“Arrow” fans received some shocking news over the weekend. Despite the series wrapping up this fall with a shortened season, Felicity actress Emily Bett Rickards decided not to return for the final episodes. Her exit will be made clear later this spring.

Showrunner Beth Schwartz revealed to TVLine that while the fans were shocked, the writers were not. “We kinda knew,” she said of Rickards’ announcement. That means the staff had time to craft an actual exit for her.

Schwartz, however, didn’t say much about Felicity’s departure other than that it “is addressed at the end of this season” rather than mentioned at the beginning of Season 8. That means her departure will be explained before or during the “Arrow” season finale on May 13.

Stephen Amell revealed that the actress started filming her last episode on Monday. “So on the first day of our last episode together, I’d like everyone to know how deeply I appreciate the past seven years. We wouldn’t be here without you. I love you. And I cannot wait to see what you do next,” he wrote on Instagram.

It seems like the CW series already set up a Season 7 exit for Felicity. While Laurel (Katie Cassidy Rodgers) and Diggle (David Ramsey) have figured out that Felicity is pregnant, it doesn’t seem like anyone else will. The flash forwards revealed that very few of Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity’s friends knew that they had a baby.

The “Star City 2040” episode showed Mia’s backstory and showed that Felicity moved away from Star City before giving birth. That means it’s only a matter of time before Felicity leaves Team Arrow to go into hiding with her daughter.

Rickards announced her exit on Saturday on social media.

On the bright side, fans know they don’t have to worry about her dying in the present day storyline. “Arrow” fans are already concerned that Oliver will die. He hasn’t been seen in any flash-forwards, and fans remember he made some sort of mysterious deal with the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) earlier this season. Comic book readers know that next season’s crossover, “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” will likely have some big deaths, and the big event will happen around the time of the “Arrow” series finale.

“Arrow” airs Mondays on The CW.

Arrow Felicity leaving
Emily Bett Rickards will leave "Arrow" at the end of this season. She is pictured playing Felicity Smoak. Jack Rowand/The CW