Felicity Smoak is one of the most beloved, if not most favorite, character on the CW show "Arrow." She is smart, funny and bad ass. Felicity is such an inspiring and amazing character; it is a shame that some people feel the need to put her down.
I have sadly seen even more bad mouthing and insults of her character and even that actress who plays her, Emily Bett-Rickards, this week than before. I do not feel the need to say which one account I am talking about that has been getting some buzz this week, since I do not wish to give that person any kind of validation. The only thing you have to know is that the person in particular said some awful things about "Arrow," Emily Bett Rickards, and Felicity in the past and criticized Stephen Amell's interview on Larry King, which sparked Stephen to respond to the criticism. The reason why I am writing this article is not to talk about that incident and "criticism" but to try to spread positivity. I want to talk about the character of Felicity Smoak and why she is such a great character and, honestly, a great role model.
Felicity was supposed to be a one episode guest star, but her character had so much chemistry with Stephen Amell (the actor who plays Oliver Queen/The Green Arrow) and was so popular that even the CW producers and head of the network had asked about the actress after seeing her first episode and loving her. It was just a fun and hilarious addition to the cast that she not only was brought on for more episodes, but eventually would be one of the main characters of the show - as well as its female lead.
To go from guest star to female lead is an amazing feat and something that, in my opinion, saved "Arrow." While the pilot and second episode ranged from okay to good, once Felicity came on in episode three and especially when she joined Team Arrow, the show really found its footing and went from good to great. Emily has chemistry with not only Stephen, but with many of her other co-stars as well such as David Ramsey, who plays John Diggle and occasional guest star Caity Lotz, who plays Sara Lance. Her chemistry with Stephen not only helps with the group dynamic on Team Arrow, but also sparked one of the most popular relationships on TV, Olicity. Oliver and Felicity were not originally meant to be together, but Emily's amazing chemistry with Stephen and the way Felicity and Oliver Queen bring out the best in each other made for an amazing couple and creation of the canon Olicity ship and fandom.
Besides Felicity's relationship with Oliver and her other cast members, Felicity as an individual is really spectacular and interesting. According to Forbes, today's media is always trying to get more women interested or involved in the STEM fields, and what better way to help with that cause than having an MIT graduate and computer science major as a female lead on a popular show? Felicity's character even graduated early from MIT and uses her knowledge in technology, computer science and hacking to help Team Arrow on its missions. While hacking into FBI databases is not exactly the kind of example many have in mind for what we would want young viewers, especially young girls to be doing, the fact that Felicity is so smart and uses her knowledge to be a hero is a great way to show she is not only a amazing character, but a role model as well.
Felicity's humor also sets her apart and makes her great. Emily's portrayal of Felicity is pure gold and her babbling and occasional unintentional innuendos make her all the more charming and lovable. Her comedic timing and abilities actually make for some of the lighter parts of "Arrow" and was something that many viewers, as well as the cast and crew, noticed about Felicity and Rickard's acting of this character right away. It is said that Felicity is the heart, also the light in Oliver's life. However, it can be said that Felicity is most likely the light of not just the character of Oliver Queen, but the entire show.
The last point to make is that Felicity is a hero, but she does not wear a mask. In a show full of heroes who wear daunting masks and suits to go out and physically fight crime, it is great to see that Felicity uses her brain to help save the city and the day instead of getting into physical fights. While there is nothing wrong with having superheroes with fighting skills and/or super powers, especially female heroines (Thea Queen and Sara Lance are great examples of this), it is really nice to see someone be a hero and not have to wear a costume or use a bow and arrow, gun or fist to be able to fight villains. While Felicity has had to get herself out of a few altercations using some self defense, for the most part she usually is behind the scenes using coms and her computers to help Team Arrow take down a particular bad guy and that is great. It reminds people watching that strength and heroics do not always have to be physical and that knowledge really can be a great power all on its own. The perfect explanation of this actually came from Emily Bett Rickards herself in a 2015 San Diego Comic Con interview in which she reminded all of us, “You don’t need to be the patriarchal definition of strong to be strong,” These wise words not only can apply to Felicity's characters, but also to other heroes who may not be out on the front lines of action, but still work to keep the world safe.
Felicity Smoak is one of the best female characters and greatest characters in general. She is funny and intelligent, and is a hero who many viewers, especially young girls, can view as a role model. While the Felicity and Olicity fandom has had to deal with much negativity, especially misogynistic ones toward Emily and Felicity's character, let it be known that Felicity Smoak in one of the greatest heroines in comic history and on Television. I honestly feel that the addition and decision to keep Felicity Smoak as not only a character on the show, but also to make her a main character, is one that should never be seen as a mistake. In fact it is exactly what "Arrow" needed. Felicity Smoak is one of the best characters I have ever seen on TV and is a character who I am sure will go down as one of greatest characters ever to grace television.