Arrow has teased us with potential would-be victims over the season, but the victim and their killer is far from confirmed; until tonight’s episode that is. Recap of episodes 4×16 “Broken Hearts” and 4×17 “Beacon of Hope”.
Whilst the latest episode; “Beacon of Hope” had us questioning Felicity’s faith as a red herring becomes the potential double bluff, I’d feared it would be.
With a recap of the past couple of episodes, we can, at least, see Darhk’s plan become a little clearer, though death it seems; isn’t always by his hands.
However, starting with episode 4×16 “Broken Hearts”, we revisit the past with an old villain, alongside a regular trip back to Lian Yu.
The episode opens up to a couple tied up, having been tortured by Cupid – last seen as a member of the Suicide squad. Bitter, following Deadshot aka Floyd Lawton’s sacrifice, she kills them both; and thus begins her plight against love ,and anyone lucky enough to have experienced it.
Back in current – seemingly immortal and thereby non resurrectable; figuratively that is – events of our enemies, Darhk’s preliminary hearing for child abduction begins. With his attorney’s aid, Darhk predictably tries to argue himself as a victim; and a captive, as he tries to convince the judge that his identity is Kenneth and not the enigmatic villain; Damien Darhk.
Seeking to get the case dismissed, the race is on to produce evidence against him. Elsewhere, a physically healed, and mentally healing Felicity, is moving out of the loft. Whilst her place in Team Arrow still remains, she is eager to be free of Oliver, reminding him to cancel their wedding venue, she leaves.
Back on Lian Yu, Oliver leads the way into the newly discovered tunnels in the prison. Finding an idol/totem on a pedestal; Baron Reiter relents his desire for magic in order to never feel powerless again; as he did when his village was destroyed. Shooting a prisoner, the idol’s power is truly showcased; as the soul of Reiter’s victim, transfers into the idol and rewards Baron with power.
At the foundry, it’s been a quiet night in the vigilante world. Darhk’s ghosts have escaped with any evidence against Darhk, and Laurel is struggling to find a credible witness to use as testimony.
Whilst the fight against Darhk proves difficult, Lance alerts Team Arrow to the Cupid situation.
As Diggle learns that Amanda Waller had released her for having paid her dues to the squad, the team is left to figure out her next victims – most likely high profile, engaged couples. With their Wedding venue yet to be cancelled, it’s all too obvious that Olicity will serve as bait in the mission against her.
Before this plan can be put into action, the team learn that Cupid has kidnapped another couple, and Team Arrow suit up for the fight, whilst Laurel stays behind to work on Darhk’s case.
In a face-off between the Green Arrow and Cupid; we’re reminded that no one outside of the foundry is aware that Oliver has always been the Arrow – having faked the vigilante’s death – including the same one she was once obsessed with. Whilst Team Arrow is able to save the couple, Cupid escapes, leaving only part of her sleeve behind.
Back on Lian Yu, Reiter’s sacrifices to an idol much like Darhk’s own; has us relating the past to the present as we question the infallibility of Darhk’s hold over Star City. Able to knock both him and his guard out, Oliver flees through the tunnels with Taiana.
At the police station, Laurel continues to struggle with the Damien Darhk case; discovering that none of the witnesses from the holiday party are willing to testify against him. At a loss as to what to do, she reluctantly agrees to let Quentin Lance incriminate; himself through his own testimony against Darhk – only if he argues it was under duress.
Having run forensics on Cupid’s sleeve, Felicity is able to find Cupid’s HQ. When Team Arrow arrives to investigate, Diggle finds her shrine full of potential targets.; including Olicity – launching the much-predicted plan, into action.
Though Felicity is beyond mad at the upheaval of the notion of romance; on both sides, she reluctantly agrees; making sure to bitingly remind Oliver that they’re over.
Returning to Darhk’s hearing, the Judge hears Lance’s testimony, as Quentin tells all; admitting to his own criminal actions and name dropping Hive. Though Darhk’s attorney cross-examines Lance, things still seem in our favour as Quentin realises the cost his testimony has on his career.
