In a recent TV Line article, Arrow producer Marc Guggenheim explains that because of Billy’s death in the fall finale and Prometheus’s manipulation of Oliver, Felicity will be taken “to a darker place” in her fight against Prometheus.* This is fine. I love the lightheartedness of Felicity in an otherwise dark show, but I don’t particularly have a problem with the writers giving her a darker story line. I do, however, have a problem with the origin of her darkness.
Ex-fiance accidentally killing your current boyfriend is a pretty good reason for anyone to be angry, but I can’t quite buy it when it comes to Felicity. Felicity is no stranger to death, tragedy, and sorrow, so it’s going to take some work for me to believe that this event could really push her over the edge more so than any of her previous tragic events. It seems more likely that the writers have amnesia toward all things Felicity.
First, Billy is not the first of Felicity’s boyfriends to die. In fact, all of Felicity’s boyfriends or lovers (sounds creepy no matter how you say it) have died (or, at least ended up in a coma, if you count Barry). College boyfriend Cooper commits suicide in prison. Oliver fights Ra’s al Ghul, gets stabbed with a sword, and thrown off a mountain. Ray is in his office when it explodes, etc.
At this point, I would be more surprised if Billy actually stays dead than if he comes back to life. Remember all those guys you killed, writers? I’m supposed to believe that the death of a boyfriend she’s not even sure she’s serious about yet is the one to plunge her into darkness? Nope, I’m not convinced.
So perhaps it’s the fact that Prometheus manipulated Oliver into killing him that gives her the push. Although, it’s not the first time Felicity believed Oliver was manipulated into doing horrible things. Or did the writers just completely forget that Oliver stayed with the League of Assassins and seemed to actually become Al Sah-him right after sleeping with Felicity for the first time? I realize that he was playing a part, but eventually, Felicity wasn’t so sure that was true, and yet she still didn’t dive into the darkness in order to bring down Ra’s al Ghul.
Perhaps it is the tragedy of the combination. I will admit that this is the first time Felicity has had an ex unknowingly shoot arrows into her current love interest but death, heartache, and tragedy seems to be par for the course for Felicity. Her father leaves her. Her first love is arrested and then kills himself. She only finds one of the earthquake devices in time, and half the Glades is destroyed. She is shot and paralyzed. She breaks up with her fiance after he lies to her about having a son. She couldn’t stop a nuclear bomb and had to choose what city to send it to. (Speaking of amnesia, did that actually happen? Because the only time we see Felicity dealing with the burden of her choice is when Rory joins the team.) Her track record with pain makes me think she is more likely to go dark because of something good actually happening and lasting rather than something bad. She’s used to bad.
I’d ask the writers to give the poor girl a break, but they I don’t think they would remember what she needs a break from.
It’s like we’re in 50 First Dates and the Arrow writers are Drew Barrymore while the fans are Adam Sandler. They are telling the fans the same Felicity stories over and over again. We deserve better. Felicity Smoak deserves better.
*Mitovich, Matt W. “Arrow Tragedy Will Push Felicity to a Darker, ‘Morally Questionable’ Place.” TV Line. 11 Dec. 2016. http://tvline.com/2016/12/11/arrow-season-5-felicity-spoilers-billy-malone-death/