Progressive/Nerd/Parent Review (spoilers)
Arrow Season 4, Episode 17 “Beacon of Hope”
Bechdel-Wallace Score: 3/3 -The episode got three points, but only barely. Thea and Felicity have some discussion in Felicity’s office that is not about men (although most of it is).
Shukla Score: 2*/3 – The * is because this is basically 1 + 0.5 + 0.5 = 2. Curtis and Diggle kind of have some scenes together, amongst others, and kind of talk to each other, amongst others. I wanted to give the show a nod for doing better than usual, so I awarded two half points.
Russo Score: 3/3 – Hallelujah! Curtis was a big part of the show and his husband was also along for the ride, although he wasn’t a central character. I really like both characters and I hope they’re both on the show more often, preferably with Curtis becoming a core member of the team. Please!
Kittehs: 😺😺/5 – Two very happy kittehs earned solely by Echo Kellum’s wonderful turn as Curtis Holt, absolutely the best part of the episode. Taking nothing away from that, I have to say this was otherwise a pretty shit episode of Arrow. It seems like the kind of episode that was probably a brilliant idea – or felt like it – but the execution just couldn’t happen. But they moved everybody’s arcs along a bit and scored some laughs, so that is pretty good for a bad night.
Low points: Where do I even begin? It was like the writers took a bunch of crap they needed to get done and then shoved it all into one episode. For one thing, the bee lady was annoying on The Flash and she is annoying here, too. Plus her bee swarm is a total mismatch for Team Arrow’s fighting style, which is probably why the writers decided (wtf?!?!?) to have the robot bees join together to form a humanoid fighting machine. Seriously, wtf?! How did that idea make it through all of the things necessary to be in the show? Honestly I can understand budget issues with CGI bees or the need to have hand to hand fighting, but find another way! Lastly, what the hell is going on with Malcolm Merlyn? How long is his arm going to be in a sling? He had his hand cut off, not his forearm broken. How did he go from leading the organization that has hunted Damien Darhk for years to immediately being one of Damien’s comrades in evil and now he is actually working with the other big bad guys to push Darhk out? Really? For a one armed ninja with a ton of enemies and no army, Malcolm sure is doing well.
Highlights: Despite the episode’s many failings, there were some highlights: the opening scene of the team sparring was really cool; it was great to see Felicity, at least in a few scenes, being herself again like she was before her character was assimilated by Olicity; the scene in the bunker of Curtis and Quentin dealing with the bee was surprisingly funny. Oh, also, I have been pretty jazzed about seeing Oliver and Laurel having more heart to heart time during these last two episodes. I don’t know if I am especially into the idea of Oliver and Laurel getting back together, but I could be if it meant I don’t have to deal with anymore Olicity, what with all the fussing and moping and anguish. Ugh. Best highlight last – Curtis Holt (someday to be Mr. Terrific) was a delight in and out of the bunker. I was hopeful that he might be there on the regular after this, but the final scene made it seem unlikely. Still, a real treat to have him play such a big part in this episode.
Dad edits: We don’t watch this show together due to the nature and intensity of much of the violence (e.g. this week’s prison scenes). If my kid could watch this with me, I suppose I would want us to talk about lazy storytelling and why it is better sometimes to just take a day off instead of trying to force something uninspired to happen. Just sayin!
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8/7c