Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Arrow Recap: "Beacon of Hope" (4x17)

Spoilers included for Arrow.

In the last episode, Felicity quit Team Arrow, and Damien Darhk was incarcerated. Now Team Arrow has to save Star City without Overwatch. To do this, they might need to become someone else, or something else...

This is Arrow.

Every since Darhk was put behind bars, the streets of Star City have been quiet. Too quiet for Team Arrow. Oliver trains with the team (minus Felicity) in the Arrow bunker. Thea tells them that Alex (you know, Oliver's ex-campaign manager) is thinking of interviewing to work with Ruve Adams (aka Mrs. Darhk). Laurel suggests he interview for a position at Palmer Tech instead. This leads to an awkward conversation skirting around Felicity and Oliver's bewilderment that there were Harry Potter movies. (This was actually a perfect scene of dialogue. It proves this show can actually be funny. Also, what's with the Harry Potter references this week?)

(This was too perfect.--source)

However, the city can't stay silent forever. Brie Larvan, aka the Bee Chick from an episode of The Flash with Felicity and Ray, breaks out of prison (of course) and decides to target Palmer Tech. So as Felicity and Curtis (who is sick) work through business related to the implantable bio chip, Felicity's mother shows up. She wants to "socialize" Felicity to help her with the B-R-E-A-C-K-U-P. (Yes, she spelled it wrong.) Thea also joins the party to ask about Alex. Then, Bee Chick shows up. With lots and lots of bees. She infiltrates the Palmer Tech board meeting, causing one man to die after bees pour out of his mouth. (Ew.) She demands Felicity hand over the implantable bio-chip. However, there is only one, and it's inside Felicity! Then, Bee Chick surrounds the entire Palmer Tech building with a swarm of her bees. (Seriously, where did she get all of them?)

Donna: OK. From now on, I'm buying flats. I mean, these assaults are weekly. It's ridiculous. It's just so not conducive to high fashion.

Meanwhile, Oliver and Laurel train in the bunker, and Laurel tries to talk to him about Felicity. (Hey, look! They've already had more scenes together in this on episode than they have the entire season. Just kidding. But are they putting these two together to hint at something more between them?) Despite Oliver's awkwardness about discussing his past relationship with one of his past relationships, Laurel tells him she's here for him. (Gosh, I love Laurel.)

Curtis, who went home in order to rest, hears about the bee attack on Palmer Tech. Paul insists he stay home, but Curtis runs out the door to find help--from Team Arrow. Lance arrives at the bunker to inform Laurel and Oliver about the bees. (He's so worried about Donna. I'm dying.) Oliver tells his team to suit up even though the police claim the building is impenetrable. (Good ole Ollie, not giving up!) Curtis shows up at the bunker--somewhat by accident and somewhat following a phone with a tracker. The next few minutes are a constant stream of him fanboying over everything in the bunker; oh, and he passes out when he finds out Oliver is the Green Arrow.

(I'm crying.--source)

They wake him up, and Curtis uses the bunker's computer to explain to the team how to hack the robotic bees. (He also makes quite a few bee puns, which were hilarious.) So, they decide to let him help them from the Arrow bunker while they go to Palmer Tech. (So if Felicity is gone, can Curtis take over? He makes pop culture references when he's nervous!)

(CURTIS! Adorable cupcake.--source)

Felicity, Thea, and Donna escape from the office through an air vent, but the bees chase after them. They hide in a closet when one of the bees starts talking... in Curtis' voice! He managed to override its computer system to take control. He deactivates the bees, and Team Arrow swoops into the building. But it doesn't last; the bees evolve to block him out. This time, they form into a solid figure: Bee Man. (Seriously, though, it looks like a cheap cosplay of Yellow Jacket from Ant-Man. Oops, wrong fandom!) They fight the bee, but Oliver gets stung. When they bring him back to the bunker, they learn he didn't just get stung but the bee is inside of him. And it's replicating.

Curtis realizes the bees are designed after real bees, and real bees work on a specific frequency. If they can block the frequency with, oh, I don't know, a high pitched call, they could stop the bee in order to get it out of Oliver. Laurel uses her canary call to blast the bee. It works and they stop the bee from injuring Oliver further. (Curtis also fanboys. Again.)

(Look how awesome she is!--source)

Felicity comes up with a plan to rescue the board member. She uses the elevator to go down to the board meeting room; however, that floor isn't supposed to be accessed from the elevator, so Thea blasts the wall open. The board members and Donna escape down the elevator to a secret panic room. This leaves Thea and Felicity to face Bee Chick. They talk to her, and she explains that she has a tumor on her spinal cord. To cut it out and save her life, she'll be paralyzed. She wants the chip so she can still walk. Felicity, at gunpoint, tells her where the blueprints for the chip are.

At the bunker, Curtis goes over the components of the robotic bees with the team. However, the bees have probably already adapted to their canary call technique, so it won't work again. (Typical.) Oliver gets angry at Curtis' excitement, so Laurel has to pull him aside to give him a talk about his frustration. Laurel tells it to him straight: his choices caused Felicity to break up with him. She encourages him by telling him that as the Green Arrow he gives people hope. (Okay, they're totally setting these two up.) Oliver apologizes to Curtis, who is now terrified of Oliver. He continues to work to get rid of the bees. He puts a virus into an arrow so Oliver can shoot it into the swarm and stop them once and for all.

