Arrow Isn't 'Felicity & Friends,' It's Still Arrow

While Arrow is essentially Oliver Queen’s origin story from vigilante to Green Arrow, let’s get one thing straight: Arrow has never been just about Oliver Queen.
From the start we dove into the stories of Laurel Lance, Thea Queen, Tommy Merlyn, and more. While Oliver has and will always be the main character of this show – obviously – that has never stopped the show from exploring the characters that surround him on the show thus bringing us closer to them. Oliver is someone who is inspired by and relies on those people he cares most about, which is why we’ve explored who those characters are and their place in Oliver’s life.
Yet one of the things that has been brought forth from a segment of fans about Arrow’s fourth season is how Arrow has become the Felicity Smoak Show. While it was something to laugh about at first – “Felicity and Friends” is still a show I’d watch, just saying – the fact that people keep complaining that a character is actually being fleshed out is quite troubling. It’s something that has bothered me because there are people that forget that Felicity isn’t just a part of this show, but she’s a vital part of it.




From her inception on the show, Felicity was never someone who was dealt a lot of backstory for her character. She was always just there in the present providing words of wisdom and encouragement to Oliver and being a badass with a brain. But we never got to explore who Felicity Smoak was. Hell, it wasn’t until episode five of season three where we actually got the first legitimate backstory about Felicity, as we got a look into her college, hacker past. And that was the extent of that backstory for season three.
Forty-six episodes. That’s how long it took for us to finally get some proper backstory for a character that had grown as a significant part of the heart of Arrow. Do you see the problem here?

“Arrow has never been just about Oliver Queen.”

Yet there are some people that say how Felicity used to be their favorite character until the last couple of seasons. You mean the last couple of seasons where the show actually began to give her character backstory? Are you telling me that since Felicity went from cute sidekick to fleshed-out character with flaws and emotion – like every human being in the world – that she somehow became lesser? Do you see the problem here?
Of course one of the reasons that Felicity’s increased presence has been met with some disdain by a segment of the fandom is because of her romantic relationship with Oliver. There are some that complain that Olicity has “ruined” Arrow (prove it); some that complain that Arrow has become all about Felicity and Olicity (the show is called “Arrow” people); and some that just complain about Felicity because they can (really?).
But this is a problem that has arisen specifically with season four as she was cemented as the show’s new female lead. With this new status the show began to explore Felicity’s professional career at Palmer Tech, which helped introduce Curtis Holt to the show, as well as provide some much-needed assistance throughout the season.
But was Felicity the only one not named Oliver that got a significant storyline this season? Of course not. Diggle had his storyline with his brother; Thea had her storyline with Malcolm and that bloodlust; Laurel had her arc with Sara’s resurrection (and plenty of storylines in past seasons). But I haven’t see any complaining about those storylines.

“Felicity has earned this character exploration. It’s literally been seasons in the making.”

Sure, Felicity’s father was brought into the equation after he was teased two seasons ago. This is literally a storyline two years in the making, and people are complaining that Felicity’s father coming into the storyline – one where his presence makes sense – makes this all about her?
But let’s also take into account Felicity’s role in Oliver’s life. She has become the epic love of his life, which means that she’s damn important to his journey and this show in general. But she’s so much more than her romantic link to Oliver. Getting to explore who Felicity is; getting to see her character struggle; getting to see her fall and rise; getting to see why Oliver loves her as much as he does is something important to this story.
When Arrow first started out, the plan was for Laurel to be that epic love of Oliver’s life. But given the toxic history and the failed present-day romance, the producers realized along the way that there was a different avenue they wanted to explore. Then Felicity stepped into that role. In most superhero stories there are those epic loves that help guide our hero into becoming super. Felicity is that epic love for Oliver. So of course we’re going to start seeing more storylines involving her.
“I don’t watch for Felicity,” some have said. Well then, maybe you should stop watching Arrow because Felicity is a central part of the show, just like the rest of the team with Oliver, Diggle, Thea, and Quentin. They all make Arrow what it is today.
“Can we get back to the Green Arrow show?” some have asked. Because this season hasn’t been about Oliver Queen at all. We haven’t seen him go from being a hero in the shadows to one in the light; we haven’t seen him struggle with hardships that he came back from; we haven’t seen him embrace the light; we haven’t seen him become stronger because of everything he experienced this season.
If you’re going to try and say that Arrow isn’t about Oliver Queen anymore then you need to check yourself. Don’t act like this is something new. Arrow has always been about exploring not only Oliver but the people in his life. That’s part of his story.
Here’s the thing: if you don’t like a show, don’t watch it. It’s really as simple as that.
Because while you might not enjoy Felicity’s story on Arrow, there are plenty of people that do. As fans we’re not always going to be satisfied. There are certain storylines that I’ve watched play out on Arrow throughout the years that have rubbed the wrong way, but I watched them because it’s part of the show. Sure, I might not enjoy certain storylines but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily ruining the show. It’s just my opinion. I’m just one voice out of millions.

“Arrow has always been about exploring not only Oliver but the people in his life. That’s part of his story.”

We all love Arrow for a central reason, and those reasons vary. Maybe you love Arrow because of the Green Arrow origin story or Olicity or Team Arrow or shirtless Stephen Amell (who doesn’t love that?!) – but the thing is we all have our own reasons for loving Arrow. And Felicity is that reason for a great number of fans.
But the fact that there are complaints about a lead character being fleshed out – after two seasons of being denied that agency – just baffles me. Felicity has earned this character exploration. It’s literally been seasons in the making.
Just because Felicity gets significant storylines outside of her romance with Oliver doesn’t mean she’s taken over the show. This has always been and will always be Oliver Queen’s show. But Oliver has never been alone in this now four-season journey.
Can we all remember that Arrow isn’t just about Oliver Queen? That just because a character that isn’t named Oliver gets a focus doesn’t make Arrow any less than what it is? Arrow is still Arrow. And that’s never going to change.

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90 Comments

  1. I’m still trying to understand why we can have a year to Laurel’s alcoholism story with a huge screen time and completely separate of main character, but we can’t have history of Felicity as she is the Oliver’s partner.

  2. I’m still trying to understand why we can have a year to Laurel’s alcoholism story with a huge screen time and completely separate of main character, but we can’t have Felicity’s history as she is the Oliver’s partner.

