Five Reasons Why Arrow Doesn’t Exist Without Felicity Smoak

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.

Right, TPTB? 

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.

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Credit: CallistaWolf

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

 

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Published by

Luciana Mangas

30-something Brazilian journalist. Crazy about TV. Currently in love with DC and Marvel superheroes, that tattooed lady from NBC, clone conspiracies and dystopian futures. You can reach her at @lucianamangas on Twitter and talk about how much you love TV as well. Or puppies. Puppies are cool too.

6 thoughts on “Five Reasons Why Arrow Doesn’t Exist Without Felicity Smoak

  1. I legit wouldn’t even be watching any DC shows without Felicity. She lightened Arrow & made me like Oliver more. OTA became a thing because of her & made me invested in the show. I also started watching The Flash because she made an appearance on it. She’s a gem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the article and I agree 100%. The actors who play opposite her also confirm it. How many times have David Ramsey and Stephen Amell said that the show would not be the same without Felicity Smoak, and that the show needed her to be better (otherwise, there would be two brooding men in the lair and that would get tired fast)?

    It´s Emily Bett´s ability to inject charm and humanity to Felicity Smoak´s character that makes her work. It is also the writer´s ¨bravery¨ to shift gears and go with the character that works, instead of insisting on their Plan A, comic book ¨canon¨ female lead.

    The show is so much better and luckier for having Felicity Smoak and Emily Bett in it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations, Sarah (@SarahBethSmoak). You so eloquently summarized Felicity’s amazing contribution to an otherwise dull show. I have spent hours and hours looking back through video, reading reviews, and following many other fans on both Tumblr and Twitter.

    Though we may occasionally disagree on the fine points, there is no doubt that Emily Bett Rickards puts an amazing amount of effort into the character. Having known quite a few people like her, watching Dr. Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory”, and having a touch of “the syndrome” myself, not to mention having worked with actual rocket scientists, Emily Bett makes me forget that she’s acting and convinces me that she actually is Felicity Smoak!

    Thus, the decision to remove her from being with Oliver Queen was like somebody taking a flyswatter and squishing Jiminy Cricket and leaving Pinocchio without his desperately needed guide. Lately I have been trying to be more tactful, so I’ll just simply say that the entire story was totally “cringey” to me!

    I could have understood having an argument, but by that point a lot of things had happened that it was completely out of character for Felicity to walk away with the intent never to return. I would have expected her to be smart enough to turn to Digg and Lyla,Thea, or especially Mama Smoak, considering how well she did with Felicity back in episode 4X06, “Lost Souls”. The writers engaging in all of that destructive, silly, needless drama for over a season’s worth of episodes makes absolutely no sense. Other reviewers have also mentioned that sidelining Felicity as Oliver’s ex for the sake of a weak storyline was a waste of Emily’s talent.

    There’s no doubt that she deserved a separate storyline focused on her, but she didn’t turn dark as much as she just turned her back on her team, especially Oliver himself, by becoming almost adversarial against him. Felicity is much too experienced, smart, and loyal to have gone off on her own with a bunch of strangers, and especially toward the end, ignore the good advice of her teammates.

    I made my peace with the whole mess by deciding it was similar to “The Wizard of Oz” and was actually just a bad dream.

    Like

  4. You guys said everything so TRUE ,my friend says that oliver is still wanting one of the lance girls(dont know how long she will be friends unless she gets her head out of her lowerbody part) It was very hard to watch season5 because of them not being together.

    Liked by 1 person

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