At the Wedding venue, Oliver takes his place as groom; as Diggle and Thea remain suited up as their vigilante counterparts on the premises. Felicity enters in her wedding dress. Whilst Marc Guggenheim ensured us that the wedding was far from a dream [sequence], it definitely was too good to be true to imagine this being a happy moment. For once, we’d have preferred this to have been anything but real.
As the wedding begins, seeming legitimate as ever; as a naive justice of the peace conducts the ceremony, we only get through the vows before Cupid prevents any legalities being made. Whilst Felicity’s vows are filled with subtle double entendres of bitterness, Oliver’s are a plea for forgiveness. Having called Felicity his light; in the fight against Darhk and the darkness, here’s hoping her presence in the limo – in the future – isn’t a hallucination.
As Cupid attacks, Oliver feigns defeat at the shot of her arrow, as Felicity is seemingly left alone to face her. Despite revealing the protection of the Kevlar under his tux, Felicity still argues the benefits of love, admitting that True Love isn’t a joke.
As Cupid potentially forewarns that “love always ends in death”, Felicity argues that, “love is life itself” like we’re in an episode of ‘Once upon a time’ .
Before Cupid can act either way, Diggle is able to intervene, subduing her into police custody.
Later, Felicity relents that she loves Oliver, but what she said to Cupid doesn’t apply to them. Though Oliver argues otherwise, Felicity thinks Oliver’s ‘lone ranger’ self that he adapted to on the Island, will always win out. Quitting Team Arrow, hopefully, Curtis won’t take her place, despite Echo Kellum’s promotion to series’ regular.
Back in court, the Judge denies the motion to dismiss Darhk’s case; favouring Lance’s compelling testimony despite a lack of evidence. Held without bail, we’re set to see just how powerful Damien Darhk is; as it seems his power will wane. Elsewhere, Lieutenant Pike reluctantly suspends Lance, pending investigation; taking his badge and gun.
Entering episode 17, “Beacon of Hope” we hark back to the Flarrowverse, as Brie Larvan reemerges, having hacked her way out of prison. Manipulator, of robotic bees, her motive against Palmer tech remains unclear, as Felicity finds her escape from darkness to be trickier than she thought.
Meanwhile at the foundry, Oliver is focused on training Diggle, Laurel and Thea; being over-critical in the meantime. He accuses the team of slacking due to their personal lives; perhaps bitter that his is now lacking. The streets have gone quiet with Darhk’s imprisonment, but Oliver insists Hive needs to be tackled. Learning that Alex has moved to Ruvé’s team following Oliver’s withdrawal from the mayoral campaign; we welcome Palmer tech into the episode, as Felicity comes up in a she-who-should-not-be-named manner; when Laurel suggests offering Alex a role at the company.
Back on Lian Yu, and continuing on from the episode prior, Taiana shoots Reiter; who remains infallible with his own power.
In present day, Felicity is trying to find an affordable way to fund tech to treat spinal injuries; in a way that appeals to the board of Palmer tech. As Curtis is sent home sick, Donna arrives; wanting to rescue Felicity from post break-up dwelling – as Laurel tries to do the same for Oliver. Setting up the scene for Larvan’s attack, Thea arrives, seeking the aforementioned favour for Alex.
Elsewhere, Malcolm Merlin meets with Darhk in prison; who wants to know why Hive and his resources haven’t come to rescue him. Informing him that they’re not eager to help him, and are moving forward without him, Merlin basks in the fact that Darhk’s magic has waned. As his Idol remains elsewhere, Darhk is only able to access half of his ritual if he’s able to make a shiv. Seemingly needing it regardless, he is later attacked by inmate hierarchy.
As the Palmer tech board await Felicity for a meeting – Phil; presumably a member, collapses as Larvan’s bees explode from within him, as she herself confronts the board; wanting a bio-stimulus chip. Sadly, the only one exists inside Felicity Smoak, and we are left fearing for her life. As she continues to hold the board hostage, Brie hacks the camera feed to demand a meeting with Felicity; who remains in her office. With all communications jammed; and unable to escape – due to a swarm of robo-bees outside – Curtis is the only one left to seek help, as he sees the crisis on the news.
