Felicity Brandon Biography & Facts
Felicity Megan Smoak, also known by her code name Overwatch, is a fictional character in The CW's Arrowverse franchise. The character was first introduced in 2012 in the first season of the television series Arrow, which is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow. The series follows the story of billionaire Oliver Queen, who returns home after five years supposedly stranded on a remote Pacific island (Lian Yu) and becomes a vigilante on a quest to save his city. Felicity is based on the comic book character of the same name, created by Gerry Conway and Rafael Kayanan and was adapted for television by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg. Felicity was portrayed by Canadian actress Emily Bett Rickards between 2012 and 2020. Initially cast as a one-episode guest star in the first season of Arrow, she returned as a recurring character in the same season, and was promoted to series regular from season two. Rickards stepped away from the show at the end of season seven, but returned in a guest capacity for the finale of Arrow's eighth and final season. She has also featured in the spin-off shows The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and web series Vixen, as well as appearing in Supergirl. The character appears in the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham video game as part of the Arrow DLC pack, and is one of the protagonists of the Arrow and The Flash tie-in novels and comics.
Introduced as having a genius level intellect, with a penchant for inappropriate commentary, Felicity debuted in the third episode of Arrow's first season as an employee of Queen Consolidated, working in the IT department. She is recommended to Oliver Queen by his stepfather/CEO of the company Walter Steele, to assist him with an IT issue. She later joins Oliver in his crusade becoming one of the founding members of "Team Arrow", alongside John Diggle, and goes on to adopt the moniker "Overwatch". She becomes CEO of Palmer Technologies and subsequently founds her own company, Smoak Tech. Her relationship with Oliver develops into a romantic one, leading to their marriage and to her becoming stepmother to his son, William, and later mother to their daughter, Mia.
Often cited as a positive representation of women in STEM, Felicity has been described as Arrow's "fan favorite" or "breakout" character and has received a generally positive response from critics, with particular praise for Rickards' performance. Critics have described her as an important part of Arrow's success, although at times some expressed concerns that her character became too prominent on the show. In 2016 she was voted number fifteen on a list of "50 Favorite Female Characters", in a poll of Hollywood professionals conducted by The Hollywood Reporter.
Concept and creation
Early in season one, the creative team behind Arrow wanted to introduce a tech-savvy character for a season one scene, drawing inspiration from DC comics catalogue of characters. Producers originally considered using Karen Beecher/Bumblebee, but opted to use the less well known Felicity Smoak, a character created by Gerry Conway and Rafael Kayanan for The Fury of Firestorm in 1984. Rickards was initially cast for the role as a one-episode guest star, but following a positive response from show lead Stephen Amell and from Warner Bros. executive Peter Roth, as well as from journalists at preview screenings, her role was extended to recurring through out the show's first season. Andrew Kreisberg commented that he and fellow showrunner Marc Guggenheim were impressed both with her performance and by Amell's response to her character, and that they received positive feedback stating "And then the network called, and then the studio called and they were like 'This girl, who is she?'" Rickards joined the main cast of the show from season two onwards. Regarding this decision, Guggenheim explained that producers realized that Felicity would either have to learn the truth about Oliver, or "go away" and that "once we decided that she couldn't go away ... making her a series regular was kind of a no-brainer."Over the course of the series, Felicity developed into one the show's principal characters, described by producers as the show's "secret weapon" and an "integral and active part of the dynamic of the show." Discussing Felicity's role in the show, Kreisberg commented that he felt "Arrow wasn't Arrow" until the episode where she learns Oliver's secret. Looking back at Arrow's run ahead of its eighth and final season, Amell observed that "I don't know that show works if we don't randomly find her". Rickards announced in March 2019 that she would be leaving the Arrowverse at the end of Arrow's seventh season, although the producers left open the possibility of her returning as a guest star in the series final season. Following this announcement, Guggenheim echoed Amell's sentiments when speaking at San Diego Comic-Con ahead of the season eight premiere, stating that "For the longest time, I've been saying you can't do the show without Emily Rickards" and that he would not have considered a full twenty-two episode final season without the actress. In November 2019, it was announced that Rickards would return in a guest role for the series finale.
Felicity Megan Smoak is introduced as an IT expert working for Queen Consolidated in her first appearance in the season one Arrow episode "Lone Gunmen". In her fictional background story, the character was born on July 24, 1989, and is stated to have demonstrated a strong academic ability from an early age, going on to graduate summa cum laude from MIT in 2009 at the age of 20 with a Masters of Science in Computer Sciences and Cyber Security. Her early years are later expanded upon in the season two episode "City of Blood", where she states she was raised in Las Vegas by her mother Donna Smoak, who worked as a cocktail waitress, and in the season four episode "Sins of the Father" with the introduction of her father, Noah Kuttler. Her father is introduced as a career criminal who Felicity believed abandoned his family when she was seven years old although it is later revealed that her mother had in fact left him in order to protect Felicity from his criminal lifestyle. The character is also stated to be Jewish and a descendant of Holocaust survivors.
Following her promotion to series regular, Rickards commented that Felicity was "a character who's intelligent and brave and facing huge situations, and being real in how she's facing them". She also acknowledged the difficulties that the character had at times interacting with people, but admired how she had dealt with that throughout the season. Rickards has described Felicity as having "a very mathematical and systematic mind", and sees her tendency to make inappropriate comments as part of that focus stating "I don't think they're parts on their own. She's so dialed into what she's doing that when she has to speak, she's not thinking clearly abo.... Discover the Felicity Brandon popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Felicity Brandon books.