To begin the Flash vs Arrow was a great episode, personally I look forward to tonight's continuation of the crossover event. I like to start off saying something nice so when I start to delve into the negative people can remember that I am actually a fan of the show and do enjoy it. With that said it won't just be negative I promise, I have plenty good to say too. Also, it's best not to read this if you haven't seen the episode because this will be spoilertastic. Spoilerific?
This is the first episode I'm reviewing on this site but I don't think it would do any good to start over from the beginning and if I should choose to review Arrow tonight I'm sure not going to go through the whole other two seasons and review those. I'll go ahead and jump right into then.
WHAT WAS DONE RIGHT
- Bringing together a team up of superheroes is never a bad idea to me.
This is a personal choice but colliding personalities when written well are great to watch. Barry is young and full of life and despite having lost his mom and his dad being in prison he still hasn't seen a whole lot of horrible stuff and he's still pretty innocent. Oliver has witnessed horrors in the past 8 years that Barry "can't even fathom" as he put it, and it has really changed him into this dark, reserved and almost regal person. At times when he was seen standing he seemed like he should be on Game of thrones as a king or something he really does have this air about him. I feared so badly that they were going to hurt their cause by constantly reminding us that Barry and Oliver were different and had different methods and weren't the same kinds of people but luckily it came up twice maybe three times at most. They definitely didn't overkill us with it.
- The Visual
The Flash is a very vibrant show but it has done a good job of mixing in the darker elements of Arrow for it's crossover with it's lighting and visuals. There is one scene in particular that really stood out to me Oliver has just agreed to help Barry find Prism and they're shaking hands in jitters which is an ironic name for a coffee shop. In this particular part the light shines in through the window behind them but it only shines on Barry and while he stands there illuminated on his left side the light hitting him, Oliver stands there in the shadow. It really told the story of the two of them all on it's own. It's all in the attention to detail that makes these shows worthwhile. Every smile Barry had felt natural and real while almost every smile Oliver had felt staged or empty and it's still a fairly impressive feat for the veteran Amell to me.
- Oliver had his own storyline
Many crossovers are plagued by the fact that they revolve completely around the show's main characters. Flash vs Arrow very easily could have been about how Barry had gone crazy angry fastman and so the gang decided hey let's call Felicity for no good reason and then the Arrow gang comes out. Obviously that's a very generalized example but what I mean is they didn't have to give him that good of a reason to be in Central City or to go Central City at all, Barry could have go to Starling like the Griffins went to Springfield. However, they gave him a cohesive plot, he needed information about a killer boomerang assassin and the only place that had information was Central City. Even better. his plot didn't stop just because he started helping Barry. It feels like an event because his plot began in the Flash wasn't resolved by the end but will be in Arrow, with a very well known Flash villain no less. They even mentioned Canary in the end to remind you that yes Arrow's storyline is still going on. Also Oliver might be a daddy but that's neither here nor there.
- The Writing
Angry Barry is the best ever. The reasoning behind it was sound. I'm not sure about the whole color thing but Barry's brain works better and faster than a normal person's brain so instead of just being in a blind fury it took that overwhelming anger and focused it into small bursts that he went through and it was amazing. The way he laid into Oliver was priceless. Oliver really had some valid reasoning that Barry should think about. I'm going to add a spoiler here because I''m going to go off on a tangent that and I don't want to take away from the subject.
Barry has super speed and constantly talks about using it to the fullest extent but he always just runs in and decides whatever on the fly. He doesn't survey the situation and decide what to do. In Smallville when Clark used his super speed he tried to figure out the situation at hand and how best to deal with it, at least most of the time. I know Barry is still learning but I don't understand why he feels the need to stop and check stuff his brain moves at the same speed as his body, Also he needs to start training less as a speedster and more as a hero. Running fast isn't always going to be the answer to every problem like Oliver said he needs to train and learn.
Diggle being shocked at Barry's abilities was perfect. Wells is still creepy, Eddie acting as the jealous boyfriend was believable. Barry said the name "Ralph" which was another nice nod to Ralph Dibny after last week's. I honestly hope they decide to put him on the show as a guest character like the Justice League was on Smallville. Joe putting aside his pride to thank Oliver was great and reminded him that Green Arrow is a man behind the mask still. The little Boomerang flying around was great and I was seriously hoping to see at least someone try it out. Also, I've been wanting them to get Felicity out of her clothes for years now, and since she and Oliver won't be doing the do anytime soon a shirt on fire is the closest I can hope for. At least until Ray makes his move. Then everything that happens with Iris because of course guys like them don't get the girls.
