Arrow ‘Beacon of Hope’ Recap- Episode 04.17

Arrow
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Insert Bee Pun Here

Tonight’s episode opens at Iron Heights where Brie Larvan AKA Bug-Eyed Bandit (The Walking Dead’s Emily Kinney) is seen taking advantage of her computer time by hacking into her prison file and giving herself an early release.  Wow, twenty seconds in and already I don’t know where to start.  First, what kind of judge allows a known hacker access to a computer at all?  Second, shouldn’t her computer activity be closely monitored at a so-called maximum security prison?  Third, did nobody find it suspicious that a woman convicted of murder with no chance of parole is suddenly released after serving maybe a year of her sentence?

Meanwhile at Arrow HQ, Team Arrow has a sparring session with Oliver fighting against Diggle, Laurel and Thea at the same time and despite being outnumbered Oliver defeats them all without much problem.  Apparently, since the breakup with Felicity, Oliver has tried to focus on the mission.  The only problem with that is H.I.V.E. has continued to be suspiciously silent since Damien’s arrest.

Thea then gets a text saying that Alex is interviewing to be the new chief of staff for Ruvé Adams.  Naturally, nobody’s thrilled with the idea of Thea’s boyfriend working for Damien’s wife, so Laurel suggests that Felicity could hire him to head up public relations at Palmer Tech.  Laurel’s afraid of Oliver’s reaction at mentioning Felicity but Oliver says he’s fine and that it’s okay to say her name since she is after all not Voldemort.  At this point the team is then rather shocked to find out that Oliver knows how to make a Harry Potter reference though he claims to not even know about the movies.  I know this is an insignificant detail to focus on but the Harry Potter movies had been a thing for about six years even before Oliver ended up on the island so I refuse to believe he didn’t know they existed.

At Palmer Tech, Felicity gets ready for a board meeting to discuss how to profit from the computer chip that has fixed her spine.  She notices that Curtis seems to be fighting off a pretty nasty cold and sends him home for the day.  As Curtis leaves, Felicity is then visited by Donna, who wants to cheer her up after the breakup and Thea who wants to ask about giving Alex a job.

Back at Arrow HQ, we see Oliver train some more when Laurel comes by to console Oliver.  She gets him to admit that the breakup is hurting him more than he’s been letting on, which bugs him since he figures after dealing with guys like Merlyn, Slade Wilson and Ra’s al Ghul that he’d better at dealing with pain at this point.  Laurel says that’s natural though since emotional scars take much longer to heal than physical ones and tells him that she’s there for him if he needs her.

The board members at Palmer Tech are not so patiently waiting for Felicity when one of them collapses in pain and dies.  A swarm of robot bees then bursts out of his mouth and Larvan makes her entrance.  She starts by giving the first of what will be many bee puns throughout the episode and gets to her demands.  She wants one of the new biochips and then she’ll “bee” on her way.  The problem with this is that the only prototype is currently in Felicity’s spine.  To show she means business she also cuts off all communications in and out of Palmer Tech and surrounds the building with millions more of her robot bees.  She gives Felicity ten minutes to bring the biochip to her or she’ll kill more board members.

The robot bees swarming the building is all over the news, prompting a still sick Curtis to reach out to Team Arrow, unaware they are already planning a rescue mission.  He uses a cell phone previously given to him by Team Arrow to trace their location to Oliver’s campaign office and manages to find the secret elevator (really easily in fact).  Curtis isn’t given much time to wrap his head around the team’s identities before he passes out from his fever.  The team gives him an IV to keep his cold in check for a few hours and wake him up.  Now that he gets a real chance to take everything in, he does his best Cisco impression, much to Oliver’s irritation.  Curtis offers his hacking services and since Felicity is unavailable, Oliver reluctantly accepts.

Meanwhile, Felicity, Thea and Donna do their best to avoid the bees while they wait for Team Arrow to come to the rescue.  Curtis is able to gain control of the bees for a little while but unfortunately the bees override him before Team Arrow can be of much help and one of the bees ends up stinging Oliver.  There’s also a few seconds where the bees transform themselves into a hulking “bee man” and I think that sentence speaks for itself.

