The Flash: “Flash vs. Arrow” Season 1 Episode 8 Review – How Was the First Part of the Flash/Arrow Crossover?

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The big crossover is finally here, but sadly, this first half is more of a mixed bag.

As fun as it was to see Team Flash and Team Arrow all in the same room, the presence of the folks from Starling City pointed out some serious flaws with The Flash. It speaks volumes that the Arrow cast really spiced things up. I had a similar fear when Felicity’s appearance in Going Rogue made that one of the most interesting episodes of The Flash. This being an episode of that series, not Arrow, it’s troubling how much Oliver and co. overshadow Barry and his team.

This week, Rainbow Raider is the villain wreaking havoc on Central City, with the ability to incite anger into people with his glowing red eyes. Considering the title of the episode, it was obvious how Flash and Arrow would end up fighting right from the get-go.

As for what brought Oliver’s team to Starling City, apparently the material a boomerang-turned-murder-weapon is made of is Central City’s specialty. Again, the behind the scenes rears its not-so-subtle head and it’s clear this is this crossover doesn’t have much of a place in The Flash‘s season (we’ll see about Arrow‘s tomorrow) outside of fun.

Luckily, that is one department that Flash vs. Arrow does pretty well with. Diggle’s reaction to Barry’s super-speed is an early sign that, while illogical, this event is going to be a barrel of fun. Felicity continues to work well with the team at S.T.A.R. Labs while Iris’s monster crush on Oliver was cute. It was also great to have Detective West and Dr. Wells not condoning the Arrow’s methods.

But the best moments were shared between Barry and Oliver. The Arrow’s training methods pointed out a lot of areas where the Flash still has to grow as a superhero. Barry isn’t nearly as prepared for the unexpected as Oliver is. Granted, with his superpowers, he doesn’t necessarily have to be, but it would certainly help.

Barry eventually goes after Rainbow Raider on his own, coming under his spell and snapping at everyone in sight soon after. He eventually attacks Eddie right in the middle of the street, prompting Oliver to intervene. Now it’s time for the fight we’ve been waiting for. While this duel likely won’t rival what we’ll get to see in Batman v. Superman in a little over a year (at least I hope not with their budget), it was still exciting. It didn’t quite feel like the full range of their skills and abilities were explored in this fight, but the tactics they used that worked were fun to watch.

It ends up all being for Oliver to trap Barry so his team can show him the colors he needs to see to counter Rainbow Raider’s powers. They then capture the villain offscreen, which was a very questionable decision, even though we’ll be getting the two working together on tomorrow’s Arrow. The ending felt rushed and only drove home the fact that this villain had one purpose: pit the Flash and the Arrow against each other.

The end of the episode had a few tidbits to chew on. Oliver runs into the woman he got pregnant years ago that his mother made disappear. Felicity asks Caitlin to run a DNA test on blood found that could be Sara’s killer. Then, Caitlin’s presumed dead fiancee, a.k.a. Firestorm, shows up in an alley. Both of these will likely lead to bigger storylines for their respective series. I’m less excited about the Arrow being a baby daddy.

So Flash vs. Arrow didn’t quite pack the punch many had hoped it would. But it was still fun. I have a feeling the Arrow half of the crossover will be a bit more rewarding. Without forcing the two teams together, tomorrow’s half might benefit from the already laid groundwork. At least the wait to find out is really short. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

One Response to The Flash: “Flash vs. Arrow” Season 1 Episode 8 Review – How Was the First Part of the Flash/Arrow Crossover?

  1. Swan 2000 says:

    I thought it was one of the best episodes so far. But
    I disagree with u on some points. I think the flash series can hold its own and does not need the arrow to make episodes interesting. I agree that the catching of the metahuman off screen was questionable. Didn’t like that part at all.

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