Arrow: “Draw Back Your Bow” Season 3 Episode 7 Review

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Like much of Arrow‘s third season, Draw Back Your Bow was another episode that pushed the series to become an even more fun superhero romp.

It might be Thanksgiving next week, but it’s practically Valentine’s Day in Starling City as a new archer, going by Cupid, hits the scene to stalk the Arrow. It’s clear from the start that the writers are excited about this new foe, beginning the episode with a flashback to Deathstroke’s takeover of the city to a moment where the Arrow saved the future Cupid from a mirakuru soldier. Since then, she’s been obsessed, following the Arrow’s every move.

Actress Amy Gumenick makes Cupid a lot of fun to watch, way less serious than a lot of other villains on this show. But with Arrow‘s own executive producer Andrew Kreisberg having created the character in the comics back in 2009, it becomes clear why she got such a special treatment.

She starts by killing Ted Grant’s former sidekick from last week. Dressing him up like the Arrow, it’s clear she wants attention, which she gets. Oliver and Roy go after her, but Cupid subdues Roy, proving she’s a greater threat than one might anticipate. It helps that she creates a unique back and forth between herself and the Arrow. You had to giggle at Oliver exclaiming “I’m not your lover!” like an 11 year old in his vigilante voice. Cupid got under Oliver’s skin, making for a very fun episode.

Oliver figures out that her true identity is Carrie Cutter, a former cop who quit after she became obsessed with her partner and was forced into psychiatric treatment. Oliver visits her former psychiatrist, who tells the Arrow that he might need some help as well. This marks one of the first times that Arrow has outwardly questioned Oliver’s sanity, but it was a perfect episode to do it in as we deal with an unhinged, love-struck villain.

After a well-choreographed fight, Oliver defeats Cupid and sends her to A.R.G.U.S. where she’ll join the Suicide Squad. Diggle makes a remark that Amanda Waller said Cupid may be crazier than the Squad’s other female member, an obvious, though very wrong, reference to the Harley Quinn cameo from last season. Harley is still crazier than Cupid, sorry.

Aside from the new villain, Draw Back Your Bow featured a number of other love centered plots. Ray Palmer invites Felicity out to dinner to help him convince a businessman to sell his mine. Oliver gets notably jealous, which Diggle notices. Diggle’s role as a romantic liaison between Oliver and Felicity brings such a strong, familial dynamic to Team Arrow. Once just the bodyguard, Diggle has become perhaps the wisest member of the team, offering comfort to those in pain on weekly basis.

When the deal goes well for Ray, he kisses Felicity, which Oliver of course witnesses. It was great that he took Roy to Diggle’s for dinner. Roy doesn’t have any family, and all Oliver has is his sister, who’s got her own set of problems. The family aspect of Team Arrow was a nice note to end on.

Even cooler though, was Ray’s design for the A.T.O.M. suit. Looks like he may be suiting up sooner than later.

Another subplot had Thea trying to hire a DJ. Not sure why this was here, but it did introduce us to a potential love interest for the young Queen. The whole music bit could have been done way better though. It was laughable when the new DJ started playing and everyone rushed to the dance floor.

Meanwhile, the flashbacks in Hong Kong sort of just made a circle this week. Except we did get to see Katana kick some butt. But that was clearly the only reason any of the plot there happened.

So besides come convenient narrative points, Draw Back Your Bow was a pretty great episode of Arrow. Cupid was a fun new foe and I look forward to her return. The Olicity romance is getting to be pretty sad to watch, but the Arrow family dynamic is really touching. Bring on the big Flash crossover! Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

 

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