Record Number of Broken Hearts: Arrow Season 4, Episode 16 Review
Cupid, Arrow's resident stalker, is back with a vengeance!
Don't mistake her for a love-sick train wreck. She's a fighter with legitimate skills that Oliver thought could be put to good use in the ARGUS Suicide Squad, after wreaking havoc in season 2.
Despite still being convinced in season 3 that she and the Arrow were in love and engaged, that didn't stop her from blatantly hitting on fellow assassin Floyd Lawton/Deadshot and oddly discussing bridal bouquets with Lyla while on surveillance.
(Cupid held her weight on the 4-man team that day and was horrified when Deadshot sacrificed himself on the rooftop of the burning building. Twice in this episode, she quotes him: "Love is a bullet to the brain.")
With two devastating heartbreaks in her pathological past, she's now uniquely qualified to take out her rage on innocent celebrity couples on their wedding days, causing Felicity and Oliver to stage a fake ceremony to draw her out.
Show of hands how many women reading this would volunteer to put on your wedding dress after calling off the wedding, much less to say heartfelt vows with the very person you've decided to walk away from for good reason, using the real ring you wore up until last week.
Show of hands how many men reading this would enjoy hearing his ex-fiancée say at the altar, "Let's get it over with." (Snarky over comms much, Felicity?)
Meanwhile, in a Star City courtroom... This episode wasn't purely a mechanism to break up Oliver and Felicity. Arrow writers are playing the long game. We'll figure out how this story line of Damian Darhk - plain old Kenneth Bender, Marcovian expat, it turns out - on trial for Oliver's son William's kidnapping fits in, when Malcolm stages a jailbreak.
Maybe something to do with Darhk's apparently magic wedding ring?
(What I can't wait to see is Mama Smoak's reaction to the news that not only have Felicity and Oliver broken up, but also Captain Lance has admitted on the stand his complicity with Damian Darhk. She's gonna hit the roof.)
Back to the Queen celebrity non-wedding... An Arrow fan pointed out on Tumblr that the parallel is John Diggle, who married the right woman.
This #Olicity wedding is a rehearsal of the real one, which we'll probably see in Arrow's 100th episode (season 5, episode 8). Meanwhile, it's a major punch in the gut, same as was basically all of season 3, which can be best described as Oliver Queen continually expressing his love to Felicity, yet not changing his decisions that kept them apart.
Felicity walked away then and again now for exactly the same reason: lone wolf Oliver is not relationship or marriage material. She's got ample history to conclude that he'll always be keeping something secret from her, because that's just who he is and what a hero's life's work requires.
The ball is in Oliver's court to prove otherwise. With actions, not words. Even though he did everything in this episode short of begging her to stay.
John and Thea asked him if he was willing to say those words. He said yes, but didn't say them. Oliver Queen is nothing if not consistent.
Maybe we're so used to how well Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards play these emotional scenes with such subtlety that we don't always call it out. Their micro-expressions are exceptional.
Oliver said "for better or for worse" at Felicity's hospital bed following the night of the mayoral speech/public engagement/Darhk ambush. He essentially said it again here, in wedding vows somebody in the Arrow fandom really should plagiarize word for word.
But in television, as in real life, third time's the charm.
Coming up next, episode 17 "Beacon of Hope"