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Felicity Megan Smoak, also known by her code name Overwatch, is a fictional character in The CW's Arrowverse franchise, first introduced in 2012 in the first season of the television series Arrow. The character is based on the DC Comics character of the same name, created by Gerry Conway and Rafael Kayanan and was adapted for television by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg. Felicity was continually portrayed by Canadian actress Emily Bett Rickards between 2012 and 2019. Initially a one-episode guest star in the first season of Arrow, she went on to become a recurring character in season one, and a series regular from seasons two through seven. She has also featured in the spin-off shows The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and web series Vixen, as well as appearing in Supergirl. The character appears in the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham video game as part of the Arrow DLC pack, and is one of the protagonists of the Arrow and The Flash tie-in novels and digital comics.

Felicity Smoak
Arrowverse character
Felicity Smoak Arrowverse.jpg
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
First appearance
Last appearance
Based on
Adapted by
Portrayed byEmily Bett Rickards
Information
Full nameFelicity Megan Smoak
Aliases
  • Overwatch
  • Ghost Fox Goddess
  • The Calculator
Affiliation
  • Team Arrow
SpouseOliver Queen
Children
ReligionJudaism
Years2012–19

Introduced as having a genius level intellect, with a penchant for inappropriate commentary, Felicity debuted in the third episode of Arrow's first season, "Lone Gunmen" as an employee of Queen Consolidated, working in the IT department. She is recommended to Oliver Queen by his stepfather/CEO of the company Walter Steele, to assist him with an IT issue. She later joins Oliver in his crusade becoming one of the founding members of "Team Arrow", alongside John Diggle, and goes on to adopt the moniker "Overwatch". She becomes CEO of Palmer Technologies and subsequently founds her own company, Smoak Tech. Her relationship with Oliver develops into a romantic one, leading to their marriage and to her becoming stepmother to his son, William, and later mother to their daughter, Mia.

Often described as Arrow's "fan favorite" or "breakout" character, Felicity has received a generally positive response from critics, with particular praise for Rickards' performance. Critics have described her as an important part of Arrow's success, although at times some expressed concerns that her character became too prominent on the show. In 2016 she was voted number fifteen on a list of "50 Favorite Female Characters", in a poll of Hollywood professionals conducted by The Hollywood Reporter.

Contents

Concept and creationEdit

Early in season one, the creative team behind Arrow wanted to introduce a tech-savy character for a season one scene, drawing inspiration from the catalogue of DC comic book characters. Producers originally considered using Karen Beecher/Bumblebee, but opted to use the less well known Felicity Smoak,[1] a character created by Gerry Conway and Rafael Kayanan for The Fury of Firestorm in 1984.[2] Rickards was initially cast for the role as a one-episode guest star[3] but following positive response from show lead Stephen Amell[4] and Warner Brothers producer Peter Roth[5][6] as well as from journalists at preview screenings[7] her role was extended to recurring through out the show's first season.[8] Speaking about the decision to bring Rickards back after her first appearance, co-showrunner Andrew Kreisberg commented "[Marc and I] were just, like, bedazzled by her....we were all like...'Did you see those dallies with Stephen?'...And then the network called, and then the studio called and they were like 'This girl, who is she?'"[1]

"[Arrow] wasn't Arrow until...the episode where [Felicity Smoak] kinda found out...from that point on it feels much more like the show."

—Showrunner Andrew Kreisberg speaking in 2015[1]

Rickards joined the main cast of the show from season 2 onwards.[8] Regarding this decision, co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim echoed Kreisberg's sentiments, stating "We reached a point...with Felicity...she either has to learn Oliver's secret – because otherwise she's just an idiot – or she's got to go away. Once we decided that she couldn't go away...making her a series regular was kind of a no-brainer."[9]

In terms of the evolution of the character from guest star to main character, Kreisberg went on to state "She wasn't in anyone's conception of the show at the beginning. Now we can't imagine it without her"[10] and later described her as the "secret weapon we didn't even know we had".[11] Executive producer Greg Berlanti, speaking as early as January 2013, described Felicity as an "integral and active part of the dynamic of the show".[12] Looking back at Arrow's run ahead of its' eighth and final season, Amell observed that "I don’t know that show works if we don’t randomly find her".[13]

DevelopmentEdit

CharacterizationEdit

Felicity Megan Smoak[14] is introduced as an IT expert working for Queen Consolidated in her first appearance in the season one Arrow episode "Lone Gunmen"[15] In her fictional background story, the character was born on July 24, 1989[16] and is stated to have demonstrated a strong academic ability from an early age,[17][18] going on to graduate summa cum laude[19] from M.I.T in 2009 at the age of 20 with a Masters of Science in Computer Sciences and Cyber Security.[20] Her early years are later expanded upon firstly in the season two episode "City of Blood", where she states she was raised in Las Vegas by her mother Donna Smoak, who worked as a cocktail waitress,[21] and in the season four episode "Sins of the Father" with the introduction of her father, Noah Kuttler, a career criminal who Felicity believed abandoned his family when she was seven years old[22] although it is later revealed that her mother had in fact left him in order to protect Felicity from his criminal lifestyle.[23] The character is also stated to be Jewish.[24][25]

