Writer’s Note: This post is in response to Marvel’s Arrow series on Netflix. The episode in question is episode 15 from season 4, titled “Taken.”
Lately I’ve been watching Arrow on Netflix. You could say I’m an official binge watcher of the show. But to get to the matter at hand, I just wanted to get this off my chest. Upon watching the show, I had no idea it would have something within it that I would relate to. Sure, there’s a few other things in there, but adding this particular subject to it was spot on for me. In season 4, the character named Felicity Smoak got into an accident. She was shot and became paralyzed because of it. Everything changed for her at that point. By the way, this isn’t the first show to add this subject in.
If you ever saw Legend of Korra or The Wings of Eagles for example, then you would know. But when I was watching her go through her newfound life, it was like watching myself all over again. Why? Because I endured that same fate many years ago. To hear her doctor tell her friends and family the words, “she may never walk again” was just all too familiar.
But The Show Goes On
Felicity accepted her new life and carried on into her work as the Arrow’s Overwatch and her job as a CEO. To reflect on my life, seeing that happen was sort of inspiring. But not inspiring as you might think. However, she made her transition look easy and moved around quite well considering her injuries. She looked like someone with a lower level spinal cord injury. Someone who still had feeling and movement above her waist. And anybody who knows anything about these injuries, the lower the level then the better.
But Let’s Cut To The Chase
During this episode or should I say toward the end of it, you see Felicity rolling her wheelchair near Oliver. I won’t go into too much detail about everything because to do so would make this one long ass post because Arrow is like one long soap opera but with superheroes. However, Felicity starts talking to Oliver and midway in her part, the camera shuts down to her feet, and to her surprise she moves her left foot.
Now at this point, she and Oliver is no longer talking because both of them were looking at each other in amazement. All you heard was silence. Felicity then takes another step forward and gets up out the wheelchair. It was so spontaneous that you almost forgot everything that happened earlier. For example, Felicity did therapy and was fortunate to have a friend who designed her an implant to help stimulate her spinal cord. It’s a bit more technical than that, but that’s the gist of it.
I just couldn’t help but think upon seeing that scene, “if only it was so simple.” At the same time, it’s only so much you can show about a character. If she were the main character, I’d expect a montage or something similar. You didn’t get to see the work she probably put in, except for the first scene of the episode. But factoring in all these things, this young woman got her ass up in mid sentence and walked like it was nothing. But the irony of it all is this. As I’m watching, I’m looking at the TV and right in front of it lies my wheelchair. So imagine how I feel as I’m watching this. I’m feeling inspired, I’m feeling hope, but I’m also feeling the difference between fiction and reality.
Art Does Imitate Life
I think anybody who’s in this place, where your wheelchair is your legs, has in the back of their mind to walk. It’s the sweetest of things to think of. It’s borderline depressing. Just the possibility to gain what was lost is like chasing that unicorn. It can drive you insane because you want it so much to the point it turns into an obsession. But you know it’s real and you can feel it. You even dream about it. Some dreams you walk. But then you wake from dreaming of something different. I can’t speak for no one but myself, but there’s a chance I may not realize that again. I’m only being realistic.
But with my level of optimism, I tend to not dwell so much on that chance. And seeing this particular episode was very surreal. And I like to think I have an active imagination, so the most I can do is look forward and envision a day where I’m sitting in the wheelchair, and all of sudden, everything comes back and I walk my ass out the door and smiling with two fingers in the air!