It finally happened! The epic two-part crossover event between The Flash and Arrow took place this week, and it pretty much lived up to my expectations. I’m glad it seemed to be a success in ratings as well, because I want another crossover sometime in the future. It’s really nice to see how Barry and Oliver play off of each other and really do a great job of both pointing out each other’s weaknesses, but also holding up their strengths in a very warm and fuzzy way. I like that my favorite TV superheroes can have superhero friends. Full recaps below the break!
The Flash, “Flash vs. Arrow”
A man with some sort of rage-hypnosis metahuman ability robs a bank, and Barry gets there in time to prevent anyone from killing each other. When Barry returns to the bank for the investigation, Detective West asks him what he thinks caused everyone to act so strangely and Barry’s best guess is that they got “whammied.” Eddie tries to convince the police captain that they should be trying to track down the Flash because of his mysterious ability to get to and from crime scenes so quickly. Barry gets a message from Iris asking the Flash to meet with her, and Iris warns him that her cop boyfriend is trying to get the police to come after him. Barry gets word that the police have tracked the metahuman to a warehouse and runs off, saving Detective West from getting shot, while the Arrow shows up just in time to save Barry from getting shot. Barry goes and meets up with Team Arrow, and Diggle is kind of adorably shocked by Barry’s ability. The Arrow team is in Central City investigating a mysterious murder that happened in Starling City, with a strange boomerang. Barry brings Felicity to the lab and because of the high speed her shirt catches on fire and there is a hilarious awkward moment as Caitlin and Cisco walk in to Felicity in her bra. Detective West and Dr. Wells have been talking and they tell Barry that they don’t trust the Arrow, and want him gone.
When Barry meets up with Felicity and Oliver the next day, Oliver is able to give him the name of the metahuman: Roy Bivolo. Felicity then convinces a reluctant Oliver to help Barry track down the metahuman. Oliver tells Barry that he needs to train, and proves to him that having powers isn’t necessarily going to save him (by hitting him with some arrows in the back when he’s not expecting it). Barry goes in to work and notices Eddie yet again making a case to the police captain about the Flash. West is still angry that the Arrow is in town, and Barry defends Oliver saying that at least he gets results. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Wells tells Felicity he doesn’t like having the Arrow around because he is unknown and thus dangerous. When Felicity says that is not her secret to tell, Wells says he’ll just have to figure out who he is on his own. Barry arrives just as Cisco gets a ping on Bivolo’s possible location, and insists that he can handle facing Bivolo without Oliver’s help. To no one’s surprise ever, Barry gets whammied by Bivolo, but at first he doesn’t feel any effects. When Caitlin chides him for running out there on his own, he tells her that’s he not Ronnie and she needs to stop being so overprotective. At another training session, Oliver explains to Barry that the reason he’s still alive after everything he’s been through is because he kept training. Barry accuses Oliver of being jealous of his super speed and runs off to the police department where he starts yelling at the captain and Detective West. West goes to S.T.A.R. Labs to tell them Barry has been whammied and Dr. Wells tells Felicity she should call Oliver Queen – the Arrow – to help them stop Barry.
Iris admits to Eddie that she has met the Flash a couple times, but their conversation is cut short by a raging Barry. Ollie gets there in time to stop Barry from seriously hurting Eddie, and then an epic battle between the Flash and the Arrow begins. Barry comes very close to winning, but Oliver gets the upper hand just in time for West and Wells to arrive with a flashing colored light cure for Barry’s rage. The next thing we see is the team locking away Bivolo inside the particle accelerator, and then it is time for goodbyes. Felicity solicits Caitlin’s aid in breaking down the DNA sample from Canary’s murder (one of the few times I’ve actually heard Felicity say Canary), and as the Arrow team heads out Ollie says to them that there is something “off” about Dr. Wells (I’m SO glad someone finally noticed). Eddie comes to see Iris and tells her the captain has approved the task-force and he will be going after the Flash. She says that doesn’t change her feelings for him, and the two embrace while Barry looks on mournfully. Ollie and Felicity come by the coffee shop to say goodbye, and Ollie tells Barry he can always talk to him, but warns him to give up on Iris because “guys like us don’t get the girl.” As they are about to leave the coffee shop, Ollie runs into a woman who he clearly has history with, and the woman is then shown talking to a young child on the phone. Barry goes to talk to Iris as the Flash and tries to explain what happened the night before, and Iris tells the Flash not to contact her again. Back at the labs we see Caitlin looking at a picture of Ronnie before cutting to some guys trying to harass someone only to realize he is a metahuman who can control fire – Ronnie is still alive.
