Finally, Ray Palmer gets his message to Felicity Smoak and here is the Atom we have all been waiting for. Add to Arrow’s unfortunate realization that according to Ms. Smoak, “it’s not you, it’s me…” this episode does two things very well. It brings Palmer’s mini scientist back to the fore and showcases the splendid talent of Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity.
It has to be said that, in terms of the new shows dealing with all things “DC,” Arrow has always been a little Darhk. (Sorry could not resist) with things taking a turn for the worse with the actual introduction of dastardly Damien. Now we have Ray Palmer back from the dead, so to speak, and a great performance from Rickards as the new pin up for every geek and nerd in the world, Felicity Smoak.
The episode has a lot going for it, not least of which is Emily’s completely selling Felicity as the “thinking man’s crumpet” of the year. This gal Smoak has got it all, beauty, brains, mad organization skills and the ability to quip at a moments notice, what is not to love? Add to these instantly addictive traits the fact that you know this heroine would look equally good in a swimsuit as she would a business one, and you have a win/win situation.
After the last episode’s tepid introduction of Matt Ryan as Constantine, where the actor was sadly underused, this week saw things escalate in the verse. We have The Atom and we have Felicity Smoak, “I am CEO hear me roar,” hitting her stride with quips, comebacks and above all else, a true sense of self.
Her “It’s not you, it’s me” speech to Oliver, although in reality it was much, much more than that, allowed Rickards to kill this episode. Her admission that she allowed herself to become lost in Queen and, as she tells Oliver, “I am not that girl,” shows heretofore unseen depths to this character.
Felicity has always been good for a chuckle or two as she grows in confidence and her excitement at battling bad guys can only be matched by The Flash‘s Cisco (Played so adorably by Carlos Valdes). Although, Cisco has changed in terms of team dynamic with his new power…
There were some comedic moments in Arrow: Lost Souls. Oliver Queen secretly inviting mother Smoak to visit and for dinner was good for some mirth and allowed the talented Charlotte Ross to step in as Donna, Felicity’s blonde bombshell mom.
(Ross has come a long way since her Days of Our Lives (1987-1991) role as Eve Baron Donovan and she was instantly engaging as Felicity’s mother.)
In comparing Smoak to Cisco, it should also be pointed out that her enthusiasm has not waned, just as Ramon’s has not faltered, even with his new power. The two really are ethereal twins. She also likes naming things, although in her world it is the “code names” and not the villainous new meta-humans encountered by the good guys she likes to govern.
Despite being prepared for the emergence of Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) as The Atom, the sense of excitement at the discovery that Felicity’s old boss, and former squeeze, was alive and being held against his will by Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) was pretty noteworthy. Sidenote: Seriously, how creepy was that shot of Darhk’s huge head peering down at Palmer in the box while he was speaking to Smoak? Shudders to the nth.
A combination of great effects and great moments for this episode; where Rickards wins the geeky girl next door award for the ages and Brandon Routh proves he was the best choice to be The Atom, make this an epic episode to watch. (Question: Does anyone else think that if Tom Cruise ever lost his pipes that Routh could do voice over work for the Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation star? Answers in the comment section below…)
Arrow has moved away, just a nudge, from its innate “darhkness” (Sorry.) to allow Felicity to grow and evolve as a character. While Oliver may have been disturbed initially by Smoak’s “it’s not you it’s me” spiel, by the end Felicity has chosen him, as they bring out the inner bits when they are together.
This series airs Wednesdays on CW and continues to make the DC verse a great place to visit, even without any cross over action from The Flash.