With 10 minutes to cooperates, Curtis leaves to round up Team Arrow, tracking them to their HQ using tech that saved Raymond Palmer from Darhk.
As the bees find their way inside the building, Felicity, Thea and Donna are forced to escape through the air ducts.
Having awoken from his pass-out inducing shock; upon learning the Green Arrow’s true identity, Curtis finds himself in tech heaven, as he helps save Felicity. It’s up to Curtis to immobilise enough bees so Team Arrow can infiltrate Palmer tech.
Back on Lian Yu, Oliver confronts Reiter, who intends on killing people – mainly his prisoners – to gain power. Seemingly holding the advantage, he demands to know where his idol/totem is. As a fight ensues, a connection to Darhk is made once more as Reiter’s power wanes and he is subdued. One part of Hive; can we assume that the Genesis project is a mass-murder, power grabbing, task force against the people of Star City?
Back at the foundry, comedy ensues as Curtis tries to get a hold of Felicity’s tech. Though Curtis is able to talk to Felicity through the bees, fortune is short-lived as his connection is severed, and the Bees form one very Ant-Man-like villain.
In the fight, Oliver is stung, and the bee begins to multiply inside of him. Fortunately, Curtis is able to utilise Laurel’s sonic scream to disrupt the frequency of, and destroy the bees.
Elsewhere as Brie confronts Felicity again, she is given an additional 5 minutes to cooperate. Giving Felicity an idea, Brie reveals that she’s not with the board members.
Wanting to filter the board members through an old secret lair, Felicity and Thea blow through a wall to get into the conference room. With Donna’s presence, we’re left to revise her would-be potential as the graveside victim; as she treads ever nearer to discovering the truth. As Felicity sends Donna and the board down to the lair, she and Thea are left to confront Brie. Learning that Brie has a spinal tumour, demanding only the specs of the chip, Felicity sacrifices financial gain – and potentially Palmer Tech – as she hands over their location.
Back in Team Arrow, Oliver gets exasperated with Curtis’ optimism and comedic humour, not wanting him to get too close to his life of darkness; and Laurel is left to remind him that ‘Oliver’ cost him his relationship with Felicity, not the Green Arrow.
Back in prison, Damien is confronted once more by the inmate hierarchy, but proves to be a winner; despite his waning magic, through good ole’ blackmail. He also has a call put into his inmate’s organisation, to deliver a message.
With a plan to destroy the bees; with a virus infused Arrow, the race is on to save Felicity, as Brie discovers her hand in her first arrest. As Oliver arrives to save Felicity and fights bee-man, Curtis and Lance face-off against a revived bee back at Arrow HQ. Ultimately, Curtis sets Brie’s bees against her and she is left in a coma; a victim to their stings.
As Oliver thanks, and apologises to Curtis, he is given freelancer status at the foundry. When he arrives home, we see Curtis’ first step into darkness as he promises his husband that’ll he’ll never play hero again.
As darkness begins to take over one character, Oliver fights against it; as he affirms his goal to be a beacon of hope as the Green Arrow – and perhaps I’m the only seeing ‘the Great Gatsby’ reference of the Green light beaconing to Jay Gatsby, as he pursues unachievable dreams. Tied to his desire to rekindle Olicity, let’s hope Gatsby’s misfortune doesn’t serve as a precursor to the future wherein Felicity joins the team of ex-lover apparitions for Oliver.
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us” -The Great Gatsby
Elsewhere, Felicity becomes her own beacon of hope, through Palmer Tech – determined to reinvent it.
Finally cementing ties to the past as Lian Yu, Malcolm meets with Darhk’s ace in the hole; only to see us shocked with it being Andy Diggle. We now have a solid link, beyond his ghost status, between Darhk and Reiter; who knew Andy in Shadowspire.
Tonight: “Eleven-fifty-nine” sees the strain of family ties as we see our graveside victim identified.
Arrow continues tonight at 8|7c on the CW!
[Featured Image Courtesy of Diyah Pera/The CW; Source Content for Gifs: Arrow, The CW 2016]