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."
— Emily Bett Rickards (@EmilyBett) March 30, 2019
The time has come to talk of many memes. Of bows and arrows and superheroes and Olicity and Queens
And why TGA is so damn hot
And yes, canaries need more scenes...
But wait just… https://t.co/V8gNNSvkc6
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:
This is really sad, but I'm so excited for whatever you have announced on Tuesday and the next phase of your career. Thank you for all these years of loving and living as Felicity, I can't wait to see what you do next!— Paige (@Paigeota) March 30, 2019
I'm gonna miss your Felicity Smoak so much,you did an amazing job for 7 years,I hope u'll have wonderful projects to follow.Thank u Emily https://t.co/kSnvlhUn5C— Kas (@MySmoakQueen) March 30, 2019
I hope wherever Felicity Smoak goes from here, they love her as much as we do. pic.twitter.com/TmoLryq7Oc— Cammien Ray (@CammienRay) March 30, 2019
Thank you for Felicity. She's been such an amazing character to watch for 7 years. I think you're amazing and I can't wait to see what you do.— Stormie Woods (@SouthernSiren) March 30, 2019
Our show could've ended this season but that f*cking crossover ruined everything! pic.twitter.com/I4nMkHDaZQ— Sri (@sriisme) March 30, 2019
It’s one thing to know it was ending at the year, knowing that moment was coming when all the characters were leaving. But it’s a whole other thing to know that Felicty’s time has been cut in half and that I have ONLY five more episodes of Felicity Smoak— Nikki (@smoak_preston) March 30, 2019
I see everyone upset but it does make me interested a little to see what season 8 looks like without Emily and supposedly Katie too. Figure they lean even more on the Mia/William/Connor stuff— Charles (@cdulaney85) March 30, 2019
I’m sad felicity might not be in s7 but i respect if Emily or the actors want to bow out on their own terms. There is probably a reason behind it. Tbh my only thing is I wished this had been its last season and it had been set up better. But oh welp.— j (@whiskeysjo) March 30, 2019
I really did think season 8 would be ota heavy and like call backs to the things we fell in love with the show. I really thought that.— (@latinasmoak) March 30, 2019
This feels a little like a sucker punch ngl
Ending Arrow without Felicity Smoak? Who has been there basically since the beginning? Who has been an important part of Olivers journey? pic.twitter.com/X3n5BBmjvi— Allie; v obviously joking (@Shieldreignz) March 30, 2019
So Season 7 will end with Felicity going to the cabin, never to be seen again?— Hell's Belle (@IamLeigh74) March 30, 2019
I've never known a fandom more suffered than the arrow fandom— belle.(@smoakxdoe) March 30, 2019
I feel like I just got robbed of the ten episodes I was counting on to pay homage to my favorite dynamics - olicity and ota. What a terrible feeling.— Christy (@CharmingWords23) March 30, 2019
What’s the point of season 8 if there is no felicity/olicity/OTA? @SchwartzApprovd @EmilyBett @ARROWwriters @StephenAmell this hurts so much. Why is there a season 8 to begin with if one of the core characters isn’t there and we know that Stephen wanted to leave after s7 anyway?— sally (@asparkinyou) March 30, 2019
Stab me in the heart and twist the knife why don't ya? https://t.co/UlBMDVd2wz— Jen (@jbuffyangel) March 30, 2019
I am equally respect Emily for leaving and love her future projects but also be incredibly sad she’s leaving.— Kerri Guillette (@Kerr_Frost) March 30, 2019
But Felicity Smoak was always our favorite character from #Arrow, she taught everyone that the awkward nerdy girl in the glasses behind the computer can become her own superhero and still get the guy pic.twitter.com/l2M6lyp20B— Jaclyn & Marcella (@cityofthefeels) March 30, 2019
i think i will miss the light and humor she brought to my life most of all. no one can replace that. no one can match up to felicity smoak. pic.twitter.com/qlI2KCYMaS— juls (@mia_smoak) March 30, 2019
I think what I'm most upset about is I have come to terms with saying goodbye to my faves 9 months from now... I feel like the rug has been ripped out from underneath me and now I only have 2 months. I feel so robbed and I don't know how to process this— Pallavi. (@themediumplace) March 30, 2019
Felicity Smoak will forever be my favorite TV character, no questions asked. I’m emotional right now and can’t even BELIEVE how I will say goodbye to her so soon #Arrow #Olicity pic.twitter.com/l1k09VKS48— Nora Dominick (@noradominick) March 30, 2019