By: Kyle Shultz
When it was revealed that the title to the first crossover with The Flash & Arrow was “The Flash Vs Arrow” I was excited but was left wondering, “Why is it The Flash VS Arrow? They have no real reason to fight.” Then as the description for the episode was released we found out why exactly they would fight. A meta-human who can make people strive off their anger is the cause for The Flash and Arrow fighting. While I do have to say that is better than say, having a person whom can control minds come along & push our heroes into fighting each other. Though with shows like these two, a character who can force the built up rage in people out into the public and cause this mass hysteria is what was needed.
That character was Roy G. Bivolo, also known as Prism, at least in this incarnation of the character he’s “Prism;” in the comics he’s the Rainbow Raider/Chroma, given the fact that his old name is based on Rainbows, his new name is based on how he could bend/project light into his targets and make them do things they wouldn’t normally do. What’s funny is that, never in my life have I ever thought that I would see Rainbow Raider in a live action format. He’s such a Z-list character, that I actually forgot about him, he reappears throughout the comics here and there for about 30 years, & he’s in the New 52 stuff as “Chroma,” but again, I don’t think he’s in it the new stuff too much either.
Obviously I was on the fence about having The Flash sort of lose control of his powers just to have this brawl with Arrow, though it was actually handled really well, & I was pleasantly surprised. Seeing these two go from old chums, to budding allies, to temporary enemies was definitely pleasant. These two really do have their differences, especially the way they go about doing their heroics. The Flash rushes in without considering the risks & Arrow makes sure to know to have his ground covered when facing an enemy; a tact that he was trying to actually show Barry, so he can learn. I really love seeing Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin act with each other, the two of them have a an awesome chemistry together, which is needed in the two of these shows.
With Arrow coming into Central City, it would only make sense that Oliver interacts with Team Flash & his family & Team Flash interact with Team Arrow. Some of the best sequences happened when Diggle saw Barry for the first time since his introduction this time last year. The fact that Barry running in and scaring Diggle so bad he tossed his fries in the air in shock was priceless and I actually paused and skipped back so I could keep watching that scene over and over again. This whole episode was full of small comedic bits, both Diggle & Cisco were some of the best, with Diggle being completely dumbfounded about seeing people with superpowers that are not Mirakuru monsters, & Cisco simply geeking out at everything he possibly could, to Iris’ reaction to meeting Oliver Queen.
With all the comedic elements and story between Team Arrow & Team Flash, things got pretty interesting on the other side of things. Eddie Thawne is bridging into a villain of The Flash now that he has a task for just to bring him down, which makes his relationship with Iris dwindle a bit. This approach is a very “Smallville” approach to things; it reminds me of how they handled Clark & Lex’s friendship. Though, in this show The Flash actually ripped Thawne out of a moving vehicle & posed as a threat to Thawne. Which was certainly something that was surprising to see, I cannot wait to see Eddie & Flash’s relationship grow, especially since he’s starting to get on a better side with Barry.
One of the most surprising things to see at the end of this episode was that Ronnie Raymond is back in the picture in present day; and he’s not exactly normal. Raymond actually has his powers; he is Firestorm. Though I have to say, I’m not exactly impressed with how he looks, it could be the bad wig, or that he doesn’t have a costume yet, but I’m hoping that later on in the season, he’ll look better.
The one thing that slightly disappointed me about this episode was that there wasn’t exactly a solid bridge between the two crossovers to tell that they are crossovers. There wasn’t an actual indication that Arrow’s episode the following night would follow the events of this episode, though it’s not exactly a bad thing. It does help give us two episodes that feel like two episodes, and sort of gives that feel that you don’t necessarily need to watch Arrow to watch The Flash or vice versa. Although, I really wished the two had an overlapping conflict, as it would mesh better.
In one of the final scenes we saw a person that we saw last season, that I never thought we would see again, at least not for a while. This person was the lady that Oliver unknowingly had a kid with, & she actually called her son in the scene after Oliver left Jitters. When she was first introduced I was actually a bit impressed they’re doing what they’re doing, I mean it will be awhile (a long while) before we ever see Connor Hawke, but still as a huge Green Arrow fan, that has me impressed.
The first part of the two-hour crossover was actually really fun & an entertaining episode, the writers focused on the continuing development of Oliver & Barry’s relationship as allies & very briefly fighting, though I think the decision to make these into two separate episodes feel more stand alone than crossover, was a bit lackluster.
