Arrow Review: “Beacon of Hope”

ArrowSeason4

Jim’s Thoughts

Remember last week when I called Cupid the worst Arrow villain since Count Vertigo? That’s probably still true, but this week brought back the second worst villain since Count Vertigo. I guess maybe The Bug-eyed Bandit was a Flash villain at first, but you get the idea. I didn’t miss her.

Bee puns and awkward environmental conservation speeches were only one of the problems, to be fair. It was at least equally detrimental to the episode that we got more Olicity rammed down our throats. Aside from the fact that I’ve found Felicity increasingly insufferable of late, it’s also hard to play the “we miss you” angle when she’s been gone for all of a day or two.

The flashbacks were more of the same. I haven’t cared about that story, and it doesn’t seem to be tying into the present in any meaningful way. At this point, it’s wasted screen time that could (and should) have been devoted to the Damien Darhk story, which wasn’t given enough time to make much sense at all.

I’ve liked Curtis’ character well enough this season, but I can’t say he was effective in this episode. He was too much of a gender-flipped Felicity, and I have to gig the show for the scene where Lance chastises Curtis for screaming. The connotation there is that his masculinity is being questioned, and with a homosexual character, that comes off as surprisingly regressive and insensitive.

Here’s hoping Arrow finds its footing soon. This was not the bounce-back week I was hoping for.

Kyle’s Take

Yikes! Looks like Arrow’s Chipotle cleanse will take another week to get through its system. I’m with Jim. I didn’t like the Bug-eyed Bandit when she was on The Flash. The positive—if it is one—is that we saw more of her face during “Beacon of Hope.” The negative is that she had more dialogue. Don’t feed us an environmental treatise within dialogue. Why? Bee…cause it’s tacky like tortured bee puns. Looks like someone needs to bee…have. Ugh.

Even when Olicity isn’t a thing, it’s still a thing. There’s a demographic that gobbles up anything and everything Olicity, but I’m not a member of that group. Arrow has made it a point to alienate anyone who isn’t on Team Olicity, so Jim and I have been out in the cold most of this season. Oh, and coupling Felicity’s mom with Captain Lance so she’ll be in more episodes is another way to bring Olicity into the forefront. Mother Smoak’s an insufferable character in her own right bee…cause (couldn’t help myself) she voices Olicity fans’ concerns. Seriously, Olicity fans are so catered to that they have their own character who speaks for them in the show. Ugh.

Chastise might be too strong a word to describe what Lance said to Curtis. That doesn’t mean that what Lance said wasn’t insensitive or regressive. Jim’s 100% correct on that front. In fact, half the dialogue that involved Curtis flew in the vicinity of obscenity. “You’re a dude-ish Felicity?” A dude-ish Felicity? What? Welcome to the 90s, Arrow. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Ugh.

The flashbacks bore me. Get rid of them; they haven’t worked since Deathstroke. Murmur came out of nowhere and now, he’s buddy-buddy with Darhk. Sure, that makes sense. Arrow explained that Darhk had kidnapped Murmur’s mother. That’s problematic bee…cause (I’ll stop, maybe) that’s similar to what Darhk did to Ollie, the show hadn’t set up that Darhk would’ve had the foresight to kidnap Murmur’s mother in advance of going to the prison where Murmur was king, and it hadn’t been established that Murmur even had a mother who was still alive. Darhk was the one thing that was working. Just, ugh.

Arrow took longer to get to its rocky stretch of road—the show has a history of ineffective episodes right after its mid-season break—but it’s made up for lost time with some stinkers these past two weeks. We’re careening closer to the season finale, so Arrow should get things back on track. It will get back on track, won’t it? I’m hoping it does.

Thanks for reading.

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