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Arrow: Why Felicity Dies In The Series Finale

In the aftermath of “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” the Arrow series finale killed off one of the show’s most important characters — but why?

The Arrow series finale quietly killed off Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) love interest, in its final scene — leading some fans to wonder why the Arrowverse show would have a major character die at the very end. Felicity, Oliver’s wife and one of the show’s most important main characters, was absent for the crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths” because Felicity’s actor Rickards left Arrow after season 7. The series finale, “Fadeout,” saw the lovers reunite in the year 2040, but with the dark implication that they were both in the afterlife.

When Felicity exited Arrow in the season 7 finale, her future counterpart in the flashforwards received an ending as well. The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) tells future Felicity that he’d take her to see Oliver — but with the caveat that they would have to go to a place that she could never leave. After Felicity accepted the terms, the two left together through a portal, and their destination remained a mystery — that is, until the Arrow series finale gave the couple some much-needed closure.

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Related: Arrow’s Canaries Spinoff Is A Great Idea After Crisis On Infinite Earths

Arrow season 8, episode 10, “Fadeout” had several storylines to finish, as well as some new twists to set up. Originally, the plan was for the spirit of Arrow to continue via a spinoff series following Oliver’s daughter Mia Queen (Katherine McNamara), titled Green Arrow & the Canaries, so much of the final episode dealt with setting up the now-canceled series. The Arrow series finale also gave Oliver a fitting send-off via a candlelight vigil held in his honor in Star City, as well as a private funeral that revealed some major changes that had been made to the reality post-Crisis — including bringing back several dead characters. The biggest twist was the tease setting up John Diggle as the Arrowverse’s Green Lantern. The emotional high of the episode, however, was Felicity and Oliver reuniting.

Where Felicity Goes In The Arrow Season 7 Finale

Oliver-Felicity-Arrow-Series-Finale

After Oliver’s funeral in the Arrow series finale, the narrative shifted forward to the year 2040, returning to the scene of older Felicity going through the portal with The Monitor in season 7. However, now fans are shown what happened next: after she passed through, Felicity — made young again — found herself in Moira’s office, where she and Oliver are reunited. This office is significant because it’s where Oliver first laid eyes on her. As revealed by the conversation, this is the afterlife, which means that Felicity is dead in the Arrowverse (as of 2040). Since Felicity was alive prior to talking to the Monitor, the Monitor essentially killed her in order for her beloved archer Oliver, aka Arrow, again.

Why Arrow Killed Off Felicity Smoak

Though it’s true that Felicity won’t die for another twenty years, her death does hold a degree of weight. At the time of her death, Felicity would have been just over 50 years old — so she was hardly in her twilight years.  The character could still theoretically appear in other Arrowverse shows since most are set in the current time period. (Her death did mean she wouldn’t appear in the spinoff, Green Arrow & The Canaries, but it was canceled shortly after the Arrow finale aired, making the point moot.) Sill, it may seem odd to some viewers that her death was shown at all.

By killing Felicity (even in the future), the Arrow series finale brought Felicity’s story to a close. This makes sense given the actor’s wishes; Rickards opted to leave after Arrow season 7 because she wanted a break from acting in television.  Though it may have seemed odd for Felicity to willingly give up her life when she was still in her middle years, the choice is a fair compromise between tragically killing her in the present — which would have been controversial — and leaving her story unfinished. As is the scene from the Arrow series finale does culminate in a long-awaited happy ending for both Felicity Smoak and Oliver Queen, which also helps make Oliver’s ending an even more satisfying conclusion to the original Arrowverse series.

More: Lucifer Repeats Arrow’s Ending With Its Own Series Finale

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