'Arrow' Says Goodbye to Felicity and Reveals Oliver's Crossover Bargain in Season 7 Finale
By Meredith B. Kile
Dean Buscher/The CW
Arrow said goodbye to a beloved character on Monday's finale, as actress Emily Bett Rickards exited the show after seven seasons as Team Arrow's tech mastermind Felicity Smoak. But Felicity's emotional departure posed a whole new series of questions, calling back to this year's Elseworlds crossover and looking ahead to what may be coming in next year's multi-show crossover event.
After saving Star City once again in both the present and future storylines, Felicity came to a crossroads in her relationship with Oliver (Stephen Amell). In the present, the expectant couple made the decision to step away from superhero life, moving to a quiet house in a well-protected wooded area to start their family. But no sooner were they settled -- and new parents to their daughter, Mia -- than The Monitor, Mar Novu (LaMonica Garrett), came calling.
Arrowverse fans will remember Mar Novu from the Elseworlds crossover, in which he was seen striking a bargain with Oliver to save the lives of Barry (Grant Gustin) and Kara (Melissa Benoist). But it was unclear what Oliver had to offer up in exchange -- until now. Apparently, he agreed to offer himself up to Mar Novu "when the multiverse requires," and that time has come.
"Why does it always have to be you?" Felicity pleads as the otherworldly being explains that Oliver's sacrifice is inevitable, and can save the lives of countless more. So, the former Green Arrow says his tearful goodbyes to his wife and daughter and ventures off to save the multiverse.
However, all may not be as tragic as it seems. In the future storyline, Felicity meets with the couple's now-grown children, William and Mia, who have taken up their parents' mantle as the protectors of Star City. While William and Mia think their mom is merely headed back underground, she cryptically explains -- while standing in front of Oliver's grave, which marks his death as occurring in 2019 -- that she will no longer be in touch, having served her purpose as their protector all these years. "It's time for me to go on a journey of my own."
After she bids her children a heartfelt farewell, Mar Novu appears once again to take her "where there is no return" -- and this time, there are no tears. "I have waited a long time to see him," Felicity says, seemingly referring to Oliver and hinting at a possible reconciliation for the lovebirds somewhere in the multiverse. "I'm ready."
Rickards, who became a series regular after appearing as a guest star in Arrow's third episode, shared the news that she'd be leaving the show back in March, with a collage of photos and a heartfelt poem to fans. "I will keep her in my heart for always, and I hope that you can too," she wrote of her character. "Because she would not be alive if it weren’t for all of you."
ET's Leanne Aguilera spoke to Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz ahead of Monday's finale, who opened up about Rickards' departure from the show after seven seasons.
"It’s definitely an emotional ending and it is a lot to process," she said of Felicity's final episode. "I just hope it will honor this character that everyone loves that everyone has been watching for the past seven years."
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Of Rickards' decision to depart the show ahead of its eighth and final season, the EP admitted, "As a friend, I fully support Emily and her new chapter and what she wants to do -- but creatively, I was definitely very sad because she's one of my favorite characters to write. So yeah, this finale was definitely bittersweet in that sense that I feel really happy with what we came up with, but very sad that it’s the end."
Schwartz said that she and the actress were on the "same page" when it came to scripting her exit from the snow, and also received input from Amell.
"I know that Stephen had some [ideas]. It was really important to him, and we had a lot of conversations about her ending as well," she recalled. "So between the three of us, I think we were all very happy with the outcome."
As for the possibility of Rickards' return in the show's eighth and final season, Schwartz was cautiously optimistic. "I hope there is a way that can happen. She’s welcome to come back whenever she wants."