 
Actress Emily Bett Rickards speaking about Arrow at San Diego Comic Con 2013

Speaking after being made a series regular, Emily Bett Rickards commented that Felicity was "a character who's intelligent and brave and facing huge situations, and being real in how she's facing them".[26] Rickards also acknowledged the difficulties that the character had at times interacting with people, but admired how she had dealt with that throughout the season."[26] Rickards has described Felicity as having "a very mathematical and systematic mind",[27] and sees her tendency to make inappropriate comments as part of that focus stating "I don't think they're parts on their own. She's so dialed into what she's doing that when she has to speak, she's not thinking clearly about what's coming out."[28] Previewing Arrow season four, Rickards felt that at time during season three Felicity had "lost a little bit of her strength", and that the "Arrow life took up a lot more of her space emotionally and physically." She described two of Felicity's strongest characteristics as her strength and independence, and felt that season four would see her rebuild these qualities.[29]

Following Oliver's incarceration and Felicity's enforced exile into Witness Protection alongside her step-son, Rickards discussed the ways in which Felicity had to change going into season seven, expressing that "her original mindset is a little broken" by events in her life, leaving the character unsure of "where now she believes justice and her morals lie".[30] Previewing the season, new showrunner Beth Schwartz echoed similar sentiments, saying "We’re going to see a different side to Felicity than we’ve ever seen.....she's going to take matters into her own hands a lot this season. She's going to fight back."[31]

Team ArrowEdit

Felicity, alongside John Diggle, is shown to play an important role in the transitioning of Oliver Queen from a 'lone-wolf' to part of a vigilante team. This working relationship between these three characters has been described both in the media[32] and the show[33] as 'Original Team Arrow', and has received particular praise from critics. Commenting on this "symbiotic relationship", terming it "Arrow's most important", Carrie Raisler of The A.V. Club stated "Amell, Ramsey, and Rickards have the kind of lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry that makes all their scenes together hum", in her review of the first half of season 2.[34] Similarly, Jesse Schedeen of IGN, reviewing the season three premiere, described the three as the "core trio" of the show[35] and Jenny Rafferty of Vulture, writing about season four, described the relationship between the three as "the heartbeat of the show".[36] Looking back at the series during her review of the season seven finale, Della Harrington of Den of Geek commented that "The magic of the show and the magic of his [Oliver's] team within the show alchemised when John Diggle and Felicity Smoak signed on."[37]

 
Rickards, Amell and Ramsey talking about their characters at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, San Jose in 2017

Speaking during season one about Felicity's role within the team, Emily Bett Rickards described the character as bringing a "different dynamic" to the table, with an "objective point of view".[27] Discussing the character's growth across the first season, Rickards noted how with each new experience with 'Team Arrow' Felicity "shrugs off one more restriction that was keeping her held back"[38] and that working undercover allowed her to "put aside some of her inhibitions, and become someone else for a while."[26] In an interview leading up to the penultimate episodes of season one, Stephen Amell described Felicity as a capable and integral member of the team.[39] During season 2, when Felicity demonstrates a sense of inadequacy in terms of her place in the team, Oliver's assurances reemphasize her central role in his mission.[40]

Speaking in 2014, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg talked about the writing team recognizing the importance of the three characters to the dynamic of the show, and working to bring the storyline back to them.[41]

The season 4 premiere demonstrated how important her work as a vigilante is to Felicity, showcasing her reluctance to leave that life for one of domesticity, with her secretly communicating with the team in Star City during her and Oliver's time away.[42] In the season five premiere, she is also the primary motivator behind recruiting new members for the team.[43]

RelationshipsEdit

Oliver QueenEdit

The romantic relationship between Felicity and Oliver Queen was a prominent theme throughout the majority of Arrow's run.[44][45][46][47][48][49][50] In DC Comics canon, Green Arrow is often romantically partnered with Black Canary,[51] and in season one Arrow presented their versions of the characters as each others significant love interest.[52] However, Felicity's introduction ultimately led producers to change course. Whilst there was no initial intention to develop a romance between the characters of Felicity and Oliver, it was the on-screen chemistry between Rickards and Amell that led to this change.[53] Speaking in 2013 executive producer Marc Guggenheim acknowledged that on screen Oliver and Felicity had "palpable chemistry", but also that his relationship with Laurel in season one had to "sort of play...out" before the show could shift focus.[54] Ahead of Arrow's season three premiere, executive producer Greg Berlanti stated that the romantic relationship between Oliver and Felicity was "something that we've been working toward and building toward since she first showed up on the show."[55] with fellow executive producer Andrew Kreisberg saying the timing was right to further evolve the Oliver-Felicity dynamic.[56]

