As The CW’s Arrow barreled towards the conclusion of its action-packed Season 2 finale on Wednesday, a small and quiet yet significant moment of time was carved out for Oliver to take Felicity to the Queen mansion for safekeeping.
Felicity of course balked at the idea, preferring instead to stay in the fight — prompting Oliver to state that when Slade grabbed Laurel, “the woman I love,” he in fact took the wrong gal.
“I love you,” he then told Ms. Smoak.
The moment, misleading as it turned out to be, caught many viewers off guard, but Emily Bett Rickards had an idea the ruse was coming.
“I had sort of heard things,” she told TVLine on the red carpet at The CW’s annual Upfront even on Thursday morning.
That said, as the actress saw the actual moment play out once the actual script was in front of her, she couldn’t help but proactively feel for the fans.
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“It was like your heart is sinking, because we knew it was all a set-up, but it was sort of like, ‘Oh my God, oh no…. Ohhh, the fans… Everyone’s going to cry.'”
Was Rickards surprised — or maybe glad? — to see that even in the fleeting moment where Felicity thought Oliver was actually making an admission, her alter ego didn’t come right back with an ILY of her own?
“I was glad, actually, because for one, it’s truthful, because it’s so shocking” to hear Oliver go “there” in the heat of a crisis. “After all this time — 46 episodes, two years — she’s not expecting it,” the actress explains. “I don’t think anyone was. Like, ‘Why are we in the middle of this house when the apocalypse is happening outside? We should be getting machetes! Where’s my ninja sword?’ I think [Felicity’s reaction] was a very honest [unspoken] response like, ‘Oh, no, wait… I love you too, but….”
Later, as the finale came to a quiet close on the island of Lian Yu, Felicity and Oliver were afforded “a second” to revisit their provocative exchange, where they acknowledged how one another really sold it, with Slade listening in as hoped. But what went unsaid — and the look in Felicity’s eyes, for certain — suggested that it wasn’t 100-percent theater. Says Rickards with an eye on Season 3, “I think that there’ll be something explored there.”