Lots of bad guys in one explosive episode.
Warning: Spoilers are sure to explode on here!!!
Man, this episode was anything but boring. Lots of stuff went down on this week’s episode entitled “Monument Point”. Team Arrow had to resort to a radical team up as they faced a countdown to stop Damien Darhk who began to proceed with Project Genesis. Meanwhile, Thea dealt with a threat and a familiar face under Darhk’s dome. It was a packed episode with some familiar villains and explosive action, directed quite well by Kevin Tancharoen, who makes his Arrow debut with this episode. If that name seems familiar, it’s because he directed the remake to Fame and the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy, as well as some Flash and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes.
One of the handful of villains in this episode happens to be Noah Kuttler aka The Calculator aka Felicity’s dad. He takes the spotlight as he chills out with his villainy and tries to help out Team Arrow shut down Damien Darhk’s plans to launch nuclear warheads throughout the world by disrupting the Rubicon, the device Darhk stole from Diggle’s wife that grants access to the nukes. There was a lot of great stuff that went into this plot. First, Damien Darhk enlists the violent talents of Michael Amar and Vinnie f**king Jones!!! Oh, I mean, Danny Brickwell, played by Vinne f**king Jones. Hey, anytime VJ shows up in anything, it’s a party. It’s only too bad he didn’t talk enough in this episode. Anyway, the two assassins are hired to kill Kuttler, since Darhk is still kind of pissed at him. So we get a quick little manhunt, with Oliver and Diggle coming to the rescue, kicking some ass in the woods, as they fight Brickwell, Amar and some Ghost agents to save Noah.
Of course with Noah back in the picture, Felicity has to deal working with her criminal father, which makes for an uncomfortable situation for them, but a humorous one for us. One of the best situations dealing with this plot involves a heist, yes, a heist. Noah needs the super-powered processor Felicity and Curtis developed at Palmer Tech to be able to hack into the Rubicon. However, with Felicity being fired from her CEO job – makes sense since she’s hardly ever there at Palmer Tech anymore – they have to attempt to steal it. This scenario involved a lot of humor, sharp editing, witty dialogue, and some brawling with security guards as we see Team Arrow try but surprisingly fail at taking the device. This was such an entertaining middle sequence.
All while this is all happening, we see Thea trapped in the dome, dealing with her father Malcolm Merlyn’s crap, as she tries to find her boyfriend Alex who’s been brainwashed. To make her stay under the dome even worse, she ends up facing Lonnie Machin aka Anarky. This was a subplot that was really messy and not very well written, sadly. It certainly wasn’t near the level of the main plot. It only picked up steam once Thea and Anarky fought, which resulted with Alex being shocked to death (I think) by Anarky. I hope I wasn’t supposed to get emotional over Thea’s loss because I wasn’t invested in their relationship at all.
I should mention we get to see some relationship drama with Quentin and Donna, though it seemed very out of place here. Quentin has to answer for his dealings with Damien Darhk, as well as why he didn’t mention to his precinct that Laurel was the Black Canary once he found out. Donna tries to get involved with his affairs on the matter, and I couldn’t help but wonder why we had to see this happen.
The flashbacks were disappointing to say the least. We return back to the island of Lian Yu where a battle between the prisoners and Reiter’s men is taking place, while Oliver and Taiana are still trying to kill Reiter who uses the idol’s powers to kick Oliver’s ass. Oliver and Taiana take the idol, but its power is now affecting her. After a string of slow, boring flashbacks this season, sh*t finally started to go down and things have gotten exciting. The pace for this week’s flashbacks weren’t slow, but they were way too brief and lacked authentic tension. The action seemed very restrained, almost suggesting they didn’t have enough of a budget to shoot those scenes.
Focusing back on our main storyline, we get lots more action and intensity, as well as a pretty shocking end to the conflict. Being that Noah couldn’t copy all the information from the processor, he and Felicity move to a non secured location to stop the warheads from being launched while Oliver, Diggle, Lyla and her team fight off H.I.V.E. agents, Brickwell and Amar in a spectacular battle complete with gunplay and hand-to-hand combat. Just when I thought they used all of their budget for this episode, they pulled off this very impressive scene. And just when you think Team Arrow is going to save the day completely, one nuke manages to get launched and actually detonates over a less populated city, thanks to Noah and Felicity diverting it away from Monument Point, where casualties would be far greater. This made for a tragic but bold outcome for this episode. Our heroes always manage to save the day, and while they limited the body count, thousands of lives were still lost, making for a dark ending. Especially since we see Damien Darhk’s magic grow stronger as he harvests the dead.
So there you have it, “Monument Point” was a very successful episode, despite the flimsy dome subplot, the out of place Lance and Donna scenes, and shortcomings with the flashbacks which continue to show us that they’ve stretched the plot thinner than a feather. The action didn’t disappoint, in fact, there was more than I expected. The scenes with Felicity and Noah were witty and fun. I do have to say though that there was a disturbing lack of Damien Darhk screen time for an episode that dealt with his master plan taking shape. However, I’m sure his villainous deeds are going to be a highlight for next week’s episode. We only have two more weeks of Arrow, but looking at past seasons of the show, and how action-packed each season’s final two episodes have always been, I’m sure these upcoming two weeks are going to be packed with awesomeness.