ray fiasco

anonymous asked:

I have to admit I didn't think it would be a good idea having DD as Felicity's dad either at first but the more I thought about the story possibilities and how it would connect all three members of the team I started to love the idea of the core members having that big of a connection to the villain. I also love the idea of Diggle and Felicity having a little conflict and a actual story together which means more focus on that relationship. Also, I'm not buying Felicity's dad as some...

Hi, Anon!

I can agree that there are some intriguing story possibilities for Team Arrow if Damien Darhk is Felicity’s father, and I have come to terms with the fact that I may be dining on crow come October…but I’m sticking to my story. In light of the news that Neal McDonough was cast as Darhk and as one of the approximately four people who don’t want him to be Felicity’s dad, I’m going to revisit my reasons for why.

Sidebar: If you’d like to imagine me writing this as Grandpa Simpson shaking his fist at a cloud, I can’t say that I blame you.

1. The Stories Don’t Match

One of my two biggest practical problems with the theory that Damien Darhk could be Felicity’s father is that the facts don’t jive with what we know of him as a villain and what we know of Felicity’s childhood.

According to Ra’s al Ghul - who was admittedly a few arrows short of a full quiver - Damien Darhk was a contemporary who has been on the run for the past couple of centuries, living off of stolen rations from a Nanda Parbat Lazarus Pit. According to “My Name Is Oliver Queen,” Darhk has an army of minions to do his bidding. We can surmise that Darhk is basically an evil genius who has spent many years building an evil empire to do evil deeds. He seems to have the potential to be the biggest and baddest Big Bad of Arrow thus far.

According to Felicity in 2x14 and 3x05, her father was around until she was six years old and she has clear memories of the circumstances surrounding his departure from her life. According to Donna in 3x18, Felicity’s father would have told Felicity to bend the rules to save her boyfriend; according to Felicity in 3x18, her father would have been arrested if he’d been present to tell her anything. Neither woman gave the impression that he had done anything particularly despicable to break the law. He seems more likely to have been more of a smalltime cyber crook than an evil genius.

2. The Timing Doesn’t Work

My second big practical problem with the theory of Damien Darhk being Felicity’s father is that the timing doesn’t work. If her father was around and involved with her upbringing for the first six years of her life as 3x05 indicated, he would naturally have to have been based in Las Vegas for quite some time. It’s difficult for me to reconcile the computer genius who spent the first half of the 1990s in Vegas with a cocktail waitress wife and young daughter could be the same man who had been a contemporary of Ra’s al Ghul and had spent the intervening years since departing Nanda Parbat developing HIVE.

3. It’s Contrived

As easy as it is to throw “contrivance” around as an excuse for disapproving of anything in a work of fiction, I can’t help but think that the retroactive continuity required to match the stories and gloss over the timing issues would weaken the twist. I’m afraid that it would feel like another “Gotcha!” for the sake of a “Gotcha!” It’s already a stretch that the man behind the assassination of Andy Diggle happens to be the next supervillain to step up to the plate to oppose Oliver, and giving him a close personal connection to the third member of Team Arrow would be hard to swallow.

4. It’s Not Necessary

This is really a case of personal preference, but I would rather that Felicity’s father not be a supervillain or a superhero or a messiah or anything extraordinary. I see her as the Hermione Granger of Team Arrow. She’s remarkable for her intelligence and bravery and loyalty without being tied into the overall arc by any sort of destiny. I like Felicity as a happy accident that life happened to throw Oliver and Digg’s way. Just as I don’t think that a character should require a mask or weapon to qualify as a hero, I don’t think that a character should require an enormous skeleton in the closet to be complex. She deserves a meaty storyline, but I would prefer if it were one that developed out of goings-on in the present instead of melodrama from her past. She already had that with Cooper. Let her be proactive now rather than reactive to before.

5. Felicity’s Dad Wouldn’t Be About Her

If Damien Darhk is Felicity’s father, her story as the abandoned daughter who rose above her circumstances to become extraordinary will be lost in the drama of the Big Bad taking on the hero. After Season 3’s Felicity arc ended up revolving around Ray Palmer’s antics, her Season 4 arc should revolve around her. Damien Darhk as her dad would take away that possibility.

6. I Don’t Trust The Writers

Frankly, after the Ray Palmer fiasco of Season 3 that nearly destroyed Felicity, I don’t particularly trust the writers to find a way to write Felicity into a storyline opposite a new central character without losing her personality in the rush to fill in a backstory. Donna Smoak was a success in Felicity’s arc because she was written for Felicity; Ray was a failure in Felicity’s arc because Felicity was written for him. I’d have more faith in the writers if the mysterious Papa Smoak were written as a personal nemesis for Felicity rather than the supervillain for the entire season.

I would love for Papa Smoak to be an underling in HIVE who joined up after fleeing from the law in Vegas. He can even be one of Damien Darhk’s most trusted minions. It could connect her father enough to the main arc to incite conflict between Felicity and Diggle - perhaps Diggle wanting to take down the entire infrastructure of HIVE and Felicity wanting her father spared despite everything - without making him about Oliver. As a presence in HIVE, he could still connect all three members to the villain without requiring retroactive continuity to do so. I think it would be fascinating for her dad to be her dark mirror within HIVE. Foiling the tech guru to the villain against the tech guru to the hero and throwing in a family connection would be fabulous.

That said, if Season 4 manages to pull off the twist to somehow make me take back all of my objections, I will happily dine on crow.