Arrow Review: “The Secret Origins of Felicity Smoak”

On the November 5 episode of Arrow, Starling City faces an anonymous threat from hackers—and Felicity Smoak knows more than a little about its origins.

Characters put on masks and attempt to play hero.

Title: “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”

Cast and Crew
Director: Michael Schultz
Writers: Ben Sokolowski, Brian Ford Sullivan

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
Charlotte Ross as Donna Smoak
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
Colton Haynes as Roy Harper / Arsenal
Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer
Willa Holland as Thea Queen
John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance
Nolan Gerard Funk as Cooper Seldoel
Matthew McLellan as Myron Forest
J. R. Ramirez as Ted Grant

Full cast and crew may be found here.


A virus threatens Starling City—and it’s one that Felicity Smoak helped create. Felicity, meanwhile, deals with a visiting mother, Ray Harper continues his campaign to rebrand Starling, Diggle wears a mask, Merlyn studies his targets, and Laurel steps up as acting DA and potential Black Canary-in-Training.

High Point

While we had several moments that pointed to parts of story arcs not directly related to this week’s story, the episode felt more cohesive than most, with some great training sequences, character developments, flashbacks, DCU references, and a villain-of-the-week that all connected.

Low Point

The evil genius figures his captives are under control, and so he leaves them alone, because what harm could they do, unwatched and unguarded?

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 5/6 The cross-cut cross-training scenes are excellent; the attempt to create a young Felicity Smoak looks a little silly, but acceptable.

Acting: 5/6 Felicity has become an interesting character, well-played, and Brandon Routh is establishing himself as a distinct, if small, presence on the show. Charlotte Ross has been given a predictable part as Special Guest Mom, but she plays it well.

Story: 5/6: The flashbacks were well-integrated and relevant, as they addressed the origins of the threat and Felicity’s personal history.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 The truth behind Harper’s dream remains to be seen. I suspect it’s a red herring.

In total, “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” receives 33/42

DC TVerse Tie-ins

Brother Eye hearkens to 1974, and plays a key role in DC’s twenty-first century storylines.

Felicity’s Goth look recalls, somewhat, Death from Sandman.

3 replies on “Arrow Review: “The Secret Origins of Felicity Smoak””

  1. Oh god, the Tech Talk this episode was HORRIFIC. It’s the equivalent of a mechanic talking about your Johnson Rod and headlight fluid needing replacement. Ugh. Other than that, I liked this episode… except the lady playing Felicity’s mom did not seem NEARLY dumb enough.

    • Indeed, the technobabble was quite awful. But for some reason it did not bother me at all.

      Which is weird because it’s usually like nails on a chalkboard. It’s the reason I stopped watching Scorpion after two episodes (really should have stopped at one)

      • When has Technology not been rendered in a cringe worthy way? The Net? Hackers? War Games? I think the best looking IT stuff was in alias. At least in that the commands and screens looked like they could be from a Linux distro.

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