TV Show Review

TV Review: ARROW: Season 4, Episode 16: Broken Hearts [The CW]

Emily Bett Rickards Stephen Amell Arrow Broken Hearts

The CW‘s Arrow Broken Hearts TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 4, Episode 16: Broken Hearts was a big ball of tension. Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) dealt with their relationship or end there of, and Damien Dark (guest star Neal McDonough) was put on trial.  Or was he? Carrie Cutter aka Cupid (Amy Gumenick) breezed into town and played the villain that forced people to face the truth about love…it hurts.

This episode was focused on two major issues that made it seem like there was no B-story at all. I needed to know what was going to happen with Felicity staying active with Team Arrow, and I also wanted to know what would happen to Damien Darhk now that he was exposed and in custody. Broken Hearts did not disappoint on addressing these issues – even though the outcomes were not completely satisfying.

Felicity and Oliver spent much of the episode dancing around the main event from a month ago, the break up. Oliver could not accept it, and who could blame him? These two have gone through kidnappings, shootouts, death and resurrection, paralysis and recovery, dishonesty, betrayal, but it is dishonesty that Felicity could not accept, and who could blame her? When she walked away, again, I still could not help but feel let down by her explanation. She has been through hell with this group and this man, but she cannot trust Oliver to trust her. That is rough, slightly nonsensical, and just felt weak for such a strong relationship.

Cupid certainly tried to force the issue by leaving awkwardly posed bodies of young, celebrity lovers in her wake all over town. Her actions brought out the gossip girl in Thea (Willa Holland), which inserted a bit a levity into the emotional episode. Mostly, Cupid displayed the possible psychopathic effect of losing love. She was the embodiment of what Oliver fears he could become if (when) he loses Felicity for good. In Oliver’s speech at the fake alter, he admitted as much. Felicity is his light. (For the record, I believe it was Diggle (David Ramsey) and Lance (Paul Blackthorne), and definitely Tommy’s (Colin Donnell) damning accusation that Oliver was a serial killer, that really motivated Oliver to embrace a lighter path, but we will just take Ollie’s word for it here.)

Meanwhile, Damien Darhk tried to slip out of prosecution by claiming “mistaken identity”. Really?? You ambushed a bunch of people in the middle of a public Christmas party, using a mix of minions and magic powers to do it. Who was he fooling, and why was the judge entertaining the argument? Anyways, two characters shined a little brighter this episode in the forms of Lance and Laurel (Katie Cassidy). It was a welcome surprise to see Laurel working her skills in the courtroom again. It seemed like Arrow had forgotten her usefulness in that arena, but there she was going toe-to-toe with Darhk on her own turf.

Lance really shined (but then when does he not) in his monologue about working with Darhk, echoing his earlier confession to Oliver, but more importantly, convincing the court of Darhk’s hidden evil. He certainly convinced me all over again. It was so moving that it left me with the emptiest feeling like, Lance was confessing his sins before dying. Lance has been the ringer on both sides of the line, and he has been through the ringer with concern for his daughters. His confession on the stand was shot like a hero moment, one of the best in the season really. (Wow, I still seriously dread the reveal of who is in the grave??? It better not be Quentin.) Both Oliver’s and Lance’s speeches were intended to be tear-jerkers. Not saying I cried at all, but I felt them both.

The flashbacks were disappointing again this week. Yes, we found the awesome power that Baron Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola) has been searching for, and it seemed like something out of Mortal Kombat.  The power was a totem that absorbed souls, but neither Oliver nor his friend knew how it worked. Reiter has been possibly the most boring villain in Arrow history, maybe because in trying to appear emotionless, Akingbola just seems bored. Also, the flashbacks have been too thinly spread out during this season to give each segment enough time to allow a viewer to invest in the journey, with only tiny bright spots to sustain their worth. I would have gladly just watched the present. They could have given Carrie Cutter all the time in the world to wreak havoc in Star City. What did you think of Broken Hearts?

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About the author


I am ...a lover of all things film ...a published poet with a law degree from Howard University School of Law ...a D.C. native, who frequents local and international film festivals ...a self-professed couch potato who can usually be caught watching anything produced by Joss and Jed Whedon. My favorite TV shows include the Buffy & Angel Series, Sons of Anarchy, Oz, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and The Shield. Still, I am open to everything on TV and Netflix, which is doing big things.

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