Arrow Star Stephen Amell Talks Emily Bett Rickards' Final Season Absence

Arrow star Stephen Amell shared on social media on Wednesday that he had officially wrapped filming on the show's Season 8 premiere, entitled "Starling City". With that episode down, it means that there are just nine more to go for The CW series as it heads into what is sure to be an emotional final season. But it won't just be emotional because the show is coming to an end. Earlier this year, it was announced that Emily Bett Rickards, who played Felicity Smoak on the series, would exit the show at the end of Season 7. That means the final season will be without one of the show's most beloved characters and for Amell, the absence of Rickards herself is one that makes him sad.

Speaking with ET at San Diego Comic-Con last weekend, Amell said that there are no plans that he is aware of for Rickards to come back one last time as Felicity and it's a reality leaves the show feeling different.

"I actually texted her when I was on the plane to Vancouver last week and I just texted her that I was sad," Amell said. "The show feels different, in no small part because Em Bett's not with us anymore. It feels different."

While Rickards is not back for Arrow, she's currently pursuing other career opportunities, including a role in the off-Broadway play, Reborning. Amell said that while he misses her, he's also very proud of her and plans to go see the play for himself.

"She's killing it," Amell said. "She's living her best life. I'm so proud of her. I'm going to see her play next Saturday. She's doing great. We miss her a lot."

Even with Rickards having moved on professionally, fans are still hopeful that she may make one final return as Felicity before the series wraps up and it's something that seems like the door is open, if things work out. The CW president Mark Pedowitz previously addressed that possibility during a press call ahead of the network's upfronts presentation back in May.

“Emily was terrific on the show, and we believe Beth Schwartz did a great job wrapping up her storyline last year," Pedowitz said. "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.”

Rickards herself even noted one could "never say never".

During an appearance at MCM London, Rickards told fans that, while network president Mark Pedowitz has previously said that the door would be open for her to return if she wanted to, the decision isn't completely hers.

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"(A return is) not completely up to me," Rickards said. "Never say never."

Arrow’s final season will begin Tuesday, October 15th, at 9/8c on The CW.

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