Arrow returned after its hiatus with love on its mind, but not necessarily in a good way. Former villain Cupid is back having escaped from prison, and she’s targeting high profile lovers. This week’s episode begins with her torturing a seemingly happy couple and shooting arrows through their heart. Her mantra: love is dead.
Heartbreak is also hitting the Arrow Team a little closer to home. Felicity (who’s spinal injury seems completely healed at this point) is moving out of her apartment with Oliver, who’s clearly in pain over their breakup. She wants to remain on the team though even if they’re not together which Oliver agrees to. Though it’s a bit awkward and strained now between Oliver and Felicity, the team comes together to track down Cupid. Laurel’s sitting this one out though as she’s got a bigger fish to fry.
Laurel is acting as the prosecuting attorney against Damien Darhk, who was arrested after William’s kidnapping. Before the trial has even started though his lawyer is making an appeal to have the charges dismissed. The judge agrees to a preliminary hearing to determine if there’s basis to move forward with a trial. Laurel is frustrated by her lack of evidence and witnesses. John takes the stand to testify about being kidnapped back at the Christmas party by Darhk, but his credibility is ripped to shreds by Darhk’s lawyer who brings up Diggle purchasing drugs for Thea.
Quentin offers to take the stand and testify about his involvement with Darhk, but Laurel is hesitant as she knows it will lead to the end of her father’s career and possible jail time. Quentin persists though, knowing it is the right thing to do, and proceeds to tell the court about how Darhk forced him to commit illegal acts by threatening Laurel’s life. It leads to the loss of Quentin’s gun and badge, but it works. The judge is impressed by his testimony and agrees to go on with the trial and hold Darhk without bail in the meantime.
I have to say it’s absolutely wonderful to see Laurel hold the spotlight. It can be easy to forget she’s a successful competent lawyer when we never see her in the courtroom, but that’s a huge part of her life and identity. I’m hopeful now we’ll see more scenes of her not just kicking butt out on the streets, but in the courtroom as well.
Meanwhile, the rest of the gang has learned Cupid’s location and are tailing her along with a couple she’s holding hostage. Thea’s incapacitated in the chase and while Diggle stays with her, Oliver (against Felicity’s protests) goes after Cupid alone. In the ensuing tangle, Oliver manages to save her would-be-victims, but she escapes.
After finding her hideout, they realize Cupid’s targeting Star City’s celebrity couples. Love betrayed her so she’s declared war on love. It kind of makes sense, at least from her perspective, Felicity says, clearly projecting her own feelings onto the situation. Diggle says the best chance they have at catching Cupid is using a new couple as bait. That gives Oliver an idea, why don’t he and Felicity get married after all to lure her in? Felicity is convinced this is an awful idea, one of Oliver’s worst. Thea and Diggle seem to think it’ll work though and tell Felicity they’ll be there to protect her so she agrees to play along.
They arrive, dress and tuxedo, at their venue, which Oliver never cancelled despite Felicity asking him to. The priest asks the couple to read their original vows. Felicity is taken by surprise and says something vague and brief. Oliver though takes the opportunity to express in very sincere terms how much he loves her and how she has become the best part of his life. He tells her he will never lie to her again, and he just wants a chance to be her always. At this point Cupid comes crashing in. She shoots Oliver in the chest with an arrow and reveals she has the trigger to a bomb that will level the whole building. Oliver pulls the arrow out, revealing he is wearing armor under his suit. Cupid doesn’t seem phased, reiterating that love is death and the only two men she’s loved have died.
Felicity stops her there though and tells her that isn’t true. Love is life and it’s worth living for. She tells her that the love she and Oliver share gives her meaning and joy and makes her a better person. As Cupid starts to soften at these words, Thea and Diggle arrive and capture her.
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed about Cupid’s return. She’s a really interesting and complex character and they barely scratched the surface with her in this episode. She basically only served as a way to get Oliver and Felicity to confront their relationship status.
Outside the venue, Oliver asks Felicity if she’s okay, which she assures him she is. Encouraged by her words to Cupid, he asks if they can talk about their relationship. Not tonight, she tells him, they’re too tired. Before he can secure a time though they’re interrupted.
Felicity walks in on Oliver later that night though in the Arrow Cave. She came to get a few things and he’s been up watching the press coverage of their botched wedding (hey, the Star City media refers to them as Olicity too!). He tells her that everything he said in his vows he meant and he wants to get back together with her and for them to get married for real. She rejects him though. While she is still in love with him she knows that there will always be a part of him that reverts to the man on the island, alone. Because of the life they lead sooner or later there will come a time when he chooses to keep something from her, whether he wants to admit it or not. They need to let each other go, Felicity says. And that means her leaving the team too. Oliver says he doesn’t want to let her go. She tells him she doesn’t want to let him go either, but it’s too late. Like the Kelly Clarkson song, she’s already gone. It’s a bitter and painful moment for all Olicity fans and it’s played to heartbreaking perfection by these two actors. It’s bad enough that this fan favorite couple is breaking up, but to loose her from the team? That’s unacceptable.
That’s unfortunately not the end of their troubles though. After Darhk is escorted to his cell he opens his mouth, revealing a ring which he places on his finger.