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ARROW REVIEW: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Lover’s Grudge in “Broken Hearts”

By on March 24, 2016
Arrow

Pictured (L-R): Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

By Justin Carter

In its last episode before a three week break Arrow ended with Felicity Smoak literally standing up and walking away from Oliver. What should’ve felt like a huge, emotional and shocking moment made me think “really?” Part of the issue is that as important as it seemed at the time, crippling Felicity for about three to five weeks and then making her walk again is sketchy and feels more like a convoluted way to give her a codename.

Last season wasn’t particularly kind to Olicity shippers, what with that whole thing where she dated Ray for a while. The love triangle brought the season down in a big way, and turning Felicity into a walking crying machine certainly didn’t help matters.

It’s been said that on TV, nobody likes a happy couple, but that’s clearly not true, as Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99 have shown us. What goes wrong with TV shows (and this seems to be an exclusively TV-related problem) is where they try to give the happy couple a contrived reason to fight or have an issue week after week.

Given the show has spent the past three years baiting us with the possibility of Oliver and Felicity getting together, I can’t logically buy that they won’t work through their issues by the end of the season. Sure, Oliver’s secret son and the ridiculous secret-keeping may be a wrench the works, but that’s all it is: a solution in need of a problem. Until then though, Felicity is moving out of the house and being somewhat annoyingly passive aggressive.

Also, Cupid’s back again! More or less still heartbroken by the death of her technically-not-boyfriend Deadshot about a year ago, she’s kidnapping famous couples in Star City to kill them and deliver some incredibly warped views on love. If her debut episode felt like a deranged Valentine’s Day episode, this week’s feels like it was written by someone who went through the worst breakup of their life and is still harboring a grudge. Granted, it’s somewhat fitting, given the way this show handles romance, but at the same time, it can feel a bit much.

Nowhere is this more apparent than when Oliver decides the best way to draw out their enemy of the week would be to have a fake wedding with him and Felicity. It’s cruel to her, and even though the two of them are able to work out their issues somewhat, it’s still a dick move on Oliver’s half. Again, it’s fitting, because Oliver can make some pretty boneheaded moves. But unlike Oliver, where the endgame is in sight with this plan, I can’t say the same with Arrow deciding to split up its power couple. Couldn’t they just go to counseling instead?

Additional Notes

  • “What was his plan for C4?” “That’s a damn good question.”
  • Thea being up to date on ship names was funnier than it should be. Willa Holland is a delight.
  • How did Cupid not realize that Arrow and Green Arrow were the same person? He literally televised his name change.
  • On a similar note: why in the hell would Amanda Waller let a known killer back out on the streets, even if she worked off her time?
  • “None of your crime tech guys read gossip websites?” “Let’s assume they don’t.”

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