Warning: This article contains spoilers for Arrow Season 4, Episode 21: “Monument Point.”
After spending much of their fourth season meandering around until they fulfilled the major character death in “Eleven-Fifty-Nine” three episodes ago, “Arrow” has finally kicked it’s season into a blistering pace. Unfortunately, it took until the antepenultimate episode to experience “Arrow” at its finest.
Now that Darhk had A.R.G.U.S.’s Rubicon software, the timer has been set to 21 hours before all of NATO’s nuclear weapons are deployed all over the world, and evil wins.
That led to Felicity requiring help from her estranged father, The Calculator, to help her hack into the nukes and stop them from launching.
This led to some good exchanges between Felicity and her father, who clearly wanted to try to reconcile a second time after her daughter turned him into the police just a few months ago. Felicity, rightfully so, quickly dismissed all of her father’s words because they had bigger problems at hand. It’s important for the show, even with its fair share of melodrama, to acknowledge that it would be horribly out-of-character for those kinds of domestic disputes to be breaking out in that situation. It is a problem that the show has had in the past and seems to be rectifying.
One of the biggest complaints against “Arrow” this season has been that the fight choreography has dipped in quality since the first two seasons, but tonight’s episode featured two well-shot set pieces. The first was in the woods with Darhk’s men (some Ghosts, recently-sprung-from-Iron-Heights Brick and Murmur) against Oliver and Diggle as both needed to get to Felicity’s father to take him off the board and use him as a resource, respectively. This led to longer shots than usual with the hand-to-hand combat instead of the quick, choppy cuts that have plagued much of the third and fourth seasons.
The second came outside the data center that Felicity and her father needed to hack the nukes. As this isn’t “Game of Thrones” or some other bold show that can just wipe out an entire city or population on a dime, it wasn’t expected to see one nuke wriggle out of their grasps and launch. What was especially surprising was that Felicity had to reroute the nuke to a less-populated city to limit the casualties.
For many shows, this development would be monumental for a character such as Felicity, even as she is reassured that it was the only decision she could make in that situation. The problem is that “Arrow” has had plenty of trouble working through big character beats in the past. It’s hard to see them properly acknowledging a Russian, albeit hijacked, nuke striking a U.S. city and leading to “tens of thousands” of casualties. Even if it is acknowledged that the world knows that Russia cannot be held responsible, it is the most devastating event to ever happen on “Arrow.” Casualties never left Star City’s borders, let alone the obliteration of a U.S. city.
Even if it doesn’t get addressed before the Season Four finale, an event of this magnitude must be acknowledged and done right, or else it just looks like they wasted a city to make Darhk more villainous before he is ultimately defeated in two episodes.
That being said, the stakes have been set as Darhk now has tens of thousands of deaths to siphon through the idol that gives him his powers and Oliver and Diggle walked right in on him soaking in the death. “Arrow” needs to continue the pace that it is on if it even dreams of reaching the heights of Season Two’s final stretch of episodes.
- Thea continues to be a pain in Malcolm’s side as she looks for any way to overthrow whoever is in charge of the dome-bubble sanctuary. She even resorted to allying with Lonnie Machin, who somehow snuck (?) his way in to get revenge on Darhk. Thea’s brainwashed boyfriend, Alex, may have perished at the hands of Machin, maybe not. If the show doesn’t care about him, why should I?
- The island flashback still exist, basically.
- Oliver and Diggle had a quick chat about how Diggle killed his brother in cold blood last week. Diggle called out Oliver’s hypocrisy, and rightfully so. I still think David Ramsey is happy to actually be doing something with Diggle’s character, for once.
- Lance and Donna had a couple scenes about Quentin owning up to knowing that Laurel was the Black Canary. I’m still wondering why these scenes were even included as the world was, you know, ending.