Rickards announced in March that she would not be returning for Arrow's eighth and final season, which was a pretty rough blow to fans. Details about said final season are being kept tightly under lock and key, but we've got a feeling the upcoming finale will answer a lot of questions about the dangers Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Team Arrow will face in the series' last episodes.
As for Felicity's role in this finale — prepare for water works.
"I can't give away too much, but every time I watch the last 10 minutes of the finale, I cry every single time," showrunner Beth Schwartz told TV Guide when we asked about Felicity's final sendoff in the Season 7 finale. "I just wanted to honor [Felicity]. She's been a really important character to the show — besides just having a huge fan base — to me personally. She's been one of my favorite characters, and I've been with her from the beginning. I wanted to make sure that we honored her both in her relationship with Oliver as well as her goals personally and the origin of Smoak Tech — her wanting to do something in addition to being on Team Arrow. That was her own, so that was really important to me."
There are plenty of theories out there about how and when Felicity will be written out of the show, and some of them are downright horrifying. Luckily, Schwartz says that although we won't be seeing Rickards on our screens every week, there's still room for her to return at some point in the final season.
"She is always welcome to come back, so I would be obviously more than happy to have her back next season," Schwartz said. Final seasons are the time for familiar faces to return, after all, and it seems like that may be a priority for Arrow too. "We definitely have that in mind, honoring the series and getting all our favorites back," Schwartz said.
While we hate to say goodbye to Felicity, it's at least heartening to hear that the door is being kept wide open for her to return. There is also good news on the Oliver front since Schwartz said the Season 7 finale will finally reveal where he is in the flash-forwards — or, more accurately, why he doesn't seem to be around.
"The majority of questions will be answered, but there will be just a couple hanging over that we'll get to in Season 8," said Schwartz.
Arrow airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)