Critical and personal opinion of the story line on the television show Arrow which involved Oliver Queen, his child William and William's mother Samantha
The story line on Arrow concerning Oliver's biological son came to a end last night. I really don't like the way that it was created. Maybe it's because I don't have children of my own, that could be the reason why I don't understand the motivations that were given to Samantha. However it didn't seem to hold up for me, as a piece of writing, too many contradictions within the different characters' motivations and reactions.
It's drama that doesn't make sense in my head. Drama for the sake of drama really. Surely if she was worried about the influence that Oliver might have on her son, she could have made the condition that she got to know Oliver as he is now, over coffee for a while, before allowing him to inform William of the fact that he was his father?
I have never seen the common sense of her banning Oliver from telling anyone about William's connection to him, in the name of protecting him, but then allowing him unsupervised access to see William when he likes. The first conversation that we see between William and Oliver is without Samantha being present, if she still sees Oliver as the man she knew, and doesn't trust him, why would she allow that? She has no way of knowing that he will not tell William the truth during that conversation, and then fight her for custody in the courts, given the fact of Oliver's wealth in comparison with hers.
There is no reason why Oliver could not have joint custody, as far as I'm aware, given the fact that at this point in the show, the character is presented as being a mayoral candidate, living in a really nice apartment, even if he doesn't have a stated profession, and he is still meant to be considerably more wealthy than the average person, even without the fact that his partner is the CEO of a multi billion corporation. I thought that the reason that children are not legally allowed contact with their biological parents, usually is because the parent is either incapable or unwilling to provide a safe environment for them, something that doesn't apply to Oliver.
Yes he is the Green Arrow, and leads a very dangerous lifestyle protecting the city, but Samantha isn't meant to know that. So the fact that Oliver cites that as a reason why Samantha was justified in making him keep William a secret doesn't ring true. Especially when Felicity learns that Thea, Malcolm and Barry all knew about William's existence, I know that all three of those characters found out on their own, and Oliver merely confirmed it. However the hurt that Felicity feels, is justified, and written on Bett Rickards' face.
It would still have allowed for the conflict between him and Felicity, if Samantha refused to allow him to tell people the truth, and allowed for the line about him making visits to Central City.
That's another part of the story line that didn't ring true to me. The writers have made it clear that Felicity is a inquisitive and highly intelligent woman, who has trust issues, what reason is Oliver meant to have given her for the frequent solo trips, well at least I assume that they have been solo, to Central City, that satisfied her enough not to ask questions?
Not to mention that the writers allowed Thea, a character who left her brother and her boyfriend at the end of the second season, because they had been lying to her consistently, to agree with Samantha's reasons for lying to her son, and forcing Oliver to lie to everyone in his life, not least of which is his fiancee. It doesn't fit with the character that has been shaped over the course over the last two seasons. I don't understand why Thea convinces him to continue the lie, it's not true to the character, or my personal perception of the character anyway.
I've seen a similar story line, in Gilmore Girls, when Luke discovers that he's got a biological daughter. The writers on that show had Luke being allowed to tell his fiancee Lorelai, but the conflict grew from the fact that the biological mother in that story line refused to allow Luke to bring Lorelai, or Lorelai to be present whenever Luke wanted to spend time with his daughter. It was more understandable, on the part of the mother, that she didn't want another mother figure to have a potential influence on her daughter, especially someone that she didn't know. I would have respected the Arrow writers' choice more, if they had chosen to do a similar thing. I mean if they wanted to create conflict in the Felicity and Oliver romance.
I have seen fellow viewers writing of their dislike of the fact that Felicity ends the engagement over Oliver's lie by omission, calling her different names, referencing a perceived hypocrisy. However I tend to feel that Felicity wasn't hypocritical. She has never held back when it comes to trusting Oliver with her worries, her insecurities and anything that might be bothering her, it's not unreasonable for her to want to be in a relationship with a man who can do the same.
It harks back to the discussion that the two had in the Arrow section of the most recent Flash/Arrow crossover, in which Felicity tells Oliver what she believes that marriage should be like, inviting him to confide in her, and lean on her while he sorts out what's bothering him. He opts instead to continue the lie, in part because of Samantha's ultimatum. Another reason for his lie might be because he's concerned that Felicity might leave him, given the fact that Barry tells him the result of the conversation between them in the erased time line.
Even the speech that Oliver delivers at the end of episode 4.15, although packed with emotional power, and delivered brilliantly by Stephen Amell, doesn't really make sense in my head given the past events of the story line. Unless he is trying to maintain William's perspective of his mother, as he doesn't tell William the truth, that Samantha kept him in the dark regarding William's birth.
The scene also includes Felicity's chance to voice all the feelings that she's had bottled up since the revelation of Oliver's son, Emily Bett Rickards delivering yet another great emotional performance, although the activation of the chip, and her regaining the use of her legs seemed a little abrupt.
The episode that tied up the story line well at least for now, did include some great performances, although the story line itself is one of the weaker ones that I have seen the writers produce.