The Flash/Arrow Crossover (REVIEW)
ED NOTE: this review covers the 8th episode of each respective series, The Flash "Flash VS. Arrow" and Arrow "The Brave and the Bold."
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
It's the moment DC CW-verse fans have been waiting for, the long anticipated Arrow and The Flash crossover episodes. We get to see two distinct cities in the DC CW-verse and enjoy the heroes making cameos in each respective city.
Starting on The Flash, a new meta-human is causing all manner of havoc in Central City. Roy Bivolo has the distinct ability to cause intesne emotional reactions in anyone that looks him in the eyes. He of course uses his pathokinesis to incite a riot in a bank while he calmly walks away with whatever he can carry. While on the search for Bivolo, the Arrow with team in tow (minus Roy) visit Central City chasing down a lead on Starling's mysterious boomerang killer (see episode 7 of Arrow) who they believe have ties to Central City (huehuehue).
Though reluctant to help, Ollie eventually agrees to join forces with Barry. This of course wasn't as well received as Barry thought it would be. Both Harrison Wells and Joe West voice critical concerns over the Arrow's influence over Barry, citing "what that man [Arrow] does is carry out a dark reckoning for his city," finishing up with "he's not the kind [of hero] you should be looking up to."
I got the picture that the way they were painting Arrow and the Flash is alot like how they paint Batman and Superman... one is a rich guy with alot of toys... and the other is a man who can do the impossible. Even the way both series have visualized their respective cities mirrors that of Gotham and Metropolis. Starling City is dark with crime lurking around every corner and Central City is always shown as this bright and shiny beacon with heroes in colorful uniforms. While I don't hate the comparison, I'm still waiting for Ollie to start displaying his trademark wit and sarcasm the comic book counterpart has in spades.
Eventually Barry runs off on his own, attempting to capture Bivolo without Ollie's help... this brashness proves to be his biggest mistake with Bivolo "wammying" (their word not mine) him and inciting a rage in Barry. While everyone else experiences this rage almost instantaneously, Barry's unique physiology begins fighting it... but the effects end up worse for wear... causing Barry the rage to build up and explode. Barry goes full on rage-speedster on everyone around him... including Eddie Thawne, Joe, and of course Ollie. I like how they wrote in the fight between Arrow and Flash. I was concerned what they were going to do, the two don't have the history that Batman and Superman have in any of their fights, and to be honest I'd be let down if they just made it a clash of ideologies forcing the two heroes to pick opposing sides. Barry obviously overpowers Ollie, but thanks to his years of experience, the Arrow holds his own in the fight... you'll have to watch to see how it resolves.
Bivolo eventually get's caught (off screen... kind of a bummer) and the end of episode teaser focuses not on Dr. Wells this time... but another DC mainstay looking to make their CW debut soon. Personally, I wasn't totally let down they didn't show Arrow and Flash going after Bivolo, the main point of the episode was the battle between Arrow and Flash... so I'd say it was a win. All this leads us to the events of Arrow on the following night.
Back in Starling City, team Arrow is still on the hunt for the mysterious Boomerang killer. Continuing the crossover, team Flash visits Starling City... hoping to visit the Arrow Cave. This episode follows the clear and present Arrow formula, with scenes from the past interspersed with current events. Despite Flash making an appearence, this is clearly an episode of Arrow and it wasn't until I watched the crossover that the distinction between the two series were more evident.
Thanks to a run-in with ARGUS, Team Arrow presses Layla for a lead. Through this they discover that their Boomerang killer is Digger Harkness, of course Cisco codenames him Captain Boomerang, a former member of Taskforce X and currently hunting down Layla for the sake of glorious revenge.
On the hunt for Harkness, Barry experiences first hand what sets him apart from Ollie, when Arrow interrogates a man with ties to Harkness, he does so at the tip of an arrow... obviously lodged in the man's shoulder. Perhaps Joe had a point about Arrow? This further is fleshed out via flashback scenes. Waller tasks Oliver with extracting information from a man who planted a bomb somewhere in Hong Kong. This younger, less brutal Ollie can't bring himself to torture this man... this one man's well-being proves to cost the lives of many. In a conversation Ollie shared with Layla, the two wax philosophical on why they deal with some people the way they do; Layla starts with "there are people in the world who only deal in extremes," with Ollie following with "it would be naive to think that anything other than extreme measures will stop them." You can't be just brave... you also have to be bold (see what I did there?).
This episode proves to be the cherry atop the Flash/Arrow team-up sundae. Aside from the episode being titled "The Brave and The Bold," an obvious homage to the ongoing DC Comics series of the same name featuring super hero team-ups, the melding of Team Flash and Team Arrow (though widely different from each other) prove to work well together, with both heroes able to learn and grow after experiencing first hand what makes the other "a hero."
Hopefully this isn't the last crossover episode, while I wouldn't want it to occur too often... at least two each season could prove to further solidify this ongoing (and hopefully growing... #NightwingForCW) DC television CW-verse.