Arrow: Monument Point

arrow-monument-point

Unexpected Team Up or Take Your Father to Work Day?

Last episode, we finally learned what Darhk was up to with his “Genesis” scheme. In “Monument Point,” things get much worse for the heroes, and the rest of the world for that matter. Destruction looms on the horizon, and the good guys seem to be out of tricks. Things are looking bad for Team Arrow.

Instead of the usual setting of Star City, or, even worse, Flashback Island, the show opens in Russia. In what looks like an old Cold War missile control area, alarms suddenly start going off. The missiles are arming and preparing for launch. The Russians not only didn’t do it, they can’t make it shut down. I wonder if Oliver has an anti-missile arrow?

Back in the bunker, the team, along with Lyla, realizes how bad this is, now that the Rubicon device is in Darhk’s hands and has been modified. A defensive Lyla points out Rubicon was one of Waller’s projects, not hers. After analyzing the coding, Felicity says she’s going to need her father’s help, since the programming is somewhat outdated and in his speciality. The team has plenty to brood about, between having to trust (and find) the Calculator, and also needing to locate Darhk’s nexus chamber, where he will be hiding out to absorb the powers of all the deaths.

Thea, meanwhile, is trapped in the HIVE “ark” that’s supposed to be able to survive the coming nuclear holocaust. Malcolm comes to visit, and Thea makes some pointed, and snarky, comments about him showing up every time her life starts to suck. Malcolm is a true believer in the “destroy the world and start over” plan, and Thea is stunned and sickened to hear it. She finally persuades Malcolm to let her see Alex.

The next scene was a weird one on several levels. I guess the set designer didn’t want to come up with another place, because Donna and Captain Lance are hanging out in the loft that used to be Thea’s, then was Oliver and Felicity’s and now is… I’m not sure who’s living there now. Felicity, you’d think, if her mom is hanging out, but we saw Felicity move out a while ago. We already know Oliver is living in the bunker.

At any rate, Donna has been snooping in Lance’s papers, and found an affidavit the Star City Police want him to sign. If he swears that he didn’t know Laurel was the Black Canary, he can be reinstated at his old job through some twisted logic I didn’t really follow. Donna takes some weird moral high ground about “there are no small lies,” (hey Donna, how’d you get that paper again?) and more or less ignores Lance’s protests that he’d get his job back and all he’s ever wanted to be is a cop. Aside from the logic flaws in the scene, I was amused by Lance pleading that to Donna, since she’s played by Charlotte Ross, whose last big roll was a police detective on NYPD Blue.

Darhk grabbed some help when he broke out of Iron Heights, and he’s sent Murmur and Brick to go find the Calculator. Spartan and Green Arrow get there too late to help, but Felicity hacks into the camera feeds from where they are and sees that Noah the Calculator got away. Just what the situation needed, two supervillains backed up by Ghosts. Since they made a big deal a few episodes back about Murmur’s parents living on Monument Point, I can only presume he’s being kept in the dark about what’s going on.

Speaking of in the dark, things are not well down in HIVE’s subterranean suburb, and it’s not Thea causing trouble. Some of the guards get taken down by an intruder, but he’s not there to rescue Thea. It’s Lonnie Machin, AKA Anarky, still working on his obsession with killing Darhk. Trouble in not exactly paradise.

At whoever’s loft it is, Donna has gotten a call from Felicity and is on her way out. Lance shows her that he’s changed to affidavit to go with her preferences about being honest about Laurel. This make his girlfriend happy, endangers his job and future, and potentially deprives Team Arrow of a very useful ally. But hey, Donna’s happy, so that’s all good (/sarcasm off).

Felicity is in her office, waiting for her mother. She has a very contentious meeting with Mr. Dennis, who seems to be her liaison with the board. The board isn’t happy with her plans for the chip that’s letting her walk, and her frequent absenteeism. She makes things much better by pretty much blowing him off. Donna comes in at the end of this, and Felicity asks her about a word she found in Calculator’s files. This gives the team another lead, and Donna a chance to lecture her daughter about not having anything to do with her father.

Oliver and Diggle get the next scene that makes no sense. They are supposedly looking for Calculator, Brick, and Murmur, but they are in civilian clothes, so no secret identity and Oliver doesn’t have his bow. What are they going to do if they find the bad guys, talk sternly to them? As they wander down alleys, Oliver tells Diggle he shouldn’t be lying to Lyla about how Andy died. This bit of soap opera is mercifully ended by Felicity calling them with the new lead.

Next up is a big fight as Green Arrow and Spartan show up to save Calculator from Brick and Murmur and the Ghosts. They get Calculator out, and working with Felicity to stop Rubicon. The next thing they need for their little scavenger hunt is a special gadget from PalmerTech. This is when Murphy’s Law meets Inevitable Consequence. Felicity has been fired by the board and banned from the building. This, in turn, leads to mini-heist as the team breaks into the building. Of course, they make a big deal about what they need being in Curtis’ lab, but no one seems to think to ask him for help.

In HIVE’s ark, Thea finally gets to see Alex. He’s totally ok with this program, thanks to the “vitamins,” he got from Ruve. Malcolm is escorting Thea around, saying he can’t trust her. Lonnie is apparently going after the air scrubbers that keep their underground wonderland supplied with breathable air.

Team Arrow is desperately trying to cobble together a gadget with what they managed to get from Curtis’ lab. I kinda wonder where Curits IS during all this. Felicity and Noah are racing to get things done in time, and we’ve already seen Curtis is really good with computers and hacking, basically Felicity’s skill set.

In another scene that made no sense (lot of those this week), Thea and Malcolm confront Lonnie. There’s apparently some relationship between Thea and Lonnie I’m completely unaware of, since she tells him her secret ID to try and get him to work with her. Malcolm eventually shoots Lonnie, and Lonnie manages to attack, possibly kill, Alex in the midst of all this.

The big shocker is the ending. I won’t spoil it, but I did not see it coming. You could say both sides are partially successful. I bet there’s going to be a lot of guilt going around. Part of the ending revolves around the town of Monument Point and its suburb, Havencroft. As an interesting aside, Monument Point played a big part in the final Justice Society of America arc before the big reboot, which was written by Marc Guggenheim, Arrow’s showrunner.

After the big shock, Green Arrow and Spartan finally figure out why Ruve Adams was running for mayor. They race to City Hall to try and thwart at least part of the plan. What they find out is that Darhk is ahead of them, and they’re going to have an ugly fight next week.

Flashback Theater has an even more tenuous connection than usual to the main episode. It’s mostly about the prisoners escaping, and Oliver and Diana fighting the now magically powered Reiter. It doesn’t look good for them. Things take an even uglier turn near the end of the fight.

What I liked: As usual with this show, the fight scenes were good. While it was somewhat soap opera, and in the midst of a badly done scene, I did like Oliver telling Diggle to stop lying to Lyla. It sucks for Felicity, but I’m kind of glad there finally some consequences for how she’s been doing her job. At least Ruve’s bizarre run for mayor finally makes sense.

What I didn’t: Most of the episode, really. There were holes all over the place this episode. Why not ask Curtis for help? Why are Donna’s trust issues (after snooping, nice) more important than Lance’s job? Why were Oliver and Diggle “working” in their civilian clothes? I’m getting as sick of Malcolm finding new ways to obsess over Thea as she is. Who lives in that loft now? I get trying to solve your own problems, but if it’s the end of the damn WORLD, they really need to at least explain why they don’t ask Flash for help.

I often describe this show as good action surrounded by bad writing. That was especially the case this week. I’m giving this one a 2 out of 5.

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