The second half of the crossover, to me, was a lot better than the first half & really, that’s saying something because I really liked the first half. As far as villains go, Captain Boomerang is a way better villain than the Rainbow Raider & the underlying conflict of Captain Boomerang’s arrival & him going up against A.R.G.U.S. was a really cool conflict, as it brought the conflict a lot more closer to home for Team Arrow. Rainbow Raider seemed like a really one and done character, though I do think it would be cool if he comes back, though I say that to a lot of villains, because I really want to like these villains in shows like Arrow & The Flash. This was our first time seeing Captain Boomerang and he was a badass, he brought a good physical fight to the field for Team Arrow. Him taking down Arsenal like he did was interesting. Arsenal is not as seasoned as Arrow or Boomerang is, but Boomerang taking down Arsenal is far more convincing than Cupid taking down Arsenal. Granted, I really did want to see more Arsenal stuff, I really love the scenes when Roy is suited up & hopefully we do see more of that in future episodes.
The first fight between Team Arrow & Boomerang offered something the team has never gone up against, not only are they getting weapons thrown at them, but they also come back, so it is like a flying double-edged sword of sorts. Like with most fights, this one was wonderfully choreographed, & I honestly thought Arrow was going to get hit, but The Flash came in with a beautiful sequence of him catching the Boomerangs. The CGI was a bit on the touchy side, but still it looked amazing to me, and that’s all I need. Digger Harkness is a villain that I’ve wanted to see in this show for a long time, on the surface, having a villain with these razor sharp boomerangs in the show sounds as stupid as it could get, but making him a former Suicide Squad member & seeing him tearing through A.R.G.U.S. agents like they’re rookie cops had shown us that this guy means business. I’ve only watched a little bit of Spartacus, but Nick Tarabay was great in that show from what I’ve watched, I hope one day we actually get to watch Deathstroke & Captain Boomerang & the rest of the Rogues fight Team Arrow and Team Flash.
Even though this episode offered probably one of the best physical fights we’ve witnessed this season, this episode also shed some light to Barry on how his hero/friend does his vigilante work. I love that throughout this episode Barry stayed his normal lighthearted self up until he witnessed how Arrow gets answers out of his enemies. Seeing Barry’s reaction to witnessing the lengths Arrow, a non meta-human, has to go to in order to get the job done was an amazing human reaction, it really showed us that even with this powers Barry is still human. The flashbacks tied in perfectly with this subplot as well, seeing Oliver go from scared little puppy not knowing how to interrogate someone to being a master at interrogation was an interesting dynamic. Though in the present day, you can tell that this season Oliver doesn’t really like the man he has become, & Barry can definitely see something better in him. Oliver being friends with Barry seems to be bringing some light in his world. I loved how Barry gave Oliver basically the same speech Oliver gave him in The Flash’s pilot; him telling Oliver he has the potential to inspire people is true. He did inspire Barry, after all. I hope that we soon get to see the Oliver Queen we all know and love from the comics, which I’m sure we will probably in a season or two.
Like the first half, this half offered some nice little comedic bits, still in the form of Cisco. Seeing Cisco’s reaction to everything down in Team Arrow’s hideout, or the Arrow-cave, was priceless. Having Cisco basically poke fun at everything Arrow themed was a nice Easter egg to Green Arrow’s early days as a Batman mimicking hero. Him simply mentioning that he was wanting to get rid of Arrow’s hood after revamping his suit was a nice touch, and even though there really isn’t too much of a difference, I’m digging the new suit, although we really didn’t get to see much of it, though we still have more than half a season left to go, so we will soon. The ending scene of these two finally getting to answer their question of “who can win in a fight, Arrow or The Flash?” was a wonderfully teased sequence. Perhaps we’ll never find out who exactly won that round, though it is a hot topic among fans of both the characters and of the show.
“The Flash vs. Arrow” & “The Brave & The Bold” gave us our first official super hero team up, a pseudo Justice League in the making. The first half offered our heroes to butt heads & the second half offered a real team up against Captain Boomerang, who has so far, been the first memorable villain this season. Team Arrow & Team Flash crossing paths offered some great television, great fight sequences & great drama. Here’s to hoping both shows have even better mid-season finales & future episodes.
Overall Grade: 10/10