“Arrow” recap (3.5): Seeing through the Smoak

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Previously on Arrow, Sara was viciously taken from us by someone wielding black arrows, Laurel signed up for boxing lessons to work out her anger about it, and Felicity mentioned once that her mother was a cocktail waitress.

As the sun rises on Starling City, we check in on our heros. Laurel is boxing with her new trainer, Thea is training with Merlyn, and Oliver is sparring with Roy. In between jousts, Thea asks Merlyn how normal people spend their mornings, and we cut to Felicity, applauding herself for finishing a handful of situps with her exercise video. But what we’re about to learn about Felicity is something most of us already knew: She’s anything but normal. And so far from boring.

Felicity hears a knock and opens her door to find her boss, Ray McSkeevy. He walks into the apartment, rattling on about cogeneration and what they can do with Queen Consolidated, but she just stares blankly at him and says her caffeine stores are depleted so maybe can he not? He starts to clarify as though she hadn’t understood, but she quickly proves it wasn’t that she didn’t follow his rambling, she just didn’t want to. Someone else knocks, and an already-overwhelmed-and-confused Felicity opens it to find a blonde woman who squeals upon seeing Felicity. Mama Smoak has arrived.

ARROW 305-1Well, good looks run in the Smoak family, that’s for damn sure.

Felicity goes into overload and her eyes are wide with terror as she asks her mother what she’s doing here, and Mama says she sent a text, but it turns out the text was never sent. The mother of the tech genius can barely use her cell phone. When Mama Smoak shrugs and sends the text anyway, even though she’s now standing in front of her daughter, Ray asks the question that came to all of our minds: “Are you adopted?”

Felicity introduces her mother to her boss, but Mama Smoak already knows Ray Palmer; in fact, she’s wearing one of his smart-watches now. Ray gives her the prototype of the next generation smart watch and says he hopes to see her again, but the still-horrified Felicity says that will almost definitely not happen.

And then, a miraculous thing happens. Instead of an Oliver flashback, we delve into Felicity’s secret past. She’s in college, with black hair and emo makeup, tip-tapping away on her computer, writing code for Linux Zork emulator.

ARROW 305-2THIS BLEW MY MIND.

Her boyfriend, Cooper, is impressed, and they make out until his roommate tells them to cut it out. They have work to do. The work they have to do turns out to be hacking into the Department of Education using a supervirus Felicity wrote. I don’t know exactly what their plan was, but Cooper is actively deleting student loans, and that was definitely not what they were planning. Whatever they were planning was going to be small, enough that someone would think it was a glitch; this they would trace, this would get them sent to jail. Felicity unplugs the system and Cooper gets angry. He asks her: Do you want to be a hacker or a hero?

In the present-day, Oliver visits Thea and she confesses that she’s been using Merlyn’s money from his estate. Oliver doesn’t want her to take her father’s blood money, especially since he’s actually alive, but Thea says she’s her own person; he can come visit with popcorn if he wants, but his manpain is not welcome here.

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