'Arrow' Season 8 Episode 6 finally proves why The Monitor can be trusted and that he cares about the worlds he’s trying to save

'Arrow' Season 8 Episode 6 finally proves why The Monitor can be trusted and that he cares about the worlds he’s trying to save

Cryptic harbingers of doom who are all-powerful but inexplicably not powerful enough to stop the doom themselves are a part of every hero’s journey and go as far back as the Greek myth. None of them have been quite so frustratingly terrible as the Arrowverse’s Monitor (LaMonica Garrett). It would be one thing if he was a straight-up antagonist - everything he’s done to demoralize, confuse and frustrate our heroes would make a hell of a lot more sense. As someone ostensibly on their side, he’s proven to be less than a helpful ally. The latest episode of ‘Arrow’, finally shows that the Monitor cares about the worlds he’s trying to save and the people he’s conscripted. 

For fans unfamiliar with the Monitor’s role from the comics, his first appearance in the ‘Elseworlds’ crossover actually did paint him as a straight-up villain, albeit one with unclear motivations. It’s an intentional mislead that mirrors his first appearances in the comics, empowering various villains of the DC universe to challenge heroes to be stronger, in preparation for the ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths.’ The Arrowverse took that idea and ran with it, as even after the Monitor revealed that he was trying to help the heroes in the long run, his manipulations, his bossy attitude and his cryptic demands have done little to endear himself to them. It’s gotten to the point that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) had begun searching for a way to take down the Monitor himself.

In ‘Reset,’ Oliver wakes up to what appears to be the cruelest of the Monitor’s manipulations to date: being stuck in a time loop of an alternate reality, forced to watch Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) die over, and over again, unable to save him. Even for the Monitor, it seems a bit much. Through the episode, however, we find that there’s a reason the Monitor’s doing this - it’s to teach Oliver to accept that fighting against something that’s impossible to change only makes things worse. 

It says a lot about Oliver’s stubbornness that the Monitor has to create a whole new timeline reset to get this lesson across, but it says a lot more about the Monitor that he knows that the only person who can get through to Oliver is Quentin Lance. We learn that the resets were a chance for Oliver and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) to say goodbye. Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson), on behalf of the Monitor, also reveals that bringing Oliver’s kids from the future into the presents was a gift for Oliver, as well. 

Both are acts of incredible compassion on the part of the Monitor, that changes everything he’s done so far. The Monitor has seemed ruthless, willing to do anything and sacrifice anyone necessary to stop the Crisis from destroying to Multiverse. He still may be willing to do just that, but the reveals of ‘Reset’ show that none of it is an easy choice for him to make. Even without his appearance in the episode, we get some insight into the Monitor’s motivations as a cosmic being making the best of a dire situation. There’s been no time for him to express it, but ‘Reset’ shows that the Monitor regrets what he has to do.

With the ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ just a week away, it’s a relief to know that there’s a reason to trust the Monitor, as doing so maybe the only thing keeping the multiverse safe from the Anti-Monitor’s wave of destruction. 

‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ starts December 8 with ‘Supergirl’, on the CW. 


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  Arrow The Monitor lessons proves he can be trusted LaMonica Garrett the CW Oliver reset Lance