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Warning: spoilers ahead for Arrow. Don't read any further if you are not up to date on The Emerald Archer's solo series!
Felicity Smoak has gone to some pretty dark places on this year's season of Arrow. The former IT girl turned digital vigilante turned Helix hacker has experienced loss after loss, and her soft exterior has hardened quite a bit. If that sounds strikingly familiar to Oliver Queen's arc over the course of the last five years, that's because the decision was intentional. Felicity has started to become much more like her ex-boyfriend in recent weeks, and she will apparently come to an understanding as to why he's so willing to lie. Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim explained:
We're starting to put her in Oliver's footsteps a little bit. She's going to get a chance to experience things a little bit more from Oliver's perspective. I think the reason they broke up was her difficulty to see things from Oliver's perspective. They broke up fundamentally because she didn't trust Oliver, and the reason she didn't trust Oliver is she couldn't understand why he made the decisions he made.
Felicity has gotten in touch with her dark side in Season 5 of Arrow, and as Marc Guggenheim recently explained to EW: that evolution has brought her considerably closer to Oliver Queen's mentality this year. She now has a far clearer understanding of his willingness to lie to protect those he loves, and she has shown no hesitation to do the same in her quest for vengeance against Adrian "Prometheus" Chase. In all honesty, we probably should've seen this dark turn coming much sooner. Although Felicity has cracked a few jokes this year on Arrow, she has also embraced the darkness with Oliver more than most members of Team Arrow. When Thea Queen scolded her older brother for returning to killing, Felicity went in the opposite direction and embraced it with him. That's a major change from her fast-talking days as a loveable sidekick.
Of course, we can't address this comment without addressing the big Olicity-shaped elephant in the room. Felicity ended her relationship with Oliver due to trust issues, but as she starts to understand Oliver's rationale for lying, this raises questions about whether or not they could potentially reconcile at some point soon. As of right now, there's no definitive evidence to suggest that will happen, and we think Arrow would be wise to avoid that. Olicity has unquestionably become the most polarizing story element in the history of The Emerald Archer's solo series, and Season 5 has been a significant improvement over Season 4 due to its willingness to move away from that love story.
Tune into Arrow every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. For more information related to 2017's remaining television debuts, make sure to check out our comprehensive midseason premiere guide and fill out your TV viewing schedules accordingly!