You guys you guys you guys… IT’S HAPPENING. Some have been waiting for this crossover since the announcement this summer, but I, personally, feel like I’ve been waiting since Barry’s first appearance on our screen’s during Arrow’s second season1. And I’ll say what the entire internet is saying about the epic Part 1 of The Flash vs. Arrow crossover: “Holy crap, they did not disappoint.” No seriously, just check all of twitter and tumblr. We’re all going crazy!
The backstory intro is extra long this week; I’m guessing that The CW is prepared for the onslaught of first-time viewers that don’t typically watch the show, but are curiously tuning in just to enjoy an hour of superhero awesomeness. I’ll even further guess that both The Flash and Arrow are going to get a lot of new fans after tonight because they have definitely earned it. I could see The Flash 1×08 as a Flarrow gateway episode you use to try to get your friends to watch with you. I mean, at least that’s what I’m going to do.
Barry opens with a monologue about “feels.” This is appropriate because I fansplode from feels with regularity throughout this entire episode and even burst into flames at the very end of it. Which is probably why the writers decided to end on Firestorm’s first appearance. Just saying. Barry speeds through Central City like a beam of sunshine: delivering sunflowers to fighting couples, painting a homeless shelter a cheerful, bright, sunshiney yellow, etc. Barry is a ball of light and goodness. He ends up at Jitters stealthily(ish) checking out Iris, whose smile lights up his world like nobody else. The understands that Barry is a pretty happy-go-lucky dude and all-around nice guy… who happens to have superspeed.
But the metahuman-of-the-week is going to take that all away from Barry. His name is Roy G. Bivilo aka Chroma aka Rainbow Raider2. He’s a meta-dude in sunglasses who Medusas angry, impulsive feelings into anyone who makes eye contact with him. He starts off by robbing a bank, but we all know he’s going to be used to de-sunshine Barry and allow us the Superhero Battle we’ve been waiting for. I would also just like to nerd out over how dorky his name is: Roy G. Bivilo refers to the visible light spectrum, aka the colors of the rainbow. ROYGBIV. That fun fact is much more impressive than anything that Rainbow Raider has to do in this episode. Which is fine because what we really want is crossover goodness.
But before said crossover goodness, we must set up the subplot: Eddie/Iris have relationship problems caused by Iris’ often lustful obsession with The Flash. They’re even in bed trying to get some morning sexy time3 before Eddie mentions Papa West (which kills Iris’ libido) and The Flash/Streak/Red Blur (which probably reignites Iris’ libido). Also, I must express my concern for Eddie’s well-being; my best friend turned to me and asked “Didn’t he just get shot?” Forreal, Eddie, you gotta take some time to heal. Don’t overexert yourself4.
At CCPD, Eddie tries to convince Captain Singh that The Flash isn’t a hero but a menace. Singh doesn’t wanna waste any time trying to apprehend our scarlet speedster because he wants to get back to eating his cheeseburger
that Barry will eventually speed-steal because metabolism reasons because his boyfriend has put them both on a healthier diet. Yay! Singh is canonically gay on TV as well as in the New 52 comics. I wonder if they chose the Rainbow Raider episode to divulge this personal character information on purpose? Lawd.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Wells is having a good day and tries to impart some wisdom on Barry, and Cisco, once again, makes it known that he is our collective spirit animal and does a terrible Yoda impression that he probably thinks is amazing. And no one appreciates it the way we collectively do.
But then Iris texts The Flash and Barry speeds off, but not before Caitlin calls him out on his homewrecking behavior. She’s just foreshadowing 1.) Eddie/Iris’ relationship rough patch and 2.) SnowBarry’s
non-romantic, but platonic relationship rough patch. Barry suits up so he could do some incognito flirting and switches between desperate lovesick puppy (“DIDYOUBREAKUP??”) and smooth superhero (“What other girls? flashes away)
While trying to catch the Rainbow Raider — because that is what I am calling him — in an abandoned warehouse, Papa West, Barry and some more anonymous CCPD almost get killed by a red-eyed, rainbow’d SWAT team member. Fortunately, they are saved by… ARROW! ARROW HE’S HERE I’M SO HAPPY YAYAYAYAYYYY! He sees Barry, smirks, says “Nice mask,” and I faint. When I regain consciousness, Oliver ninjas up a wooden pillar, and Barry splits his face in half because he is the Number One Arrow Fanboy and
ohmygod masks are totally his and Ollie’s inside joke.
And so begins the greatest crossover introduction of my life. Flash and Arrow meld so well: of course, shadows and night scenes follow Oliver and his team wherever they go, but with the superpower elements and lightheartedness of The Flash, we get to see Team Arrow in a trope-ier, comic book environment. I enjoyed the earlier Felicity x Flash crossover so much because it felt like her character thrived in the Flashverse, but this episode proved that even Diggle is a comic book character that’ll deliver knockout punches in a tonally happier setting. His reaction to Barry’s super speed is everything.
Team Arrow tells Barry why they’re in Central City and it makes sense. Captain Boomerang, iron deposits, yadda yadda yadda… we’ll find out more tomorrow night. It’s hard for me to listen because I keep watching Digg side-eye Barry like he’s about to burst into flames. Barry talks about his villain and Felicity wants to help since they’re already there, but Oliver doesn’t want to risk his identity. Meanwhile, Digg is still trying to figure Barry’s powers out and it’s awesome.
