The facts are these: We know someone will die on "Arrow" before the season is out. We know that this person's death will break Oliver's (Stephen Amell) heart. And we know that Felicity's (Emily Bett Rickards) life is in danger in the "Arrow" fall finale, set to air next Wednesday.
Not up on the latest angst-inducing tease let loose from the "Arrow" camp? Check out this super scary trailer, recently tweeted out by the official "Arrow" Twitter handle along with the qualifier "No do-over this time"...
So how worried should we be about Felicity? Let's talk this out...
We know Damien Darhk is going to "take things" from Oliver.
We're looking at the quotes we got during our visit to the "Arrow" set back in October in a whole new light. The "Arrow" cast was filming the fall finale at the time, which means they had to have had these midseason plot developments on their mind...
Neal McDonough (Damien Darhk) told us that Darhk would "take things" from Oliver, and that he does "some really horrible things," while Rickards' comments that Darhk will “kill anyone in [his] way” and “has so much power" now take on a newer, more horrifying light. At this point, it's probably worth noting that it didn't seem like Felicity wasn't the only one of Oliver's loved ones in that death chamber...
However, the grave timeline doesn't fit.
Well, to be fair, the timeline of who is in The Grave doesn't fit. (It hasn't been six months — at least in real time — since the season premiere). That being said, Oliver is allowed to stand over more than one "grave" in a six-month period. (Actually, given how many people get killed off while Oliver has to watch on this show, I think this might be in Amell's contract.)
"Arrow" executive producer Wendy Mericle told TV Line last month that there would be additional flash forwards "right around midseason" that will add to the grave mystery, adding: "If we do decide to do that, it will reveal even more pertinent information about not who’s going to be in the grave but certainly where our characters are when that [death] happens.”
Takeaway: The Grave Death, at least, will not be going down in the midseason finale. But that doesn't mean that the midseason finale drama won't contribute to the grave mystery in some way...
This all seems a bit too obvious.
I know we live in the Age of Spoilers, but there's only so much a promo will spoil, right? There's still an art to the twist-ending, and I can't believe that Mericle, Marc Guggenheim and company would spoil such a crazy twist. (For comparison purposes, lets all think about the amount of narrative energy that went into misdirecting us from Moira's death in Season 2's "Seeing Red.")
In the season premiere, "Arrow" went out of its way visually to imply that Felicity was the person in the grave by cutting from a shot of the engagement ring to a shot of Oliver standing over a grave six months later. This all feels a bit like the misdirect that happened with Moira in season 2, when the entire episode was seemingly about one thing — i.e. Moira revealing that she knew Oliver's secret, and worrying that Thea might be the one who is killed — when it was really about something else: Moira's death and an emphasis on the theme of how much she loved her children.
Could something else happen to Felicity?
It's no secret that "Arrow" likes to play The Death Card, but we don't think that's what they're doing here. Still, that leaves some other horrifying fates for Felicity. If Darhk is trying to motivate Oliver to do things, then killing Felicity doesn't make any sense. Darhk even tells Oliver in the promo: "As long as they're alive you have something to fight for, that's what I'm taking away from you."
And it sounds like Darhk and Oliver will continue to face off until the very end of the season. McDonough told us: “It’s no holds barred after a little while, and I take things from his life and he takes things from my life and, by the end of the season, it’s gonna be the 'Shootout at the OK Corral.'”
Could Darhk kidnap Felicity? Could he work some kind of magic voodoo on her that turns her against Team Arrow? You betcha. And, at least to this viewer, that would be much more narratively interested than another death on this show. Besides, whether you're an Olicity shipper or not, you probably agree Felicity is one of the most delightful parts of "Arrow."