Given the episode’s title, “Flash vs Arrow,” it delivers the goods. With versus in the name, you had to show the two characters fighting each other, and the action sequence was what you’d expect: explosive.
I never thought they’d turn to Roy G. Bivolo (that’s a play on the ROY G BIV colors of the rainbow) as the villain who’d turn the two heroes against each other. Caitlin was right about Bivolo’s codename Rainbow Raider—Prism is another DC Comics villain—and that’s the reason why I was surprised to him: Rainbow Raider was one of JK Geekly’s Lame Super Villains last month. He may have ditched his magic goggles for metahuman powers, but he’s still lame enough to not warrant showing the two heroes taking him into custody. This episode was all about the Flash and Arrow.
The two titular characters play off each other well. Their differences shine as we even get the classic line from Ollie that despite Barry’s speed, he’s always late. The two couldn’t be more different: from the way they train (or lack thereof) to the way they view the world. Those of us who’ve watched the last season and a half of Arrow don’t see Ollie as the hardnosed vigilante who kills anymore, but of course people in this universe would color him that way.
The Flash has his name besmirched—and his would-be girlfriend Iris falling out of like with him—when he lets out his rage on Eddie. Eddie in turn gets his Flash task force approved by Captain Singh. I can’t wait to see these two butt heads. I figured it would happen sooner or later. Despite all these good developments, there was some problem with cross-pollination.
What has plagued Arrow this season has traveled to The Flash and vice versa. The Flash had too many people who knew his identity and now the Flash’s cadre knows who Arrow is, and Arrow had way too many heroes clogging up his show and we had a teaser for another hero at the end of The Flash. I won’t say who he is here. If you want to read more, check out our Flash spoilers’ link here. I’m also concerned about the Flash’s story lines. Jim mentioned last week that a superhero losing his powers was a cliche. Well, there’s also the cliche of a superhero getting brainwashed and attacking his comrades — miracuru comes to mind and heck, there’s a certain color of kryptonite that realigns Superman’s morality — so I think it’s a misstep to go to the cliche well on back to back episodes.
But I am glad The Flash went back to another well. Arrow fans should recognize who the lady was at Jitters. She was the pregnant woman Ollie’s mom bought off to leave Starling City and never come back during a second season flashback. If you recall, the lady in question told Mrs. Queen that she had family in Central City, The Flash’s city. So the eight or nine-year-old kid she was talking to was Ollie’s.
Verdict: Some great tie-ins, even better action sequences, and the two heroes go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Even though the villain was an afterthought, this was a fun episode.
Really solid episode. Ollie and Barry have a great dynamic, and I enjoyed seeing some of the insecurities Barry harbors about being a super-powered superhero bubble to the surface. Rainbow Raider isn’t a great villain (let’s leave it at that), but he served as a decent catalyst to bring that about. Some of the tension between Barry and Ollie’s respective support teams felt a little forced, but with Diggle’s priceless reactions to “metahuman” abilities, there was also a lot of charm to be found.
“Sometimes bravery isn’t enough. Sometimes we need to be bold.” Lyla said this in a poignant part of this week’s Arrow, and it should come as no surprise that this episode’s title shares the same name as the classic DC Comics team up book The Brave and The Bold.
Like the other Arrow/Flash crossover, this episode lives up to its title, but the title in question looms bigger than a simple showdown. We get the Arrow’s darkness in harmony with the Flash’s light and travel down a philosophical tale reminiscent of the best Green Arrow stories.
I’ve been rating The Flash higher than Arrow this season because of Arrow’s inability to find its footing and the electricity of The Flash’s debut season, but Arrow got the better end of this crossover: the story was more cohesive, the villain more engaging (even though boomerangs strike a smidge more fear than a Rainbow Raider), the flashbacks worked to give Ollie’s internal conflict depth, and the show had more balance.
I never got tired seeing the Flash get to the scene before Arrow, and the other cast mates had some great moments, too. Even though Roy wasn’t featured (he wasn’t even the focal point when he thought he killed Sara), I liked how he blended with Cisco and Caitlin. He started off annoyed but quickly accepted them. I’m sure that Cisco complimenting his suit because it’s red didn’t hurt.
My only complaint is that both crossover episodes tied up too neatly. I know we haven’t seen the last of the Flash/Arrow crossovers, but it would’ve been nice if this story could have led somewhere in both series. I also would love to see Captain Boomerang again. He’d make a nice recurring villain. I won’t say why here (I’ll save that for our Arrow spoilers page), but it bodes well that he occupies the same prison as another Arrow villain.
Let’s hope that this shot of adrenaline will get Arrow going in the right direction. As this episode illustrated, Arrow needs to be more than just darkness. He needs to be the voice of reason, the outspoken hero of the common man.
Verdict: The better half of the Arrow/Flash crossover. Hopefully, Arrow has found its footing.
This was another successful teamup. Personally, I thought Flash’s leg of the two-parter was the more successful one. I think Tuesday’s show did a better job blending the gritty with the light-hearted, but Arrow didn’t drop the ball by any reckoning. As is sometimes the case with Arrow, the show’s message about torture and Ollie’s humanity felt heavy-handed and preachy, but I’m hopeful this crossover will give Arrow some momentum moving forward. The mention of Captain Boomerang being imprisoned with Slade gave me hope for a really big development there. Can I just mention, though, how weird is it that Deathstroke is Australian in the Arrow-verse, and Captain Boomerang is not? All-in-all, this may have been Arrow‘s strongest showing of season 3. Let’s hope it continues.