'Arrow': Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards on 'Emotionally Taxing' Mid-Season Finale

by Philiana Ng 8:48 AM PST, December 10, 2014
Photo: CW

Things are about to get even more complicated for Arrow’s Felicity Smoak and Oliver Queen. Some of that may have to do with Ray Palmer.

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“It’s escalating, that’s for sure,” Emily Bett Rickards tells ETonline of the maybe-romance brewing between Felicity and Ray ahead of the winter finale. “We ended on an awkward note because Ray walked away saying [their kiss] was a mistake. That is never good for anybody, and he’s going to have to either have to explain himself or there’s going to be an understanding between the two of them.”

Things were left at a standstill between the two Palmer Technologies colleagues, though Rickards says that their current status – whatever that may be – mirrors that of real-life relationships.

“A lot of us have been there before, the feeling of ‘I shouldn’t have done that,’ or being on the other side of it, like ‘What just happened?’ And she wasn’t really expecting it either, I don’t think,” Rickards says. “It was sort of like, ‘Oh, you’re kissing me! I’m not opposed… Why am I not opposed? Why does this feel right to a certain extent?’”

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Photo: CW

Factor Oliver Queen into the equation, not to mention The Flash’s Barry Allen, and you have yourself quite the dilemma. (ETonline spoke to Rickards back in October, where she weighed the pros and cons of Felicity’s eligible superhero suitors.)

“There is a little bit of a mathematical equation that needs to [be solved] between [Felicity and Ray’s] relationship status, because once you kiss somebody you can’t unkiss them,” the Canadian actress says, before pondering (jokingly, of course) Felicity’s superhero identity. “She should hit every country and magnetize one superhero to her. She could be The Magnet!”

The back and forth between Oliver and Felicity is an emotional rollercoaster for fans – it can be frustrating, exciting and devastating, often all at the same time. As Stephen Amell explains, the rocky road is what he prefers. “I've always strived for, on the show, making sure relationships are adult relationships. You can kiss someone and you can profess something to them but that doesn't mean you avoid eye contact with them,” he told reporters earlier this fall on the Arrow set, referencing Oliver and Felicity’s hospital hallway kiss.

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Photo: CW

Even so, there’s work to be done. “There is a bigger goal and a much bigger circumstance in play, so I'm sure things are awkward but they've got work to do,” Amell said of their professional relationship.

Big “Olicity” moments await in the mid-season finale – and beyond. “Stephen and I have some strong scenes coming up – the one right before Christmas break is really good,” Rickards says of the mid-season finale, offering a warning to fans: “But they’re emotionally taxing.”

Felicity’s romantic entanglements stretches beyond the borders of Starling City, but Rickards looks at her character’s varied relationships as a positive – considering how dark and dire her nights catching criminals with the Arrow can be. 

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Photo: CW

“This almost dual life of saving the city, saving lives, seeing death all the time – that is so impending on her subconscious that diving into something like a love thing sometimes can be a break, can be an escape, can be a distraction,” Rickards explains. “I think she deserves love and I think she wants love, but she’s got so much weight in other aspects of her life that it’s a lot lighter than dealing with the death of Sara or having her mom in trouble. She goes home and has night terrors, so why not have Ray Palmer leave with you?”

At the moment, Ray and Oliver have yet to share any significant screen time, not counting their early-season boardroom bidding war when the two battled over Queen Consolidated. (Ray won that fight.) While the two have yet to come to blows, Amell hinted that that time is bound to come.

“We certainly haven’t seen it yet,” the Arrow star said. “I’m really excited for that character and his development because I think he’s been received really well. He’s doing a wonderful job and I think he’s bringing elements to the show that I would love to bring, but that’s not Oliver.”

Team Arrow’s search for Sara’s killer finally comes to a head when Nyssa al Ghul’s father, the iconic DC villain Ra’s al Ghul, offers Oliver an ultimatum, forcing the two in a shirtless swordfight atop a mountain. Let's just say, Oliver has a lot of explaining to do, especially after Felicity reveals the very surprising suspect behind Sara's murder in this clip.

Amell praised Katrina Law’s work thus far this season, saying her alter ego has become even more fully formed. “I think it's been … helpful for Matt [Nable], who's been playing her father and having such a strong, fleshed out character as his daughter has probably given him a really nice signpost for how to play Ra's,” he said.

What are you most excited for in tonight’s mid-season finale? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to get watch a sneak peek tonight's episode!

Arrow airs its mid-season finale at 8 p.m. Wednesday on The CW.