Get that man a partner, quick!
At long last it has arrived, the much lauded, anticipated, and heavily hyped ‘The Flash’ / ‘Arrow’ crossover event! I definitely recommend checking out the first half of the cross-over which occurred on ‘The Flash’ before watching the second half of the event on ‘Arrow.’ That being said, let’s jump into it.
The episode opens with the Quiver Crew approaching a house owned by the boomerang wielding killer they’ve been tracking for a few weeks, with Roy pointing out that if they have the wrong house, they’d have a lot of explaining to do. Oliver discovers bombs implanted along all entryways, confirming they have the right place, and they bust in, only to discover the man had already gotten away. Some A.R.G.U.S. agents enter at that moment, also on the case, and Oliver realizes the original back-alley victim must have been an A.R.G.U.S. agent, which is why they are now investigating the Boomerang Killer. Cut to opening credits, strangely sans an actual arrow, but no worries, as a lightning bolt strikes, with the Flash’s emblem taking the place of the tradition arrow.
Back at the “Arrow Cave” (thank you Cisco for making this official), the team discusses the A.R.G.U.S. involvement in the case, and tasks Diggle with asking Lyla for input about the killer. Shortly afterward we see Felicity at Palmer Technologies as she is visited by Team Flash, namely Cisco and Caitlin, in town to help Felicity with the Canary murder and, as Cisco said, “to see the Arrow cave.” (not to mention the “toys” he’s stoked to see)
So Felicity takes them to see the ‘cave,’ where Roy also uses the name ‘Arrow cave’ much to Oliver’s chagrin, and the team shows off their home to the S.T.A.R. labs crew, including some of the trick arrows they’ve developed. Cisco promises to help them upgrade, claiming he has a lot of great ideas, and they ask where Diggle is, having met him previously when he, Felicity and Oliver visited Central City the previous week (actually the previous night in real time).
Cut to Diggle and Lyla at an A.R.G.U.S. facility discussing the Boomerang Killer (who Lyla names as Digger Harkness, and Cisco will later dub Captain Boomerang), and his connection to A.R.G.U.S.. Diggle points out that they could use the Arrow team’s help, as in his words, “Exotic killers are more…. Our thing.” Just then Harkness himself breaks into the A.R.G.U.S. station, deftly mowing down agents with his boomerangs as he makes his way through the facility. After Diggle calls in the Quiver Crew for assistance, Lyla spills that Harkness was once a prisoner of A.R.G.U.S., who was working as a member of the Suicide Squad. When a mission went bad, they had to burn the team and activate their kill switches, but the one in Harkness’ head malfunctioned. Even worse, since they could not find Waller at the time, Lyla had made the call, which means Harkness is after her.
Arrow and Arsenal arrive and take on Harkness and his boomerangs, while a red streak flashes into town, past a bewildered Thea on the street, and into the A.R.G.U.S. facility where he manages to catch two boomerangs that were about to slam into the Arrow. Harkness escapes, and the team plus Lyla and the Flash retreat to the Arrow Cave. While there, Barry shows off his own super-skills at the salmon ladder, while Felicity laments that they called Barry to help in the first place, knowing Oliver likes to work alone. The rest of the team returns and they start researching Harkness, with Barry convincing Oliver that they should team up again to bring Harkness down. Oliver reluctantly agrees, demanding they do things his way, and Barry agrees. After examining boomerang fragments left over from the crime scene, the two teams learn the boomerangs were made by a man named Clyde Marcos, and Barry and Oliver visit the SCPD to talk to Laurel and Captain Lance about the man’s whereabouts as he had been arrested by Lance the previous year. (Definitely just a scene to shoehorn them into the episode, as they had nothing else to do.)
Once they track down Marcos, Oliver and company (plus Barry) head down to his last known whereabouts on the docks. The Flash handily takes out all the goons, leaving only Marcos for the Arrow to interrogate, a procedure that leaves Barry extremely uncomfortable. After Marcos hands over a cell-phone used to communicate with Harkness, the Flash drops the man off at SCPD and then he and Oliver have it out about the methods Oliver uses to accomplish the job. Oliver points out that things are a little bit bleaker in Starling City, mentioning the various personal deaths he’s experienced, while Barry accuses him of using his own tragedies to justify his actions.
Still uneasy, the pair head back to HQ, where Felicity begins tracking Harkness using the new cell-phone, while Lyla and Oliver commiserate over people who don’t understand that extreme measures must be taken against people like Harkness, a lesson they have both clearly learned from their time with Amanda Waller.
Which leads me to mention the Hong Kong flashbacks this week, which were a little more relevant tonight than they have been of late. Waller tasks Ollie with torturing a man to find out where a bomb has been planted in the city, and before Oliver really gets into it, the bomb goes off in the distance; he took too much time. Waller is pissed, and blames the deaths caused by the detonation on Oliver, eventually leading to her forcing another torture on Oliver, and telling him that torture is an art form, and one she thinks he could be really good at. She then gives Oliver basically the same speech about extreme measures being needed to take out bad people that Oliver and Lyla recite together 5 years later.