    1. Her story arc was never the focus of the show Not to mention that while she was dealing with that, The Green Arrow was still off being the Green Arrow and trying to prevent the big bad from destroying the city. The same can’t be said about this season. Every episode is dedicated to Felicity saving the day, or Felicity’s drama with her parents, work, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.

      1. What I know is that I spent 4 seasons rolling my eyes every time Laurel and her dramas came to scene, so I believe that people can put up with one or two season rolling his eyes for Felicity.
        Felicity save the day with her skills … she always did, in all seasons and has always been more interesting than a instahero that just needed some boxing lessons at the gym after work and 2 lessons with Nyssa.
        I could tell you to take advantage of the hiatus and refresh your memory, watching the first 2 seasons again, but not worth it.
        I have my opinion, you have yours about what the show should focus, so this conversation is useless.

      2. No one care about Laurel. I never actually liked her character or the way they tried to portray her getting “upgraded” to become a street level vigilante. She had her side stories and subplots going on but it was never done in a way that diminished GA. Oliver actually let a city get wiped out because he was caught up in the melodrama with Felicity and needed flash to save his bacon. He has not played a vital part in any of the story this season to the point that I could have replaced him with Roy or Dig and it wouldn’t have significantly changed any outcomes. That is a problem. The writers don’t write for GA anymore they write for Felicity then try to shoehorn the GA in there after the fact. Its sloppy at best or the worst kind of pandering.

      3. Well I couldn’t careless about her. I mean it was cheap the way they killed her character off for no reason other than shock value, but other than that who cares?

      4. I’m just saying, dealing in absolutes is wrong. You said “No one cares about Laurel” – and trust me, a lot of people do.

      5. The diference between you and me is… you care about GA. I care about Oliver Queen, the Oliver Queen in Arrow.
        I started reading comics in the early 80s, as many as I could (my country have always been extremely irregular in publishing, the Internet was not common and my english has always been precarious). I love heroes of the Marvel and DC, but one of the few heroes that I did never like was GA. That was the reason I took so long to start watching Arrow, just took a chance when I found out about the Flash series. Arrow’s Oliver Queen was a wonderfull surprise and it is the character that makes me come back every season. Ollie Queen? Green Arrow? I don’t care about them, I barely take him because of Hal Jordan, but Arrow’s Oliver Queen ? This guy I care.
        Oliver loves Felicity and everthing about her matter to him, so matter to show, matter to me. The fourth season is basically about their relationship, for sure, and she is front and center, as well as Diggle because these are the people who Oliver cares and loves. During three seasons the only people that mattered were those of his past: Tommy, Laurel, Moira, Thea, Sara … 4 season is the time of people who really suport him during those three seasons.

      6. To be clear I have never read a GA comic and don’t really get into the hardcore aspects of the lore. My problems with the show are based solely on my viewing the Arrow for the past 3.5 seasons. I don’t enjoy the direction of the show in becoming less a street level superhero show with a romantic back drop to a night time soap with a few punches and explosions added as an afterthought.
        For comparison look at daredevil as a comparable show, which has a heavy focus on Matt Murdock and HIS journey in become the daredevil with a side of romance and interpersonal relationships. Maybe the budget is bigger or the writing is just better, but that was the course arrow was on until they veered off the cliff into Vampire dairies territory. Not that I have a problem with Vampire dairies, but you know what you are getting going in without being blindsided after investing time.

      7. You are comparing a 13-episodes show, in adult closed channel, with high budget and 2 seasons with a 23-episodes show, open channel in family time with low budget and 4 seasons.
        Yet, despite the differences, we had a season 2 with Murdock in a soap opera love triangle and Daredevil almost an adjunct to Punisher and Electra.
        Arrow has always melodramatic in Oliver’s romantic relationships and Felicity is not different. In fact, it seems less melodramatic than a love triangle with his best friend or “we died on that island”.
        Honestly? The problems in seasons 2 and 3 has nothing to do with the romantic aspect:
        1. Flashbacks: no more foco in the changes in Oliver and was slow to connect with what’s happening at the moment.
        2. Scenes of action: many masks in the field. One or two heroes battling against many is epic, 4 is a mess. The best in the Arrow’s action scenes has always been the fact that Stephen and David did most of the action scenes, gave greater realism. Katie’s stunt double was so obvious it hurt.
        3. Magic, Mysticism and super powers: the physicality and sense of Oliver strategy, his strong points, it is practically useless against it and leaves it looking dispensable in his own show. Think the season 4 with Darkh as a guy who was training by the League of Assassins and HIVE behind, but without magic and the show would have been much more interesting.
        4. Spin Off: much of the focus of the show in two seasons was to launch new heroes and bring them back from the dead to LoT, taking Oliver’s show focus and further reinforcing the previous problem.
        These are the real problems on the show and would be much more productive to focus on that than crying because “I don’t like Felicity”.

      8. The production quality has dropped significantly. It’s all drama built around Oliver in his romantic entanglements. Also, you pointing out that there was romantic drama in daredevil only supports my point that they have handled it much better than Arrow has because it never outweighed or was the main story being told.

      9. Interesting that you chose to ignore the problems listed or Daredevil being put aside to continue focusing on Oliver’s love life.
        You just don’t like romance and prefer a show to focus on just long action scenes as Daredevil does that you call “main story” (so long they bore me).
        You prefere don’t understand Oliver’s love life with his melodramatic issues is a large part in his journey, his acceptance as someone who deserves a life instead of a monster, this is the Arrow’s main story not the big bad guy of season.
        For you Daredevil is better, because of the focus on action and only in action. For me Daredevil failed to make me care about Murdock, but Arrow made me care about Oliver.
        We have to agree to disagree, because just we have different expectations and I hope you continue to have fun with Daredevil, as I follow the journey of Oliver and appreciate that not all shows follow the same formula.

      10. It’s a comic based show even if it’s loosely based. So the expectation would be that the protagonist would focus on taking down the big bad, like king pin, the hand, deathstroke, reverse flash, zoom and not the fallout from relationship drama, but I guess we can disagree on that. Have a nice day?

