Something is wrong with Season 4 of Arrow. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is definitely a major flaw somewhere. I’m not sure if it’s because the entire season is leading up to the death of presumably a major character so most people are only concerned with who that is. It could be because the show has gone past the point where it can rely on the “villain of the week” formula to keep people interested.
When there is an over-arching story across the whole season, and you have an episode that doesn’t really fit into this story so late in the season, it just feels dis-jointed. Case in point, Episode 17 of Season 4, “Beacon of Hope” or should that be “Bee-con of Hope”?
Here’s our recap and review!
Brie Larvan is this week’s bad guy. We see her still in prison but hacking into her own prison record and changing her release date. Looks like she will be out very soon! Who let’s a computer genius villain access a computer?!
The next time we see her, she has busted her way into a Palmer Tech board meeting (following a man that is filled with her bees!) She demands the chip that Felicity has in her spine or she will start killing board members.
Earlier we saw Felicity and Curtis talking about the viability of mass-producing her chip so they can help other people. The only problem with this is that the chip costs an awful lot of money, it isn’t financially viable.
Their business talk gets interrupted by Donna Smoak who has come to try and take her daughter’s mind off her break-up, but luckily Thea turns up as she wants Felicity to give Alex, Oliver’s ex-campaign manager a job, Alex having recently been offered a job with Damien Darhk’s wife.
Now that I have explained the tenuous reasons that have brought these three women together, we can move on to how they deal with Brie Larvan. She has taken control of the building and surrounded it with millions of her robotic bees.
Seeing a news report about the situation at Palmer Tech, Curtis races out of his apartment, leaving his husband behind. He tracks the Arrow using the phone they gave him and discovers the secret ‘Arrow Cave’. He sees them all with their masks off and goes into full fan-boy mode!
Oliver asks why he is here so Curtis explains he wants to help. Without asking, he takes control of Team Arrow’s computers (very excited that they are S.T.A.R. Labs designed). He manages to hack into a single bee and find the girls trapped in Palmer Tech.
Curtis directs them to an exit while the rest of Team Arrow arrive to assault the building. They don’t get very far however as a load of bees mass together to form a Bee-man. Trust me, it looks a ridiculous as it sounds. They could have done a better job with some CGI rather than have a man in a suit! At least that way it would have been slightly more believable that it was made of bees!
After a brief fight, Oliver gets stung and cannot carry on. The team take him back to the Arrow Cave where they find it wasn’t just a sting, a bee is in his body and is rapidly replicating itself! The bees are evolving quickly but Curtis comes up with a way to cleanse them from Oliver. They adapt Laurel’s Canary cry device to emit a special frequency that utterly destroys them.
While Oliver is being treated, the girls in Palmer Tech are running for their lives. They have escaped through ventilation shafts and use the secret elevator, that usually goes to the Arrow Cave, to stop outside the board room. Felicity uses some of Curtis’ defective T-Spheres (which she just happens to have on her!) to blow a hole in the wall and evacuates the board members.
Brie catches them in the act and demands the chip from Felicity. She wants it because she has a tumor on her spine that will eventually leave her paralysed. Trying to distract her, Felicity tells Brie that the blueprints for the chip are in Curtis’ lab and she can have them.
Curtis was very excited that they were able to stop the bees inside Oliver, but the Green Arrow himself gives Curtis a very harsh dressing down. He wants him to realise that this life isn’t something that you should strive for. Oliver has lost sight of his mission (again), and doesn’t think they can save the city from all the threats they face.
Laurel has been trying to get Oliver to talk throughout the episode. She wants to help him through his relationship pain and thinks that taking it out of Curtis is the wrong way to deal. Oliver thought he would be tougher after all the bad guys they have dealt with. He hates that he has a chance to save the city but can’t save his own relationship. Laurel simply tells him that life isn’t fair.
At the same time that this is going on Felicity tells Thea that she doesn’t think the Team is the way to save the city anymore. She will not be coming back to the team, she wants to help everyone.
Curtis has developed a computer virus that will shut down the bees and had put it on an arrow for Oliver. Just as Brie figures out that Felicity is the one that sent her to prison and forms her Bee-man to attack the girls, Oliver and co attack.
Brie gets tied up with a classic Bolas shot but the Bee-man is too strong for the team. The virus doesn’t work, presumably because the bees evolved again, and the one is the Arrow Cave even gets loose and chases Curtis and Lance!
Felicity to the rescue! She fries the Bee-man with a lamp and he collapses, meanwhile Lance squashes the rogue bee with a coffee pot!
Brie has gotten lose and takes a shot at Felicity but Oliver takes the bullet for her giving Curtis the chance to take control of the bees and turn them on Brie, putting her into a toxic coma.
Wrapping things up, Oliver apologises to Curtis for being too harsh on him and says he is welcome anytime in the Arrow Cave. Curtis returns home to his worried husband but reassures him that he belongs at home.
Felicity has turned her back on the vigilante life, she wants to re-make Palmer Tech into something that will help as many people as possible (maybe hinting at the future that we saw in Legends of Tomorrow – Smoak Industries?).
In case you forgot, Damien Darhk is still in prison waiting for his trial. We see him a couple of times during the episode. Firstly being given a reality check by Malcolm Merlyn. Darhk’s resources have not been deployed and his ‘friends’ in HIVE have left him behind to continue their plans. His powers do not work anymore (he obviously isn’t using his totem ring).
Darhk gets jumped by some fellow prisoners, including one with a sewn up mouth. Remember him? He gets saved from a beating by some prison guards but late they approach him again. This time the ‘silent’ guy kills his fellow inmates as Darhk has blackmailed him into helping him.
Sending the guy to deliver a message, we don’t see what this is until the very end of the episode, Malcolm Merlyn is talking to someone in a car, saying that Darhk needs his help. Who could it be? None other than Andy Diggle! Of course! I wondered what had happened to him!
Flashbacks you say? Thought I’d forgotten hadn’t you? Well this week they are really bad. Diane and Oliver attack Reiter. Bullets have no effect on him and he quickly beats Oliver down. Reiter offers to kill them both quickly if they give him the idol, obviously the refuse and Oliver tries to fight him again.
Reiter thinks he will be a god with all this power, but it quickly runs out, giving Oliver an opening to smack him down. Diane says that this is their chance to escape but Oliver says they can rescue their friends and kill all of Reiter’s men on the way out!
Here’s a few things that jumped out at me during the episode:
- Oliver likes Harry Potter, the books not the films!
- The four way sparring session between Oliver, Diggle, Laurel and Thea was impressive.
- Felicity makes reference to needing someone like Cisco to name their bad guys.
- Plenty of film and TV references, including Die Hard and Battlestar Galactica.
- Curtis himself says the word “Terrific”, just turn into the hero for God’s sake!!!
- It was a bad episode.
Like i said in the introduction, this episode felt out of place with the whole season. I can honestly say if you took this episode away there would be no change to the path of the season.
Brie Larvan was a bad villain the last time we saw her, she did not deserve another go. Badly acted and her robotic bees seems invincible until it was convenient that they weren’t. And what was with the stupid Bee-man?! This show has quite a large budget so surely they could have spent more on making a man-shaped bee swarm. We have seen much better effects before!!
Hopefully things will get back on track next episode. It was a good reveal that Andy Diggle still appears to be working with HIVE and if Darhk thinks he can help him then he must be a pretty bad guy. A high ranking HIVE member perhaps? That was the only good bit of the episode. I swear if someone said “Beacon of Hope” one more time I was going to smash my television!
Whats did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below.