Saturday, 1 March 2014

The Awesomeness of Felicity Smoak

Three days ago I posted a piece on 'The Trouble with Felicity Smoak' which was largely about removing Arrow's Felicity from the Olicity. We love her but she's amazing with, or without a love interest, whether that be Oliver or anyone else.

There's been substantial brouhaha since the most recent episode (2x14) aired. Some factions of the fandom are ecstatic that Oliver reaffirmed that Felicity 'his girl' as it confirms the inevitability of their coupledom. Some are more incensed as the episode features a whole heap of characters, including Oliver, patronising Felicity. Regardless of where you stand, the episode was a bit of a character continuity mess.

While I agree with the latter stance, the jacket line plus the continuing patronisation of Felicity was insufferable, I thought I would redirect my energy into all the reasons I love Felicity Smoak.

This is a Felicity list, the attention in on her, not Olicity. Sometimes people make them one and the same (which they are not), however I did go into further detail on this understandable confluence in my previous post.

Her introduction (1x04)
Felicity Smoak is introduced as a highly capable, no bullshit, somewhat flappable broad who could have existed in a 1940s noir film. She made an immediate impression with the questioning head tilt and its affect on the usually stone faced protagonist.

Share Time (1x15)
Felicity brings a much needed warmth and well roundedness to Team Arrow which we see almost immediately. In discussing the guys' gal issues she is highlighting the need for lives outside of the vigilante-ing biz. In this scene she also proves how strategic and resourceful she can be. Reminder this is one episode into her discovering the truth, she's jumped in with two feet to 1) help, and 2) learn about the guys, not just their mission. It also provides an opportunity for Stephen Amell to demonstrate his strength in dead pan line delivery ('But we can try your way' is my favourite line reading from Arrow ever.) With Felicity's addition and this scene, the mission based team became a family.

She then backs it up by refusing to tow the Arrow party line.  While many draw attention to the physical proximity of Oliver and Felicity in this scene, it was her challenging of Oliver's approach that really packed a punch.  It was the first step in the 'finding another way' approach.

Putting the 'icity in Team
Quite often Diggle has found himself being the calming influence in Team Arrow but in 1x21 she uses all her wiles to get the two lads to patch up their partnership. It isn't often we have scenes that are solely Felicity and Diggle but they are always demonstrative of the high regard they have for one another. Unlike Oliver, these two listen and as a result their scenes are warmer and often feel more intimate. Their friendship is for realsies.

If in doubt, fangirl it out
It would be tempting to have Oliver always save Felicity but this is my preference. It shows collegiality, intelligence and is a boatload of fun to watch.  It also plays beautifully on the visual cliche that Felicity represents, the blonde, and as such you would buy that she'd be Tommy Merlyn fangirl/stalker.    

Truth-ing her way through the anger haze
Felicity may be a whip smart IT gal but she has proven over and over again that she is talented in making super angry, macho men stop and think.  At 2.10 mins of this scene from 1x23 she has the curmudgeonly Detective Lance to think for a second on his stance on the Hood.  It is also the start of a beautiful relationship, of which there should be more scenes.

Oh snap
Oliver is very self-involved. This 2x02 scene has Felicity assertively calling out Oliver on his disregard and willful obliviousness to Diggle's struggles. (We saw this again in 2x14 with his inability to see Felicity feeling minimalised in the team. Really, Oliver had to be informed by Diggle, really?) I live for the scenes where Felicity dresses Oliver down, it frankly needs to happen more often.

Violently (2x03)
'Promoting' Felicity made sense for Team Arrow but its ramifications for Felicity with regards to her continuing self-sacrifice is an issue. He really needed to ask before making it so. Anyway, this scene was perfect. Oliver needs a pint sized, high heel wearing, reality check...daily.

Females in the Foundry
This scene was absolutely beautiful.  Felicity responds to the apology with a slightly funny yet wholly applicable answer that puts Sara at ease.  Not one moment plays false.  They are equals who are connecting.  (I really wish this had continued.  While the 2x14 punch/training scene was consistent, the patching up scene was definitely not.)

Not okay
Stephen Amell has stated that he wasn't playing the Barry Allen episodes (2x07/2x08) as jealous...which was a relief because I wasn't seeing it despite much internet ascertain that he was.  He was a cantankerous sod at Felicity for not being available for his every whim and her refusal to dance with him nicely asserts Felicity as someone who won't tolerate that kind of crap.

The first part of the scene where Felicity tells him to apologise to his mother is my favourite Felicity scene of the show's run.  Who talks to Oliver that way?  Seriously.  The team is her family, she is intensely loyal, and yet she just points out that he was wrong and needed to fix it.  I love it - assertive, verbal arse-kicking Felicity is the best.

Oliver's wrong...again
Felicity takes the leadership role when Oliver is incapacitated and she sticks by her (correct) decision. We all know she's right but Oliver should have taken a big clue from Dig's expression.  Neither of them were having his crap on this one.  Instead of cowering, Felicity stood toe to toe with him, swatting away every flimsy reasoning.  I like how self-possessed Felicity is with Barry, and can be with Oliver.  While I would like to see Olicity, we've seen time and time again that's he isn't deserving of her.  She's helping him become a better person but he's not there yet.
Slam Dunk
Emily Bett Rickard rarely gets scenes with her female cast members and this scene was magnificence incarnate.  I loved everything in this interplay with Moira so I won't bother to list everything. 

Felicity is the truth-slayer
Nuff said.

One moment
While the emotional story of 2x14 was sensical, its execution was flawed. The first Felicity-centric episode we've been presented with and it was enormously disappointing. The moment in which Felicity threw some sass at Oliver's suggestion that he stay and help was clap-worthy.

What followed in Diggle and Felicity talking was also fantastic.

What is your favourite Felicity moment?

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