      11. You said that never read GA so how you now that? I read a lot of comics and many don’t focus on “taking down the big bad”. In fact the best of them as Watchmen, Sandman do not do it. Again, we can disagree on that. Have a nice day, too =)

      12. First off Watchmen is a bad example, secondly I know because I’m a comics fan and while I never picked up a copy of GA, i have read comics that involved his character, saw other media that heavily involved his character, and have friends that read GA. For those reasons I know that while GA had romantic elements, R.I.P BC, it was never the reason the comic existed.

      13. Why Watchmen is a bad example? I can name many: Preatcher, Lucifer, the walking dead, to name those who turned series. In proprio GA we have the Roy’s addiction story.
        None of these is just about “bring down the bad guy”, that was what you said: “It’s a comic based show even if it’s loosely based. So the expectation would be que the protagonist would focus on taking down the big bad.”
        Has other types of dramas and stories, I never thought of romance. As I told, you focus on romance too much, I will begin to think that you are a repressed romantic =)

      14. Don’t insult me lol. I find most romantic stories cheap and unrealistic so no i am not a romance guy. I will say most good comic stories touch on topics outside of comics like xmen , spawn and even some early GA comics, but they are are much better written.
        Also, I just want to point out that I have looked at the past four seasons of Arrow and realized that Oliver has never saved the city, every time it was Felicity. Arrow was never the hero it was always felicity and Oliver was just eye candy. ?

      15. I don’t have a problem with romance in stories as long as its well written, with good characterization. I legitimately wanted Oliver to get with Felicity, but then they turned her into a inconsistent monster. The whole lying is the worst thing ever when dealing with Oliver then she finds out her mother lied to her about her father for the majority of her life and its just meh. Bad writing.
        There is plenty of drama in daredevil, the difference is that the characters motivations make sense, even when its the bad guys. I can understand why they made that choice and can even identify with it. Felicity is just a bag of emotional goo with no direction. She is a horribly written character, put into a horribly written plot hole riddled story.
        Also, forgive me if I am incorrect but isn’t this a superhero show? There should be a focus on the action, not the romance and if their is romance it should be the back drop or even a two episode arc not the focus of the season. Daredevil does it the right way by incorporating an interesting story, with action, a little romance, drama and quality acting.
        Look I will admit that I am a little salty, because I hate romance, felicity or olicity. No my problem is that the show has become cheap and lazy. The story lines in seasons one, two and even three made some sense. The villains had clear motivations that were internally consistent. This season the villain made no sense whatsoever. The utter obsolescence of the hero of the story, if it still is Oliver, is absurd. The way some characters have impenetrable plot armor while others don’t. The way what should be huge earth shattering actions/developments with consequences get glossed over in a five minute segment back ended with a whimsical quip. This show is nearly unenjoyable and often quite painful to watch. So please don’t try to pigeon hole me as a “laurel fan”, comic nerd only concerned with the lore, a misogynist or any other label. I have problems with this show because I have invested 3.5 years only to see it crumble into a smoldering pile of badly written teen drama trash.

      16. Sorry, I do not recall at any time call you “Laurel fan, comic nerd only concern with the lore, the misogynist or any other label.” How could I do that? I don’t know you, we just had a conversation, it is not enough for me to say anything about you.
        If I were to judge it would be to have a tendency to use clichés and vague concepts to make an impact but this is so common.
        What I was debating is that its sole criticism for the show was Olicity and blaming only Felicity, as if it were the only defect, excluding the rest.
        The question of baby drama was very badly written. Everyone hated this s / l even Olicity’s stans and I don’t understand the ploot’s need, was unnecessary drama. In fact in all this mess, Felicity was the most consistent or you will convince me that Thea encouraging Oliver to lying was okay? Because the problem for Felicity was not the lie, she would forgiven this. The problem was the damned Oliver’s craze to decide things alone. Oliver decided about parenting, about not have children. The decision it not only about William, it was about having children. How the hell you want to marry a woman and decide that it is “very dangerous to have children” without even talking to her?!? Maybe she was normal would be different, but you want a human being who was kidnapped, became engaged, was shot, paralyzed and discovered that her fiance was hiding a child, all in the space of a few weeks was something beyond ” just a bag of emotional goo with no direction “? If it were me, I swear, I would have droop the lair in Oliver’s head at the time the boy was saved. Expect him to change clothes, go to the station, talk to the mother, make a video and still have a rational conversation? I never would have this calm. I remember people hoping she threw the ring in his face. kkkkk
        His mother made a decision when she was a child, something quite different. Felicity has not discovered the lie, her mother told her and the moment of discovery was also quite different, I do not think anyone wants to fight with the mother when the world was ending
        As I said, Oliver’s obsolescence was not because of Felicity, it was because superpowers, magic, mysticism. I see not nobody saying Felicity disarmed the earthquake machine in season 1 became Oliver obsolete.
        You can hate Felicity, Olicity and the whole show if you want, I have no trouble with it, but throw all the problems on top of that is somewhat irrational.
        It is important to separate things so we can make a criticism that really helps the show to improve because what good would separate Olicity and start another melodramatic romantic drama ? Or worse, continue with all superpowers mysticism and, omg, boring flashbacks?
        I think the show was lost not because of Olicity but the need to go out of your way because of the other shows, I really hope in season 5 Arrow back to what it is really good, fighting crime without superpowers and more realistic.
        Changing the talk to comics and shows based on comics, when we know the real motivation of the villains? Which, after all, was the motivation of the villains in Daredevil and Flash? Until now I do not understand why the Castle’s family was killed (was deliberad or coincidence)? What makes Elektra be Black Sky and what they want with her, and above all, why the hell Zoom wanted to destroy the multiverse?
        To conclude, I do not think the show has become cheap and lazy. They are doing their best under difficult circumstances (superpowers, magic and all that bs). I would use these words for season 2 of Flash, which is almost a repeat of the first season and plagio of Arrow season 2.

