Arrow First Look: Charlotte Ross Debuts as Felicity's Smoakin' Mom

Felicity’s mom has got it going on, as evidenced by these exclusive photos from NYPD Blue alum Charlotte Ross‘ debut on The CW’s Arrow.

In “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak,” airing Wednesday at 8/7c, a cyber attack brings Starling City to its knees, pushing Oliver (played by Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) to their limits to contain the destruction. Felicity’s world is further upended when her mother, Donna, pays a surprise visit. Nolan Funk (Glee) also guest-stars, as Felicity’s ex-boyfriend.

As hinted in Season 2’s “City of Blood,” Felicity — abandoned by her father at a young age — has measured regard for her mom. “If I had accepted things, I would be a cocktail waitress in Vegas like my mother and I never would have gone to college and I never would have moved a thousand miles away to work at Queen Consolidated,” she shared.

Elsewhere in the episode, Ted Grant questions Laurel’s motives and Thea buys an apartment with money from Malcolm, infuriating Oliver.

Are you looking forward to the Felicity/Donna dynamic?

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  1. Jake says:

    I’m getting tired of Felicity and Laurel’s drama can we move on and get back to the real show. zZzzzz i don’t care for Felicity’s origins. This season is such a dud because the show doesn’t know what they’re doing.

    • LT says:

      Thanks Agents of SHIELD fan…we still don’t care what you think!

      • Josh says:

        Given they don’t air against each other I don’t get why you acting like this person is an agent of SHIELD fan(I don’t agree with them, as I think this is a good season with lots of interesting character dynamics going on for the supporting cast).

        But yeah, doing arguments like that doesn’t help the case. Warring with another show is one step below shipper wars.

    • justtobesane says:

      Whether or not you like Felicity and Laurel, they are still characters on the show and will still have “their” episodes and important character moments/development. The last episode was one of the best of the series so I wouldn’t call this season a dud.

    • Nicky says:

      If character development and backstory isn’t “the real show” for you then I suggest you go play a video-game or something and quit watching. This is a TV-show. You’ll get the character focus whether you like it or not.

    • wonderwall says:

      I think the main problem is the whole ‘whodunnit’ arc. It’s actually quite stupid because it puts the show on a standstill for about 9 episodes before the big reveal. I was expecting a lot of character development during this time but all I’ve gotten was angry Laurel, emotionally shut down Oliver, barely anything from Felicity because she’s off doing her own thing right now (who ironically is one of the only characters growing right now). Then we have Thea who’s probably been brainwashed, and crazy Malcolm… The story isn’t moving forward and neither are the characters and that’s just frustrating. Hopefully when they figure out Sara’s killer, that’s when things will start moving forward.

      • Rob Watkins says:

        That’s like saying Veronica Mars was on a standstill until they found out who killed Lily Kane.

        • wonderwall says:

          LOL yeah I realize that. Veronica Mars did the ‘whodunnit’ aspect. Arrow isn’t. But that’s just my opinion I suppose.

          • wonderwall says:

            I made a mistake :p I meant to say “Veronica Mars did the ‘whodunnit’ aspect WELL. Sorry about that.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            What could you possibly have against this story? Honestly, what aspect do you find uninteresting about the mystery surrounding her death?

          • wonderwall says:

            With Veronica Mars, almost every episode she would find a clue to bring her closer to who killed Lilly Kane, and even in season 2, every episode had a clue that fit the pieces of who blew up the bus. And even though sometimes the killer came out of the left field, every episode I felt as though Veronica was going somewhere with the clues. With Arrow, all their trails run cold by episodes end and it’s just frustrating I suppose. And I never said finding out who killed Sara was uninteresting. I said it was frustrating.

      • DL says:

        I know I’m one of very few fans who actually likes Laurel, but even if you don’t, you can’t deny she is also growing in these episodes.

        • wonderwall says:

          I actually haven’t seen Laurel growing as a character. I’m actually wondering though. How has she grown? Because it seems to me that she’s just traded in one addiction for another (which is her rage) which doesn’t really count as development? IDK

        • G. says:

          Sure, she grew.
          She tried to murder a guy in cold blood. So she’s a borderline sociopath now.
          Um … yay?

          • Rob Watkins says:

            No one can give the girl a break. She didn’t try to murder the guy, and it’s not like Oliver hasn’t done worse. Can you stop holding double standards just so you can hate on Laurel?