Back at Arrow HQ, the bee sting is having a painful effect on Oliver and Curtis reveals that it’s because the bee is now inside of him and rapidly multiplying.  Luckily, Curtis is able to come up with the idea to destroy the bees by using Laurel’s Canary Cry.  This plan works and all the bees inside Oliver die out, leaving Oliver with a few not so wonderful bathroom trips to look forward to later.

Back at Palmer Tech, Felicity notices that Larvan is occupied in her office so she devises a plan to evacuate the board members.  She accesses a secret elevator to sneak out Donna and the board members through a secret exit while Felicity and Thea stay behind.  Larvan is less than happy about this and as she threatens Felicity and Thea some more, she also reveals that she wants the biochip because she has developed a tumor on her spine that will soon paralyze her from the waist down.  Felicity then decides to give Larvan access to the biochip’s blueprints to buy some time for the team.

Meanwhile at Arrow HQ, Curtis wants to bask in the glory of beating the robot bees inside of Oliver but Oliver rightfully points out it’s a little early to celebrate since Felicity and Thea are still trapped inside the building.  He then berates Curtis for not taking the situation seriously enough.  Laurel takes Oliver aside to tell him that he’s being way too hard on Curtis but Oliver insists that he needs to see just how demanding the superhero life is.  He then talks about how he was content to live a suburban life with Felicity and now that they’re through he doesn’t think that he’ll ever be able to have that life again.  Laurel then reminds him that Felicity dumped him because of a choice he made as Oliver Queen and not the Green Arrow but that he can still find some happiness for himself as long as he believes he can.

Meanwhile, Felicity’s plan to buy the team time ends up backfiring on her, since while Larvan was going through the Palmer Tech servers she found some “familiar computer code” that makes her realize Felicity is the one that got her thrown in prison.

Team Arrow returns for another rescue mission and thanks to an arrow specially designed by Curtis to upload a computer virus to the bees a la Independence Day, Curtis is able to regain control of them and Larvan gets stung several times.

In the aftermath, Larvan is the hospital after falling into a coma from the stings and Oliver apologizes for his behavior towards Curtis.  He thanks him for the help and says that he’s welcome on Team Arrow anytime.

Curtis comes home and his husband is understandably ticked off at him since he has no clue where he’s been all day.  Curtis apologizes for his behavior and says that he tried to help the police over the situation with Felicity but after seeing how dangerous it is, he swears that he’s gotten it out of his system and it won’t happen again.

Back at Palmer Tech, Thea helps Felicity clean up her office and also to try to get her to consider coming back to Team Arrow.  Felicity insists though that she’s done for real this time and that she was never interested in the action but just wanted to make a difference (this would be a lot more believable if Felicity hadn’t pulled Oliver out of retirement at the start of the season partially because she was bored with suburban life).  Thanks to an idea she got from Larvan, Felicity thinks she now knows how to do just that.

Flashback Time

Oliver and Taiana make their way back to Reiter and try to threaten him with the guns they stole from his henchmen.  Reiter demands to know where they have hidden the idol and Taiana responds by shooting him several times.  However, thanks to the powers granted to Reiter by the idol, the bullets have no effect on him.  He then throws Taiana around with his mind and is on the verge of killing Oliver before his powers wear off.  Oliver takes this opportunity to knock Reiter out and check on Taiana.  By the time he’s able to revive her however, Reiter has already disappeared to search for the idol.  Oliver notes that the good news is that this gives them the chance to rescue the other prisoners.

Damien

Damien continues to be in jail awaiting his trial when Merlyn comes to pay him a visit.  Damien wants to know why H.I.V.E. seem to be doing nothing to get him out of jail, Merlyn explains that given Damien’s unpredictable behavior, H.I.V.E. has decided to cut ties and move forward with the Genesis plan without him.

Damien’s day doesn’t get any better when he’s attacked by the old Team Arrow villain Murmur and a couple of his lackeys.  Without his magic, Damien gets beat down pretty good but a prison guard is able to come in just in time to keep him from getting killed.

Murmur and his goons pay a visit to Damien’s cell later but instead of a repeat performance of before, Murmur shanks his goons.  It turns out, Damien threatened to kill Murmur’s grandmother unless he defected to his side.  He then has Murmur deliver a message to Merlyn (not sure how he can do that though since his mouth is sewn shut).

Merlyn them meets with a guy in a limo and says that while H.I.V.E. has abandoned Damien, he tells the mystery man that Damien called him his “ace in the hole.”  The man is then revealed to be Andy Diggle.