"I hope that it's because it's honest and working towards a place of what we all sort of want and where we can see ourselves bettering ourselves. I don't know what the magic equation is to writing something that hits somebody at a certain time. We're so grateful....I think the way that they communicate and talk to each other is about them growing...there is such a purpose towards them working as a couple and working through it."

– Rickards speaking in 2018 about the appeal of Felicity and Oliver's relationship.[57]

The emergence of the relationship was largely welcomed by critics[58][35][59][60] although some expressed concerns that it became too dominant a feature in the show over the course of seasons three and four.[61][62][63] Concerns were also expressed over the pace of the storytelling, particularly during season four and in regard to the reasons for the couples break-up,[64][65][66] an issue acknowledged by Guggenheim who, when asked about any regrets he had before  Arrow's 100th episode aired, stated that he regretted the pace at which the relationship moved in season four, saying "we had set these tentpoles at the beginning of the season, and we were a bit too rigorous on how we hit them" and that it was a case of plot overriding storytelling.[67] The relationship proved to be popular with many fans, winning MTV's "Ship of the Year" in 2015[68] and 2016.[69]

 
Stephen Amell, who portrays Oliver Queen, on set in 2014

Speaking in the early days of Arrow about the development of a potential romantic relationship between Oliver and Felicity, Rickards stated that "the scenes Oliver and Felicity have together are always honest. He doesn't have to hide anything from her, which is spectacular."[38] Series lead Stephen Amell echoed similar sentiments at the start of season two, stating "she's the woman at the moment who knows me better than anybody".[70] Discussing the season two declaration of love Oliver makes to Felicity in order to capture his nemesis Slade Wilson, Amell stated "clearly he meant it".[71] At the start of season three, Rickards acknowledged that Felicity was also in love with Oliver.[72] When asked in 2015, towards the end of season three, if the show had room for a "great love", Amell stated "Felicity has clearly, over the course of two-plus seasons, grown into that love for him."[71] The couple marry during the 2017 Arrowverse crossover event Crisis on Earth-X, in a storyline described by showrunner Wendy Mericle as one in which Oliver "explores the question of true love".[73] Season seven saw the couple separated due to Oliver's incarceration, and later reunited on his release. Talking about the impact on the couple's relationship, showrunner Beth Schwartz explained that "we're really going for the real struggles in marriage,...It's going to feel really authentic."[47] and described them as "a team" who would be "a force to reckon with" in overcoming obstacles.[74] Schwartz described part of the appeal of the couple as the fact that they are opposites, commenting that what Oliver loves most about Felicity is "her brain".[13]

Rickards has said in interviews that she believes Felicity and Oliver and are soul mates,[75] sentiments Amell has echoed.[76] Asked if Arrow could ultimately have pursued other romantic pairings for Oliver in 2018, Amell stated "In our show, it was going to be Oliver and Felicity, no matter what".[14] Speaking ahead of the shows final season, Amell attributed the success of both the relationship and the character of Felicity to Rickards' performance.[13]

FamilyEdit

 
Charlotte Ross, who plays Felicty's mother Donna, speaking about her role at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, San Jose, in 2016

Felicity's mother, Donna Smoak, is introduced in the episode "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak".[18] Charlotte Ross, who plays Donna, described Felicity as "definitely embarrassed by her", but stated that through the course of the episode "she ends up accepting her mother for who she is...which is what her mother has taught her to do...Felicity realizes that the acceptance she has for other people sometimes comes later for the people we love the most".[72] Rickards acknowledged that whilst the pair were very different people, Felicity's "emotional intelligence" comes from her mother.[77][78] The relationship develops over the course of the series, with Ross stating "they love each other and really support each other and there's a natural comfortability between the two of them" and that their relationship had grown into a genuine friendship.[79] Rickards agreed, commenting that "Donna brings out something in Felicity that no one else can" and how that relationship has evolved the character over time, in particular with regard to "Donna being a single woman and having sacrificed so much for Felicity and Felicity being an adult now and realizing her sacrifice is HUGE".[80] She also acknowledged that Felicity had "pictured her [Donna] a certain way", and that learning more about the struggles she faced helped Felicity understand her mother better.[72]

