Warning Contains Spoilers
We are getting down to wire here with Season Four of Arrow and they aren’t wasting anymore time. Why they have to wait until the last few episodes to have some real action is a question I will probably never have answered. We get what we get from Arrow theses days. But man wasn’t this an exciting episode! The slow burn of Season Four was worth it for an episode like this. The show really picks up with its finales, and the entire season-setup is starting to pay off in a big way.
This week Team Arrow had to race against the clock to stop nuclear missiles from destroying the world. Felicity starts us off with saying what we were all thinking: “whoever made an algorithm that could override any countries nuclear weapons really screwed up”. Apparently it was Amanda Waller, so she is helping destroy the world from beyond the grave. Good one, Amanda. Rubicon was made to be entirely un-hackable, so not even Felicity would stand a chance. Well, she wouldn’t stand a chance alone that is– she would need help, so they went on a search for her father, The Calculator. I was kind of mad that they seemingly wrapped up his story in one episode, so I was happy to see him brought back tonight.
Turns out Darhk was also on a search for The Calculator. He had recruited a familiar face from Season Three, Brick. Brick isn’t used to following orders so this was a fun dynamic. Darhk already had Murmur in his ranks from his Iron Heights days, so he was recruiting more of those who also had escaped during his prison break. So you would think that he wanted The Calculator to join him too but he just wanted him dead. Darhk isn’t dumb, he knows that The Calculator will be his demise if he isn’t taken care of.
Team Arrow saved Noah, The Calculator, from meeting his demise at the hands of Brick. It only took Felicity asking for her father’s help for him to comply (which was rather surprising for both the audience and Felicity). I mean Noah is a criminal, but I guess he loves his daughter no matter how much he betrayed her in his life. He still wanted to make things right by her. I’m glad they had Felicity set aside her daddy issues. There isn’t time for that when you have mere hours before the world is destroyed. Instead she channeled them into mere annoyance. These were nice character moments which Arrow often neglects when they want to focus on the action of an episode. So it was refreshing to see the show focus on moments like these.
They went on a father-daughter heist, which was a fun bonding moment. They needed a certain processor from Palmer Technologies that would help them stop the nukes. Unfortunately, Felicity had been fired for neglecting her CEO duties and didn’t have access anymore, hence the reason for a heist. The processor was in Curtis’s lab, so the logical thing to do first would be to call Curtis for help. Logic is not really Arrow’s strong suit. Where is Curtis btw? I guess, if Curtis was present there would have been no need for an awesome heist. I am a huge fan of heists– those and fight sequences are this shows strong suits.
This week’s episode brought its fair share of action to the table. Everyone was fighting tonight; Murmur, Darhk’s Ghosts, Brick, A.R.G.U.S, Oliver, and Diggle. They had an epic showdown outside of a data center while Felicity and Noah fought to stop the nuclear missiles while using the processor and hacker terminology. This was just great: both sides brought out the big guns. I would too if there were nuclear missiles that I was either for or against– that takes manpower. This was an example of how Arrow really stepped up their game tonight.
Felicity and Noah were able to stop all of the missiles except for one. I was all for that actually, as it strayed away from the usual “we saved the day at the last second and everything is fine” ending. The missile was on it’s way to Monument Point hence the name of the episode. This town apparently had millions of people as residents so to nuke them would be quite devastating. Felicity was able to reroute the missile by manipulating the satellite to think that Monument Point’s coordinates were somewhere else. Apparently she did this as a prank once when she was younger and everyone thought they were 20 miles from where they actually were. That is quite the elaborate prank and made me awe at Felicity when she said that. So the nuke leveled a smaller town killing tens of thousands. A smaller number than millions but those were still lives that Felicity helped end. Talk about something that will weigh on your conscience, and I hope it does. I hope they show the consequences of this sort of devastation. That way it would be more realistic. I feel bad for Felicity but this is great for the show! Hopefully the show deals with the ramifications of leveling a city, but most likely not until season five.
While all of this was going on, no one stopped to think, “where is Thea?” Is she still supposed to be on her weekend getaway? She is still under the dome, and guess who’s there with her! If you guessed Malcolm Merlin you were correct. Turns out the dome is a safe house of sorts for those Darhk and Merlin want to save from the end of the world. So of course Merlin saves himself and since he’s trying to be a father to Thea again, he saved his daughter. To complicate things, Anarky, from the beginning of the season, somehow got under the dome and tried to destroy their air supply so they would all suffocate. Arrow really wasn’t playing: they had everyone trying something this week. Thea tried to reason with Anarky, but Merlin intervened and stopped him instead. Anarky and Thea, if you recall, shared a bit of a connection when he was there earlier this season, so it was cool of them to revisit that. He said, “why are you always at the mercy of some guy, you can make your own decisions: you’re not a pawn, you’re a queen”. I see what you did there, Anarky, nice pun. He touched on some truth here, so I hope they come back to this. He then kills Alex, and no one is really that sad– well other than Thea of course (she knew him, we didn’t have a chance to). She really can’t keep a man– but look at it this way, it’s one less guy for her to be at the mercy of.
The only moments that were really out of place were between Quentin Lance and Donna. These were nice character moments and I always love seeing Quentin on screen doing his thing, but it just felt out of sync with this episode. Maybe they should’ve saved it for another one. I enjoyed the fact that this kept Laurel’s name alive and showed the legacy of Black Canary continuing. Quentin had to sign a statement saying he didn’t know Laurel was the Black Canary so his working for Darhk would be overlooked. In his testimony he said he helped him because he threatened his daughter’s safety. Donna didn’t want him to lie, as she had been with a liar before (Noah), and she didn’t want to put herself through that again. He ended up changing his statement that put his late daughter in a better light, possibly costing him his badge. He did right by his daughter and it was a touching moment, just maybe not for this episode.
One of the best things about “Monument Park” was that almost every scene was a setup for the big showdown at the end. Other than a few scenes and moments here and there the episode had a clear rising action to it’s climax. Everything made sense and set up for the final episodes of the season. It ended with the Team finding out that Darhk had a secret layer underneath City Hall where he was extracting magic from the totem becoming his strongest immortal self ever. So it ended with a cliffhanger of sorts.
I, for one, am excited for the last episodes if they are anything like this one. They do their best work when they go big and Arrow is really going full speed to the finish line of season four. I just hope the episodes continue to have a point and that the finale is monumental!