ok ok ok
but think about this.
2x21-2x23 all happened in the same night.
So this night started out with Oliver basically saying goodbye to Felicity in 2x21. He thought he was going to his death. He thought that was the last time he’d ever see her. And remember the way he was looking at her? There was so much left unsaid there. SO MUCH. And you can see in his eyes the moment he decides not to, the moment he decides that while he would love nothing more than to tell her everything and just kiss her, just once, that wouldn’t be better for her.
So he leaves.
in 2x22, he thinks she’s dead. You can hear the terror and vulnerability in his voice when he asks Digg if she’s breathing. That’s why he picks her up, limping and weak, he HAS to carry her, He HAS to know for himself that she’s breathing.
And then later in the ep we have another scene where his eyes say it all. After she tells him he’s not alone, she believes in him, she hugs him. He lets himself hold her close, lets himself put his hand on her back and pull her closer. But his eyes, his face, reveal the importance of that moment. At first watch I thought, wow that looks like the face of a man who just realized he’s in love. But now I think he realized that in 2x21 and this moment in 2x22 was it hitting him again and him once again being overwhelmed by her presence and her goodness and her belief in him. Again, a lot went unsaid.
Now in 2x23, all of this has happened in one night. Twice he’s thought one of them was dead or going to die. And now they have this plan, and while he trusts her completely he can’t help but think maybe. It might be the last time he sees her or talks to her. He left everything unsaid twice so far that night. He can’t do it again. So while it’s a million kinds of fucked up to tell her this way, in a way he KNOWS she’ll be hurt by later, he KNOWS she won’t believe in later, he KNOWS how badly this could fuck up anything they might have in the future…he doesn’t let it go unsaid. He takes this chance. He tells her he loves her. And he says it SO QUIETLY. Even if it was meant or Slade to hear, he says it so quietly because he wishes it wasn’t. The look on his face is the same look that has been on his face a million times before, specifically any time he is having a vulnerable moment with Felicity.
What happened in that mansion was a direct result of several events that happened in 2x21 and 2x22. Looking at it in the contest of those 3 eps happening all in the same night,it just makes SENSE. He’d held back so many times throughout the night, and this time he didn’t. He said it. And it may not have been what was best for her(it really wasn’t, actually), but he did it anyway because he wanted and needed to say it, just once, even though he knew she might hate him or she wouldn’t believe it.
So while I see now how ‘Unthinkable’ refers to Oliver putting Felicity in danger (though they really could have done a better job of portraying that in the actual episode), I think this was also Unthinkable for Oliver. Saying those words in a situation where it would later be construed as deceitful, a lie. Saying them and then essentially taking them back. Running the risk of hurting Felicity not just physically, but also hurting her heart. But he did it, because he had almost lost her twice that night and he had left things unsaid both times. He couldn’t do that again.
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