The Flash and Arrow TV shows are consistently the best comic book TV shows on their own that are currently airing. (Sorry Supergirl, Agents of Shield, and Gotham). This latest iteration showed their staying power and let the audience connect once again with these great characters.
I’ll start with the Flash episode first because it came first chronologically. Spoilers in the review below.
I love the energy that is brought the Flash. There’s pep in their step and central city just seems fun. This episode was definitely brighter and happier than the Arrow episode and for good measure. That’s the difference between the two shows: the tone. I think that even with the crossover and changing cities the Flash did a great job of staying who it is supposed to be.
Vandal Savage looks crazy at the beginning and I thought he would be a lot to handle. His character calms down slightly as the episode continues and he becomes a little more dimensional as time goes on. He is definitely a frightening enemy and I thought he was very well cast. I didn’t like necessarily that Barry knew to go to Arrow because he knew that Vandal Savage was magical, but they had to do the crossover. I’ll let it slide. They had so much to cover in this episode that one convoluted and rushed plot point is excusable. Other than that, Vandal Savage was great.
There was a lot of information and jamming in characters in this episode because both casts are kinda bloated. Laurel was pushed away entirely in the Flash and had two lines total. Patty Spivot and Iris West were the same way but flipped. I enjoy the chemistry between Barry and Patty/ Iris and wish they could have spent more time with them. Laurel was missed less because I think that the writing is a little weak for her. Her canary scream was all but useless in the Arrow part of the episode.
By far, the best part in the episode were Cisco’s one liners. Every time he spoke I laughed extensively. My favorite lines from him were “my conditioner game is on point” and “okay Highlander”. He had a strong presence on screen, and I wasn’t worn out of seeing him by the end of the episode. Cisco was very well done. You could even feel his emotion talking to Kendra as well.
Speaking of Kendra, Hawk Man and Hawk Girl looked great. In fact, all of the special effects were great. I think the chemistry was a little weak between the Hawks but that’s to be expected. They just met each other and are getting their memories back. Ciara Renee, who plays Hawk Girl, has a standout performance. She really is great in this. Can’t wait for Legends of Tomorrow!
I thought the Flash part of the episode was really good. Not as good as the Arrow part, but I think it’s much harder to write the set up for events than the fight scenes. I thought plot points like the Velocity 6 had to be rushed to keep the normal season going as well as push for the big fight with Vandal Savage. No telling how much they had to cut. I felt the Flash episode by itself could have been 2 hours long. I think the producers and director did a very good job balancing everything.
The Arrow part is where this crossover shines. It starts with Thea’s best line of the series, “Superheroes in a farmhouse, that sounds familiar”. An ode to Smallville or Avengers: Age of Ultron, your choice. She also had a great one in the Flash episode of “We do know the Flash, right?”. Arrow keeps its dark tone for the rest of the episode as Oliver struggles with the news that he has a son and Barry traveling through time.
My least favorite part of the crossover was definitely the whole kid situation. We learn that this child is not Connor Hawke, but instead his name is William Clayton. We have learned bits and pieces of this story through the flashbacks of Moira paying this girl off and Oliver seeing her for the first time in a long time in the last crossover. I’m fine with this part, in fact it’s pretty brilliant writing that they have planned this so far out in advance. I think that Stephen Amell’s acting was so fantastic through this process. The child actor was also okay and didn’t bother me that much. What bothered me was how they wrote Felicity into a freaking psychopath. The first time through, Felicity not only tracks down Oliver, but she pressures Barry into giving her the test result. Then she has the audacity to attack him for not being trustworthy. Oliver can’t possibly figure this out on his own if Felicity is jumping all over him. Finding out you have a kid is hard enough when you know that you’ve been trying, but after she hasn’t told you for 9 years, that’s gotta be a heavy load. Also the mother not letting Oliver tell Felicity is also crazy too because he could just tell Felicity and lie to the mother. Oliver is stuck between two huge rocks and one of them leads to not being able to see his kid. I felt so bad for him. During the second timeline, you can see it in Felicity’s eyes that she knows that something is bothering Oliver and it’s going to explode in his face. I don’t blame Barry in either timeline for making the situation worse, I blame Felicity for not understanding the situation and being so selfish.
That might be my only major complaint and it’s relatively small in the grand scheme of things.
I don’t exactly understand the rules of the time traveling. Hopefully Legends of Tomorrow can clear that up. It seems like they’re making up the rules as they go because Barry broke every rule of time traveling. He told two people and explained to Oliver everything that could happen. I thought that it brought a lot of suspense to the show and I was glad that they did it but I’m still confused where the 2nd Barry goes in both situations. So now that he’s traveled twice, are there 4 Barry’s now or just 1? Time travel is obviously a very difficult subject because most scientists don’t fully understand the concept, but I wish there was one final answer in this universe. I think that it is awesome to be used, but I wish that we knew the rules.
The ending fight with Vandal Savage was a little anti-climactic like the end of Jessica Jones with a final push to win. I think it was okay though because emotions were so high seen Oliver and company literally being vaporized. I did not expect that at all, but I loved every second of it. I thought having the whole team made the fight very fun and just showed how much of a villain he will be in Legends of Tomorrow.
Overall, this was a building of Legends of Tomorrow. For that job, it did spectacular. It stumbled a tiny bit trying to build the side stories for each particular show. All in all, I was very happy and will probably watch it a few more times to try to pick everything up about it. The action was amazing as has come to be expected from these shows and BARROWMAN strikes again! Highly recommend if you haven’t caught up yet to do so before the mid season finales this week!
Score: 9.5 out of 10