The TV versions of the Flash and Green Arrow live in the same universe and, this week, The CW took full advantage of that. Both shows, Arrowand The Flash, focused on a team-up between these awesome DC heroes and both episodes were really, really good. They were full of laughs, fun action, and put a strong emphasis on how different their cities are and how they act as heroes. There were plenty of minor developments, such as Felicity giving the team at S.T.A.R. Labs facial recognition software, but let's talk about the big game changers that happened!
Yup, there's spoilers ahead!
The emotional spectrum
The first episode in the crossover had a villain, Roy G. Bivolo, who could make a person go crazy with rage just by looking them in the eyes. The color their eyes would turn when this would happen? Red! And how did the heroes fix Flash after he got a dose of this red rage (that's totally the technical term)? By making him look at an assortment of lights and colors! Now, if you're a fan of the comics -- which you probably are since you're reading this right now -- then you know that Red Lanterns are that color because it represents rage. It's discussed in this episode that emotions could have corresponding colors, so that's a pretty obvious nod to the very awesome Green Lantern universe -- a universe Geoff Johns' did brilliant work with. Now, that by no means confirms there's various lanterns roaming around in the CW-verse's cosmos, but we also had Ferris Air easter eggs in older episodes of The Flash and Arrow. Maybe this is just pure fan service, but maybe -- just maybe -- they're also thinking about the possibility of one day bringing Hal Jordan and all of those other sci-fi characters into this evergrowing universe. If so, it probably won't be for quite some time (the reboot movie isn't until 2020), but we can all hope for the best, right? Hope hard enough and maybe you'll get a blue ring.
Arrow trains Flash
Remember what Ra's al Ghul told Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins? "Always mind your surroundings." Yeah, that's basically the same lesson Oliver Queen has for Barry Allen. Sure, the scarlet speedster is crazy fast and can heal, but he's still continues to make easily avoidable mistakes. Ollie put it best. "There is a difference, Barry, between having powers and having precision." Oliver teaches his ally this lesson in a very painful way. What seems like a simple exercise is actually a trick -- one which could have been avoided if Barry took the lesson to heart. The request seems simple: Run at me and I'll tag you with an arrow. Barry scoffs and agrees to the seemingly easy task. As expected, Barry catches the arrow the emerald archer fires, but he never took note of the two crossbows that were set up on the ground nearby. Because of that, two arrows end up in Barry's back. A painful lesson, but an important one. The Flash may have a huge advantage with his super speed, but it doesn't matter if he's not using tactics. It'll help him against basic goons, but there's far more dangerous threats out there and if he's not smart, it could cost him.
Flash vs. Arrow is a "tie"
Hero versus hero encounters are often because of a misunderstanding or brainwashing. In this case, Flash isn't being mind controlled, but his mind has been influenced by the villain, so he's lashing out and giving into his anger. No one from Central City has what it takes to stop the speedster (like Cisco says, it's a shame they don't have the cold gun anymore!), but luckily for them, Arrow's visiting and he'll do his best to put an end to Barry's rage. When the fight finally concludes (thanks to a van full of lights that restore Flash back to normal), Cisco says the fight was a draw. But was it really?
When the fight ends, Arrow has the clear advantage. He has Barry locked in a hold, an arrow in Barry's thigh, and, if he wanted to, he could turn that move into a choke hold. Clearly, it's not an ideal spot for the metahuman and, much to our surprise, seems to give Arrow the edge. That said, Arrow had two important factors working on his side. First and foremost, Barry spent a lot of time trying to humiliate Ollie, not put him down. He runs around him and he seems to enjoy dodging all of his hits. He only begins to lash out when he gets hit with the bow in the face, after all. Secondly, Ollie had prep on his side. His bike was lined up perfectly to distract Barry and that was pivotal for him. While neither technically "defeated" the other (maybe that's why Cisco said it's a time) and you'd think Barry should wipe the floor with the archer, it concluded with Arrow having the edge. The crossover teases a rematch, but never shows us what happens and instead concludes with a nod to Rocky III's ending.
Connor Hawke teaser?
Way back in the Arrow episode "Seeing Red," it was revealed that Oliver wasn't the best boyfriend around. I mean, we know he cheated on Laurel with her sister, Sara, but that episode revealed that Ollie slept with someone else and she became pregnant. Oliver's mom, Moira, bribes the girl to get out of Ollie's life. She offers one million to tell Oliver she lost the baby and another million to go to Central City and never talk to him again. She accepts the deal. Well, now that Oliver's briefly in Central City, he bumps into her at the coffee shop! They have a very brief conversation before going their separate ways, but that isn't the last we see of her. We chime in on the Ollie's ex for just a little bit and it's enough to hear she's on the phone and informing her child that she's getting them hot chocolate. She can certainly afford it with that two million dollars, yeah? Was this a random bit of fan service and a super vague teaser for Connor Hawke or is it foreshadowing? As of right now, it's probably just there to get fans speculating, but it would be awesome if they have concrete plans to follow-up on this as the show moves forward.
