It is the unwritten law of comics: when superheroes meet for the first time, there will be a fight between the two of them. So it was pretty much inevitable that with the first proper crossover between The Flash and Arrow (even though Barry has cropped up on Arrow in Season 2, and Felicity on Flash a few episodes ago), there would be conflict. Both characters have different personalities, but for starters, there’s a problem. Unlike with the Avengers, when Iron Man and Thor traded blows having not yet encountered each other before, Barry and Oliver have. In fact, they’re close friends. So unless something were to happen, like say, a metahuman with the ability to increase the rage in someone to potentially deadly proportions, there would be no reason to bring the two against each other. This is, as it turns out, exactly what did happen.
Crossovers between shows have happened in the past so it’s not like it’s anything new. Heck, only a few weeks ago, Chicago Fire, Law & Order: SVU and Chicago PD combined to give us an awesome three part drama. Whilst I liked that, Flash vs. Arrow has more appeal for obvious reasons, particularly if you’re a comic book fan, and it was great to see the fight unfold between each other. It wasn’t a perfect episode,but it still managed to be pretty good.
There were lots of things for everyone to enjoy this episode. Seeing Diggle and Felicity team up with Cisco and Caitlin (also worth noting was the absences of Roy and Laurel, at least this week), was great, and Diggle’s reactions to superpowers was really fun to see, with the actor David Ramsey delivering a perfect response. “I had a cousin get hit by lightning once. He just developed a stutter.” The humour was well played and with plenty of amusing scenes in this episode that will most likely mean you will end up laughing at least once. So it was nice that even with the darker tone that this episode gave us, there were still plenty of lighter moments.
There were some nice hints to Arrow’s second season as well, as we got the return of a storyline that could be developing further throughout the season. In “Seeing Red”, we got to see flashbacks where we learnt that a Pre-Island Oliver Queen had got a woman (whose name remains unknown) pregnant. This episode handled the child reveal pretty well and featured the character return in a way that made more sense than having the woman show up in Starling after Oliver’s mother had told her to stay away from the city. It was also handled in an effective enough way to provide an interesting prospect for those who aren’t following Arrow, creating a mystery that could lead them coming back for more.
It was interesting to see how Joe West handled Oliver this week. Obviously he’s going to take the vigilante -thing pretty badly, even though he doesn’t kill people anymore saying, “.., what about all those people he did kill? We’re just okay with that?”and that further highlights just how different Central City and Starling City are to each other. Starling City has already undergone through two disaster-sized events and clearly has a need for a vigilante, whilst Central City, aside from the explosion of the reactor, hasn’t really had to deal with a cataclysm yet. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when that inevitably comes along, though.
Whilst Flash vs. Arrow wasn’t quite as good as it could have been, with a few flaws here and there, it was still pretty strong. The scenes towards the end felt abrupt and tacked on to the main storyline and it could have been more ambitious than what we had here (but there’s still the second chapter to come). Also, Prism was underused as a villain, with the main focus being, as expected, shifted towards Barry), and it would have been nice to see him used more. However, that said, there’s always the potential to see the character crop up again in the future.
Did you enjoy “Flash vs. Arrow?” or were you left feeling underwhelmed? Let me know in the comments below.