Emily Bett Rickards' Felicity Is Leaving Arrow Before The Final Season

In a heartbreaking update to the already heartbreaking end of Arrow, Emily Bett Rickards has revealed that she is leaving after Season 7. Just a few weeks ago, it was announced that Arrow will end after Season 8. It was perhaps assumed that meant Rickards would be staying on as Felicity Smoak until the end of The CW series. Apparently not? Not sure what this means for Felicity, or for Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), but it has to be awful news for Olicity fans:

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As actress Emily Bett Rickards wrote in her rhyming poem -- which is kind of a unique way of announcing a TV show exit:

Felicity and Iare a very tight twoBut after one through sevenwe will be saying goodbye to you...

So that sounds like she's leaving after Season 7, which is now airing on The CW.

Emily Bett Rickards has been on Arrow since Season 1. It was only recently revealed in Season 7 that Felicity was pregnant. There was hope that Arrow might end with Oliver leaving the superhero life behind to live quietly with Felicity and baby Mia. Maybe they could find a way to prevent the horrible Season 7 flash-forwards of a bleak future. But now? How will Arrow tie up Felicity's story, and can it be done in a positive non-tragic way that still makes sense going into the 10-episode final season?

A few weeks ago, once the Arrow ending was announced, Emily Bett Rickards joined her fellow cast members in honoring the show:

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Arrow Season 7 is meant to have 22 episodes. Next up is Episode 1, "Lost Canary," which airs Monday, April 15. The season finale will air on May 13. Fans may have to wait until that episode to get clarity on how or why Felicity is leaving this season.

It would also be nice to hear from the showrunners and other stars (especially Stephen Amell) on this, since it's a surprise update to hear of this main character exiting before the known final season. The flash-forward future already posed a lot of questions. Why does Mia go by Smoak instead of Queen? Why didn't William know about his sister? What happens to the Queen family? Do you have any theories to share at the moment?

For now, fans are busy preparing to say farewell in some fashion to one of their favorite characters. Arrow Season 7 returns with Episode 18 on Monday, April 15 at 9 p.m. on The CW.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.