Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#CountdownToArrow: Ten Best Felicity Smoak Moments


Around here, we love Felicity Smoak.

Oh, sure, we appreciate and care about other characters, too. Some of us are fans of Laurel Lance, some aren't as much. Some of us love Thea Queen and some feel a bit more ambivalent. Some are die-hard Sara Lance fanatics, and some of us don't feel as passionately. But there is one character that each one of us who consider ourselves to be Arrow fans can agree on: Felicity Megan Smoak. Whether we fell in love with her during "Lone Gunmen" or "The Odyssey," or somewhere in between, the truth remains that Felicity is the kind of character we all gravitated towards. She's a brilliant, blonde, beautiful ball of light in a show that -- for quite a long time -- was overwhelmed with darkness and dinginess. But it's not just that Felicity is the light to Oliver's darkness or that she's an eternal optimist with the hacking skills to rival anyone else's. It would be easy to say that we love Felicity because she's bubbly or because she's good.

We love Felicity because she's strong. Because she's capable. Because she's flawed. And yet she's still completely relatable. We want to be her friend. We understand why Oliver Queen loves her -- we understand why simply because we do too. And to kick off our month of #CountdownToArrow, we thought we would take this opportunity to talk a bit more about Felicity Smoak. In fact, we're going to spend pretty much the entire day talking about her in some way or another. Each of the major characters will have their own days to shine, so don't worry if you're fans of Laurel, Oliver, Diggle, or Thea. 

But for now, let's tell you a bit more about why we love Felicity so much by counting down what we believe are ten of her best/most memorable moments. Feel free to add your own in the comments below or tweet us. We know there are a TON more but these are just a few of the writers' favorites! (And they're in no particular order, by the way.)



10. MADDIE'S PICK: Felicity saves Oliver ("My Name Is Oliver Queen")

(Meredith filled in and wrote about these moments, since Maddie wasn't able to.) Up to this point in the series, Felicity had mostly used her intellect to be a hero and support the team. Sure, we’ve seen glimpses of her using physical strength, but her role on Team Arrow has largely been to be the brains behind the operation. However, when confronted with the reality that she might lose the man she loves, again (and for good) well, to quote the show back to itself -- there was no choice to make. 

While Ray and the others were busy saving the city, Felicity took it upon herself to save the hero the city needed. She conquered her fear of heights and flew out into the night in a suit she had never worn before. We’ve seen Oliver save Felicity, we’ve seen Felicity save herself, but now we saw Felicity save Oliver literally, instead of just metaphorically (because we all know that her words have inspired and saved him more than once). These two are a team in every sense of the word, equals, partners. And Felicity? Well, she will do anything to save the people she loves most. Plus, immediately after her epic act of heroism, she smiles and proves once again what a precious cupcake she is.


9. MADDIE'S PICK: The introduction of Felicity Smoak ("Lone Gunmen")

(Meredith filled in and wrote about these moments, since Maddie wasn't able to.) This is the scene that changed everything in Arrow. Before it, we hadn’t seen Oliver genuinely smile. We’d seen him fake the part, we’d seen him play a role, but as Stephen Amell has admitted more than once, this scene was a little bit of him breaking through. His reaction as an actor was real, and this was the start of something magical. The chemistry in this short scene started a domino effect that changed the trajectory of the show. All because of the power of Emily Bett Rickards and Felicity Smoak. 

When later, in "The Calm," Oliver tells Felicity that she was the first person he could see as a person after returning from the island/Hong Kong/wherever else, this is what he is referring to. Because Felicity is cute, and a bit awkward, and doesn’t take any crap from him. We can tell she’s questioning his story about a coffee shop in a bad neighborhood from the start, but she indulges him because, as she explains later... she hates mysteries. And boy did she stumble upon a mystery. This scene set the stage for one of the most insanely popular romantic storylines on TV today, and introduced us to one of the most beloved characters. This scene, when paralleled with that last scene of "My Name Is Oliver Queen" when Oliver and Felicity drive off into the sunset, epitomizes the popular line “started from the bottom, now we’re here.”


