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Felicity Megan Smoak (also known by her alter-ego Overwatch) is a fictional character who debuted in 2012 on the The CW television series Arrow, which is an adaptation of the DC Comics character Green Arrow. The character is based on the comics character Felicity Smoak, 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 season two onwards. She subsequently featured in Arrowverse spin-off shows The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and web series Vixen, as well as appearing in Supergirl and annual Arrowverse crossover events.The character also appears in the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham video game as part of the Arrow DLC pack,[1] 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
Created by
Adapted by
Portrayed byEmily Bett Rickards
Information
Full nameFelicity Megan Smoak
Aliases
  • Overwatch
  • Ghost Fox Goddess
  • The Calculator
Affiliation
  • Queen Consolidated (formerly)
  • Team Arrow (formerly)
  • Palmer Technologies (formerly)
  • Helix (formerly)
  • Helix Dynamics (formerly)
  • Star City Police Department (formerly)
  • Smoak Technologies
Family
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" along with 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

Creation and castingEdit

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,[2] a character created by Gerry Conway and Rafael Kayanan for The Fury of Firestorm in 1984.[3] Rickards was initially cast for the role as a one-episode guest star[4] but following positive response from show lead Stephen Amell[5] and Warner Brothers producer Peter Roth[6][7] as well as from journalists at preview screenings[8] her role was extended to recurring through out the show's first season.[9] 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?'"[2] Rickards joined the main cast of the show from season 2 onwards.[9] 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."[10]

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”[11] and later described her as the "secret weapon we didn't even know we had".[12] He has also spoken of Felicity learning Oliver's secret as the moment when "our show became our show".[2] Executive producer Greg Berlanti, speaking as early as January 2013, described Felicity as an "integral and active part of the dynamic of the show".[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]

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] With regards to Felicity's social awkwardness, Rickards 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 season 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]

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

The character's first significant romantic relationship is shown in the season three episode "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak". 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 and having a home in somebody else.." and that the ending of the relationship shaped her character as "It was definitely a turning point in her life. It was full of turmoil and it was a loss."[44]

""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.[45]

Speaking about the early development of a potential romantic relationship between Oliver Queen 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".[46] Rickards has said in interviews that she believes Felicity and Oliver and are soul mates,[47] something Amell has also agreed with.[48]

Talking about the couple's relationship in season seven, showrunner Beth Schwartz explained that "For their arc [this season], what I like about it the most is we're really going for the real struggles in marriage, so that's kind of where we're approaching their relationship. It's going to feel really authentic."[49] Following the couple's onscreen reunion, Schwartz called the couple "a force to reckon with", stating they were "back to, in a sense, being normal between each other. There's no friction between the relationship. They have a lot of obstacles in their way, but they'll be a team."[50]

Felcity's mother, Donna Smoak, is also introduced in the episode "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak". Describing the relationship with her mother, Rickards stated "They’re completely different people. She’s [Donna] flamboyant, extreme, nurturing, understanding on an emotional level, but a little airy. I would say 99.997 percent different, but their emotional intellect and nurturing ability, their willingness to accept everyone and non-judgmental personality [is the same]".[51] She has also stated that the character's "emotional intelligence" is inherited from her mother.[52] Charlotte Ross, who plays Donna, described their dynamic as one where "they love each other and really support each other and there's a natural comfortability between the two of them" and how it had developed through the seasons "I think it's kind of grown organically, their relationship, into really supportive friendship in many ways, as well."[53]

Speaking about the impact on the character following the introduction Felicity's father, The Calculator (Tom Amandes) in the season four episode "Unchained", 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".[54]

ParalysisEdit

In the season four mid season finale, Felicity and Oliver are shown to be attacked by gunmen,[55] the resulting injuries leaving Felicity paralyzed from the waist down, as revealed in the episode "Blood Debts.[56]. 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".[57] Executive Producer Wendy Mericle described Felicity's reaction as "try[ing] to maintain that level of optimism", but also described how the show would show 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".[58] Mericle further described Felicity's reaction as "really looking back at her life choices and doing some hard thinking and reevaluating.”[59]

The character regains her ability to walk with the help of a prototype microchip, designed by Curtis Holt.[60] 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".[61][62]

CostumeEdit

 
Concept art of Felicity's "Doomworld" costume.

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, I think it would be fun if we did Felicity as a superhero.’[63]

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.[64]

AppearancesEdit

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.[65] 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'.[66] 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.[67] During this season, Felicity meets Central City CSI Barry Allen,[68] 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.[69]

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.[70] 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.[71] The two date, but break up when they both realize Felicity is still in love with Oliver.[72] 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.[73] The season also sees the introudution of Felicity's mother, Donna Smoak.[74]

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.[75] 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,[55] leaving Felicity paralyzed from the waist down.[56] Despite initial doubts, Felicity rejoins the team, with Oliver giving her the moniker 'Overwatch'.[76][77] With the help of Curtis Holt, who creates a prototype microchip, Felicity regains the ability to walk.[60] 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.[78] Following Laurel's murder at the hands of Damien Darhk, she rejoins them, to help bring down Darhk,[79] 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.[80] 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.[81] This season also sees the introduction of Felicity's father, revealed to be cyber-criminal Noah Kuttler.[54]

The start of season five sees Oliver and Felicity as still the only members of the team left.[82] 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.[83] 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.[84] 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.[85] The two decide to tentatively rekindle their romantic relationship.[86] Following the explosion on Lian Yu in the season finale, Felicity's fate is unknown.[87]

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.[88] Together with Curtis, Felicity decides to start a tech company.[89] 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.[90] Following her marriage to Oliver, Felicity begins to bond with his son William.[91] In the season finale, Oliver is arrested by the FBI, leaving Felicity as William's sole parent.[92]

