Felicity's Return to Arrow Is "So Critical" for Series Finale

Arrow has officially reached the midpoint of its eighth and final season, and fans are already [...]

Arrow has officially reached the midpoint of its eighth and final season, and fans are already looking ahead to the show's series finale. While details surrounding the episode are continuing to be slim, it was confirmed earlier this month that Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) would return. The tech whiz and love interest of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) has had a significant impact on the show for nearly all its run, and it sounds like that will be the case with the series finale. In a recent interview with TVLine, Mia Smoak actress Katherine McNamara spoke about the return of her onscreen mom and called her appearance in the episode "so critical".

"It was just lovely to have her back on set," McNamara revealed. "It made even the social aspect of wrapping the show mean so much more because she is so much of what Arrow is and I love Emily to death…. I'm so glad it worked out."

Rickards' return came after she left the long-running series earlier this year, with her character getting a sort of open-ended sendoff at the end of Season 7. At the time, her potential return was speculated about, but didn't seem to be set in stone.

"Emily was terrific on the show, and we believe Beth Schwartz did a great job wrapping up her storyline last year," network president Mark Pedowitz said earlier this year. "If Beth can find a way to bring her back that makes sense, and Emily is available, we'd love to have her. Otherwise, I'm pleased at how they said goodbye to the character."

"I spent seven years of my 20s on this show -- people fall in love with this character that I now have to say goodbye to," Rickards explained during a subsequent convention appearance. "She'll always be a huge part of my life, as will all these people. I'm saying goodbye to a family I've been working with for the past seven years."

And while there's no telling exactly how Felicity factors into the finale, it sounds like the hour of television will be satisfying for fans.

"The good news is unlike Game of Thrones or unlike Lost, were not burdened with having to answer a question," consultive producer Marc Guggenheim told ComicBook.com earlier this summer. "We're not burdened with 'who's going to sit on the Iron Throne?' or "what was the island?' so we get to do, I think, a much more character-based ending. So, at the same time, the complication for us is that we also have Crisis and I think a lot of the stuff that was always in my head in terms of how to end the show we're now actually going to end up doing in the crossover instead so it's like now what does the series finale become? But, you know, we've got plans."

"I'm really excited about it. The goal is to make it satisfying for the fans, but the good news for us is we don't have the challenges that Lost, or Game of Thrones had," he continued. We also don't have the ratings, so there's that, too. But I feel the pain of Damon, Benioff, and Weiss. It's hard. It's a hard thing to do in a way that satisfies everyone. I also think, because I've been thinking how does one end a series, there's what the initial reaction to something is and then there's how it stands the test of time and those two things are not always the same."

Are you excited to see Felicity Smoak return to Arrow for its final episode? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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