Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Arrow Season 4 Episode 21 "Monument Point" Review and *SPOILERS*

I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire
Director: Kevin Tancharoen
Writers: Speed Weed & Jenny Lynn
Air Date: May 16, 2016

*This review contains SPOILERS! Score and Non-Spoilers at the bottom!*

We are reaching the end of our journey into Arrow’s year of magic and Damien has begun moving his pieces to finish his master plan. Last time, we learned what H.I.V.E.’s Genesis plan is. Using an algorithm called rubicon(created by Amanda Waller), H.I.V.E. will activate all the nuclear warheads to wipe out humanity with the exception of a small group under the Earth’s crust. This would put H.I.V.E. in control of what little population is left and Damien Darhk gaining more power for his totem, making him practically a god. So how will our favorite group of vigilantes, whose biggest threat has been an army of super soldiers, go up against their first real world threat? Let’s dive in and find out...

We open with Russia learning that their warheads are being armed as Team Arrow is finding out more about the algorithm they are dealing with. Felicity comes to the conclusion that they need her father, the Calculator who has escaped when Darhk escaped, is their best chance to break the code to stop the warheads. However, they aren't the only ones who know this. Darhk knows that the Calculator is his biggest threat so he sends Murmur after him… with BRICK! God, It’s good to see him again!

While the team tries to find the Calculator, we have two major character development arcs. The first one is with Diggle, who has lied to Lyla about the death of Andy, to which Oliver gives a little heart to heart. I liked this because of the fact it touches on the major fact that Diggle really has changed a lot this season, and with the start of his lying to those he holds close, he understands a little of what Oliver has been going to. The other I wasn’t big on due to the fact it just felt shoehorned in for the last of Laurel’s death arc. Plus with all the pressure that’s going on with the nukes, finding the Calculator, and Thea’s situation, it just felt unnecessary.

Speaking of which, Thea was taken deep below the Earth’s surface with Malcolm to live out the apocalypse in H.I.V.E.’s version of Vault 101. Malcolm tries to sell her on the idea that “Hey, were going to live,” but as per usual, she’s like “SCREW YOU!” And demands to see Alex, who was last seen being brainwashed helping everyone settling into their new homes. While she goes to find her love interest, her “other love interest.” Someone who has been popping in and out of the season and FINALLY is doing what I said he should be doing since his first appearance. That’s right. Lonnie Machin, Anarky, has come back for the end as well.

Back with the team, they stop Brick and Murmur from killing Calculator, who agrees to help them, but he needs a processor that Palmer Tech has developed. Good thing that Felicity is the CEO right? Well no. See being a part of Team Arrow really cut into time she needed to keep up appearances for the company… The Board takes this opportunity to terminate her position. However, she can’t get the processor in time… SO LET’S ADD A HEIST TO THE PRESSURE! That arc before is more unnecessary,  but this was unnecessary as well. We already have the pressures of nuclear devastation to worry about! The heist lasts about 5 minutes, and they can’t get the processor, but through some techy mumbo jumbo, Calculator can remake it.

While this is going on, Thea learns WHY Lonnie has come down to the safe zone: #$%^ over Darhk. How? Destroy the CO² supply to suffocate everyone down there, including Dahrk’s wife. Thea and Malcolm head over to the cover house as Lonnie prepares to blow it up. When Thea tries to convince him to stand down, Malcolm shoots him, which makes Lonnie realize the flaw of his ‘woman’... She lets men control/drives her. YUP! The psychopathic man is telling her she doesn’t need a man in her life. The MAN is telling her what SHE needs, which just so happens to be that she NEEDS NO MAN… See the problem here? If they wanted to tackle this topic, it would be better if he tormented her over the fact she’s just a tool of a man. First Malcolm, now Oliver. Then she stands up saying she doesn’t need them to kick his ass. Boom! So much more badass! He then decides to remove the man from her life, and tases Alex to death, much to the shock(no pun intended) of Thea.

Back with Team Arrow, the final minutes of the countdown begin as Felicity and Calculator team up to shut down all the nukes… on every country… In less than an hour...  This was your fiance Ollie and you let this badass with a keyboard get away. Unfortunately, the moment they plug in, H.I.V.E. knows where they are and begins their assault. Oliver and Diggle join ARGUS agents in repelling the threat being lead by Brick and Murmur. While the team is able to keep Brick and the other H.I.V.E. soldiers at bay, Murmur gets in and shoots the Calculator before he can finish stopping all the nukes, missing just one. One is released from Russia and the team realizes that it's heading towards Monument Point, home to millions of people. We then reach the most somber ending the show has ever put on. Felicity was able to change the target of the nuke, but it hits a town called Havenrock, ending tens of thousands of lives. I’m thinking back and I really can’t think of another time something like this has happened. Either Team Arrow stops the villain or the villain pulls some bullcrap plan b, never the team flat out failing.

The episode ends with Thea holding Alex’s tased corpse, Felicity breaking down knowing she couldn’t save Havenrock, and Oliver finding Damien with Diggle… The problem? Damien is now empowered by the tens of thousands that just died thanks to his totem… and by that count, our vigilantes are going to be added to that list.

Bits and Pieces:
$#%^ that promise for a lighter season! This episode was dark, but friggin awesome! While there was some unnecessary cutaways such as the one with Lance and honestly Thea as well, but the tension and stakes have never been raised this high. It’s action packed, dark, and sets up the final conflict perfectly.


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