“The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” | Arrow
Emily Bett Rickards
Episode by episode Emily Bett Rickards has been the one actress whose performances have continuously floored me. It’s one thing to shine on the primary show an actor’s on, but it’s another to bring that same charm to another show (The Flash) and steal the spotlight as well. I thought I was impressed with the Rickards’ quirky and heartfelt take on Felicity in ”Going Rogue”, but what we see in “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” isn’t something I was prepared for. After three seasons, viewers were finally given a Felicity centric episode that gave Rickards the opportunity to channel a full range of emotions brilliantly.
Felicity Smoak isn’t an easy character to play and what makes her so relatable and the fan favorite is the fervent amount of heart Rickards has brought to the character episode after episode. “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”, finally gave Rickards to play around with the different sides of Felicity. While we’ve seen her effortlessly go from the spritely nerd to a compassionate woman, we were given the chance to see her target deeply rooted heartaches and anger like never before. Rickards played Felicity with a variety of poignant expressions, and while it’s difficult to chose a favorite scene in such a fantastic episode, I found myself most moved by the scene towards the end where she saved not only herself, but her mother as well. What made the performance so noteworthy is the fact that Rickards exhibited the right amount of two complex emotions – fear and strength. It felt natural that she’d have the courage to stand up for herself, but also that she’d be afraid of what may come from it.
By excellently distinguishing between past and present Felicity, throughout the episode, Rickards manifested the right amount of profound poise and vulnerability; thus, layering her character in an exquisite manner once more.