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Arrow's showrunner previews the season finale and Felicity's departure

By Bryan Cairns
Team Arrow

It’s finale time on Arrow, which explains the aptly titled episode, “You Have Saved This City.”

The seventh season has been building towards Oliver’s brutal confrontation with his villainous half-sister, Emiko, who blamed him for her mother’s death even after Oliver proved he wasn’t responsible. Now, Team Arrow must race to foil her scheme to ruin their reputation and destroy Star City. In the meantime, the season-long future storyline — involving Roy, Dinah, Felicity, and her grown-up daughter Mia and step-son William — will come to an explosive conclusion. As if that wasn’t enough, keep the Kleenex handy; this hour marks Felicity Smoak’s last appearance

Showrunner Beth Schwartz recently spoke with SYFY WIRE about Oliver versus Emiko, Roy’s road to redemption, saying goodbye to Felicity, and her thoughts on next season’s epic crossover, "Crisis on Infinite Earths."

What can you preview about the showdown between Oliver and his half-sister, Emiko?

It’s definitely going to be emotional for Oliver going against his sister. It will be a different kind of fight than we’ve seen in the past.

For Oliver, it’s always been about family. What kind of toll will this take on him?

What we crafted this season is this cycle that was brought to him by his father. By meeting Emiko, he sees he wasn’t the only one affected. In his mind, the two of them are the only people who can break this cycle of violence for their future generations.

Oliver vs Emiko on Arrow

Roy murdered two innocent police officers in this blood rage. How will he come back from that?

We will answer that a little bit in the finale. But we will get into it more next season. Roy has been through a lot on our series. We wanted to reveal what he’s been struggling with, and what his own adventure has been with Thea and Nyssa and going after the Lazarus Pits.

Laurel Lance, aka Black Siren, returns to pitch in. How has Laurel changed since she’s been away from the team?

After Episode 18, when Laurel had all the support of her fellow women on the show, she took that to heart. She will come back on the right side of things and on the side of the heroes.

Black Canary and Black Siren on Arrow

This season has been split into present-day events and flashfowards. In what way will the future impact the present-day characters?

The finale is going to feel like a double finale. We are wrapping up what’s happening in our present storyline, but also our future storyline. There will definitely be a connection between the two stories.

Emily Bett Rickards is sadly leaving the show. What kind of send-off did you want to give Felicity Smoak?

It was very sad, I’m still sad about it, but I wanted to honor Felicity both in the present day and in the future stories we’ve told all year. All I can say is that the last 10 minutes, I’m in tears every time I watch it.

How would you describe the state of Team Arrow by the end of the finale?

They end in a good place.

You’ve been guarded about spoilers this season. How tough has that been when promoting the show?

In the beginning of this season, we had so many cards to turn over in terms of no one knew we were going to jump to the future. I know as a fan of television myself, how much I love to be surprised. If I read it somewhere, I don’t like to be spoiled. It was definitely challenging to keep a lot of those secrets, especially Mia being Oliver and Felicity’s child. That was also another big spoiler I’m very happy didn’t get out.

It’s a little early to be talking about next season, but we know an epic crossover is coming. What does "Crisis on Infinite Earths" mean to you?

It’s going to affect our next season greatly. That’s all I can say. It’s going to be insane.  

The Arrow season finale airs Monday night at 9 p.m. on The CW.