At long last, the CW’s “Arrow” returned after its brief hiatus to finally address the aftermath of the team taking down its most powerful villain yet. While the trial of the century begins in Star City, a familiar villain returns to wreak havoc on the already fragile group.
Season 4, episode 16, "Broken Hearts," opens in a bloody way, with Carrie Cutter (Amy Gumenick), also known as Cupid, asking a beaten and scared couple if they really, truly love each other. They admit that they do, which only succeeds to further enrage her.
“Love is a bullet to the brain,” she says, drawing two heart-shaped arrows from her quiver, “Or an arrow to the heart.”
Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) calls Oliver (Stephen Amell) when he gets to the crime scene and notices the villain’s signature arrows and the body's position in a heart shape. Oliver has been having a rough day after he came home only to see his ex fiancée, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), gleefully packing up her things and giving him instructions on how to cancel their wedding venue. He arrives at the crime scene and doesn’t relish the thought of having to call Felicity and the rest of the team to track and stop her from killing more couples.
Meanwhile, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is seen in a rare appearance working as an assistant district attorney rather than a vigilante. She’s trying desperately to put Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) in jail after the gang risked everything to capture him in the previous episode. Unfortunately, he’s got a pretty decent lawyer who has spun a believable story. He claims that his client was merely captured by the H.I.V.E. soldiers that the prosecution is claiming he commanded. Obviously, Team Arrow has a mountain of evidence to prove that Darhk is guilty, including the time he kidnapped Diggle (David Ramsey), Thea (Willa Holland) and Felicity from a Christmas party, but Laurel reminds them that people in masks make better inmates than witnesses.
While they’re trying to figure out a way to get Darhk put away for good, Felicity calls the team with a lead on Cupid. It turns out she’s captured another celebrity couple from the limo leaving their wedding. She’s driving like a mad woman back to an unknown location when Thea, Diggle and Oliver hit her on the road. She injures Thea and forces Oliver to go after her alone. He manages to save the couple, but Cupid gets away in the process after a little flirty banter.
While that’s happening, Laurel goes back home to find her father waiting for her. The defense is tearing her case apart, but he’s a police officer that worked for Darhk after he threatened Laurel’s life. He pleads with her to let him ruin his career and probably be thrown in jail just to make sure Darhk isn’t allowed to walk the streets again. Believing she can spin the fact that he was blackmailed, she reluctantly agrees to let him take the stand. The following day, she puts him up as a witness, which for some reason wasn’t a conflict of interest in the Star City court, and he confesses to everything.
That same day, the rest of Team Arrow is launching a really dangerous scheme. Felicity has been curt, cold and downright mean to Oliver throughout the entire episode because she’s angry about all the lies he told her while they were together. What better way for the lovelorn hero to fix the situation than by asking her to push up the date of the wedding he’s supposed to have called off?
That’s right, the team believes that, since Cupid is targeting celebrity couples, they can bait her into a trap by pretending former mayoral candidate, Oliver Queen, is having a secret ceremony with Felicity before their already publicized wedding date. Needless to say, the bride-to-be is less than thrilled, but she agrees if it means getting a killer off the street.
They show up on the night in question, Oliver clad in a tux and Felicity in her stunning wedding dress. To make it look real, they’re forced to go through the wedding motions, including vows. While the angry Felicity gives a perfunctory speech about love, Oliver has clearly prepared a little something for her. He makes a very impassioned speech that ends with him vowing to never lie to her again and slipping her engagement ring back on her finger. Her eyes are tearing up, but before she can speak, Cupid attacks. She reveals that she’s got a comically large amount of C-4 lining the building, which prompts Felicity to try and talk her down.
Cupid’s been on a rampage against love after having her heart broken so many times, which gives Felicity something to work with. Still on the emotional high of Oliver’s speech, she convinces the villain that love is the only thing that succeeded in making her strong enough to be the person she is today. Her words seem to work on the villain, who is about to put the detonator down, when the rest of the team arrives and starts to fight her. Luckily, they triumph and the bombs still never go off and Cupid is taken into custody. However, all Oliver cares about is whether or not his little wedding ploy worked to win Felicity back.
Before they can discuss it, they learn that the judge in Darhk’s trial is ready to give her decision. They go back to the courthouse where she rules that the villain will be put in jail without the possibility of parole, thanks solely to the testimony of Captain Lance. The bad news is he implicated himself in a lot of crimes by taking the witness stand, and it’s made clear to him that he’ll be the subject of an internal investigation.
The episode ends on another low note as Felicity confronts Oliver. She tells him that his speech worked and that she’s now forced to acknowledge the fact that she loves him. However, that doesn’t mean they can be together. Instead, she hands the ring back for a second time and walks out on him yet again. However, this time she makes it clear that she’s not even going to be helping out on Team Arrow anymore. Apparently, it’s too unfair to both of them to have to try and work together after everything they’ve been through romantically.
Fans will have to wait and see if the breakup will stick this time on the next episode of "Arrow" on March 30 at 8 p.m. EDT on the CW.