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Arrow S3.07 Draw Back Your Bow Review

A deranged stalker fixated on Oliver Queen is a promising idea to borrow from the comic books but Cupid’s translation to the screen falls flat – what gives energy to the character on the page comes across as distinctly bogus in live action. She’s not written especially well – surely there’s a UN decree prohibiting use of the line “You and I are more alike than you think” in superhero stories? – and it doesn’t help that Amy Gumenick’s performance feels more like a twisted Tori Amos menacing the high school prom than a compelling threat. Like Seth Gabel’s turn as the Count it feels by-the-numbers crazy. Oh, and her apartment is decorated with newspaper cuttings. Of course it is.

“Draw Back Your Bow” also does bad things to Felicity. It’s painful to see her so readily impressed by Ray Palmer’s swank – would the clever, capable Smoak we know really swoon over a fancy frock and some $10 million pearls? She sniffs a dress. She sniffs it. Emily Bett Rickards is skilled enough to find the comedy in these moments but you can’t help feeling the whole ’40s romance scenario demeans the character. It’s trite soap opera plotting, manoeuvring her and Ray into position so that Oliver can catch them kissing at the end. Again it feels bogus, just a cue for an EastEnders end-of-episode drum-thud.

Arrow Trivia

The Palmer Technologies corporate logo is a subtle nod to the iconography of Ray Palmer’s comic book alter-ego the Atom.

Dig isn’t particularly well-served either. We know he’s traditionally the soul of the show but here he’s in danger of turning into Aunt May in the Spider-Man movies, only wheeled on to dispense platitudes.

What lifts the episode are the teases of future developments. There’s an undeniable thrill in seeing Ray Palmer edge closer to his destiny as the Atom. Captain Boomerang, meanwhile, translates to the screen more successfully than his name might have you believe. That brief, half-shadowed sequence in the alleyway at the end gives him more villainous weight and presence than Cupid enjoyed in the entire episode. Bring him on.

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Did You Spot

Sherwood Florist isn’t just an excuse for a shameless pun. In the DCU it’s the Seattle-based flower shop owned by Black Canary AKA Dinah Lance.

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Did You Spot 2

So here’s our first glimpse of DC supervillain Captain Boomerang. Introduced at the dawn of the Silver Age in 1960 he’s more traditionally a foe of the Flash.

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Did You Spot 3

The name of tech wiz Kirby Bates references two legendary comic book creators: Jack Kirby and Cary Bates.

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Atomic Power

How cool to see Ray’s schematic of the ATOM exo-suit, clearly inspired by his alter-ego’s costume in the comics. We also learn of his scheme to mine dwarf star alloy, the material that originally gave the Atom his size-changing powers.

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Best Line

Felicity: “There is nothing platonic about couture…”

Arrow is broadcast in the UK on Sky 1 HD on Thursday nights, and in the US on The CW on Wednesday nights.

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