The most recent episode of the CW’s “Arrow” finally succeeded in issuing each of the crime fighting team members a code name. Although many fans believed that they had already figured out who Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) would be, the show put those rumors to bed by hinting at a much larger story.
To truly get a grasp of this situation, one needs to go back to the midseason finale of “Arrow” Season 4, which saw Felicity get shot several times during an attack orchestrated by the villain Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough). Fans waited on baited breath for about a month until the show returned from its winter break to find out if the character would live or die. When it was finally revealed that Felicity was alive and paralyzed from her injuries, fans quickly developed a theory based on the DC comic books about what would happen next.
According to CinemaBlend, fans noticed the similarities between Felicity’s super-hacker that happens to be in a wheelchair, and the character Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Oracle), who became Batman’s eye-in-the-sky computer wiz for several years in the comic books after getting shot in the spine by the Joker. Since it began, “Arrow” has been accused of lifting and adapting much of its material from the world of “Batman,” and making Felicity the TV version of Oracle seemed like it would fit that pattern. However, executive producer Wendy Mericle told TV Line that it wasn’t going to happen. Showrunner Marc Guggenheim later teased that Felicity would still get a code name, but didn’t say what it was.
Finally, Season 4, episode 11 of “Arrow” addressed the issue when Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) dubbed Felicity “Overwatch.” Felicity seemed to like the idea of having a code name, so she went along with it, but the hero soon quipped:
“I was going to go with ‘Oracle,’ but it's taken.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, “Overwatch” just so happens to also be the title of a spy-thriller novel written by Guggenheim in 2014, making the line more of a fun nod to the audience than anything else. It was so campy that Amell may as well have looked directly into the camera and winked. However, the fact of the matter is, he didn’t, and the “Oracle” line is now canon in the show. The implication there is that somewhere in the Arrowverse, which includes “The Flash” and “Legends of Tomorrow,” there exists a Barbara Gordon, a Gotham and, yes, possibly a Batman.
While the implication is real, there’s absolutely no reason to think that a cameo from the Dark Knight is in store for “Arrow” at any point in the future. After all, this isn’t the first time that the show has gone meta to tease “Batman” material. There was the subtle name change of the “League of Shadows” to the “League of Assassins” in Season 3, as well as a brief cameo from Harley Quinn, which ScreenRant reports the producers wanted to be more than a cameo. In other words, just because the show plays fast and loose with Batman references doesn’t mean the caped crusader actually exists in the “Arrow” universe. However, the writing is definitely on the wall should the “Arrow” producers decide to get bold in Season 5.
What are your thoughts on Felicity’s new code name? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.