Seeing as how this is the second half of this year’s cross-over between ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash,’ make sure to check out the recap for Tuesday’s ‘The Flash,’ as well as the two stories are very interconnected. (so much so in fact, that ‘The Flash’ half of the crossover felt more like an ‘Arrow’ episode, and the ‘Arrow’ half of the crossover felt much more like an episode of ‘The Flash.’)
Before the main episode begins, we get a flashback to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, where we see Kenda and Carter in their past lives as a prince and priestess respectively, as well as Vandal Savage’s presence in their original lives. We see the love blooming between the two of them, and also Savage finding out about their relationship, which is, of course, forbidden.
After that, the episode picks up right where ‘The Flash’ ended, with all of the heroes (both Team Flash and the Quiver Crew) retreating to a farmhouse outside of Central City, with Thea commenting that she had seen a movie where a bunch of superheroes retreated to a farm (a comment I loved, and very fitting, as in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ it is the Marvel archer, Hawkeye, who brings everyone to a farm). Once they arrive everyone gets to work, trying to figure out how exactly they are going to deal with Vandal Savage and the powerful staff of Osiris. While the STAR Labs team gets to work creating gauntlets that would allow Barry to use the Staff of Osiris without getting repelled, Laurel, Thea and Diggle go to search for more information about Vandal, as Carter Hall continues to try to get Kendra to remember her past life, especially now that she has started to activate her abilities.
Felicity tries to get Oliver to admit what is bothering him, but he does not want to tell her about the potential son he has just yet. Instead, Oliver visits Samantha to ask about her son, and while she denies that Oliver is the father, Oliver does manage to get a hair sample from the boy’s hat, which he brings to Barry in confidence, and asks him to run a blood sample comparison (though Barry has no idea what is going on). While this is going on, Malcolm Merlyn calls Oliver and Barry and informs them that he set up a meeting with Vandal Savage, so they can try to reach some sort of agreement with the man. Oliver and Barry do not think it is a great idea, but go anyway to see if they might be able to stop him.
On the way to the meeting, Barry spots a mirror image of himself racing alongside him, which as fans of ‘The Flash,’ know, is a portend of upcoming time-travel, which is usually the result of terrible things happening. Barry arrives to meet the group, just as Savage lays out his terms, telling the heroes they have 24 hours to bring the Hawk people to him, or else he will level Central City and everyone Barry loves, and then move onto Star City and destroy it and everyone Oliver loves. Malcolm urges Oliver to hand over Kendra and Carter, but Barry and Oliver refuse, believing they will come up with a plan to save the day.
Barry finishes running the blood test, and shows the results to Oliver, who now knows the boy, William, is his son. Oliver leaves and tell Barry to keep the results a secret, even though Barry still has no idea what the blood samples were for. Felicity shows up just as Oliver leaves and demands to see the test that Barry tries to hide, and Barry relents, unable to stand up to Felicity (especially since he does not know how important it is). Felicity has run enough of Oliver’s blood samples over the years to recognize what the test was for, and she knows Oliver has a son.
Back at the farm, Dig, Thea and Laurel reveal that they found some dirt on Savage, in the form of a betamax tape, where a professor warns of the power of Vandal Savage, and how he will be the bringer of doom upon the Earth. Kendra briefly wonders if she and Carter should just kill themselves, as that would end the cycle and prevent Savage from having their life energy, but Carter shoots her down. As Cisco does not currently want to speak to Kendra because he knows she is being pushed to Carter as her destiny, Carter takes it upon himself to give Kendra a necessary pep talk, encouraging her to tap into her rage to enhance her warrior abilities. She seems uncertain, but Carter does provoke her to attack and activate her abilities, so it seems like the plan is working.
Oliver visits Samantha and confronts her with his newfound knowledge, and she reveals everything to him, including the un-cashed check from Moira Queen, stating she never used it as she wanted nothing to do with the Queens, and did not want William brought into that world. She agrees that Oliver should have a chance to meet his son, but demands that Oliver keep it a secret from everyone, as she does not want William brought into Oliver’s crazy world. He reluctantly agrees, though it is clear he really does want to tell Felicity.
Oliver returns to the farm where he is confronted by Felicity, who gives him a chance to be honest with her. Oliver lies to her about his son, keeping to Samantha’s request, but Felicity has had it. She is tired of the lies, and says if Oliver really trusted and loved her, he would tell her just to relieve the burden, not try to keep everything from her. Barry witnesses the fight, and clearly feels some guilt for spilling the beans to Felicity, especially when he sees her break up with Oliver over the incident.
