Felicity Smoak is our favorite character on Arrow—but she had a rough year last year. She was basically in tears for a lot of season three. We missed the funny, capable Felicity from the first two seasons. And during interviews at San Diego Comic Con, actor Emily Bett Rickards said she felt the same way.

During the roundtable interviews for Arrow over the weekend, someone asked Rickards if she felt like Felicity had spent too much of the past year being sad and weepy, and Rickards responded:

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“She felt like she was crying a lot. I feel like she went through a year that wasn’t necessarily her favorite. I agree. I feel like she lost a little bit of her strength to a certain extent. I think she got burned a couple too many times, and then found herself in situations she wasn’t exactly sure she wanted to be in or if she was being true to herself between Ray [Palmer] and between Oliver [Queen], and if she was giving enough time to what she truly wanted. And then we throw her mom in there. And we get mom to really tell the truth. And that’s kind of what happens, and you end up sobbing.”

Someone followed up by asking if we might see a stronger, more in-charge version of Felicity this season, and she replied:

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“That’s my hope and the plan and, hopefully, she gets funnier again because I don’t want to see her crying all of the time. It was a big disappointment to me to have her crying a lot—because one thing I love about Felicity so much is that she’s so strong and independent and sticks to her guns and is true to herself. And that is something I admire about her. I think she was true to herself last year, but I just don’t know if she necessarily knew what she was doing was authentic and she was trying to find it.”

Rickards added that Felicity’s worked really hard her whole life to build her identity, as a geek and as a professional. And having a huge secret, that she only gets to share with a tiny number of people, “took a toll on her.” Having been kidnapped four times, “she probably has nightmares, and I don’t know when she goes to therapy.”

Now that she’s dated three different people who turned into superheroes, it’s clear that she helps bring out the best in people—but Rickards added, it’s time that Felicity made space for herself, too.

Thanks to Kayti Burt for transcript!