[Warning: This promo and article contain SPOILERS for Arrow season 4.]
The CW's first superhero show Arrow has been a complete success for the network, bringing in a steady younger demographic and launching not one but two spinoff shows with The Flash - also a huge success in its own right - and the upcoming superhero team up show Legends of Tomorrow. After four seasons a dramatic winter finale cliffhanger has become the show's hallmark, with season 3 having Ra's al Ghul stab Oliver Queen through the chest and kick him off a mountain. This year was no exception, as the tense mid-season finale left Felicity Smoak shot and possibly dead.
Much like the previous finale, this twist had many fans doubting that the show would really kill off such an integral part of the show. Felicity not only provides all of the tech support to Team Arrow, she is also engaged to Oliver and a frequent collaborator with the Star Labs gang. We now have more information on Felicity's fate and while not fatal, it is a grim turn for the cheerful CEO.
The Australian promo above (via Comicbook.com) shows Felicity's mother Donna Smoak talking with Oliver in the hospital. "The damage to her spinal cord is permanent. She's never going to walk again." There is another cut to what looks like the flash-forward scene with Oliver and Barry at the mystery grave site with Oliver vowing to kill "him," presumably Damien Darhk. Felicity Smoak might not be the person in the grave, but she will be wheelchair-bound after their run in with Darhk's men.
This promo all but confirms the long-standing fan theory that Felicity will take up the mantle of Oracle. In the DC comics this was Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, a computer and technology expert who was paralyzed after being shot by the Joker. This was hinted at during ‘The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak’ and feels like a natural evolution for a beloved character who already has most of the skills and traits of the comic book Oracle.
Having Felicity lose her ability to walk as a direct result of Oliver's action adds some weight and consequences back into the show, something that has been lacking after two Lazarus Pit resurrections and Barry's ability to turn back time. It will be interesting to see if this new disability becomes a permanent part of the show, or if Oliver and the team can find a solution - either of the mystical or of the nano-tech variety - that allows Felicity walk again. Either way, it will certainly be an interesting twist in the development of both characters.
The Flash will return on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016, while Arrow will return on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 and Legends of Tomorrow will see its series premiere on Thursday, January 21st, 2016.