That was definitely a very strong start, not quite the balls to the wall excitement I was expecting, but still the first part of a really enjoyable crossover. “Flash vs. Arrow” manages to succeed and fail at the same time as it is entirely based around the premise of what happens when two A type personalities collide. Make no mistake, Barry is now an A personality, the absolute center of not only his friends but also everyone else in Central City’s universe. By injecting another A personality no matter how close and friendly those people are there will be tension. Seeing the Arrow crew interact with our favorite speedster in his natural habitat played out pretty much how you would imagine and the overall interactions were spot on. However the actual realization that the plot we were sold was only important till a point was kind of a bummer. So let’s dive in.
I am so elated at how great Barry and Ollie’s relationship has developed, the brotherly bond that was displayed tonight managed to really elevate just how cool these two characters are. The big brother/ little brother dynamic managed to hit the exact right note of Ollie being just overbearing enough to be right and Barry have just enough pride to stand up to him. This easily could have devolved into this being Ollie’s show and Barry just being along for the ride, but this episode was going to live or die on just how well Barry related to Oliver’s overbearing nature. You could see the value of Barry just taking the quick couple of seconds to scope out the area before rushing into a situation, but also that Ollie is just as much at fault for doing stupid childish things like having villains with codenames. It all was going to come down to Ollie recognizing that Barry had his own way to deal with his villains and even though it has led to unforeseen consequences that is part of him learning to be a hero.
As for the rest of the cast each member managed to get their big team interaction moment, i.e. Caitlin and Felicity becoming best friends and Diggle’s annoyance at Cisco being his counter part on some level. David Ramsey was the clear stand out of this episode with his reaction to Barry’s power and the general revelation to the idea of metahumans. The team up of Wells and Det. West was completely unexpected as although the both had valid points about how dangerous Ollie is, only one of them made a real and clear case. It was great to see the show acknowledge that Ollie will never entirely be forgiven for how many people he killed as The Arrow, but the premise that Ollie was responsible for both terrorist attacks on his city was a little to much the pot calling the kettle black for Dr. Wells’. I did however appreciate that Team Arrow has now asked Team Flash for assistance in finding out who killed Sara, this should have been done the moment Felicity got back from Central City.
The highlight of the episode was of course the big fight scene between The Flash and The Arrow which had some of the better fx work the series has down. Barry beating up Olllie at super speed and making the fire vortex were top notch, and even Oliver managed to get in some cool moves. The staging of each move managed to benefit both heroes without allowing either to have to much of an advantage. Add in the fact even while enraged Barry was not aiming to kill Oliver, only prove that he was capable of beating him and you had an interesting fight. Even though the fight was great I wish there had been more in costume interaction between the two heroes as it felt to be more of a Barry and Ollie episode rather than a Flash and Arrow episode. I will assume that will happen tomorrow with Captain Boomerang but I just kept hungering for more.
Overall it was an extremely satisfying start, but now they just need to stick the landing.
Final Grade B
+Great interactions between the two groups
+Solid fight scene
+Great work from the two leads
-Rainbow Raider extremely underused
-Needed something to push it over the edge
-So Eddie wanting to start the Anti-Flash task force was so far out of left field, but at least it is some sort of development for Eddie.
-Firestorm guys, it’s actually Firestorm.
-So yeah, Connor Hawke’s mom showed up and confirmed Ollie’s son is alive and in play. Not sure where this is gonna end up, but OK.
-Line of the night goes to Diggle talking about his cousin being struck by lightning. I don’t think we have ever seen Diggle flummoxed, it was hilarious. Runner up, Ollie bragging about Lian Yu as his version of The Pipeline