TV Review: Arrow – “Broken Hearts”

Broken Hearts
Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find my review of all Arrow episodes here.
Cupid is a love-her-or-hate-her type of character, and I definitely love her. Amy Gumenick’s return as Carrie Cutter was a welcome one this week, even though her usually effervescent character took a darker turn in order to fit better with the sombreness of Oliver and Felicity’s breakup. Plus, on the eve of the grimdark Batman v Superman, having an episode focused on a character called Cupid waging war on love might just be exactly the kind of camp we need!
If you’re not a fan of the Oliver and Felicity relationship drama, there’s a good chance “Broken Hearts” won’t be as enjoyable, since a good chunk of it is focused on their recent breakup. Considering how it was a major and recent development, it only makes sense for the fallout to come front and centre this week. The insertion of Cupid into the mix lended some livelihood to a subplot that would have otherwise made me think, “Just get it over with.”
It wasn’t a perfect storyline, with some ups and downs along the way. Aside from Cupid, the ups included Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards’s performances (despite my being tired of Felicity’s on-the-verge-of-tears voice). That said, the resolution with Cupid changing her anti-love vendetta thanks to a heartfelt speech by Felicity was way too easy, the kind of neat resolution you’d find on cartoons. Also, the episode’s attempts to veer away from Oliver and Felicity’s love in particular and tackle love as a theme in general were not too successful.
Damien Darhk in CourtAlso, I legitimately aww’d at seeing Cupid so miserable after both of her “loves” had died. There’s something about that character that’s a bit endearing, despite how dangerous she is.
Though “Broken Hearts” teased us with the potential for Felicity to come around, for now the breakup seems pretty final, and that makes me glad. I’m tired of the will-they-won’t-they. I just want them to decide. Season 3 was damaged by the uncertainty. Early Season 4 benefited from seeing Oliver and Felicity in a happy, stable relationship. Mid-Season 4 suffered again from bringing back the uncertainty. And I’m hoping the upcoming episodes will benefit from the definitive “they won’t”. I just want Arrow to commit to this, especially after even Felicity losing her ability to walk was reversed. Plus, I enjoy Felicity much more in her role as Overwatch than as Oliver Queen’s fiancée.
The other, more enjoyable plotline in “Broken Hearts” involved the courtroom scenes with Damien Darhk. That was great story that not only showed us a side of Laurel that I’d missed seeing, but also demonstrated just how resourceful and difficult to put away Darhk is, leading to Lance testifying and incriminating himself in a strong scene. A decision that will likely bite Lance in the behind, not because he incriminated himself, but because he got on Darhk’s bad side. Darhk, who will definitely escape, and probably seek vengeance. With the flashforward of the grave approaching, now’s the time to worry. They’re currently setting it up to be either Lance or Laurel—the latter of whom I’d be very, very upset if she died. Fingers crossed.
Overall, “Broken Hearts” was a decent episode that focused less on its strongest material (i.e. Darhk) than it should have, but ultimately benefited from Cupid livening up the romantic plot.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

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