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ARROW’s “Beacon of Hope” is a Lighthearted Romp that Foreshadows A Major Event

By on March 31, 2016
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak in "Beacon of Hope"

Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak | Photo © the CW Network

By Justin Carter

This is something I didn’t realize until I’d seen it on Twitter, but Felicity’s miracle microchip in the base of her spine shouldn’t just be for her. It can work for anyone who doesn’t have the ability to walk (and possibly anyone with any kind of disability), and keeping it just for her is unfair. Thankfully, this week’s episode of Arrow makes that the reason for its villain of the week.

Emily Kinney is back as the Bug-Eyed Bandit, taking the Palmer Tech building hostage with a brand new army of robot bees at her disposal. The reveal that she’s doing all this to cure her own spinal problems — the tumor wrapped around her spine will eventually paralyze her — is a nice touch, in addition to Bandit learning that Felicity is the reason she ended up in jail a year ago.

Closing off the Palmer Tech building gives a chance for Felicity and Thea to banter back and forth with each other, plus Felicity’s mom for good measure. It’s all consistently funny, especially because Charlotte Ross’ line delivery is hilarious, even complaining about not wearing the right shoes for vent crawling.

“Funny” may be the word of the week for Team Arrow, if not “light,” at the very least. Everyone just seems to be letting loose this week, especially with Echo Kellum on hand as Curtis Holt to take over Felicity’s role in the Bunker. It’s been joked about that Curtis is a dude version of Felicity — which Diggle points out this week — and it’s easy to see why. He’s just as awkward and adorable as she is, and Kellum has perfect line delivery. It’s hard not to laugh at his pop culture references, even though he probably shouldn’t have to explain some of them to people who are into their 30s or more. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but the other pop culture jokes are so well done that it feels forced.

Here’s hoping that he and Lance get more screen time together, because those two have perfect chemistry. I particularly enjoyed Lance’s deadpan line of all this crazy nonsense as the new normal of his life.

The other breakout star this week has to be Katie Cassidy. She’s been catching flak for her portrayal of Laurel for years, but she’s definitely come around since adopting the Black Canary mantle. She hasn’t gotten her huge moment to shine this season until now, when she uses her Canary Cry to save Oliver and responds to Curtis’ geeking out with a simple, “Yeah, we get it, it’s badass.”

It’s the little moments like these that make the characters so fun, and the show could use more of them since they’re committed (for the moment) to having Felicity off the team. This doesn’t mean she’ll be lacking in things to do, as the reappearance of the Bandit helps her realize she can retool Palmer Tech into a company that helps people with disabilities. It’s a nice way to close off a fun episode.

Unfortunately, the fun moments won’t be lasting for long. It’s not entirely surprising to learn that Diggle’s brother Andy is a mole working with HIVE, nor is it surprising that we’ll finally be learning who it is that’s in that coffin. Going off next week’s preview, it looks like it may be time to say bye-bye to Diggle…

Additional Notes

  • The bee puns were hit and miss, and the ones I did laugh at were more because of line delivery than the actual lines themselves. Felicity’s “bee-yotch”, though? Yeah, that was pretty funny all over.
  • The rest of HIVE’s gone and abandoned Damien Darhk, but he hasn’t lost any of his charm. “I’m sorry, I’ve got to know: did you sew that in yourself, or do you have some sort of lip-sewing guy?”
  • Oliver’s read the Harry Potter books, but he hasn’t seen the movies. Which is…legitimately surprising.
  • On the other hand, Lance has seen Independence Day! Wonder if he’s already got tickets for the sequel?

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