'Arrow: Unchained' Spoilers Below!
This week's Arrow was a never-ending maze of twists and turns for almost every character on the show. Thea is revealed to be near death (again), while Roy 'Arsenal' Harper made a triumphant and welcomed return to Star City, only to bring someone who perhaps is a bit less welcome with him. Team Arrow battled the viral villain The Calculator, who's skills rivaled that of the best hacker in the world, Felicity Smoak (at least that's what the Flash himself called her last week). Via Roy, the villainous Calculator (Everwood's Tom Amandes) made his debut, battling out Team Arrow for a web nuke of sorts to take out Star City for the greater good. Turns out he was so much more than the villain of the week.
For months, Arrow's EPs have been teasing that Felicity Smoak's father would make an appearance. Fans have wondered his significance after many purposeful mentions of Felicity's father from either her or her mom, Donna Smoak, throughout Seasons 2 and 3. In fact, many fans had her father pegged as Damien Darhk before Season 4 even began, until that fan theory was squashed earlier in the season by Arrow EP Wendy Mericle saying:
"Unfortunately, no. Damien Darhk is not her father. That's a great theory."
She continued revealing that Felicity's father would, similarly to Damien Darhk, not be good news for Team Arrow:
"We are going to bring her father in. He will definitely be evil. He's going to be up to no good."
We were left clueless, with no theories to go on, until photos for this week's episode surfaced, revealing a very proud Oliver Queen watching Felicity Smoak's Palmer Tech presentation unknowingly alongside the Calculator, who also looked peculiarly proud. The scene played out after Team Arrow had supposedly defeated the faceless cyber villain, and the episode was coming to a close. Then, the Calculator leaned over to Oliver and shared an intimate moment of pride over our favorite blonde computer genius, and we knew.
If fans weren't clued in then, I don't know what would have done it, but what we weren't ready for was the actual official reveal of Felicity's father's identity, and we got it. While Team Arrow wasn't aware of what their foe's, the Calculator, face looks like, the audience was. As Oliver turns to leave Palmer Tech after saying goodbye to his girlfriend, Felicity, she turns to find a man standing over her, waiting to see her reaction to seeing his face. Her father, The Calculator.
WHOA! OK, mind blown! We had no warning about this huge reveal! The team spent the whole episode combating a man who had turned Roy back to some old habits, and gave Felicity a run for her money, and the whole time it was her father? So here we have it folks, meet the Smoaks.
The Calculator, interestingly enough, is considered the evil counterpart to DC's Oracle, whom Felicity Smoak's character was, at one point, going to become on Arrow until DC shut the idea down. TVLine reports that Felicity will be very conflicted about her estranged father showing up, while Donna Smoak, not so much:
Well, Donna will be very clear — she knows who he is and what he’s capable of, and she wants nothing to do with him. But Felicity, we really wanted to play the real of someone who is in her twenties and really has not known their father, and what kind of emotions would that bring up for somebody in her position. I think she’s really conflicted. She wants to believe that her father loves her and that he has a vested interest in who she is and knowing her and having a relationship with her, and she feels very torn about that — even though she knows right off that bat, at the top of [next episode], who he really is.
Here's what you need to know about Felicity's father, a.k.a. The Calculator!
- He has a long list of A-List criminal contacts, everyone who's anyone in the criminal world knows who he is and how to get in touch with him.
- The Calculator serves as the Felicity Smoak of the bad guys. A super genius brokering top-secret info on anyone and anything to villains, getting them into all the locked doors they need unlocked.
- He is described as a master manipulator and strategist.
- In the comics, the Calculator used to wear a suit with a big calculator on the front that could predict the actions of any superhero, and even the Earth. Will be interesting to see if they incorporate that ability into his character on Arrow.
- The Calculator is a known enemy of the Birds of Prey (maybe a Black Canary battle in the future?).
- He was a member of The Secret Society of Super Villains.
So, what does this all mean for Arrow? In 'Unchained,' the Calculator teases Felicity Smoak as they battle via computer screens, asking why he would just take out a system, when he could take out the entire city it works for. This would suggest that the Calculator may be in the villain game against Star City for the same reason all the rest of them are, blow it up for its own good. Perhaps Damien Darhk has enlisted his help, since that's exactly what the Calculator does, assists the villains in their devious plans, for a price. What is clear is that he is very aware of his daughter, Felicity Smoak, and her recent doings. His presence just after her accident is pretty interesting timing. Maybe he has a way to help her, maybe he just wants to be back in her life, after ignoring her existence for all these years. Or maybe he knows a little more about her relationship with the Arrow and Oliver Queen than she would like. We have a whole week to simmer on this until next week's Arrow appropriately titled 'Sins of the Father,' so get your theory hats on, folks!