Season 4 of The CW’s Arrow has had its highs and lows. Here is Part 2 of the breakdown of what worked, didn’t, and needs to happen next after the events of “Broken Hearts.”
What Didn’t Work: Oliver was far more appealing in “Broken Hearts” than he’s been in a while by virtue of the fact that the big secret is out, but he still wasn’t on his best behavior. The organic breakdown of Olicity was definitely one of the most effective aspects of the episode; Oliver just could have been much clearer with his side of the conflict. Telling Diggle that Felicity had broken off their engagement due to the big lie was a total misrepresentation of the issue that was decidedly unnecessary. Digg still could have advised Oliver to just give her time to come around if Oliver had told the truth behind her reasoning. Felicity was completely lacking in even an indirect hearsay point-of-view in the breakup, and Oliver circling the wagons around himself even somewhat unintentionally was not flattering on him.
Nobody on Team Arrow noting that the fake wedding was an incredibly awkward plan for Felicity isolated her in a way that was hard to watch and made it difficult to blame her for her barbs. Oliver’s forthright statement of “We need to get married” worked thanks to Stephen Amell’s delivery that made it clear that Oliver knew Felicity wouldn’t like it, but neither Digg nor Thea seemed to realize that forcing Felicity to put on her wedding gown and fake marry Oliver was terribly insensitive. They didn’t have to declare themselves Team Felicity and oppose the plan, but somebody acknowledging her position would have been nice.
Felicity’s wedding dress was not properly fitted. Emily Bett Rickards looked lovely, but the bodice didn’t match her frame. The hair and makeup were on point, so it was a shame that the dress wasn’t tailored better. The poor fit might have been excusable if Oliver had thought to give his lady love a layer of Kevlar protection as well. Felicity’s just lucky that Cupid decided to shoot Oliver. She had nothing more than a few layers of fabric and her conviction to protect her. Way to look out for the non-field member of the team that you’re trying to woo, Oliver.
Of course, Felicity’s wedding dress would have likely looked totally awful if it had been kept in the wedding dress storage facility that housed Cupid’s lair. Arrow rarely goes very far in concealing that it uses the same abandoned warehouse on a nearly weekly basis, but the dress storage facility was literally just a warehouse with racks of dresses positioned here and there. The dresses didn’t even have tags to indicate an organizational method to the madness. The show didn’t have to specialize a fancy boutique, but a little extra effort would have gone a long way.
The glorified extra of an actress who played doomed bride Shannon wasn’t putting in an awful lot of effort either. She looked exhausted at having to produce tears for her one and only scene, to the extent that it seemed for a moment like the twist of the scene was going to be that she would confess to not loving her husband as much as he loves her.
The episode could have gone a bit farther in trying to make the legal mumbo jumbo sound legitimate. The precedent of the Arrow justice system operating very differently from the real justice system was grandly established back with Moira’s trial in Season 2, but even viewers whose knowledge of the law doesn’t extend beyond the occasional episode of Law & Order could call major shenanigans on most of the courtroom drama of “Broken Hearts.”
The action wasn’t anything special. Oliver lost another fight, which is unfortunately the norm nowadays. He didn’t exactly have a 100% success rate in fights prior to Season 4, but all the extra masks in the field surpassing him makes him look only barely competent, and Oliver’s falls looked less heavy back when he wore his sleeker Arrow suit. If Oliver is going to continue losing fights on a regular basis, he deserves a suit that doesn’t make him look like a concussed football player hitting the turf every time he’s bested by a baddie du jour.
Digg driving in his helmet was frankly alarming. The man clearly has the hidden superpower of being able to see through whatever material Cisco threw together for his helmet, because there’s no way that he’d have clear enough peripheral vision in that contraption to drive. Thea’s lucky he didn’t run her over when he came to check on her. Given that she seemed pretty much unharmed after being smashed off the roof of a moving limo, however, Thea’s secret superpower is evidently having super resistant ribs that never break.
Finally, the timing of the episode was off. The scene of Felicity packing away spry as can be indicated that some time had passed since the end of the previous episode, but Felicity had to break the news of the breakup to the rest of Team Arrow. The news of the broken engagement was then somehow big enough that Cupid knew to cross them off of her list of targets. “Broken Hearts” sabotaged its own timing because there evidently just had to be the scene of Team Arrow learning the current state of Olicity. Otherwise, the sequence of events could have made plenty of sense.
Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. For a look at the good of “Broken Hearts,” check out ‘Arrow’ S04E16: What worked in ‘Broken Hearts.’