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Arrow Review (S3E7): 'Draw Back Your Bow'

It seemed fitting that a new character named Cupid would be part of an episode dealing mainly with the emotional longing of love and love lost. Sure, there's action and drama but it's really about Ollie facing the limitations of his heart and letting go. 

Carrie Cutter (Amy Gumenick) aka Cupid has an unhealthy obsession with the Arrow and is willing to kill to get his attention. With a hint of Harley Quinn's playful banter it's clear that this violent vigilante with heart-shaped arrowheads is determined to get what she wants. She also represents the force that makes Ollie face his feelings about love in general. Her deadly attraction finds Ollie gingerly turning down her advances while at the same time explaining why he can't be with anyone. 

While wired to the Arrow Cave and Felicity on the line he may have been speaking with Cupid but clearly talking to her as well. It's an admission of yearning for normalcy in love yet realizing his chosen profession endangers that wholly. Ollie has come a long way in understanding a stable relationship may not be possible. In the end he says he has to be alone. 

As seemingly fragile Cupid is mentally, Ollie isn't too far behind as his efforts to keep Felicity at arm's length helps drive her to Ray Palmer. Certainly, not at first as Ray's arrogant charm rubbed her the wrong way but now feels more valued at the newly minted Palmer Technologies company. Brandon Routh continues to elevate the role of Ray with considerable charm and affability. He has a real interest in her and she begins to see more depth in him than before.

 All of this is driving Ollie nuts with jealously as he sees losing her but not wanting to let go. We see a more tormented Ollie than we've seen in a while but no one is more honest than Diggle. He reminds him that he had opportunities to choose happiness, choose Felicity and basically his situation is of his own making. And that Felicity has the right to move on but is Ollie capable of doing that? Ollie doesn't have a choice because he walks in on Ray and Felicity kissing. His defeated look was sad but necessary. 

Cupid despite her SWAT training put up a good fight but in the end was no match for Ollie. He basically had to save her from herself. Ollie was very sympathetic towards Cupid turning her into Amanda Waller and her Task Force X instead of sticking her in prison. Diggle noted that Cupid was nuttier than the last inmate on the Squad. Who could he be talking about? An uncredited appearance of the aforementioned Quinn perhaps? 

It's unclear if the romance between Felicity and Ray will advance but we do know that Ray is working on a sweet A.T.O.M. exoskeleton. His dealings that had led to inviting Felicity on a dinner date to help buy a mine to get dwarf star material could be leading to his eventual transformation into The Atom. He's even training on a salmon ladder in the office like some other hero. "I have a type," Felicity quipped when she saw Ray shirtless and on the ladder. Where have I seen that before? As any fan knows the male characters must at some point appear shirtless. 

There was a flashback as Ollie and Tatsu went looking for Maseo. A fight ensues and we get some fantastic katana blade action from Tatsu. It was a good bonding exercise between the two and what was thought to be her origin story turned out to be just a red herring. Perhaps later this season we'll see Katana fully realized. 

Not even an oddly placed subplot with Thea and a bad boy DJ could derail 'Draw Back Your Bow' from being an introspective triumph. The emotional housekeeping was well balanced and relatively low-key before the ending when we get a cliffhanger that teases that things are going to get more explosive. 

On December 2 the Arrow/Flash crossover begins with Captain Boomerang already making his presence felt. 

Check out the teaser below:

Arrow 3x08 "The Brave and the Bold" - PART TWO OF THE ARROW AND FLASH CROSSOVER EVENT — Oliver (Stephen Amell), Arsenal (Colton Haynes) and Diggle (David Ramsey) track down the location of a boomerang-wielding killer named Digger Harkness (guest star) but are surprised when they come face to face with an A.R.G.U.S. team. Diggle asks Lyla (guest star) why A.R.G.U.S. is involved but she defers until Harkness attacks the building, killing several agents and targeting Lyla. The Arrow joins the fight and gets help from an old friend – The Flash (guest star Grant Gustin). Harkness manages to get away and Oliver teams up with Barry again to find him before he can get to Lyla. When Harkness plants five bombs in the city that are timed to explode at the same time, both teams must come together to save the city. 


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