“What isn’t up for debate is the emphasis on female bonding in this week’s Arrow, there was a lot of it. From Laurel designating Nyssa her new BFF, to the enjoyable interplay between Thea and Felicity that we didn’t know we were missing. Have Thea and Felicity ever had a conversation just the two of them before tonight? That seems a little weird that the two most important ladies in Oliver’s life have never really talked to each other, but this week’s episode made up for the oversight as Thea and Felicity bond over losing Oliver. It had all the right bittersweet notes and a couple of good moments with Felicity’s unusual sense of humor.”
“Over at the Michaels-Diggle household, there was a family dinner scene that, let’s face it, we’ve been waiting to see as Felicity and Thea actually talk to each other and we a few adorable moments between Thea, Felicity, Lyla, and baby Sara, before Diggle returns and shop talk makes its way to the table. (…) Seeing every member of Team Arrow so broken down, from Diggle looking at the person his best friend and brother was just a short while before at his wedding to Laurel at the restaurant she showed Nyssa and of course, the heartrending moment we see Felicity in the remains of the Foundry just breaking down after offering Thea the good news that Roy is alive and somewhere safe that she should go visit, was so well done and just made you want to give the entire team a giant hug. Though sad to watch, they were some of the best moments in the episode, along with the Diggle/Felicity hug moment because really, they all need one. ”
“ Both of them refuse to believe Oliver Queen is really gone and Al Sah-him is all that remains. Rickards and Ramsey create some of the more emotional moments and it was refreshing to see the two of them together. The arc of realization that Felicity and Diggle go through in order to accept that the Oliver they knew is gone is amazing. (…)
Fans never imagined they needed this incredible match up, but now that it’s been presented they want more. Holland and Rickards are two actors that have made their characters completely their own and having the two of them together is incredible.
This weeks episode of Arrow continues to show Rickards incredible performance as Felicity Smoak. After last weeks emotional episode where she finally admitted to Oliver that she loves him, the fallout this week was going to be that much harder. Rickards does an incredible job at creating a character that clings so desperately to the man she fell in love with only to find out he might be gone forever. There are several emotional scenes involving Rickards this week however, the one that hit Arrow fans the hardest came at the end of the episode. In a moment without any dialogue, fans watch as Felicity makes a trip back to the destroyed, burned down Foundry. She sits in Oliver’s swivel chair and simply weeps. Rickards incredible ability to make such an impact on fans with a small and poignant scene shows just how much she has grown as an actress and how important Felicity is to the story of Arrow”.
“Casual in a less troubling way was the dinner scene at Casa Diggle. Watching Felicity feed little Sara with a technobabble version of “Here comes the airplane!” while Thea mimed proper eating technique at the baby was quite possibly the cutest thing in the history of cute things. They were so innocent and familial and charming that it almost didn’t matter if the scene immediately went downhill due to an explosion or an attack or a 200-year old Middle Eastern assassin with an Australian accent. […]
“Al Sah-him” finally featured the dynamic between Felicity and Thea. It has never made sense that these two young women of similar age whom Oliver loves most in the world have never exchanged more than a few cursory words, and that they should bond over their shared loss was appropriate and effective. Emily Bett Rickards and Willa Holland sold the slightly uncertain intimacy thrust upon them by the depth of their mutual grief.
What Needs To Happen Next: The show needs to continue giving nods to the facts that Oliver and Co. truly care for and love each other outside of the mission. Thea and Felicity can watch trashy movies in the loft. Laurel can introduce Team Arrow to the best black and white milkshakes in the city. Diggle and Lyla can host a party celebrating Oliver and Felicity finally getting together. “