Puns. So many puns. So many bad, bad puns. This review will be a pun-free zone, I won’t stoop to their level – instead, I’ll dissect the good and bad from episode 17, Beacon of Hope.
After last week’s ‘episode’ – the quotation marks as well, it really wasn’t good – Arrow had a pop at bouncing back and it was alright in patches, in others it fell pretty flat.
Let’s split this review into three sections. The good. The bad. And, the ugly.
The good. I found the team dynamic in the Arrow Cave, sorry Oliver ‘The Bunker’, was refreshing. It was good to see a training scene, they’re always good fun and the Harry Potter talk was reasonably amusing. Even though there was talk about Felicity, it was nice to have the team actually feel like a team, rather than cardboard cut-outs while Olicity angst takes centre stage. The interactions between Oliver and Laurel were nicely done as well, considering their friendship, it was nice for the show to actually acknowledge that again.
I also really liked Laurel in this episode, whereas the show has managed to eat itself in the past two seasons, Laurel has really developed nicely and is probably felt one of the strongest characters to me of late – when she’s actually allowed screen time…
Oliver’s ‘secret’ was uncovered by yet another person (in fairness that’s a bad thing, it’s tedious that it’s even considered a secret identity anymore…) and that person was Curtis. The set-up of Oliver, Laurel, Diggle, Quentin and Curtis was something I really enjoyed, I felt they bounced off one another nicely and I certainly wouldn’t be against seeing more of it in future.
The bad. Arrow and subtle are only found in the same sentence if, ‘is absolutely nothing near’ lands in the middle. Did we really need the episode title ‘Beacon of Hope’ to trickle into the dialogue multiple times. It came across clunky rather than a sentiment I could believe in. I want to be ‘hope’ – who honestly says beacon? Seriously. Felicity just is a character I no longer enjoy, they’ve butchered her character pretty impressively and I’m finding it difficult to get onboard. She wasn’t particularly insufferable this episode, like last week, but I still found myself not incredibly interested when she popped up on screen.
Obviously we had Darkh in prison. I’m not sure how I feel about these scenes, they just didn’t feel quite right to me. Again, it didn’t really advance Darkh’s plot all that much though the mention of Monument Point (future episode name) was perhaps something to take from them.
Elsewhere, the reveal of Andy Diggle at the end of the episode and his near permanent shifty look didn’t really do that much for me. I think the issue is he’s barely been in the show, therefore it’s not shocking – it’s more, oh so he was a bit of a nasty person after all. It still wouldn’t surprise me if he’s a Maseo or Ray Winstone in Indiana Jones 4 type character, twisting and turning between now and May but I can’t say it interests me all that much.
The ugly. As soon as Donna Smoak was entered Felicity’s office, I wasn’t in the best of moods. It was clear that Donna’s presence would lead to chats about Oliver with Felicity, they’re not the best scenes in the world. Donna too just isn’t that good a character. She’s fine in small doses, but anything more and it’s difficult to tolerate. This episode really was no different.
The bee puns. So, so many bee puns. Just why? I feel like I have concussion from being smacked over the head with them repeatedly. They were bad. Really bad.
The villain. I miss the days of Slade Wilson, China White, Deadshot and even The Huntress. Brie Larvan? Not good. I really wasn’t a fan. The bees, her, all of it – it was like a bad SyFy movie. I really hope we don’t go there again. Darkh has been decent to his credit, but overall the villains of the week are just dull. This week was no different.
The flashbacks. I have no idea what’s going on in them and it’s increasingly hard to care. They’re short. They’re snappy. We learn very little. They just get in the way.
Overall, it wasn’t a return to form for me but it was an improvement on last week. The scenes in the Arrow Cave were enjoyable, what took place outside there wasn’t so much – all being well we’ll be about to get back to focussing on Darkh’s plot, things will heat up and we’ll be sat on the road to the finale, rather than any more ‘filler’ episodes.