Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Arrow Recap: "Monument Point" (4x21)

Spoilers for Arrow.

Thea is trapped in a dome under Star City. Darhk has possession of the world's nuclear stockpile. And Team Arrow is down two members. How will they stop Darhk from destroying and then taking over the world? Let's find out.

This is Arrow.

An alarm goes off at a nuclear warning facility in Russia. The warheads are arming. In the Arrow bunker, Team Arrow makes plans to stop Darhk. They have twenty-one hours until the missiles will launch. The Rubicon can't be hacked--unless you're Felicity's dad, the Calculator. (*Menacing laugh* No? Okay.) Unfortunately, her dad got out in Darhk's jail break.

Felicity: "The world is facing nuclear Armageddon. My pride and my general dislike for my father can take a backseat for the next 20-plus hours."

Oliver tries to talk to Diggle about Andy, but Diggle shuts him out. So instead of discussing their feelings, they discuss Darhk and his magic. Oliver says Darhk will need a Nexus--a chamber of sorts--to hold his magic. It has to be somewhere in the city with his idol.

Thea sits in the idyllic house and counts the sound loop. Malcolm Merlyn arrives with a super cool prosthetic limb. (It's definitely made of vibranium.) He tells her about the Genesis plan and that they are protected in the dome. He says the world is beyond saving, so he sided with Darhk in order to save himself... and Thea. She of course doesn't believe him and threatens him into taking her to Alex. (You go, girl!)

Lance meets with Donna. She learns he was suspended and that in order to get his badge back he has to lie about knowing Laurel was the Black Canary. He says it's only a small lie and it'll get him back on the force to help the city. She tells him there aren't any small lies. Then she tells him she loves him. (Who knew I'd get emotional about Donna's love life?) So Lance revises his confession and admits he knew who Laurel truly was. Donna says she's proud of him and that Laurel would be proud too. Lance is worried this confession will sign his badge away, but Donna says he's doing the right thing.

Darhk meets with his buddies--aka the guys he busted out of Iron Heights. He wants them to track down the Calculator and kill him. Felicity tracks down her father's location and sends Oliver and Diggle to bring him back. But when they get there, he's cleared out and left only one word to trace where he went: Ravenspur.

In the dome, a creepy voice tells the residents to check-in for their daily tasks. (Is this District 13?) Anarky--Lonnie Machin--knocks down a ghost with his electric staff and demands to know where Damien Darhk is. Felicity goes to Palmer Tech and runs into one of the board members, who is unhappy with her lack of interest in the company lately. She tries to convince him they have bigger problems, but he doesn't believe her. Felicity meets with her mom to ask her about Ravenspur. Donna tells her Ravenspur was a cabin that her father used to take her to.

Donna: "It's a--it's a cabin in Cypress Cove we used to like to go to. We'd, you know--we'd nurse a bottle of wine, make love to Lionel Ritchie. I was his Penny Lover. You know, your father could go all night."
Felicity: "OK. That's enough. I don't--"
Donna: "You know, I think you were conceived in Ravenspur."
Felicity: "Ohh, please make it stop, please."

Oliver tries to talk to Diggle again about Andy, but Diggle shuts him out. Instead, Oliver--with his great speeches--tells Diggle to be better than him and to tell Lyla the truth about what happened with Andy. Felicity tells them about Ravenspur, but Darhk's buddies have arrived at the cabin already. They chase Felicity's dad through the forest. (I can see where Felicity gets some of her spontaneous, self-defense moves.) The baddies corner her father and challenge him to a showdown of sorts. But Oliver and Diggle arrive to save the day.

They fight, they rescue Felicity's dad, and they go back to Star City. Felicity asks her dad to help, and he agrees--for a price. He wants a device Felicity developed at Palmer Tech, which will help them in their hacking. Felicity goes back to Palmer Tech to get said-device, but the angry board member stops her. She's been fired. (Ouch.) Felicity returns without the device. She explains that there isn't an easy way into Palmer Tech since the "bee" incident, but they plan to steal the device anyways. (Instead of just asking Curtis to help them?)

Felicity: "I got fired before I could take the processor. I can't even show my face in there. Maybe we should call in a bomb threat, just empty the place, or maybe plant an actual bomb. Just a small one, one that doesn't hurt anybody, but we have to--"

Thea finally finds Alex, but he's thrilled about the dome and the Genesis project. She tries to convince him to leave with her, but Merlyn tells her Anarky is in the dome and threatening to poison the dome's air system. They need Thea to stop him or everybody in the dome will die.

Diggle is on lookout duty from the bunker, while Oliver is back-up. Felicity and her dad make it to Curtis' lab and find the device. However, they trip an alarm and can't get the device. Her dad uses a different device to copy the device's system. They only copy 90% when security arrives. Felicity and her dad make their escape, and Lance picks them up in the getaway car. (So if Lance doesn't get his badge back, can he please join the vigilante team?)

