27th Nov2014

‘Arrow 3×05: The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak’ Review

by ApolloXL5

Written by Ben Sokolowski, Brian Ford Sullivan | Directed by Michael Schultz

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PLOT:

Felicity’s life gets really complicated when she is forced to endure a surprise visit from her Mother and a cyber-attack on Starling City, an attack which was made possible by a virus she created years earlier.

VERDICT:

So after two seasons, Felicity finally gets an episode focused on her alone, but unfortunately it is somewhat of a hit and miss affair.

The episode had a very strong opening with the montage showing master and student training sessions between Oliver/Roy, Ted/Laurel and Malcolm/Thea, with the first two were showcasing the growing problems (Roy with his sleepless nights and Laurel letting her anger get the better of her). In fact it was only Thea that seemed to be learning, impressing her Father which then led to a really well executed scene jump to Felicity struggling to complete ten sit-ups (I liked Thea’s question about how normal people experience their mornings).

Once again I loved Ray Palmer in this episode (Brandon Routh really is a breath of fresh air in this show at the moment, and I loved his reaction to seeing Felicity’s Mother…which was the same reaction everyone else had, but his was the best of the bunch) and I can certainly see why he has so many scenes with Felicity (as both actors do really have great chemistry together in my opinion) whether they are cute and funny or sad and emotional, they are a pleasure to watch.

But unfortunately the episode became somewhat predictable after that, with how her relationship with her Mother progressed (which went through the whole arguing about how different they are, to then both being put in jeopardy only to discover how much similar they really are).

And there was also the flashbacks (though at least they were important to the episode this time, unlike Oliver’s Hong Kong memories) which despite showing an important part of Felicity’s past and how the events that transpired shaped how she is now, but they only made who the enemy of the episode was all the more obvious (since the bad guy was one of three choices, Felicity, her college roommate and her boyfriend. Since we knew it wouldn’t be her and then found out that it wasn’t her roommate, that kind of made her conveniently dead boyfriend the prime suspect….and it was, what a shock).

In the end the only big revelation to be seen in this episode came right at the end, showing that Roy was having bad dreams which then revealed that he was the one who killed Sara (though I am sure this is a red-herring really, but it is good to see Roy get some focus in what basically has been a quiet season for him so far, apart from his side-kick appearances).

The action in this episode was of it’s usual good quality, with first the team action between Arrow and Arsenal stopping the riots (I did like the surprised expression on Roy’s face at how he made the shot, which is a good way to show that he is still learning and hasn’t completely mastered archery yet). And the final action scene with Oliver taking out the remote weapon platforms was fun to watch, while Felicity took down her former boyfriend (with my only niggle about that scene  being Felicity going all damsel in distress at first. I mean I understand her Mother acting like that at, but Felicity? This wasn’t the first time she has been in danger like that and it certainly won’t be the last, but at least the writers remembered that by the end). This episode had a good concept but due to predictable writing and execution, it turned out to be a rather average affair despite some interesting scenes.

*** 3/5

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