With Arrow's season seven finale coming next week, fans of The CW series can expect the resolution of this season's major storylines as well as something that they are perhaps dreading: the departure of series star Emily Bett Rickards which means that the fan-favorite character Felicity Smoak will be making her exit as well. Since sending Felicity off isn't something that could be an abrupt affair addressed when Arrow returns for its final season this fall, Felicity will get a proper send-off and tonight's episode set up the departure.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Arrow, "Living Proof" below.
Tonight's episode saw Team Arrow trapped, Emiko having collapsed a building on them at the end of last week's episode. She also sent incriminating evidence to the police showing not only that the team lied to cover for Roy but that it was Felicity's company that was behind Archer. The police show up to take Felicity into custody, but she uses a security device she'd created to get away and escape back to the Arrow bunker.
While she and Alena try to assist Team Arrow in finding and saving Oliver who is trapped in the rubble, Emiko shows up to kill Felicity. Panicking, Felicity reveals her pregnancy to Emiko and begs her not to kill an innocent child. Emiko does leave without killing Felicity, but it's enough to spook her and she realizes just how unsafe her children -- she's counting William in this -- are thanks to the life she and Oliver lead. It's then that Alena offers her a solution: she needs to go somewhere else entirely and take her life "offline" -- essentially, Felicity needs to disappear in order to protect her family while Alena will run her business for her.
And as fans who have been watching this season know, that is roughly what happens. With the 2040 flash forward timeline playing this season as well, we know that Felicity ultimately raises her and Oliver's daughter, Mia, almost completely removed from the rest of the world save for the occasional trip into the city. We also know that she continues to keep William in the care of his grandparents' essentially cutting off contact with him to the point he's even unaware he has a sister. Her plan largely works, her children grow up safe and undetected, though things do get a little dangerous when they all come together to attempt to stop the monster that her program Archer has become.
Tonight's episode goes a long way to explaining how Felicity ends up in that cabin in the woods with Mia, but it also sets up for her ultimate departure from the series. Since we know that she retreats for the benefit of her children, by the time season eight rolls around, she'll either have had Mia or will be getting ready to. It would make sense that she would want to be settled in her new normal rather than dealing with whatever is thrown at Team Arrow in the show's final season.
Arrow airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
What did you think about how tonight's episode sets up Felicity's departure? Let us know in the comments below.