Malcolm leads Thea to Anarky's location, but he doesn't trust her with a weapon. Anarky has two ghosts tied up, and he threatens to kill them both. Thea tries to talk him out of it. It's great. She says she doesn't want to stop him but help him if he promises not to kill anybody. (Especially not innocent, brainwashed ghosts.) Before Anarky can make a decision, Merlyn shoots him with an arrow. However, Anarky also planted a bomb, which will destroy the dome's air filters anyways.

Felicity's dad gets to work on hacking Rubicon while Oliver--as the Green Arrow--guards him. They talk about Felicity. Oliver says leading a dual life doesn't work; it just hurts Felicity. The Rubicon had a protection virus in the system to stop hackers; it pinpointed their location and alerted HIVE. Lyla calls in ARGUS to help defend the building while Felicity and her father hack.

Lyla: "They don't want to cause a panic. The President asked me if the fate of the world is resting in the hands of an IT girl, a criminal, and two guys in Halloween costumes."

Thea leaves the building after they stop the bombs. She finds Alex unconscious outside due to Anarky. She faces him. Anarky asks her why she always lets guys control her. He says she's not a pawn, she's a queen. (It's kind of cheesy, but it gets Thea thinking.) She attacks him. Alex wakes up and sees Thea fighting. She tells him to run, but before he can, Anarky zaps him with his electric stick device. Thea beats Anarky down.

ARGUS and Team Arrow fight the HIVE agents and Darhk's buddies. One of the ghosts gets through the defense and heads for the computer room at the top of the building. Felicity and her dad work together to stop the nukes. The ghost races in and shoots toward Felicity and her dad. They duck, but they were able to stop all the nukes... except one. It's headed for Monument Point. (I feel like they mentioned this name like it's supposed to mean something significant, but I honestly don't know why.) Diggle patches up Felicity's dad, who got shot. They still have to fight Rubicon, which is trying to release the other nukes. Lyla sends a message to warn people to evacuate. At the same time, Felicity gets an alert that City Hall was evacuated. Team Arrow decides City Hall must be where the entrance to the Nexus chamber is--it's why Ruve wanted to be mayor so badly.

Felicity's dad manages to stop Rubicon for at least the next twenty-four hours. Felicity figures out a way to stop the missile from hitting Monument Point by moving the GPS tracking to a different target. The nuke hits. A town is wiped out. Tens of thousands are now dead instead of a couple million. (Because that makes it better...)

Oliver and Diggle search City Hall. They find the secret entrance and enter the tunnels. They discover Darhk with his idol, soaking up all the lives that were just obliterated with the nuke.

On the Island, Oliver and Taiana help the prisoners escape by finding a map off the Island. However, they learn Reiter is not dead. (Of course he isn't.) Oliver has Taiana lead the prisoners away while he confronts Reiter. They meet, Reiter talks, his eyes flicker yellow from the idol powers, Oliver fights, Reiter cheats with his magic, and Oliver tricks Reiter. They distract him with gunfire and grenades while Taiana steals the idol. They run. But as they are running, Taiana cries out and falls to her knees. When she looks up at Oliver, her eyes are yellow.

Concluding Thoughts
This episode was... interesting. There was a lot of action and fighting, as always. Some parts felt like they were just thrown in to make it more exciting. I didn't see any reason why they needed to trace Felicity's dad all around. That kind of felt filler. Also, breaking into Palmer Tech felt kind of lame and out of place for the episode. Did they really have time to waste doing that? Other elements, like Lance's confession and the Palmer Tech termination, were definitely incorporated to set up for future things. (Which means that the world won't end, of course.)

My biggest problem with DC in general is the devastation levels of the movies or, now, the shows. In Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman, entire cities are leveled. While it's showing the enormous blow the conflicts create, it becomes almost unreasonable and unnecessary to destroy that much and kill that many people. There is no way a city like Metropolis can be razed and be rebuilt in a few years time. It's just not realistic. And now, here we are with the same concept. Sure, only one nuclear missile hit. But that entire town was destroyed. Gone, poof. Tens of thousands dead. And they shrug it off because it's not a couple million, because they had no other options. I want to watch a superhero show that doesn't give up because there aren't "any other options." You're telling me that Felicity can shift the location of places, but she couldn't shift that location to, I don't know, blow up in the middle of the ocean or Antarctica? I really didn't expect Arrow to kill off "tens of thousands" and wave it away as no big deal. I understand it does help along the plot because now Darhk is feeding off those lives, but I feel like they could have done it differently instead of killing off innocent lives in a single blow. To me, they failed that city.

This episode had things I didn't like and didn't expect. The Island scenes are just not that interesting. The Darhk story line has been stretched thin and drawn out for far too long without enough substance. And at every turn, there is darkness and sadness and hopelessness. Superhero shows should not make me feel gloomy when I finish watching them. Thank goodness Thea Queen is being a queen instead of a pawn. I look forward to what she does next and how she messes with the dome. I need something interesting to keep me watching. Because her fight with Anarky was the best moment of the episode. (And she did it wearing pajamas!)

Bonus gifs:

What did you think of "Monument Point"?


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