“Arrow” Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim delighted fans at WonderCon by pointing out that before IT girl extraordinaire Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) knew Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) personally, let alone as The Hood, Starling City’s vigilante, she had a bit of a crush on him. Rickards herself equated it to “meeting a prince.” We personally would parallel it to how many of our readers feel upon meeting their favorite actors. Anyway, now that Felicity has actually gotten to know Oliver, he has managed to come down off the pedestal in her mind reserved for larger-than-life celebrity images. He has been humanized, despite his still very much larger-than-life secret identity.
“She knows Oliver Queen, she knows the Hood, and she knows where they connect. Therefore, he’s a superhero and a real human being,” Rickards said to LA TV Insider Examiner about how Felicity’s perception of Oliver has changed.
“I have to [call it] friendship because obviously they’re not dating right now, and if they will be, I don’t know. I don’t have a better word for it. There’s just so much going on! The relationship is so strong, but we have so many secrets we’re all keeping.”
Oliver has definitely developed a deeper trust in Felicity as time working together went on, though, and in “The Undertaking” he proves how much he values her as a team member by letting her go into the field. Felicity worked with Oliver out of their “lair” before– in “Dodger” when she found information on an art gallery robbery. But this time her experience is very different.
“She volunteers,” Rickards said. “As opposed to Oliver saying, ‘Okay, we’re all going to an art auction’…Felicity says ‘This is the only way we can do this; I’m going to go out and do this by myself.’ It is the last resort…there’s no other way; there’s no other choice. So she puts her big girl pants on– or her dress– and she goes out there, and we see her go ‘I can do this,’ and we see her become more confident, and I think that’s huge.”
Although there is obviously no bomb strapped to Felicity’s neck this time around, Rickards previewed that the danger level for her character is “way more” than the first time around. What makes Felicity much more secure in handling things this time is partially the training she has been doing, martial arts especially, which Rickards felt promotes self-confidence in general, partially the fact that Felicity looks at the experience “like she’s playing a character,” per Rickards. Still, it will be a little while before we get to see Felicity put those new skills to the test.
“When we see her go back out in the field, I think the training– the physical training she’s been doing– just gives her a sense of confidence. We don’t see her doing close-quarters combat because we’re not there yet; she hasn’t been training long enough. She didn’t go to war like Diggle did, or she wasn’t stuck on an island like Oliver was; we have to give respect to that: that took a long time and a lot of training! And I think she’s only [been doing this] for seven months in the series, and she’s only been training for two of them, so we don’t see her defend herself physically– we don’t see that yet. I really hope we get to!” Rickards said.
The more Felicity goes out in the field, the more the villains of Starling City may also start to take notice of her. Though Felicity is a talented enough hacker not to get caught yet– the key word is yet. Just like the fans of “Arrow” immediately sat up and went “Who’s that girl?” when Felicity was first on-screen in “Lone Gunmen,” the power players of Starling City may not know who Felicity is, but they see her stirring things up and will have to keep a closer watch.
Felicity’s main mission was to get to the bottom of Walter’s (Colin Salmon) disappearance, after all, and her success in that area is sure to anger those with deep secrets from their families — like Moira (Susanna Thompson) and Malcolm (John Barrowman).
“We do get to learn more about Walter’s disappearance as we learn more about the Undertaking and more about Moira’s involvement, and by that point– and still evolving– we see Felicity[‘s] morals– how she started getting into this and how she was only going to help Walter– changed because she is saving lives,” Rickards said.
“Felicity, Oliver, and Diggle are saving more lives than they are hurting, and she looks at each life that they’re taking away as an individual life as opposed to how Oliver sees them as ‘Save the Glades,’ which is under a huge umbrella. I think we get to see that in each episode, Felicity is further in. What was holding her back before sort of falls off each way.”
Be sure to check out our in-depth video chat with Rickards for more Arrow and Olicity goodies!
“Arrow” airs on The CW on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. “The Undertaking” airs on May 1 2013.
Want more Arrow news and interviews? Follow LA TV Insider Examiner on Twitter!