An episode as late in the season and as action-packed as Monument Point is shouldn’t be as bland and uninspiring as Monument Point is. While it does technically succeed in moving the story along to where it needs to be heading into the final two of the season, there’s very little pleasure to be taken in watching the pieces move slowly into place.
After Genesis was revealed at the end of last week’s episode of the same name, this hour is spent exploring the team’s attempts to prevent Damien from ending the world. Considering how grand the scheme is, dealing with it needed to be just as huge. And while in terms of scale that seems to be the case, the impact of everything seems to be lacking as events blend into a lazily-constructed action mess. Arrow’s early seasons allowed the show to become renowned for its excellent fight sequences, but the past two seasons have really struggled in that department, save for the occasional glimpse of greatness. Were they up to their former standards, shifting to all-out action wouldn’t be a bad thing – just look to season two’s Streets of Fire for an example of that – but given how lacking they are here, there’s an ever-growing sense of frustration permeating this weak hour.
To stop Damien, Team Arrow have to call upon the help of Felicity’s father, Noah Kuttler (aka The Calculator, played by the returning Tom Amandes), and that – much like almost everything about the episode – feels shoehorned in for the sake of it. Given that Felicity managed to ‘out-hack’ her father back in Unchained, her insistence that she needs his help displays yet another lack of consistency in the writing of these characters. To the show’s credit, what they do between the pair is solid, despite the odd moment of clichéd nonsense.
But there’s a real suspension of disbelief required to reach Monument Point‘s climax (something that really irked Cory, as you’ll read in his review), which, when added to the lack of a coherent story, doesn’t produce the best of episodes.
Under the dome, Thea is settling into her newfound captivity as Malcolm attempts to convince her that this is all in her best interest. That’s interrupted by Anarky, who has – somehow – found his way into the dome and is wreaking havoc. He and Thea have a fascinating dynamic, and continue to have so here, but his inclusion feels incredibly out of place and adds very little to the hour. Elsewhere, Donna and Quentin are having some issues after she snoops through his stuff and finds something she doesn’t like. Despite the ever-good Paul Blackthorne, these are easily the worst present day scenes this week, adding absolutely nothing to the story and illustrating why Donna is fundamentally ridiculous and unnecessary as a character. Oh, and the flashbacks are the flashbacks. Nothing groundbreaking or even remotely enjoyable there, as always.
Yet another disappointing episode in a season full of extreme mediocrity bordering on awful.
Some teaser quotes:
1. “I’m willing to give you a sporting chance.”
2. “Well, it’s not exactly yours anymore, is it?”
3. “I think you’re gonna need much bigger arrows.”
4. “Like I said, predictable.”
5. “I know, honey, and that’s why I love you.”
Tune in and watch Monument Point on Wednesday 18th May at 8pm on Sky 1. Then, check back to the site after the episode for our review and the podcast.