Ever since Arrowstarted this season off with Oliver (Stephen Amell) crying over a grave, we knew tragedy was headed our way. And seeing as how every woman in Oli's life winds up horrifically murdered, we understand why you might have jumped to conclusions after witnessing Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) being gunned down in December's midseason finale. But there is one major reason Felicity can't be dead and it starts with an "O."
There have long been rumors that Felicity would eventually evolve into the comic book character Oracle, and it looks like these reports are finally coming to fruition. In the comics, Oracle is the alias for Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, after the Joker cripples her. Once confined to a wheelchair, Oracle used technology and computers to help superheroes in their duty. Does that sound like anybody we know?
Arrow has been extremely grabby when it comes to co-opting Batman mythology - see: Ra's al Ghul, Deadshot, Slade Wilson, the Huntress and Amanda Waller - so it makes total sense for Arrow to incorporate Oracle, particularly since the tech genius is a founding member of the Birds of Prey, a team of female superheroes that includes Black Canary (Katie Cassidy) and the Huntress (Jessica De Gouw). Since we doubt Oliver's vindictive ex Helena is about to join the squad, there's a good chance we could see Thea (Willa Holland) step up to fill the Huntress' role in the Birds of Prey. And how great would that be? A team of three badass women - Felicity, Laurel and Thea - united together in a fight against crime. Where do I sign up?
In addition to potentially opening up new relationships for Felicity with Laurel and Thea, the evolution into Oracle would be an incredible opportunity to showcase new sides of Felicity. Since her introduction as the nervous IT girl with a crush on her boss, Felicity has grown into one of the most lovable and badass characters on TV. Her endless optimism and sense of humor has always brought a lightness to Arrow — which it sorely needs. But wouldn't it be interesting to see how Felicity's worldview is challenged and evolves after surviving a trauma of this magnitude? Oliver, Diggle (John Ramsey), Thea and Laurel have all been given meaty, emotional arcs in the past, but Felicity has survived the series relatively unscathed up until this point. The world of Arrow is a dangerous one and I, for one, am excited to see how such a life-altering event affects our favorite tech genius.
By turning Felicity into Oracle, the series would also take the important step of including its first character with a disability. Arrow has always made a point to be inclusive, but unfortunately people with disabilities are rarely seen on television, let alone in a starring role. In its first season, the Arrow spin-off The Flash featured the paraplegic scientist Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), only to later reveal he was faking being paralyzed. Felicity is already such an inspirational character, so why not make her a symbol of resilience in the face of challenge and a reminder that having a disability doesn't mean one can't be a hero?
Of course, there's also the possibility that Felicity won't use a wheelchair forever. In 2011, DC revamped Barbara Gordon by having her regain her mobility after an experimental surgery, to much readers' outrage. Whether Felicity will ever walk again - and whether she will truly become Oracle - will only be known in time. But I think we can all agree one thing's for certain: There's no way Felicity Smoak is dead.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
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