Arrow season 5 has some pretty exciting storylines to tie together and finish out when it returns on January 25th. One of the big things the midseason finale set up with the trauma of Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) losing her latest boyfriend, Billy, after the mysterious villain Prometheus tricked Oliver Queen/Green Arrow into killing him.
Since the midseason finale, Arrow producers have been teasing how Billy's death will affect Felicity, and that nature of their comments has led to widespread fan speculation that Felicity will choose to get off the sidelines and take on the mantle of Black Canary III. As the Arrow midseason premiere gets closer, we're asking the question: If fan speculation is on the right track, is it a good thing? Should Felicity become the next Black Canary?
On the one hand, the evolution would pretty natural. As Arrow EP Marc Guggenheim recently pointed out, "Felicity's been living in this darker world for the last four-plus years now and one of the things we're exploring is how much what Oliver and Diggle and Roy and Laurel have been doing as vigilantes affected her and affected her way of thinking about things."
An easy conclusion to draw from that quote is that Felicity gets bitten by the vigilante bug and wants to suit up herself, to play a more active role in her securing her own safety, and the safety of those she loves. It'd be understandable if she saw being an active vigilante as the factor that would've changed so much of what she's been through - including the tensions of her "Olicity" relationship.
On the other hand, it was somewhat of a stretch for fans when Laurel Lance decided to jump into vigilante life as Black Canary II, given her lack of training. Arrow tried to handle that gap of disbelief with a season 3 training sub-plot - and it was a stretch, to say the least. Throwing someone like Felicity into that same kind of storyline seems like it would be an even further stretch. Of course, with The Flash having turned its geek support squad (Cisco and Caitlin) into metahuman powerhouses, Felicity is almost lagging behind at this point if she doesn't suit up...
Of course, given the character's backstory (once a cynical Goth hacker criminal), it'd arguably be more interesting to see Felicity do something else besides suit up as a character we've seen twice already - and will see once again in new form (the resurrected Laurel Lance/Black Canary). If Felicity swears off vigilantism for more traditional law and order work - or becomes some kind of adversary with a twisted moral logic, it would be in keeping with her character's light/dark nature, much like what show EP Marc Guggenheim described to Collider as, "an edgier story for Felicity, but at the same time, it's still Felicity."
In any event, Arrow season 5 has done much better with its story and characters, so whichever way it goes with Felicity, it should be fun to watch.
Do you want to see Emily Bett Rickards' Felicity Smoak become the new Black Canary? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!
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Based on the characters from DC, ARROW is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Supergirl), Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters), Andrew Kreisberg (The Flash, Supergirl), Wendy Mericle (Desperate Housewives, Eli Stone) and Sarah Schechter (Supergirl, Blindspot).
The midseason premiere of Arrow, which is titled "Who Are You?," will air Wednesday, January 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.