TV - Arrow Season 3, Episode 5

Arrow

After playing the bit-part character for so long Steve Taylor-Bryant gets to know The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak...

Roy's still not sleeping, which is affecting his training with Oliver, Laurel has inner rage she has yet to confront, which is affecting her training with Ted Grant, Thea has used Malcolm Merlyn's money to buy a new apartment, which is affecting her relationship with Oliver, and Felicity Smoak's past is about to start affecting everyone.

Felicity, in her pyjamas, is disturbed in her morning routine by Ray Palmer who wants to talk about giving the city its energy back for free when Felicity's mother, Donna, arrives unannounced. Felicity is not as pleased to see her as you might have expected her to be, but Ray welcomes her by gifting her the prototype of a new Smartphone Watch he's been developing. There is a city wide blackout followed by an announcement from the mysterious Brother Eye that Starling City is going to suffer one problem after another. When Felicity tries to investigate the source, she realises she actually wrote the super-virus that is being used.

Flashback five years and we see a dark haired goth looking Felicity with her boyfriend Cooper Seldon and their roommate Myron Forest playing Hacktivist and using Felicity's code to hack the government. Cooper goes too far and starts deleting student’s loans which means the F.B.I. can back trace the source of the hack and he is jailed, where apparently he commits suicide before sentencing.

Back in the present day and Felicity is no closer to finding Brother Eye and even a visit by Roy and Oliver to Myron leads nowhere. An angry Laurel, left in temporary charge of the District Attorney's office, sends a riot team to the bank which just escalates the chaos. Felicity has a big row with Donna but Donna stands her ground and admits that, whilst her father gave her all her intelligence, she had actually always been there even after Felicity's father left them. After becoming really upset, Oliver tells Felicity that family is important and makes her go to her mother to make peace. Donna tells Felicity that she wishes she had never won the round trip to Starling City and Felicity realises, albeit too late, that someone had made sure her mother was there. They are kidnapped and taken to a warehouse where Brother Eye reveals himself as the very much alive Cooper Seldon, who had faked his suicide and joined the N.S.A. instead of completing his prison term. He uses Donna as leverage to make Felicity hack into the treasury and re-route the money trucks to his location.

Donna reminds Felicity of the Smartphone Watch she is wearing and Felicity manages to contact TeamArrow who rush in to save the day. After the ordeal Felicity and Donna make up and spend some time together, making Oliver realise he had been treating Thea unfairly and goes to watch a film at her new apartment, under the watchful eye of Malcom Merlyn, and the sleeping issue for Roy is unveiled as a memory or a dream that he is the one who murdered Sara.

Whilst this episode was light on Arrow involvement, and the flashbacks were Felicity's and not Oliver's, it was incredibly entertaining seeing how Felicity became who she is. I have fallen in love with her character and can’t ever imagine the show without her now, so the screen time and family explanation was very pleasing, plus Ray Palmer hanging around like a goofy loner added some hilarious moments. I am sure pretty soon we will go back to the darker storyline involving Merlyn, Ra's Al Ghul and the like, but this was a fantastically welcome sidebar.

Image - IMDb.