Get ready to cry buckets of tears.
Arrow airs its series finale tonight, and we have seen it, and we so we have already cried our eyes out. We’re tearing up again now just thinking about it, and just thinking about everyone else getting to see it, and getting to cry their eyes out. It’s a festival of emotions, which you must already be able to guess if you’ve seen the photos of Oliver Queen’s funeral.
To begin to prepare you for this festival of emotions, we’ve got a little treat for you: the return of Felicity Smoak.
Emily Bett Rickards left the series at the end of season seven, and so Felicity has spent season eight hidden away, raising baby Mia on her own while Oliver was busy dealing with the Crisis that he ended up sacrificing himself to fix. Rickards only returned for tonight’s series finale, and we have your first look at her arrival in the video above.
In the clip, she arrives in the Arrow bunker in the elevator and is greeted by basically everyone who has ever been a part of Team Arrow, including current members Diggle (David Ramsey), Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), Rene (Rick Gonzalez), and Laurel (Katie Cassidy), but also Thea (Willa Holland), Roy (Colton Haynes), Curtis (Echo Kellum), Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson), and even Rory (Joe Dinicol).
She also walks right past Mia (Katherine McNamara), the grown version who’s visiting from the future, but clearly has no idea who she is. The moment is not lost on Mia, though.
Photos from the finale have shown that Mia and Felicity do get to share a moment, or at least they stand next to each other at the funeral so you can all assume they meet.
After a screening of the finale, showrunner Beth Schwartz, who wrote the episode with executive producer Marc Guggenheim, said the idea of the two of them meeting was a bit of “wish fulfillment.”
“Being a parent, and I’m a new parent, seeing your child in their adult self is really crazy, and also amazing when you’re proud of who she became as a woman,” she said, while explaining it’s also about “honoring her father’s legacy…not obviously under great circumstances ’cause they’re at Oliver’s funeral, but I think it was a very meaningful moment in their lives.”
Felicity’s return was pivotal to the finale in a lot of ways, as you’ll see, and she’s in it a lot more than you might assume she is despite only being able to film for two days. If you’re a Felicity fan (or an Olicity fan) you won’t be disappointed, and we can promise you that. (Like, get ready. Truly.)
Really if you’re a fan of anyone from Arrow, the finale delivers.
“I know it was really important to me and Marc to honor all of our characters in this,” Schwartz said. “We spent a lot of time in the room brainstorming endings for all our characters, and whether they were series regulars in season eight or they were series regulars in season one, we really wanted to give everyone a satisfying ending so you could envision what their lives would be like after the show was over.”
You can also get an idea from the clip about what the team is facing ahead of the funeral. Oliver’s son William has been kidnapped once again (less than an episode since Future William was kidnapped last week), and stepmom Felicity has stepped in to lead the team to save him. The show couldn’t go out without one last mission, obviously.
“Part of it was we realized if we kidnapped William one more time over the life of the show, we would get a free set of steak knives. And I wanted those knives,” Guggenheim joked.
In all seriousness, Arrow‘s series finale is a pretty beautiful send off to the show that launched a thousand other shows, and features surprises you haven’t yet seen pictures of and an ending fit for a hero.
It airs tonight at 9 p.m., after a retrospective special, on The CW.
See the photos from the finale below.