This episode of Arrow was the first part of what’s shaping up to be an explosive three-part finale. However, the episode overall was a bit of a mess. With multiple characters returning at the bidding of Darhk, there was too much going on and not enough focus on what’s important. Here’s my Arrow 4.21 ‘Monument Point’ Top 5.
Ultimately, I believe that this season of the Arrow would have been far stronger without the presence of Darhk’s magic and the flashbacks. This episode was evidently tying up loose ends, but the end result was a disjointed, and boring episode. As always, the performances from the actors were stellar. However, their performances do not compensate for the poor planning and contrived writing that is has plagued this season of the Arrow. For the continued sexist treatment of Felicity’s character to the contrived storylines. These are just two of a multitude of problems. I certainly have a lot more to say about this season of Arrow but for now…
Felicity has overcome a great deal of adversity throughout this season, most of which has not been recognised, and in the background, she has continued to run the company against the odds. I was looking forward to seeing this season feature Felicity as CEO and I must say that it’s been particularly frustrating to not have that play out on-screen in any major way. The world already expects women in power to fail, and more specifically women in STEM to fail at their jobs, simply because of their gender. Currently there are only 22 female CEO’s out of the 500 Fortune 500 companies, that’s 4.4 percent if you are counting. I, personally do not see how it was necessary to play into this stereotype when there was an opportunity to portray an intelligent woman leading a company and also using her skills to change people’s lives for the better, is that not why Felicity stayed on Team Arrow? She wanted to make a difference. As a woman who works in STEM it was disheartening and exceedingly frustrating to watch Felicity be fired by the board.
This was made no less frustrating when I remembered that last season Ray Palmer, had done much the same thing and had not been fired by the board. Despite, being absent from work for an entire week, that resulted in the drop of stock prices, being absorbed in the creation of his ATOM suit for the majority of the back half of the season, and semi-stalking and coercing Felicity into being his Vice-President. Ray Palmer was never fired. Whilst I understood Ray’s purpose on the show it frustrates me that not only have we seen Ray being CEO more that we have seen Felicity being a CEO, who I might add is just as, if not more intelligent. The small fragments of CEO Felicity that we have seen play out on-screen have been more about her battling the board, than her achievements at the company or her involvement in creating innovative and revolutionary technology.
I truly hope that in the Season 5, Felicity will truly be able to come into her own, personally and professionally.
Whilst it certainly generated plenty of suspense and destruction. The nuclear bomb plot felt unneccessary, trivial and contrived. Considering the shows history, I doubt we will get to see the impact that this event had on the team and we will not have the opportunity to see their response. So to the bomb storyline I say: why?
In many ways the Rubicon plot came out of nowhere, whilst world destruction courtesy of Darhk was not unexpected, the Rubicon plot feels unprecedented. In the 20 episodes that proceeded ‘Monument Point’, there was barely any mention of Rubicon or the destroyed town, Havenrock. There had not even been an offhand mention of Rubicon to pique our interest and create intrigue. I would have preferred to have seen this particular plot line play out with more of a focus on ARGUS, Lyla and Felicity. This would have provided more background for the storyline and given us a reason to pay attention when this event played out.
The loss of human life is tragic, it always is. However, within the context of the show it is very difficult to pay any mind to this destroyed town. The only background we were given is an idyllic shot of what looked like a mostly deserted town as it’s blown to smithereens. In many ways the missile attack has come out of nowhere and therefore I am struggling to see its impact of the show as a whole.
Personally, I am interested to see the emotional fallout within the team in response to the events. Particularly Felicity’s reaction, as this clearly had a big impact on her. However, with only two episodes, that are both lining up to be action packed, I am not actually expecting to see those emotions issues discussed. Also, given the show’s history (see: Oliver’s PTSD, the events of last season and the season before) I do not have high hopes for the emotional or ethical issues to be discussed and worked through.
“There aren’t any small lies”
Amidst the mess of this episode I really enjoyed the heartfelt scenes shared between Donna and Quentin. It made a nice change to see such open communication between a couple on television, and also listening to each other’s opinions and taking them into account. Donna’s line “there aren’t any small lies” stood out to me.
Team Arrow is in a difficult situation, where lying is apart of their everyday life. However, situations would be made a lot easier if they were honest and explicitly trusted each other beyond the missions. They cannot be honest with anybody else in their lives so they need to have each others backs and start been upfront and honest. Oliver, is slowly making progress with this and it was good to see him finally talk some things out with Diggle and have some of the events of last week addressed.
Whilst I am a fan of John Barrowman and I think he is a fantastic actor, I am finding Malcolm Merlyn more and more annoying to watch. We have seen him like this before and the clear parallels to the undertaking are not even intriguing. Rather, his manipulative antics and excuses continue to get more tiresome and repetitive. Even Thea is clearly done.
Overall, this season I have found the flashbacks to be boring and well, disappointing. They have completely failed to engage me (and from discussion with other fans, I am not alone) and if I’m no watching live I find myself fast forwarding. I do not even remember the names of the characters from the flashbacks. The whole season could have done without these particular flashbacks entirely.
- Definitely laughed when Donna started talking about Ravenspur and said “I wouldn’t be a Jewish mother if I didn’t worry”
- Lyla is a bad ass, can we have her back permanently please