TV SHOW: The Flash
SEASON/EPISODE: 1.08. ‘The Flash vs. The Arrow’
WRITERS/DIRECTOR: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg/Glen Winter
When a new Meta-human shows up in Central City, one that can manipulate people’s emotions. He gets a helping hand from the Arrow, who offers aid and guidance in capturing this new villain, but can the two of them work together?
In this episode, both the Flash and Arrow shows were blended together in an almost perfect mixture, resulting in a very fun and well executed (if predictable story) that was filled to the brim with cool action sequences, well written dialogue (a lot of great lines said by various characters throughout it’s forty two minute runtime (I’m not counting the adverts).
The main reason this crossover episode worked was because of the work already put in before with Barry’s first meeting with Oliver and his team (back in Arrow’s second season) as well as the small character cameos with the Archer and Felicity during this first series of The Flash. That made this instalment flow much easier and smoother than it would have if neither show had already held those little experiments previously and as I said before, this episode was a lot of fun to watch.
Firstly we get to see more of how Barry is helping the city in a nice little montage (with him painting houses, helping couples etc) and like some of the previous episodes, it helps to show us exactly what he can do with his abilities without him simply being thrown into a fight and that makes it a bit more personal and we can relate with him more as a character.
Then we get our first look at the villain of the episode, Roy Bivolo (aka DC’s Rainbow Raider, is it me or does that name sound like it belongs on from My little Pony) and he has the power to manipulate people’s emotions, which is portrayed well enough here through all of the scenes he is involved with. But instead of being the threat of the episode, Bivolo is simply the catalyst that helps build up the main fight which the story title refers to.
And this is where the meat of this instalment is as we get both heroes and their respective teams working (and butting heads) together to stop this Meta-Human, and straight of the bat we get a great scene as Diggle is shown what Barry can do now (which has become one of my fav moments as his reaction is priceless) as well as Oliver wanting to train his young friend to be a better hero (leading to another gem of a scene where the Archer shoot two arrows into the Speedster’s back).
While back at Star Labs both Joe and Wells show their disapproval of Barry accepting the Arrow’s help due to the reputation that Oliver has back in Starling City, it was great to see these two worlds meet and interact as their different philosophies were explored between the two heroes (no matter what the Arrow does, the fact that he used to be a killer will always influence people‘s opinions of him) and their allies (as did their guessing who would win in a fight). The Professor’s unnerving side came back out as he tried to find out the Arrow’s identity, before he then obviously used his futuristic computer to figure it out (even Oliver finds the guy creepy, which I found amusing).
But as I said before, the episode starts to feel predictable as Barry starts to get annoyed at Oliver’s berating him about his inexperience which leads to the Speedster getting infected by Bivolo’s whammy, which at first doesn’t seem to affect him. Then slowly but surely he starts to get angry with all his friend (this has been done with other superhero shows too, so it’s not very original and handled too safely) and it all leads to a showdown between Oliver and Barry, which is really well performed and executed as I almost forget that I am watching a TV-show (the special effects were top-notch once again). It was a great fight to watch with the Arrow taking the lead, using his trick arrows and experience to gain the upper hand on the less-experienced Flash (who does generally rely a little too much on his powers, proving Oliver right). But this ultimately angers the Speedster and he starts to really let loose on the Archer (with a great sequence where he beats Arrow to the roof of a building and drops him back down, as well as a really cool fight scene that is slowed down at the right times to show us each hero’s perspective), with the fight ending with a draw between them.
And we also got a nice though unsurprising cameo from Ronny Raymond being alive and…well on fire (in his Firestorm-look), and I say unsurprising because of all the foreshadowing and references we have had to the character from Caitlin and the other members of Star Labs (the reveal would have worked better with less mentioning of his character and the very telling moment before his scene with Caitlin looking at their picture). But it was cool to see him, with his powers shown well (once more, kudos to the special effects team).
Now my only gripes with the episode apart from the predictability of the plot (and Cisco’s lame Yoda joke, which is out shone by every other piece of humour thankfully) was the story for Iris and Eddie, as the Detective’s sudden jump on the ‘Flash is bad’ wagon feels a little sudden and not well handled (I mean he is chatting with Iris in bed about the hero without any indication of his feelings on the matter, then wham…he is arguing with his boss about hunting the speedster down) as there was no build-up to it throughout the episodes that proceeded this. By the episode’s end, Eddie has legitimate reasons for disliking the guy (being pulled out of a moving vehicle and thrown about will do that to you), but they really should of waited until that event to bring out this side to the character.
Now Iris is a similar story though this time, she already had the catalyst for such a change in heart (that being the hostage situation in the previous instalment), as this happening now feels out of the blue as well which makes it just as unbelievable as Eddie‘s (This girl is certainly no Lois Lane, since the Daily Planet reporter would never lose faith in Superman like that, even when he loses control or gets brainwashed).
But these are only small gripes that in no way hinder my enjoyment of what has been a very fun first part of this crossover event between the Flash and Arrow, and I am looking forward to seeing the second part with ‘The Brave and the Bold’ on the latter show.