      17. Sorry, I do not recall at any time call you “Laurel fan, comic nerd only concern with the lore, the misogynist or any other label.” How could I do that? I don’t know you, we just had a conversation, it is not enough for me to say anything about you. That wasn’t so much directed at you, since as you haven’t called me any of those, but to others who have and as a kind of preemptive strike.
        If I were to judge it would be to have a tendency to use clichés and vague concepts to make an impact but this is so common. Vague? I think I have been very explicit in my opinion that my problem with the Arrow has been the lack of a consistent, well written, planned out story with Oliver as the central character. I point out the problems with Olicity only because they are the most obvious and relevant to this forum, but I could go on about the useless flashbacks, the diminishment of Oliver as a hero, the absented minded stories with innumerable plot holes, the abysmal fight choreography, and I could go on.
        “What I was debating is that its sole criticism for the show was Olicity and blaming only Felicity, as if it were the only defect, excluding the rest.” As I said, easy target. Poorly written character in a poorly written contradictory story.
        “The question of baby drama was very badly written. Everyone hated this s / l even Olicity’s stans and I don’t understand the ploot’s need, was unnecessary drama.” Don’t even get me started on this nonsense. Oliver was written into a horribly stupid situation by all the women in his life. His mom paid off the girl, the child’s mother forced oliver to lie about the kids existence and then his girlfriend is mad after the fact because she didn’t have a say? WTF? Any rational person in a committed relationship, who isn’t completely self absorbed could see that this was an impossible situation and would not have expected him to choose between his child and his girlfriend.
        “How the hell you want to marry a woman and decide that it is “very dangerous to have children” without even talking to her?!?” May have to go back in rewatch that segment but I don’t think Oliver was making an absolute ultimatum about children ever, but just with the current situation with him operating as a vigilante the risk would be too great for him to have a child. I mean his son was just kidnapped by a homicidal mad man for leverage. My belief is that once he put his vigilante days behind him, then the option of having kids could be rethought.
        “His mother made a decision when she was a child, something quite different. Felicity has not discovered the lie, her mother told her and the moment of discovery was also quite different, I do not think anyone wants to fight with the mother when the world was ending” Maybe, but then again it was worse to the nth degree because not only was it deliberate but it was done for petty reasons. She killed any kind of normal relationship Felicity could of had with her dad and seemingly destroyed any hope of having a healthy relationship with any man in the future. She has thinly veiled layer of distrust of men as evidenced by her ridiculous over reaction and subsequent four episode tirade about how Oliver is the worst human being ever.
        “Changing the talk to comics and shows based on comics, when we know the real motivation of the villains? Which, after all, was the motivation of the villains in Daredevil and Flash? Until now I do not understand why the Castle’s family was killed (was deliberad or coincidence)? What makes Elektra be Black Sky and what they want with her, and above all, why the hell Zoom wanted to destroy the multiverse?” When i said you could understand their motivation I don’t mean their end goals were justifiable, but that the reasoning from their perspective was internally reasonable.
        “To conclude, I do not think the show has become cheap and lazy. They are doing their best under difficult circumstances (superpowers, magic and all that bs). I would use these words for season 2 of Flash, which is almost a repeat of the first season and plagio of Arrow season 2.” The writers created all of these problems for themselves, but could have also been handled much better. Maybe reveal weakness for the totem in one of the meaningless flashbacks, maybe have oliver actually train with Esrin and do so without felicity’s light being the MacGuffin, maybe have the nuking of an american city have real consequences, maybe have the person who nuked the city actually struggle with it for more than five minutes. Not to mention the fight choreography has been horrible this season. Two of the worlds supposedly deadliest men stand in the middle of the street and take turns trading jabs for 45 seconds is not drama. Four people dressed in tights in a crowd of 20 doing flips for a minute is not a well choreographed action sequence on what should be an Action-Drama series. That is what I mean by lazy. The writing, the poorly developed characters, the horrible story arcs, the stupid fight scenes all of this and more are the problem. Felicity/Olicity is just the low hanging fruit.

    2. Because she never had “huge screentime”, even during that arc.

      1. for me was

      2. As far as arcs go, Laurel’s addiction arc in season 2 was like the 3rd or 4th most important one that season. In contrast, Olicity was the main arc in season 3 and the second most important one in season 4.
        Felicity has gotten a lot more focus than Laurel ever did.

      3. Olicity is still about Oliver, the guy who are asking for more focus, but Laurel’s addiction arc had nothing to do about him and yet you feel good.
        Your problem is not about focus in Oliver, only about a character you do not like. I like Oliver, Diggle and Felicity and more of them is better for me.
        I never like Laurel, since the pilot, so her death is wonderful, earned the season. In fact, Laurel is the reason I like Olicity, anything is better than Lauriver.
        For me, the problem on the show is not about the focus on the characters but back to the stories centered on the fight against crime with less magic, superpowers and nukes.

  3. I’ve been writing fanfiction and rewatching season 1. The interesting thing is how Moira, Walter, Thea, Tommy, and Laurel all got significant screentime (without Oliver) in the first half of season 1 before Felicity was really even introduced (other than a few minutes here and there). I can’t help but wonder if Felicity had been there day one, if the same complaints would be levied at all?

    1. Yep the complaints would have stood because none of those characters stopped the Arrow from being about the Green Arrow.

      1. I can’t remember the episode where Felicity chained him to the wall and stopped him from getting in costume. How did I miss that?!

      2. The writers have basically setup Felicity as the hero of the Arrow. GA is has been sidelined to a supporting role.

      3. Yes, and that’s why they pay EBR the big bucks, and why she’s not staring in a blockbuster feature film and why she appears on all these conventions and …wait …no?

      4. People find it hard to accept that arrow is a different version of their comics. You can’t make them understand it when they are so obsessed with the idea that their green arrow is not their green arrow just cause the show dares to write a strong and relevant female character who is not comic canon and who is valued by the hero.

  4. Brilliant essay !

  5. The problem was never Felicity the character or actress (both of which are quite likable) BUT the lame writers. If you really cannot see a sharp decline in ARROW between seasons 1and 2 and the crap we were served in 3 and 4 then you are either willfully ignorant or completely daft. Felicity was just a tool (and a rather lazy one at that) that the producers and writers used to stop delivering on quality plot and action. Do I hate Felicity and want her gone? Nope. Though her mother is a completely different story BUT I do want the quality writing we were given in seasons 1 and 2. Also you don’t go from villains like Deathstroke and Brother Blood to frickin’ Ruve Adams and not expect outrage.

    1. Wow. So if I don’t agree with YOUR opinion I’m either “willfully ignorant or completely daft”? Are those my only two choices? Is your truth the only truth in the universe?

      1. I think what is meant there is that your devotion to Felicity out weighs any objectivity you would have to reviewing the show honestly. I’m sure you are more than happy to see Felicity on screen as much possible in any capacity possible regardless of whether it diminishes the hero of the show.

