Arrow recently finished its seventh season, which not only marked the end of the series’ penultimate year, but also meant saying goodbye to a long-time cast member. Weeks ahead of filming her final installments, Emily Bett Rickards announced that she would be leaving the show, meaning Arrow’s eighth and final season will have to conclude without Felicity Queen née Smoak, a key cast member since Season 1.
David Ramsey, who plays fan-favorite Diggle, has opened up about the impact of Emily Bett Rickards’ exit. He shared that “no one” wants to do Season 8 without her. However, Ramsey still says that Arrow’s producers have teased an “exciting” season ahead. In his words:
We go back and Emily's not a part of it. That's a big thing. Y'know, no one really wants to do that show. [But] Stephen and I both had conversations with the producers, telling us exactly what they want to do with the next season and it really is...it's exciting.
That sounds promising! At least, more promising than a Season 8 where none of the actors are around, because everyone is off being sad about Emily Bett Rickards being gone. Whatever is in store on Arrow, it should be interesting to see how Diggle and Oliver handle the road to "Crisis on Infinity Earths" without Felicity.
Since Emily Bett Rickards exited before the final season of Arrow, there had been some hope she could return for the finale. For many, saying goodbye to Arrow would not be right without her. But that might be an inevitability.
In a recent interview, Emily Bett Rickards said that Felicity had “done her time," indicating that her and Felicity’s appearances on Arrow are a thing of the past. So hope is not exactly high that the fan-favorite will be putting in an appearance in Season 8, and David Ramsey's words don't exactly reinforce the good vibes.
Emily Bett Rickards could have filmed something during filming for Season 7 to use on Season 8. While his co-star is not interested in returning, Stephen Amell has revealed he would return for an Arrow-verse appearance post-Arrow. Maybe Rickards would have more interest if Felicity were to come back on The Flash or Supergirl.
As for what fans can expect from a Felicity-less Season 8, David Ramsey gave Digital Spy a cryptic clue/challenge of sorts.
I don't know how they're gonna do it, but whatever you think could happen, it's probably something else.
Based on what David Ramsey is saying, Arrow fans should expect the unexpected. Which, in this case, would be Emily Bett Rickards returning for every final-season episode.
In response to whether the final season will feel like a different show, Ramsey said it will “to some degree.” Arrow will definitely be missing something crucial in its last season without Felicity, and it's assumed that more big changes are yet to come. Fans will get to experience the totally different show for only 10 episodes, the number of installments that will comprise Season 8.
At least one of those episodes will be dedicated to the next mega-crossover event in the Arrow-verse, which fans are already looking forward to. The upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths” will span every show in the Arrow-verse, including the new series, Batwoman. It will also unravel between two different years, with the first three episodes airing in 2019, and the two-episode conclusion running at the start of 2020. Before that can happen, of course, Arrow will need to return.
It sounds like Arrow will be taking quite a few chances on its way out. A show can either try to curb change or embrace it entirely, and it seems like Arrow is going all in. Why fight it, when there are so many villains to take their rage out on instead?
Arrow’s eighth and final season will premiere this fall on The CW.