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.[93] 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.[94] Felicity is reunited with Oliver following his release from prison.[95] With the help of Alena Whitlock, Felicity starts her own company, Smoak Tech.[96] She realizes the danger of the 'Archer' program she has been developing and attempts to destroy it, but the code is stolen be Alena.[97] During the season, Felicity discovers that she is pregnant, eventually giving birth to a girl named Mia,[98] who is raised in secrecy outside of Star City.[99] 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.[100]

 
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak in 2040

The season also features flash forwards, set twenty years in the future, where it is initially believed that Felicity has been recently murdered.[101] 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.[99] When an arrest warrant is put out for Felicity, she is identified as "The Calculator".[99] 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".[100]

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.[102] Later in the season, she and Ray Palmer travel to Central City[103] to assist Team Flash with meta-human Brie Larvan, in the episode "All Star Team Up".[104]

At the start of season three episode "Paradox" Barry Allen comes to Felicity for advice regarding the repercussions of 'Flashpoint'.[105]

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.[106]

Legends of TomorrowEdit

Felicity makes a brief cameo talking to Ray Palmer in the season one episode "River of Time".[107] She appears in the season two penultimate episode, "Doomworld",[108] 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.[109]

VixenEdit

 
Felicity Smoak in Vixen.

Rickards also provided the voice for the character on seasons one and two of the Arrowverse web-series Vixen,[110] which debuted in 2015 and 2016 respectively, on CW Seed.[111][112] 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[113] episodes of the first Arrowverse crossover 'event', "Flash vs. Arrow" in 2014.[114][115] She plays a central role in the second Arrowverse Crossover event in 2015,[116] (which set up spin-off series Legends of Tomorrow), working with the teams to combat Vandal Savage.[117][118]

During the 2016 "Invasion" crossover episodes, Felicity is shown working with the teams to combat an alien invasion by the Dominators,[119][120][121] 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,[122] 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".[123] 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.[124]

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".[125]

Promotional tie-insEdit

In 2013, Felicity (again portrayed by Rickards), appeared in the promotional tie-in web series for Arrow, entitled Blood Rush, which also featured the characters of Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) and Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne). The series was presented by Bose, and featured product placement for their products.[126]

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.[127]

Print mediaEdit

 
Felicity Smoak in Arrow 2.5.

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.[128] She also features in the Flash Season Zero tie-in comics, which link to the first season of The Flash.[129] The character appears in several issues, most prominently in "Smoak Signals" parts 1 and 2.[130][131]

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,[132] The Flash: The Haunting of Barry Allen written by Susan and Clay Griffith,[133] its sequel Arrow: A Generation of Vipers from the same authors[134] 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.[135]

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.[136] 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.[137][138]

Video gamesEdit

The character appears in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham as part of the Arrow DLC pack.[1]

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".[139]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

The character has been described as Arrow's 'fan favorite' [140][141][38][142][143][26] or 'breakout' character,[144][145][146][147] 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.[148] Rickards portrayal of Felicity has been nominated for five Teen Choice Awards, four for Choice TV Actress in Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Action[149][150][151][152] and one for Female Breakout Star, in 2014.[153] She has also been nominated for a Leo Award in the Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series category four times.[154][155][156][157]

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.[8] 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.[158][159][160][161][162][163] 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.[164] 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".[165] Similarly, Caroline Preece of Den of Geek welcomed the promotion, and in particular the interaction between Felicity, Oliver and Diggle working as a team.[166] Jeffrey Morgan of Digital Spy called Felicity's introduction to 'Team Arrow' "a smart move", appreciated 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.[167] Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Adam Carlson wrote "it’s hard to imagine a first season without her".[144] In his review of Arrow's season one finale, Alasdair Wilkins of The AV 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".[168]

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".[169] 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."[170] 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". [171]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".[172] 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.[173] 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.[174] 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.[175] Writing in 2019 about Rickard's best performances as Felicity, following her decision to step away from the Arrowverse at the end of season seven, Chancellor Agard of Entertainment Weekly, called Felicity "an integral part of Arrow", stating it would be "hard to imagine" what the show would have looked like without the character,[147] sentiments shared by Sam Stone writing for CBR.com in 2019, who 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.[176]

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".[177] 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.[178] TVLine described the speech as "wonderful" and "convincing", praising Rickards for her "warm looks and her physicality" in delivery.[179] Chris King of TV Overmind described Felicity's monologue as a "wonderfully moving speech"[180] and Della Harrington of Den of Geek similarly described Felicity's faith in Oliver as "actually pretty moving".[181] 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.[147]

AccoladesEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result Refs
2014 Leo Awards Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Emily Bett Rickards Nominated [154]
Teen Choice Awards Female Breakout Star Nominated [153]
2015 Leo Awards Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Emily Bett Rickards (The Flash) Nominated [155]
Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Emily Bett Rickards Nominated
MTV Fandom Awards Ship of the Year Emily Bett Rickards & Stephen Amell Won [182]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Fantasy/Sci-Fi Emily Bett Rickards Nominated [149]
Choice TV Liplock Emily Bett Rickards & Stephen Amell Nominated
2016 Leo Awards Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Emily Bett Rickards Nominated [156]
MTV Fandom Awards Ship of the Year Emily Bett Rickards & Stephen Amell Won [183]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Fantasy/Sci-Fi Emily Bett Rickards Nominated [150]
Choice TV Liplock Emily Bett Rickards and Stephen Amell Nominated
2017 Leo Awards Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Emily Bett Rickards Nominated [157]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Action Nominated [151]
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Action Emily Bett Rickards Nominated [152]
Choice TV Ship Emily Bett Rickards & Stephen Amell Nominated

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