Speaking about the impact on the character following the introduction of Felicity's father, Noah Kuttler (Tom Amandes). also known as The Calculator, in the season four episode "Unchained",[81] showrunner Wendy Mericle commented that "I think she's really conflicted. She wants to believe that her father loves her and that he has a vested interest in who she is and knowing her and having a relationship with her, and she feels very torn about that".[82]

In season seven it is revealed that Felicity is pregnant[83] and she later gives birth to Oliver and her daughter, Mia.[84] During the season's flash-forward sequences, set in 2040, the audience is introduced to the adult Mia Smoak portrayed by Katherine McNamara.[83] Discussing Mia's relationship with Felicity, McNamara described it as "strained", but that she still very much cares for her.[85]

Other relationshipsEdit

Felicity's first significant romantic relationship is shown in the season three episode "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak".[18] Talking about this relationship, with Cooper Seldon (Nolan Gerard Funk), Rickards stated "It was young love. They were so in love, They had a deep connection. He was Felicity's first experience with love...",[86] and that she enjoyed the experience of playing Felicity enjoying a relationship that was "less weighted".[72] Discussing how the ending of the relationship shaped Felicity's character Rickards went on to say "It was definitely a turning point in her life. It was full of turmoil and it was a loss."[86]

The character of Barry Allen, who would go on to headline Arrowverse spin-off show The Flash, is introduced in the season two Arrow episode "The Scientist"[87] He and Felicity quickly develop a bond, which develops into a potential romantic link.[88] During Felicity's appearance in the season one The Flash episode "Going Rouge",[89] the pair agree to remain platonic friends, with Rickards stating that even though the pair are well matched "It's interesting that you don't always fall in love with someone that you’re perfectly perfect for."[72]

In Arrow season three, Felicity begins a professional and later romantic relationship with Ray Palmer, played by Brandon Routh. Describing the difference in Felicity's dynamic with Ray compared to that with Oliver, Rickards explained "It's more fun and light, and there's not this heavy weight on it, all the time. That's really important for Felicity right now"[72]

Arrow's season five premiere sees the introduction of Felicity's new boyfriend Billy Malone played by Tyler Ritter.[90] In the mid-season finale, Oliver is tricked into killing him by Prometheus.[91] His death acts as a catalyst for leading Felicity to a "darker place", as described by Wendy Mericle, who went on to say "It's a color for Felicity that we’ve always known she had the potential for, but we never had the right story to play."[92] Marc Guggenheim expressed a similar sentiment, stating that Felciity's 'darker path' was "the sum of a bunch of stuff, and Billy was sort of the final straw."[93]

Both Rickards and Katie Cassidy, who portrays Laurel Lance, expressed a desire to see, and a disappointment in the lack of, the friendship between their characters on screen.[94] During season three, Rickards described the relationship between the two women as "sisterly love"[95] and went on to say in 2016, with regards to the pair's lack of on-screen interaction, "We are always debating and adding things Katie and I, because their friendship is solidified, they’re not just people who work together, so I’d like that [more interaction] to happen".[96] During season seven, Felicity and Earth- 2 Laurel's relationship is shown to evolve from an uneasy alliance[97] to a more solid friendship.[98][99][100]

ParalysisEdit

In the season four mid season finale, Felicity and Oliver are shown to be attacked by gunmen,[101] the resulting injuries leaving Felicity paralyzed from the waist down, as revealed in the episode "Blood Debts".[102] Regarding the impact of Felicity's paralysis in season four, Rickards stated that "keeping Felicity's voice and keeping her attitude towards life positive while faced with this total rearrangement of her life was something I tried hard to portray".[80] Executive Producer Wendy Mericle described Felicity's reaction as "try[ing] to maintain that level of optimism", but also described how the show would demonstrate how she goes on "a little bit of a dark journey of her own as she tries to grapple with the reality of this new situation".[103] Mericle further described Felicity's reaction as "really looking back at her life choices and doing some hard thinking and reevaluating."[104]

The character regains her ability to walk with the help of a prototype microchip in the episode "Taken", designed by Curtis Holt.[105] Talking about the storyline as a whole, Rickards expressed regret that more time was not taken to show the true impact of such life changing injuries on everyday life, but acknowledged that "that's not what our show is about".[106][107] Rickards also filmed a Public Service Announcement in conjunction with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation advocating for advancements in the treatment of spinal injuries, released on the air date of the episode.[108]

CostumeEdit

Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow co-developer and former showrunner Marc Guggenheim has insisted in interviews that he had no intention of transitioning Felicity into a costumed superhero stating in 2017 "for as long as I’m involved with the show, the two things I never want to do is kill off Thea and put Felicity in a mask and a costume." In the same year, Felicity did appear in a brief cameo in the penultimate season two episode of Legends of Tomorrow, "Doomworld", as a masked superhero in an alternate timeline, a choice Guggenheim stated was made because "we’ll probably never have the opportunity to do so again".[109]

Talking about the younger Felicity's 'goth' persona, Rickards acknowledged that the costume design was 'a nod' to the character of Death in the DC comic book series The Sandman.[110]

StorylinesEdit

ArrowEdit

Felicity made her first appearance in the third episode of Arrow's first season, "Lone Gunmen". The character appeared in a recurring role in season one, becoming a series regular for seasons two through seven.

