This year, Felicity has mounted a mission all on her own (OK, with the help of the FBI) to hunt down Diaz so that she can keep her family safe, but that unfortunately means she's had to go against Oliver's (Stephen Amell) wishes, break with Team Arrow and Diggle (David Ramsey) and team up with the person who put her husband behind bars in the first place!
This season has already been a dark one for Felicity, and according to Emily Bett Rickards, we haven't seen the worst of it yet. TV Guide sat down with Rickards to chat about Felicity's isolation this season, when we're getting a much anticipated Olicity reunion and those crazy flash-forwards.
Felicity has put herself on a kind of dark, isolated path this season. What's been the most exciting part of that storyline for you so far?
Emily Bett Rickards: It opens up avenues to work with different characters that she hasn't worked with before, which is really exciting. For me as an actor though, mostly, [I] love working with Stephen all the time, except that his character happens to be in prison. So we've had a little bit of a sabbatical from each other, which has been sad. It's been quite a different season. But it's interesting to have a character driven by such a different force than she has been for six seasons. Her objective has stayed the same but the nucleus which drives her objective had to change her tactics, her strategies. If it continues in that same direction, it will ultimately change her disposition. It'll change who she is.
Do you think this FBI team-up is a good path for her, or does it have pitfalls for darkness?
Rickards: I feel like it has pitfalls and darkness because it's not her natural state, right? It doesn't seem like somewhere she naturally came to. It seems like a place that she was forced to be in, in which case we're not always our authentic selves in that area.
How is she coping with working with the FBI when she's so used to Team Arrow?
Rickards: Nowhere is fun if you do it alone, and she has to do it alone. And you know, two heads are better than one, four heads are better than two. I don't know how you take on the world alone and think it was your best possible option. And it just feels like her only option right now, and I think that that's sad and also extremely dangerous.
How has sending William away and losing that kind of "Mama Felicity" identity affected her?
Rickards: She's made space for him in her heart, and now with him gone, there is absence. She has to sort of send him away to protect him and also for her to accomplish ultimately what she'd set out to do years ago and continues to set out to do. I think, once again, she feels like it's her only option. You can wash over the feelings of regret and guilt and sadness if you keep driving yourself at this pace and force, which she's trying to do. But you can only ignore absence for so long, you can only numb yourself to those things for so long. It'll catch up with you.
Oliver and Felicity are kind of on sabbatical like you said --
We miss each other!
I miss my Olicity scenes!
I mean, we see each other outside of work -- outside of school -- but when I see him at work, I'm like "Oh yeah, what's up! We still work together, cool!"
What kind of ways are you guys finding to still create that relationship even though Oliver and Felicity can't really be together right now?
Rickards: I think the main part of a relationship is talking and communicating. And knowing somebody through and through is sort of knowing when they're at their worst and accepting when they're at their worst, when they don't feel accomplished and those sort of things. They're both fighting for so much at such a visceral, animalistic place, which is survival. I think that's the hardest place to probably resonate from. They know each other very well, but the space part is going to change them. It's kind of like trying to predict where somebody's headed when that person can't even predict it themselves, which is going to be extremely interesting on the other side.
When they do reunite, will their relationship have shifted in any way?
Yeah, I think there's definitely going to be a fracture. There already was, Felicity's already said, "You've decided -- Oliver's decided to do this alone. It didn't include me." There's already a fracture, so where do we move from that?
Any teases for fun Olicity scenes coming up?
Rickards: Reunion? I don't know if there's things that are fun, so everyone loves watching that. But there are Olicity moments, it's just going to be different now. Life changes.
Something I've been really excited this year is the flash-forwards, but how much do you guys even get to know about those? Do you know everything or are you totally in the dark?
Rickards: I don't know everything about these flash-forwards, especially if they're not constitutional to my character. I know a few things about Felicity's flash-forwards and potentially where they want it to go, which I think is a really interesting question. You sort of want things to go somewhere, but then you have to commit to going to that place, and with Felicity growing in such a different direction, I think that there's questions in which there's so many different outlets and directions. [There are] so many opportunities for us to mess with her. But that's a writer question mostly.
My biggest question is: Have you gotten to put on the old-person makeup yet? Because Roy's (Colton Haynes) looks hilarious!
Rickards: I haven't yet. I hope she also has stubble. But yeah, I mean, we can hope!
Adult William mentioned he'd grown up to be kind of techy. Do we think he got that from Felicity?
Rickards: Absolutely! Where else is he going to get that from? Yeah, he has to.
The idea of Smoak Tech has been floating around for a while, so now that we're in the future, will we definitively learn whether that will become a part of Felicity's storyline?
Rickards: I don't know yet. I'd like to say that we would have it, but I mean, definitively it's already been out there, so potentially? Still potential.
On the topic of the new Green Arrow, what can you tease about that mystery and how Felicity will factor into it?
Rickards: It's not who you think. Felicity is going to factor into it once she meets the person. She will ultimately feel guarded but then hopefully jump on board. That would be my want.
She hasn't exactly seemed on board for this new Green Arrow so far.
Rickards: Well, also that Green Arrow isn't necessarily doing what the Green Arrow was doing before. He's just wearing the same costume. Or hood. Same color, I should say, with a sharp-pointed weapon. Same but different. [Laughs].
Can you give us any crossover hints for this year?
Rickards: Felicity is very shocked as a character, and also, [she] and Oliver weren't necessarily in the best spot -- they're not in the best part of their relationship in this season, so that played into where they sort of lie when all things go to sh--.
Arrow airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.
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