This season of Arrow is giving fans some tantalizing and troubling glimpses into the future of Star City and the Arrowverse thanks to a series of flash forwards revealing the fates of several characters. However, last week's "Level Two" gave fans some troubling news: twenty years from now, Felicity Smoak is dead.
The news is delivered by a future version of Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) who, along with a grown up Zoe Ramirez (Andrea Sixtos) are leading the vigilante resistance in what's left of Star City. When William Clayton (Ben Lewis) and Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) arrive thanks to what they believe is a mysterious message from Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), they're told by Dinah that Felicity is dead -- seemingly recently, given how Dinah delivers the news.
While there are a lot of questions already about this flash forward timeline -- with many wondering if it is all leading to a "Star City 2046" type of world we've seen before on Legends of Tomorrow -- the biggest question is how Felicity died. Felicity has managed to evade death numerous times over the course of Arrow's tenure, somehow always managing to survive the seemingly unsurvivable. If her time runs out in the late 2030s, exactly how she meets her end could give a clue about what's next for Star City as well as why it was so important that William and Roy return.
To attempt to figure out what it was that took Felicity out, we've come up with seven possible explanations -- including a few that will give fans hope that Felicity is still out there somewhere. Whatever theory, if any, turns out to be true, it does seem that fans will eventually get some context for Felicity's fate, according to showrunner Beth Schwartz.
"When we had flashbacks in every episode, sometimes it felt like a little too much," Schwartz said. "I wanted to make sure that we were telling the story we needed to tell instead of being forced to tell them in every episode. With the flash forwards, we're able to see the consequences of what our team has done in the present day story. In the future storyline you're going to be able to see were vigilantes effective? How did that affect Star City in the future? How did it affect The Glades? How did it affect all the characters we love? Are people going to be the same or different? It opens up the world a lot."
Read on for some of the possible ways Felicity Smoak died.
In the Season 7 premiere, Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) attempted to kill Felicity, but he's not the first villain who has tried to take out Oliver Queen's (Stephen Amell) love and he won't be the last. While Felicity has done a great job of managing to not get herself killed thus far, and even managed to find a way to walk again after being paralyzed by Damien Darhk, her luck will eventually run out. It's not difficult to imagine that a villain in the future will successfully end Felicity's life, especially if Oliver remains in prison for any serious length of time.
If Felicity isn't taken out by a villain, she might die as the result of an accident. Accidents happen all the time and the Arrowverse isn't immune from more mundane things despite the presence of vigilantes and metahumans. Felicity could be involved in a car accident driving across town and die, she could trip and fall down the stairs, she could be hit by a bus -- accidents happen. There's also the possibility of natural disasters or other events that lead to tragic outcomes, not to mention various technological failures that could kill her.
Another real-life element of the Arrowverse that could cause Felicity's death is illness. Even with all of the technological advancements and fancy things ARGUS has access to, we're pretty sure major illness and cancer are still a thing in the Arrowverse. Felicity's unfortunate demise could be a product of something as ordinary as an illness. If that's the case, hopefully her passing is as peaceful and pain free as possible.
One of the things Dinah mentions when talking about the state of Star City in the flash forward is that the Glades was rebuilt and, for reasons yet unclear, a wall was built around it to keep out people from Star City. If whatever the Glades uprising entailed was violent, it's possible that Felicity could have been a casualty.
It's worth noting that this the thing Felicity's beacon led William and Roy to at a now-abandoned Smoak Technologies was a holographic map of the Glades which makes Felicity's involvement with the Glades in some capacity likely -- and the possibility that she died there even more so.
Another real possibility is that Felicity isn't really dead. There is clearly a reason William and Roy were led back to Star City and something in the Glades appears to be part of that reason. It's possible that Felicity faked her death in order to remain hidden behind the scenes helping to equip the heroes to take on what one can only assume is a crime-infested and violent world beyond the wall. If people think she's dead it would make it a lot easier to help save Star City without being detected.
Considering that the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Star City 2046" had Felicity leaving Star City and sort of abandoning ship as it were and the timeline has changed since then, an interesting twist would be to have Felicity fake her death but remain in the shadows, helping.
If Felicity isn't really dead, she may have gone elsewhere in the Arrowverse -- specifically, another Earth in the Multiverse.
With Supergirl taking place on Earth-38, it's not impossible that Felicity could have fled Earth-1. And Felicity taking a trip to Supergirl's world is something Rickards has said previously she'd like to see happen.
In a recent appearance on BUILD Series, Bett was asked by a fan if she would ever appear on Supergirl. The Felicity Smoak actress said she didn't see why not, and then revealed that of all of the Arrowverse shows, Supergirl would be her pick.
"I think, yeah, I think that that is definitely a possibility I don't see why it wouldn't be," Rickards said. "We've sort of broken all the rules that sort of make it not a possibility, so I feel like we should do that, and I think that it would be my preferred show to cross over to in general because it's Supergirl."
Another possibility about Felicity's fate? Dinah is lying.
What reason Dinah would have to lie about that is anyone's guess. She could be teamed up with Felicity and part of the deception, but it's also possible that Future Dinah isn't the hero we expect her to be. At this point we know very little about the operation of heroes in this bleak future and we're assuming that, because she's been part of Team Arrow in the past, she'd be a hero in the future, too. It could end up being a false assumption and maybe, just maybe, she's told William and Roy that Felicity is dead so she can get her hands on whatever intel or mission the pair has been sent on for her own purposes.
What do you think? Let us know your theories in the comments.
Arrow airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.