Arrow, S3 Ep05 – The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak

Since her introduction in season one Felicity has quickly grown into one of Arrow‘s best characters. She’s smart, funny, and actor Emily Bett Rickards does a great job portraying the character’s awkward and nerdy attributes. Unfortunately, while Felicity does play a pivotal role on Team Arrow, most of the time the focus is not on her, unless the story is about her and Ollie’s will they/won’t they relationship. This week’s episode aims to change that as we finally discover “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”.

Arrow, S3 Ep05 - The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak (02)

Gothed out Felicity Smoak

This episode contains flashbacks, which unlike some other episodes, tie directly in to the present day events in Starling City. A computer hacker referring to himself as Brother Eye has taken control away from the city. The virus being used was originally created by Felicity in her college years when she was in her Goth phase, channeling the look of Death from DC/Vertigo’s Sandman comics. The majority of the episode deals with this Brother Eye issue as Felicity tries her hardest to find the source of the virus and take it down, all while dealing with her mother, Donna Smoak (Charlotte Ross), arriving at Starling City to pay her a visit.

The episode is filled with some charming family drama, not only between Felicity and her mother, but Ollie and Thea. While a lot of what occurred between Felicity and her mother may seem old hat, it was still sweet to see a different side of the character and heartbreaking to see her struggle with the hardships she faces in that relationship. I enjoyed seeing them resolve their issues in the end, and I’m left wondering if Felicity’s father will ever come into play. He was mentioned a few times throughout the episode.

The realization that Felicity’s ex-boyfriend from college was actually Brother Eye wasn’t all that surprising, but it made for a compelling enough story that I didn’t mind. The episode was strongly entertaining from beginning to end, and I especially enjoyed the opening scene. While every one else in the main cast is seen training hard, including Ollie, Roy, Thea, Merlyn, and Laurel, the episode shifts gears to focus on Felicity doing crunches in her brightly lit apartment in front of the her TV. This was a nice, humorous way of letting the viewers know immediately who this story is about.

While it wasn’t the main focus of this episode, I thoroughly enjoyed the subplot involving Ollie and Thea. We see the two of them grow and accept one another for who they are. Sadly, they are both still hiding some pretty huge secrets from each other, but it was nice to see some progression on the state of relationship. I didn’t care much for Laurel’s subplot, and the episode didn’t make the best effort at highlighting her struggle anyway. Her decision to choose black over red in her final scene was just groan worthy (Get it? She’s gonna be Black Canary!).

Arrow, S3 Ep05 - The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak (03)

Popcorn fixes everything

After it was all said and done, the episode concluded with a huge shocker. Roy has a nightmare of himself killing Sara by throwing (not shooting) three arrows into her stomach and chest on the same building rooftop she did actually die on. I didn’t expect this episode to end with such a dark, shocking twist, especially considering how pleasant the tone of the majority of the episode was. It’s obvious that Roy probably wasn’t in the right mindset if and when he killed Sara. He might have been brainwashed, or might have even felt some residual effects from the Mirakura from last season. Of course this is just me theorizing. This new development is a satisfying twist for Team Arrow’s current murder mystery.

Although this episode had some predictability to it, regarding the reveal of Brother Eye or the development between Felicity and her mother, I still enjoyed it immensely and would even go as far as saying this is the best episode of the season so far. I’m glad to see that (arguably) the best character on Arrow has finally been thrown into the spotlight and has had her “secret origin” told in a very satisfying way. The mother-daughter dynamic between Felicity and Donna was very well done, and this episode served as a good vehicle for Emily Bett Rickards to shine as an actor. Also, it was awesome seeing Felicity take down her armed ex-boyfriend without the direct assistance of Ollie or anyone else.

It’s also fun to point out a major DC Comics Easter Egg I didn’t see coming and that was the inclusion of Brother Eye. While Brother Eye was the name Felicity’s ex referred to himself as to hide his identity, the comic book origins of Brother Eye vary drastically. That being said, introducing the concept of Brother Eye into the Arrow-verse may allow the creators of the show to eventually form that idea into how it’s represented in the comics. This would be satisfying since Arrow did drop an O.M.A.C. reference in a previous episode, and both OM.A.C. and Brother Eye do share a relation.

Next Week Roy explores the idea that he might have killed Sara. Do you think he did it? Check out the official promo for “Guilty” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” in the comments.

Tags: , ,