Monument Point review – Stakes? What stakes?

Nukes. Domes. Felicity’s father. An exceptionally bad coat. Monument Point paved the way for the final two episodes of this season, so what sort of a job did it do?

It’s becoming increasingly evident to me that my favourite part of this season will be as the credits roll at the end of episode 23. In the aftermath to this episode, I saw a very good point that Arrow has lost that viewer trust in terms of suspension of disbelief.┬áLet’s see what the most reliable source on the internet, the mighty Wikipedia, says on suspension of disbelief:

The term suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief has been defined as a willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.

I loved seasons 1 and 2 of Arrow. I loved the things they threw up. The characters. The villains. The stories. But nowadays, after a flat third season and an increasingly disappointing fourth, it’s difficult to invest in a magic man wanting to nuke the entire planet, while keeping those he deems worthy to survive alive in a dome underground. Well, even less than that, it’s difficult to believe anyone would willingly buy and wear the coat Felicity was wearing this episode.

End of the world stakes and Arrow do not mix. At all. It doesn’t work. I just don’t care. It’s a show which doesn’t understand that sometimes less is more. Season finales don’t have to be everyone’s going to die. We’ve had three finales where the city was under threat which got immensely old, now we’ve gone a few continents further and it’s the entire planet in danger. It’s never going to work. Nothing bad is going to come of it. Why should I care? The time hasn’t been spent building up Darkh’s plan – though I’m not sure that would have made much of a difference – but the tension just isn’t there.

In fairness, they did actually have a nuke hit. Felicity Smoak has now technically killed more people than anybody else on this show, ever. The issue is though, I have next to no expectation that they’ll do anything with it. They made Felicity wheelchair bound and completely hit the reset just a few episodes later – capped by the worst scene in the history of ever. Why would this be any different? If you’re going to do a big, shocking plot point – you deal with the consequences. You do not just do things for shock value. You build up to them. You work with them. You develop them.

But, Arrow of late doesn’t do that. Why would this be any different? Will we hear about the fallout come season 5? I severely doubt it. Prove me wrong, writers.

Under the dome, Anarky became more ridiculous, called Thea ‘mommy’ and one would assume killed Alex. That’s all there is to say about that, really. Thea knows what’s up. Thea’s stuck. Malcolm arrives, mercifully didn’t deliver the Ra’s al Ghul line, though this big, badass warrior trained by the League can’t take on Anarky by himself. Okay, then. The fight between Thea and Anarky was decent, probably the best of the episode, the rest of it was just rather weird.

Alex also seems to have been killed and really, is anyone all that fussed? In fairness, he was a million times better than Chase the DJ – though one character this season is beginning to rival our favourite DJ in terms of pointlessness – but Alex hasn’t added much. He was a nice guy and in truth, it was nice to see one of the characters have a life outside of Team Arrow – that being Thea. But he’s not really been all that well developed, he’s not really been that compelling and again, I’m really not expecting his name to come about come season 5.

Villains calling characters of non biological relation, ‘Mommy’. A big ass dome underground. A biblical plot. Malcolm not referring to himself as Ra’s al Ghul. That coat. And we’re not even done yet…

A lot of the episode stemmed around Felicity for once not being the almighty hacker for the ages – I know, the one time she’s not presented as perfect by the writers. Instead, her father was the one they wanted, who only now we learned had escaped prison. Smoak family matters are family matters I find plain boring. Donna is a pointless character, so much so I’m not actually going to touch on her scenes with Quentin as they added so little and were so badly written. Noah, on the other hand,┬áhad one of the most cliched scenes I’ve ever seen as he took a bullet for his daughter. They seem to be going the redemption arc too – an extravagantly original approach to take. On shows like Mr. Robot, the hacking angle is pretty interesting, on Arrow it just fell plain flat for me. The dialogue is filled with techno babble. I just don’t go along with them. It’s always been that way, in truth. It feels like a get out of jail free card. It’s just not something I really like in a vigilante show – anyway, I’m straying off tangent. Basically, by the time we got around to those scenes, this episode had already exhausted me. I’d had enough.

Elsewhere, we had Brick and Murmur return to work for Darkh. Brick working for Darkh. Malcolm working for Darkh. I wonder if that’s going to come back and bite Mr. Smug MagicMan in the butt… Brick was an okay villain, so I wasn’t against him returning while Murmur always has been Murmeh.

Finally, I’ll end on a high note with the Oliver and Diggle scene. That was a nice touch. It was well handled. It was good to see the fallout from Diggle’s murder of his brother. It was clever to have Oliver call himself out on his lies. It was just good to see that friendship.

Overall, and I seem to be writing this line too frequently unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan. I don’t feel the stakes. I don’t trust the writers. I won’t miss this season when it ends. Here’s hoping for some turnaround in the final two…

 

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