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Welcome back, Arrow Squad! To everyone not residing in the small, unfortunate town of Havencroft, we are happy you can join us for the latest installment of the podcast. With the help of our fantastic community, on this episode we discuss Arrow Season 4 Episode 21 entitled “Monument Point”, which originally aired on May 11, 2016. This week we saw the return of three bad guys, Noah “The Calculator” Kuttler (Tom Amandes), Lonnie “Anarky” Machin (Alexander Calvert), and Danny “Brick” Brickwell (Vinnie Jones).

Before I dive in, can I just ask why Curtis wasn’t used at all in this episode? I can think of at least two times when his presence would have alleviated the problems Team Arrow encountered.

Monument Point

There is a proverbial crapstorm raging underground and we haven’t even seen Damien or Ruve Darhk down there, yet. Under the influence of the yellow pill, hundreds of poor unfortunate souls are being led two-by-two aboard humanity’s only survivable vessel in the oncoming nuclear Armageddon.
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Do we really have to debate whether these people are being saved if their free will is malleable under Darhk’s suggestion? Not only is the effort to push reset on the entirety of the Earth not believable in the context of the overall story, it’s exhausting. We know it’s not going to happen. We know the whole world isn’t going to get wiped off in the nuclear explosions prophesied by Darhk and his minions. So at this point it’s just a matter of seeing how Team Arrow comes up with a plan to stop him.

In most recent memory, William Bell attempted this a similar feat in season 4 of Fringe. He thought man was so beyond saving, however, that his original intention was to collapse two universes into one and have he and Walter, the two surviving souls, die off and let nature take back what it rightfully was due. He genetically engineered superior creatures to exist in this new world so that it wasn’t simply a reset, but a reset with a whole new set of genetic variables so that something like the human race couldn’t possibly evolve in the same way again.

The entertaining part about that story line wasn’t the legitimacy of the threat that Bell posed, however, it was the mystery surrounding his plan and what actually needed to be accomplished in order for the Fringe team to save the world. I’m finding the efforts of Team Arrow, in the face of a looming human extinction, to be rather underwhelming. At least on Fringe there were established characters fulfilling the roles they had been doing for 4 seasons; in this episode, Felicity’s dad randomly joins the team with the meager explanation that he “wrote the book” on fourier protocols, which just so happens to be the primary component of the exact threat they’re encountering.
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While there was a bunch of hubbub underground as Thea is sent to deal with Anarky, nothing of value happens. She tries to have a conversation with Alex, in which she only confirms that the Kool-aid he drank was most definitely spiked; we have to be hand-held through her discovery of what the ark is and why it exists; Anarky goes after the CO^2 scrubbers that threaten the ark’s very existence!; she tries to reason with Anarky for the nth time (who is still committed to his feeble vengeance vendetta) and winds up taking him down…again.

Above ground is slightly more interesting, as, once Felicity is fired as CEO of Palmer Tech, the team’s ability to acquire much needed technology is in serious trouble. Since no one thinks to call Curtis up, they’re forced to attempt a break-in, which only succeeds to the extent that Noah is able to copy the supercomputer’s processing code with his sniffer (which clearly is not just a sniffer).
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The result is barely a passing grade; they’re able to hack the unhackable, but only save people in the relative sense of numbers. The anguish in Felicity was palpable, but because she’s been so set apart from the rest of the team of late I really don’t know how to feel about this. Of course I feel for her and the impossible choice she had, needing to choose between allowing millions to be killed or diverting the missile to kill tens of thousands. After Hiroshima, death tolls fell to a rate of >10% beyond a 4km radius, but that was a bomb with a yield of 15 kilotons. The bombs we’re talking about, that Darhk wants to use to wipe out the human race, need to be exponentially more advanced than a bomb used in WWII. Do I believe that a 30+ km diversion would actually be significant enough to avoid significant casualties in a large city? Not really. This is an interesting article about what it would take to destroy the human race with super nukes.

Darhk has chosen to kill the human race slowly and painfully. Dropping a couple dozen bombs on the largest cities around the world would ensure mass destruction, but less dense areas would die by slow radioactive poisoning. He’s not just killing everyone, he’s making them pay for being innocent bystanders in a world where he’s decided to play judge and jury. That is definitely the epitome of a bad guy.

And yet, at the same time, as bad as Damien is and as much as I believe he’d actually carry out his plans… Is the threat of it actually coming to fruition even there for a show like Arrow? Or is that not the point, here? I’m willing to be persuaded!

Next Week

Season 4 Episode 22: Lost in the Flood
Official Photos | Watch Promo

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