- The Fight
The fight was legitimately believable. It has long been said what can regular person do against a meta human but Oliver isn't a regular person. This is powers vs experience and nobody really "won". As Vibe said it was a tie. A cop out? Maybe, but I'll take it. This looked legitimate, Oliver knew Barry's skill level well enough to anticipate his movement patterns to know how to hit him. Some things didn't work obviously because his powers. That's another thing that was very well done this time around, the usage of his powers. He vibrated a lock off, he vibrated his body fast enough to detox himself of horse tranqs, he is doing a lot of unlock his full potential and I'm sure Wells couldn't be prouder.
WHAT WASN'T (imo of course)
- The timing.
The flash is on it's 8th episode. Doing a big crossover event this early feels kind of like it's jumping the shark too quickly. I know with the fickleness of fans and networks and ratings you have to put your best foot forward so holding out a season for a big crossover event might not be the best idea because who know if you'll be lucky enough to have another season. However they have "Flash vs Arrow" which would have been perfect to showcase a trailer or a sneak peek for Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice if they had waited. Now of course they want to keep the two universes separate but from a media and publicity standpoint what could possibly pump people up for Superman taking on Batman more than bright guardian of Central City taking on the dark protector of Starling city, that sounds like the perfect prelude for it. Seems like a missed opportunity which will just end up reminding the fans that we still have to wait another year before we actually see the movie. Oh well, at least we have these awesome shows. Also, despite the fact that these two shows go hand in hand and are like night and day compared to each other, some people still feel the need to compare the two to see which one is better. I found myself saying the exact same words that Felicity said "are you guys really having this conversation right now" on many occasions. Although, that very well could have been what they were going for, to quiet the fans who keep comparing them.
- The Visuals
I said this to a friend of mine before, which is a lie because I don't have any friends, but Barry's fighting still looks kind of Matrix/Matrix reloaded to me and not in a good way. There's some parts where he stops looking like he has bones or anything and it really starts to remind me of the scene where Neo is fighting of all the agent Smiths. Now part of me thinks that is 2003 tech and this is 2014 shouldn't we be better at this by now. The other part of me thinks Matrix reloaded had a full movie budget, back then, and it ended up like that, these guys have a tv show budget and it ended up like that so it's more of a half complaint.
- Oliver doesn't really have a storyline
This may seem contrary to what I said early but allow me to elaborate. Flash vs Arrow was them trying to find Prism, a Flash villain I guess, I've never heard of him but he is a metahuman,. Tonight's episode is Captain Boomerang I suppose, both of these are Flash centric plots. Sure there are going to be flashbacks probably but unless Boomerang is the one that killed Sara or was hired by Ra's Al Ghul it doesn't include a whole lot of arrow lore in his storyline. Sure they've done things like this before with characters like Deathstroke, Ray Palmer and the Suicide Squad, characters arguably able to carry their own shows and focused them into Arrow plots but still Boomerang feels very much like a Flash villain. Flash is fantastical with it's lightning freak of the week and In this crossover event at least it feels like the big brother whose getting overlooked to worry about the little brother who needs more attention right now. Even Ray Palmer feels kind of out of place in the darker grounded in reality world of Arrow, like one day he'll leave and play a prominent role in the Flash. Is this a sign that Arrow is changing it's rules on superpowers? Or are they preparing for the worst with their new anchor show just in case they need to make Ray Palmer jump ship to Flash. Maybe this crossover event wasn't too soon for Arrow. Smallville got 10 seasons will this duo get the same?
THINGS I'M ON THE FENCE ABOUT
- Oliver to Barry
This episode really kind of made me question Oliver again. He has been kind of on the fence for me lately, he has been kind of rude to everyone especially Roy and this episode he was extremely dismissive of Barry. He may not like Barry's methods, he may not think Barry is experienced enough but Barry still is a hero. Barry saves and has saved a lot of people, maybe not from earthquake machines or missiles blowing up Japan but still.
Iris knows that the Flash lives a dangerous life as a superhero. Anything could have happened to cause him to start hurting people, she said she believed in him and then was seriously rude to him turning her back on him after one indiscretion. If she had said, "my boyfriend is jealous and he has a right to be because I think you're getting attached maybe we should keep this professional messages over the internet or just shouldn't talk at all anymore", that would be understandable. Even if she didn't want to include Eddie and just said that the superhero life was too dangerous for her and she'd rather not keep in contact that would be fine but she was rude about it and that just didn't sit well with me.