 
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak in her first appearance in the Arrow episode "Lone Gunmen".

In season one, on the recommendation of Walter Steele,[15] Felicity assists Oliver Queen with various discreet jobs, not knowing his secret, but realizing that there is something else behind them. When Oliver is shot by Moira Queen, he waits in Felicity's car to ask for her help, thus revealing his identity.[111] Following the abduction of Walter Steele, Felicity joins Oliver and Diggle in the lair, in order to find him. She later decides to continue working with them as technical support in order to stop 'The Undertaking'.[112] After travelling with John Diggle to Lian Yu at the start of season two, in order to persuade Oliver to return to Starling City, the character moves from the I.T. department to become Oliver's Executive Assistant at Queen Consolidated, as a cover for their vigilante activities.[113] During this season, Felicity meets Central City CSI Barry Allen,[114] who later becomes the super-fast hero known as the Flash. In the final episode of the season, she plays a pivotal role in helping capture Oliver's enemy, Slade Wilson / Deathstroke.[115]

In season three Felicity and Oliver attempt to start a romantic relationship, but this is thwarted when he decides he can not do so whilst being the Arrow.[116] During the episode "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak", it is revealed that Felicity was a goth in College, and that her ex-boyfriend, Cooper, went to jail for using a computer virus she designed.[18] Felicity begins working for the new owner of Queen Consolidated, now Palmer Technologies, Ray Palmer, eventually becoming Vice-President, as well as helping him to develop his Atom suit.[117] The two date, but break up when they both realize Felicity is still in love with Oliver.[118] They remain friends, working together to save the city from a deadly virus. By the end of season three, Oliver and Felicity are seen driving away from Starling City together to live a more normal life.[119] During a flashback sequence, it is revealed that Oliver first saw Felicity in his father's office in 2010, when he was in Starling City working under duress for A.R.G.U.S..[120] The season also sees the introduction of Felicity's mother, Donna Smoak.[121]

Oliver and Felicity are seemingly living happily in Ivy Town in the season four premiere, when Laurel Lance and Thea Queen arrive to ask for their help in Starling (now Star) City. After returning to Star City, Felicity admits to Oliver that she misses working with the team, and the two agree to stay on.[122] Now also CEO of Palmer Technologies, Felicity uses her position and resources to try and help the team combat Hive. In the mid-season finale, following their engagement, Oliver and Felicity are ambushed in their limo by gunmen,[101] leaving Felicity paralyzed from the waist down.[102] Despite initial doubts, Felicity rejoins the team, with Oliver giving her the moniker 'Overwatch'.[123][124] With the help of Curtis Holt, who creates a prototype microchip, Felicity regains the ability to walk.[105] The character breaks off her engagement to Oliver following revelations that he had been lying to her about his son, William Clayton, which also leads to her leaving the team.[125] Following Laurel's murder at the hands of Damien Darhk, she rejoins them, to help bring down Darhk,[126] which ultimately leads her to have to make the decision to re-divert a nuclear bomb from the city of Monument Point to the town of Havenrock, with a lesser but still high loss of life.[127] She is also fired from her job as CEO, due to her consistently neglecting her position. The season ends with Oliver and Felicity alone, in the ruins of their lair.[128] This season also sees the introduction of Felicity's father, revealed to be cyber-criminal Noah Kuttler.[82]

The start of season five sees Oliver and Felicity as still the only members of the team left.[90] Felicity is instrumental in persuading Oliver to recruit new team members. She also has a new boyfriend in Detective Billy Malone, whom Oliver is later tricked into killing by Prometheus.[91] She begins to work with shady hacking organisation Helix in a bid to find and stop Prometheus, which ultimately brings her into conflict with Oliver and the team when she aids Helix in freeing their leader, Cayden James, from an A.R.G.U.S. prison.[129] After Prometheus sets off an EMP, which temporarily disables her spinal chip, Felicity and Oliver are trapped in the bunker. As they struggle to escape, they manage to resolve the problems standing in the way of their being together.[130] The two decide to tentatively rekindle their romantic relationship.[131] Following the explosion on Lian Yu in the season finale, Felicity's fate is unknown.[132]

