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Felicity Takes Charge, Arrow “The Candidate” 

Oliver decided to run for mayor. Laurel made an impulsive decision that is sure to have consequences. And Thea’s Lazarus Pit impulse control issues came to light. Lots of big things happened this episode, but for me, there was nothing bigger than seeing Felicity step out on her own.

Photo Credit: Mathieu Young/The CW
Photo Credit: Mathieu Young/The CW

Initially the cute, quirky, blond IT girl, no one can deny that Felicity Smoak has both stolen our hearts and really come in to her own over the past 3 seasons. But until now, she’s always been the “person behind the person,” working first for Walter at Queen Consolidated then for Oliver on Team Arrow and most recently for Ray at Palmer Tech. While this obviously doesn’t mean her contributions are any less important (she’s saved the day more times than I can count!), we’ve never really got a chance to see her lead until now. She is officially Felicity Smoak: Boss Lady, complete with a snazzy outfit and an official office fern, and I am loving it.

She came back to Palmer Tech with the hope of maintaining Ray’s legacy, but instead she was met with a failing company and a whole boardroom of grouchy board members who insisted she reduce the workforce (aka fire people). Not seeing any other options and not wanting to see Ray’s entire company go boom, she reluctantly started the process of letting people go. Watching her do this was probably not as hard as actually having to do it, but it felt like it. This was clearly not what she had in mind and as someone without a business degree, she was admittedly a little out of her league.

That being said, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, because after what in my opinion has been far too long, Felicity finally managed to gain herself a sidekick!! Curtis Holt (played by Ben & Kate’s Echo Kellum) may have been part of the reason for the whole “workforce reduction” in the first place, but he is clearly of the same mindset as Felicity since he actually created his algorithm with the hopes of increasing staff salaries, not cutting them altogether. And I have to say, these two are fantastic together. Equally quirky, caring and not prone to full sentences when they’re flustered, I cannot wait to see more of them in coming episodes. And with rumors swirling that Holt will be playing a twist on the comic book hero Mr. Terrific, is seems like we may just get Holt both at Palmer Tech and as part of  Team Green Arrow’s city-saving shenanigans.

But back to the whole workforce reduction issue. Not even Holt was immune to his own algorithm, which is clearly the point that sent Felicity over the edge. After returning to Green Arrow HQ, she and Oliver commiserated about how things are getting worse, not better, and how there seems to be no way out. And for once, it was Oliver who provided the inspirational pep talk.

Felicity: When we decided to star in Starling…I mean, Star City…I was excited, I thought it meant a new beginning. And now we’ve only been back a week and John is still mad at you, Thea has gone pit-crazy, I’ve spent the last two days putting people out of work.

Oliver: If you think that we’ve made a mistake, we didn’t. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. We said we were going to do things differently, we just need time to figure out how.

First, I have to say that this new optimistic (and even sometimes funny) Oliver is a refreshing change. As far as “doing things differently,” we now know that for Oliver that means stepping out in to the light of day and changing the city as Oliver Queen: Mayorial Candidate, but for Felicity, it was a bit more subtle. There is no doubt that her strength has always been tech, so when it comes to running a company, she did what she knows best. Rather than looking at the business side of things, she went straight for the tech that will save it. And as such, her confidence also returned and that stone-faced group of board members finally got to see the sassy and strong Felicity that Ray trusted to run his company.

Dennis: Miss Smoak, what is this about you halting the work force reduction? We agreed….

Felicity: You talked and I listened, I would hardly call that an agreement. With that said, I did get around to firing a few people, they’ve all been hired back. B-T-dub. And one of them reminded me that Ray Palmer never would’ve approved of this.

Dennis: Ray Palmer is dead and this company will be too if…

Felicity: I am going to stop you right there.

Holt: I’m sorry, Miss Smoak, you asked to see me….umm, I think there’s been a mistake.

Felicity: No, actually, perfect timing, I was just about to tell Mr Dennis about your project. After I fired Mr. Holt, I had the opportunity to review his active projects, turns out he was working on something that was going to revolutionize technology and save this company. Neither of which he can do with a reduced workforce supporting him.

Dennis: Intriguing, so what’s this revolutionary technology, Mr. Holt?

Felicity: That is proprietary. But I can assure you, it will astonish the world.

Dennis: Out annual shareholder’s meeting is in 6 months. Present it there. Astonish us.

Felicity: Oh, we will. {Leaves the room}

Holt: You don’t even have an idea for some world astonishing technology, do you?

Felicity: No, but I’m betting that you do.

Holt: Pretty bold move, Miss Smoak.

Felicity: Yea, well, I’m trying to do things a little differently.

This scene was so fantastic. Not only did she put Mr. Dennis in his place, she also focused on her own strengths and put her trust her new sidekick and her obviously genius employees, which is exactly what a good boss should do — surround yourself with smart people and give them the chance to do what they do best. As far as I’m concerned Felicity Smoak: Boss Lady is exactly what Palmer Tech needs. Not only that, but I’m loving seeing Felicity get a chance to step out of the Team Arrow shadows a bit and carry her own storyline for once. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no such thing as too much Felicity. Now we just need to this girl a code name.

Catch Arrow Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW.

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