Be warned that this article contains definite Arrow spoilers if you missed the most recent episode.
A while back, we posted an article in which we discussed the somewhat negative fan reaction to potential spoilers that Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) would be confined to a wheelchair. Many fans believed that she was going to become the Arrowverse version of Oracle, as it would not be entirely dissimilar to the role she currently plays in the series.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, executive producer Wendy Mericle spoke to these Oracle rumors, as well as why they decided to take Felicity in the direction that they did.
“To echo my co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim, Oracle is still off the table. It was really never our intention to go that direction. We wanted to throw Felicity some big curve balls this season. And this seemed like an interesting way to go. We want to explore what her place is going to be on the team and her relationship with Oliver. It was less about trying to honor Oracle, which is obviously a great comic book character, and more about trying to play the reality of this situation for her.”
With Felicity now wheelchair-bound, Mericle says that the team wanted to respect people with actual disabilities. She also says that they wanted to stress the reality of the situation and make this an extremely personal battle for Smoak to face.
“At the moment where you see her, it’s in a place of shock with respect to her own issues and shifting her focus on Oliver and making sure he doesn’t fall back into old habits and do something he would regret. Going forward, it’s not going to be easy. The reality is, making an adjustment of that kind for someone at her age, it’s not an easy thing to do. We wanted to be as respectful and real towards people who are facing that reality and explore the ups and downs of it. So yes, you see her calm in [episode] 410, but I don’t think it’s realistically possible for anyone to very calmly accept this new reality.”
So Felicity will definitely be struggling with her new reality in the upcoming episodes, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be dealing with it forever. In their discussion with Mericle, ComicBook.com asked whether or not the team would be searching for some sort of magical cure, or if the injury would indeed become an ongoing challenge.
“I think it’s both. The way we’re exploring this big, life-changing event is through the prism of Oliver and Felicity’s relationship…. At the same time, without being too fantastical or magical about it, I think Oliver will be optimistic that this is a world where Barry Allen exists. You don’t know if this is permanent or not. I think that’s endemic to the world we’ve created, where stranger things have happened, but for right now, we really have come down on the side of that and we’re exploring the issues as grounded as possible.”
So “Olicity” will continue to take the spotlight as Arrow continues, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be bigger changes for Felicity Smoak later on down the road. Mericle has also opened up about a number of other happenings this season, such as Thea’s blood lust, Red Arrow’s return, and the mystery of just who is in that mysterious grave. Feel free to click on the source links below for more of these interviews, and share your thoughts on Felicity’s fate in the comments section.