Back in the present, the teams have used Marcos’ cell-phone to track Harkness to a warehouse, and along the way Diggle, Roy and Cisco have a talk about the meta-human villains in the world, and how many of these crazies existed long before the Flash came on the scene. Cisco speaks of his belief that the Flash was created to help in the fight against these people, to help heroes like the Arrow. With all their gossiping, the guys are way behind Barry and Oliver, who have already arrived, taken out all the hired goons (quickly done by the Flash), while Oliver uses a tranq arrow on the last guy who Barry had missed. They realize Harkness is not there, at around the same time that Marcos’ cell-phone back at HQ begins going off. The three ladies left behind, Felicity, Lyla and Caitlin, immediately recognize they have all been tricked, as Harkness was using the phone to find them. And they realize all of this just as Harkness comes in, opening up fire with boomerangs while the ladies take cover. Lyla pulls a gun from the armory and attempts to take him down, but she’s outmatched by his skill with the boomerangs. Eventually one hits her in the chest and she goes down. Felicity grabs what appears to be a piece of an exploding arrow and hurls it at Harkness, but he is already on his way out, thinking Lyla has been taken care of. Felicity and Caitlin manage to stabilize her just as the rest of the team returns, and then the Flash runs her over to a hospital for further care.
In the aftermath of the attack, while Oliver sulks down in the Arrow Cave, Cisco, Roy and Felicity have a drink upstairs at Verdant, which I mention because it leads to my favorite exchange of the night. After Thea drops off some drinks, Cisco looks entranced by the young Queen and immediately asks: “Who was that hottie?” Which Roy and Felicity answer simultaneously with “She’s my ex-girlfriend,” and “She’s Oliver’s little sister.” To which Cisco replies, “So stay away is what you’re saying.” Classic. They are then joined by Caitlin, and she and Cisco admit their team needs to take the crime-fighting more seriously, with Cisco saying that since their villains are all meta-humans, it doesn’t feel quite as real for them, almost like a game. Clearly their time in Starling City is opening their eyes to how bad things can get.
Meanwhile, Oliver is pouring out his soul to Barry, talking about how taking extreme measures with things like torture seems to be killing pieces of Oliver Queen, basically saying he doesn’t feel like he has much humanity left. Barry rightfully points out that it was Oliver’s humanity that helped him survive his years before returning home, and drove him to become a hero that wants to help people. Before they can examine the thought any further, Felicity enters and says she has found Harkness.
In the climax of the episode, which takes place at a train station, Oliver and Barry confront Harkness alone, while Cisco, Roy, Caitlin, and Felicity monitor back at HQ (with Diggle staying by Lyla’s side at the hospital). The Arrow and Flash confront the Boomerang Killer, who says he expected a confrontation, and planted 5 bombs around town. The Flash takes off to deal with the bombs, while the Arrow deals with Captain Boomerang.
Barry and the team back at HQ have 90 seconds before the bombs go off, but fortunately they quickly manage to track down all five. The downside? They all have to be deactivated at once, which leads to Barry grabbing each member of the team left at HQ (fortunately each one remembered to grab a pair of wire-cutters on their way out) and dropping each one in front of a different bomb. Cisco points out on the radio the correct wire to cut, and directs them all to cut at the exact same moment. They cut, the bombs don’t go off, the city is saved.
All of which Oliver is unaware of as he battles arrows against boomerangs, with Harkness being a cunning adversary until Oliver sends two arrows toward the man, with a wire between them, holding Harkness to a wall by the choke cord at his throat. This time, Oliver tries to convince Harkness to turn off the bombs, but he does not use force, trusting Barry and his team. When the appointed time arrives and there are no detonations, Oliver knows he made the right call, even through Harkness’ taunts about Oliver’s weakness. Oliver turns to leave right as the Flash arrives, but Harkness has grabbed one last boomerang to throw. Unperturbed, Oliver instinctively turns and quickly shoots an arrow through the man’s hand into the wall behind him, effectively ending the threat.
In the episode aftermath, we see Lyla has woken up in the hospital and is going to be ok. Throughout the episode there was a running joke about how Diggle and Lyla were not actually married, so it was no surprise that John Diggle took that moment to propose, which Lyla accepts. Back at HQ, Caitlin promises to continue her research into the DNA sample from the Canary murder back at S.T.A.R. labs and send back the results. Oliver and Barry return from having put Harkness in the island prison next to Slade, just in time for Cisco to present Oliver with a new Kevlar costume that is more durable and lighter than his current one. Felicity than reveals that the team has installed a third costumed mannequin, for the next time the Flash is in town, which excites Barry as it means Oliver is down for more team-ups in the future (and gets the fans excited as well).
In the final moments of the episode, the Arrow and the Flash meet at an abandoned warehouse, where Barry tells Oliver that he can inspire people the same way that the Flash does, except not as the Arrow, but rather as Oliver Queen. Oliver accepts his words, and then the jibes begin as the two prepare for a fight, to finally settle who would win. Just as it begins and the arrows start flying, the episode ends. I suppose we’ll never know (though I’d put my money on Barry).
* Will Barry’s comment that Oliver Queen can inspire people be what propels Oliver to re-launch Queen Consolidated and become the successful entrepreneur he is in the comics?
* Now that A.R.G.U.S. has seen the Flash, and with Lyla knowing his secret identity, will Amanda Waller become involved in events in Central City?
In regards to judging the two crossover episodes, I’d say they were pretty successful, and very entertaining. I think ‘The Flash’ episode might have been slightly better as they used the crossover to advance their own storyline (as opposed to ‘Arrow’ where the only story advancement was Diggle proposing), but the villain on the ‘Arrow’ half was definitely better and more interesting. Looking forward to the mid-season finale next week!