The CW‘s Arrow Beacon of Hope TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 4, Episode 17: Beacon of Hope had Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) individually coming to terms with their break up while the gang tested out a new member of the team. Plus, everyone sure said “beacon of hope” …a lot.
There was no big action sequence to open the show this time, just the click click click of little fingers on a keyboard. Brie Larvin (Emily Kinney – all fans of “Beth” from AMC’s The Walking Dead rejoice!) broke out of prison to steal the miracle biochip in Felicity’s spine. Larvin’s fresh-faced villain was a nice change-up from the Darhk’s of this world, and was also slightly sympathetic. Her swarm of bee drones, however, were unforgivable (but, seriously how did she amass that many so fast?). They freaked me out to no end, swarms and bug-eyes, and multiplying inside of stomachs, I just could not, it gave me chills.
Thea (Willa Holland), Donna Smoak (Charlotte Ross) and Felicity were dodging bees left and right the whole episode. Just when Felicity thought she was out…a bunch of evil tech bees swarm her place her business. In true Arrow fashion, a hostage situation turned into an unorthodox girl talk. Thea wanted to know what it would take for Felicity to come back to the team. Donna came to town to cheer Felicity up and counsel her daughter about the break up. Poor Mama Smoak. She always shows up just when there is a hostage situation. Nevertheless, she delivered one of the best lines in the episode poking holes in the fourth wall with her quip that “these assaults happen weekly” so that she cannot keep good high heels. I busted out laughing.
Speaking of hilarious, finally, Curtis (Echo Kellum) – with his 104 temperature – got to see the Arrow cave aka “bunker”, and completely made himself at home. He was giddy to be accepted as a teammate in Felicity’s absence. Honestly, I was happy to see him fill the chair. It was an easy transition as a fan given that we have seen Curtis surrounded by Palmer technology all season. Also, it solidified a break from the usual sight of Felicity at her task with the team.
Oliver was trying his best to keep a tight leash on his temper and his heartbreak, but it was obviously painful for him to see Curtis replacing Felicity so easily in the bunker. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) played the role of confidant this episode. She seems to always be the one counseling Oliver on how to love Felicity – or anyone – better. (I think it is time for Laurel to start dating again.) Oliver has to understand that the people in his life just want him to be honest. Then again, he pointed out that he was happy in the suburbs away from the superhero life. He only came back because Felicity convinced him. Then she just quits him and their life together. It seems unfair no matter how you look at it.
Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) was having a difficult time in prison. Some of the prisoners were assaulting him. He no longer had his mystical powers, so he turned the tables on his would-be abusers with his usual approach – threatening their loved ones. Of course, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) relished in Darhk’s downfall. Having Darhk and Merlyn face off, even briefly, is always a brilliant choice since they both are power mad and powerless. Anytime McDonough and Barrowman share a scene together it is gold. It is like they were made in the same dramedy lab. Though it was unclear whether Merlyn was now favored by the council or if he was just the messenger working his way up the chain.
In the flashback, Baron Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola) was super powered. The idol, which is similar to the idol Darhk owned, allowed Reiter to tap into the energy of everything around him. The power is fleeting, much like how we saw with Darhk. The owner would have to constantly sacrifice people in great numbers to keep themselves powered. Yep, sounds like the very definition of madness.
Once you get past all the bee puns, this was a solid episode. Beacon of Hope was mostly about the concerns our superheroes had about being examples of hope. It was their original purpose at the start of this new incarnation of the team, and hope seemed lost more often than not thus far.
This episode almost felt like a reset. Our heroes needed to remind themselves why they do what they do, be it chase villains or run a company. At the beginning of the episode, Felicity struggled with the idea of making the biochip technology that could help the paralyzed walk again unaffordable for those who needed it. When Felicity blurted out the location of the biochip blueprints, that moment was her mission statement that her company would be a “beacon of hope” for people like Larvin. Like Curtis said, “both comforting and horrifying at the same time.” What did you think?
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