Felicity is shown to be safe and well in the season six premiere, still working with the team. She and Oliver are once more involved in a romantic relationship.[133] Together with Curtis, Felicity decides to start a tech company, "Helix Dynamics".[134] Her worst fears are realized when it is revealed that Cayden James, whom she helped free from A.R.G.U.S. custody is in fact a criminal.[135] Following her marriage to Oliver, Felicity begins to bond with his son William.[136] In the season finale, Oliver is arrested by the FBI, leaving Felicity as William's sole parent.[137]

Following Oliver's incarceration and Ricardo Diaz's escape, Felicity and William begin season seven living away from Star City, under Witness Protection. Felicity is shown to be working as a barista. However, after Diaz attacks them in their home, the pair return to Star City. Felicity takes the decision to send William to a boarding school under A.R.G.U.S. protection, whilst she stays to assist in the pursuit of Diaz.[138] Throughout the first half of the season, she works with a series of unlikely allies in her attempts to both bring Diaz to justice and to free Oliver from prison. She forms a friendship with Earth-2 Laurel Lance, who also tells her that on her Earth, Felicity Smoak is a successful, but ruthless, business woman.[139] Felicity is reunited with Oliver following his release from prison.[140] With the help of Alena Whitlock, Felicity starts her own company, Smoak Tech.[141] She realizes the danger of the 'Archer' program she has been developing and attempts to destroy it, but the code is stolen by Alena.[142] During the season, Felicity discovers that she is pregnant, eventually giving birth to a girl named Mia,[83] who is raised in secrecy outside of Star City.[143] Following Mia's birth, Felicity and Oliver are forced to part, when he leaves with the Monitor to assist in averting an oncoming crisis, with the implication that he will not return.[144]

The season also features flash forwards, set twenty years in the future, where it is initially believed that Felicity has been recently murdered.[145] The flash forwards feature an adult Mia, who teams up with William, Connor Hawke, Dinah Drake, Roy Harper and Zoe Ramirez to uncover the conspiracy around Felicity's supposed death, eventually finding her alive and rescuing her from Galaxy One, an Eden Corps front, who have subjugated Star City and the Glades with Felicity's Archer program.[143] When an arrest warrant is put out for Felicity, she is identified as "The Calculator".[143] After the group successfully takes down Galaxy One, Felicity shares an emotional goodbye with Mia and William before leaving with the Monitor to reunite with Oliver at a place from which "there is no return".[144]

The FlashEdit

Felicity first appears in the series during the season one episode "Going Rogue", where she and Barry Allen confirm their friendship, and agree to keep their relationship platonic.[89] Later in the season, she and Ray Palmer travel to Central City[146] to assist Team Flash with meta-human Brie Larvan, in the episode "All Star Team Up".[147]

At the start of season three episode "Paradox" Barry Allen comes to Felicity for advice regarding the repercussions of 'Flashpoint'.[148]

During season four, Felicity makes an appearance at the bachelorette party of Iris West in the episode "Girls Night Out" and helps to thwart the efforts of Amunet Black.[149]

Legends of TomorrowEdit

Felicity makes a brief cameo talking to Ray Palmer in the season one episode "River of Time".[150] She appears in the season two penultimate episode, "Doomworld",[151] as a masked vigilante in an alternative reality where Damien Darhk is mayor of Star City, and the rest of team Arrow are dead. She is murdered by Sara Lance, who is working for Darhk.[152]

VixenEdit

Rickards also provided the voice for the character on seasons one and two of the Arrowverse web-series Vixen,[153] which debuted in 2015 and 2016 respectively, on CW Seed.[154][155] The series takes place in the same time period as Arrow seasons three and four.

Crossover eventsEdit

Felicity features in both the Arrow and Flash[156] episodes of the first Arrowverse crossover 'event', "Flash vs. Arrow" in 2014.[157][158] She plays a central role in the second Arrowverse Crossover event in 2015,[159] (which set up spin-off series Legends of Tomorrow), working with the teams to combat Vandal Savage.[160][161]

During the 2016 "Invasion" crossover episodes, Felicity is shown working with the teams to combat an alien invasion by the Dominators,[162][163][164] She plays an important role in the first full four-way Arrowverse crossover event entitled "Crisis on Earth X", broadcast in 2018, featuring in all four episodes, beginning with an episode of Supergirl,[165] helping to combat the threat posed by the invasion of Earth-X Nazi's. Her Earth-X counterpart, who is interned in a concentration camp, is also introduced. She is later freed by Earth-1 Oliver Queen, who gives her a gun and tells her "it is the duty of the strong to protect the weak".[166] In the final scene of the crossover, Felicity and Oliver get married alongside Barry Allen and Iris West, in a service conducted by John Diggle.[167]

