I’ve read, but I hope you continue. I mean, hey, it’s fiction/TV, we should be allowed be crazy lol

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Well don’t worry, between the two of us you are clearly not the craziest!

      When I wrote this post and linked to your Oliver/Thea blog I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be brotherly/sisterly or romantic (I have seen blogs for sibling relationships that are strictly platonic), but just this morning I was reading some of your tags for GIFsets from the most recent episode and I could tell that you shipped them romantically, which made me very happy. Then I come here today to check my comments only to see a comment from you! I’m thrilled we connected like this! And I really appreciate you starting a tumblr for them. Their chemistry just keeps getting more and more epic.

      And I’m really glad you liked the post. Thanks!

    • Paris says:

      Hey I love your blog, the more shippers the better! It is great we are all finding each other like this. When I first watched the pilot I thought maybe because I am so obsessed I was just seeing things in the episode, but I wasn’t!

  5. Brittany says:

    “Oliver picks up an apple from the table, winks at Thea, and then leaves.”

    I don’t really understand. They make such a big deal out of him taking the apple, showing a close-up of his hand while he does it, with Thea in the background watching. And why is he winking?
    I just had to comment on this because as soon as I read that, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Forbidden fruit! Thea is forbidden fruit to Oliver, and by snagging the apple and winking at Thea in front of everyone, he’s saying he doesn’t given a damn what’s forbidden.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I can only hope that that is an accurate interpretation!!!

      I don’t think anyone can argue with the idea that Thea is considered “forbidden”, and then you put that together with an apple and a wink? It makes sense to me!

  6. Shipcestuous says:

    To everyone interested: Paris and I are hosting an Oliver/Thea chat (and we’ll probably be watching some clips together, too) in this chatroom :http://xat.com/xat185627050 tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 10) at 5PM/17:00 Pacific Standard Time. Please come and fangirl with us!

  7. scriggly7 says:

    I love your blog. I also love reading and watching incest, especially sibling incest, and I’m going to watch this now that you’ve recommended it. The shipping is delicious in and of itself, of course, but I’m curious: Why do you say Oliver/Thea will never happen? They might go the Borgia way and make it canon. Is it to avoid piling on too much hope that might — if the show ends abruptly or turns Oliver & Thea’s platonic but sweet relationship sour — hurt too badly? I can understand that — I tend to protect myself emotionally where I can, because I get really invested in my ships. I’m just curious if I’m assuming the wrong reason. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy your analysis of incestuous undertones in movies and TV. I love this blog to pieces. ❤

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Hello!

      I’m so happy to meet someone else who loves incest in fiction and discussing undertones and subtext. I’m so happy that you love my blog. I’ll hope you’ll check out my tumblr – I’m much more active over there. Nowadays with blog is mostly for longer essays with lot of visual aids.

      I’m quite certain that Oliver and Thea will never be canon, sadly. Arrow is on The CW, which is known as a network channel. Everyone in the U.S. gets it for free, pretty much, and network shows are generally a bit more mainstream. They fund themselves entirely with ads, which means they have to appeal to the masses. Interest remains somewhat a niche interest. I don’t know how it works in Europe with Borgia, but The Borgias and Game of Thrones are on premium cable channels here in the U.S. and so they get a lot of their money from subscriptions. Their programming is expected to have r-rated material (age 17 and older) and to sort of push the envelope – to be shocking or surprising.

      Consensual incest among main characters basically never happens on a network show. I can’t think of a single example.

      In addition to those factors, Oliver’s relationship with Felicity on the show has gotten very popular, and the outrage if they didn’t end up together would be pretty strong. I don’t think Oliver will ever have another “real” love interest from here on out – he may get serious with someone but it won’t last. And Arrow is an action-based/comics-based show. The might flirt a little with morally-grey/villainous love interests, but romances on those types of shows tend to be rather vanilla.

      I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble of hope but I just can’t see it ever happening.

      But that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be canon to be good.

      Thanks so much for your message! I hope that clarifies my thought process. I hope you enjoy Arrow and Oliver/Thea. Keep in mind these commentaries are from a couple of years ago. Oliver and Thea continue to have an important relationship – in fact the most recent episode touched upon in quite a lot in a lovely way – but they don’t interact nearly as much as they used to when I wrote these commentaries.

      • scriggly7 says:

        Gosh — thank you so much for replying to me! Your reply was very enlightening — I don’t know anything about TV networks and their target audience and this was very, very informative. And please don’t worry at all about bursting my bubble — my OTP is Mycroft/Sherlock from BBC Sherlock, which will never ever be canon, so I know all about passionately shipping a pair that will never be canon. You’re absolutely right — it doesn’t have to be canon to be good.
        Also, I love your Tumblr blog! I love your posts and your commentaries and the asks you publish and your replies, and your recs, especially your recs — I *love* your Tumblr! I actually sent you an anon ask about Sebastian/Julia gifsets (from Brideshead Revisited) and about your side gif two months ago — I thought they were Ancient Egyptians. (If I’d known you’re so nice, I would never have asked anonymously, promise.) I also discovered and enjoyed Incest the Musical through your Tumblr. 🙂 You have a fantastic tumblr and an awesome blog here, and I cannot get enough of your posts. Thank you so much for all your efforts! Have a fantastic day. ❤ ❤ ❤

        • Shipcestuous says:

          YOU ARE TOO SWEET!!!

          (I love Mycroft and Sherlock’s relationship1 I often wish it would get more attention. I mean I love John and Sherlock’s relationship too but it’s not Sherlock’s only meaningful relationship and I would just love to see more of Mycroft and Sherlock interacting.)

          I remember the asks you mentioned. I really enjoyed Brideshead Revisited, I’m so glad you brought it up to me. (I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to the score, but the music to that film is absolutely beautiful. Nostalgic, sometimes haunting, but very beautiful.) The gif I have in my sidebar does look very Egyptian. All of the gold they are wearing is much more Egyptian-looking than Greek. I really wish there were more movies dealing with the pharaohs. It’s such a perfect example of institutionalized incest and dynastic incest but there aren’t any screen examples, really. I would love see a movie about the Egyption gods, too. That is so lacking!

          I’m very glad that you’ve been a visitor on my tumblr. I was only promoting it because I wasn’t sure – I guess I’m still stuck in the mindset of this being my main blog and my tumblr being new, even though it has been a few years. LOL. Thanks again for your messages!

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