Let's talk about the latest Flash-Arrow crossover, which had a lot to live up to after last year's epic 'Flash vs. Arrow.' Personally I thought the episode was pretty damn good, but that it suffered under the weight of various narratives which have littered The Flash and Arrow throughout Seasons 2 and 4, respectively.
As I've previously discussed, Arrow is on the rise after a Season 3 flop and along with The Flash, Arrow is being used as a platform from which the CW can launch Legends of Tomorrow.
This theme has underlined both shows over the last season and has served as both a distraction and a hinderance; but in 'Legends of Today' many of these elements came together with a flourish.
Overall, 'Legends of Today' felt rather rushed and clustered with unnecessary characters.
Did we really need the dramatic appearances of Malcolm Merlin (John Barrowman), serving to provide expeditious summaries of Vandal Savage's (Casper Crump) character? Was the vague Darhk storyline at all necessary? I certainly liked the subplot of Caitlin (Danielle Panabacker) and Wells (Tom Cavanagh), but again, it contributed to an already over-encumbered story.
I suppose these subplots served as a grim reminder that Zoom and Darhk are still very much a threat; but they could have been excluded for an episode.
Although I'll admit that Darhk with a touch of The Flash came across brilliantly. Bravo, Neal McDonough, it was good to see you shine, if only briefly.
Anyway... 'Legends of Today' offered a few interesting DC comics references. Let's run through a few of my favorites.
So... DC references and Easter eggs in 'Legends of Today.'
It's worth mentioning Thea (Willa Holland), not just because she played her role extremely well in 'Legends of Today,' but because there was a lot of toying with her character, almost as though she was included as an afterthought.
Upon being rescued by Flash, Thea was shocked, exclaiming: "Do we know the Flash?" With so many characters it must take some effort to keep track of who has met and who is aware of all the various secret identities. 'Legends of Today' brushed over the complication of Thea being unaware of their connection to Flash in a lighthearted and welcome manner.
Also, there was some back-and-forth between Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Thea, as the former expressed disapproval at Thea's nickname 'Speedy,' a title she disliked not too long ago. This reflects Speedy from the comic books, as Roy Harper went through a number of different aliases.
2. Velocity 6
The Caitlin and Wells subplot was centered upon Wells's discovery of Velocity 6, a drug designed to temporarily enhance the powers of a speedster connected to the speed force.
In the comic book source material this drug was referred to as Velocity 9 and had the effect of granting a temporary speed high to a non-speedster or enhanced powers to a speedster.
Interestingly, in the comic books the formula was invented by Vandal Savage, who became a minor drug lord after selling the drug to young and successful men.
3. Vandal Savage
Vandal Savage was an interesting and necessary addition to 'Legends of Today.' Legends of Tomorrow needs a strong villain in order to bring the array of legends together, so why not an immoral Egyptian who even Ra's al Ghul seems to think is dangerous.
I'm of mixed opinion about Savage. The character is undoubtedly awesome, due in no small part to his knife-throwing, combined with serious combat skills, as-yet-unexplained magical power and... oh yeah, immortality. However, the episode was so overladen I'm not yet convinced about the threat Savage represents. Is he strong enough to encourage an entire spin-off series?
In the comic books, Savage is a 50,000 year old former-caveman, whereas in The Flash he's only 4,000 years old. Moreover, he's already revealed himself as having connections to a number of historical figures, including Houdini.
4. Chay-Ara, a.k.a Hawkgirl
Although we've previously met Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renée) this is the first time we've heard her 'real' name, Chay-Ara.
Chay-Ara was an immortal Egyptian priestess who died alongside her lover Prince Khufu. The pair were then destined to continuously be reborn, only to find each other and eventually die.
We've finally met Hawkman, a.k.a Carter Hall, a.k.a Prince Khufu, played by Falk Hentschel! I wasn't sure what to expect from the character after Michael Shanks's fantastic portrayal in Smallville, but it seems the Agents of SHIELD actor really brought his A-game to the role.
Hawkman's right-wing views have always served as a sharp contrast to those of the fiercely liberal Oliver Queen. As members of the Justice League of America the pair repeatedly prove themselves to be incompatible teammates.
6. Oliver's Son
Last Season we learned that Oliver Queen has a son who he's completely unaware of, and 'Legends of Today' continued that storyline. In fact, Oliver saw his son alongside his short-lived girlfriend and although nothing was said, he definitely realized that he was in the presence of a Queen-kid.
I hope we see more of him, he seemed like a good kid and he clearly likes his superheroes!
7. The Showdown!
One thing we all hoped to see replicated in 'Legends of Today' was the incredible fight scene from 'Flash vs. Arrow,' in which Barry and Oliver fought in a speed vs experience-type duel.
Cisco previously declared the fight a tie, and although we didn't see the pair fight this time round, we did see them face off against Hawkman, followed by Vandal Savage. When the fight ended Barry then stated that their fight with Savage was also a tie.
This was a pretty clear throwback to the previous crossover, and contributed to the competitive tension between Barry and Oliver. Barry, now an established superhero in his own right, no longer needs to be trained by Oliver; the pair are equals, and used to being leaders of their respective teams.
Check out the trailers for the 'Flash-Arrow' crossover episodes and of course, the trailer for 'Legends of Tomorrow!'
Which character do you think was the best aspect of 'Legends of Today?'