The Flash: “Legends of Today” Season 2 Episode 8 Review: Part One of the Annual Flash/Arrow Crossover

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Look, if you’ve been reading my Arrow and Flash reviews this season, you know I haven’t exactly loved all the Legends of Tomorrow setup both shows have been partaking in. Well, to contradict myself, “Legends of Today,” the first part of the now annual Arrow/Flash crossover, was pretty much only setup for the new show and was an absolute blast. The plotting of this behemoth was a complete mess, but man do the respective casts just gel so well together.

 Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) is an immortal warrior hellbent on killing Cisco’s new girlfriend, Kendra Saunders. She’s actually Hawkgirl, but more on that later. So, to bring the Central City and Star City gangs back together, Barry wants to hide Kendra in Oliver’s lair.

The initial meeting did not bode well for the episode. We catch up with Oliver as he, Thea, and Diggle are abruptly taking on Damien Darhk. Just as the new Arrow big bad seems ready to finally kill the Green Arrow, the Flash rolls in and saves everyone. This scene was dumb for so many reasons, the biggest being that Oliver was stupid enough to almost get himself killed (something we know he isn’t) and that they just drop the job once the Flash shows up. Whatever, the awkward part is over and now we get to have some fun.

While the first part of the episode was clearly a Flash episode, once the two teams are together, the episode drops the feel of both shows. Considering how much more established both shows are this year, and the awkward tonal shifts in last year’s crossover, it was wise to not make this feel like an episode of either show. Oliver and Barry get equal play in both of their awesome fights with Savage. But if part one of the crossover belonged to any one character, it’s Kendra.

Out of the sky, and a bit out of nowhere, swoops in Hawkman (Falk Hentschel), who picks up Kendra and flies off. Once Green Arrow and Flash take him down, he informs Kendra of her true identity. She’s in fact a reincarnated version of her older self, who Savage has killed now 206 times. Like Hawkman, she also has wings, she just needs to break the mental block to let them out.

The climax jumping around from round 2 of Green Arrow and Flash vs. Vandal Savage to Kendra convincing herself to jump was really well put together. There was a real moment of joy when those wings burst out of her back. Plus, the quips between Barry and Oliver during the fight almost universally landed.

All in all, this episode just managed to be so much fun despite its narrative shortcomings. Sure, too many characters appeared out of nowhere at convenient times, but the birth of one of DC’s best superheroes in this world is more than enough to make up for it. Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

  • Less successful was the subplot involving Caitlin, Wells, and Jay. It was just a distraction from everything fun in the episode. Hopefully tomorrow night’s episode won’t try to cram in an Arrow subplot.
  • I forgot how wonderful the chemistry Grant Gustin and Emily Bett Rickards share is.
  • Thea and Cisco could have a sidekick power hour and I would watch every second of it.
  • I laughed right at the show when Malcolm appeared with like six other guys the second time and everyone again seemed bewildered.
  • Vandal Savage is a pretty decent villain compared with the typical one-off foes Green Arrow and the Flash face, but can he handle being the big bad of Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Let’s be honest with ourselves for a second. If you trimmed down the cast of both Arrow and The Flash and then combined them, you’d have one hell of a show. I’m all for Green Arrow and the Flash in a few years as this universe outgrows them.

By Matt Dougherty

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