The problem with hyping up something when it comes to superheroes is that sometimes the hype isn’t justified. Whether it’s a comic book arc that doesn’t pan out, a movie that bombs, or a show that just doesn’t come to life like you want it to, overhyping can be a bad thing. Thankfully, the hyping of “Flash vs. Arrow” was justified in just about every manner conceivable.
Now I’ll be straight up, this episode is getting a great score, but it wasn’t perfect. But honestly, it really would’ve had to do something incredibly special to be perfect, which is rare (if you recall, I’ve only given Arrow one 5 in it’s history). This episode of the Flash however not only delivered a good reason for Barry and Ollie to clash, it delved into the histories of both characters in unexpected ways to deliver an epic outcome.
I almost feel bad that I haven’t watched this episode three times in order to review it, but I’ll do my best with my pretty good memory.
“Flash vs. Arrow” was awesome on numerous fronts, not the least of which was Ollie’s entrance into the show itself. “Nice mask.” However, what could’ve been a cheesy, campy, Batman: Brave and the Bold style team up (not insulting the show, just saying how some of the team-ups came about), the team-up of Barry and Ollie was anything but certain.
In fact, that’s actually one the things I applaud this episode of doing, showcasing the personality differences between Ollie and Barry, and how they affected how they did their hero work. Ollie is a realist, he sees situations for what they are, and what they can be, and he goes into the situation knowing that. Barry is an optimist, he tries to see the best case scenario and then attempts to accomplish that. These two styles can clash, Ollie was willing to admit that, Barry wasn’t. That made a lot of difference.
I also loved how Ollie tried to impart wisdom into Barry. I honestly never thought of Ollie being a hero for longer than 3 years (when he returned to Starling), but like he said, he’s been through the fire for 8, which gives him that unique perspective on what it means to be a fighter for justice, and what needs to be done to get it.
Also was the interesting twist of using Barry’s two father figures Joe and Wells to ensue seeds of doubt into Barry about Ollie. True, The Arrow isn’t The Hood he was in Season 01, or even Season 2 for some parts, but he still has a past that haunts him, and word no doubt spread of his exploits. It was great to see Joe weary of him, and Wells wanting to know who he really was in order to counter the “unknown”. Which obviously leads me to…
Wells now knows who he is. The question though becomes, how did he find out? Did he use Gideon to research the future and figure it out? Or did he use his knowledge of the present to determine the truth? I don’t know, but it intrigues me, cause if he didn’t know at the beginning of the episode, that leaves me to wonder about where The Arrow is in the future…
Back to the present though, the obvious reason many were looking forward to this episode was the fight between Arrow and Flash. True to good form though, there was a solid reasoning behind this, aside from a “you’re wrong and I’m right” approach. The villain Prism (don’t understand that name honestly…prism of light maybe?) was introduced and shown to induce rage in his victims. Which not surprisingly, was used on Barry.
The fun though was that it allowed Barry to act different than the other victims, instead of being straight up enraged, his simmering rage was brought forth, and allowed (in the wrong way of course) to vent against those who have wronged him or annoyed him in the past. This led to some interesting dialogues, not the least of which was with Caitlin.
Really quick note before I get to the fight scene. I have loved how Flash has used science to back up the powers that the metahumans have had. Their use of it in this episode was top notch, from how Prism’s power worked, to how it healed Barry, it was great stuff. Ok, moving on!
The fight itself was pretty awesome. Sure, it wasn’t 20 minutes long or anything, but it was great for the few minutes it was on. And yes, it was believable to a good extent. Ollie got to show his ability to both think ahead and adapt, allowing him to land numerous strikes against Barry. While Barry himself was able to use his speed in ways we have both seen, and have not seen. My personal favorite was him literally shaking off the toxin that would’ve felled just about every other person out there.
Overall it was great stuff, and as both Cisco (and in a recent comic Batman) would agree, it was a draw.
Which honestly brings me to the fun part of seeing the casts of Team Flash and Team Arrow mingle and interact. From Felicity being her awesome self and trying to make Ollie and Barry work together, to Diggle being freaked out by Barry’s super speed, to Cisco and Caitlin having numerous great one liners (while Caitlin and Felicity have cemented their BFF relationship), and yes, Iris fawning over Ollie, it was all great fun. And this was only part 1!
Sadly, as I said, this was not a perfect episode, and I find myself going back to the drawback in the last few episodes: Iris. No, I didn’t mind her fawning over Ollie (though that honestly adds to my dislike of her personality…), no it was the again similar tracking in story she’s having with Laurel in regards to their superhero relationships. Why? Because, much like Laurel, Iris has a boyfriend she cares about (Laurel had Tommy in Season 1). And yet, she’s fawning over a hero (Laurel had The Hood, Iris has The Flash), and then when they see a darker side of their hero (“An Innocent Man” for Laurel), they turn on him. No doubt though, just like Laurel, she’ll be back with the Flash soon.
Then there’s Eddie. Who’s made some great strides in recent weeks as a character, and now he’s falling into a familiar tread as well. He’s following the path of Quentin in wanting to get rid of the “mysterious hero”. When did this happen? Just two episodes ago he didn’t know this guy existed, and now he wants to hunt him down? Really?
Regardless though, “Flash vs. Arrow” was amazing episode that took an established character and a new one and put them in an amazing scenario that just happened to end with them fighting. The fight was great, but everything else was what cemented it as an amazing episode, one that will no doubt be remembered fondly by fans of both shows. I can’t wait for part 2 tomorrow night!
Oh…and did I mention…FIRESTORM??!?!?!?? I didn’t? My bad.