‘The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak’
After dropping teasing hints about Felicity’s past for a long time, this week’s episode sheds some rather intriguing light on the origins of our favourite hacker when two people from her past decide to make sudden appearances.
I’ve really been enjoying Arrow’s new season, and it continues to deliver excellent story-telling filled with small, comedic relief and touching moments that stop it from being too heavy. In this episode we see a different side of Felicity when we take a look back at her college days. And yes, that includes the full Goth makeover: black hair, makeup and far too much PDA with her then-boyfriend, Cooper.
I suspect it took a few minutes for viewers to get to grips with the old Miss Smoak, but it proved an interesting story as to how she initially tried and failed to be a hero. She and Cooper, in Bonnie and Clyde fashion, plan to do good in the world with Felicity’s ‘super virus’ – which can hack into any government and company network. However, after the virus is discovered and traced back to the pair, Cooper is sent to jail, leaving Felicity to ditch the Goth look and transform into the skirt-and-glasses tech genius we all know and love.
In the present, we see the super-virus come back to play and threaten Starling City, and also the grand entrance of Felicity’s ditzy but lovable and headstrong mother, Donna Smoak.
Oliver and Diggle’s amused surprise at Donna’s arrival – not to mention their exchange of teasing glances – is comedic gold. It also highlighted how wonderful Charlotte Ross – who plays the seemingly shallow mother – was in being able to provide such depth to a new character in just one episode.
We see a headstrong confrontation later on which really made me love Mama Smoak even more, showing us that she’s so much more than short dresses and embarrassing comments; she’s a single mother struggling to connect with her genius daughter. By the end of the episode, the pair head off to spend a day together for some quality family time. As do Thea and Oliver, who have been going through some rough patches due to Oliver not wanting his sister to take Merlyn’s money. In the end they meet half way and settle into a new loft together.
Back to the virus, and it’s revealed that Felicity’s ex-boyfriend, Cooper, is in fact the mastermind behind distributing the super virus. The team manage to stop a bank robbery and, with thanks to Felicity’s newfound training and Oliver and Roy’s usual team up, Cooper is stopped and Starling City is safe once again.
This week’s episode, however, leaves us slack-jawed with a shocking cliff-hanger which indicates that Roy could be behind Sara’s death. His flashback dreams seem real enough, but why would Roy murder Sara?