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Arrow – S4E16 – Broken Hearts

Previously on Arrow, ‘Taken’

Last night’s Arrow saw the return of Cupid, who has moved on from killing people because of being in love, to killing people because she hates love, so… character development? She is back in town killing celebrity couples just after their wedding days. Conveniently enough, Team Arrow’s very own celebrity couple have their wedding planned for this week. Less conveniently, they are going through a messy breakup following Oliver’s I-have-a-kid-that-I-didn’t-tell-you-about bombshell, and now have to have a fake wedding to lure Cupid into the open.

The B plot is slightly less soap opera-y (just). Damien Darhk is on trial for all of his super villain escapades, but Laurel just can’t get any evidence to stick. Luckily, Captain Lance witnessed a whole lot of wrongdoing back when he was working for Darhk, and becomes the star witness for the case (certainly not helping his odds of being in the grave that we’ve seen in the flash-forward).

Images: The CW

Images: The CW

The Bad

I don’t love the character of Cupid. She’s one of the least nuanced of all of the villains on Arrow (and THAT’S saying something), and plays into a lot misogynistic stereotypes that I’d rather not see on TV in 2016. Surely a character that’s been around since the ’40s has a deeper bench of villains to draw from? The CW is doing such a good job playing with the ‘crazy ex-girlfriend’ stereotype on Crazy Ex Girlfriend that it’s disappointing to see it played straight here. Also, is it too much to expect dialogue better than: “Love is a bullet to the brain, or an arrow to the heart”?

Ugh.

Another disappointing storyline is the complete disappearance of Felicity’s disability. Going from being in a wheelchair one week to walking around in heels again the next week is, frankly, a huge fucking cop out, and, I’d wager, pretty insulting for people actually living with physical disabilities who so rarely see themselves represented on TV. Even putting aside the wider issues of the lack of diversity on TV, this miracle recovery is just another example of lack of stakes on a show that seems afraid to mess with the status quo. I can’t wait to find out who is in the grave, because we might at last be subjected to some lasting consequences.

I don’t like to talk about (or think about, or watch) the flashbacks, but of course the black guy is from an unnamed African country whose village was destroyed by bandits. I’m not surprised, I’m just disappointed.

The Good

I never thought I’d say this (and don’t kill me, Olicity shippers), but I am SO glad that Oliver and Felicity have broken up (temporary though it likely is). This show has a tendency to at best let Oliver get away with making decisions for and lying to his loved ones, and at worst justify it. I’m glad that this time there seems to be some consequences for his actions.

Quote of the Week

Felicity, wearily, after Oliver went off without backup:

“Let them help you”

A lesson he may one day learn (but today is not that day).

Arrow S4E16
  • 6/10
    Plot - 6/10
  • 5/10
    Dialogue - 5/10
  • 6/10
    Action - 6/10
  • 6/10
    Performances - 6/10
5.8/10

Summary

*sigh*

There was nothing in this episode that even remotely surprised me. The dialogue was clunky, the action was nothing special, and the flashbacks continue to be bafflingly dull. All of Felicity’s on-point speeches to Oliver seem cheapened by the fact that they are clearly endgame. Has Arrow lost its spark, or am I missing something?

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About Alison Millward (103 Articles)
Alison is a big nerd living in Melbourne, Australia. She is a lover of all things television, particularly anything in the "hot young people in depressing sci-fi situations" genre. When not watching tv, Alison enjoys long walks on the beach, corrupting young minds, and actively avoiding thinking about her future.
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