In the 2018 "Elseworlds" crossover event, Felicity creates a device to stabilize the inter-dimensional breach, allowing the Earth-90 Flash to enter Earth-1. During the episode, Felicity and Oliver also resolve their marital issues with Oliver telling Felicity "no matter who you are or what you become...you will always be the love of my life".[168]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

The character has been described as Arrow's 'fan favorite'[169][170][38][171][172][26] or 'breakout' character,[173][174][175][176] and in 2016 was placed at number 15 on a list of 50 Favorite Female Characters, in a poll of Hollywood professionals conducted by The Hollywood Reporter.[177] Rickards portrayal of Felicity has been nominated for six Teen Choice Awards, five for Choice TV Actress in Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Action[178][179][180][181][182] and one for Female Breakout Star, in 2014.[183] She has also been nominated for a Leo Award in the Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series category four times.[184][185][186][187]

Felicity's introduction into the series was met with favorable reviews. Her first appearance in the episode "Lone Gunmen" generated a positive response from journalists in preview screenings.[7] Her appearance in the broadcast episode and in subsequent ones, "An Innocent Man" and "Legacies", was welcomed by critics, with many expressing a desire to see more of her.[188][189][190][191][192][193] Rickards' promotion to series regular, coupled with Felicity's integration into Oliver's mission in the episode "The Odyssey" prompted IGN's Jesse Scheeden to note "the seeds of transition" in the character whilst also expressing the desire to see "deeper character development" in the longer term.[194] Alasdair Wilkins of The A.V. Club praised the decision to promote Rickards to series regular for season two, and complimented her performance regarding the "deepening of her character".[195] Similarly, Caroline Preece of Den of Geek welcomed the promotion, and in particular the interaction between Felicity, Oliver and Diggle working as a team.[196] Jeffrey Morgan of Digital Spy called Felicity's introduction to 'Team Arrow' "a smart move", appreciating the integration of her lighter personality with the more stoic duo of Oliver and Diggle, as well as praising the performances of both Rickards and David Ramsey.[197] In his essay on Arrow's first season, published by Grantland, Andy Greenwald described Felicity as one of the show's "most intriguing characters".[198] Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Adam Carlson wrote "it's hard to imagine a first season without her".[173] In his review of Arrow's season one finale, Alasdair Wilkins of The A.V. Club praised the character's reaction to the destruction of the Glades, stating it "reminds us of the Undertaking's human cost without undermining the character's essential bravery", and praising Rickards' performance for conveying "all those notes in about 10 seconds".[199]

"It's entirely on the strength of Emily Bett Rickards' charming turn that the character has risen to such prominence on this series, and 'The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak' feels like a thank you from the Arrow writing staff to Rickards for everything that she's gifted this show."

—Critic Morgan Jeffrey reviewing the Arrow season three episode The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak for Digital Spy[200]

Throughout the series run, critics praised the development of the character, in particular Rickard's performance, and noted her importance to the show. However, at times some questioned her prominence and the show's over reliance on her. In his review of Arrow's first season, Jesse Scheedon of IGN expressed mixed feelings in regard to Felicity, describing her as "both endearing and annoying".[201] However, in his season two review, he felt that the character "often had the best material" and had "established herself as a force to be reckoned with."[202] Reviewing the season three episode of Arrow 'The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak', one which heavily focused on Felicity following the previous episode where she had been largely absent, Schedeen noted how this highlighted "how much emptier Starling City is without Felicity Smoak".[203] During his review of Arrow season four, whilst conceding that the audience reaction to both Felicity and in particular to her romance with Oliver had been mixed, Schedden praised Rickards' performance stating that the season offered the actress "a wider range of both drama and comedy, and she rose to the challenge".[204] Reviewing the show's third season DVD release for Den of Geek, Rob Leane acknowledged the popularity of the character, and praised Rickards' performance, but questioned whether that popularity, and her resulting prominence, at times distracted from the narrative of the show as a whole.[205] Writing for Collider in 2016, Craig Byrne described Felicity, and Rickards, as "one of the best revelations of Arrow", stating that in Arrow's formative stages "it was her character that really made a lot of people take notice". However, he also expressed concern that the show had become too reliant on both Felicity and the relationship between her and Oliver.[206] Similar concerns were expressed by Caroline Schlafly, writing for TV Overmind in 2016, who felt that at times the show gave too much focus to Felicity.[207] Writing in 2019 following Rickards decision to step away from the Arrowverse at the end of Arrow's seventh season Sam Stone, of CBR.com, described Felicity as a "crucial part of Team Arrow", praising Rickards "laudable" performance and lamenting the loss of the character for the show's final season.[208] These sentiments were echoed by Chancellor Agard of Entertainment Weekly. Discussing Rickard's best performances as Felicity across the previous seven seasons, he called Felicity "an integral part of Arrow", stating it would be "hard to imagine" what the show would have looked like without the character,[176] and in his preview of Arrow's final season, described her as "Team Arrow’s heart".[13]