      2. And your hatred of Felicity means you are 100% objective? In this case neither of us can be objective and we can just call it even and go our separate ways. YOUR truth is not the universal one. Neither is MINE. There IS such a thing as having different opinions.

      3. I don’t hate Felicity. I do feel that she is a big part of the reason why this show is bad, but I don’t necessarily think a fridging is in order. I think the show is horribly written. I think the character arcs and decisions aren’t well thought out. If you can tell me that you thought this season of Arrow wasn’t a sharp decline from previous seasons, even Season 3, then there is nothing more to say. We should go our separate ways and be done, but if can admit the show has gone down hill then my point is made.

      4. I feel like we’re going around in circles. We had this conversation last time you commented on one of these articles. I thought we’d agreed to disagree then! But fine, I’ll go over it again – I think these season has had some missteps. So did season 3. The whole William drama for the sake of drama thing was absurd at best, they handled Laurel’s death in the most atrocious way possible and the reasoning behind DD’s entire arc felt a little thin to me.
        But, I don’t think the show is the worst thing on TV, nor do I think Felicity’s character is to blame for all of those things you mentioned. I also don’t think the show has necessarily gone “down hill” – Season 3 had it’s share of problems too. Before the fun thing was to hate on Felicity, it was all the rage to hate on S3. I remember those days …

      5. Also, hi to you too. Last time was fun and this is shaping up to be even more fun. ;P

      6. Yes, this show has gone downhill since seasons 1 and 2. If you choose to ignore that (and falling ratings) then you are the one with the problem not me.

      7. What problem? I’m perfectly happy watching the show. If you aren’t, then I suggest you stop.
        The ratings are a much more complex matter than you make them about to be. S3 was up form S2. Does it make it automatically better? S4 was down from S4? Does it mean it’s worse or is it just a reflection of the way people watch TV in this day and age?

      8. Basically that’s what every entitled fanboy does. You don’t agree with them so let’s insult you and diminish you. I actually think this season is better than season one.

  6. It absolutely has become her show. When was the last time the titular character, Oliver Queen in case you’ve forgetten, did anything of significance? The last half of the season its all been about Felicity and her relationship with Oliver, Felicity and how Oliver is so bad for keeping secrets from her. Felicity and how she is Oliver’s only source of hope. Felicity’s relationship with her dad. Felicity’s relationship with her Mom. Felicity and her relationship with her mom and dad. How felicity is the only one that can save the world from a nuclear apocalypse. Felicity and how she is the no longer the CEO of a company because she was objectively bad at her job. Felicity and her talking down her ex-boyfriend from annihilating the world with his 1337 hacker skills. Even the scene when black canaries dies, her last words are promoting felicity’s relationship with Oliver.
    This is supposed to be a super hero show about the Green Arrow and his journey, failures and successes not a show about his side kick or even worse his ex-girlfriend. To frame this better for you, lets say there was an actual Batman show, but rather than the focus being on how great of a character batman/bruce wayne is we spent the greater portion of the show delving into Alfred Pennyworth’s awesomeness as Bruce Wayne’s butler? This is the same thing. Not only that but in order to make Felicity such a focus of the show the writers have chosen to diminish Oliver Queen to the point that he is essentially ineffectual as a crime fighter. He is no longer a self actualized hero trying to achieve justice for the wronged but just a love sick puppy dog in a quite frankly abusive relationship. lets not forget that felicity forced him back into a life as vigilante. Must I remind you that he was totally content being Mr. Suburbia and she was the one sneaking behind his back to fight crime in Star City. She seemingly lied to him for months but that is okay because it was her lie. Not only that but he spends the majority of every episode getting second guessed belittled and trashed by every other character on the show, especially Felicity. They have neutered the main character of the show and what should be the star attraction and turned him into Felicity’s man toy.
    I am not going to lie. I actually liked felicity initially. I thought she was funny, smart, and beautiful to boot. The kind of girl every guy wishes he could have, but then they ruined her character by turning her into a melodramatic, whiny, hypocritical one dimensional character. She is no longer the independent self assured IT girl of seasons past, but now just another vehicle for non-sensical romantic drama.

    1. Amen. For anyone arguing that this isn’t her show, just watch the manner in which she has completely outshone Oliver this season. She was the CEO who funded the team while he sat around the house and cooked. On top of that, her mother has become a semi-regular character and has storylines of her own!
      But the most insulting aspect is the fact that for the last 3 episodes, Oliver went around jousting with Darhk, while Felicity saved the world from nuclear annihilation. Thrice! There’s “fleching out a character” and there’s shoving the character down the audience’s throats. And that’s on top of last year where Felicity saved OLiver in the ATOM suit! It’s clear as day what’s happened here. And no, that was never the case with Laurel, whose’ arcs never overshadowed Oliver’s.

      1. I don’t think she outshone Oliver. But then again, maybe you like her more than you want to admit. You’re the one saying so.
        Also, how was Oliver supposed to stop the nuclear strike? With his super-secret-hacking skills? And, another question, is it okay that Curtis and Noah helped? Is only Felicity the problem?

      2. Curtis and Noah helped? Really? Because I seem to remember both of them giving Felicity all the credit for saving the world in the penultimate episode.
        The problem isn’t that Oliver can’t hack. It’s that the show created a ridiculous situation where Felicity’s heroics outshine his. And twist it around all you want, but diverting 15.000 nukes into space is more heroic than defeating Darhk.

      3. Its bad writing. Why put the Green Arrow in that type of situation? That is not a situation were his skillset would be best utilized, at least not in the way they executed it. They basically wrote a storyline that would accentuate all of Felicity’s gifts then stuck GA in there to punch stuff badly as an after thought.

      4. I seem to remember them looking for Noah because Felicity couldn’t do it by herself. I seem to remember Curtis being crucial to the end result. But maybe we’re not watching the same show.
        And yes, the show created a situation that would need Felicity. Does that mean Oliver didn’t win the day? No, it doesn’t. Felicity wasn’t the hero at the end, Oliver was. Again, if you don’t see it that way, maybe you’re just giving Felicity more credit than the show meant for you to.

      5. Uh no. World facing nuclear annihilation vs. a poorly choreographed fight scene in an obvious Dark Knight ripoff doesn’t not equal a win for Oliver.

