I never thought the Arrow/Flash crossover would be such a success. But just like Flash vs Arrow, part two of the crossover, The Brave & The Bold, came together beautifully. I am truly impressed by Greg Berlanti and the fantastic team he assembled to bring these shows to life.
Sure The Flash has yet to truly wow me as a standalone show, but it’s a testament to how well realized its characters that bringing them in to interact with Team Arrow produced such excellent results.The show’s tones are incredibly different, and yet this contrast blended together masterfully with a perfect dose of lightheartedness and gloom. In fact, the episode worked so well that I even found myself enjoying Cisco and Caitlin, two characters who I find quite irritating on The Flash (particularly the former). But seeing them interact with Diggle and the rest was just a glorious sight on every level, and it enhanced each of their persona’s traits remarkably.
The contrasting tones also allowed our two heroes to go head-to-head on a verbal level (as opposed to the epic fight they had in part one), and it was outstanding. Their various exchanged insightfully displayed the differences between the two heroes and their codes, with Ollie not opposed to harsh methods and torture (no thanks to Amanda Waller in another set of heavy-handed flashbacks). I’m tremendously excited to see further crossovers and how these two sets of characters will continue to bounce off each other in fascinating ways.
Props to the Arrow team for making Captain Boomerang such a menacing and effective villain. It’s no secret that the show has struggled with its one-off villains, but this guy was a certified threat (the fact that he almost murdered Lyla was proof of that), and now that he’s with Slade on the island (in Ollie’s makeshift prison), I have no doubt that we’ll be seeing him again soon. Plus, his nifty boomerangs allowed the show to pull off some great action beats (that shot of Barry catching the boomerangs in mid-air and saving Ollie was EVERYTHING).
Even the resolution to the bomb plot was kind of genius. It showcased the differences between Barry and Oliver, with the former realizing that the couldn’t possibly save Starling on his own, as he brilliantly dropped each one of the team members (quite conveniently) in front of the bombs to disarm the explosives themselves. Sure it was cheesy and contrived, but it worked wonderfully on a thematic level.
Bits & Arrows
– Cisco being a huge geek in the Arrowcave and asking about the Arrowmobile was just perfect.
– This was the first time I enjoyed watching Lyla on the show. Naturally I assumed that meant she wouldn’t survive after getting hit. Thankfully she did, and now she and Diggle are going to get married. Can you say awww?
– Loved the shot of Arrow and Arsenal landing from above together before their fight with Boomerang.
– Barry doing the Salmon at hyper-speed was comedy gold. But Cisco trying it? Priceless.
– Hilarious sights: Barry getting sushi, Hakness chained to Lance’s desk, and Barry running by Thea through that gust of wind. I loved this episode.
– The fact that Barry can kick everybody’s ass before Ollie even has time to do anything just kills me.
– The only cool moment in the flashbacks this week: the explosion behind Ollie’s torture victim after our hero was incapable of extracting the information.
– I want more action from Felicity. Loved seeing her throw that grenade at Boomerang!
– Great homey scene with the Verdant bonding between the two sets of sidekicks and the revelation that our Central City kids never really feel their danger is real with all the meta-humans running around.
– Barry clearing the subway from all the innocents was super cool. But Arrow doing the backflip? Awesomesauce.
– PRESENTS! Ollie got a brand new outfit, and Barry got the costume case for his next visit!
– The logo at the end. Genius.
Arrow: You’re not SCPD.
Cop: Unless police uniforms have gotten really interesting, neither are you.
Cisco: We had some vacation days coming, we want to see the Arrow cave.
Oliver: We don’t call it that. Ever.
Cisco: I want to see the toys! I need to see the toys. Do you guys have an Arrowmobile?
Roy: Since when did we start selling admission the Arrow cave?
Lyla: I appreciate the offer, Johnny, but really, we have it handled.
Diggle: [Alarm sounding] Is that your “We have it handled” alarm?
Oliver: Barry you live in Central City, where it’s sunny all the time and your enemies get cute nicknames.
Barry: You’re not in Central City.
Oliver: Yeah. I live in a city where my best friend was murdered, where a woman that I loved was shot full of arrows and sent tumbling off a rooftop. Where my mother was murdered right in front of me. So before you–
Barry: My mother was murdered in front of me, too. But I don’t use my personal tragedies as an excuse to just torture whoever pisses me off.
Oliver: Well, I’m sorry, Barry, I’m not as emotionally healthy as you are.
Oliver: To do what I do, Barry, it takes conviction. But More often than not, it’s the will to do what’s ugly. Every time I do that, I’m I’m trading away little pieces of myself. So you asked what’s wrong with me, that’s– that’s what’s wrong, because the part that I’m trading away is Oliver Queen. And lately I’ve been feeling like there is nothing left except the Arrow.
Barry: I think you’re full of crap. Look, you’ve convinced yourself that everything you’ve been through took away your humanity. But I think it’s because of your humanity that you made it through. You wouldn’t have survived, much less come out the other end a hero, somebody who wants to do good, if you didn’t have a light inside of you.
Amanda: For those with a conscience, inflicting pain is more difficult than inflicting death.
Cisco: You guys are fun.
Roy: So are you guys.
Cisco: Well, you could be if you realized you were working under a nightclub.
Barry: Ok, I have super powers. You have arrows that run out.
Oliver: I have strategy and tactical awareness.
Barry: When I’m fighting you, it’s literally like you’re standing still.
Thanks to The Flash, this was the strongest Arrow episode in several weeks. Here’s to regular crossovers. Well done.