I can’t say that I was underwhelmed by the first part of this year’s crossover, but it definitely wasn’t a great hour of television like everyone would want you to believe. Weirdly enough, I didn’t even have high expectations for this either.
The spinoff is absolutely killing The Flash this year, making its characters do contrived things and switching the focus on people we’ve never even met before. In Legends of Today, Barry decides to move the entire team (plus Kendra) to Star City for no other reason than the fact that “Barry has a bad feeling about this villain”. It comes off as a sloppy, contrived means of getting the two teams to cross paths solely for crossover purposes; why the writers couldn’t come up with a more natural plot is beyond me. Even the show attempting to ridicule itself by having people ask Barry what difference does moving to Star City makes just doesn’t work here. It’s too cheesy instead.
The introduction of the Hawkgirl/Hawkman backstory wasn’t bad, and Ciara Renée and Falk Hentschel’s performances were solid, considering the material they’re working with here (in other words, the writing was a bit corny sometimes). Even Vandal Savage, the villain of this 2-part crossover event, was strong enough as the centuries-old immortal Big Bad. Again, some of the dialogue fell flat in typical villain fashion, but Casper Crump sells most of those scenes with his witty demeanor and vandalizing attitude.
What really shines here is the universe these two shows have created. Seeing Cisco interact with Felicity, Diggle throw up at the sight of The Flash, Thea wonder if she’s known about him, and Oliver and Barry tease each other is all ridiculously entertaining. The actors all seem to have so much fun together, and it’s lightheartedly satisfying to see how much the DCU has grown on The CW lately. While I’ve had my fair share of complaints regarding Barry’s character this season, I absolutely love his bromance with Oliver (something terribly missing from the speedster’s show), but my biggest complaint is leaving Laurel out of ANOTHER crossover even when Malcom Merlyn got to be in on some of the fun. That’s just unacceptable seeing as how she used to be one of Arrow’s most important characters back in the day.
Elsewhere, Patty shoots Harrison Wells 2 (after assuming there’s only one Harrison Wells) in Central City, which was a random C-subplot written merely to bring Jay Garrick back temporarily and give him powers for about 5 seconds while the writers make sure they don’t forget about Zoom. It’s all pretty cringe-worthy and unnecessary, especially as Patty continues to be the only one unaware of The Flash’s identity. Plus, is it easy to break into STAR Labs again? I thought we were done with that plothole.
– I love seeing Moira Queen again, but including that scene of her in the “previously on The Flash and Arrow” teaser totally gave away the cliffhanger. Speaking of, why does this show continue to produce Arrow-related endings? How confusing is that for those who don’t watch one of these shows?
– Cisco revealing The Flash’s true identity in front of Kendra was kind of predictable, but I still think Cisco was the best thing about this entire episode.
– The magnetic arrow was indeed awesome, but I freaking love the hilariously confused look on Damien Darhk’s face when The Flash swoops in to Team Arrow’s rescue. Isn’t Neal McDonough doing a fantastic job this year?
– Felicity was hysterical in the opening Arrow fight even if I terribly hate Olicity.
– Diggle throwing up is a great running gag. I hope they’ll use that in next year’s crossover as well!
– Loved Barry stealing Oliver’s drink in the middle of his toast.
– Guess who else missed on all the fun this year? Iris! Can’t say I missed her though.
– I was pleasantly surprised by the cool effects. I never thought I’d take a man and a woman with wings on their backs that seriously, but they were done quite exquisitely with sound effects that flowed very well with the flying. Kudos.
– It’s nice to see the entire gang just hang out and have a few drinks as Felicity wonders what Oliver from Earth-2 would be like.
– I will never get sick of seeing Barry run in slow-mo and stop knives in mid-air. Always thrilling no matter what.
– The Malcom Merlyn walking into a room thing can become a running gag too! Hilarious.
– Can this show stop with pep talks? It all seems too heavy-handed most of the times.
– I don’t know if Savage was supposed to be speaking in Egyptian Arabic, but that sounded like anything but that.
– I believe what this episode lacked was a really suspenseful action sequence. Remember The Flash and Arrow’s big face-off last year? And the training scenes? Nothing here came even close, sadly.
– At least we had some entertaining one-liners though. Check them all out below.
Red Blurs & One-Liners
Felicity: “Felicity, the magnetic arrow gag will never work”. HA, yes it will, my love, because I am really smart. And guess what, Oliver, it did work!
Oliver: Felicity, honey, it’s a little hard to fight with you doing that in my ear.
Felicity: Oh, I totally forgot that this was an open line. Keep doing what you’re doing. Make smart decisions.
Thea: It’s The Flash? Did I know we knew The Flash? We know The Flash. OK. I didn’t know we knew The Flash.
Barry: No sleeves. Don’t you get cold?
Oliver: I spent the better part of five years on an island in the North China Sea. I don’t get cold, Barry.
Cisco: This is completely wrong. Did you guys even look at the specs I sent over? This is a tragedy. I’m mourning for the death of engineering. Copper wiring to handle the processing speed from the Palmer Satellite, or else your system is gonna overload.
Felicity: Yeah, but that hasn’t happened. I mean, it hasn’t happened since last week. I mean, it didn’t… it happened yesterday.
Thea: Why don’t you get a haircut and then maybe we can talk about it?
Cisco: I think you’re just mad because my conditioner game is on-point.
Felicity: I wonder what Oliver’s doppelganger would look like. Bald, potbellied, agreeable.
Barry (grabs one of the knives Savage threw): Yeah, I can do that too.
(after Thea throws Savage off the balcony)
Oliver: This is why we ask questions!
Barry: I’m open to suggestions.
Oliver: Now you’re listening to me?
Barry: It’s your city, Oliver.
Barry (about Malcom): Is that the only way this guy knows how to enter a room?
Oliver: What’s going on?
Barry: Nothing, I just like to speed into rooms usually.
Oliver: Any ideas?
Barry: Oh, now you’ll listen to me?
Oliver: It’s your city.
The first part of this year’s big crossover wasn’t the epic experience it was last season due to the Legends spinoff which forced a chaotic plot onto the hour. Nevertheless, it was still a thoroughly entertaining episode from start to finish.