Arrow, S4 Ep17 – Beacon of Hope

With Ollie and Felicity’s relationship remaining on the fritz after the events of “Broken Hearts”, “Beacon of Hope” aims to shed more light on Felicity and her life away from Team Arrow. Unfortunately, being the CEO of Palmer Technologies is not without its hardships as Felicity is faced with a villain she’s had the displeasure of facing before. Brie Larvan, a.k.a. Bug-Eyed Bandit, played by The Walking Dead alum Emily Kinney, returns to The CW’s DC universe after first appearing in Central City on The Flash. The character takes aim at Felicity with the intention of stealing the prototype tech that successfully gave Felicity the ability to walk again.

Arrow, S4 Ep17 – Beacon of Hope (5)

Brie Larvan takes on Palmer Tech

The fact that this episode wasn’t titled “BEE-con of Hope” is definitely a missed opportunity. If you recall the exploits of Brie Larvan on The Flash, you will recall her ability to control mechanized bees. Much like Mr. Freeze in 1997’s godawful Batman and Robin, Brie does not shy away from making Bee-puns. It’s played up pretty much for laughs, as this episode as a whole is more lighthearted than most. The whole idea of a villain with a ton of mechanical bees is silly in and of itself, and had me thinking that a somewhat goofy villain like this would not have existed on Arrow four seasons ago. It shows how much the series has changed and has become more fun with every season.

Curtis Holt takes center-stage in “Beacon of Hope,” more so than he has ever before. Stuck at home with a cold, Holt sees Brie Larvan’s takeover of Palmer Tech on the news. His first idea is to go find Team Arrow to help save Felicity and the rest of the company. In what seems to be an ongoing theme on Arrow, Holt, with almost no effort at all, makes his way into the Arrow Cave and discovers the identities of The Green Arrow and his team. You would think that Ollie would have upped his security by now. The whole idea that anyone could make their way into Ollie’s lair is just ridiculous, but at least Captain Lance makes note of it at one point by stating, “so, can anyone just walk in here?”

Much of the episode takes place within the walls of Palmer Tech as we see Felicity, along with her mother and Thea, run away from bees and plan a way of rescuing the board members Brie has held captive. At one point, Felicity successfully uses her wits and know-how to find a way into the conference room rescuing the board members. After the board members have been saved, Felicity and Thea remain to take Brie head on. Here we find out Brie’s true motives, and she confesses that the only reason she wants the prototype tech is because she is on the verge of facing her own paralysis. This was an interesting twist for the villain as we see she has her own personal reasons for doing what she’s doing, and isn’t motivated by money or power.

Black Canary gets to strut her stuff a bit in “Beacon of Hope” and use her sonic scream. At one point, Ollie gets stung by a bee during an attempt to rescue Felicity, and it is soon discovered that the bee sting causes bees to reproduce inside of him. Thanks to Curtis Holt the team figures out that Laurel’s sonic scream can be used to take down the bees inside of Ollie. Unfortunately, her scream isn’t used much after that as the bees are able to adapt to certain attacks and frequencies.

Now let’s talk about that bee man. As much as I enjoyed seeing all of Brie’s bees join up and form a bee man, it was really silly. I guess they thought it wouldn’t have been visually interesting seeing Ollie punch swarms of bees. While his design was cool and seeing Ollie fight is always fun, the idea behind it is completely impractical. The bees are much more menacing and destructive when they are swarming towards our heroes. This bee man form made the final confrontation between Brie and Team Arrow all too easy.

Bee Man?

Bee Man?

While “Beacon of Hope” was definitely a fun and funny episode, it wasn’t without its serious moments. The episode concludes with Felicity figuring out her place away from Team Arrow, as she decides to form Palmer Tech into the beacon of hope it should be. Even though he was very welcoming and willing to bring in Holt to help against Brie, Ollie eventually gets fed up with all of Holt’s jokes and pop culture references, as he feels Holt isn’t taking this job seriously enough.

Let’s not forget about Damien Darhk. Darhk, although in prison, continues to be a threat. He may not have fully gained his power back by the end of this episode, but we learn he has had his own ace in the hole the whole time. That ace being Diggle’s brother. I’ll be honest, I actually thought Diggle’s brother was successfully reformed, but this twist ending was designed to make viewers believe otherwise.

Overall, “Beacon of Hope” was a highly entertaining episode. It was fun and funny, mostly due to Emily Kinney’s outrageous portrayal of such an outrageous super-villain and Curtis Holt’s constant jokes and pop culture references. The flashback scenes were the worst part of the episode, as usual. I really don’t care about what happened to Ollie five years ago anymore, but at least the flashbacks are wrapping up. One more season of flashbacks after this. Also, what’s with both Arrow and The Flash referencing Harry Potter this week?

The next episode of Arrow will seemingly focus more on Damien Darhk and the reveal that Diggle’s brother is still working with H.I.V.E. Also, we may finally find out who will die this season. Check out The CW’s official trailer for “Eleven-Fifty-Nine” below and feel free to let us know what you thought of “Beacon of Hope” in the comments.

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