Episode Title: Beacon of Hope
Original Airdate: 3-30-16
Arrow tried to outdo Flash this week with a greater emphasis on humor and yuks in an experiment that reinforced The Flash is by far the best of the comic book shows on TV right now. And Arrow? Well, it needs to just stick to being a better version of Arrow than a weak copy of another show.
Bug-Eyed Bandit returned — this time coming to Star City in search of Felicity’s fancy miracle chip that allows her to walk again. BEB has a tumor, but removing it will leave her paralyzed thus her need for Felicity’s chip.
BEB is kind of a goofy villain with her bee drones. In the context of the more outlandish Rogues on Flash she works just fine. Here, she felt way too silly especially since she could create a humanoid bee drone capable of battling Team Arrow toe to toe. It was a stretch to think BEB could accomplish that yet was unable to use her drones to aid her walking.
Felicity, Donna and Thea had to stay one step ahead of BEB and her drone army. Donna was a really fun character when she was the goofy oddball around a bunch of far more serious folks, but with everyone getting a double shot of ha-ha this season, she’s had to become a bit over the top to keep up.
The episode’s most annoying aspect was the forced introduction of Curtis to Team Arrow. With Thea and Felicity held hostage by BEB, Curtis stumbled onto the Arrow Cave, which definitely needs better locks if simply walking to the elevator could take anyone to the Arrow HQ.
Curtis was at his most obnoxiously annoying playing the super fanboy thrilled to meet all the superhero celebrities.Between BEB, Donna and Curtis, this episode was heavy on irritating jokey characters and that forced humor feels decidedly out of place on Arrow. The show was at its best when the threats were deadlier and the characters treated their mission without the need for wisecracks and needless romantic drama every five minutes.
Mr. Terrific has been one of the better new DC characters in the last 20 years, but the show version isn’t doing him any justice at all. I wouldn’t be heartbroken at all if Curtis is the mysterious man in the grave. Or maybe for storyline purposes if Curtis’ husband gets killed it would make him more than a black gay version of Felicity.
The most intriguing aspect of the show not all that surprisingly was Damien Darhk. Stuck in prison, he encountered an earlier Arrow villain Murmur, but managed to get him on his side after not so slyly threatening Murmur’s grandmother. Merlyn dropped by to let Darhk know HIVE was moving on without him. Darhk still has an ace up his sleeve though — as Merlyn talks to his inside man — Andy Diggle! This was a good move since Andy’s abrupt switch to aid John and Team Arrow came out of nowhere.
Next week seems to be teasing a major death. Donna or Capt. Lance would create the most repercussions that would mean something without completely screwing over the dynamic. (John) Diggle’s death would be the most disastrous in terms of keeping my interest for Season 5.
This episode though was another in a sadly too long line of disappointing outings lately. I doubt this season can regain its mojo, but hopefully this represents the low point of the season.
Rating: 4 out of 10