Spoilers. Spoilers. Spoilers. All the way up through Arrow 4×15. (I say 15 because I’m including the promo trailer in that disclaimer.)
I like Felicity Smoak.
There, I said it.
These days that’s a dangerous opinion to have around the Arrow fandom especially with Mama Smoak trespassing and stealing all the good hard-earned subplots, but I don’t care anymore. I am openly #TeamFelicity.
And you know what else? I like Mama Smoak, too. Arrow doesn’t have that many parent/child relationships, and it certainly doesn’t have the beautiful Joe/Barry relationship The Flash has, but Donna Smoak is a good person. She’s an honest person. She’s loyal and yea, she’s loud and kind of superficial but she loves her child unconditionally, and after all that has happened on the show, doesn’t someone deserve that kind of happiness and support? Shouldn’t there be at least one kind of healthy parent/child relationship?
Why do I love Felicity even though she’s over-the-top, cliche, and too OP for the Arrowverse? Let me count the ways.
She’s kind. Outside of a few instances where the writers shit the bed (some of which I mention below), Felicity is usually the one seeing the best in people. She borders on annoying when she’s telling others to patch up their relationships with brothers and fathers and sisters, but she always has the best intentions. She doesn’t like her friends or family to be sad and will oftentimes put her own feelings on the back-burner to keep people (Oliver) from worrying.
She’s an unabashed loser. While I wish the writers had explored Felicity’s loss of identity more during her medicated wheelchair episodes, Felicity is a person who knows who she is. She’s a nerd who makes unintentional double entendres look like her job. She laughs way too loud at her own jokes. She loves food. OKAY SHE’S ME, ALRIGHT. THAT’S WHY I LOVE HER.
She has the best relationships with people. Felicity is the reason why I came around to liking many of the characters on Arrow. Seeing them through her eyes (Sara, especially) made me more receptive to who they were as characters. She helps Laurel with being the Black Canary, Diggle with becoming a family man, and Oliver with, well, keeping the salmon ladder (which benefits us all). Donna Smoak is similarly open, honest, and forthcoming with her advice. Is the optimism and shrill laughter between the Smoak women sometimes annoying? Hell-to-the-yes, but I don’t mind it because Arrow is a show that needs the light, it needs to awful nerd humor and the puns to survive.
ALL THAT BEING SAID, Felicity is far from perfect, especially of late. In the early seasons, she wasn’t afraid to stand up to Oliver’s nonsense, call him out on a lie, or suck up her feelings when a mission was on the line. Something happened to her character when she become part of the “Olicity” ship and I’m not okay with it.
Some notable objections: Season 2 Felicity would have never approached Oliver with the ring she found, basically forcing him to propose. Some of her jokes in season 4 have come across as more callous than goofy. Handing her Palmer Technologies feels like a stretch, but in the grand scheme of things, that one can slide. And while I don’t like her reaction to finding out about Oliver’s son, it makes sense that she would be just as shocked and upset. I’m okay with her being angry; I’m not okay with her slamming Oliver because of it.
But all these things I can forgive because at her core, Felicity is still the same person. Sure, there’s a weekly reference to how “strong” and “badass” she is in Season 4, but the rest of the writing isn’t that great either. Seriously, look at what they’ve done to Laurel. Bottom line: watching Felicity makes me happy; she still makes me smile.
Based on all those stupid flash forwards and next week’s promo, things look like they’re heading down a dark path for “Olicity” (Ugh, I hate that name). I have an inkling I’m not going to like what happens to Felicity’s character, but I’ll still love her. I’ll always have Felicity the early years and that makes it okay. Ish. (Please stop ruining her!)
Arrow airs Wednesdays on the CW at 8pm EST.