Arrow: “Beacon of Hope” Season 4 Episode 17 Review

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“Beacon of Hope,” or is it “BEE-con of Hope” (what? everyone else was doing it…), was among the most purely fun episodes of Arrow in recent memory. Featuring the return of Flash villain Brie Larvan, a.k.a. the Bug-Eyed Bandit, this episode had Team Arrow taking on an army of robot bees that swarmed Palmer Tech. With a script full of intentional Batman & Robin-esque bee puns, there was a much needed levity to this entry.

But besides being off its rocker, “Beacon of Hope” will mostly be remembered as the episode where Curtis finally got to full-fledged join Team Arrow. Taking the obvious missing spot left by Felicity, Curtis stumbled his way through the mission, hilariously paired with Detective Lance while the costumed team members were in the field. He plays well with the team, though if Felicity ever rejoins (which is obviously likely), his spot may be difficult to establish.

This episode was also about Felicity finding her footing in her own life post-Team Arrow. With Bug-Eyed Bandit suffering from a tumor on her spine, Felicity may have just found her calling. Of course, a lot of these moves depend on how courageous Arrow is when it comes to sticking with this new status quo.

Team Arrow’s fight against Bug-Eyed Bandit had some interesting things going on, but occasionally pushed things a bit too far into the ridiculous. For example, it was great to have Black Canary play an integral role in saving her hero for once, rather than just fighting alongside him. However, the bees that formed into the shape of a suited, grunting man was insane. This week’s episode of The Flash featured a poorly CGI-ed wraith and this was the dumber of the two. It was nice to have Felicity deliver the final shocking blow to the guy though.

The only real plot progression as far as the season’s endgame was concerned was Darhk’s planned escape, with the help of Malcolm Merlyn. But even that didn’t move very far, leaving the insane bee plot to carry the episode. It did so effectively, leaving us with a fun calm before the storm. Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

  • Paul Blackthorne was especially on point this week. The deliveries of “This is my life now” and “digital honey” were just so amazing.
  • With some fun villains lately, Arrow may have taken over as the fun series, as The Flash deals with time travel melodrama.
  • Did anyone else keep hearing Brie Larson instead of Larvan? An Oscar winner with any army of bees, anyone? Sure would make Room a very different movie.
  • Honestly, I’ve already forgotten what happened on the flashbacks this week and I don’t even care to consult Wikipedia or wherever I might be able to refresh my memory. Please, Arrow writers, I’m begging you to just ditch the flashbacks for season five. You know it’s the right thing to do.

By Matt Dougherty

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