If you’re like me and were absolutely and completely blown the hell away by part one of the epic Arrow and The Flash crossover, you probably didn’t think that it could be topped. But it was.
While “Flash vs. Arrow” was basically about what the title said — Barry Allen and Oliver Queen facing off, last night’s episode, “The Brave and the Bold” was about the team-up. It wasn’t just about the heroes but about their teams. About how they wouldn’t be able to do what they do without them. How a hero can’t save the world or his city by himself. In a word that I’ve been typing for weeks now, this episode was epic.
We pick up in Starling City with Team Arrow still searching for our boomerang-wielding villain. They’re led to Digger Harkness’ house where they find no Harkness and are soon met by A.R.G.U.S. agents who not-so-kindly tell The Arrow to back off, as this is A.R.G.U.S. business. But The Arrow has no intentions of backing down.
It’s a family reunion of sorts as The Flash‘s Caitlin and Cisco have arrived to help Felicity with the DNA sample in Canary’s murder. They could’ve called but preferred a road trip because, well frankly, “we want to see the Arrow cave.” What later ensues is a hilarious exchange between Team Arrow’s Oliver, Felicity, Roy and Team Flash’s Caitlin and Cisco as they get a tour of the Arrow cave and the salmon ladder.
One of the many amazing things about this crossover is how the respective teams impact the other show. During “The Brave and the Bold,” Barry, Caitlin and Cisco brought levity to the dark world we’ve grown accustomed to in Arrow. It continues to illustrate just how different these two shows are despite them both being about a superhero’s crusade.
As Harkness aka Captain Boomerang takes his grudge to the source at A.R.G.U.S., everyone — specifically Lyla — are under attack. As Lyla and her boyfriend (not husband), Diggle fight off this Harkness guy, they get some help from The Arrow and Arsenal. Just as Harkness is about to impale Oliver with a pair of boomerangs, our adorkable hero Barry Allen swoops in to save the day (err night) … in a flash. Good to see you, Barry.
Oliver and Diggle to take Lyla to the only safe place they can think of — the Foundry — while they work on stopping Harkness. So why the grudge against Lyla? Turns out Harkness was a rogue Suicide Squad member who escaped death by microchip at the hands of A.R.G.U.S. — specifically Lyla — and is out for revenge.
With some help from Cisco and Detective — err Captain — Lance, Team Arrow is able to track down the man that makes Harkness’ boomerangs, Klaus Markos. With this being Arrow, Oliver tortures a location out of Markos (who also hands over a phone Harkness gave him), which doesn’t sit too well with Barry. Barry isn’t comfortable with Oliver torturing information out of people as he comes from the sunshine place they call The Flash.
The two hash it out as differing ideologies come to a head. Oliver ultimately wins the argument if only because he reminds Barry that he promised to play by his rules. But this served as a reminder about just how different these two heroes are. The Arrow has gone through unimaginable torture and had to learn how to survive at any cost. For The Flash, while he did watch his mother killed in front of him, he grew up loved and led a normal life until that particle accelerator explosion.
Something that I really loved about this episode was what Team Flash learned through their experience in Starling City. Everything is darker in Starling City and it’s something Barry, Caitlin and Cisco all learn in a harsh reality check. They haven’t been taking this whole thing seriously. And that’s probably because they’ve been battling metahumans which didn’t make it seem so real. But in Starling City, Team Arrow are battling just humans who have gone rogue. The stakes are much higher, and hopefully this is something we’ll see carry through on The Flash.
Felicity is able to decrypt Harkness’ phone to find his location and Oliver, Barry, Diggle, Roy and Cisco all set off leaving Felicity, Caitlin and Lyla in the Foundry. When Oliver and Barry get to the location they learn that it was all a diversion.
Harkness was able to trace the signal of Markos’ phone back to the Arrow cave where he goes after Lyla boomerangs a-flyin. Lyla is able to fend off Harkness before he gets her with one of his boomerangs. Felicity is able to fend off Harkness with one of Oliver’s exploding arrows before rushing over to Lyla. Dr. Caitlin Snow to the rescue. When the rest of our team returns, Barry rushes Lyla over to the hospital to be treated.
The whole situation left our teams shaken as Felicity, Roy, Cisco and Caitlin head upstairs to Verdant for a drink leaving Oliver and Barry to have an important conversation in the foundry. Not surprising, Oliver blames himself for what happened to Lyla. Barry, like every person in Oliver’s Arrow life, reassures him it isn’t. But brooding, self-sacrificial Oliver is having none of it. He tells Barry that every time he does what it takes he feels like he’s losing a part of himself, a part of his humanity. “The part that I’m trading away is Oliver Queen…and lately I feel like there’s nothing except the Arrow.” And then the greatest thing happens. Barry says: “You’re full of crap.”
