Even though the season 6 premiere is only four weeks away, we have had close to zero news or images of the new season. Of course, that is mostly because The Powers That Be decided to blow up Lian Yu with the entire Team Arrow on it, so the biggest mystery of the season is already who made it off the island alive.
However, we all know that some key characters are not facing any mortal danger, because we like to think that TPTB would not actually kill them off without facing some serious backlash. So I believe we can all take a collective deep breath and stop worrying about Felicity and Dig, because they are definitely alive — and hopefully not too banged up.
That said, while we wait for the new season, let’s talk about one third of our beloved OTA, shall we? Arrow is a special case when it comes to characters and storylines because, besides Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), the other two main characters were not supposed to be main characters at all when the show first started. Felicity Smoak and John Diggle were supposed to be secondary characters. Felicity was actually only supposed to be in one episode, but Rickards and Amell had such an amazing chemistry on screen that they kept bringing her back, until she became a regular and, eventually, the female lead for all intents and purposes.
The chemistry between Oliver and Felicity is so palpable, that it was impossible not to ship them — and we ship them really, really hard — and, thus, one of the most beloved couples on television was born. Olicity suddenly became this force of nature, and that is mostly due to Emily Bett Rickards’ incredible performance as Felicity Smoak.
The IT girl, that was only supposed to be on the show for one episode, turned the show on its head, and now we just can’t even imagine it without her. When it first started, back in 2012, Arrow was this gritty, vigilante show that was pretty cool, but it lacked spark and charisma. Once they brought Felicity into the fold, the show became a little lighter and funnier, and Felicity was just so endearing and awkward, that we all couldn’t help but fall in love with her.
And now, five seasons in, she has become an integral part of the show. Not only because she’s one half of Olicity, or because she is funny, but because she has been essential in Oliver’s journey. I mean, can you even imagine what Arrow would be like without Felicity Smoak? Oliver would probably still be growling “You have failed this city” at bad guys, and brooding, or working out in his spare time.
So without further ado, let’s talk about how Felicity Megan Smoak is actually the heart of Arrow. I took to Twitter to talk about our favorite IT Queen, and the response from her fans was overwhelming. Here’s what it all came down to:
1. She is the light of the team. Without her, the show would be just like that first lair — dark and sad. And not only because she’s our beloved IT Queen, but also due to her bubbly, infectious personality. After all, as you all remember, she was the first one who actually made Oliver truly smile after he returned from Lian Yu. You remember, right? That red pen and adorably awkward babbling?
2. She is not afraid to speak up her mind and call out the team on their wrong doings — especially Oliver — when she has to. Let us not forget that epic scene in season 4, when she made Oliver and Diggle sit down and face their own issues and talk things out. To this day, the line “No, no. This is the part where I talk and you two listen,” is still one of my very favorite Felicity Smoak moments.
3. She proves to us and to Team Arrow that you don’t need to physically fight and wear a mask to be a hero. After all, where would they be without her expertise, right? How many times has she saved everyone by being their eyes and ears out on the field? Pretty much every single episode. She takes care of everyone and her role in the team is essential for their missions to be successful. Her code name is Overwatch for a reason, and she has proved time and again that they are completely lost without her.
4. Even when things look bleak, she is the one who never loses hope. And we all know how Arrow is — things have been downright apocalyptic in this show. But there is one scene in particular that comes to mind, in which Oliver had lost all hope after Slade killed his mother, and he thinks that the only way to end this is to sacrifice his own life. Felicity steps up to the plate, and very firmly tells him that he is not done fighting, but most importantly, that she believes in him. And that’s what is maybe the backbone of her character. She believes in people and helps them believe in themselves.
5. She was the one who helped Oliver find his humanity again. If you compare the Oliver we met in season 1 to the one we see in season 4, it’s like a completely different person. Felicity was the one who helped him think outside of the list — of just putting arrows into people and being done with it. She helped him become a hero to Star City, simply because she believed in him and told him as much. She never let him give up on himself and, most importantly, she helped him feel again. She helped him become a normal, functioning human being, who ackowledges his feelings, who talks things out and who thinks before he acts.
As Arrow fan Sarah (@SarahBethSmoak) very eloquently put it,
“She humanizes Oliver, so that naturally humanizes the show. I don’t know what Oliver Queen would look like today, or if he’d even be alive had he never met Felicity. And she has done all of that while still holding onto her independence, relevance, and importance as a character of her own. She is vital to Oliver, but doesn’t exist in the narrative for him. If Oliver and the show felt like a shell of their former selves in season 5, it’s not a mystery as to why that happened — Arrow without Felicity Smoak as a guiding force in Oliver’s life is an entirely different show. An infinitely less appealing one.
I rest my case.
Arrow Season 6 premieres on Thursday, October 12, at 9pm on The CW.