Felicity Smoak Has Redefined What It Means to Be a Hero on 'Arrow'

Perhaps the most important thing you should know about heroes is that they’re not defined merely by their physical superiority or whether they have a costume. Heroes are defined by their actions, their sacrifices, their dedication to protecting those that they owe absolutely nothing to.
Arrow is chalk full of heroes ranging from Green Arrow to Speedy to Spartan, all of which are costumed. But perhaps the show’s most underrated hero is the one watching their backs in the field and accomplishing near impossible feats with her intellect and compassion: Felicity Smoak played by the equally inspiring Emily Bettt Rickards.
You can hate Felicity Smoak all you want – and there are plenty that do for whatever reason – but nothing you say will make her anything less than the badass hero that she has become in her four seasons on Arrow. Felicity has shown us that you don’t need to possess physical superiority to be labeled a “badass.” You don’t need to have a costume or a super cool nickname (though she does have that, “Overwatch”) to be a hero. Being a hero comes from within. Being a hero is something that is defined by your actions.




Speaking of which, there was recently some controversy online regarding a poll where some fans(?) wrote-in Felicity Smoak as a villain in Arrow’s fourth season using the tragedy of Monument Point in the episode’s 21st episode as their senseless reasoning. Besides the fact that these people used a situation where Felicity was responsible for saving millions of lives as an act of villainy, these people tried to insist that Felicity actually killed those people.

You can hate Felicity Smoak all you want – and there are plenty that do for whatever reason – but nothing you say will make her anything less than the badass hero that she has become in her four seasons on Arrow.

Sorry, I’m still having trouble getting past the part where they use words like “Felicity Smoak” and “villain” as a comparison. Don’t even get me started on how these people believe that Felicity killed tens of thousands of people. People that believe that there’s just no attempting to reason with them.
There always seems to be drama surrounding these comic book stans and Felicity – at this point it’s clearly because they’re threatened by her to a degree – and it continues to be both infuriating yet humorous because there really is no sense to this so-called logic.
But let’s just discuss this, shall we? Yes, tens of thousands of people in Monument Point lost their lives because of a missile that Damien Darhk set off. Yes, Felicity wasn’t able to stop the missile. Does that mean that she “killed” those people? Of course not. And if you’re telling yourself or others that ridiculous crap then you need to reexamine your definition of “villain” and perhaps your sanity.
Damien Darhk – the scum that had no problem killing children – was responsible for the tragedy that killed tens of thousands of people. Darhk was nearly responsible for the destruction of the entire world. Felicity actually saved millions of lives by redirecting the missile.
But even though Felicity knew that it wasn’t her fault – and that she actually saved millions of lives – she still felt responsible for their deaths because she tried to convince herself there was something she could’ve done when in fact there wasn’t.
You want to know what would’ve made her a villain? If she didn’t feel some kind of responsibility for a tragic act that she was not responsible for in the slightest. Don’t try to place the blood of a soulless monster on the hands of an innocent woman who did nothing but try to save people.
Here’s the thing, Felicity is far from perfect. And I’m glad she is because that’s what makes her so relatable to so many people. She has her flaws, her flaws are visible on this show, and sometimes she doesn’t always think things through. But just because a hero is flawed doesn’t make them any less of a hero. Just because a hero doesn’t always make the best decisions doesn’t make them a villain.
Felicity Smoak is not a villain. I don’t care how much you hate her. I don’t care how much you try to twist her heroic actions into acts of terrorism. It doesn’t change the fact – and yes, it’s a fact – that Felicity Smoak is a hero. She’s earned that.

But just because a hero is flawed doesn’t make them any less of a hero. Just because a hero doesn’t always make the best decisions doesn’t make them a villain.

But enough of the negative. Let’s focus on the positive that is Felicity Smoak and the hero that she has grown into.
When we first met Felicity back in the show’s third episode, she was an IT girl working at Queen Consolidated who soon became Oliver Queen’s “personal internet researcher” as she helped him and Diggle catch the baddies in Starling City. Basically, she was a hero without even realizing what she was doing.
Fast forward four seasons and Felicity has evolved into a full-grown hero who has helped her team and the people of Star City countless times. She’s become an invaluable member of the team both as a source of heroics and heart. She’s experienced unspeakable tragedy and had to make hard decisions when it comes to her own self. She’s shown women that you can wear heels and be feminine and be a badass at the same time.
Felicity is a hero both as a member of Team Arrow and as (former) CEO of Palmer Technologies, where she showed that women could not only succeed in business but also dominate. And on top of that, Felicity somehow managed to successfully balance both full-time jobs alongside each other. If that’s not inspirational then I don’t know what is.

Felicity Smoak has redefined what it means to be a hero in a world where the heroes that tend to get the bulk of the attention wear costumes because it’s somehow more appealing.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it, there are heroes that walk among us every day. Doctors, police officers, teachers, etc. – those are every day heroes that don’t nearly the credit they deserve. But heroes aren’t in the hero game to have their praises sung. The only thing they care about is doing their job to the very best of their ability and hopefully managing to inspire or save others in the process.




