We know that in terms of the story of Arrow season 8, there are absolutely many unanswerable questions. It’s what happens when we’re still weeks away from the finale and there is so much remaining worth tying up.
However, there’s still one element of the final season that is abundantly clear: The absence of Emily Bett Rickards. It’s a huge void in the show given that she is a huge part of its legacy. We’ve spoken already of the enormous underdog factor with this character, someone who entered this series without any promise of more episodes but someone who became a steady presence and a necessary x-factor in many stories. That’s without getting into the Olicity of it all, an iconic Arrowverse romance and one that really showed the value in going along with fan enthusiasm and on-screen chemistry.
In terms of separation, we saw Oliver without Felicity at the start of the season when he was in prison … but that was very different than not having Rickards on the show itself. That’s where we find ourselves now. How can the writers continue the story without her? What will they do to compensate for it? Within this article, we’ve got a handy list of do’s and don’ts to help get the writers through what’s going to be a trying stretch. We hope that Emily will be back for the series finale, but also recognize that there is no guarantee of even that.
Do – Show the absence of this character. How is Oliver doing without it? What about Diggle? She’s a part of the coined OTA because of her skill set and her value — she’s an inspiration to many out there because she showed the value in atypical superheroes. It shouldn’t be business as usual without her and while it’s okay to see Oliver and others finding some success, there should be a void felt here. That brings us immediately to the next point…
Don’t – Cast another tech expert for the heck of it. We don’t want to see some poor actor have the challenge of trying to replace Felicity at least in terms of all the computer jargon and that role within the team. It’s a tough spot to put a new person in, especially since the final season is only ten episodes.
Do – Make this season even more brutal. To compensate for Felicity’s absence, the best thing that the writers can do is focus entirely on the other side of this show, which is dark, brooding, and intense. Allow yourself to be placed on a freight-train of drama where Oliver feels alone and forced to make decisions without the person he loves the most. In a lot of ways, this is best way to show that he misses her — have her show the ways she’s changed him even when she is not around.
Don’t – Make the reason Felicity is gone from the show a flimsy one. It needs to be firm enough so that casual viewers, those who don’t know about Emily’s announced departure, don’t expect her to turn up in every single episode of season 8. Don’t jerk viewers around who love this character, since otherwise, you’re just toying with some of their emotions.
Do – Find a way to pitch something compelling to Emily for the series finale, that way her impact is truly felt and Felicity’s legacy is touched on one more time. If she doesn’t turn up, make sure to find a way that she is honored. She needs to be represented at the end given how she is now one of the show’s longest-tenured and most important cast members. We want the end of this show to be a reflection of the characters’ growth, but also that first season that started it all, back in the days when we just had a guy in a hood and a fledgling Olicity ‘ship viewers hoped would eventually turn into something so much more.
What do you want to see Arrow do on the other side of Felicity’s departure?
Be sure to let us know in the comments what are the right and wrong ways to handle it! Of course, we’ll have more news all about Arrow at the link here as we get closer to the end of this season. (Photo: The CW.)