Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
My heart, you guys. MY HEART. Much like Cupid’s sanity, it is completely broken. This episode was a tough one to watch and very aptly named, it turns out. Here’s our “Olicity” Watch for 4×16, “Broken Hearts”:
It’s all about marriage, break ups and moving on in this episode, so it’s very fitting to have Carrie Cutter, aka Cupid, return to wreck havoc on Star City. Amy Gumenick is always hilariously unhinged as Cupid, and it’s a shame that she felt pretty underused in this episode. Still, she managed to at least get our main couple to admit their feelings, which makes her a winner in my book. This time Cupid is broken-hearted after Deadshot’s death and decides to kill celebrity newlyweds because “love is dead.” In a pretty perverse narrative setup, the recently split Oliver and Felicity put on a fake wedding in order to catch her. It’s like we’re getting everything we want but in the very worst way possible. Damien Darhk is also on trial and there’s Laurel lawyering and Quentin giving himself up and blah blah blah.
- Felicity packs up boxes in the loft and babbles about moving in an effort to push past the awkwardness between her and Oliver. It doesn’t work, mostly because Oliver keeps staring at her with puppy dog, I-still-love-you-so-much eyes. “You are a part of the team, forever and always,” he tells her. Oof. Five minutes in and I’m already fighting back tears.
- Down in the lair, Felicity informs the team that she and Oliver are no longer together. Dig comforts Oliver and it’s clear they both think there’s still hope for Olicity. I wouldn’t hold your breath guys: after finding Cupid’s latest victims, Felicity declares that “love is dead.” The look on Oliver’s face is pure heartbreak.
- Things are getting testy between the formal couple with Felicity snapping at Oliver in a way we haven’t seen before and attacking Cupid’s wrist cuff with the maniacal scissors of a woman scorned. For his part, Oliver is like a raw nerve, just barreling into things and making sad eyes every time Felicity’s name comes up. This will not end well for anyone, as Dig and Thea clearly know. They tell Oliver it’s time to step up and admit his feelings. Right. We all know that’s Oliver Queen’s specialty.
- “We need to get married,” Oliver says to Felicity as they hash out a plan to capture Cupid. This is not how I imagined proposal number three going down. Felicity is not happy to hear that Oliver never canceled the venue, but his voice breaks (JUST LIKE MY HEART) when he tells her he doesn’t want to admit that it’s over. “It is over,” Felicity answers. I can’t take much more of this.
- Felicity and Oliver arrive at their fake wedding. As soon as he sees her in the dress his whole face freezes and he can barely speak. This is so awful. And beautiful. And sad. And I want to set fire to the world. They say their fake vows: Felicity’s are full of her (justified) anger, while Oliver’s are a heartfelt plea for her to give him a second chance. In the span of a minute he manages to reference like 10 fan favorite moments. This is trolling, right? We are officially getting trolled by the Arrow writers. “You brought me into the light…You were that light.” I CAN’T TAKE MUCH MORE OF THIS. When Cupid shows up, Felicity is the one to talk her down, basically saying her own vows to Oliver and finally accepting that love isn’t poison. Turns out Felicity was the one who needed to believe in love again! Get it? Get it? Arrow is nothing if not super subtle.
- But believing in love and being with Oliver Queen are two very different things for Felicity, as Oliver finds out later in the lair. “There will be no more lies,” he tells her. Felicity is no fool, however, and she knows her man: “There’s always going to be a part of you who defaults to the man who was on the island.” She’s not wrong, and Oliver knows it despite his protesting. “I don’t want to let you go,” they both tell each other. But Felicity is already gone, and she proves it by handing him the ring and walking out for good.
Moments of Hope: This was a hard episode for Olicity fans. I suspect it will be the hardest one overall, as the break up is so fresh and raw and we can only go up from here (hopefully). And while I certainly had a few teary moments in Broken Hearts –- those vooooows –- I want to stress that this break up is for the best right now. More on that below, but this episode was definitely a necessary step in Oliver and Felicity’s journey. I would have been more disappointed if Felicity had easily accepted Oliver’s promise to change. They need to stay apart for a little while in order for Oliver to grow and for them to truly come back together as equals.
Steamy or Loving or So Many Feels: Sometimes angst can be very annoying (like the whole Flarrow disaster earlier this year) and sometimes it can be deliciously satisfying. This episode was the latter for me, which means I can only describe “Broken Hearts” as beautifully painful. It hurt, but it was a good kind of hurt.
Here’s why: Felicity 100 percent made the right decision to stay broken up. She was spot-on when she told Oliver that he would always default to the island. He needs to fundamentally change in order for them to be together. He’s made strides over the past few years, and we can credit that growth to Felicity (and Dig and Thea to an extent), but when push comes to shove, he still sees himself as an individual fighting alone. Marriage is a partnership, and until Oliver truly lets Felicity in, she can’t agree to spend the rest of her life with him.
It was tough watching her walk away, particularly when stoic Oliver opened up so much about his feelings. But it was also pretty awesome to see Oliver thrown off his game. From the beginning, he has held most of the cards in this relationship. Last season, Felicity was upfront about wanting to be with him. He was the one who held her off, and therefore he was the one who got to decide when they could be together. Similarly, he was one who decided they could return to Star City and be vigilantes again. Even when he was angsting over her last season, it was always on his terms. I don’t want to suggest that Felicity has no power in their relationship, which is definitely not the case. But because she’s so much more in touch with her feelings, she’s often the one trying to get Oliver to catch up. So it’s kind of nice to see Oliver put in a position where Felicity gets to decide their fate as a couple for once. Let’s just hope she decides she wants to get back together, and soon.
In the meantime, here’s the trailer for next week’s episode, “Beacon of Hope”: