The Flash serves up one exciting episode this week. We get a full dose of Reverse-Flash – something the show has built up to since the pilot – and Firestorm blasts onto the scene as well. Melodrama aside, this was one strong week.
I like beginning the show in medias res (or in the middle) where we see the Flash and Reverse-Flash going toe to toe in Central City. The rest of the show does a good job of filling in the gaps and weaving many of the loose ends introduced in the first part of the debut season into a more cohesive story. Fortunately, these loose ends don’t get tied up all the way, so there’s plenty to work with after The Flash takes its mid-season hiatus.
We did see a lot of characters getting choked up during this episode, and I got a little fatigued going from one scene to the next with someone dropping crocodile tears. Some of the scenes were earned: Barry and his two dads worked, and I actually liked Iris’s awkwardness toward Barry after he professed his love to her—she was a little over-the-top during the scene where Barry let her know his feelings, but subsequent scenes with the two showcased some of the best acting she’s had to this point.
But other dramatic scenes were forced. Ronnie hasn’t been developed enough for me to buy Caitlin’s line of she’d rather him die the night of the particle accelerator explosion. Caitlin has dealt with enough metahumans to know that confusion usually accompanies the powers granted. She gives up on her fiancé too quickly for my taste.
Overall, this episode was a lot of fun, and I like where the show’s headed. Dr. Wells reveals his hand (to the viewers at least) which is a good thing, but I can’t say that the show’s teaser was as big of a surprise as Team Flash would’ve wanted.
Verdict: A solid ending to The Flash’s first segment.
Read more about The Flash with our spoiler page.
Arrow tries to mirror The Flash this week by beginning its mid-season finale in medias res, but it doesn’t work as well. Arrow already jumps between two timelines, so adding a third one that’s supposed to happen in the future only muddies the water. But the scene Arrow leads up to is one heck of a scene.
We get reintroduced to the League of Assassins in this episode, but I’m not sure why the League chose to return to Starling City at this time—except that it’s the mid-season finale. It’s been several months with no developments (from the Sara Lance/Black Canary murder). I vaguely remember a timetable for Ollie to find Sara’s murderer, but the timing of the League’s return was arbitrary. Then, they set a 48 hour time limit for Ollie to deliver the murderer to the League’s base half a world away. That was more than a little unbelievable.
In classic Arrow form, the flashback has a connection with current events, but these flashbacks didn’t add much to the overall storyline that hasn’t already been explored—except that someone from Ollie’s past plays a major role now. We also get a blast from Laurel’s past. Her mom drops by for a visit, and Laurel spills the beans about Sara’s death. Laurel’s mom gives Laurel the green light to avenge her sister’s death, so Black Canary Mark II is in the offing.
I can’t say that the solution to Sara’s murder was surprising. Arrow choreographed its blows. I won’t say who the killer is (you’ll have to check out our Arrow spoiler page), but let’s say that Merlyn had something to do with it, and the reasoning has more webs than Spider-man’s underoos.
In short, Merlyn’s back as a major player, and there’s another character that didn’t get enough screen time, but I think that’ll change soon. Dr. Palmer felt out of place in this episode, but he may be a major player after the break. Let’s just say that after the mid-season finale, Ollie will be indisposed, and Dr. Palmer could fill in as the Starling City’s savior.
And what a mid-season finale. Arrow has always ended on a great note whether it’s a mid-season finale or otherwise. The ending of this year’s finale will leave you hungry for more.
Verdict: An uneven show that ends with a stunning climax.