Arrow “Beacon of Hope” Review (Season 4, Episode 17)

When I sat down to write about this week’s Arrow, I tried to think of a couple of good things to start with. After staring at a blank screen for about ten minutes, I realized that there weren’t a couple of good things for me to say about this episode. In fact, the longer I sat, the more confused I became about the horrible mess I’d just watched. I really wish I had better things to say about this episode, but I really don’t. The only good thing to come out of this episode was that we spent a little more time with Curtis. I fell in love with Curtis the moment we met him at the beginning of the season, and my love and appreciation for him has only grown every time he shows up. One of the reasons I love him so hard is the fact that he’s a hero. Oftentimes people think that being a hero means you have to be on the front lines of battle, but that’s not entirely true. And there are many different kinds of battlefronts. Curtis is a hero because every time someone needs to stand up and do something, Curtis stands up. Curtis is a hero because he thinks about other people before he thinks about himself. Curtis is a hero because even though he’s scared, he still does what needs to be done. Curtis could’ve sat back and waited for the police to solve the problem, but he didn’t. He knew he had a way to get some help, and he went for it. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Curtis either. Yes. He was ridiculously excited about finding the bunker and Team Arrow, but he was also terrified. Which was a totally appropriate response to everything that happened. It probably didn’t help that Oliver was a world class jerk either.

I understand that Oliver’s hurting. Breakups are difficult, and they hurt in ways you didn’t even know you were capable of hurting. That being said, Oliver has no right to take out his hurt on everyone else. He’d already been riding the rest of the team hard, but what he said to Curtis was completely unnecessary and out of line. Curtis didn’t HAVE to show up at all. He showed up because he wanted to help, and all Oliver could think to do was be cruel. Which is rich considering that Curtis had LITERALLY just saved Oliver’s life not five minutes before. Not to mention the fact that Team Arrow had absolutely no clue how to stop crazy bee girl, and if it weren’t for Curtis all of them would’ve died. As must as I don’t care for Laurel, I appreciated the fact that she called Oliver out on his bad behavior. I also appreciated that she didn’t let him get away with blaming “the life” for his relationship implosion. His relationship failed because of the choices HE made.

Then there’s Felicity. I’m not sure what the powers that be are doing with Felicity’s character, but whatever it is, they need to stop. Right now. Felicity used to be the highlight of the show for me, but what they’ve been doing with her lately has made her tedious. For one thing, the only reason that Oliver and Felicity are back in Starling City is that’s what Felicity wanted. At the end of last season, Oliver chose Felicity. He chose to walk away from his superhero job. He wanted to get married and live out the rest of their lives in Ivy Town with Felicity burning the omelettes. Felicity is the one who was working with the team behind Oliver’s back. Felicity is the one who insisted they move back to Starling City. Felicity was the one who claimed she was slowly going out of her mind in Ivy Town. So now I don’t understand why Felicity is acting as if Oliver is the one who dragged her back to a life she hated. That’s not even remotely how it happened. Thus, it makes it pretty impossible for me to feel sorry for her woe is me routine. I get that you don’t want to be taken hostage and/or shot at on a daily basis. That would suck. But at the same time, it is the life that Felicity chose for herself. She knew what it was before she convinced Oliver that they needed to move back. The only thing that’s changed now is that she and Oliver are broken up, and she doesn’t want to work with her ex. If that’s the case, then just woman up and say so. She doesn’t get to blame “the life” any more than Oliver does.

Honestly, that’s pretty much all there is to say about this episode. Nothing happened that was particularly shocking. The crazy bee lady wasn’t even all that interesting. Perhaps I was supposed to feel sorry for her that the tech she needed cost so much and that she was going to be paralyzed without it, but you know what? Boo freakin’ hoo. Whatever her personal health issues are, that doesn’t give her the right to hurt and/or kill other people. Yes. I know. I’m applying logic and reason to a crazy person, but still. I didn’t feel sorry for her at all. Then there was Donna. Usually, I like Donna but even she was written pretty poorly in this episode. You want to stop and have a heart to heart conversation in the middle of a life or death situation? Seriously?! And it seemed like they dumbed her down a bit too. I really hate when they do that to otherwise enjoyable characters. I’m not surprised Malcolm has moved up to take Darhk’s spot nor am I surprised that Andy isn’t on the up and up. A blind man could see that coming from several blocks away. Even Darhk having a backup plan isn’t surprising. This just wasn’t one of Arrow’s better offerings. Oh, and if I never hear another bad bee pun or the phrase ‘beacon of hope’ ever again, that would be absolutely wonderful.