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TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 17 "Beacon of Hope"

03.31.2016

Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.

Episode 17: "Beacon of Hope"

Synopsis: Brie Larvan breaks out of jail and turns up at Palmer Techthreatening to kill everyone unless she gets the bio-chip that is implanted in Felicity's spine. When Oliver realizes that Felicity,Thea and Donna are trapped in Palmer Tech with everyone else, he looks to a surprising ally to help Team Arrow save the day.

Review: There are moments watching Arrow that I wonder what has become of this show. At one point, Arrow was the benchmark for superhero television with axtion-packed episodes and dark serial drama with just the right hint of humor. Since being usurped by The Flash and Daredevil, Arrow has struggled to find a place comparable to it's first and second season success. This season has done a good job of trying to reestablish that fun but we are still getting bogged down by weak flashbacks to Oliver's island years and weak bad guys that feel like rejects from the 1966 Batman television series. Tonight's episode is one of the weakest the show has produced and begins to truly show signs of the series floundering.

Post-breakup, Oliver Queen is diving headfirst back into his duties as Green Arrow and training like a madman. His friends and teammates sense that he is dealing with the end of his relationship with Felicity in his own way but Oliver acts as if he is totally fine. When a villain escapes from Iron Heights and attacks Palmer Technologies demanding that Felicity give up her implant that gives her the ability to walk again, Oliver and company dive into action. The only issue is the villain is Bree Larvan and she has an army of robotic bees at her disposal. Much like the incredulous Captain Lance, we are actually sitting through an episode about robotic bees.

Bree Larvan previously appeared on The Flash where Felicity helped Barry Allen stop the villianess. Larvan has faked her release from Iron Heights and come looking for Felicity while spouting all sorts of awful puns using the word bee. With her honeycomb pattern dress and lame one-liners, Bree Larvan is possibly one of the worst enemies this series has ever faced. With Thea, Felicity, and Donna Smoak stuck inside, Oliver has to turn to an unlikely source to help the computer in the Team Arrow bunker. Curtis, home sick with a fever, tracks down the Arrow Cave much to the surprise of everyone inside. He quickly takes the reins normally controlled by Felicity, giving us a logical replacement for the departed Overwatch.

The episode features the typical moments of peril which include Larvan's bees coming together to form a monster bee man. One of the bees also stings Oliver and begins replicating itself inside his body which Curtis helps stop. They then create a virus to stop the bees which they help deploy back at Palmer Technologies, but ultimately the helplessly not so helpless Felicity manages to electrocute the bee man and stop Larvan, thus saving the day and ending the terror. While Felicity and Oliver do not magically get back together, Curtis does say he does not plan to remain Overwatch, leaving the door wide open for Felicity's eventual return. I cannot say that this was a very strong story, plot-wise, but it did make me want Curtis to be on the team and that does not look likely to happen.

In other news, Malcolm Merlyn visits Damien Darhk in prison to let him know that HIVE do not plan to help him escape as his magic and murder sprees rubbed them the wrong way, giving Malcolm control of the evil organization and their Genesis plan. In the closing moments of the episode, Malcolm meets with Darhk's "secret weapon" who turns out to be none other than Diggle's brother, Andy. In the flashbacks, Reiter continues to amass his immortality and power which he demonstrates with glowing eyes and super-strength. Yeah, that was pretty much all we saw during this hour.

I have to unfortunately give this episode the lowest score I have given to any episode of the series simply because it was a completely pointless episode. Aside from the scenes with Damien Darhk, this hour did not progress any of the characters in any sort of way and served as a filler story in a season that already has far too many stopgap episodes. Even the flashbacks feel like they could have been added to either the previous or next episode and we would never have noticed. Arrow still benefits from having a talented main cast but they are being given very little to work with. When characters like Captain Lance have to make meta-references about people discovering Oliver's base or secret identity, that should serve as a clue that things are developing in the wrong direction.

Final Verdict:

Next on ARROW: "Eleven-Fifty-Nine" airs April 6th - Oliver and Diggle learn that Merlyn is going to try to break Darhk out of prison. Meanwhile, Laurel gets a surprising offer and Felicity has a heart-to-heart talk with Curtis.[3]

Source: JoBlo.com

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