          • wonderwall says:

            pulling the trigger = trying to murder a guy. Sorry, but that’s how it is. My problem is that she felt regret for almost killing a guy who didn’t kill Sara but then pushed Oliver to kill Malcolm even though she ‘knew’ he didn’t kill? Can we just revisit the fact that she hated the Arrow BECAUSE he was a murderer? Why would she want Oliver to revisit that? That’s not character development. It’s just selfish. I’ve always had a problem with Laurel being inconsistently written. And she still sort of is. I’m not hating on Laurel. I’m just criticizing her because she just doesn’t make sense to me. There’s nothing wrong with that.

        • Lou says:

          I do deny it. She isn’t growing. She’s just angry all the time.

  2. I’ve been looking g forward to this ep for so long! Thanks for the peek Matt!

  3. Amber says:

    So excited about meeting Felicity’s mother and learning more about her past. The cyber attack looks really cool. I hope this episode carries the right amount of charm and suspense.

  4. Calli says:

    Oh i love this! Donna looks amazing! I can’t wait to see their dynamic (and to learn more about Felicity). Also excited to see Thea’s new apartment and her interaction with Oliver about it! Loving this season so far!

  5. Meg says:

    Geez….Momma Smoak’s dress. Wow. I guess I have a little more insight in Felicity’s sense of fashion, however maybe Momma Smoak has turned it up five notches. They are both Smoakin’ lol. Can’t wait for this episode it has been a long time coming.

    • ComeOn says:

      Exactly what I was thinking! No wonder Felicity dress like cocktail hours even when she sits at a transparent glass table. She gets her dress sense from dear old mom.

  6. Jamie says:

    This is so great! I absolutely cannot wait for this episode – it’s been a loong time coming. Can’t wait to see what they’ve got for us on the Secret Origins of my favorite character!

  7. Samantha says:

    Sooo excited!!!! It’s about time we got more Felicity! Can’t wait for mama Smoak!!

  8. sal says:

    I am so excited about this episode. Felicity Smoak is one of my favorite characters along with Oliver and John. This will give us a nice look into her past. Love it and loving Arrow Season 3!

  9. Claire says:

    At long LAST! Thank you for this piece of lovely news Matt! I have (as have many) been waiting for this episode for TWO YEARS! I expect big things from this and look forward to tuning in once again.

    Love the pictures! Charlotte Ross and Emily Bett Rickards are going to rule Wednesday. :)

  10. Drou says:

    Can’t wait for this episode and to see the dynamic with Felicity and her mother… finally, we are going to learn more about our favorite IT girl… I really look forward to this episode.

  11. pem says:

    Very much looking forward to this ep. Cant wait. Like mom’s dress, too–pretty color.

  12. A says:

    I’m so excited for this episode! Finally, we get to find out more about Felicity :)

  13. wonderwall says:

    This is actually the first episode (since the premier) that has me SO EXCITED! I really can’t wait to learn more about Felicity and I hope the show does her justice. This season has been such a downer and extremely disappointing (for me) so it’s nice to be excited for once. :)

    • Claire says:

      I couldn’t agree more! I don’t WHAT they are doing, and I wonder too if THEY even know!

      It is very disappointing, because up until the last few minutes of 3×01, I was really looking forward to this season. Then it was disappointment after disappointment. I have to ff through quite a bit these days. About the only saving grace it Felicity’s development and what few scenes we’ve had of O/F, O/D and O/F/D/R

      I’m hoping 3×05 goes beyond my expectations (I know they are capable).

  14. Nicky says:

    FINALLY! We’ve had hints for two seasons, it was about time Felicity got her own episode. Can’t wait to learn about her origins!

    Donna looks AMAZING, by the way.

  15. Kate says:

    Oh, this is so exciting! The Smoak women are gorgeous! Can’t wait to see this episode. Been waiting to find out more about Felicity since I fell in love with her in Arrow 1×03. Very curious about their relationship. Is it Wednesday yet?!?! :)

  16. Trish says:

    I’ve waited 2 years for Felicity Smoak’s backstory. I’ve patiently waited while even guest stars to the show were given more history than one of my favorite characters I watch for. This is the first episode of season 3 that I’ve highly anticipated. For those that have a problem that the show is finally telling Felicity’s story, please feel free to tune the hell out, just as many of us have done when the same characters were repeatedly getting stories & arcs except her. I don’t mean to be rude about it, but it’s ridiculous of anyone to try and lump Felicity into the same category as Laurel when it comes to overplayed oversaturated story arcs. Felicity has earned this. Her fans have patiently waited for this. So anyone with a problem with it can tune out.

