Arrow: The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

Arrow has been taking admirable chances in the opening episodes of its junior season. Mostly these chances are due to the fact that they are trying to develop characters other than Oliver, and so far these chances have paid off.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

For two seasons, Felicity has been almost a complete mystery to the audience with only nuggets of information dropped here and there. So it was long overdue that we learn a little more about Oliver’s computer whiz.

The Felicity-centric episode was just downright fun and I wouldn’t expect anything less from an episode focused on her. Mostly, it was quite predictable but it wasn’t about the plot points, it was about the character and her relationship with her mom, Donna Smoak, who we saw for the first time.

Charlotte Ross did a fantastic job portraying Donna, but the relationship between the two felt cliché and overdone. What made the story feel less cliché was the thread about them being disappointed with each other. Typically, this common trope doesn’t go both ways but this story had them both falling short. This relationship heavily paralleled Oliver and Thea’s relationship in this episode.

The constant talk between the Smoaks of Felicity’s genius father continues to be a mystery. Eventually we will find out who he is, but for now may the speculation continue.

Emily Bett Rickards did very little in changing her acting tone for her flashbacks. Yes, she was less babbly, but besides that, the only real difference was the Goth aspect of her younger counterpart. Not at all like Stephen Amell and Caity Lotz, who consistently raise their voices a couple octaves. It was a strange acting choice. Also, with the closing flashback scene, it seems as if they shut the door on any more flashback episodes for Felicity, which was disappointing.

For some time, it has been a distraction that Diggle didn’t have some sort of costume or disguise. Before this episode, he would just run around with his costumed friends without any identity protection so I rejoiced when Digg showed up with at least a ski mask on. Fingers crossed that this is heading in the right direction and he will soon get a full costume. Especially now since he has a daughter, it would be most advantageous for him to be at least masked.

Speaking of baby Sara, it was hilarious to watch Digg and Oliver discuss whether or not it was okay to bring her down into the base. I guess Oliver didn’t want the baby to be around pointy objects, but still Digg was right – who is she going to tell? I would’ve liked to see Donna on babysitting duty.

Ray Palmer and his portrayer Brandon Routh continue to be extremely likeable, especially in his first scene with the mother and daughter. (Oh, and in that first scene, did anyone else notice the Robin Hood poster in Felicity’s apartment?). He continues to show that he wants to do what’s best for the city and Queen Consolidated, so it’s hard to dislike the peppy millionaire.

There was yet another reference to Hal Jordan and his alter ego Green Lantern when Laurel and Captain Lance discussed Coast City. There have been far too many references to the ring-wielding hero to just for them to let it go. It has to be leading to somewhere.

“The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” did little to nothing to further the overarching plotline of Sara’s murder except for that quick closing scene. Roy? Really? However, I’m going to hold off judgment until I actually see where they are going with this.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    One Comment

  1. KatjaNovember 11th, 2014 at 3:23 am

    love your reviews

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