Arrow, “The Brave and the Bold”
Oliver, Roy, and Diggle track down the mysterious boomerang killer only to realize A.R.G.U.S. is also tracking him because he killed one of their agents. Cisco and Caitlin from the Flash’s team show up at Felicity’s office unannounced to pick up the DNA sample from Canary’s murder…and to get a look at the Arrow cave. While Diggle is meeting with Lyla at an A.R.G.U.S. complex, the boomerang killer arrives, looking for revenge against her. Oliver and Roy come to help, and then Barry Allen shows up just in time to save Oliver from being killed. The attacker runs off and Lyla tells them his name: Digger Harkness, a former member of the Suicide Squad. In Hong Kong flashbacks, Oliver meets with Amanda Waller who wants him to learn to torture people, but he fails to get information about a bomb in time to stop it from going off. Waller gives him a second chance anyways, presumably turning Oliver into the master of torture that he is now.
Back in the Arrow cave, Barry is showing off on the salmon ladder while Caitlin and Felicity look on. When the rest of the team gets back, Oliver says Barry can only stay if they do things his way. The remnants of some exploding boomerangs give them a lead to a man arrested by now Captain Lance. Lance says the man was involved with the Russian mob, and Oliver finds him and tortures him to get information about Harkness’ location. Barry isn’t happy about Oliver’s methods, but Oliver reminds him he is welcome to leave whenever he wants. Back at the Arrow cave, Felicity tracks down Harkness using the phone Oliver acquired from the man he tortured. Diggle, Cisco, and Roy head off in a van, while Ollie and Barry go in first, but it’s all a trap. Harkness lured them out so he could try and attack Lyla again, and he finds her in the Arrow cave with Felicity and Caitlin (uncomfortable gender divide here that I’m not entirely comfortable with). Lyla gets hit with a boomerang, but needs to go to the hospital, so once the team makes it back to the Arrow cave, Barry carries her to the hospital.
Over drinks at Verdant, Caitlin and Cisco admit to Roy and Felicity that they haven’t been taking things seriously because dealing with metahumans made it all seem less real. Meanwhile downstairs Oliver opens up to Barry, and Barry tells Ollie he isn’t losing his humanity – his humanity is exactly what has gotten him through everything and turned him into a hero. Felicity interrupts to let them know that she’s found Harkness. When Barry and Oliver catch up with him, he tells them he’s planted 5 bombs around the city, and Barry runs off in search of them while Oliver stays to fight with Harkness. Barry runs a different member of the team to each bomb site so they can disable them simultaneously without setting off a secondary trigger. Lyla wakes up to Diggle at her hospital bedside, and he asks her to marry him – no surprise, she says yes. Caitlin packs up the DNA sample to take back to S.T.A.R. Labs, and Barry notices there is now a spot for him to leave one of his suits in the Arrow cave. Cisco and Caitlin gift Oliver a revamped Arrow jacket with the original hood intact. Before Barry leaves, he and Oliver decide to have a final showdown to prove one and for all who would win. Barry tells Oliver that he may not be able to inspire as the Arrow, but he can inspire them as Oliver Queen. We don’t get to see the end result of their showdown.
I thought the first episode of the crossover was the stronger of the two, maybe in part because all of the humor and novelty helped it feel more fresh and entertaining. I was laughing out loud during both episodes, but significantly more so during Flash vs. Arrow. One thing I didn’t like was how much the crossover (in some ways intentionally) drew attention to the limited number of female characters on these shows. All of the women suddenly seemed so excited to be around other women, which to me really served as a painful reminder of how male-driven these shows are. I guess this just makes me even more grateful that the new Supergirl series is in the works, because no matter how amazing Felicity or Caitlin or Laurel or Iris may be, they are still the secondary characters. What did other people like or dislike about the crossover? Do you want another one to happen too?