Dear The Flash Producers/Writers,
There is no show I love more than The Flash, well except Arrow, and I am literally bound to the show and will bend to your will during the season, and quite frankly hiatus, as well. I’ve written more editorials than I thought humanly possible about Harrison Wells as every week I tried to crack the mystery. I theorize, obsess and cry over The Flash in all of the best and worst ways possible. The Flash was easily the best DC Comics television show last season, and I’ve never been more impressed by a first season of a show. I am a huge fan of yours – like I’ve learned to love and hate you at the same time thanks to the emotional trauma suffered week-in and week-out.
But there’s something that’s recently come to my attention regarding a new love interest for Barry Allen in season 2 that does not please me. According to TVLine, the casting call for the “spunky, fun and funny” love interest, named Wendy, reads “think Felicity Smoak from Arrow.” Now, I sort of understand what the casting directors are trying say, but as a fan of Felicity I don’t appreciate the perception that Felicity is a character that can be easily replicated or portrayed. Felicity has become the Felicity we all know and love today, sure because of some of her one-liners, but mainly because of what Emily Bett Rickards brings to the role.
From the moment Felicity appeared on screen in the series’ third episode, she captured the hearts of fans and execs alike. So much so that she was upped from one-off guest star to eventual series regular and now the main love interest of the show’s titular hero. Her popularity even sparked a transition into the Green Arrow comics, along with her equally important partner John Diggle.
Even if you were to believe you could recreate the magic that is Felicity Smoak, you can’t clone Emily. She’s one of a kind. Felicity would not be Felicity if not for Emily. Sure, what makes Felicity who we know her to be is the writing, but Emily is the one who literally breathes life into the character; into the lines and the actions that define her. With her compassion and her comedic timing. She was the blessing that no one saw coming, and everyone thanks his or her lucky stars for every day.
Now, I understand that Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti both serve as executive producers on Arrow, along with The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. (You boys are so busy) So you know that you found lightning in a bottle with Emily’s Felicity. I understand that you want to bring a character that the audience loves so passionately who isn’t the titular hero to The Flash. Felicity works so well on The Flash when she guest stars. And I understand that you were involved with Felicity being integrated into the world of Arrow. But I don’t understand, after having witnessed just how rare it was to strike gold with Felicity, how you believe you can replicate her.
Spoiler alert: You can’t.
No matter how spunky or witty you try and make a character – hell, you can even cast her as a blonde who wears glasses – know that there will never be another Felicity Smoak. Felicity Smoak wasn’t someone who was manufactured, she was a character that was brought to life by an incredible actress who doesn’t get nearly enough credit for what she’s done with the character. Felicity brought light into a show that needed a clear direction and deviation from the darkness that felt overpowering at times.
Even when Arrow – and Felicity – took a darker tone than normal last season, Felicity was the light in the darkness. Sure, the light appeared dim at times (just look at all of the shit she went through and how much stronger she came out of the other end of it), but there was always a light. That’s who Felicity Smoak is. She’s a character who isn’t perfect, but shows us what it means to embrace your imperfections. She shows us that you don’t need to wear a mask to be a hero; that you can be a feminine and not be perceived as weak; and that you can cry and still be strong.
There is only one Felicity Smoak, and she’s on Arrow. Lightning does not strike twice. Don’t forget that.
Alyssa from Fangirlish