Original Air Date: May 11, 2016
Brianna – Managing Editor
It’s happened! We’ve definitely reached that point in the season where the final scenes of each episode of Arrow leaves you with a need to immediately watch the next episode while also trying to deal with what just happened.
“Monument Point” continued to build on the revelations of last week’s Arrow, exponentially raising the stakes for the characters, as the show is occasioned to do at this time of year. This time however, instead of just a threat to the citizens of Star City, the world has become a target and it’s up to Team Arrow and an unlikely ally to try and stop global nuclear annihilation (which possibly sounds over dramatic but it was actually the potential outcome).
While certain members of Team Arrow are forced to make some really tough choices and deal with the fallout, Thea’s time under the dome leads to her facing off against a very familiar villain of the week, as Lance has to make some choices of his own.
Thea’s Life Under the Dome
The Thea/Merlyn dynamics continue to be the epitome of dysfunction as he tries to explain to her his reasons for keeping her safe while everyone else that Thea loves is at risk. Merlyn’s point of view of the world also continues to be the absolute worst and terribly frightening as he explains the situation with a bit of sick admiration of Darhk’s plan to burn the world so his followers could rebuild it.
Of course, she doesn’t make her stay easy as she demands Merlyn to take her to Alex, who is still being conditioned to think that this is a good idea. Thea doesn’t stay sitting around for long as Anarky finds his way under the dome and she becomes one of the only people that Malcolm believes could stop him. His appearance and the pair’s inevitable face-off led to a few solid fight scenes and an interesting line as the villain offered some rather empowering words to Thea as he told her that she wasn’t a pawn, she was a queen. Now, while the sentiment alone is interesting, might this also reference her identity?
Team Green Arrow/Noah Kuttler/ARGUS vs. HIVE
While Thea’s dealing with Merlyn, the craziness that is that dome, and mulling over what Anarky told her before she put him down, the team is trying to find a way to stop every country’s nuclear arsenal from launching. After being briefed on what Genesis is and what Rubicon is capable of doing, the team reluctantly agrees to find Noah Kuttler to help Felicity stop it all. Though the team quickly finds out that they are not the only ones looking for him, as Brick and Murmur return to do Darhk’s bidding.
Naturally, the task is made substantially difficult as in classic Arrow style, Palmer Tech’s board finds that Felicity is no longer fit to be a CEO and she is essentially fired, which doesn’t let her get the last piece of the equipment Noah needed to begin hacking. Cue a one act Team Arrow caper filled with sneaking about and the return of Oliver’s leather jacket and cap combo paired with some parkour (season one, anyone?), and a fun stairwell fight scene.
Noah’s return also offered up a few solid Smoak family moments filled with snarky comments from Felicity and Papa Smoak’s attempt at getting through to his daughter as he tried to show her who he really is beyond “the criminal” that left her and her mother as a child. His appearance has offered up a new way to show viewers the effects his leaving them has on Felicity simply by the way they interact and the way she keeps herself guarded around him.
In the midst of trying to keep the world from turning into a nuclear wasteland, Noah and Oliver talked a bit as their conversation led to the topic of dual lives and Felicity. While Oliver is not short on self-realizations the last few episodes, this one pointed to perhaps one of the reasons he thought he lost her as he points out to Noah, “you leading a dual life is why you lost her.” And with that mention, we go back to what feels like the core of what Oliver struggles sometimes with, these dual lives, that are not necessarily Oliver Queen and the Green Arrow. As this season showed, there are different aspects he keeps apart from others that maybe should not have been kept apart.
While Felicity was dealing with Papa Smoak, Donna also made an appearance and offered a bit of advice to Lance upon finding his SCPD suspension papers and the statement he has to sign to return. While the majority of the hour held a somewhat panicky tension to it, their story slowed things down and added another layer to the episode.
Those Last Two Scenes
Granted, we knew heading into this episode that there was a possibility of a nuclear bomb dropping. However, it didn’t feel like it would actually happen. That’s exactly what happened, though, as Felicity and Noah hacked to try and stop every country’s nuclear arsenal from being launched only to be interrupted by Murmur.
That quick interruption alone was enough to launch one missile and though she tried to stop it, she was only able to divert it from Monument Point to Havenrock. That moment alone when Lyla gets the news of the decimation of the town and the expression on Felicity’s face when she discovers the casualties were in the tens of thousands was painful to watch. Felicity has always prided herself on trying to save others and the fact that she caused so many deaths because of a decision she made is sure to leave a lasting and heartbreaking effect on her. Another member of the team has been dealt a serious blow to their perception of what they thought was right and wrong and I’m sure it will continue to be heartbreaking but necessary to see them navigate through not only the pain and the guilt, but also what their decisions mean about their character and their beliefs.
While Felicity and Papa Smoak were trying to avert any losses of life, Oliver and Digg stumble upon the nexus they believe Darhk was using to harvest his power. What they find when they enter it is a discouraging sight as Darhk seems to be absorbing more power from the idol.
So, what did you think of the episode? Did you see Felicity losing Palmer Tech as a sort of parallel to season two, when Oliver lost QC? What did you think of Papa Smoak’s return?