      6. Correct me if I’m wrong, but did Oliver do anything to save the city last year, or did he just kill Ra’s? What about Season 2, did he do it all by himself or did he …*gasp* had help? Has any hero ever taken on all the problems by himself/herself?

      7. No one is saying that GA shouldn’t have sidekicks, but he should still be relevant to the story in taking on the “big bad”. 80% of the last episode was essentially “Keeping up with the Smoaks”. The fight scene at the end was not only poorly choreographed but had no consequences. He could have went to get latte or something and took on Damien tomorrow after a good nights rest.

      8. See, if you WATCHED the show I wouldn’t have to correct you on the little things. Noah wasn’t there last episode. Donna barely was. And your assessment of the fight being badly choreographed comes from where? You specifically stated you didn’t watch.

      9. Minor detail maybe it was the previous episode, but it doesn’t change the fact that the fight scenes were terrible and 80% of the previous episode was all about mamma and Papa Smoak.

      10. As a test watch the last four or five episodes but skip all the parts with a Smoak in it and you will have yourself a mildly entertaining half hour. There is a little hyperbole there but not much.

      11. “A little” – have you done this test? Because just the flashbacks, which are 100% Oliver, kill your stats.

      12. I saw a mash up someone did of the episode when Donna Smoak guilt tripped Det. Lance into basically resigning and that episode was basically 20ish minutes. Not exactly rigorous science here but mind you the show has an actual runtime of about 40 to 45 minutes so…

      13. For the sake of the argument, I went and checked one episode. You’re off by about 50% Blayne.

      14. I think you need to readjust your figures to include felicity screen time plus the time other characters spent talking about felicity and her relationships.

      15. That wasn’t what you said at first. And why am I doing all of this? Did you? You’re just basing your number on something someone else said.

      16. Every season Oliver basically punches some guy in the face while Felicity saves the city/world.

    2. “I am not going to lie. I actually liked felicity initially. I thought she was funny, smart, and beautiful to boot. The kind of girl every guy wishes he could have, but then they ruined her character by turning her into a melodramatic, whiny, hypocritical one dimensional character. She is no longer the independent self assured IT girl of seasons past, but now just another vehicle for non-sensical romantic drama.”
      I think it’s actually the opposite. She was a one dimensional character who now has a fleshed out past with flaws and foibles. As for not being independent – she now runs her own company. Tell me how that’s not independent. As someone who has gone through family troubles similar to her, I completely respect and appreciate how she reacted. And if you think she’s so melodramatic, what’s your take on Barry Allen?
      And why aren’t you hating Curtis for also stopping the nukes from blowing up the world? And I’m pretty sure if Damien had survived, the world still would have ended. So yeah – Oliver was pretty important.
      If i didn’t know you were a Laurel fan, I’d say you’re a misogynistic person (see your entire last paragraph) but instead I can tell you’re just a comic book stan who preferred Felicity as the sidekick. (And by the way – Katie Cassidy requested that she talk about loving Oliver in that last scene – why do you think they made her talk about Olicity. They had to try and explain the totally out-of-character comment from Laurel. You know, the woman who (rightly) said “You know, it’s hard to remember a time… When I was actually in love with you.” But yes, let’s talk about how Olicity is fanservice.)
      Look, I’m truly sorry you don’t enjoy the show anymore. I’ve had to stop watching shows because they completely jumped the boat. But instead of venting and complaining, go and find a new show, or read years of Green Arrow comics. Leave a show (that millions of other people enjoy – and yes, this is proven by tv watcher numbers) alone. There are much more important things than this.

      1. Ughh. I think you need a new word because I am definitely not a misogynist and often love well written female protagonists. I am interested in a good coherent story about which the Arrow has failed at on multiple occasions. For instance, Felicity nuked a city. She killed tens of thousands of people. Men, women, children, puppies etc. and what did we get? Ten minutes of dialogue and a snarky quip. Not to mention the scale of the attack would make it the largest terrorist attack in History, yet we get no consequences from that. No news reports. mobilization of the military, presidential address. Nada..
        “As for not being independent – she now runs her own company. Tell me how that’s not independent.” First off she was given the company for being an awesome girlfriend, secondly she was later fired for being terrible at being a CEO.
        “And if you think she’s so melodramatic, what’s your take on Barry Allen?” Barry’s drama doesn’t bother me because it makes sense. He saw both of his parents murdered in front of him. Was the decision well thought out” Nope, but at least it makes sense in context.
        “And why aren’t you hating Curtis for also stopping the nukes from blowing up the world?” Well it was a stupid hashed together story line and from what I saw he didn’t do much. Plus the whole “hacker battle scene” was a complete joke. I mean they were “hacking” with a screensaver on” Wait what” Look IIT pro here and I don’t care how “1337” you are, you are not going to hack crap if you can’t see your code.
        “If i didn’t know you were a Laurel fan, I’d say you’re a misogynistic person (see your entire last paragraph) but instead I can tell you’re just a comic book stan who preferred Felicity as the sidekick.” Its called Arrow. Everyone that is not Oliver Queen should be a sidekick. What if Sir Arthur Conan Boyle decided to focus his entire book on Dr. Watson instead of Sherlock Holmes? Sidekicks exist for the viewer to have someone to connect with outside of the larger than life hero of the story. They are supposed to be a whatif scenario of what would happen if you the viewer were in that world with that hero. Xena would not have been Xena without Gabriele, Batman needed Robin to connect to a younger audience. They are meant to be plucky and resilient without out usurping the role of the hero.
        This is bad writing. The entire show is infested with terrible writing, pointless side stories and completely hypocritical out of character responses. They just happen to focus on Felicity, which makes her the point of the spear. Its unfortunate, because I did enjoy her character when she was better written, but no more. She is a terribly written character and should be offensive to adult women since she is nothing more than a teenage drama girlfriend trope.
        “Look, I’m truly sorry you don’t enjoy the show anymore. I’ve had to stop watching shows because they completely jumped the boat. But instead of venting and complaining, go and find a new show, or read years of Green Arrow comics. Leave a show (that millions of other people enjoy – and yes, this is proven by tv watcher numbers) alone. There are much more important things than this.?” I’m sorry I can’t allow you to exist in an echo chamber were you continuously validate your obviously biased beliefs. Arrow may never again be the great show that it was because it has decided to focus on one segment of its fanbase and become “The Smoak Diaries”, but I will continue to have fun pointing out the flaws and making people (hopefully) second guess why they enjoy the show.