Felicity and Thea find a computer to hack into and try to get out of the building. Thea gives Felicity pretty much the same speech Laurel just gave Ollie--they do what they do to bring hope to the city. But Felicity is adamant that she is not coming back to the team. The Bee Chick returns because in her exploration of Palmer Tech she learned Felicity is the hacker who sent her to prison in the first place. So now she's out for revenge.

Felicity: I mean, look around you. Thea, we're in a Die Hard movie with bees. Maybe I'm meant for great things, maybe I'm not, but whatever it is, it's not this. I'm sorry. I'm not coming back.

(Ah, symbolism.--source)

Team Arrow arrives just in time to save the day. The Bee Man also returns. He knocks Thea out. Oliver fights him while Felicity runs around the room. Curtis hacks the virus as the bees adapt to it. The bee from Oliver escapes and chases him around the bunker until Lance manages to catch it. Felicity breaks a lamp and thrusts the electrical end into the Bee Man, which causes him to dissolve. Bee Chick shoots at Oliver, thinking that will exact revenge on Felicity. But then, Curtis takes over the bees and makes them swarm the Bee Chick, injecting her with their toxins.

Felicity: Lay down, Bee-yotch.

(I don't know if this is actually possible, but it looks pretty dang cool!--source)

Team Arrow returns to the bunker. Oliver tells Curtis he did a good job. The Bee Chick is in a coma from the toxins. Oliver tells Curtis he is welcome at the bunker any time. (He's the new Felicity.) Laurel tells Oliver he did a good job too. (Curtis did good, Oliver did good, everybody did good!) Curtis returns home to a worried Paul. He tells him he was helping the police and he realized that it was exciting but scary so he won't be doing that again. (Okay, not the new Felicity.)

Felicity and Thea relax at Palmer Tech after the incident. Thea asks if she missed this kind of rush of adventure. But Felicity says she didn't help the Green Arrow for the rush--she did it to help people. And now she can use Palmer Tech to help people and be a beacon of hope for the city.

(I'm enjoying this way too much.--source)

During all of this, Darhk is experiencing life in prison. He meets with Malcolm Merlyn, who claims Darhk's people are moving forward without him and that they want him right where he is: in prison. (Darhk is not happy about this, and I honestly hope these two fight. Pleeaase.) Later, Darhk deals with a few thugs who corner him and beat him up. In return, when the men come back to give him a second round, he blackmails one of the thugs to kill the other two. (I'm still not sure what that was all about except maybe Darhk is trying to pull a Wilson Fisk by taking over the jail hierarchy.) Last, we see Merlyn discussing Darhk business with someone in a fancy, dark car. (Seriously though, why do bad guys always ride around in fancy, black cars? Why?!) This "someone" is Andy Diggle. (Duh-duh-DUN!)

Merlyn: He said you were his Ace-in-a-Hole. Is that what you'd like me to call you, or do you prefer Mr. Diggle?

On the Island--Oliver and Taiana confront Reiter. Taiana shoots him, but it has no effect on him. (How?!) Instead, he uses his "force powers" to toss Taiana to the side. Oliver fights him; it doesn't go well. Reiter grabs him by the neck and lifts him into the air. His eyes turn an odd glowing color as if he's trying to suck Oliver's life force out of him, but it doesn't work. He drops Oliver in surprise, and Oliver gets up and knocks him out. He runs to Taiana's side. She's okay but a big groggy. However, Reiter has disappeared back into the tunnels to search for the idol. Oliver says that this their best chance to return to the prison and set everybody free, even if it means killing Reiter's men. (Duh-duh-DUN!)

Concluding Thoughts

This episode was a little bit better than last week's. It was definitely more fun and on the sillier side of things. Oh, look, Arrow can be fun and full of jokes! I liked the scenes with Laurel and Oliver because Laurel is actually an intelligent, competent person who knows that is going on. Plus, they're finally giving her character development! Thea is also pretty good. Bee Chick is annoying and her "Bee Man" was disappointing. (But I guess with a name like that, how could you be cool?)

(This was my favorite joke of the episode.--source)

Felicity continues to annoy me. I didn't care for anything with Darhk in prison. (Except the possibility of him and Merlyn in a fight.) I don't understand what Andy is doing, and I'm kind of disappointed in him too. I hope he's a double-agent or something because I don't want the first half of the season to focus on how terrible of a person he is only to see him redeemed and fall back into "terrible person" category. (By the way, where did Diggle go during this episode?)

The Island story still stinks. So we already knew Reiter had magical voodoo powers (or whatever). I imagine he can do what Darhk can, which will connect the flash backs to present day events. Curtis, however, was a pleasant surprise. He's been around here and there before, but this is the first episode that was... his. I love his personality, his jokes, and his pop culture references. I'm sad he won't be joining Team Arrow (for now), but I hope he's still around for more fun! He is pretty...terrific!

(Seriously, he's terrific.--source)

What did you think of "Beacon of Hope"?


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