TV Review: Arrow - Season 2 Episode 21 "Monument Point"
Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.
Episode 21: "Monument Point"
Synopsis: When Team Arrow learns what Damien Darhk's next move is, Felicity realizes she needs to ask her father, Noah Kuttler, for help. Noah and Oliver have a heart to heart talk that leaves Oliver rattled.
Review: There comes a moment in tonight's episode of Arrow where Malcolm Merlyn describes Damien Darhk's master plan as being a lot like Merlyn's own plan back in season one. The only difference is that this is much bigger in scale. Well, bigger doesn't always mean better as the fourth season of Arrow is winding down on a fairly lackluster note. Darhk's magical powers have all been in service to his and Hive's plan code-named Genesis. And what exactly is Genesis? Well, it turns out that it is a way for Darhk to wipe out the majority of Earth's population with the plan to start over and build the world in his own image. It comes with an added bonus that his magical idol feeds his powers based on death and detonating hundreds of nuclear warheads should give him quite the supply of energy.
In order to stop Darhk and the Rubicon device which controls every nuclear warhead on Earth (thanks, Amanda Waller, for that brilliant idea), the team has to recruit Felicity's father, Noah Kuttler. Also known as The Calculator, Kuttler is also sought by Darhk who sends newly freed former villains Brick and Murmur after him with the intent to kill him. Once in the safety of Team Arrow, Felicity begrudginly works with her absentee father who says he needs a device from PalmerTech. When Felicity goes to retrieve it, she learns the board has voted to remove her from the role of CEO since she has spent more time helping Oliver than looking after the company's best interests. So, the team decides they have to steal the device which results in another mini-heist scene which seems to be on the way to becoming a bit of a cliche on superhero television shows. With the device in hand, the team begins to work to stop the nuclear warheads which Darhk will launch in less than a day.
At the same time, Thea Queen is trapped in Darhk's underground city where she is met by her father. Malcolm Merlyn believes in Darhk's plan but wants to protect his daughter. LIke a lot of things this season, this seems a bit repetitive compared to prior seasons and Thea herself calls that out to her father. But, Lonnie Machin (aka Anarky) is on the loose in the facility and plans to destroy it. Thea realizes all of the innocent and brainwashed people in Darhk's control will die if she doesn't stop Machin so she finds him and they fight. Lonnie clearly has issues as evidenced by his accidental saying "Mommy" in reference to Thea. Alex, awaking a bit from the mind control, sees Thea fighting with Lonnie but he is quickly knocked out. Thea goes into a rage and defeats Lonnie and comforts herself with the injured Alex.
Back at Star City, the team hold off the onslaught of HIVE soldiers to give Noah and Felicity enough time to disable the warheads. Oliver beats Brick but Murmur manages to make his way through and shoots at Felicity. Noah covers his daughter and takes the bullet for her and Oliver arrives to take down Murmur. It is another expected moment of redemption after an hour full of Noah proclaiming that he is not the evil man his daughter thinks he is as he tries to make amends. Yeah, we get it, not every father on this show is terrible. Hell, we got a couple of incongruous scenes with Donna Smoak and Quentin Lance as they professed their love for each other while debating whether he should admit he knew Laurel was the Black Canary. Quentin remains a strong character who too often gets relegated to second tier status, something I am afraid will continue to happen now that both of his children are off the show.
With Murmur taken out, Felicity finds that they were able to stop all of the warheads except for the one headed to Monument Point, the Army base 300 miles from Star City. Oliver and Diggle head to City Hall which they deduce is the location of Darhk's chamber where he holds his idol. Felicity realizes there is no way to stop the missile so she instead tricks the GPS into diverting it. The bomb detonates in the town of Havenbrook where tens of thousands are killed instead of the millions the original target would have taken out. Felicity is dismayed but Lyla tries to tell her she did what she had to do. At City Hall, Oliver and Diggle find Darhk's chamber and the villain is consuming the souls of those killed in the bomb attack, strengthening himself for the final showdown. We also get a brief flashback to Lian Yu where Oliver and Taiana try to escape to Reiter's plane. Reiter has escaped from the catacombs on the island and Taiana manages to mow him down as they escape with the idol. As they run, Taiana collapses and her eyes begin to glow with the power of the statue.
This could have been such a great episode if not for the incredibly cliched and recycled elements we have seen before. Where The Flash has been succeeding has been in telling a story this season that was very different from the first. Arrow is once again telling the same formulaic "villain's master plan to destroy the city" plot that we have seen for four years. I am willing to bet that Oliver, who seemed to be shocked at the powers Darhk has possessed despite having seen the exact same abilities on Lian Yu, will use the same method for stopping Reiter and Taiana on Darhk. These flashbacks have been utterly useless but will somehow become vital for these final two episodes. With two more to go, I am wondering why this episode seemed to be the enaction of the Genesis plan as well as the failure unless there is more coming that we don't know about yet. I guess we will have to wait and see what comes next. Hopefully it isn't as anticlimactic as this episode.
Next on ARROW: "Lost in the Flood" airs May 18th - Following the shocking events in the previous episode, Oliver andDiggle race to rescue Thea, while Felicity, Curtis and Noah join together to stop Darhk.