      2. “I’m sorry I can’t allow you to exist in an echo chamber were you continuously validate your obviously biased beliefs. ”
        The entitlement in this phrase boggles the mind, Blayne. I kind of hope it was a joke. Because thing is … You don’t need to “allow” us to have an opinion. We can have it without your permission, I promise. It might be biased, but it’s ours. Yours is biased as well.

      3. I think you miss read that.

      4. Preach it.

    3. Hello, blayne. I thought you were done with the show. It was only your wife watching – right? The Olicity crap was the reason you stopped watching! Not Felicity in particular, but the couple. I mean, that’s what you claimed last time you commented in one of these articles.
      I’m glad you could get over it and are still watching, and watching so intently too. You remember every storyline! It’s good to see that you can get over your “hatred” of Olicity (and apparently, now, Felicity herself) and still contribute to this show’s ratings.
      Have a good day and continue enjoying Arrow! (or hate-watching. Either works)

      1. I don’t watch per se just reference /r/OnBenchNow

      2. Then you don’t really know. I mean, I was sure you were watching, because you were talking in absolutes, but since you aren’t, you’re basing your opinion on what …someone else’s opinion? Very thin ground for an argument.

      3. Trust me I have a full understanding of the nonsense that was going on with this show. Nothing I said is factually wrong. You may disagree because this is “Murica” and that’s not illegal yet, but you can’t knock what I’ve written on factual grounds.

      4. You have “full understanding” of the “nonsense” that’s going on even if you don’t watch? Whilst I don’t have “full understanding” even though I watch the show? Wow. When I grow up I want to be like you and just know things.
        “When was the last time the titular character, Oliver Queen in case you’ve forgetten, did anything of significance?” – in the last episode. When he KILLED Damien Darhk. When he was the one channeling the hope of the whole city. HE. The titular hero.

      5. I’ve rethought my whole position here, GA has never been the star of his own show. Every season the hero has been felicity either disarming earthquake generator, or devising the plan to take down Slade or saving the city along with ray’s nanomachines and this season saving the world from nuclear annihilation. Oliver could be replaced by Roy, Thea or Diggle and no difference would be made in the core story. Oliver is only there to be emotionally damaged eye candy.

      6. Dude… if you don’t watch why are you even sticking around and latching onto your negativity regarding this show? Seriously, you’re legit commenting on EVERY comment in this comment section… That’s so pathetic. Do what most normal people do and stop watching, stop reading articles about it, stop giving it the attention. Not only would you feel better by letting go of the negativity, people who actually enjoy the show will feel better by not constantly seeing the negativity ad nauseum.
        And to be honest, you not watching the show means that your opinion isn’t worth very much. It’d be like me arguing about how terrible the Flash based on what my significant other told me. Zero basis whatsoever.
        Honestly… You writing an essay about a show you don’t watch anymore is just… I wish I had that much time on my hands. smh.

      7. For this right here. The vitriol the utter hypocrisy of you commenting on a post that you say doesn’t mean much. Its hilarious.

      8. Hey whatever floats your boat. If you want to latch onto that negativity, go ahead. It’s not my life.
        And I think you need to brush up on what vitriol/hypocrisy means, bud. Vitriol? You’re being dramatic lol. Mild annoyance? Sure. But mostly me feeling sorry for you and hoping you’ll see that latching onto negativity is such a waste of time.
        Hypocrisy? You’d probably be right if I actually valued your opinion and argued with you about Felicity and her role on the show. Something of which I didn’t do. Why? Because you don’t watch the show lol
        Anyways, I have much better things to do than to sit here and argue. See you when fangirlish writes another article about Arrow and you clamor over here to spread your hate which will most likely accomplish nothing 🙂

      9. No hate brosif just a difference of opinion. Nothing but love here. Also, I will read her next article because even though I disagree with some if her points I can appreciate what she has to say and genuinely enjoy her writing style.

  7. Your first sentence baffles me. Uh…the show is called Arrow! Hello! Yes it’s always been about Oliver Queen and should always be about him. That’s why people started watching the show. They didn’t watch the show for Felicity to save the day almost every episode. There’s nothing wrong with having supporting characters to help guide the main character, but not to the point of the main character taking a backseat on his own show. Felicity was a great character in Season 1 and 2, but now it’s getting comical at this point. She manages to reason with Cupid. She saves everyone from Bug Eyed Bandit. She saves everyone from a nuclear fallout. It’s made The Green Arrow look weak in comparison. He hasn’t grown at all in Season 4. In fact, he’s gotten a lot softer and weaker due to his relationship with Felicity. Look at the horrendous fight scenes this season and compare them to season 1 and 2…hell even 3 had it’s moments. It’s ok to have story arcs, but not during the end of the season when the world is stake. No one wants to watch Felicity and her family bitch at each other for half the episode while they should be focusing on more important things. This show seriously needs to get back on track in season 5 or it won’t see a season 6.

    1. Yes, the show is called Arrow, but no one would watch 45 minutes of Oliver delivering monologues and/or fighting bad guys. The only reason we care about him/relate to him, is because of his relationships, first Diggle, then Felicity.
      As I see it the problem is not that Felicity saves people or manages to fix a problem, the problem is that since you don’t like Felicity, she can’t be the one to do it, and if she does, it bothers you. If Oliver had been the one to do all those things, even if it made no sense WHATSOEVER, it would have been fine. Am I right? The show is, after all, called Arrow!

  8. I enjoyed reading this rant Alyssa.
    While I agree on a lot of things you’ve stated, my annoyance when it comes to Felicity’s arcs doesn’t stem from the overblown opinion that she’s taking over the show… On the contrary, my annoyance stems from the fact that Felicity’s arcs need more depth.
    Arrow did a fantastic job introducing a lot of new storylines for Felicity this year. However, they fumbled hard when it came to following through with each of those storylines, and of course they would, because this isn’t her show. And the outcome of that fumbling was that we barely saw Felicity grow as a person regardless of everything she’s been through.
    I desperately hope that the writers will fix this in season 5. Will have her deal with Noah being back in her life on an emotional level, have her deal with Havenrock on an emotional level as well. Felicity dealing with those two things is something that the show simply didn’t have enough time for because if she didn’t have her head on straight the world would’ve ended, and that I understand. This is why I hope season 5 will be when we see Felicity grow.