    • wonderwall says:

      What I find even more ridiculous is the fact that some of the people who are complaining about a felicity-centric episode (and calling it fan pandering?) are the exact ones complaining of how much of a mary-sue Felicity is and that she’s such a one dimensional character. smh.

  17. Sofia says:


  18. GildedRose says:

    I am so ridiculously excited about the Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak I don’t think anyone has any idea. LOL. For years we’ve been wondering who she is, where she came from, what her life was like, what her family was like…. and now we’re finally going to get some answers. Felicity’s such a great character. I’m glad she’s finally getting a “centric” episode, family, and some fleshing out of her past. Hopefully this is just the start of her character expansion and we’ll see lots more in the coming episodes. Can’t wait to see Felicity and her mom together. Hoping we get some hints on who Felicity’s dad is. Oh! And Felicity’s mom and Oliver! LOL! Oh my gosh, I want to see the three of them in a scene together. This is going to be so fun.

    • Rob Watkins says:

      If you’ve been wondering, you haven’t been paying attention. We know her father wasn’t around when she was younger, her mother was a Vegas showgirl, and Felicity wanted more out of life. She studied, eventually went to MIT, had a stalker boyfriend, and then moved to Starling shortly after college to work for Queen Consolidated. People get caught up in this weird idea that the only way to know a character is to know a backstory. What’s more important is psychology and personality.

      • wonderwall says:

        10000% agree with this statement. I don’t know why people call Felicity a flat character because we haven’t seen her backstory.

      • sonic says:

        Yeah people are weird like that, they like to exaggerate. Same thing for people who said we know more about Felicity from the flash than we do on Arrow, ummm no. And no it didn’t take two years for Felicity to have her own centric episode, she wasn’t even a regular in the first season, she wasn’t even a character who was supposed to be there long term. So its about a year, that is also if you don’t count time of death (2.14) or Barry Allen episodes as felicity centric. From one Felicity fan to another, stop the pity party.

        Stop moaning and enjoy the episode, I sure will, I’m looking forward to it. Emily/Felicity looks extremely beautiful in the above pics.

      • ANNA says:

        felicity said her mom was a cocktail waitress in vegas not a showgirl.

  19. T says:

    I feel like I’ve waited so long for this! Felicity is by far my favorite character and she deserves this so much! Donna Smoak looks awesome, I can’t wait to find out more about their dynamic. Wednesday can’t get her fast enough!

  20. Michelle says:

    I have so incredibly “meh” about Arrow since 3×01 that this is the first episode since the premiere I have been really excited about. Cannot wait to see Felicity’s episode!

  21. Maria says:

    So excited. Finally a character who has earned the right back from Season 1 to get most of the episode be about her. I just wish other characters who aren’t working out would’ve stayed away from her episode. It’s really annoying to have to watch that to get to the good stuff. Felicity Smoak has shown us countless times as to why she’s important to the entire story. EBR has taken the character and run away with it. She is so good in this role. I think some people are just bitter that she is important to the story, the evident love interest and has backstory now. While others even after 2 seasons have lacked to get anyone to feel sorry for her. Like The Realm cast says “why doesn’t she just clip clop out. Like a horse.”

  22. Foshi says:

    Smoaking hot mama! Can’t wait to find out more about Felicity and seeing her flashbacks. I also think this might be a chance for Oliver and Felicity to have a conversation now that they’ve had a cooling off period after all the drama of the last few episodes. Can’t wait!!! I’ll be watching live for this episode.

  23. Ninina says:

    Feliciti mom look much younger than her and with taht dress?? She look like her sister. I mean Charlotte is beautiful but the producers would had cast someone with a bit older look, not old old( but with more mature look, cause Charlotte looks like a vixen or a stripper on that dress she does not look anything like a mother. I mean look at her boobs and tight short dress too, she looks like a stripper. Is that suppose to be a mother? I doubt it.

    Maybe it is just me who think like that but I believe a mother need to look more serious, still the woman can dress modern and chic but not like this mother is portrayed here.

    • johnhelvete says:

      Her mom was or is a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas which might explain why she dresses younger/might act younger than the 46ish year old woman that she is. I think the idea is that Felicity is nothing like her mother.

    • DGM says:

      Remember, she is a Las Vegas cocktail waitress, so she has to look beautiful or else she would be out of a job. Besides, Charlotte (46) is twice as old as Emily (23), so there’s no problem with her playing Felicity’s mom.

