Arrow EP Debunks Popular Felicity Theory
Spoilers for Arrow season 4 follow!
In the midseason finale of Arrow, fan favorite character Felicity was shot and left in dire condition, leaving fans to wonder if she was occupying the grave seen in the season premiere. Recent set photos seemed to confirm that she would survive the ordeal, but would be left paralyzed, and would possibly take over the mantle of the disabled DC Comics superhero Oracle:
In the comics, Oracle is the alter-ego of Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, after the Joker maimed her in The Killing Joke. Oracle has been hailed as a great example of a disabled superhero, as she used her intelligence and hacking skills to provide intel to superheroes and trained with a martial artist to fight from her wheelchair with her upper body and weapons. In spite of the difference in identity, Felicity has seemed poised to become Oracle for quite a while now, as she has been established as an expert hacker, not to mention that her origin story episode from last season, "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak," was originally titled "Oracle."
The rumors that Felicity would become Oracle were so persistent, EP Marc Guggenheim felt the need to chime in:
I don't normally comment on spoilers, but an upcoming episode features a Felicity HALLUCINATION. Make of that what you will. @EmilyBett— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) January 9, 2016
This could imply that Felicity is not actually in a wheelchair, but was shooting a hallucination scene in the above photos and is actually either dead or alive and able to walk. But it was Wendy Mericle who put the final nail in the coffin, as she told TV Line that Felicity becoming Oracle was "off the table":
"That's something we definitely talked about [doing] with Felicity in the beginning…. But yeah, it will not be Oracle, sadly," Mericle said. "People have to tune in to see what happens."
It's interesting that she said "sadly," which makes it sound like they want to, but can't. Perhaps they couldn't get the rights to the character, or DC didn't want the mantle going to a character who's not in the comics?
A very spoiler-y Australian promo is going around that seems to confirm Felicity's fate:
Possible spoilers ahead! (Click to reveal)
In the promo, Felicity's mother says that she'll "never walk again," which indicates that they're going down the disability route (unless the scene with her mother is another part of the hallucination). If this is the case, it seems that she would sort of be a version of Oracle without taking on the name, although you could argue that Oracle also trained to physically fight from her wheelchair in addition to her hacking skills, while Felicity could just remain valuable for her tech prowess.
Arrow returns with new episodes on January 20 on The CW.