    1. Is Green Arrow even going to be on the show next year. I mean if you spend all of your primetime real estate on what should be a side character does that leave any room for stories focusing on Oliver Queen apart from Felicity? My gut says probably not.

      1. I posted a couple of links showing total screen times up to episode 21 and it’s being waited for moderation… The truth lies in the stats. Hopefully it passes moderation soon.

      2. Cool can’t wait to see that

      3. unfortunately the posts got deleted. grr. Anyways if you look for a user on twitter called hattiejo18 on twitter, you’ll find the numbers there in her photos. She takes the time to take the screen time and it actually was on par with other people who do the same (some are even LL fans). You can ask her, her process and whatnot if you’re interested.

      4. Since your post was deleted! Thru 4×20: Oliver 8 hrs 14 mins, Felicity 4 hrs 22 mins, Diggle 3 hrs 48 mins, Thea 3 hrs 31 mins, Laurel 3 hrs 15 mins. Via hattiejo18 on Twitter. I don’t think she’s updated thru the end of S4.

    2. I have to agree on this. For all that they introduced, they just didn’t have time to deal with the emotional repercussions. Of course, that comes from the fact that the show ISN’T called “Felicity and Friends” but Arrow and she is not the main character. I would have liked more with the paralysis, more with her side of the breakup, more of a focus on how she always runs when things get though, she’s learned to be like that. And yes, Havenrock is something I need for her to deal with. It can’t be brushed under the rug.
      So, yes. 100% in agreement. Amen. The show isn’t perfect. But maybe they’ll benefit from less time wasted introducing characters for a spin-off. I want to believe so, at least.

  9. Completely agree. Great article.

  10. Well said! I never understand why this show frustrates people so much.

  11. You know I’ve noticed that whenever someone in the comments to a Arrow article goes “I really liked Felicity in the first couple seasons but then she changed in season 3 and 4.” what I think it really means is that you didn’t like that her character got more fleshed out. They wanted her to be the IT girl that is just there for one whitty remark and to make googly-eyes at Oliver. They didn’t want to know what made her tick.
    So I’m just upset at when ppl make that comment and say everything must be about Oliver Queen. Sorry but Sherlock focuses on John and Mary a lot in their show and the show is still Sherlock just like Arrow is still Arrow even when not every second of the show is focused on Oliver Queen.
    Sorry for the lengthy comment, Alyssa this was a great article and thank you for letting me comment on here.

    1. I don’t think that comparison works or is true. Mary has, as of now, been in 4 episodes on Sherlock. Other than the series 3 finale, Mary has never been a focal point. The show continued to focus on what was there before and made it popular – Sherlock, John and their friendship. Series 3 episode 1 especially and also episode 2 focused on the Sherlock and John relationship. Mary has had individual scenes with each of them and both of them but more adding to the dynamic that having any Mary – John dynamic take over. Mary is also depicted very positive of John’s relationship and work with Sherlock, she isn’t there to change things but an extra layer.
      In contrast Felicity has had several episodes where she and her relationship with Oliver were the focal point running through and ending both seasons 3 and 4. There is also the level of emotion both characters differ on. Felicity cries and whines over her relationship status A LOT whereas Mary did like twice in one episode (?). I’m not saying emotion is a flaw in a character but the way it has been portrayed (and especially in inappropriate circumstances where bigger things are at stake) makes Felicity come across whiny, self centred and needy.
      I don’t think if you asked people at the end of season 2 if they would object to Felicity being fleshed out, they would have said no. This isn’t a stance against character development. It has just been done rapidly and poorly. Not to mention the weak writing of these plots – Felicity is angry about Oliver keeping secrets except she hid helping the team for months, Felicity is angry about Oliver not discussing his son with her because for some reason she gets a say & is salty and personally the one that gets me most Felicity is paralysed for six episodes.

  12. Have to disagree. The show has gotten worse due to its focus on Felicity and her relationship with Oliver. I’m all for characters being fleshed out but Felicity is getting far too much screen time and they have changed what people liked about her in the first place. In seasons 1 and 2, she was fun and had her own believes. She wasn’t defined by a relationship – she joined the team on her own terms to help Walter and others as its what she wanted to do.
    Fast forward to seasons 3 and 4. The League of Assassins is planning a biological attack and she spends all the time crying and saying “What about Oliver?. Fleshing out characters is great but they aren’t fleshing her out – they are giving her tons of screen time and focusing on her relationship but she is not a well rounded out character.
    Remember in season 2 where Oliver was a terrible CEO, people made comments about it and it fed into Slade’s plan? Felicity abandons her job to go off with her boyfriend for months, returns to work, refuses to fire people, hardly ever shows up and then when she gets fired we have Diggle and a bunch of other characters saying how great she is & the company will regret firing her. Thats a problem. We aren’t seeing Felicity as a great developed character, we are constantly being told by people how great she is but all we see is her whining about her relationship.
    Her plots are bad. She was given part of Oracle’s storyline but it just didn’t make sense. Barbara Gordon was Batgirl so when the Joker paralysed her she had to spent time to adapt and learn to still be a superhero whilst paralysed. Felicity was always the computer help, she didn’t learn anything and it lasted what six episodes? It was insulting. Not to mention the time she threw a hissy fit when she found out about Oliver’s son whose mother told him not to tell her, a fit that took up more episodes that the other females characters probably got together, and how the finale spent time with her family drama instead of the imminent nuclear attack. The world is in danger and only Felicity can save it. Not ARGUS, not the government, only Felicity.
    On The Flash, Barry has a bunch of relationships he can lean on when he needs it – Joe, Harry, his father, Cisco, even Oliver occasionally – so Iris does get some screen time but it isn’t suffocating and everyone has time to shine. The writers keep pushing Felicity to be the answer to everything even when it makes more sense for it to be other characters. If they cut Felicity back, the rest of the assemble would have time to shine and the quality would improve. Its the CW, there will always be romance but when it is in the background like on Flash and like it was in the earlier seasons its better. I’m not saying they shouldn’t focus on Felicity (although I’m sure some would be fine to kill her off ASAP) but making her less prominent that the overwhelming amount of time she is getting now and with better written plots that “waah, my relationship is the most important thing ever” would help.

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