That’s right, Barry Allen just called out Oliver Queen. Welcome to the adult table, Barry. It’s great to see how far we’ve come with Oliver and Barry’s relationship. Barry went from this nerdy CSI who Oliver couldn’t stand to a superhero that has become a great friend to Oliver. Now Barry feels comfortable enough to tell Oliver when he’s wrong. And man is he wrong.
The Arrow and The Flash confront Harkness at the train station where it looks like they’ve clearly got the upper hand. That is until Harkness reveals that he has a contingency plan. He has five bombs planted around Starling City that are set to go off within the next two minutes. So The Arrow can either torture Harkness or save his city. He can’t do both. Oh, just watch.
Barry locates one of the bombs but learns that if he disables one bomb then they’ll all go off. He’d have to be in five places at once to cut the wires of all five bombs at the exact same time. But that’s not possible. Or is it? Barry uses his super speed to transport Felicity, Roy, Caitlin, Cisco and then himself to each of the bombs. Everyone is able to cut the wires of their bombs at the same time to stop another terrorist attack from coming down upon Starling City.
At the hospital, we see that Lyla is going to be okay. Thank God, because if anything happened to her the writers would have to answer to me and my army. Diggle spent most of the episode in fear of what might happen to Lyla with Harkness on her heels. He can’t lose her. So it’s in this moment at the hospital where Diggle proposes. And he adorably can’t stop talking long enough so Lyla can say yes. Now these two can stop dancing around the not-married label. Get ready for an Arrow wedding this season!
Back in the Arrow cave, Team Flash is bidding Team Arrow farewell but not without some exchanging of gifts. Felicity had a glass case added for Barry’s suit when he’s in town next. Cisco revamped Oliver’s costume while still keeping the original hood as it has sentimental value to Oliver, as noted by Felicity. And because we were all wondering about more crossovers. “Yes they’ll be a next time.”
But before the departure, Oliver and Barry head off to settle an old score. Who would win — The Arrow? Or The Flash? Barry remains cocky that his super speed would no doubt give him the edge, but Oliver has got the strategy and experience. Our final shot consist of our two heroes coming at each other and the question of who would win remains a mystery. Although, The Arrow clearly won round one in “Flash vs. Arrow.”
If there’s one thing we’ve gotten out of this crossover event is that we need more Arrow and Flash crossovers. And it sounds like they’re on the way.
This crossover event was simply incredible. It has us craving an Arrow-Flash crossover show every week. These two shows are so complementary to each other because of their similarities and differences. Since the crossover was announced, it’s been described as epic. The hype was through the roof. And not only did it not disappoint but it far exceeded expectations.
BREAKING IT DOWN
WHAT WE LIKED
- Barry calling Oliver out on his bullshit about how he feels like he’s losing Oliver Queen and The Arrow is the only thing left — THANK YOU BARRY, welcome to the big leagues!
- GIRL POWER in the form of Felicity, Caitlin and Lyla. More of this please. I’ll even take a web series.
- Cisco hitting on Thea and learning that she’s Oliver’s sister and Roy’s ex-girlfriend – “So ‘stay away’ is what you’re saying.”
- Diggle going protective hubby on his ex-wife turned girlfriend turned fiancee.
- Nice parallel between the present and flashbacks with the whole bomb situation — Oliver couldn’t stop it in the flashbacks by himself, but with some help he was able to in the present.
- So many superheroes on one show!
- Barry got his own mannequin in the Arrow cave!
- Oliver got a costume makeover thanks to Cisco. Good call, Felicity, on saving the hood as it has sentimental value to Oliver. That’s a good wifey right there.
- BASICALLY EVERYTHING.
- On whether there will be more team-ups: “Yes they’ll be a next time.”
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- Lyla almost died. Not. F&cking. Cool.
- The flashbacks. Don’t get me wrong they were cool, but they just didn’t fit in the crossover and took up time.
- Obligatory Laurel scene. It just didn’t seem to fit with the episode.
WTF MOMENT OF THE WEEK
- Barry giving it to Oliver. This gets WTF honors only because I didn’t expect this from Barry. But on behalf of the entire Arrow fandom, THANK YOU Barry.
NEXT TIME ON “ARROW”
Episode 3×09 “The Climb”
Airing: Wednesday, Dec. 10, 8/7c on Fox
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.