- Wells and the Arrow
I thought the way Wells figured out that the Arrow was Oliver was far-fetched and pointless. A phone call? Really? We get that he's really smart and that he probably watched the camera feed and heard her talking or hacked her phone or something smart like that but it felt unnecessarily devious. Why not just go back to how Barry learned Oliver's identity and have Oliver's life in peril and only the team can help him somehow. I hope Barry eventually makes a big deal about this and doesn't just sweep it under the rug because like Felicity said it wasn't her secret to tell and it wasn't his right to figure it out. People have a right to privacy and the Arrow's identity wasn't doing anything to help or hurt Barry.
- Task Force
I'm not a police officer so I don't really know how this works but do the cops usually give jealous boyfriends task forces to change down the other guy? They still didn't have any kind of evidence that it was the Flash that kicked the crap out of Eddie unless Iris corroborated so it's still hearsay. The thing is though, you catch the Flash, then what? What crime, besides maybe property damage can you charge him with, saving people from crimes you didn't even know were occurring? Keeping your police officers alive? I understand that maybe the Flash should have walked into the police station and said hey I'm the Flash I'm not going to tell you who I am but I'm here to help and if anyone gets hurt because of me I'll gladly turn myself in. I know vigilantism is illegal and that you need a badge to run around saving people because you need to be trained and have personal accountability and people need to know you're the law so they don't self incriminate or anything like that or so they don't panic or feel afraid. The thing is, Flash is training, he only stops the big crimes that are crimes so it's not like he's beating the crap out of guys for littering and then you find out there's no law against littering in central city. There's only one of him so he's pretty personally accountable which is the only reason I'd understand having a task force just in case you need to take him in should he do something wrong or something bad happening. Being prepared isn't a bad thing. Arrow went through three phases, nobody believed he was real, the police task force, the police task force disbanded. I don't want the Flash to stick too hard to that format. I hope if it does it all happens in season one.
- Love Triangle
It kind of annoyed me this episode. They tried to push like Iris and Eddie was having all these problems when they didn't seem that way. Someone said to me that the CW can't do a superhero show without a love triangle but now it seems more like a love network. Barry likes Iris and Felicity, Iris likes Eddie (and was eyeing Oliver), Eddie likes Iris and nobody likes me. It all felt a little over reaching. Eddie didn't have any reason to want the Flash taken down besides the one bad guy he actually saw do something, and that Iris talks about him all the time. Caitlin tells Barry not to come between them but there isn't really any evidence to show he was. Even Iris is confused as to why he wonders if they're broken up. The beginning of the episode they're kissing lovey dovey. It's starting to feel a little forced and I hope they finally add someone that Barry can take serious that's not Felicity. Barry's Sara so to speak. I thought they might go that way with Plastique but she didn't last very long.
- Ronnie Raymond
He looks awesome don't get me wrong, but the hobo can't fully control his powers thing is so cliche by now. Why does he look so angry? I get by the cast list there seems to be maybe be two other people in his head unless they chose not to go that way but he is shaping up to be another lightning freak. Everyone else was kind of criminals pre-lightning attack. Except maybe Farooq who had this need to feed but underneath he was still kind of a good guy he was just seriously angry after killing his friends. Ronnie saved his friends and fiance by sacrificing himself and yes it turned him into a "monster" so to speak but he unlike all the other lightning affected people know that he could possibly get help to treat what's going on with him at S.T.A.R. labs. It seems weird to spend so much time away when you know there's brilliant people there who could help regardless of how they see you. Don't read the next part if you aren't a comic book fan and don't know Ronnie's history:
I hope maybe he's not actually in control of his body. Jason Rauch was casted so my speculation is that maybe Jason is in control of Ronnie's body and they haven't figured out how to come undone yet. I hope it's not something darker like he was stuck in that place screaming for help and nobody helped him. Maybe it's something crazy like he has no idea when he's going to be dragged back into one of their bodies or maybe they bounce between bodies like some sick game of Simon. Also Palmer gets an A.T.O.M. suit I want Ronnie to have a containment suit.
What do you think of how Ronnie looks?
Last I just want a quick side note. Singh is gay, Iris is black, good on DC for opening up the universe a little more. So do you agree with what I've said? What's your opinion of the episode and the season so far, let me know in the comments!