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Emily Bett Rickards Leaving Arrow Before Its Final Season

Photo credit : The CW
Emily Bett Rickards Leaving Arrow Before Its Final Season

Arrow will no longer have a blond genius in its quiver.

The CW show that started the superhero TV trend will enter its final season without its leading lady, according to an Instagram message posted by actress Emily Bett Rickards on Saturday afternoon. 

Arrow lead Stephen Amell recently announced the show will be ending with a shortened, 10-episode season eight, airing in the fall. However Rickards, who was introduced as IT genius Felicity Smoak in the series' third episode and quickly became a fan favourite, will not be along for the ride.

In the poem Rickards posted on Instagram, she wrote, "Felicity and I/ are a very tight two/ But after one through seven/ we will be saying goodbye to you."
 

Her costars were quick to comment on her post, with Colton Haynes (Roy) reponding "You will be missed my love. So happy this journey brought us together," and Julianna Harkavy (Dinah) posting "This is amazing. Love you so much." Amell responded by with an Instagram story saying "I need until Monday. For now, I love you." He then followed up by tweeting a picture of her first appearance on the show, and later with a heartful Instagram post.

Arrow's producers Greg Berlanti and Beth Schwartz confirmed the news with a statement:  “We’ve had the pleasure of working with Emily since season one and in those past seven years she has brought one of TV’s most beloved characters to life. And although we’re heartbroken to see both Emily and Felicity leave the show, we’re completely supportive of Emily and her future endeavors. She will always have a family at Arrow.”

Schwartz told TV Line that Felicity's departure "is addressed at the end of this season," but would not comment on whether or not the actress would return for next year's series finale.

Rickards began her stint on Arrow as a one-time guest star, but her scene-stealing computer nerd with a tendancy to babble soon became a fan favourite, and she was promoted to a series regular by season two.

Amell has spoken fondly about the first scene he ever shared with Rickards on Arrow. "We'd barely rehearsed, we did a quick run through, the first time I came around the corner [in the scene] and Emily reacted the way that she did, the smile that you saw from me was a total break of character, it was a totally legitimate, heartfelt, 'This is really funny.' To that point in the show, I'm not sure Oliver had smiled. For me, personally, it was an immediate, I remember talking to producers after we shot that scene saying, 'That was a really fun scene to shoot, Emily was great and she should come back.'"

Her quirky character quickly evolved into the show's leading lady and later became the wife of the Green Arrow himself, Oliver Queen. Felicity is a core member of the OTA (Original Team Arrow) trio and one half of the most 'shipped couples on television: Olicity. 

Audiences can rest assured that Felicity's exit likely won't involve her death, as the season's flash forwards prove that she is very much alive in Star City 20 years from now. But in the present day storyline, there are hints that she will have to go into hiding and raise her as-yet-unborn daughter Mia on her own, without husband Oliver at her side. 

Arrow's 10-episode final season will end its run shortly after the CW crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths," which is expected to deal with the repercussions of Oliver's secret, ominous-sounding deal with the Monitor that was made in last year's crossover.

Following Rickards' announcement, Arrow fans were quick to take to Twitter to express their shock and sadness: