You can argue for days about which show, The Flash or Arrow is better. I'm sure there are hundreds of message boards and forums online discussing that very thing. Regardless of your opinion, though, it should be unanimous that these two shows excel at what they do. Arrow brings the dark, hard elements of comic books that we see nowadays while The Flash has more heart and spunk that most people think of. They are two very different shows that almost feel like they're out of two different eras, almost like it's two different genres.
This crossover was inevitable, and almost happened last season on [Arrow](series:720988), basically, before that plug was pulled for cameos by just Cisco and Caitlin (excellent cameos at that). I really like the way it's structured, too, with one episode on The Flash and then the next on Arrow. Not only does that give both shows the ability to progress their stories but also allows for some interconnected stories, as shown at the end of the episode. A lot happens in Central City during the course of Arrow, so at least seeing or hearing about those events would make sense.
Before getting into the episode itself, I will say that this is, hands down, one of the greatest crossovers I've ever seen on television, or even just ever. It does exactly what a crossover should do: it gives ample time and development for the main characters, in this case The Flash cast and Oliver. Sure, the villain became essentially Barry and seemed to only be there as a way to put Barry in control, but I feel that we'll get our great villain tomorrow with a more iconic one, Captain Boomerang.
Nowadays, it seems that crossovers focus too much on the main characters and only show the other characters part of the time. I'm not entirely sure what show it was, but I do recall watching a recent crossover in which the guesting characters basically served little purpose being there, and were basically just there for a "wow that was cool seeing them right now" moment. This episode didn't do that, thankfully.
Not only that, but it was just a great episode. There were several funny moments throughout as it seemed [The Flash](series:1068303) was taking shots at its sister show, and predecessor. Hey, respect your elders, and your roots...but good jokes. The little scene at the end with Oliver was an amazing touch and potential bombshell for Arrow had they shown a certain character (like...it would have been a bombshell of atomic proportions). The character interaction was amazing, the action was top-notch and it was just an overall astounding feat. Again, an amazing leap forward for DC Television.
AND the [Suicide Squad](movie:2283363) cast was announced today. DC won the day, boys and girls, can't really say that often sadly.
So, how does one begin an episode like this?
With Barry running around Central City helping some couples out because he likes Iris, duh. The real brunt of the episode starts where our villain of the week (who has an even more disappointing conclusion than Girder did three weeks ago) looks at people funny and they all start attacking each other, ending when the Flash shows up because plot convenience. Barry tells Joe that he thinks it could be a metahuman, that he thinks they all got "Whammied."
I honestly thought of Champ saying that every time it was mentioned. Which was a lot. Such a silly phrase to say, too, c'mon Barry.
Things get dicey as Eddie decides to put together a task force to take on the Flash. Oh no...
Anyway Iris gets mad and Barry worries that they might break up. Caitlin tells him to worry that they might break up, but she and Cisco also get to finding their strange, red-eyed meta-human.
Joe takes a squad to fight him but the guy turns another cop against them. Before Barry can land the finishing blow, Oliver shows up (it was great because the Arrow music played and yeah) and takes him down. Barry meets up with the original Team Arrow (Roy was missing because he tends to do that in great episodes) and Diggle freaks out about Barry's speed. Basically, he has a human reaction to it, even making a joke about how his cousin got struck by lightning once. All he got was a stutter.
And all I got was a stupid shirt!
Oliver hears about Barry's troubles, and Barry hears about Oliver's troubles with a boomerang-man. We'll talk about him tomorrow. Though it is funny that a Flash villain is on Arrow, while the Flash is guesting on...Nevermind it's confusing and Arrow already has enough villains from other heroes.
So, Oliver does his thing: aggressive negotiations. Over coffee (isn't that how you would tell your super-hero friends things?) tells Barry the name of the man and then Felicity convinces Oliver to team up with Flash for two-parter. Iris also fan-girls over Oliver, so, basically, she has the reaction that most hormonal teenage girls have when they see the promotional posters for Arrow. Nice.
Instead of straight-up teaming up, Barry and Oliver start to train. Oliver gives Barry the good old "Lian Yu" guide to training, too: getting shot at a lot. Barry tries to outwit Oliver but finds himself unable to do so, Oliver basically teaching him to mind his surroundings. Clearly, Barry has not seen Batman Begins. Silly Barry.
Joe and Dr. Wells advise Barry not to trust Barry, who quickly turns him down because he knows that Oliver has good intentions. Plus, he's beaten Solomon Grundy, Deathstroke, Nyssa Raatko, and recently declared war on the League of Assassins. He's freaking awesome!
Barry gets all uptight about Oliver's training, thinking it's meant to be demeaning him, and goes after Prism--the name he's given by Cisco of course--alone. However, he gets infected. Felicity and Caitlin, back at S.T.A.R. Labs, are hastily taking to figuring out what's up with this Prism guy, deducing that the optic nerve (was it the optic nerve? The eye, basically) is the power-base for the...powers. They induce the theory of the color spectrum that is basically about the various colors flaring various emotions, so in this case, red would be rage.
Now, I don't know if that's a real thing (I think it is), but, it could also be a slight hint at the Red Lanterns. I know nothing about Prism or his powers, but I do know that the Red Lanterns get their powers from hate and anger. So when this guy has red-eyes and is making people hate...hmm. Again, could be wrong.
But Supergirl was a Red Lantern and she's getting her own show so yeah don't count me out with that one. Hope that's a good show, by the way.
Back to the story, Barry goes to the various set locations and makes people mad, spewing his real thoughts to them like a drunk man does at one in the morning. He thinks Oliver is jealous, that Joe is delaying his father's release, that Caitlin is babying him, and really does not like Eddie. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells reveals he knows Oliver's secret identity. Uh...how?
Did he go into his secret room and ask his computer? Did he time travel to find out the answer? It's obvious he wants to find out Oliver's identity for the sake of his scheme, but, I would like to know how. It's an answer we never really get, too, and one that doesn't come with much gravitas to it.
Though, to speak on Wells momentarily, I do feel that he may not be Future Barry as predicted. My friend brought up a good point, one that I considered but never gave much life to because I'm pretty stubborn and really want to be right: there's a good chance he is Reverse Flash. The fact that he didn't want Captain Cold to be created could be indicative of the fact that maybe in the future Captain Cold turns into a more "Citizen Cold" type guy, in which he plays the hero. He's clearly siding with Gorilla Grodd and Barry is key into the creation of Reverse Flash. His discomfort with Oliver may be because Oliver, or maybe some remnant of Team Arrow, is still a threat in his future to Reverse Flash. Finding out his identity now could play a larger role in the endgame of eradicating any future super-heroes, or possible unity of them. I don't know, it's still up in the air, but now I'm leaning more toward him being Reverse Flash.
Jeez, I keep getting side-tracked. Oliver tracks down Barry who is attacking Eddie out of sheer jealousy and stuff toward him. The two being their battle, Oliver realizing how outmatched he is but fights on anyway. I'm very happy with the way this fight turned out, too. Barry used all the right abilities to fight Oliver and Oliver was doing whatever the heck he could to fight Barry. The fight, like most on Arrow and fewer on The Flash, made sense with the collision of worlds. Oliver is a smart fighter, and a fast one. Clearly not as fast as Barry, but a quick one nonetheless. His ability to predict Barry's attack patterns was great, but Barry's ability to essentially create a shield around Oliver for him to be unable to escape was cool too.
The two were at essentially an even level, thus, so I'm glad the fight ended in a draw. I suspect we won't really get a clear winner since that would put fanbases at war and I don't think the creators want that. The fight ends where Oliver tricks Barry and gets him in a quick headlock just as Wells and Joe show up to flash pretty lights in Barry's eyes, somehow eradicating the maybe-pseudo-Red Lantern abilities. The two wearily walk it off, and then go after Prism.
And in the next scene, bam, he's in the pipeline. Wait, what? What the heck, man? I'm sure the fight wasn't that interesting but at last show how they captured him. It was the biggest letdown of the episode, not seeing the Flash and the Arrow team up with each other. I do suppose that'll come next week, seeing as how this was more versus and the next is more co-op, but still. It was very odd.
Oliver tells everyone at S.T.A.R. Labs to keep their mouths shut about his identity because the villains will come after his friends and you know the drill. Before he leaves, though, Oliver whispers to Felicity that something is very off about Wells.
Because he's from da future, duh!
The next morning, Oliver and Felicity go for coffee and meet up with Barry, Oliver warning Barry that unless you're name is Superman, you typically don't get the girl. Okay, he doesn't really say that, he just tells Barry that the whole Iris thing probably won't work out. Before he can leave, though, he gets an unexpected guest:
The woman he impregnated back before the island! Remember her, Arrow fans? The girl that Moira bribed to move to Central City and have the baby there? Yeah, she runs into Oliver! Quite the turn of events! As Oliver leaves, she hangs up talking to her secret child, which does indeed confirm the very thing I've been waiting for:
CONNOR HAWKE! Granted he's only like eight or nine but BABY GREEN ARROW! Yes! And the creators have promised more on that sort of thread so maybe we'll actually see him!
Iris tells Eddie she's happy about the approved anti-Flash task force and Iris breaks up with the Flash, basically, making him sad. See, I don't really like the anti-Flash task force. It feels weird. Obviously they're doing it to set up a potential antagonist element of Eddie before he maybe becomes the Reverse Flash (that I believe firmly) but it still feels unnatural and sort of forced. Not every super-hero show needs an anti-hero task force, and I was happy that The Flash didn't have one, in fact it felt like the cops backed the hero. We'll see where it goes, but, I'm sort of disappointed at its prospect.
The episode really ends with Caitlin reflecting over Ronnie, then we see a guy on the side of the road about to be attacked by muggers, before he gets up, enraged, and becomes engulfed in flames! FIRESTORM...half!
I thought that Firestorm needed both ends of the Matrix to be in flames? Anyway, that basically does confirm for us that Ronnie is alive (because we didn't know that already?) and is in a bit of a shaky mood! Still, it's great to see Firestorm almost alive on the show, and his presence is fast-approaching.
So, yeah, if you couldn't already tell, this episode was great, the best of The Flash so far. From the humor to all the in-jokes (like Barry talking about the Huntress and Deathstroke, two people that have forever scarred Oliver, great going Barry) and the big fight between the heroes, this episode hit basically every beat. It also made Oliver feel more like Batman in the way he carried himself, that he knew he had to be the human mentor to a super-human hero. The cameo by Connor Hawke's mom and Firestorm at the end add a great touch and potential heroes to the growing DC TV Universe line-up, and there are definitely parts of this crossover that promise for more events like this in the future! Tomorrow, thus, we go after Captain Boomerang and stuff!