Spoilers ahead for “Broken Hearts,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow!
The short version: Oliver and Felicity are still broken up, and when Cupid starts killing again, it puts their rocky romance back in the spotlight. The former couple is forced to fake a wedding to serve as bait, but it does not go well for Olicity fans. Still reeling from his arrest before the break, big bad Damien Darhk remains in police custody and has a pre-trial to determine if the case will move forward. With no good options as evidence, Capt. Lance takes the stand and spills all the dirty details — implicating himself in the process.
Love is an arrow to the head for Olicity
The episode opens with Cupid free from the Suicide Squad and back on the street. What does she do? Immediately start killing again, of course, and taking out celebrity couples all over Star City. Her manic insanity felt off with the episode’s serious tone, but hey, it’s still a comic book show, right?
From there, we pick up in the broken ashes of Olicity, as Felicity packs up her things and prepares to move out. Oliver is putting up a brave face, but he’s not taking it well. Though diving right into a Baddie of the Week story featuring Cupid does seem a bit too much on the nose (and it kind of is), it works for the most part. Having Cupid back on the scene forces the two to process their feelings while they’re still raw, and though there are some promising moments, Felicity really does seem finished with the relationship. Like, really, really done.
The two get to share some heartfelt speechifying during the fake wedding used to lure out Cupid, while Oliver takes full advantage of to win Felicity back. She seems to be somewhat open to what he’s saying, and it’s obvious these two characters still love one another. But, Oliver’s decision to hide his son still cuts deep, and considering how many times he’s kept stuff from her in the past, it’s one secret too much. Though soapy break-ups like this can often feel manufactured for the sake of drama, this one is actually believable on every front. Yes, it sucks for fans wanting these characters to end up together, but Felicity’s emotions in this situation are wholly believable.
Is Olicity really over?!?!
But, one note: Back to the raw emotion of the break-up, Felicity got a bit too snippy and snarky while on duty with Team Arrow. It seemed immature for the character, and though it was almost certainly meant to show Felicity trying to process the break-up (in her typically witty way), it almost felt like she was rubbing salt in the wound. Maybe not the intent, but that’s how it came across. C’mon, writers, Felicity is better than this.
Team Arrow heads to court
Hey, Daredevil isn’t the only superhero show that can head to the courtroom. Damien Darhk is in police custody, and we actually get to follow the case through a relatively realistic spin on a pre-trial. If they actually play it out, this could be a fantastically interesting story arc. Despite the fact that one of the show’s main characters is a district attorney, we rarely see any of these cases after the initial beating from the costumed heroes. If they keep this story going, the trial of Damien Darhk could be a refreshing narrative tool to really make this season stand out. Or, you know, he could escape in the first five minutes of next week’s episode. But hey, we’re digging the direction for now.
With the trial going terribly, and since Laurel doesn’t really have any actual evidence to prove Darhk is a bad dude (and you can’t exactly have the Green Arrow take the stand), they turn to Diggle — a witness to Darhk’s attack on Oliver’s campaign HQ, who was also kidnapped and nearly killed. But, Darhk was ready for that move, and shoots a torpedo through Diggle’s character due to that fake drug deal a while back to stop a Baddie of the Week. Nice callback.
With the case about to hit the fan, Laurel finally agrees to let Capt. Lance take the stand and dig into all the shady dealings he’s had with Darhk. He details all the info he stole for Darhk, and testifies he saw Darhk commanding his ghosts in their secret base. It’s some damning evidence, to be sure, but it comes with the double-edged sword of basically torching his police career. Yes, he makes it clear he acted under duress (since Darhk had threatened to kill Laurel), but it’s still bad.
The guilt has been eating Lance alive most of the season, and it’s a nice move to give him a chance to own up to everything and take his lumps. Whatever they might be.
Latest odds on the mystery grave
The race to the graveside flashfoward is getting pretty close at this point. There are only about a half-dozen episodes left, so we’ll find out the answer soon enough. So, how’s it looking? Well, you’d have to think Capt. Lance just jumped to around the top of the list. He’s the smoking gun in the Darhk trial, so it stands to reason he’ll have a massive target on his back for the rest of the year. It would certainly make sense, and provide a tragic but fitting end to his arc (Lance dabbles in the dark side, and while seeking redemption, pays the permanent price?).
Heading down the list, Felicity’s mother remains a strong contender, and it looks like she’l be in some type of peril as soon as next week’s episode. Beyond those two, everyone from Diggle, to Lyla, to Thea, and Laurel remain possibilities. But, you’d think those characters are arguably too major to kill off, at this point. Maybe. If nothing else, we know it’s not Felicity, since we’ve seen her (sans engagement ring) in a follow-up flashforward.
You also have to wonder: Will they wait until the season finale to reveal the death? Or will it come an episode or two sooner, so we can see some of the aftermath? Also, what the heck is Malcolm Merlyn up to now? He’s got to be scheming, right?
Who are you betting on in the dead pool?
What’s next: The series is bringing over a former Flash baddie via Walking Dead alum Emily Kinney, who will reprise her role as Brie Larvan, aka the Bug-Eyed Bandit. Larvan will be going after Felicity in a bid to steal the bio-chip that allows Felicity to walk after her spine was damaged.