Is this the first time in the history of television that a fan-created 'ship has (pretty much) dictated the direction of a show? Maybe not, and it may not be strictly the fans -- but last night's "Arrow" gave fans exactly what they've wanted for several seasons now, and it was awesome.
Spoilers past this point.
And it wasn't a halfway getting together like has happened previously. It wasn't one character saying, "I love you" with no follow-up. It wasn't a chaste smooch to fool a supervillain, or a quick peck in a hospital hallway (and by the way, kudos to "Arrow" for getting maximum usage out of their new hospital set this season).
Nope, they booooooooooned.
Sorry, I mean, made love. Oliver makes a deal with Ra's al-Ghul (Matt Nable) to take over his legacy, and in return Ra's heals Oliver's sister, Thea (Willa Holland) from a mortal wound, um, caused by Ra's.
On his last night before Oliver joins the League of Assassins forever, Felicity visits him in his room at Nanda Parbat. She closes the door to his room with a click of the lock, and you could literally hear Twitter break with the sound of thousands of fans typing, "Oh, it is on."
She talks to him about leaving, and what he means to her -- and his city. She gets teary-eyed. So does he. She says, "I love you." They kiss. They keep kissing. And then they take dat action to the bed.
Basically, everything Olicity fans have ever wanted short of a wedding and a baby popping out ("Felicity and Oliver were in Nanda Parbat making babies and I saw one of the babies and the baby looked at me." - Olicity fans), happened on the episode.
Now, granted, this was partially a ruse on the part of Felicity to get Oliver out of The clutches of the League -- which didn't work -- but by episode's end, how the characters feel about each other is not just out there, it's apparent and palpable.
And of course since this is genre TV, it'll all come crashing down when Oliver becomes a brainwashed assassin. But I digress.
The point is, this definitely isn't the first time a major 'ship like Olicity has actually come to fruition, but it's certainly the first time -- in my memory, at least -- that a pairing that wasn't initially endgame (I'd say initially that was Laurel and Oliver) overtook the show both due as much to the actors' chemistry, as fan response.
What helps is that this isn't just simple fan-wanking, it's a legitimate plot-point that pushes both characters and the over-arching plot of the show forward. And regardless of whether it was fan-generated or not, that's good drama.