Arrow: Draw Back Your Bow Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

“I’m Cupid, stupid.” With that ending line from Guilty, the audience was introduced to the DC villain Cupid, who would form an unhealthy attachment to Oliver in “Draw Back Your Bow.”

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

What made this episode extremely effective was that the focus transitioned back to the original Team Arrow. So far this season, the writers have been trying to introduce all of these new elements into The Arrow’s world, mostly unsuccessfully, and the focus has shifted away from the core three. This one element has been one of the main reasons season three seems a little all over the place. To have the episode start with a flashback to when it was just the trio saving the city, it set a tone to where the episode was going. 

At the end of season two, Oliver even told Laurel that he was going back to the original trio, but since then, their dynamic has been almost nonexistent. I’m not opposed to Roy being Arsenal and a part of Team Arrow, but his addition hasn’t been as effective as Sara’s was. 

Diggle was back to his regular form in “Draw Back Your Bow.” He had an odd personality transplant in the previous episode, so it was a relief to see him once again be the voice of reason. 

One of the most admirable aspects of the series is the writers’ writing of women. It’s shocking that we still live in a world where finding well-written women is hard to come by. But since day one, the writers of Arrow have showed that they are committed to realistically writing women. (A quick PSA: Another series that’s fantastic and has strong women is The 100. If you’re not watching this show, run to Netflix right now and watch season one. You won’t be disappointed.) 

This is why Cupid was such an effective villain. She wasn’t obsessive for obsessive’s sake, a place where most series would write her just because she’s a woman, but she had a real mental health issue. By giving her actions justification, she’s able to be a more complicated and interesting villain. I have to give some props to Amy Gumenik for her excellent portrayal of Cupid. The best part: she’s now on the Suicide Squad and able to return for round two. And changing the title card arrow to one of Cupid’s was brilliant.

On the Olicity side of things, goodness was there was a lot of angst. For someone who isn’t a fan of Oliver and Felicity or just romance on Arrow in general, there must have been some major eye-rolling throughout the episode. That’s how much angst there was in this episode. However, I’m not one of those people. I love a slow burn, so even though it’s heartbreaking to watch Oliver sulk away like a puppy who just got kicked (but really, he deserved it for the way he has treated Felicity), it’s all for a good cause and completely necessary. 

So far, Ray Palmer has been a fun addition, but in this particular episode he was somewhat annoying. Maybe it’s because they are trying to show that he’s just like Oliver, they even went so far as to suggest he can do the salmon ladder even though they never actually showed him do a rung on the exercise apparatus. He just kind of hung there. Revealing the real reason for his purchase of the mine and a blueprint for his suit at the end was such a fun and surprising touch. I can’t wait for them to start really building him into The Atom. 

More than anything, this episode was a Valentine’s Day episode. Why it didn’t air in February is beyond me. The only thing that made it a relatively Thanksgiving episode was the brief dinner at Daddy Diggle’s. There was a missed opportunity to actually show them all sitting down for a “normal” dinner. 

The stupid DJ is hands down the worst character the show has ever introduced. He was that annoying and bothersome. I understand they need a roadblock between Roy and Thea, as well as one between her and her father, but just no.  

I’m loving that Arrow is beginning to introduce villains in the last scene of the show to set up the upcoming episode. It allows for the show to not waste time on an exposition and get right to the action. 

Thankfully, there was some forward momentum in the Hong Kong flashbacks, but they still continue to drag. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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