Oliver Queen's big secret is just a little less secret these days.
Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), Queen Consolidated's go-to IT gal, has joined the ranks of those in the know that the billionaire playboy (Stephen Amell) is actually the vigilante dubbed The Hood, otherwise known as Arrow's titular character. But there's a catch: She will only help Oliver and Diggle (David Ramsey) with matters pertaining to locating Walter (Colin Salmon). But considering Rickards was just promoted to series regular, it looks like she'll be joining the Scooby Gang full-time. How will that affect her relationship with Oliver? TVGuide.com turned to Rickards to get the scoop:
Congratulations on being promoted to series regular! How excited were you when you found out?
Emily Bett Rickards: Oh my gosh, I was beside myself. I was really flattered. We're all excited to get a second season.
Felicity has sort of joined the Scooby Gang, even though she's only doing it to help track down Walter. What will her role in the group look like now?
Rickards: It creates a certain dynamic that was different from what Olivier and Diggle had because she's the polar opposite of Diggle in a sense that she hasn't seen anyone die and this isn't actually her regular day job. Her role now is to help them solve different crimes in Starling City as well as creating a different balance to the group that the audience, and Olivier and Diggle, will enjoy as well. She's got that awkward, quirky spunk. As much as she's socially inadequate, she's always so gung-ho to hack into something. She's really smart. I find her emotional depth and her emotional capacity interesting because she's so socially awkward.
Will we get to see her in the field since her forte is more about working with computers?
Rickards: We do see a little bit of that in Wednesday's episode. She does get into a little bit of trouble coming along with Diggle and Oliver to the scene of the crime, if you will. But she does stay in the Foundry with the computers and helps him that way as well. We'll get a little taste of it and hopefully a little more in the future too.
She set boundaries in saying she's only helping when it comes to Walter, but will we see those lines begin to blur?
Rickards: Her lines won't necessarily blur, but they start to shift. They start to change over the course of getting deeper and deeper into it. As soon as you witness some of the seedy things happening, you can't un-witness them. There's an innocence that's lost. She's doing this to find Walter. She has strict morals. She doesn't want to see good people get hurt and die. She starts to have more respect for what they're doing because they're trying to protect the city. [But] there's the question always in her mind: Who am I becoming? Should we be giving these people a chance to redeem themselves?
What can you tease about the obstacles they'll face when it comes to hunting Walter down?
Rickards: There are no clues; there are no hints. I think she hopes that going through the list and helping Oliver and Diggle that something will pop up. She feels like it's all connected and as the episodes go on, you start to see how much things are connected. Even though her role expands and she stays in it to help Starling City as well, she's just hoping that a clue will pop up and it'll show where he is. But there's nothing yet.
Not sure if you've seen the Internet chatter, but everyone has been talking about the chemistry between Felicity and Oliver.
Rickards: Yes, Olicity, I think it is. [Laughs]
How will their relationship change now?
Rickards: It's hard to say if there's going to be a love interest/crush/relationship, but the relationship definitely starts to change. Oliver has a lot of walls, but with the biggest wall down and that secret out there — even though he still has secrets from everyone — it allows Felicity to see Oliver more clearly. Now they can be a little bit more open with each other and that's bound to change something in their relationship.
How will she feel about The Huntress (Jessica de Gouw) coming back into the picture since that means Felicity isn't the only woman in Oliver's life who knows his secret?
Rickards: How the Huntress comes back is a really fun and interesting episode. It's very action-packed. It was such a fun episode to shoot. I think Felicity is questioning her. She doesn't really understand who The Huntress is or where she came from. How does she know and I didn't know about her?! There's also the underlying fear because The Huntress is very intimidating.
Will we get to learn more about Felicity's background?
Rickards: We don't get to see too much about her background yet. We do get to see a vulnerable side to her when she starts getting deeper into these activities with Oliver and Diggle. She is a brilliant, but normal woman who is quite shocked by what she's seeing and still doesn't know whether it's right or wrong. Hopefully we'll get to learn more about Felicity soon. We do have Season 2!
Are you excited to see more of Felicity?
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.