Cate Cameron/The CW
Natalie Abrams
November 11, 2015 AT 12:00 PM EST

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

We all knew Sara would be leaving for the Arrow-Flash spin-off DC’s Legends of Tomorrow eventually, but her exit came much sooner than expected during Wednesday’s episode of Arrow.

After succumbing to the bloodlust caused by the Lazarus Pits and killing a man during the mission to save Ray (Brandon Routh), Sara (Caity Lotz) decidedly thanked Laurel (Katie Cassidy) for giving her the ability to start over — and then did just that by leaving Star City behind.

“Sara is grappling with these really big issues,” executive producer Wendy Mericle tells EW. “She’s still going to have the bloodlust and these issues to deal with, so she’s got to go find a different way of handling it. The way that Thea [Willa Holland] has chosen to deal with hers is not going to work for Sara.”

Therefore, Sara is taking herself out of the equation until the lead up to Legends of Tomorrow. “Sara is looking for a purpose,” Lotz says. “She’s been trying to stay away from everyone and everything, but it’s like, then why are you living life if it’s not for relationships with people? What’s the purpose? Sara is looking for a purpose, and that’s what Rip Hunter [Arthur Darvill] offers her.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Sara has left her family in the dust. After it was discovered that she was still alive, Sara had to return to the League of Assassins… then she came back to Star City only to be killed by Thea… and then she was resurrected via the Lazarus Pits. “They’re used to it by now. ‘Hey, I’m alive, see ya, I’m going off,'” Lotz jokes. “That’s one of those things. She’s a wanderer, she’s a little bit of a gypsy. She has that in her soul where she never quite feels at home. That keeps driving her away. Hopefully they know her well enough that they would be accepting of it.”

“Laurel, when her sister makes that decision, [has] no choice but to honor it,” Mericle says. “It’s going to be very sad, there’s no doubt about it. She’s losing her sister all over again, but she’ll still be out there. It’ll be different from previous losses because she will know that Sara is still out in the world and fighting the good fight on her own terms.”

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

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