Oliver gets an upgrade
It took Arrow a long time just to get a proper mask. In fact, it only happened after Barry Allen visited the "Arrowcave." After spending just one day in Oliver's hideout, Cisco is also able to give the dude a serious upgrade. He creates a new costume for Oliver which is 25% lighter and can carry 15% gear (more pouches?!). That's a very nice parting gift as Cisco heads back to Central City, isn't it? It seems like whenever someone from Central City visits the base, Arrow gets new spiffy gear. They're nice like that.
Flash becomes a "public menace"
Eddie Thawne didn't believe the Flash existed at first, but now he knows the guy is real and wants nothing more than to bring the elusive character in! Early in the episode, the Captain denied Eddie's request for a Task Force; there just wasn't a good case for it. But after Flash is taken over by rage and assaults Eddie? Yeah, suddenly he has a pretty legitimate reason to assemble this task force and go searching for the costumed character! Although, what can Eddie possibly do to catch Flash? Will he ask his girlfriend, Iris, to help him trap Flash? She's the only person (that they know of) who knows how to contact him. Or will they reach out to S.T.A.R Labs for help and extra gear? If so, that should be awkward for Barry's allies and very amusing for us. Oh, and Flash attacking Eddie (you know, because he's jealous that Eddie's with the girl he loves) also turned Iris against him! She says she doesn't want Flash to contact her and it's safe to assume she's no longer going to write positive blogs about the hero. Yeesh, have one bad guy mess with your mind and suddenly you're the villain. Tough luck, Barry.
S.T.A.R Labs knows Arrow's identity
A lot of people back in Starling City know Oliver Queen is the Arrow, so it's understandable he wants to restrict the amount of people who will find out. If that secret gets out, it puts his family and friends in danger, so we all get why he isn't just going to trust anyone with that information. Even though it's an important secret, Harrison Wells wants to know; he's just not okay working with someone if they hide who they are from him (pretty funny coming from Mr. Future, right?). Felicity refuses to spill the beans, but Wells is able to make the discover on his own. Does he use his nifty future room to find out? If so, that means Arrow's identity is eventually made public, but is it by choice or because of an unfortunate development? Or did Wells just put two and two together since Ollie's in Central City and hanging out with Barry? It was revealed the guy has hidden cameras and Arrow was called "Oliver" or "Ollie" a couple of times when Felicity and Barry were in S.T.A.R. Labs. No matter how he made the discovery, the fact is he now knows and let Cisco and Caitlin in on the secret.
There's been a lot of news about Firestorm eventually appearing in The Flash, but who thought it would happen at the end of an episode that's already full of fan service and a ridiculous amount of fun?! Even if you didn't know the character would eventually appear, it's tough to believe Stephen Amell's cousin, Robbie Amell, would only appear in just one episode! This was such an exciting cliffhanger as it revealed Ronnie Raymond is still alive and struggling to deal with his new situation. Two goons approach him as he's hunched over and shaking, so they thought he's just some drug addict who's in dire need of a fix. Instead of being just another desperate and weak junkie, they soon find out he's a metahuman as his hands and head become engulfed in flames! Best of all? It looks like we'll get some follow-up with this character in the next episode, "The Man in the Yellow Suit." Thanks for not making us wait, The Flash!
Amanda Waller's torture methods
Oliver's time on the island was harsh and helped shape him into the man he is today. However, his training didn't end on the island. Now that he's in Hong Kong, he's working for Amanda Waller, and the crossover event reveals that she's responsible for the violent way he handles "interrogations." During the flashback sequence, Waller orders Oliver to extract information from a guy who's tied to a chair. Apparently, there's bombs in the city and this man knows where they are. Make him talk and there's a chance these explosives can be defused. Oliver is unable to torture the restrained guy and the bombs go off (seems like they wouldn't have had time to get to them anyway?). Waller blames Ollie for this tragic development and says the blood is on his hands, not the bad guy's. She explains Oliver needs to take extreme measures to deal with extreme people. Basically, get off your moral high horse and do what needs to be done. It's a lesson that sticks with him. You can't help but wonder if this was all part of Waller's plan. We know how manipulative she can be, so did she view this as a very twisted win-win situation? Did she set up Oliver to fail? If he extracted the info, good. Maybe some innocent lives are saved and it shows he has potential and becomes more valuable to her. If he fails? It teaches one of her agents -- someone she's investing a lot of time in -- a lesson that she believes is critical.
There's a lot of relationship drama in the CW-verse. Oliver thinks he can't be with Felicity, Barry wants to be with Iris but she's with Eddie, Roy and Thea broke up, so on and so on. It seems like there's no such thing as a happy and loving relationship in this world. Well, unless you're John Diggle! Captain Boomerang injured his girlfriend, Lyla Michaels, and the frightening experience made him realize he just can't live without her. So, he proposes! Tragically, she says no and he joins the "why can't I be in a good relationship?" club with all of the others. Just kidding, she says yes! It's an uplifting scene and we're all happy for the big guy. He's more than deserving of some extra joy in his life. Let's just hope it lasts.
What's YOUR favorite development from the Arrow/The Flash crossover?