Tonight's episode of Arrow is not just the season finale, but the final "season" finale, since this fall will see the show return for a final, abbreviated season and the next time we have a finale it will be the series finale, and may take place during the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover. Tonight's episode also marks the final appearance for Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), the female lead in the series and love interest to Oliver (Stephen Amell) since season three. Things are bound to be very different than they have been in previous season finales, and executive producer Beth Schwartz told ComicBook.com that she and the writers approached it that way.
From an ominous tease in the flash-forwards to the final appearance of at least one major character tonight, Arrow is ready for a major change in approach that may essentially reset the show once again going into the eighth and final season in the fall. You can see more of how Schwartz is approaching all of that in our full interview later today, but before then,we asked her about how much tonight's episode, titled "You Have Saved This City," felt like a real ending.
"We actually did approach it that way in terms of, 'This might be the last time we see this,'" Schwartz told ComicBook.com in an inteview on Friday. "So we definitely had that in mind when we were breaking the episode, because Emily's leaving and, yeah, next season is a little different, so we definitely did approach it in that way."
There has been no word yet on whether Rickards might return for an appearance in the finale next season; her post-Arrow plans so far include some stage work and the upcoming indie film We Need To Talk. It was, as far as anybody can tell, Rickards's decision to leave and not driven by Arrow's story. Schwartz has said that Rickards is welcome back for the final season if she wants to come close out the show with her co-stars.
Arrow airs on Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following episodes of DC's Legends of Tomorrow on The CW.
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