Arrow comes back from its hiatus with “Broken Hearts,” a title that works on a few levels. The show opens with a couple pleading for their lives. Their tormentor shows up soon enough- Cupid, the crazy archer Team Arrow defeated a while back who went on to become part of ARGUS’ Task Force X. Task Force X is better known by their action branch’s name- the Suicide Squad.
Cupid has not gotten any saner, or nicer, in her absence. She’s just as deadly as ever, though. Just like regular criminals can pick up new skills in prison, I guess supervillains learn new tricks when hanging out with others like them. There’s a sobering thought.
The parts of the show that don’t deal with Cupid are pretty much about Damian Darhk’s trial, or at least preliminary motions for it. Not one to accept defeat, he’s not even agreeing that’s his name, saying instead that he’s a citizen of Markovia who had been kidnapped. Markovia has popped up a few times. It’s the comic book home of Geo-Force, one of the Outsiders, and is where the earthquake device for Malcolm’s undertaking came from.
The trial is ugly and goes badly. Darhk’s lawyer is more than ready to shoot down all of Laurel’s arguments, and there’s a lot of legal maneuvering. None of it felt quite right to me; I think whoever wrote that part of the show isn’t overly familiar with the law. Eventually, in a desperate move, Captain Lance puts himself on the stand and admits to the many crimes he committed at Darhk’s direction. It’s a bold move, but it’s not going to do anything for Lance’s career. The point that gets hammered home over and over is that Darhk threatened to kill Laurel if Lance didn’t do what Darhk commanded.
Felicity isn’t easing off on her decision last episode. She’s packed, and is babbling about her plans to tell the movers how to do their jobs. I’m not quite clear where she’s going, since Felicity and Oliver have been living together for quite a while now, both in Star City and Ivy Town. The Team finds out, and are all shocked and saddened.
Diggle gives Oliver several pep talks about the break up, which I kept thinking sounded a bit naive. Oliver is clinging to the fact that she’s still part of Team Arrow, hoping that’s a good sign. Let’s just say no one has a great episode.
Cupid’s new pattern is killing celebrity couples. They have a few fights with no real resolution aside from a badly done car chase. So, of course, Oliver and Felicity’s wedding is back on. Ish. There’s a very touching almost-real wedding, which is bait to draw out Cupid. Oliver and Felicity both say some very pretty words before the inevitable fight. Afterwards, Felicity makes a decision that’s going to affect the team, and make a lot of fans unhappy.
The final scene is Darhk. The motions go against him but he doesn’t really seem to care. He’s remarkably, I’d say disturbingly, calm about it. He seems very pleased with himself when they end the episode. I think this bodes ill for someone.
What I liked: Honestly, not a lot. I haven’t liked Cupid since she first turned up in the comics, and I liked her less on the show. The only time I enjoyed her was the brief version of the Suicide Squad they had on the show before DC Entertainment told them to get rid of it. An odd call, since they swear the tv shows and the movies will be completely separate, yet the Arrow folks have purged anything that ties to the Suicide Squad, DC’s next movie after Batman V Superman.
What I didn’t: The vast majority of this episode. They’ve been groping for a way to break up Oliver and Felicity since they got together, possibly a reflection of DC’s “heroes aren’t allowed to be happy” editorial policy that’s part of their current universe. I think the entire plot with William, his mother’s bizarre demand that Oliver not tell anyone about him, and Felicity’s over-reaction, has all been strained at best. This is just the latest installment of it.
I usually more or less enjoy the show and let the weak points roll by. This whole mess has been getting worse and worse since the big crossover with Flash and Vandal Savage. I’m giving this episode a low 2 out of 5, and I really hope the show gets better soon.