The speech delivered by Felicity in the season six Arrow episode "We Fall" won particular praise from critics. In her review of the episode, Allison Shoemaker of The A.V. Club called the scene "exceptional" and one of the most "thoughtful and compelling" sequences in the show's history, praising Rickards delivery and describing it as an "unabashedly romantic scene, but one that's based in a long, fraught history. It's a speech given by a woman whose experience, wisdom, and faith are hard fought".[209] In Shoemaker's review of the season as a whole, she included it as one of the best scenes in both the season and the entire series.[210] TVLine described the speech as "wonderful" and "convincing", praising Rickards for her "warm looks and her physicality" in delivery.[211] Chris King of TV Overmind described Felicity's monologue as a "wonderfully moving speech"[212] and Della Harrington of Den of Geek similarly described Felicity's faith in Oliver as "actually pretty moving".[213] Chancellor Agard of Entertainment Weekly included the episode in his list of Rickards' "10 best Arrow episodes", citing both her performance and Wendey Stanzler's direction as reasons for its resonance.[176]

AccoladesEdit

All awards and nominations are for Emily Bett Rickards's performance as Felicity Smoak in Arrow, unless otherwise noted in the Category column:

Year Award Category Result Ref(s)
2013 UBCP/ACTRA Awards Best Newcomer Nominated [214]
2014 Leo Awards Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Nominated [184]
Teen Choice Awards Female Breakout Star Nominated [183]
2015 Leo Awards Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series (The Flash) Nominated [185]
Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Nominated
MTV Fandom Awards Ship of the Year (with Stephen Amell) Won [68]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Fantasy/Sci-Fi Nominated [178]
Choice TV Liplock (with Stephen Amell) Nominated
2016 Leo Awards Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Nominated [186]
MTV Fandom Awards Ship of the Year (with Stephen Amell) Won [69]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Fantasy/Sci-Fi Nominated [179]
Choice TV Liplock (with Stephen Amell) Nominated
2017 Leo Awards Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Nominated [187]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Action Nominated [180]
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Action Nominated [181]
Choice TV Ship (with Stephen Amell) Nominated
2019 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Action Pending [182]

Other appearancesEdit

Promotional tie-insEdit

In 2013, Felicity (again portrayed by Rickards), appeared in the promotional tie-in web series for Arrow, entitled Blood Rush. A six-episode miniseries, the story follows Felicity after she is informed by Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) that SCPD has obtained blood samples belonging to the Arrow. She enlists the help of Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) to steal them back, to protect Oliver's identity. The events of the series take place between the fifth and sixth episodes of Arrow season two. The series was presented by Bose, and featured product placement for their products.[215]

In 2016 the CW released a short promo entitled Superhero Fight Club 2.0, which featured Arrowverse superheroes Green Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, White Canary, Atom and Firestorm, fighting in a simulator, observed by Felicity, Cisco Ramon, John Diggle and Martian Manhunter.[216]

Print mediaEdit

Felicity features in the tie-in comics, Arrow Season 2.5, which bridge the gap between the second and third seasons of the television show.[217] She also features in the Flash Season Zero tie-in comics, which link to the first season of The Flash.[218] The character appears in several issues, most prominently in "Smoak Signals" parts 1 and 2.[219][220]

She is also one of the protagonists in the tie-in novels published for the series, Arrow: Vengeance, written by Oscar Balderrama and Lauren Certo,[221] The Flash: The Haunting of Barry Allen written by Susan and Clay Griffith,[222] its sequel Arrow: A Generation of Vipers from the same authors[223] and Arrow: Fatal Legacies, co-authored by Marc Guggenheim and James R. Tuck, which bridged the gap between the season five finale and the season six premiere of Arrow.[224]

Whilst the original Felicity Smoak featured in the Fury of Firestorm comics, in 2014 DC introduced a new version in the New 52 Green Arrow comics. Introduced in Green Arrow #35, the character was loosely based on Arrow's version, and physically resembled Rickards.[225] Similarly, a younger version of the character, again resembling Rickards, was introduced by Marguerite Bennett in her DC Comics Bombshells and Bombshells:United comics run, set in an alternate history.[226][227]

Video gamesEdit

The character appears in the 2014 game Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham as part of the Arrow DLC pack,[228] released in January 2015.[229] As well as featuring in the add-on pack's level, Felicity can also be used in any other level as a freeplay character.[230]

In the 2017 game Injustice 2, Felicity is referenced in an easter egg. When facing each other in combat, if the Flash manages to take out the first bar of Green Arrow's health, he states; "That's for breaking Felicity's heart".[231]

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