After a solid opening to the crossover last night, I didn’t think the teams behind Arrow and The Flash could top themselves. Here I am now, eating those words. Barry himself summed up all the feelings about this episode tonight by saying, “Yesss… It’s gonna be awesome!”
Where last night was about the fight between our heroes, tonight was all about the team up. This is where conflicting ideologies really got a chance to shine. Tonight we got to have a bit of a different take on the dynamics as we lost Joe and Dr. Wells in the city switch and gained Roy and Lyla. After tonight, I firmly believe Lyla needs more screen time. But that is hardly the point right now.
If one is to team our Emerald Archer with the Fastest Man Alive, they need to be pitted against a truly imposing foe. Last night’s Raider did not fit that bill, but Captain Boomerang definitely did. Oh wow did Boomerang deliver. Personally, I am especially excited that given his Rogues ties and his Suicide Squad ties, the latter of which really helped his backstory, Boomerang can find a home and get screentime on either show. He’s practically a walking crossover. His wits and his skills together made him a solid match for Arrow and The Flash, which should be obvious since he was locked up on Lian Yu by the end of the episode.
Cycling back to the team-up element, Team Flash had a lot to add to this episode. Cisco added some fun humorous commentary on the Team Arrow’s style and methods while Caitlin got some bonding time with Felicity as both girls got to show off their skills. Where we got to see just Diggle with them last night, tonight Roy was added to the mix and we got to see him go from his usual annoyed to actually enjoying having them around. Team Flash brought a lighter touch to Team Arrow and it was a tremendously effective shake-up.
Surprisingly this episode also managed to spend some good time focused on the unsung team of Arrow, Lyla and Dig. They’ve always had a great and fun dynamic and this round was no exception. As much as the final proposal was telegraphed from the beginning, it was still a great thing to see.
The conflicting ways of doing things worked even better tonight than it did last night. Playing into the morality of torturing foes was great. Having them work together fairly fluidly played into those ideals quite well. Those moments where Barry looked shaken from his arguments with Oliver really sold the conflicts even more. But nothing summed it all up better than Barry’s line to Oliver, “I don’t use my personal tragedies as an excuse to just torture whoever pisses me off.”
The intra-show meta-commentaries we got these past two nights were excellent, but they stood out even more here with Barry and Oliver’s conflicts. But I would be wrong to not acknowledge how well it was handled by Cisco and Caitlin in the bar scene, as well as the van ride with Cisco, Roy, and Diggle. Hopefully we’ll see some real change in Team Arrow and Team Flash after this.
Fight sequences were also top notch tonight. Boomerang’s assault on ARGUS was great, especially the follow up fight between him, Arrow, and Arsenal. It was a great choice to have the final confrontation be one where the two really did need each other. The Arrow could not have stopped those bombs alone, and The Flash could not have stopped the bombs and caught Boomerang.
Seriously though, there was a lot to love tonight. Whether it was Speedy jokes, great lines like “I’m not as emotionally healthy as you,” or “You just couldn’t resist,” Cisco still getting to name the Flash villain that is Boomerang, or the final scene between Arrow and Flash, this was a huge high point for the series. Crossovers need to happen more often.
As much as I liked that the flashbacks were sparse and mirrored the episode, it still felt a bit shoehorned because of it not really playing into the overarching story of the flashbacks, if you can say there really is one at all. Not a lot of time is spent in the past and this felt like a bit of a side track.
There were a few moments where the flow of time felt awkward. One was the gap between getting played by Boomerang and the subsequent return to the cave. The other was the length of the bomb. A lot happened there in what was supposed to be 90 seconds.
“The Brave and the Bold” is a title with a lot of weight behind it. Arrow delivered so much to deserve the history behind it.