8. LYNNIE'S PICK: Felicity trusts Oliver. ("Vertigo")

Trust. Billy Joel thinks that is simply a "matter of"; people search for it for years, often misplacing it and oftentimes losing it entirely. For Felicity Smoak, trust in Oliver Queen comes to her almost immediately. When she looks at him, she doesn’t see a murderer or vigilante, even when Oliver was both. She sees a man worth believing in. In "Vertigo," Felicity reaches out to Oliver about the notebook, not knowing whether or not he would kill her, as Walter was potentially dead over it at that point in this show. This trust in Oliver takes guts, strong emotional intelligence, and hope. These are all characteristics that help make Felicity one exceptionally strong character.

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7. LIZZIE'S PICK: The "I love you" confession and everything after. ("The Fallen")

There’s great strength in opening yourself up to another person -- in being vulnerable -- especially in this particular instance where actively admitting your feelings out loud means accepting the pain they will inevitably bring. Because this is Felicity both saying "I love you," and saying goodbye. She’s letting Oliver go, and she’s choosing to do it without there being any secrets left. Because that’s what he deserves. And also because that’s who Felicity Smoak is; she’s a strong woman, a smart woman -- a woman in charge of her own life.

Which is why, in the end, all good intentions aside, she can’t just let Oliver go. Not without trying something foolish and quite possibly suicidal. Felicity is many things, but a woman who just accepts her circumstances isn’t one of them. After all, if she’d just accepted her life, she’d be a cocktail waitress in Vegas. No, Felicity is a fighter. And even if this time things don’t exactly go her way, that doesn’t take away from how completely amazing it is to continue to fight even when the battle seems lost.

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6. LIZZIE'S PICK: Felicity's monologue to Oliver. ("Streets of Fire")

It’s easy to talk about this hopeful speech when you’re making a list of some of Felicity's biggest moments. But this isn’t just Felicity telling Oliver what she thinks he needs/wants to hear. This is Felicity trusting Oliver with everything that she has. This is her saying, essentially, "You might not think you can do this. But I’m here. I’ll always be here. And I believe in you. So, use your brain and let’s figure this out. Together."

Talk about a defining relationship moment. And also, talk about a woman who really understands the man who is right in front of her. Felicity is not just Oliver’s love interest on Arrow. She never was and she proves why in this scene. Felicity is Oliver’s partner, the one who pushes him, the one who’s willing to give him the swift kick in the rear he needs every once in a while. She’s the voice in his head, in good times and in bad times. And that’s why they win. Because they're better when they're together.


5. LYNNIE'S PICK: Felicity to the rescue. ("Time of Death")

At the height of feeling worthless, and like her superpowers of being the best at computers and hacking have failed her, Felicity wasn’t petty or cruel to the woman who was partially (both directly and indirectly) responsible for making her feel this way. She was kind, if not a bit irrational about deciding to go out into the field during "Time of Death." A woman that would have been her competition on any other television show was transformed into a friend Felicity was more than willing to take a bullet for. And she did. Felicity protected Sara from the Clock King, protected them both, really, and did it all with only the thought of saving a person that she cared about. That’s pretty heroic if you ask me.


4. LYNNIE'S PICK: Felicity can save herself. ("The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak")

Sometimes facing our pasts is a lot harder than facing an army. The past is complicated and messy. Throughout the entirety of "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak," Felicity was tasked with dealing with the consequences of a virus that she couldn't contain or control and a secret that had weighed her down for years. Her heartbreaking arc ended with her ex-boyfriend, Cooper, taking her hostage and threatening the precious cupcake that is Mama Smoak. In a near blink of an eye, though, Felicity takes back what he stole from her, reminds herself that she is not responsible for other people’s actions, and saves both herself and her mother. And in the moment that Felicity pistol whips Cooper right in the face and incapacitates him. I cheered. Loudly.


3. JENN'S PICK: Felicity stands up to Oliver. ("Blast Radius," "Sara," "Uprising," etc.)

Let’s be real here: too many television shows are content to portray the love interest (normally the woman) as the weaker sex. Too many television shows would use Felicity’s love for Oliver as an excuse to let him treat her like crap. Too many shows have already done similarly to their female characters. But what I love and appreciate so much about Felicity Smoak is that she knows her value. She knows that she may love Oliver but that gives him no right to treat her with disrespect. She’s unafraid to stand up to him -- to threaten to leave or walk away because she knows she deserves better in the moment. She doesn’t even let Oliver off on a half-hearted apology. (“Were you apologizing to me or were you talking to your quiver?”) I mean, the woman has grace and sass in spades, honestly. And the fact of the matter is that every time Felicity defends herself against Oliver or refuses to back down from an argument… I fall a bit more in love with her. I admire her not just as a character on a series but as a woman. We all need to be like Felicity, whether we’re in relationships or not. We all need to realize that love is not equated with weakness or submissiveness.