      And that dress is extremely hot!!

    • John NYC says:

      “Is that suppose to be a mother?”

      Yes and entirely the point: Felicity wanted something different than what her Mom had. Having someone show up in sensible shoes, tweeds with horn rimmed glasses wouldn’t have met Felicity’s backstory as it’s been told to date. “a cocktail waitress in Vegas like my mother”….

  24. CPav says:

    Man, do I love me some Charlotte Ross.

  25. Sarah T. says:

    Definitely looking forward to this episode! I’ve been waiting for more of Felicity’s backstory so I’m really looking forward to this.

  26. anna says:

    I can’t wait. I’m super excited for this episode. Felicity is my favorite character, so I really look forward to learning more about her.

  27. Belle says:

    So excited for this episode. Please do Felicity justice Arrow writers! She’s such an awesome character and portrayed so well by Emily Better Rickards.

  28. Ellie says:

    Felicity Smoak! Yessss!

  29. Aurelia says:

    I’ve always known who Felicity is, she’s shown us through her actions that she has a kind heart and compassionate soul. She’s scared sometimes, brave more often, ridiculously funny without even trying, a loyal friend and teammate, and intelligent to boot. She has good days and bad, and she’s not afraid to show her grief for a friend or value her own worth when the going gets tough. She’s a well-rounded woman with a strong moral compass. I’m super excited to now get to see just how her life history formed her and influenced her into the awesome character she turned out to be. This is the episode I’ve been waiting for.

  30. uk-usa-tvaddict says:

    I don’t know why it took a character from The Flash pointing this out to me, but Felicity is clearly a genius. Which makes me wonder why she was hiding in the IT department of a large company. Shouldn’t she been part of the tech R&D at Queen Consolidated?

  31. Rick Katze says:

    Thea vs. Oliver. Felicity vs. Mom. Looks like two interesting situations for the storyline. And something else, which the story doesn’t suggest is bound to happen.

  32. Joey Padron says:

    Good photos. Can’t wait to learn more about Felicity’s past in new episode!

  33. aunni says:

    afree 1×02 i dumped arrow, then towards the end of s1 a friend imformed abt felicity, said u r gonna love her n also the show. boy oh boy, he was 100% right. for me its more than a yr bt for my friend this episode is the most enticipated for 2 yrs.

    im counting hours arrow, don’t dissapointed me….

  34. Hodan says:

    Love Felicity. Can’t wait to watch this episode.

  35. Speedy says:

    This is the only episode I’ve found myself looking forward to since this season premiered. I have, sadly, been disappointed by every episode (okay–I tuned out ten minutes into the last episode and never actually finished it–first time I’ve ever turned Arrow off before it finished). But I am still invested in Felicity, so I’m cautiously optimistic in this episode.

  36. Briggs says:

    Excited to see this ep, for every reason in every new photo, including brunette Felicity! And her ex looks appropriately skeevy. I can’t wait to see it. :)

  37. Alichat says:

    I love the black and purple wig on pre-Arrow Felicity. I’m glad we are finally getting some Felicity backstory. I’m afraid that any story plot Thea related is boring me to tears. I just don’t care about what is going on with her. Her indignation at the end of last season, and sudden bonding with her psychopath bio father do not make me empathize with her at all.

    • Donna MaMa says:

      the dark hair makes her look so different, think I like it. Wondering at some point where they are taking that, I mean a stalker boyfriend to boot. Kinda like that look on her

  38. Isn’t the new episode over a week away? I though they were off next week…

  39. Lou says:

    The only episode I’m looking forward to. Can’t wait to learn more about Felicity and Mama Smoak. I feel like I should lower my expectations because this season hasn’t been great so far but I can’t help it. Felicity is wonderful!

  40. Shelley says:

    Thanks for the great news. Love this character. Felicity brings the ying to the yang of Arrow. She”s a bright light and fun to the serious drama of the show.

  41. ANNA says:

    can’t wait to see this episode! ps i’d be super mad if my mom showed up to my work dressed like that. yikes.

  42. brenna says:

    I can’t wait to see this. I really hope the writers do Felicity’s history justice. I kind of feel bad for them because it will be hard to meet all of our expectations. For the most part, they’ve done a wonderful job, so I’m hopeful and can’t wait!! And I really hope Oliver and Felicity have some good scenes this episode because I have really missed them and the original Team Arrow.