This was a fun break from the more serious stuff we've been getting for the last few weeks. Not that it was a totally goofy episode, because as over the top as Cupid was, her mental illness was handled very well.
I have to give Amy Gumenick kudos, because I don't think Cupid would've been as fun if the actress wasn't as good as she is. I didn't cringe once, and in some ways I just wanted her to come to around to reality so that she could be a force for good. Perhaps on the Suicide Squad she'll have that chance, and hey it's a pretty good possibility she'll show up again this season, too. I'd like her to be continuing, because for me she is one of the more successful villains we've had on the show.
This was also an interesting exercise in whether it is a good idea to save everyone. Cupid was created by Oliver being a hero, and of course you could argue that the whole attack on Starling last season was his fault too, but that's a bit unfair because it wasn't a choice. He's a hero, so saving someone is a no-brainer. But with those actions, come some consequences. This time it was a person he saved, next time it might be someone he doesn't save. Oliver might be capable of dealing with life or death situations and handling the consequences, but I'm not sure Roy is.
Whatever Cupid drew out in Oliver, she maybe did more harm to Roy. Simply dispatching him like that but not killing or hurting him must've been humiliating. To Roy's credit, he never once made the obvious tantrum, even though he initially refused to admit it was because his head wasn't in the game. But it was Roy's choice to be a part of this life that has brought him to this point. I think it's both exciting and important to character growth that these emotions are explored, even though it's likely he isn't ready to be a full fledged hero on his own.
The B-plot, Oliver and Felicity going separate directions, didn't work quite as well for me. I guess it's because Felicity really has moved on in a way, even though she's still a part of team Arrow. The emotions are still there, but she didn't react in nearly the same way as Oliver to the whole situation. For Oliver though, he has made this choice which puts him on a long lonely path. I guess you could call this the first real test of that choice, and he isn't handling it all that well.
The C-plot involving Thea and her new DJ didn't work at all for me. Is he a new love interest for her? If so, I think she can do a LOT better. This guy is an arrogant ass who just happens to be good at what he does. Or is this guy meant to bring her back to Roy? Either way, the less screen time for this guy the better.
We got some serious time spent in the flashback this episode, and most of it featured Tatsu (Rila Fukushima) who not only showed she's not afraid of anything, but has the skills to back it up. She singlehandedly took out several mafia thugs (a rival of the Triad called the Shu Gang) with a sword. All because she thought her husband had been taken by them. What would happen if he was killed? At least I really like the chemistry between Oliver and Tatsu.
Comic Book Bits:
Cupid (Carrie Cutter) is yet another DC-inspired villain. They changed quite a bit of her back story, making her a cop (and the first woman on the Starling S.W.A.T. team) instead of ex-special forces, like she was in the comics. She is just mentally disturbed in this show, whereas in the comic she gained super strength because of her training and that caused the mental instability. Here she is a former SCPD officer who left the force one year before Oliver returned from Lian Yu because she became obsessed with her partner. She's also into gardening.
But her motivations are the same as the comic book character. She's obsessed with Arrow. She occasionally kills indiscriminately, and actively goes against Arrow's foes so that she might earn his esteem. The scene where Cupid killed that tech guy (who was incidentally a former CI of hers) was probably a reference to something the character did in the comics. She got her hair cut for Green Arrow, and then killed the stylist because she thought it was perfect and didn't want anyone else to have the same haircut.
Nice flashback to the attack on Starling City by the Mirakuru soldiers.
I loved the idea that Oliver didn't know how to do his own laundry. It totally fit his personality and history.
Ray needed the mine to procure some Dwarf Star alloy to finish off his A.T.O.M. Exosuit. I think.
Queen Consolidated is now Palmer Technologies and Felicity is officially the VP. Talk about a promotion.
No Laurel at all in this episode. She wasn't even mentioned.
The title screen was changed to Cupid's arrow!
There were two blatant references to Robin Hood in this one. Sherwood Florist, and a direct call out to how Oliver dresses.
Really nice scene between Diggle and Felicity alone. Of course it was about Oliver.
Two amazing dresses in this one, Felicity in blue, and Carrie in red.
Felicity's speech to the mine owner was pretty amazing, and speaks to her current opinion of Ray. I also suddenly wanted a Ray/Felicity spin-off show. No... no, I don't want to lose Felicity. I take it back.
Nice twist on the damsel in distress on the train tracks by chaining Oliver to them.
Diggle mentions that Carrie is even nuttier than the last woman on the Suicide Squad, which is an obvious reference to Harley Quinn. Is it just me or are they just teasing us now?
Clearly Brandon Routh did not let himself go in the eight years since Superman Returns.
Psychiatrist scene was pretty well done, and logical. Plus, are they opening a door there for Oliver?
Using math to triangulate Arrow's hideout has to come up again. It's way too important to be such a throw away detail.
I thought Diggle's multiple attempts at match-making Oliver and Felicity were a bit out of character, but they did make sense.
The whole Boomerang bad guy at the end was a bit random, but he is another Spartacus alum and they all have a pretty good track record on this show.
Felicity: "Oh god, I have a type."
Felicity: "This dress costs more than my apartment."
Ray: "Yeah, it's couture, which I'm pretty sure is French for expensive."
Ray: "So, dinner, purely platonic."
Felicity: "There's nothing platonic about couture."
I liked this one a lot, and I hope Carrie comes back in the near future.
3 1/2 out of 4 Heart Shaped Arrows
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.