Sorry, Olicity ‘shippers: Felicity Smoak won’t be sticking around on The CW’s Arrow for much longer. Emily Bett Rickards took the character from being a quirky background player in the first season to being a core member of the cast through the sheer force of her likability and the fun chemistry she had with Stephen Amell’s dour Oliver Queen, and Rickards announced today on Instagram that she will be leaving Arrow at some point before next year’s eighth (and final) season. Her post is appropriately clever for the show’s resident tech genius, and while it doesn’t say why she’s leaving the show, it does specifically say that her run is ending with the seventh season:
For as much of a shock as this may be to Arrow fans, the show has been foreshadowing an upcoming departure for Felicity. The current season has replaced the flashbacks of the past with jumps into the future, where Star City has somehow turned into more of a dump than it has been for the past seven years, with Felicity raising her daughter in secret outside of the city after supposedly giving up the vigilante game. In other words, to avoid breaking the established timeline, Felicity will have to go away at some point before anyone really figures out that she’s pregnant (this also means that she won’t die, at least in the contemporary timeline of the show).
We don’t know when Rickards is leaving Arrow, but the timing of her post implies that it’ll be soon. Either way, the whole Arrow gang will be gone before too long, as the show’s final season—airing either in the fall or next year—will have a shorter episode order than normal.