Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the midseason premiere of Arrow. Read at your own risk!
Good news, Arrow fans: Felicity Smoak is not dead! The bad news?
In the wake of Damien Darhk’s (Neal McDonough) Ghosts shooting up Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity’s (Emily Bett Rickards) limo in the midseason finale, the Green Arrow’s go-to IT gal is now paralyzed. As much as the fans hope this means she’ll now be going by the codename Oracle — as was initially hinted toward — Felicity is not taking on that famous DC Comics moniker. What’s next, especially after another flash forward revealed that Ollie will be standing over someone’s grave (not Felicity’s!) in four months? EW spoke with executive producer Wendy Mericle to find out:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How is Felicity going to handle now being paralyzed?
WENDY MERICLE: She’s really grappling with the question of getting through this tragic event and figuring out what her life is going to look like afterward. She knows Oliver has a tendency to revert to [his darker ways]. Despite herself, she’s still in shock about what happened, and her focus is going to be mostly, and interestingly, on Oliver and trying to keep him from falling back into this dark hole he’s been in the past.
Even though Felicity is in a wheelchair, she is not Oracle, right?
She is not Oracle. We are going to give her a very fun, cool name in a future episode. It’s going to be fun. We definitely want to give her a codename. It’s been a long time coming, but no, she’s not going to be Oracle.
How are Felicity and Oliver dealing with this new situation now that she’s going to be in a wheelchair?
Oliver is going to be taking the stand of being very optimistic and hopeful — not in the sense that he wants to find a way for her to walk again. He’s optimistic that her power lies in her brain. She can still do everything that she wants to do. This is not the end of anything, it’s more of a new beginning. In future episodes, we’re really going to be seeing Felicity try to maintain that level of optimism, but she’s the one living with it and experiencing it in a direct way. We’re going to be taking her on a little bit of a dark journey of her own as she tries to grapple with the reality of this new situation. It’s a huge game-changer, obviously, for her. How is it going to affect her life and role on the team? Not really her relationship with Oliver, that doesn’t come into question, but certainly how she perceives her future and her role on the team is definitely coming into question.
Is this permanent?
You’ll have to watch to find out.
Will we see other flash forwards that reveal more information about the cemetery scene? And are you basically saying that it’s going to happen in the finale?
We try to leave the timeline a little bit open. We went back and forth about what timeline that was. It’ll be close to the finale. Right now, the plans are not to have it in the finale, but we won’t be doing any more flash forwards going forward. We wanted to revisit that and have a little fun with the audience in terms of noting where Oliver and Felicity are, emotionally and physically — they’re in a limo outside the gravesite. We have no plans, at this point, to do anymore of those.
In that trailer, we also see Thea (Willa Holland) in the hospital, and potentially looking like she was trying to kill herself. What’s going on there?
Thea’s really been dealing with the bloodlust that was induced by the Lazarus Pits. She has been trying to figure out a way to keep that at bay without resorting to killing. We’ve really likened her journey this season to what Oliver was going through in season 1, where she’s trying to figure out where that line is for herself, morally and ethically, as a superhero. After episode 407, when Damien Darhk whammied her, she’s not really had to deal with this in any sort of visceral way. It’s going to come back to haunt her. She thinks she’s cured the bloodlust, and what we’re going to come to find out is the Lazarus Pit has a very lasting affect. It’s not going to leave her that easily. She’s going to be grappling with some shocking new realities about the way it’s manifesting itself in her body and what that means for her going forward.
What can you tease about Roy’s (Colton Haynes) return, which coincides with this storyline about the Calculator (Tom Amandes)?
Roy comes back in a really surprising, new way. Like Oliver, he seems to have fallen back into some old habits.
We’re going to see Nyssa (Katrina Law) “make her move” in an upcoming episode. What’s going on there?
Nyssa has had a long-standing feud with Malcolm (John Barrowman) definitely since episode 403, but it also predates that. She’s going to be basically putting a knife in Malcolm’s back for the rest of the season, and really changing the nature and the context of the League of Assassins as a result.
Shadowspire will also be coming into play in the current timeline. Can you set that up?
We’re really excited about Shadowspire. They’re a very cool organization that we’ve always wanted to explore from the comic books. We’re going to be bringing it in in what we hope is a surprising and cool way through Andy Diggle (Eugene Byrd). It’s really going to be an Andy-Dig (David Ramsey) story and we’re going to see some cool flashbacks about how Andy got involved with them and also how that led Andy to be involved with H.I.V.E.
Shadowspire’s arrival appears to put Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) in pretty grave danger. Is that connected?
It is tied. Lyla is going to, at least temporarily, return to A.R.G.U.S., and we’re going to see some big stakes and some big changes happening in that organization as well.
We saw what appeared to be Hacker Felicity in the trailer, though she’s standing. Could this be Earth-2 Felicity?
I love the idea of Earth-2 Felicity, but we on Arrow try to stay in this time and space. But yes, I definitely think there will be a time and place in the future where we could see Felicity stand.
Any hint as to who is in the grave?
I absolutely cannot. It’s going to be a big shocker.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.