We all know the drill by now. Each season of Arrow introduces a new big bad, somebody whose presence in Star City threatens the very existence of the Green Arrow. Without crime, after all, there is no demand for a vigilante.
But what if, at the end of season 4, the seeds are sown for the biggest plot twist in the history of Arrow? I'm talking about the reveal of Felicity Smoak as the evil mastermind who's been pulling all kinds of strings since the very beginning.
Now, you may think this sounds insane, but hear me out.
Let's rewind right back to Arrow's beginnings. According to Stephen Amell at Dallas Fan Days, there's been a "five season plan" in place ever since before the show even started airing on The CW. That suggests something coming full circle between the latter stages of season 4 and the end of season 5.
The idea of "Evilicity" might sound far-fetched when you consider that she's always existed in this show to function as a moral compass Oliver Queen - but that's precisely why it would be so effective. If somebody like Felicity can hide her true motives, who can Oliver really trust in this life?
The reveal would either push him back toward Laurel, who's always been the one he's destined to be with - or, more importantly, it could devastate him, leaving him absolutely unable to trust anybody. As a lone vigilante without the support of Diggle, Thea or Laurel, could the Green Arrow really survive? And would this show have the balls to take its hero to such a dark place?
Obviously there's zero evidence for this theory, but perhaps the introduction of The Calculator was no coincidence. Felicity's father clearly wasn't a good guy, and she shares his DNA - so, in theory, she has the capability to go to dark places.
But perhaps more effective would be if Felicity became the big bad of season 5 as a direct result of what happens with the resolution to the grave mystery. In the flash-forwards, we've seen her instruct Oliver to "kill the son of a bitch". If Oliver fails to do that, whoever the mystery son of a bitch is, could Felicity be driven to darkness in order to get the job done herself?
The idea of Felicity doing Oliver's dirty work for him and discovering in the process she has a taste for villainy definitely fills me with more excitement than another season of on-off romance for she and Oliver, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Whatever happens, season 5 has the potential to be the moment at which Felicity becomes a truly key player in Arrow, rather than just "girl with wifi". You might say I'm stoaked to see where Guggenheim takes her next.
Arrow season 4 returns next week, March 23, with episode 16 'Broken Hearts'. Check out the promo above and tell me...