Analysis

Okay, this episode was just surreal.  If you were able to watch this episode without making the obvious Wicker Man reference, you’re a better man than me.  It really goes to show just how different Arrow and The Flash are from each other since while this kind of episode would be (and has already been) par for the course on The Flash, here it feels like the plot of an episode of the Adam West Batman series.  To be fair, the constant bee puns didn’t help.  If by any chance you loved Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy’s puns in Batman and Robin then this is the episode for you.  God bless Captain Lance though since while the other characters play this relatively straight, he seems to the one guy that’s fully aware of how ridiculous this all is and as a result gets all the best lines (“That is an army of robotic bees.  Yeah, this is my life now.”).

This episode also appears to be hinting at the possibility of Oliver and Laurel getting back together in the near future.  I know these two are a couple in the comics but on the show, they work better as friends and confidants to each other so this feels like a mistake.  Then again, I’m all for anything that gets Felicity written out of the show at this point.

All in all though, while this episode is a little too campy for it’s own good, it was still one of the more enjoyable episodes this season.

Come back next week where it looks like we’ll finally find out who dies this season in ‘Eleven-Fifty-Nine.’         

Insert Bee Pun Here Tonight's episode opens at Iron Heights where Brie Larvan AKA Bug-Eyed Bandit (The Walking Dead's Emily Kinney) is seen taking advantage of her computer time by hacking into her prison file and giving herself an early release.  Wow, twenty seconds in and already I don't know where to start.  First, what kind of judge allows a known hacker access to a computer at all?  Second, shouldn't her computer activity be closely monitored at a so-called maximum security prison?  Third, did nobody find it suspicious that a woman convicted of murder with no chance of parole is suddenly released after serving maybe a year of her sentence? Meanwhile at Arrow HQ, Team Arrow has a sparring session with Oliver fighting against Diggle, Laurel and Thea at the same time and despite being outnumbered Oliver defeats them all without much problem.  Apparently, since the breakup with Felicity, Oliver has tried to focus on the mission.  The only problem with that is H.I.V.E. has continued to be suspiciously silent since Damien's arrest. Thea then gets a text saying that Alex is interviewing to be the new chief of staff for Ruvé Adams.  Naturally, nobody's thrilled with the idea of Thea's boyfriend working for Damien's wife, so Laurel suggests that Felicity could hire him to head up public relations at Palmer Tech.  Laurel's afraid of Oliver's reaction at mentioning Felicity but Oliver says he's fine and that it's okay to say her name since she is after all not Voldemort.  At this point the team is then rather shocked to find out that Oliver knows how to make a Harry Potter reference though he claims to not even know about the movies.  I know this is an insignificant detail to focus on but the Harry Potter movies had been a thing for about six years even before Oliver ended up on the island so I refuse to believe he didn't know they existed. At Palmer Tech, Felicity gets ready for a board meeting to discuss how to profit from the computer chip that has fixed her spine.  She notices that Curtis seems to be fighting off a pretty nasty cold and sends him home for the day.  As Curtis leaves, Felicity is then visited by Donna, who wants to cheer her up after the breakup and Thea who wants to ask about giving Alex a job. Back at Arrow HQ, we see Oliver train some more when Laurel comes by to console Oliver.  She gets him to admit that the breakup is hurting him more than he's been letting on, which bugs him since he figures after dealing with guys like Merlyn, Slade Wilson and Ra's al Ghul that he'd better at dealing with pain at this point.  Laurel says that's natural though since emotional scars take much longer to heal than physical ones and tells him that she's there for him if he needs her. The board members at Palmer Tech are not so patiently waiting for Felicity when one of them collapses in…
Episode Score - 7

7

Despite some Adam West level campiness, 'Beacon of Hope' is still an enjoyable, even if mostly filler, episode.

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7
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About the Author

Derek Johns
is a native Texan who has had a love and fascination with movies as long as he can remember. He attended Sam Houston State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Broadcast Journalism. His love of film only grew during his college days, with seldom an hour going by without him making some kind of movie reference. He has since gone on a seemingly never-ending quest to see as many movies (old and new) that he possibly can, a task made possible by his Netflix subscription. Besides movies he enjoys television, reading, writing, video editing, listening to music, and watching Doctor Who.
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