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

Arrow 417This week’s episode of Arrow featured a The Flash villain as the baddie of the week as Brie Larsen a.k.a. Bug-Eyed Bandit comes after Felicity to get the spine-chip.

Remember back in the fall when we kept hearing that the show was going to be a lot brighter unlike the third season? Yeah I didn’t remember it either, but this week they really tried hard to be as light-hearted and fun as The Flash and Supergirl. Long story short: it worked purely because of Curtis Holt while also being a disaster because of Felicity and Brie. I was OK with the first two or three bee-puns, but by the (what felt like) 10th usage of those puns, it got irritating and old. The reason why shows like The Flash and Supergirl makes it work with the lighter tone is because they don’t OVERDO it.

It would have been enough if Curtis was the one that brought in that element for the episode, but it clearly wasn’t enough for the show this week. As someone who has been asking for a brighter Arrow, this just became too much and it distracted me from a lot of what was happening in the episode. Brie’s reason for wanting the chip to begin with was really compelling, but got easily forgotten because of the writing and she ended up being wasted again just like on The Flash. I will admit though that the Exoskeleton was really cool though with all her tech-bees merging into that battle machine.

As Oliver continues to struggle with Felicity’s departure of the team, we got some incredibly nice moments between him and Laurel this week. While I wish it didn’t have to be all about Felicity whenever Laurel has an interaction with Oliver, I appreciated that she, who has a big history with Oliver, was able to ground him when he wasn’t thinking straight. It’s nice when the show does acknowledge how deep their connection is, whether it be romantically or as a friendship. Out of all the times that we have seen Laurel’s Canary Cry, this week was without doubt one of the best as she killed all those micro-bees that invaded Oliver.

Let’s just all agree that Curtis Holt is one of the most precious things to have happened to this show, ever. Echo Kellum’s charm and wit is something I could watch for hours — maybe a Mr. Terrific spin-off, CW? — because it is simply that much fun. The minute he enters the Arrow Cave, the episode just got better and I’m glad that after several episodes of waiting, we finally saw him become part of the team. Hopefully this is a character that either gets promoted to series regular for Season 5 or is one of the new players for Season 2 of Legends of Tomorrow.

Hold on to something because this might shock you, but the flashbacks were actually….interesting! It only took 17 episodes for Reiter to become an intriguing villain as we start to see some possible parallels between the past and present. While it wasn’t a huge improvement, I will give the episode credits for actually making me intrigued in the flashbacks for the first time since episode 5 this season. The biggest issue with the flashbacks, aside from the lack of being compelling, is that each cutaway to the past is way too short before we get back to the present.

As Brie gets defeated, we get a setup for next week’s episode as we learn that Andy Diggle is back under Hive’s claws as Malcolm is now working with him. Something tells me that things are not going to be pretty next week because when Malcolm gains something, it only means bad things for others. Overall, despite the eye-rolling bad humor from certain characters, “Beacon of Hope” was a slight step-up from last week’s episode. The biggest strength was without doubt any scene involving Curtis as well as the good stuff between Laurel and Oliver. Also, Quentin Lance had way too many awesome one-liners which is one of the many reasons why we love him.

Arrow airs on Wednesday nights, 8/7c on The CW.

[Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW]



The Flash’s Bug-Eyed Bandit invades Palmer Technologies as she is after Felicity’s spine-chip in this week’s Arrow.

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