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REVIEW: Arrow 3×08 “The Brave and The Bold”

Written by Scott Swartz

Do it again, do it again right now for the love of all things holy, because that was amazing as all hell. Whereas last nights’ “Flash vs Arrow” brought a heavy amount of Arrow moodiness to The Flash tonight’s “The Brave and The Bold” was everything that is great about both shows combined into one action packed hour. From Captain Boomerang being both deadly and amazingly puntastic to Barry and Oliver clashing over their differing ideologies on what being a hero truly mean, I had a big stupid grin on my face for the entire hour and I just want to watch the episode over again and again. This may possibly be the best episode of each respective series as we have been delivered the perfect superhero team-up and something I never thought I would see. So let’s dive in so we can go over how amazingly great this episode was.

First off, how amazing is the chemistry between Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin? I mean it feels like the two of them were meant to be best friends as their chemistry as Oliver and Barry continues to be pitch perfect. Everything from Oliver’s hesitance to let another hero into his city to Barry calling Oliver on his dark brooding hero bullshit was top notch. It takes a good actor to make you care for a character, but it takes a great one to make you want to have a beer and hang out with them. Each character knew the exact pressure point to push in order to get the reaction or information they wanted. I especially loved Barry explaining to Oliver that it was not him getting rid of his humanity that helped him survive the island but rather the fact the he held onto a little glimmer of it so tightly. Barry managed to advance Oliver’s character arc more than any other character this season and that includes Sara’s entire post mortem arc.

On top of all that you had great work of the entire supporting cast who were like fish to water when it came to missing The Flash’s lighter tone with the brooding Arrow world. This star pair being Cisco becoming BFF’s with Roy was astounding as both played off each other rather well considering the small amount of screen time that both Roy and Diggle had this week. The small moments such as the two of them bonding in the van and Cisco complimenting Roy on his taste in color and women were both really solid character beats for the two of them. Even with that small amount of screen time David Ramsey knocked it out of the park in all phases of the episode as Diggle has gone from full slacked jaw freak out to ultra composed about metahumans existing. Add in the fact that he had to deal with Lyla being nearly fatally injured and you can give Ramsey the freaking gold star this week for his performance. Much in the same way that Det. West is the secret weapon of The Flash, Diggle has always been one of the best aspects of the Arrow cast.

What really helped to push this episode over the top for me was Nick Tarabay’s amazing portrayal of Digger Harkness aka Captain Boomerang. Captain Boomerang is a hokey villain on paper, but Tarabay and the Arrow writers managed to elevate him to a truly overpowering threat. Not only did he manage to singlehandedly take out an entire team of ARGUS agents but he managed to find The Quiver (or is it still the Arrow Cave?) and nearly kill Lyla. I can count on two fingers the number of villains who have been able to do that and they both happen to be Spartacus alums. Add in the fact that Digger had an actual backstory, being left for dead on a Suicide Squad mission, and you had a powerful and well motivated villain which was sorely missing from last nights The Flash episode. I am super excited that Digger is still alive and even more excited that he is imprisoned on Lian Yu with Slade as that might mean a three way Spartacus alum team up with either Waller or Nyssa. God that would be amazing.

This episode truly capitalized on the possibilities of the crossover and proved to easily be the best episode of either series in this young season. Now to watch it all over again.

Final Grade: A

+Barry and Oliver interplay

+Captain Boomerang=Captain Awesome

+Tons of great side character work

+Amazing mix of the multiple tones of shows

+Interesting angle on the island flashbacks

Extra Thoughts

-Little bit of a cop out at the end with the actual fight, but I’ll accept it because yesterday was so very cool.

-Nice of Cisco to make improvements to Ollie’s suit, hope there are other toys in the future.

-Notice the lack of Det. Lance, Laurel, and Thea for the majority. It was amazing without them being overly involved in the plot.

-That moment where Barry caught the boomerangs, automatic win.

About the author

Scott Swartz