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Many spoilers lie ahead for the Season 7 finale of Arrow, called "You Have Saved This City."
Arrow may continue into an eighth season next fall, but it will do so without leading lady Emily Bett Rickards. While news broke back in March that Rickards was leaving following Season 7, fans could only guess how the show would go about writing out one of the key characters of the series. There were fears that she would be killed off in the flash-forwards, among other unpleasant possibilities. Well, "You Have Saved The City" said goodbye to Felicity Smoak and Emily Bett Rickards, and here's how it happened.
Felicity In The Present
Felicity was busy through the first 45 minutes of the Season 7 finale with trying to take down Emiko and her allies. It was an all-hands-on-deck situation after the previous week's cliffhanger, with Team Arrow even bringing in reinforcements in the forms of Curtis (who left for DC earlier in Season 7), Laurel (who had returned to Earth-2), and even Bronze Tiger.
The good guys did manage to defeat Emiko, and Oliver formed a connection with his half-sister, but it was too little too late. As she was dying, she told Oliver that she'd put plans in place that would see his family chased by Ninth Circle agents. So, Oliver and Felicity realized they had to go into hiding. They said a tearful farewell to most of Team Arrow and the Arrow Bunker, then went with Diggle to the quaint cottage from the flash-forward episode.
As it turned out, the cottage was actually a safe house in a neighborhood used by ex-CIA, ex-DIA, and ex-ARGUS agents, and they were able to live happily-ever-after... for a time. This is Arrow we're talking about, after all. They were together for the duration of Felicity's pregnancy, and Oliver was by her side as she gave birth to baby Mia. They even had some happy times together after she was born, and they were the picture of domesticity.
Sadly, The Monitor showed up to ruin the domestic bliss and collect on Oliver's promise from the "Elseworlds" crossover. Back in that December Arrow-verse event, Oliver swore to The Monitor that he would do whatever it takes to save Barry and Kara, and it was dire enough that some began predicting the end of Arrow and/or death of Oliver Queen months before news broke that Arrow will indeed be done after a shortened Season 8.
In the Season 7 finale, The Monitor announced that Oliver would die in the upcoming "crisis," which obviously devastated Felicity (and Oliver, who thought he'd have more time). Felicity was heartbroken at the idea of facing her future without her husband, not to mention Mia growing up without her father. Still, the crossover has to go on, and the situation seemed downright hopeless for Felicity to truly get her happily-ever-after-forever with Oliver.
At least, not until the flash-forwards.
Felicity In The Flash-Forwards
In the flash-forwards, Felicity was not a fan of sending Mia and William into danger, but they were the only ones who could pull off the mad mission to destroy the Archer program. Although it was a very close call for Mia, they did survive the mission, and they even succeeded.
In order for Mia and William (along with Connor Hawke and Zoe) to stay behind and continue protecting Star City, however, the older generation of heroes had to take the fall and become fugitives. Finally convinced that Mia and William could take care of themselves well enough to not need her looking over their shoulders all the time, Felicity decided that it was finally time for her to go.
Before leaving, she took her kids to visit Oliver's grave, which seemed like the final piece of evidence that the Emerald Archer really, truly, 100% is going to die in "Crisis on Infinite Earths." She said goodbye to the kids and even told Mia that they couldn't keep in touch this time, although she didn't give her daughter any specifics.
The good news for fans is that the last scene of the flash-forwards delivered some answers. Felicity met up with The Monitor. He warned her that there would be no coming back from where he was taking her, but she was more than ready to get going, presumably to reunite with the husband she'd been separated from for over two decades.
If Oliver is indeed alive and simply stuck somewhere else without the option of returing, hopefully Emily Bett Rickards either filmed an Oliver/Felicity reunion to air during "Crisis on Infinite Earths" or she returns for a reunion in the fall. What better way to say goodbye to Arrow than to see the hero reunited with his wife after so long?
We'll have to wait and see. When Arrow returns for its eighth and final season in the fall, it will do so without Felicity Smoak. At this point, I'm wondering if it will largely be without Oliver Queen as well, considering "Crisis on Infinite Earths" isn't likely to span ten episodes. If Oliver was pulled back into the superhero life to help The Monitor prepare, would The Monitor really give him the time to fight street-level crime in Star City?
The flash-forwards are confirmed to continue into Season 8, and I would not be surprised if they took up a lot more time than they did in Season 7. If they're popular, then perhaps that rumored Mia Smoak-centric spinoff really could happen. The odds actually aren't terrible, and the Emiko Queen spinoff certainly isn't happening.
While I'm not convinced that a Star City 2040 spinoff would work, would it really be right for the Arrow-verse to continue without an Arrow show? It's possible there wouldn't be room for another Arrow-verse series next season, though, thanks to Batwoman finally happening. No matter what happens, there should be plenty of superhero action on The CW.
The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl all have yet to air their season finales, so perhaps there will be more developments on the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover before we head into another hiatus. If Felicity does return before the end of Arrow, "Crisis on Infinite Earths" is probably how it would happen.