TV Show Review

TV Review: ARROW: Season 3, Episode 7: Draw Back Your Bow [The CW]

Amy Gumenick Arrow Draw Back Your Bow

The CW‘s Arrow Draw Back Your Bow TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 3, Episode 7: ‘Draw Back Your Bow,’ was more of a breather, than a filler episode. It could be argued that nothing particularly or potentially crucial, to the season, happened; but maybe quite a bit of fanservice was done.

For one thing, Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) love life. It is a radioactive quarantine zone. It has to be – that’s just how anti-hero types roll. ‘Draw Back Your Bow’ took the time to say some pretty definitive things about Oliver’s relationship with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), Hong Kong Ollie’s relationship with Tatsu (Rila Fukushima), and The Arrow’s relationship with screwed-up masked woman #4. Mmm? Oh, right – the episode introduced the latest hot-mess-in-a-mask to Starling city: Cupid (Amy Gumenick).

Carrie Cutter (some thought went into that name, I’m guessing) was all about realizing some fanatic self-servicing of her own; her psychotic, romanticized fixation on The Arrow served as the fulcrum, around which the other threads revolved. The Freak Force was so strong, on this one, that she got her very own flashback origin scene. As one of The Arrow’s rescues, during the night of the Mirakuru marauders, her particular disorder left her hopelessly infatuated with the vigilante. Unfortunately, she imprinted on The Arrow killing one of Slade’s Mirakuru men, and likely still thought of him as the The Hood – i.e. the hero that killed the city’s failures away. Hence Cupid, the heroine that a heroic killer of killers deserves. Some days, it’s like the guy is incapable of being a good influence, or even making a useful impression.

The bad impression Hong Kong Ollie left with Tatsu just wouldn’t register with him; so when he finally acknowledged that fact, my ears pricked up. When Maseo (Karl Yune) finally admitted to the impracticality, of having a gaijin trying to go unnoticed, in Hong Kong, I knew something was up. The outcome didn’t go as far as such ‘deathbed confessions’ usually imply; but the set-up was pretty obvious. I was happy to see Tatsu go full Katana, but I did wish they could’ve come up with a better excuse for her to do so. BTW, Gaijin, in context, refers to barbarians, i.e. Europeans, Ollie; and you’ve gone soft, since getting off the island.

As for women being rubbed the wrong way, at present… or not rubbed, at all, in the case of Felicity, it was about taking opportunities where you find them. Especially when they present themselves to you, and are presented in the form & functions of Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), who then proceeds to present some speech defying presents.

It seems our resident geek-candy has a thing for the glam, after all, Mrs Stokes. Of course, Palmer wouldn’t be Palmer, if he didn’t bring a whole lot of personality, actual, to back up the bling. Of course, Felicity has been in a position to appreciate his appreciations. Of course, Oliver refused to express how strongly he disapproved of her taking personal time, with Palmer. Not that everyone else failed to notice. With all the “are you okays” that went into this episode, I can see why the question can be a relationship killer.

“Do what you want,” Oliver said; so passive aggressive was the order of the night. As hard as Palmer worked, to earn Felicity’s extra attention, I’d say Ollie worked harder to shut down the shippers (so there). I guess both Felicity & non-shippers benefited from Cupid’s appearance, then, as a reason for Oliver to come clean – even if he did do it sideways.

It felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of effort put into the whole Cupid stalk. For the first contact, she was right outside the window, practically right behind them, with a mirror to The Arrow’s front. Even though she made it clear that she had eyes on them, no one looked out the window. Roy’s (Colton Haynes) take down, at the ‘first date,’ was skipped over, and the bomb vest, on her bait, came off way too easy. Cutter’s very own Felicity made a flip remark, about no one doing the obvious triangulation job, to find the Arrow Cave, but we know it’s the writers’ fault. Worse, he was all balls, no brains. He actually thought that a woman, this homicidally fixated on one man, would spread the wealth. No Felicity merit badge for you!

To Amy Gumenick’s credit, though, Cupid was the least annoying number in Oliver’s little psychotic book. The character was seductive scary, rather than the staight-up-cray variety. While, in a way, that seductiveness does make her scarier than, say, the Huntress, it does make me not want to throw things at the screen, every time she speaks. In fact, I’d put her right up there with John Barrowman, as a villain to route for – if only because they’re having way more fun than the goodie-woodies. Speak of the devil….

One of the ‘other women’ in Oliver’s life, Thea (Willa Holland) had a small role to play. The grand re-opening of Verdant provided Cutter with a body of water to swim through, unnoticed, as one of the party fishes. Oliver managed to draw her away; but she did make a point of threatening to kill everyone in attendance, if disappointed. Personally, I’d leave a contingency to that threat – say, within a small, innocuous purse – behind, at Verdant, to back up that threat. Not that I’m offering villain tips.

That left Thea blissfully unaware of how notorious her opening could have been, as she fixated on the last minute problem of hiring a club DJ. Her hire was a miss, leaving the egotist, she had earlier made an example of, to both save the night, and hit on her. Hard. Of course Thea’s new hire is a douche, and it’s hate-at-first-sight, followed by sparks. Her daddy issues make such arrogance appealing to her. Hence its… familiarity.

The ‘final’ confrontation had its good points. Oliver demonstrated that he is a master of archery, after all (he often gets shown up, by the rival-archer-of-the-week), and didn’t seem to hesitate, when it came to showing Cupid that love hurts. I was left wondering, though, about how easy is it to kick off a padlock. I suppose the same question applied to The Arrow’s ‘Det. Riggs’ solution to Cupid’s final embrace measure. I suppose we were meant to feel that her foiling only made her love him more – which makes things considerably worse. I’d compare the scene to sneezing into the face of someone desperately craving a sick-day, upon delivering a bowl of chicken soup (oh, wait, you’re not eating, are you?).

I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to say that everybody got what they wanted, out of this very-special-episode of Arrow. Okay, maybe not Roy (he’s in a holding pattern – but also now officially Arsenal), Diggs (David Ramsey) has been settling into his Father-with-advice role, and the resident hot-mess was left out, altogether (which is good – that would have been an exhausting amount of co-dependent dysfunction).

Tatsu got a renewed appreciation for her family – and maybe found one, for Ollie – while giving source fans a glimpse of alter-ego; Thea found a dark prince (in a certain Mage’s shadow), to replace her red knight; Felicity got her release form signed; Palmer got Felicity (I should be mad at him – but I can’t, dammit), while source fans got specs to a super suit (to I won’t say whoooo); and the Cutter got re-affirmation that The Arrow cares (’cause she survived the episode, ‘n stuff) – but also provided source fans with more awesome omelet. She’s going to the Suicide Squad, as the craziest since their last female member. Have a happy Easter with your Valentine’s episode.

Then again… the sign-in-please source villain of the week has definitely become a thing. The latest is themed on a signature weapon, that everybody knows; yet his victim, who was fast enough to dodge it, managed to completely forget what made it unique. Throw in a bad pun, on the barbie, and I’m about ready to join that next round, for the Arrow drinking game.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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