The weekend is almost tangible! I have to work all weekend so why I am still excited I am not sure but there is something just nice about knowing the day starts with an S and exists of much lower standards than every other day. Anywhozle today I wanted to take a little different approach to the writing. Every once in a while when you watch your shows an episode or scene really sticks out and leaves an impact on you that has you thinking about it for days afterwards. And last night when I finally got home and got to watch Arrow (yes I watch the CW as a 23-year-old and refuse to be [overly] ashamed about it) and while the whole episode was great for Felicity, I was particularly taken by her first scene of the night. So I am going to give a little rant of how Felicity Smoak shut it down in under two minutes.
Character/Show Meta — Felicity Smoak from Arrow
I want to preface this with a few things; I am a Olicity shipper, I am here for the slow build/burn, no that does not mean I hate Laurel as a character or for her relationship with Oliver. Now let’s carry on.
1. She continues to be unafraid of Oliver and putting him in his place. We saw it a few times last season as she grew into herself and her relationship with Oliver, and Diggle as an extension, and also pretty heavily in the season premiere last week. But her first line of the episode last night was “I quit!” and she was yelling it at Oliver before he was even fully off the elevator. She called him out on the fact that he had “promoted” her from IT girl to his Executive Assistant and refused to accept his reasoning with a simple smile and a, “Sir yes sir!”. Oliver is now the CEO of Queen Consolidated and the last time we saw Felicity interacting with a CEO of QC she was less confident and willing to do the bidding of Walter without asking too many questions or pushing his buttons.
2. She isn’t shy about her abilities and degree. Never has Walter, Oliver, Diggle, or us the audience doubted Felicity’s skills as a computer genius, but outside of saying “yeah I could do that” she has never flouted her smarts. But to hear her say something like, “Did you know I went to MIT? Guess what I majored in? Hint. Not the secretarial arts.” is a shift in her confidence. She knows her worth and she is not afraid to demand that she be respected enough to given the job where her talent is put to use. I think on a level Felicity knows why Oliver made the change and how yes it does make logical sense but it is the principle of the matter and that he didn’t really run it by her or ask her before doing it. Like she said, she has worked hard to get where she is and to have that title and public recognition taken away only to be replaced with secretary title is like a slap in the face. Felicity just knows her worth and asks that it not be invalidated or taken for granted.
3. She knows cultural references and takes the time to correct them. This is more a personal thing cause I always love a character that easily knows pop culture references and can spit them out themselves easily. Her catching Oliver’s fumble on “Girl Wednesday” and taking the time to correct him before returning to her tirade speaks to me. Plus I also love how it connects Oliver/Felicity to Clark/Chloe from Smallville even if it was totally unintentional. It was always a fandom thing that Chloe was Clark’s ‘Girl Friday’ and it’s been said that Felicity is Arrow‘s Chloe Sullivan. Too which I like but don’t want it to become a big thing. Chloe always has been, and always will be, one of my favorite fictional characters and I like the hints of her I see in Felicity but I also appreciate the individual traits that make Felicity her own separate character. So I am all for the ‘Girl Wednesday’ becoming a running joke between Oliver and Felicity.
4. She still drops inappropriate comments. It’s her thing, last season we constantly heard Felicity dropping innuendo laced compliments. “I’ve noticed…I said not noticed right?” “Last time the Hood surprised your mom I got to play doctor with you.” “It feels good having you in my ear.” “I imagined you saying that under different circumstances…completely platonic circumstances.” It is part of her charm and what makes her likable. She is not unaware of how attractive Oliver is and even though she often says these things without thinking she isn’t that ashamed either. At first she was maybe cause they easily flustered her but now she is able to recognize the moment they come out wrong but she just takes a moment to get back on track and moves on. I especially appreciated her one line in the premiere where Oliver catches that she kept the monkey bar thing and she just goes, “Yeah I kept that, I liked watching you do that.” I love the idea of Felicity owning the fact she finds him attractive but not expecting anything from him and comfortable enough to just say it to his face. So her little “And I love spending the night with you…” moment was a nice comic moment that reminded us of the Oliver/Felicity banter we love so much while they were having a somewhat heated moment that is a foreign element to their dynamic before this season.
5. She further proves her loyalty as a friend and partner. Nothing better than a Team Arrow moment where one member is valiantly standing up for another. Seeing Felicity ready to protect Diggle when Oliver is just blindly going on and on about eating with him and Carly was sweet. The thing that works so perfectly about Team Arrow is how they each have their individual relationships as well as the overall group one. When we get moments between Oliver and Felicity it’s nice to see how far they have come from him just reluctantly having to trust her and then protecting her once she knew his secret, to bringing her in as a part of the team and a highly valuable asset. Then when Diggle and Felicity have their little moments it is nice to see they can have a friendship and reason to be so beyond their connection to Oliver and his mission. And even Oliver and Diggle moments are great, like the one we got at the end of last night where they balance each other out and look out for the other. But in those two minutes we got a wide range of Felicity’s personality and a large chunk of that is her loyalty to people she has invested her time in. She was ready to smack Oliver upside the head for being so into himself and his issues that he missed Diggle’s life changing in a big way. And regardless of how angry she was with Oliver for her position change she sat down and started to do research when they figured out the first move in the new mission. They have signed on as a team to help Starling City and she won’t abandon that pledge and let her teammates down.
There you have it. Five ways Felicity more than validated her expansion as a character from a one time appearance to series regular. And that’s just one scene! Last night was chock full of reasons why she is better than your faves on top of all the other stuff we have stock piled from last season. I can not wait to see where they take her character in the rest of the season. Felicity Smoak, to me, is the character that defines the quote about women characters;
“Screw writing “strong” women. Write interesting women. Write well-rounded women. Write complicated women. Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner. Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband. Write a woman who doesn’t need a man. Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks. THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN. Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people. So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong. Write characters who are people.” [x]