Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Beeee warned: the insect puns are strong in this one. Not that I’m complaining. Last night’s episode was all about levity and wordplay and giving the angst a much-needed break. Here’s our “Olicity” Watch for 4×17, “Beacon of Hope”:
Brie Larvan and her killer bees (previously seen on The Flash) show up in Star City, wrecking havoc at Palmer Tech while The Bug-Eyed Bandit tries to steal the bio-chip embedded in Felicity’s spine. It’s a lighter episode all around, which: THANK GOD. The last few months have been an angst bomb of paralysis and break ups, and “Beacon of Hope” feels like a breath of fresh air. Most of that air is courtsey of Donna Smoak and Curtis, who should just be series regulars at this point. Curtis, in particular, shines throughout the episode, perfectly playing off Oliver’s grouchy straight man. It helps that the tech wiz is the male version of Felicity, proving once again that Oliver clearly has a type.
In other storylines, Damien Darhk is just as dynamic behind bars, Malcolm Merlyn is shoehorned into yet another plot, and the boring flashbacks continue to be super boring. There’s less Olicity than in the past few episodes, but it’s kind of a relief to take a little break from the cryfest that has become their relationship. Still, we get a few nice beats between the couple, and a clear indication that moving on is not so easy for either of them.
Felicity and Oliver are both trying to move on in their respective lives; if, by “move on,” I mean obviously still obsessed with each other. Regardless, their support systems are out in full force, from Team Arrow sparring with Oliver to Mama Smoak showing up and hilariously misspelling “B-r-e-a-c-k-u-p.” Oliver still flinches every time he hears Felicity’s name, and she’s still a bundle of nervous aggression. It’s a little sad, but also nice to see that Arrow isn’t easily sweeping this break up under the rug.
The minute he hears they’re in trouble, Oliver rushes over to Palmer Tech to help save Felicity, Thea and Donna. He immediately gets stung by a robot bee, but then we find out that Felicity still keeps a picture of the two of them on her desk. I’m irrationally happy over this revelation.
Oliver seems to be regretting all of his life choices as he snaps at Curtis and then basically tells Laurel that he wishes he’d stayed in Ivy Town with Felicity. Laurel, in a rare showing of brilliance, lets him know that it’s time to start taking responsibility for the choices he made when he lied to the woman he loved. Amen, sister.
“Looks like your green friend didn’t forget about you,” Brie says as Team Arrow storms the building. “Never will,” Oliver counters. Swooooon. He then gets so distracted with making sure Felicity’s OK that he lets himself get knocked around by the giant bee man (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type). After they save each other, Felicity thanks Oliver. “You never, never have to thank me,” he tells her. Double swooooon.
Moments of Hope: Oliver and Felicity are both clearly hurting, and though their pain is less raw than last week, it’s still permeating every part of their lives. Despite all her talk of moving on, Felicity still keeps their picture on her desk. Oliver is throwing himself into fighting to avoid his pain. They have brave faces on, but they can barely hear the other’s name without having a physical reaction. When Oliver comes to save her, it’s as if they’re the only two people in the room. He manages to make two heartfelt statements about how he feels and gaze into her eyes, all while being chased by maniacal robot bees. These two are far, far from over.
Also, let’s talk about Laurel for a minute. Sorry Laurivers, but I do not see this episode as an indication that Oliver and Laurel will start finding their way back to each other. And while I take a little affront at the generalized “you love passionately” comment (as if the love between Laurel/Oliver was ANYWHERE close to the love between Felicity/Oliver. He proposed to Felicity. He literally boarded a yacht with her sister just to get out of moving in with Laurel.), for the most part I was grateful to Laurel throughout this episode. She became a great sounding board for Oliver, and it was through her that he and the audience were forced to keep facing his pain. Laurel is a friend and nothing more. The writers have made it pretty clear that Felicity is endgame, and this break up is TV 101. The main couple splits up in sweeps, they’re back together by the finale. I’m willing to put money on an Olicity reunion by the end of the season if anyone feels like betting.
Steamy or Loving or Some Necessary Fun: Is it bad that I’m kind of enjoying this Olicity break up? Before you all start throwing stones, hear me out. As I said last week, Oliver screwed up and Felicity needed to walk. We went through the tears and the angst of them breaking up and then finally accepting it. Now it’s all about coming back together – that’s the fun part. We get to analyze every look, every touch, and wait to see how the writers slowly bring these two back around. I expect make-up sex, and lots of it.
As for last night, all I can say is that Curtis is a little miracle of bumbling charm that fell down from the heavens. He’s scene-stealing and hilarious, mixing physical comedy with Felicity-style word vomit. I would watch him read the phone book. Now that he knows all about Team Arrow, I’m hoping he’ll become a permanent fixture down in the lair. He’s clearly the MVP of this episode (with Donna Smoak pulling in a close second).
Felicity was no slouch in “Beacon of Hope” either; that moment where she pressed her mother’s hair to her mouth to get her to stop talking about Oliver was particularly hilarious. And, more so, I’m excited about her new declaration to turn Palmer Tech into her own Beacon of Hope [sidenote: we could have had a drinking game over how many times they said the episode title last night]. She’s on her own journey of self-discovery, one that will slowly bring her back to both Team Arrow and to Oliver. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out in next week’s episode, “Eleven-Fifty-Nine”: