'Arrow' Star Emily Bett Rickards on Felicity's 'Jaded' Season 7 Arc & Upcoming Olicity Reunion (Exclusive)
Felicity Smoak is going rogue! Well, sort of.
Last week's Arrow showed the mastermind hacker breaking rank with the remaining members of Team Arrow to team up with the FBI agent who put her husband behind bars -- with the ultimate goal of stopping the villainous Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) by any means necessary.
"I think her original mindset is a little broken, 'cause it's been sort of jaded and deconstructed, if not completely destroyed," Felicity herself, Emily Bett Rickards, told ET's Leanne Aguilera during a sit-down last week. "I think the danger is in, has it been completely destroyed, or is it repairable?"
"That is pretty much her arc for the season is deciding where now she believes justice and her morals lie, and whether or not she can accomplish that by being the person she was," she added of the character, who went head-to-head with one of her closest allies, Diggle (David Ramsey), in last week's tumultuous episode. "Or does she have to accomplish it now by being the person that she has made herself into?"
Ultimately, Rickards explained, Felicity's goal is to be reunited with a free Oliver (Stephen Amell), and while she couldn't tease any specific details of the beloved couple's possible reconciliation, she did note that it "has to happen."
"The crux of Felicity's desire and main objective and goal for the season would be to be with her husband," she said. "If that doesn't happen, I mean, she's just going to light everything on fire and she's going to go to prison for arson."
However, it seems the onscreen couple may have already filmed some reunion scenes. "Maybe, but who knows if it's in reality or not?" Rickards teased, though she did hint, "The first kiss has some scars in it."
As for the rest of season seven, the actress said that things are only going to get more "intense" -- in a way that's especially exciting for the cast members who have been around since the very beginning.
"Beth Schwartz, our new showrunner -- who has actually been with us since the beginning, as a writer's assistant in season one and made her way through the show -- cares so much about the storyline on the show, and the characters, and has such a beautiful new take on where this world is going," Rickards marveled. "It's actually a very exciting time to be a part of a show that's been on for seven years -- it's like a newer show with the characters that we already love."
For Felicity, some of that refreshed storytelling includes a bit of a new look, aided by the helpful practicality of a female showrunner. "This season's a little different because she's taking action. Beth is like, 'She doesn't need stilettos for that,'" the actress recalled. "And I'm like, 'Yeah, she doesn't!'"
Arrow's seventh season is also shaking things up with the introduction of a flash-forward storyline, which follows Oliver's now-adult son, William (Ben Lewis), as he and an older Roy Harper (Colton Haynes, returning as a series regular this year) search for answers on the infamous, mythical island of Lian Yu.
"I love a silver fox, but like, a Haynes silver fox? I'm just, beyond," Rickards laughed of her co-star's slightly grizzled flash-forward look.
Of last week's startling revelation that Oliver and Felicity had "abandoned" William in this flash-forward future, she noted, "They might have, in a way, but I'd hope it would be for his own protection. We'll see."
"Flash-forwards, I dare say this, are more of a commitment than a flashback because your storyline has to go in a way of which you have designed it to progress towards these," the actress added. "We're lucky in our show -- lucky and destroyed by it, a little bit -- that we have so many areas of different realities. Because of the universe that we've established, you know, things can happen that maybe did happen or didn't. That's the sort of reality they live in."
"Really committing to that type of storyline and feeding the characters [in terms of] where they're gonna go, it sort of creates the question, like, if you're not there already, is it nurture or is it nature that got you there?"
The season is also building up toward another multi-show crossover event with sister series The Flash and Supergirl, and fans recently learned that the "Elseworlds" storyline will involve Oliver and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) swapping super suits.
"My mouth, like, fell on the floor and then I had to go and surgically get it put back on," said Rickards of her first look at the stars in their opposite duds. "Seeing that suit in reverse is jarring, and quite special. I'll be getting a lot of behind-the-scenes footage."
The actress also confirmed that she will be appearing in the crossover episodes --though she hasn't yet shared scenes with the newest hero in town, Ruby Rose's Batwoman. Of her time on set with the flip-flopped heroes, she recalled Amell's stunt double telling her that "in the Flash suit people want to hug me. In the Arrow suit, people want to punch me."
"Grant likes to tap dance and move a lot," she added. 'So it's nice to see the Arrow being the lighthearted twinkle toes."
See more from Rickards' interview -- including her "Kiss and Tell" segment about some of Olicity's most-beloved lip locks -- in the video below!
Arrow airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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