Sorry, ‘Arrow’ Fans: Why Killing Felicity Smoak Won’t Save The Show

Arrow is crap now. It’s so disappointing to look a once-promising CW introduction to the DC-TV universe and call it “crap.” However, I’d rather admit the truth now and move on with my life. I’d rather not hold on to Arrow for dear life, filling myself up with false hopes the series will somehow get better.

There’s no point. Television history is littered with the corpses of promising shows that had a great first season or two and then became utter garbage. Once a series makes that crucial turn towards the G-word, nothing short of a miracle brings about an emergency course correction.

Not all former Arrow fans can make peace with the fact that their beloved show imploded. They’re stunned, and it’s understandable given how the season ended.

  • Nukes disappeared into thin air.
  • Tens of thousands of people died, and nobody cares. Not really.
  • Nuclear fallout doesn’t exist for some reason.
  • Sloppy fight choreography.
  • Malcolm Merlyn couldn’t decide if he’s a terrible villain or horrible hero.

And then there’s Felicity Smoak.

Felicity Smoak killed thousands of people and didn’t get as much as an After School Special-type lecture. She attended the funeral of her deceased friend and former Team Arrow member, Laurel Lance. Despite this, she ends the season with a quip about how great it is to be back to the “original gangstas.” Given how little this season flattered the character, I can certainly understand why some people feel less than enthusiastic about her.

Hmm, I bet you thought I was going to go into detail about her teenaged, soap opera relationship with Oliver Queen. While it is obnoxious, if everything else I mentioned never happened — including the meaningless death of Black Canary — I wouldn’t even care if she and Oliver made kissy faces at each other every episode.

In my mind, the plot-hijacking, soul-draining coupling known as “Olicity” is merely the feces-flavored cherry on top of a hot mess sundae. And that’s why I’m going to put forth the argument that no, killing off Felicity Smoak will not fix what’s wrong with Arrow.

Consider the treatment of women in comics. Traditionally, non-powered female characters almost always existed in the “damsel in distress” role. They were love interests written to be in a state of perpetual danger. They were only around so the male protagonist could save them and be praised for his chivalry and heroism. It didn’t matter how stupid or incapable the woman looked, as long as the hero got a nice ego boost.

Later, it was considered groundbreaking — despite occurring numerous times across multiple mediums — to allow harm to come to the women in a male superhero’s life. It became ideal to “fridge” because giving male superheroes pain and angst by murdering female characters somehow became synonymous with good writing.

The idea that a woman’s life is only as good as her ability to further a man’s story is absolutely sexist.

Given all the women that Arrow has stuffed into a refrigerator during its four season run, I’m amazed people still hope “killing an unbearable woman” will be the ultimate blood sacrifice that magically saves Arrow. Newsflash: Arrow is a show that loves killing women and it still wound up being terrible. Let’s dare to seek an alternative that isn’t a gross trope that’s done nothing for the series.

I believe the best, most realistic option is to improve the quality of writing. By that, I mean Arrow could benefit from terrible writers getting the boot as soon as humanly possible. It is beyond painfully obvious the show runners don’t know, or choose not to respect, the source material. They’re also baiting the more Tumblr-friendly corner fandom. That has yet to work out for any CW show — ever.

A bit of a warning to current (and future) Arrow writers: Yes, certain “shipper crazed” fans are insanely loyal, but some of them are actually insane. You may feel good about catering to them now, but just wait until they’re the only ones watching Arrow. Just wait until they know they’re the only ones watching Arrow.

It won’t be pretty.

Apologies to the anti-Felicity Smoak crowd who deluded themselves with dreams of her demise. At this point, yet another woman character’s death won’t solve problems that her existence didn’t cause in the first place. Arrow wrote itself into the crapper; it’s going to take good writing to get it out.

[Image via YouTube screen grab/CW]