Tonight’s episode of “Arrow,” — “Beacon of Hope” — might be the funniest episode of this entire season. Considering “Arrow” is the most dramatic of all the The CW superhero shows, tonight’s episode took a very enjoyable comedic turn, dropping more movie references than there are “James Bond” films. The episode also saw the return of the Bug-Eyed Bandid, Brie Larvan, who attacked Palmer Tech in search of the device that allowed Felicity to walk again. With Felicity, Thea, and Donna in Brie’s cross hairs, Team Arrow needed help from a different hacker, Curtis, who cutely fainted when he realized all of Felicity’s friends were actually superheroes. With Felicity off of Team Arrow since her breakup with Oliver two weeks ago, she found herself in the middle of danger again. Is this her life now? Or does she still have the choice to walk away and put the crime fighting days behind her?
Tonight’s episode kicked off with Brie Larson (Emily Kinney) hacking her way out of an early prison release. Brie was first seen in “The Flash”/”Arrow”-verse in episode 18 of “The Flash,” — “All Star Team-up” — when Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) spent some time in Central City to visit Barry (Grant Gustin) and Team Flash. While there, Felicity went head-to-head with Brie and her army of robotic bees. Once Brie was released from prison tonight, she had a new target, Palmer Tech, as she was determined to get her hands on the device that healed Felicity’s back injury. Brie’s motivations weren’t revealed until the end of the episode, when she confessed that she needed the device to help her heal after her spinal tumor was removed. Her attack on Palmer Tech left Felicity, Thea (Willa Holland,) Donna (Charlotte Ross,) and the Palmer Tech board members cut off from the outside world and at the mercy of Brie’s super bees. Thankfully Team Arrow and Felicity’s tech genius assistant Curtis (Echo Kellum,) all banded together to stage a rescue.
Curtis, while desperate to save Felicity, found his way into the Arrow cave, and came face to face with the suited up Oliver (Stephen Amell,) Laurel (Katie Cassidy,) Diggle (David Ramsey,) and Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Curtis ended up fainting from seeing so much awesome, and when he woke up he continued to make movie and pop culture references to release his excitement. This episode even had Oliver making movie references, or book references in his case, about Voldermort and “Harry Potter.” It was pretty hilarious. Once he was made an honorary member of Team Arrow (and possibly a replacement for Felicity, now that she has quit the team,) Curtis quickly got to work and figured out the bee’s frequency, so he could disrupt them long enough to get Team Arrow into Palmer Tech. Unfortunately, once the team was inside, Oliver was badly stung by one of Brie’s bees, and he had to be rushed back to the Arrow cave.
The bee inside Oliver began replicating, and came very close to killing him, but Curtis was able to rig Laurel’s Canary Cry device to omit a pulse that could extract the bees. Considering Laurel doesn’t get to use her Canary Cry too often, it was rad to see it used in such a specific way. Once Oliver recovered, he was determined to get back into Palmer Tech to help rescue Felicity. At this point in the episode, Brie admitted that she needed the spinal stimulant herself, and Felicity decided gave her the blueprints so brie could create her own. Thea and Felicity were also able to get Donna and the board members to safety, but not before Brie figured out that Felicity was actually the hacker who beat her last year in Central City. Oliver arrived in time before Brie could kill Felicity, but not without taking a bullet himself. Thankfully Curtis was able to outsmart Brie again, and he turned the bees against her. She survived the bee’s toxins, but the dosage landed her in the hospital with a coma. Felicity got the coolest finishing move of the episode though, when she took out Brie’s bee-man by electrocuting it with a brandished lamp.
The funniest moments of this episode definitely came from all the movie references like “Die Hard,” “Harry Potter,” “My Girl,” “Limitless,” “Hocus Pocus,”– even Captain Lance dropped a reference to “Independence Day.” Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) also had some hilarious moments in prison, even as he had to fight for his life against other prison inmates. Sadly H.I.V.E. abandoned Damien this week, and Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) hand-delivered the message to Damien himself. Damien was still able to grease some wheels in prison, but not before Malcolm discovered Damien’s “ace up his sleeve:” Diggle’s little brother Andy (Eugene Byrd.)
The episode concluded with Felicity deciding to stay away from Team Arrow to pursue a different kind of heroism. Felicity has decided to use Palmer Tech to revolutionize the medical industry, specifically to develop more implants to heal spinal injuries, like her own. With Felicity off the team this week, Oliver was in a foul mood. He even yelled at Curtis for trying to be lighthearted. Laurel had to pull him aside twice, to remind him that it was OK to love Felicity and miss her, but that wasn’t OK to take it out on the team. It was refreshing to see Oliver and Laurel have some intimate scenes this week, considering they have been good friends most of their adult lives. With Felicity moving on from Team Arrow, Oliver heartbroken and out of the Mayor’s race, and Damien in prison, what could possibly be ahead for the rest of this season? There are six episodes left, and based on the trailer for next week’s episode, titled “11:59,” someone on Team Arrow is going to die. Is this the end of the team as we know it?
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