Oliver returns inside, clearly distracted, but knowing their time is coming up. He gathers the team, planning to using Kendra as their ace in the hole as Savage does not know how far along her powers are. The team is confident in the newly made gauntlets for Barry, and they think they have a winning plan, so much so that Oliver tells Thea, Dig, and Laurel to stay behind, as he does not want to endanger their lives (so much for the democratic team Arrow).
Clearly, the battle does not go as planned. They meet up with Vandal, and when it is go time, Kendra cannot activate her abilities. She and Carter are killed, their life energy going to Savage, who now faces Arrow and The Flash. Barry does manage to get the Staff of Osiris, but the gauntlets do not work. Even with Oliver holding onto the staff with him to help, they cannot turn it on Savage. Savage takes back his staff and decides to enact his revenge, activating its power. Oliver tells Barry to run, as the staff’s power eviscerates the archer, the farmhouse (and everyone within) and Central City as it expands. Barry runs top speed, desperate to stay ahead of the blast, and as guessed, runs fast enough to land himself back in time, finding himself back at the meeting with Savage and Merlyn the day before.
Knowing what will happen if nothing changes, Barry tells Oliver about the time travel, and Oliver decides they need to use the second change to do things right. First off, Barry confirms for Oliver that William is his son, and warns him about lying to Felicity about it, as the ensuing break-up will distract Oliver when they need him focused. Next up, Oliver has Cisco talk to Kendra and give her a pep-talk, saying no one is better equipped to help her accept herself and her new powers than someone who is clearly in love with her. Cisco encourages Kendra to tap into the healing part of her nature, the Priestess part (instead of the warrior) part, telling her that her good-natured heart is where her true power comes from. He also helps her accept her past life, and try to remember what happened with Vandal in the past, and she flashes back to her first death, being crushed under meteors after having been stabbed by Vandal. They relate the story to the team, and the scientists realize the Nth metal of the meteor rocks must be what powers the Staff of Osiris and Savage’s killing blade. Barry relieves a nearby museum of one of their meteor rocks, and the team manages to include the Nth metal into the design of the gauntlets, making sure that they will be able to handle the Staff this time around.
Later, they return to the warehouse to battle Savage once again, only this time they have another ace up their sleeve, Oliver has asked Thea, Diggle and Laurel to come along as back-up. So when the fights begins again, they are quickly joined by Dig, Speedy and the Black Canary, whose attack helps delay Savage, giving Kendra time to activate her powers (much easier now using Cisco’s methods) and surprise Savage, saving Hawkman’s life in this timeline. Barry and Oliver manage to get the staff once more, and the gauntlets work, allowing the heroes to direct its power back at Savage. The Staff incinerates the immortal villain, leaving him a pile of ashes on the floor, and every one of the heroes still alive.
In the episode aftermath, Cisco says goodbye the Kendra with a heavy heart, as she and Carter are going off to start a life together, and try to help people using their powers. It is not clear whether she loves Carter just yet, but she is willing to give it a try. Oliver visits Samantha and confronts her again (though because of the time-travel, it is the first time for them), and she allows him to see William under the same conditions, no one else can know. Oliver meets with his son, and they play action figures, with William being an avid Flash fan (which I’m sure bothers Oliver just a little bit). Later, back in Star City, Oliver and Felicity return home, clearly still needing to clean up after the Savage attack (featured in ‘The Flash’ part of the crossover). Felicity wants to know what was going on with Oliver, but he does not tell her, choosing to keep the secret for Samantha’s sake, and potentially spelling doom for the couple at some point down the road.
Lastly, we see Malcolm Merlyn at the warehouse with Savage’s ashes, scooping them into a container and muttering about how Savage owes him, clearly foreshadowing that Savage is not quite as dead as we thought (which anyone could have guessed because we know the man is the villain in the upcoming series ‘Legends of Tomorrow’)
* Since the Lazarus Pit has been destroyed, how exactly is Malcolm Merlyn going to resurrect Vandal Savage? And why would he do so? What is the connection?
* After Merlyn’s threat to kill Oliver if anything happens to Thea, I once again wonder if maybe Thea will be the one in the grave, so as to get Malcolm Merlyn and Oliver firmly at each other’s throats again. It would be a fun conflict.
*In the comics, Hawkman and Hawkgirl have weapons made of the Nth Metal, which I did not see here (unless I missed it?) Could this be something they will create for the characters for ‘Legends of Tomorrow?’
Definitely felt like the crossover worked much better this year, as it felt like a two-hour episode instead of just episodes that happened to feature characters from both shows. I really enjoyed finally seeing the show deal with Oliver’s child, though it makes me sad to know the child may be what finally dooms the Oliver/Felicity relationship. Looking forward to the Mid-Season finale next week, and maybe FINALLY learning which character is going into that damn grave!