Former 'Arrow' Showrunner Pays Tribute to Emily Bett Rickards

On Saturday, Arrow star Emily Bett Rickards announced via Instagram that Season 7 of The CW series -- that would be the season currently airing -- would be her last playing Felicity Smoak. Rickards made the announcement with a heartfelt poetic letter to fans and now, former Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim is paying tribute to Rickards with a poem of his own.

Guggenheim took to Twitter to share his poem, noting that "two can play at this game..."

"I'll never forget that one
special day
When a certain audition
tape came my way

The part was a "one-
off," so we cast an
unknown
Who would have
imagined how the role
would have grown?

But she was so great in episode three
That "one-off' became two
And two became three

And it was very clear that this was meant to
be

And now after seven seasons, it's come
to an end
Nothing to say except, "Thank you for
everything. Be well, my friend," Guggenheim wrote over a photo of Rickards as Felicity.

As Guggenheim's poem notes, the role of Felicity was meant to be a one-time appearance. However, after a positive response to Rickards' performance in the season 1 episode "Lone Gunmen", the role was slowly expanded with the Rickards eventually becoming a series regular. In a sense, Rickards' departure feels like a finale before the actual series finale. The CW announced in March that Arrow will end its run with a 10-episode eighth season this fall. Season 8 will lead into the highly-anticipated "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover. At the time, Rickards reacted to the announcement with her own statement, also shared on Instagram.

"I've been trying to find the worlds to simply say what the last seven years have meant to me, and I believe this photo sums it up! Without this show I would have not met the inspiring people pictured here nor those I have gotten to work with and get to work with every day," she wrote. "People who have become my family. I'm excited to see what is in store for the story we have been telling."

As for Rickards' departure, it isn't something that the show will leave to Season 8 to address. Current showrunner Beth Schwartz revealed that the departure will be addressed at the end of Season 7.

"[It] is addressed at the end of this season," Schwartz said.

Arrow airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.

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