Felicity is one of those heroes. Sure, she works in the actual superhero game, but she’s an unconventional superhero in the very best way.
Felicity Smoak has redefined what it means to be a hero in a world where the heroes that tend to get the bulk of the attention wear costumes because it’s somehow more appealing. Felicity has showed through her accomplishments, her struggles, and her determination that she not only possesses the traits of a hero but inspires hope within others as a hero.
The next time you go to a comic convention look for the little girls dressed as Felicity Smoak. Tell me that she isn’t their hero. Tell me that countless others don’t view Felicity that same way. Tell me that that doesn’t matter.

13 Comments

  1. Not only did she save the millions in Monument Point but Damien Darhk had missiles launched to destroy the whole world, and Felicity, with the help of Noah, was able to stop the rest of the missiles. So, in fact, she saved billions of lives. Funny how haters tend to overlook that fact and try to paint her as a villain because she failed to stop one missile that unfortunately ended in tragedy. And that was only in 4×21. Missiles were launched in 4×22 and 4×23 and Felicity, along with Curtis and Noah, were able to stop those missiles from hitting. It’s also funny how I’ve seen Curtis being praised for that while Felicity is crucified. Agenda-based “logic” is laughable.

  2. Great article. Love Felicity, and I love that she doesn’t wear a mask because not all heroes wear them. I think it’s important to show that.

    What poll had a write-in of Felicity as a villain though? I’ve never heard such nonsense before! Are they for real? I try not to pay any attention to the hate she’s been receiving because most of it is just illogical and agenda-based. It’s kind of hilarious how they can’t stop talking about her though! All talk is buzz! 😀

    1. The site doesn’t deserve the attention and it certainly doesn’t deserve the clicks. But the moderator’s reason for putting her in the poll are laughable and representative of his bias – oh so obvious on his twitter account. The worst thing is he still doesn’t understand why he got dragged. But that’s the haters. You just have to brush them off and side with logic. Great article.

      1. Ok, just by your response I think I can guess which site it is and agreed. I stopped going to that site a long time ago because of the obvious bias and treatment of certain fans. How sad to hate a character that much that you spend so much time hating on her though! Wow.

      2. I don’t visit his site either. I made the mistake of respectfully calling him out on his bias in the comments section, and surprise surprise, my comment got deleted a few minutes later, But he was more than happy leaving a comment who told a person to “get out” because that person disagreed with putting Felicity on the poll. Until I called him out for that too. I’m about to throw a cliché quote for a second, the opposite of love is not hate, it’s apathy. I don’t talk about the characters I hate and I don’t know why anyone would. Their noise is just more buzz for Felicity.

      3. Absolutely. All buzz is buzz. That’s why I kinda enjoy their ‘Felicity and Friends’ stuff because they’re still talking about her. They even spend time creating fan art. It’s pretty funny. Thanks for giving me what I want, haters! 🙂

      4. It takes dedication to make fanart and work on photoshop. I’ve seen comments on Facebook from people who started the show because they heard negative feedback about felicity/olicity from their comic book circles and they’ve ended up loving the show. It’s hilarious.

  3. I agree! Same with Kirsten and Camille from Stitchers as well, heroes (especially female ones) shouldn’t be defined just by physical strength but by their brains and their dedication, passion and heart for helping others. And btw, just to praise Stitchers for a second, never have I seen a show where the women and men are so equal to each other in terms of intellect and importance. Need more shows like that because there aren’t many at all

  4. Great article!! Some people lack common sense. Felicity was put in a difficult position and did the only thing she could to save millions. It’s funny though that these same people want Oliver to return to the murderer he was in Season 1.

  5. I’d agree with the point not all heroes wear masks and in the earlier seasons she did help out of her own will to rescue Walter ect so qualifies for the hero tag.
    However we must have been watching different shows in season 4 because I have to heavily disagree that she succeed in business. Felicity only got the job because of her relationship to Ray and then made a series of mistakes including refusing to fire people then lying to the board about having a miracle cure (which if Curtis didn’t solve could have resulted in more job losses) and constantly delaying board meetings until she was fired. I don’t get this support for her being a good CEO as what we saw of her in the role was awful yet we are constantly by other characters like Diggle how great she is. Its perplexing as when Oliver was a terrible CEO, this was called out and used in the plot. When Felicity is a terrible CEO, everyone raves about how great she is.
    Recent bad writing for her, the obsession over her relationship status and her poor performance as CEO has dented the character but I see the roots of a worthwhile Felicity still there.

  6. Are you going for a Guinness World Records for the writer with the most Fefe’s kiss-assing articles?

  7. How can Felicity ever be underrated as a hero, we have Alyssa to remind us every other week, how almighty she is. Lol no, but seriously they are zillions of Felicity publications online from fans and media alike, hailing her as a hero. So what if a few people think differently.
    [at this point it’s clearly because they’re threatened by her to a degree]
    Maybe they are but It seems you are more threatened considering you cant stop writing articles so as to refute other people’s views on the Fefe character. You said it yourself that people who think that Felicity is a villain are a lost cause (And I agree, I may not think she is a unicorn like most here but I certainly dont think she is a villain),so what is the point of these Fefe’s worship articles if its not to spread your propaganda and change these people’s views. Why are you beating a dead horse.

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