Since the beginning of the eighth and final season of The CW’s Arrow, one of the key elements of the show’s success has been missing. Actress Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Felicity Smoak, left the series at the end of seventh season, and there had been speculation about if and when she might return before the series takes its final bow. Now we have an answer, as on Friday actor Stephen Amell tweeted a message to fans that Rickards will, in fact, be back for the series finale.

Rickards hasn’t been gone from the series completely during the final season, as footage of she and Amell from previous seasons has been used sporadically to represent Oliver Queen (Amell)’s memories of her. When fans last saw Felicity at the end of season seven, she was saying goodbye to Oliver as he departed on his mission for The Monitor (La Monica Garrett)—a mission the cosmic being told them is destined to end in Oliver’s death. Meanwhile, in 2040, Felicity was met at Oliver’s grave by The Monitor, who took her away with him for a presumed reunion with her husband.

Emily Bett Rickards and Stephen Amell on ARROW
From ARROW S1E3. Photo: The CW.

Rickards’s history with Arrow is every actor’s dream. The series was her first television credit, and she was initially cast for a one-time appearance early in the show’s first season. Positive reaction from fans, executives, and Amell led to Rickards becoming a recurring guest for the rest of the season, ultimately becoming a series regular with the show’s second season, becoming the ostensible female lead of the series. Rickards has also appeared on other Arrowverse series like The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, and while Smoak had storylines dating both Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) before eventually getting together with Oliver Queen, the character has never been portrayed as a damsel in distress—she’s often clearly the smartest person in the room, and acted as the eyes and ears of Team Arrow in her role as Overwatch.

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Just how much of a role with Felicity Smoak play in Arrow‘s final episode? We’ll find out when the series finale airs on The CW in February 2020.

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