Review: ‘Arrow’ S04E16 – “Broken Hearts”

By March 24, 2016

On this week’s episode of Arrow, we learned that ARGUS has a work release program, sometimes words aren’t enough and it’s far too dangerous to get married in Star City. Let’s take a closer look at “Broken Hearts,” shall we?

This week’s episode opens with the return of the insane, but loveable (?) Cupid, who is terrorizing and murdering innocent people, because as she says, ‘love is an arrow to the heart,’ the trial of Damien Darhk is just about to begin, but Darhk’s legal counsel is busy claiming he’s not who he says he is, and the charges against him should be dropped, leading to a preliminary hearing, and Felicity is all packed up and ready to leave the loft, as she and Oliver discuss cancelling the stuff they had booked for the wedding. After a touch of awkward, Oliver assures Felicity that she’s still a part of team Arrow.

As Laurel tries to come up with some evidence against Darhk, Felicity spills the beans about her and Oliver’s breakup. Diggle confirms with Oliver that the whole thing is about William, because, yeah, having a kid and then keeping it from her is a big deal, when they get word that Cupid is back in action and she has a hate-on for the L-word and anything associated with it. Her victims were a power couple in Star City. Felicity manages to track her down and the team is off. Turns out that Cupid has hijacked a limo and is holding the bride and groom hostage. In the melee, Thea gets thrown off her bike and Oliver demands Diggle stay with her while he goes after Cupid. He confronts her but she escapes.

Back at the Arrow cave, they do some tests and realize that Cupid is holed up in a wedding dress storage facility… oh, the irony! They find her lair, as well as basically a murder board, highlighting the couples that she’s targeting, including Oliver and Felicity. While Felicity mentions that something good came out of their breakup, as they were no longer on Cupid’s hit-list, Oliver suggests they get married in order to draw Cupid out. Of course, Felicity is like hell to the no, but the team manages to convince her it’s the only way. They leak to the press that they’re getting married secretly and move ahead with the plan, which actually includes a tuxedo, a wedding dress and a justice of the peace. There’s a touching moment where Ollie pours his heart out to Felicity, and I’ve got to admit, I got a little teary. Before the ceremony is complete, Cupid busts in and shoots Ollie with an arrow through the heart (and if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you!), before threatening to blow up the building. Ollie gets up and admits that he’s wearing Kevlar, but that’s not going to help with the C4. As Cupid explains how much love sucks, Felicity tells her that love is really all that matters and pretty much talks her off the ledge. Diggle and Thea bust in and a fight ensues, because hey, this is Arrow, but when Cupid goes for the detonator, Oliver tranks her.

At the preliminary hearing, Diggle takes the stand and describes how Darhk kidnapped them at a party last year. Defense council has a field day and brings up Diggle’s job as a security guard and the fact that he helped Thea buy the drugs they used as bait. Yeah, not so good. When Lance offers to testify to Darhk’s involvement with HIVE, Laurel shoots him down, because then he would be implicating himself. When no other witnesses are willing to come forward, Lance once again offers to tell his story. Knowing it’s the only way, Laurel reluctantly agrees. Lance takes the stand and testifies about his dealings with Darhk. During cross examination, when the defense lawyer questions his motivations, Lance goes all why would I lie, since I’m basically throwing myself under the bus here?

In the still useless flashbacks, Reiter, Ollie and whatever her name is, have finally managed to get wherever it is they’re going. Reiter waxes poetic about the evil men that raided his village when he was young and how he will never be the victim again, but when Ollie confronts him about it, he pulls out a gun and shoots a yeoman Johnson that’s with them. As the guy dies, his spirit enters an idol of some kind and Reiter talks of power as a symbol on his arm glows. Oliver and the woman attack, before grabbing the idol and running off. When they try to destroy the idol, it doesn’t work and they quickly realize they’re trapped and try to find a way out.

As the episode comes to an end, the verdict is in and, because of Lance’s testimony, the motion to dismiss is denied and is to be tried. Darhk is remanded into custody without the possibility of bail. Back at the station, Lance gets suspended, pending an IAB investigation, which isn’t surprising, while at the Arrow cave, Felicity tells Oliver that what she said earlier doesn’t apply to them, because no matter how much she loves him, she can’t be with him. When he promises that things will be different, she shuts him down, saying that no matter how hard he tries, part of him will always turn back to who he was on the island. She then breaks it off for good, and decides to leave not only Ollie, but team Arrow as well. At Iron Heights, Damien manages to sneak in his wedding ring, which he slips on, before grinning.

broken hearts 2

So, this episode was okay. Since I’m not really a shipper, and didn’t really want Oliver and Felicity to be together as a couple to begin with (Why can’t we just get a male and female partnership that doesn’t have any sexual tension? Why can’t they be friends and nothing more? I’m asking TV showrunners, because you don’t seem to be able to do this, like ever! Mini rant over…) I’m really not all that sad that they’re no longer together. What I am disappointed about is the fact that they’re splitting up the team, which is always what happens when romantic relationships are involved. While I have no doubt that Oliver and Felicity will get back together eventually, I’m not a fan of this whole story trope.

There’s no doubt that this episode was complete filler, and while it’s nice to see old characters pop up now and again, I could have done without Cupid. She is one of the least memorable villains that Ollie has faced and probably the most annoying. The stuff with Darhk was interesting, but served no real purpose other than to torpedo Lance’s career. That could have been accomplished in a more direct and less waste of an entire episode. My money is still on Quinten Lance being in the grave they’ve been teasing all season, and his fall from grace and subsequent tattling on Darhk is probably just the thing that’s going to land him there.

Overall, this was a serviceable episode. Unless you’re a really hardcore Oliver and Felicity shipper, I can’t see it being anyone’s favorite. It wasn’t exactly a splashy way to return, but here’s hoping that it just means they’re gearing up to knock our socks off for the rest of the season.

Arrow airs every Wednesday night on The CW.

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Erin Parisien
Erin is a writer, a comic-book geek, a movie nerd and a pop culture junkie... all long before it was cool! She's the senior Editor and a writer over at and can always be found behind a keyboard, because it's all about the words. Follow her @erin_the_novel over on twitter.