Why do I love Felicity Megan Smoak, you ask? Because she’s a woman full of love and compassion and grace and humor and wit and intelligence. But she’s also a woman who is full of confidence -- in who she is, what she wants, and what she deserves. If that’s not the kind of person you should idolize on this show, I honestly don’t know who is.

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2. MEREDITH'S PICK: Felicity goes toe-to-toe with Malcolm Merlyn. ("Uprising")

How amazing was this scene? Now. To be fair, this is not the first time Felicity has held her own against Malcolm Merlyn. She did it before ("Left Behind"), and she will do it again ("The Fallen"). But what makes this scene spectacular is the way she sits, like a queen on her throne (ahem), surrounded by her team. 

In Oliver’s absence, Felicity truly emerged as a leader within Team Arrow. She helped rally and keep them together, she helped Laurel find her way, she kept her head held high and supported those around her. And she never backed down from Malcolm Merlyn, mass murderer and villain extraordinaire. She has so little respect for or fear of Malcolm, she doesn’t even bother to stand up when he comes in. She doesn’t waver, or flinch. The positioning here is everything -- Felicity is in the center, seated, surrounded by the physically stronger members of her team, who are all standing (and notice the space between Felicity and Dig? Yeah, nobody can tell me that isn’t Oliver’s spot.) It’s a cool shot, yes, but it’s also so meaningful. It tells us so much about Felicit's role. She is the center, she is the glue, she is the one who speaks to Malcolm first. If there had been any doubt before (and by this point there really shouldn’t be), it is very, very clear that Felicity Smoak is a BAMF. 

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1. MEREDITH'S PICK: An insult becomes a badge of pride for Felicity -- and an iconic Arrow moment. ("City of Blood")

This moment is my all-time favorite Felicity moment. Not to mention it’s become the iconic line that everyone associates with Felicity Smoak. How many Tumblr or Twitter accounts use BitchWithWifi as some part of their handle? So many! Why? Because of how perfect this moment was. Because this scene does so much with just a tiny bit of dialogue. 

First, we have Felicity delivering an amazing one-liner, which is kind of her thing, right? She can toss a zinger like nobody else. But beyond that, more than that, we have Felicity being a hero in her way. In the way that is uniquely hers, and nobody else’s. Felicity doesn’t suit up and go out every night and take down criminals and bad guys with her physical strength. That’s not who she is. But that doesn’t make her less of a hero, or a less important part of the team. Felicity has her own amazing strengths, and in this scene she utilizes all of them AND THEN SOME to deliver a much needed blow to her opponent. This scene demonstrates to the viewer, and to Felicity herself, that she is as necessary to the team as everyone else, and that she is a hero in her own right. And it also shows us, like the lovely Emily Bett Rickards kept saying at this year's Comic-Con, that women don’t have to be physically strong or wear suits and masks to be heroes. Felicity's mind is her superpower and that’s just the way we like her. 

What are some of YOUR favorite Felicity Smoak moments? Let us know in the comments below or tweet them to us! And be sure to stay tuned later because we'll have a Felicity Smoak-inspired fashion piece by Rae up, too. Let the #CountdownToArrow continue. :)

5 comments:

  1. I LOVE everything about this post. If I could be any fictional character for a day, I would want to be Felicity Smoak. I love her humor and her quirkiness. Honestly, sometimes her one-liners and double entendres seem to be echoing my own inner monologue. I love that she is smart and good at her job, and she knows it. I love that she can be both confident and vulnerable. She feels like a real person. I think you hit the nail right on the head when you said we want to be her friend. I'm sure she'd be a great one.

    #FelicitySmoakIsMySpiritAnimal

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    1. Thanks so much for the comment! We adore our little babbling blonde IT girl and secretly (or not-so-secretly) want to like, have movie nights with her and eat Big Belly Burger.

      I love that she is smart and good at her job, and she knows it. I love that she can be both confident and vulnerable. She feels like a real person.

      Amen to all of this! Felicity proves that being good at your job, kind to your friends, and tough in the face of adversity is what makes you strong. And we couldn't love her more if we tried.

      Felicity Smoak is our spirit animal too. <3

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  2. Beautiful! Hopefully we will get more great character development for Felicity.

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