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Arrow postmortem: How will Felicity handle THAT news?

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Katie Yu/The CW

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Arrow. Read at your own risk!

It’s a good thing Felicity finally listened to that message!

During Wednesday’s episode of Arrow, Curtis (Echo Kellum) was able to decode what they thought was Ray Palmer’s (Brandon Routh) final message before his death, but what was actually revealed to be a plea for help. Ray is, in fact, still alive.

It’s not a huge surprise that he survived the Palmer Technologies explosion in the finale. Much like Sara’s resurrection, we all knew Ray wasn’t truly dead since Routh will be featured in the Arrow-Flash midseason spin-off DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. He surely survived by shrinking, as the A.T.O.M. suit is wont to do.

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The discovery is naturally distressing to Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), especially since it’s been months since they left Star City behind, which will cause friction between she and Oliver (Stephen Amell). Next week, “It’s the first episode we’ve done where we really explore fully the first challenge to Oliver and Felicity’s new relationship since returning to Star City,” showrunner Wendy Mericle teases. “It takes us to some very surprising places. Ray is definitely part of that, but not in the way you would think.”

“In our minds, when Ray and Felicity broke up in season 3, there weren’t any hard feelings,” Mericle continues. “There are still residual emotions playing out, especially for Felicity, who didn’t have a chance to really grieve the loss of Ray between seasons. That’s something we’ll definitely be exploring. Those chickens will be coming home to roost, especially for her.”

Unfortunately, Ray’s message isn’t as simple as most fans had hoped — like using a magnifying glass to see that he’s been chilling on the counter the whole time. “Ray’s survival is not something that has gone unnoticed by Damien Darhk,” Mericle teases. As such, the team will soon head out on a rescue mission for Ray, which is made more complicated when Thea’s (Willa Holland) bloodlust rears its ugly head.

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.