After a few weeks off, Arrow is back, and picking up right where we left off: with Ollie in triumph over Darhk’s arrest, and in despair over his breakup with Felicity.
1. The Return of Cupid
The show keeps showing clips/referencing Cupid saying “I’m Cupid, stupid,” and while I recognize that this is ‘a thing,’ it automatically makes the viewer reverse the words and think, “Oh, stupid Cupid.” The character, which barely had any development/motivation to begin with, is now hanging onto plot by a thread. She’s ‘graduated out’ of Task Force X (more on that in a minute), and now doesn’t believe in love anymore?
Look, I get that the Green Arrow rogue’s gallery is somewhat thin, but when you have Darhk at the heart of this season, you don’t need to be bringing all these also-rans back. I understand that they wanted Felicity in a wedding dress (which I get, because dayum), but there had to be an easier way than having a villain targeting celebrity couples.
(While we are on that topic: the news calls them Ollicity, and paparazzi are waiting outside their wedding, yet we have never seen either of them bothered in public by anyone. Ollie walks around the city to no notice, but when he’s getting married, hold onto your dicks, because people suddenly care!)
2. Task Force Ex (see what I did there?)
It is frustrating that a show that, sometimes, gets the nuance of certain comic ideas so right, also gets many of them so very wrong. Task Force X, aka “some sort of Suicide Squad,” always holds the promise of potential freedom, but is one of those promises that will never come true. That’s the whole point of the exercise – you can get these villains to believe that they’ll be set free, but you’ll never actually do that.
By having Cupid do a few missions and then bounce makes about as much sense as Darhk sneaking his ring into prison in his mouth.
Trial Pre-Trail Hearing of the Century Prime Time Hour
Here’s a bizarre pacing question for y’alll: why did the show need to do this pre-trial hearing for Darhk? Would the audience really have cried foul if it just went to a real trial? You could still have the sleazy attorney interrogating Diggle, you could still do literally everything you did tonight, except that it would have a point. Even if you wanted to leave it open ended, like the show did tonight, just have Darhk break out before the closing arguments!
This isn’t The People Vs. O.J. Simpson, no one is tuning in for a nuanced view of how the U.S. Justice System does and does not work (nor are they tuning in to see John Travolta eat scenery with abandon) – so taking us through this preliminary hearing just seems like a huge waste of time.
4. Lance my heart
Seeing Quentin willing to fall on his sword to put Darhk behind bars is one of the more heroic elements of the show in recent memory. Quentin has been a character that has ping ponged between likable and obnoxious over the show’s run, and he’s swinging back to likable now. The way the show is going, I can’t wait to see him petition the court for conjugal visits from Mrs. Smoak.
5. I’m really sad about Ollie and Felicity
For all the flaws in this show’s DNA, the romance between Oliver and Felicity was never one of them. There is some very real natural chemistry between Emily Bett Rickards and Stephen Amell, and their story was one that grew and changed and became something special. My fear with this is that they want Ollie and Laurel to end up together, because of their history in the comics. Come join special correspondent me for a moment in a section dedicated to The Flash:
Hey guys, what’s up? Brian here, with a new feature on my Arrow reviews – FLASH CHAT. So, doesn’t this feel a bit like Barry and Patty splitting up? We know that Barry and Iris are ‘meant’ to be together, but the chemistry just isn’t there. Ditto Ollie and Laurel – even back in Season 1, the Tommy/Laurel chemistry was so much stronger. You won’t find a bigger fan of the comic versions of these relationships than me, but they just aren’t working on the TV shows, and that needs to be addressed. Now, back to your regularly scheduled Arrow review. Back to you, BrianContinued below
Anyway, Felicity seems pretty resolute in her decision to not be with Oliver, and you can’t really blame her. She’s been through a hell of a lot, and wants/deserves something better. But she and Ollie just make sense in this world, in a way that Ollie and no one else do. I’m hoping that the series will end with them hand in hand, but, to quote “Gangsta’s Paradise,” ‘the way things is going, I don’t know.’
What do you guys think about all of this? Let me know in the comments!