Why Arrow Needs Mama Smoak
Dear Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle:
I am sure you two have lots of ideas to discuss now that Comic-Con has come to an end and you have returned to the Arrow Cave to plot Oliver’s transformation to Green Arrow. May I add one more idea to the list? Please scoop up Charlotte Ross and make her a permanent member of the Arrow family. Her single mother/cocktail-waitress-with-a-heart-of-gold adds humor, grit, and just the right dose of mother/daughter drama to Starling City. Felicity benefits from her romantic advice, little Sara could use a sassy nanny, and Quentin Lance needs all the va-va-voom Donna Smoak can send his way. The potential plotlines are endless, just like Ross’s versatility.
She has shown tremendous range throughout her career. I first saw Ross work her magic on screen when she sashayed into Salem on Days of Our Lives to worm her way into daddy Shane Donovan’s life. Her Eve Donovan gleefully sabotaged Shane’s relationship with former-prostitute-turned-good-girl Kimberly Brady. Because Eve also dabbled in prostitution, the two found something to talk about. The scheming Eve possessed special talent for flouncing her long blond hair and flirting with Good Boy Frankie Brady. Now that I think about it, Donna’s wardrobe shares a number of similarities with Eve’s, though only Eve lived through the unfortunate sweater-trend of 1991.
Arrow has lacked a mother-figure since the grisly Season Two departure of Moira Queen. I would love to see Moira return, but a sword through the stomach suggests some permanency of death. I suppose there is a chance that when Oliver dunked Thea in the Lazarus Pit she saw her mother swimming laps alongside Sara. (It never hurts to hope.) It is time to fill the void Moira left behind. Lest you think Charlotte Ross does not have the chops to fill Susanna Thompson’s shoes, I suggest you revisit the 15th precinct.
Ross went toe-to-toe with perennial Emmy winner Dennis Franz (Andy Sipowitz) on NYPD Blue for three seasons. Her performance as tough detective Connie McDowell erases all memories of Eve. I especially enjoyed the episode when Connie and Andy outmaneuver the child-molesting grandfather of Connie’s dead sister’s baby thus earning the court’s approval to adopt the little girl whose name I can’t remember. McDowell proved adept at taking down perps and skels, with Ross acquiring the kind of stunt experience that will come in handy in crime-ridden Starling City.
Moira’s untimely death deprived audiences of what would have been some amazing Felicity/Moira fights as well as the inevitable Team-Ups that would have followed. Why not replace what could have been with some Oliver/Donna conflict? At some point, probably sooner rather than later, Oliver will do Felicity wrong and Mama Smoak ought to be the one to step in and set him straight, though she will have to get in line behind Diggle. Ross shares a Rickards-like ability to make Oliver smile – always a welcome occurrence – and their shared love for Felicity will always bring them together.
Ever since Donna’s first appearance on Arrow, the Internet has been abuzz with talk of a “Captain Smoak” pairing between Quentin Lance and Donna Smoak. Lance has had a difficult time recovering from daughter Sara’s second death and other daughter Laurel’s deception about said death. Who better to distract him from his pain than a pint-sized Vegas transplant? A meet-cute where Lance mistakes Donna for a prostitute and she feigns offense practically writes itself. They both count their children as their priorities and both need a reason to trust love again. Paul Blackthorne and Charlotte Ross’s chemistry is a foregone conclusion. Just look who you’re dealing with. Plus, you could script some deliciously awkward family dinners with Laurel and Felicity. Even better, bring Alex Kingston back as Dinah Lance to battle Donna Smoak with Quentin as the prize. You could sell tickets to that one.
Finally, depictions of Gilmore-esque mother/daughter relationships are all too rare on television, and we want to see more of them. Arrow often showcases father/daughter angst and bonding. We know Felicity has an [evil] dad out there somewhere, and their reunion promises some high drama. Oliver fathered a son and Diggle a daughter. With nearly every parent/child combo accounted for, Donna and Felicity offer the perfect opportunity to complete the picture. They share a realistic mother/daughter relationship filled with conflict, love, and exasperation. Ross and Rickards make a great team and with alliteration like that they should be appearing weekly.
To sum up: at the end of the requisite Vegas episode, please permanently relocate Donna Smoak to Starling City where she will serve as the Matron of Honor in her daughter’s spring wedding to one Oliver Queen. I mentioned that last bit earlier, right?
Looking forward to October 7 and more Mama Smoak,