Arrow fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is alive. However, Damien Darhk's (Neil McDonough) attack left Felicity paralyzed for the foreseeable future. While many fans have expressed their disapproval at this new development, executive producer Wendy Mericle recently talked about Felicity's fate and her decision to put the character in this type of situation.
Arrow picked up from its winter break with Felicity in the hospital while Oliver (Stephen Amell) and his team tried their best to track down Darhk. According to E! Online, Felicity's condition put Team Arrow in a dangerous position as they were forced to do things they typically wouldn't in order to get to Darhk.
Not only did this include Diggle (David Ramsey) fighting his brother in order to get information about Darhk's hideout, but Oliver also went to the extreme and set Anarky (Alexander Calvert) loose. With all of Oliver's concentration focused on catching Darhk, he sadly failed to visit Felicity in the hospital, which was one of the more painful things to watch in the episode.
Meanwhile, in speaking about their decision to paralyze Felicity in the Arrow mid-season opener, Mericle told the Hollywood Reporter that they wanted to see how Felicity would handle such an epic challenge.
"What we're going for with this, as much as possible on a DC Comics show, is to try to play the reality of someone going through something that difficult and challenging," she stated. "At the moment where you see her, it's in a place of shock with respect to her own issues and shifting her focus on Oliver and making sure he doesn't fall back into old habits and do something he would regret."
Mericle went on to reveal that Felicity's life from here on out is going to be difficult. However, the producer did hint that Felicity's days in a wheelchair may not last very long.
"Going forward, it's not going to be easy. The reality is, making an adjustment of that kind for someone at her age, it's not an easy thing to do. We wanted to be as respectful and real towards people who are facing that reality and explore the ups and downs of it," Mericle explained. "So yes, you see her calm in [episode] 410, but I don't think it's realistically possible for anyone to very calmly accept this new reality. She'll be dealing with this for the next few episodes, at least."
"You Morons, you paralyzed Felicity. Why!!!" one fan wrote on Twitter.
"DC WEEK WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HAPPY AND AMAZING BUT PATTYS LEAVING AND FELICITY IS PARALYZED," another Twitter user added.
That being said, at least some fans were optimistic that Felicity would not remain in a wheelchair for very long. "We Know Felicity will not stay paralyzed....Ray Palmer has nano tech that will fix her right up better than new," one fan posted to Twitter.
While fans can expect Felicity to work through her ordeal in the next couple of episodes, the latest installment revealed that she isn't the person in the grave featured in Oliver's flash forward. However, given Oliver and Felicity's reaction in the limo, whoever is in the grave is someone very important to them.
Tell us! What do you think about Felicity Smoak being paralyzed on Arrow? Let us know in the comments and check out the trailer for next week's all-new episode below.
[Image via The CW]