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TV Reviews: FTN Reviews Arrow Season 3 Episode 05: The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak

November 6th, 2014 by Todd Black Comments

Arrow took a big risk in Season 1 by including two characters in the main team that were created specifically for the show. I’m referring of course to John Diggle and Felicity Smoak. One was a bodyguard tasked with “protecting” Oliver, while the other was Ollie’s gopher for information he couldn’t get. As Arrow progressed we got more and more story as to what made these characters tick, and thus made them irreplaceable.

The latest episode of Arrow focused solely on what made Felicity the awesome character we know today. Dubbed, “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”, we found out not only about her relationship to her mother, but how her past was coming back to haunt her.

This episode really could’ve gone either way. The opening featured three sets of teams (Ollie and Roy, Laurel and Ted, Thea and Malcolm) training in their own various ways. It was really cool, as it showed how far this show has come in terms of who we focus on. Then it cut to Felicity doing sit-ups, classic.

I’ll be upfront in that I really didn’t like Felicity’s mother, and on some degree I really don’t think we were supposed to like her. From her outfit, to her voice, to her attitude and personality, it was the nightmare that many of us figured when we thought about her mother. I loved how they showed Felicity’s continuous frustration with her mother as she did one thing after another that embarrassed her.

But onto the main conflict, a hacker took the city over with a virus that Felicity created 5 years previous. Many a DC fan will note the use of the name “Brother Eye”, which is tied in DC lore to the OMAC program, a program that was teased two weeks ago…

Also though, Brother Eye is the main villain in the current DC comic Future’s End. Obviously this wasn’t THAT Brother Eye, but it was a cool nod, especially with the whole Eye of Mordor thing going on.

Anyway, the main story tied into the flashbacks which showed a very different Felicity using her techniques for very different purposes. And yet, she was still the kind-hearted, law-fearing, person we know today. She knew there were lines that shouldn’t be crossed, and she made sure she respected them. Though her boyfriend didn’t…

Truly one of the big shocks was that the boyfriend was behind it all. True, some might have seen it coming, but how it was presented in the story was cool. Mainly with how he got Felicity’s mom to come to Starling so that he could use her as leverage against Felicity. Also, her disarming her former boyfriend and pistol whipping him? Epic.

There was only a handful of other significant stories in this episode, which was fine to be honest. First off was Thea all but basking in the glory of her new wealth (via her father Malcolm), and Ollie taken offense to it. On some level it’s fine that Thea has the money, but to buy a loft right off the bat? Has she learned nothing? Also, while I have no doubt that much of Malcolm’s money is blood money, it probably all isn’t that. He was a legitimate business man long before The Undertaking, just saying. I do like however that Ollie and Thea are going to be under the same roof once again. It’ll create not only some great family moments, but also will create tension with Malcolm. Who we saw none to pleased at her and Ollie hanging out together.

Laurel had a short but sweet story showcasing her continued battle with the loss of Sara. Her anger caused her to almost start a riot (that Ollie and Roy epically stopped), and after a scolding from Lance she revealed her problem to Ted Grant, who now will no doubt lead her down the path she needs to go.

Finally, that last scene…wow. I’m pretty sure it’s a fake out, especially since it would make no sense that Roy killed Sara. That being said…how could he have that accurate of a dream if he wasn’t there? We’ll find out soon won’t we?

In the end, “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” gave some cool background to our hacker extraordinaire, and show us once again why she’s a beloved member of the team. While there were some cheesy moments and lines, it didn’t hamper the overall story, which was fun and shocking at numerous points. Season 3 is continuing to rock, and it doesn’t look to stop anytime soon.


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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!

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