This review contains spoilers.
4.17 Beacon Of Hope
Fan sentiment towards Arrow isn’t at its best right now, with many feeling that last week’s Olicity-heavy outing was a demonstration of how skewed the storylines have been this year. Apparently the show has taken the complaint that it’s so much darker than The Flash, Legends Of Tomorrow and Supergirl as an excuse to up the romance quota and, when your only big relationship involves two of the team’s core members, that’s an issue.
So here we are with Felicity no longer part of Team Arrow, a move that pretty much nobody wanted and one that poses the question – what are the writers going to do with her now? This is a series about the Green Arrow, hence the name, so seeing one of the regular cast members working outside of that core group feels like a distraction.
But the rest of Beacon Of Hope was pretty great, and a vast improvement on what we’ve been seeing from Arrow lately. It’s light and zippy and pun-tastic, which are three things this side of the DC TV universe rarely gets to be. It’s what we all loved about Felicity in the beginning and, now, what I’m sure we’ll all learn to love about Curtis Holt as he takes his place in the Arrow Cave.
Today’s announcement that Curtis will be a regular character in season five shows that the Powers That Be understand what a positive presence Echo Kellum has been on season four so far, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that we’re going to see more of him from here on out.
But as hilarious as it is watching him run around the lair with Quentin (who was also fun this week), or look at Oliver like a wounded puppy when he pulls his usual ‘you’re not taking this seriously enough’ schtick, he’s not the only good thing about the hour. While I’m not the biggest fan of the Bug Eyed Bandit as a villain, a hostage situation with our heroes trapped on both sides is always an entertaining story to tell with a cast as big as this.
On the one hand, we’ve got Felicity, Thea and Donna inside Palmer Tech and, on the other, Oliver, Laurel, Diggle and Curtis. We get the best of both worlds – Felicity and Thea taking charge without the intervention of interfering older brothers/ex-fiances, and big damn hero shots of Diggle, Laurel and Oliver as they attempt to rescue them.
The scenes shared between Oliver and Laurel can be taken a number of ways. While I’ve become very fond of their platonic interactions of late, there was a distinct whiff of set-up to their conversations this week. The number of them, coupled with the content of their conversations, point to the possibility of a rekindling of certain feelings. Then again, I might be reading too much into it.
From the show’s perspective, she’s been out of character rehab for a while and could theoretically be slotted back into the way the Green Arrow and Black Canary’s relationship goes in the comics.
But on that controversial note, let’s just enjoy the fact that we just watched a genuinely entertaining episode of Arrow, with minimal flashbacks, involvement from the entire cast and almost no focus given to who’s breaking up with who. I’m sure I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is what fans want to see more of, and there needs to be less pandering to small factions of the fanbase from behind the scenes.