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Felicity Smoak may never get her own crucible on the island, but she will finally get an origin story during this week’s episode of Arrow.

Not only will the show flash back to Felicity’s (Emily Bett Rickards) hacker days at MIT—which is tied to a virus plaguing Starling City in present day—but we’ll finally get a look into her home life when her mother Donna (Charlotte Ross) comes to visit. “Mom comes to town and then everything breaks down from there,” Rickards teases from the Vancouver set. What’s in store for Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) go-to IT gal? Get the scoop:

What was your reaction when you found out Felicity was getting an origin story?

I was so excited. The two things I really, really wanted to see in the season—for my own selfish reasons of loving Felicity so much—were seeing her parents and her apartment, and they delivered.

Let’s start with her mother. What brings Donna to Starling City?

Felicity unintentionally brings Donna to Starling because Donna just really wants to see her daughter, and Donna just doesn’t have the filter to call and say that first. Her mom’s like, “I really miss my daughter. My daughter doesn’t call enough. I’m just going to show up and it’s going to be great.” And Felicity’s like, “Not going to be great.” Felicity saves the city for a living, so that’s a very hard job for a living.

What kind of relationship does she have with her mom?

A flaky one, but a loving one.

How different are these two women?

They’re completely different people. She’s flamboyant, extreme, nurturing, understanding on an emotional level, but a little airy. I would say 99.997% different, but their emotional intellect and nurturing ability, their willingness to accept everyone and non-judgmental personality [are the same]. Felicity doesn’t realize until the end of the episode that those are the qualities that her mother has that she taught her, and she has a new found appreciation for who her mother is.

How does she initially feel about her mother?

Embarrassed. A little bit burdened by her mother.

What kind of interaction will Donna have with the members of Team Arrow?

She has a run-in and a very nice meet cute with the team. They definitely all smile and think it’s hilarious. The day we filmed that was the first day Charlotte was on set. We just had a blast because she’s very giving as an actress. She nailed the character. It was really fun for all of us to throw a different dynamic in there and get thrown off our feet a little bit as characters. She doesn’t know the secret. She doesn’t get involved with the secret, which I think is important for her safety. Her mom proves to be a distraction, so does Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh). Keeping secrets has become very much a burden for her in that episode. We get to see why she deals with things in the way she does to a certain extent.

Will we get any hints about who her father might be?

No, but we get some history on the weight of her father leaving and how that played in her life and her mother’s life. We get a little bit of a conversation about that.

We’re going to see Felicity at MIT. How different was she then?

Completely. She hadn’t found who she was yet. We get to see her in her college years, so she hadn’t stepped into the Felicity we see now. She was still trying to hide.

She was also dating a fellow hacker (Nolan Funk). What was their relationship like?

They were in love in college and it ended because of a tragic technical mistake they both made. It ends pretty sad and brokenhearted.

What was it like filming those flashback scenes?

They were very rewarding for me as an actor to film. Getting to know that side of her and her past was really important to me. Getting to play her on a different level, in a sense, is pretty cool. Getting to play a younger version of her figuring out where her heart really lies, that was all very important.

In present day, a virus is attacking Starling City that Felicity actually created. How does she feel about that?

Guilt and panic. Danger sets in.

What’s the state of Felicity and Oliver’s relationship right now?

They are so much more than friends, but they’re not a couple. They’re not in a relationship, but they’re in a relationship all the time. They care really deeply for each other on more than just a platonic level. There’s a deep love there. There’s a very deep emotional connection you don’t really get with everyone. It’s special. It should be treasured, but it’s also scary and a little inconvenient.

Is there hope for Olicity ‘shippers?

There will always be hope for the Olicity ‘shippers to a certain extent. But Sara’s (Caity Lotz) death is still very fresh. Having to take a lot of emotional responsibility for it doesn’t leave much emotional liberty for other things, like romance and fun. They need something good to happen to them really soon.

Will we see Felicity and Ray Palmer take the next step in their budding relationship?

We get to see them together quite a bit more, not just them working together, but them taking on new goals together to work on. I really appreciate their relationship because it’s not all about being sad and burdened all the time. When things are hard, he makes it light, which is what she used to do and she appreciates that.

Are we going to see them kiss?

They have a little bit of spark-ness that you’ll enjoy. You’ll get a sparky, lustiness. I don’t know how else to explain it.

Did you make out with Superman?

[Plays coy] I don’t know. [Laughs]

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Episode Recaps

Billionaire Oliver Queen — under the vigilante persona of Arrow — tries to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society.
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