So Barry scoops Felicity — with Oliver watching and Digg still not over things — into his arms
because Ollie’s Ducati is too slow and whisks her to his bedroom S.T.A.R. Labs. Where she catches on fire. Presumably because they are both just so hot together. And then Barry tries to put the fire out (on her breasts) by patting Felicity down (on her breasts) before he speedily retracts his hands and apologizes. And my traitorous Olicity heart starts singing Adele for Barricity because they are so damn cute.
There is too much good stuff about this scene. I’d like to say it’s possibly my favorite besides the epic showdown. Pure fanservice in which we are all Cisco. Just rewatching it over again. So the four nerds (Barry, Caitlin, Cisco, and Felicity) talk science — Cisco geeks out over Captain Boomerang’s, er, boomerang — and I’m a happy fangirl, until Papa West and Scary Harry Wells call Barry into the principal’s office for an Arrow Intervention. The Arrow is dangerous and they don’t want him in Central City or influencing Barry. “But, daddy, I love him!” Shouts Barry, like the Little Mermaid.
The Intervention is cut short because the boomerang is fucking destroying the lab and Caitlin runs off like Ace Ventura being chased by bats. Or that little girl in Jumanji being chased by bats. Poor Caitlin. Oliver is checking out the case on his own, in true dark and scary Arrow fashion except Digg is totally living out the Flash universe and providing comic relief. I like him here. Ollie sticks some arrows in some bad guys and gets some info to share with Barry over coffee the next day. And then after some heavy Felicity-convincing-Oliver-to-help eye contact
because they are totally married and we miss this interaction so much, Oliver trains Barry out by that abandoned farm.
Now the feminist in me is glad that Barry and Felicity’s kiss isn’t mentioned and used as an excuse for the two heroes to battle it out, but the fangirl in me wished that we got to a.) know whether or not Oliver knows they kissed and b.) see if he’d maybe rough Barry up a little bit, in a controlled, mentor type of way, of course. I love Oliver as a mentor. He has had a couple of padawans so far, and they all have different temperaments and personalities. Connie goes more in-depth analyzing the angles of Barry and Ollie, so I’ll just state for the record that Oliver shooting Barry with arrows was almost out of The Lion King.
Because that was some wise shit. It’s funny when Barry tries to take on Rainbow alone, you can see him clearly checking out his surroundings more, as if Ollie is hiding in the shadows ready to shoot him and scream, “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” But Barry is not fast enough, and he get red-eyed. And it becomes evident back at the Lab when he lashes out at Caitlin, teases Oliver about being jealous, yells at his boss Captain Singh and even Papa West. And then all of his negative Impulses (what a waste of a good joke) take over and he speeds after Eddie/Iris and further fuels Eddie’s Anti-Flash cause. Before Barry kicks Eddie’s ass in a jealous rage — it’s so so so bad, just so bad, Barry — a hooded Oliver rope-arrows Flash and tells the couple to “run.” And they listen.
And then shit goes down. This is the best part of the episode so anything I write will not do it justice. Highlights: Flash drags Arrow, Arrow shoots Flash A LOT, Flash gets tranquilized but vibrates so fast that it evaporates out of his skin, Flash speed-circles around Arrow, Arrow arrows up a building, Flash flashes up a building, Arrow falls off a building — and I scream even though he obviously does not die, Flash punches Arrow 238,439,320 times, Arrow shoots Flash in the knee and puts him in a chokehold. Oh please, just watch it.
[Ed. note: I’m calling it now. “The Flash vs. Arrow” is already better than Batman v Superman. –KC]
Wells and West drive by in a van rigged to use color psychology + flashing lights lights to “cure” Barry. And he becomes a puppy dog once again, telling Oliver “I’m sorry.” They hug and embrace in the rain and bro out. Grant Gustin himself tweeted it best:
Bros before foes, indeed. they agree to catch the bad guy together, which doesn’t even need a scene because we know that together they are unstoppable. He’s in the prison that Oliver muses is similar to his Lian Yu prison; I like Flash!Oliver… he’s funnier and more sarcastic like his comic book self. I’m sure we’ll get more of him, but before that time we get a stern Oliver lecture about his secret identity and another glorious Olicity married moment.
Oh, and Connie called it: Oliver has a sneaking suspicion about Dr. Wells THANK THE LORD. We end Part 1 in Jitters: Eddie/Iris have bonded over being nearly attacked by Angry!Flash while Barry looks on sadly. Oliver big brothers him a little bit with some unsolicited relationship advice, to which all of us watching respond, “OLIVER, SHUT UP. YOU OF ALL PEOPLE NEED TO SHUT YOUR DAMN FACE ABOUT LOVE.” Seriously, it’s upsetting and I hope that Sunshine-of-My-Life Barry doesn’t adopt the “We-Don’t-Get-The-Girl” beliefs that Oliver has.
Now before we leave and run into Amell #2 of the episode, Ollie runs into HIS BABY MAMA AND THE FANDOM BREAKS THE INTERNET. He has no freaking clue that she is
most likely Sandra Hawke buying hot chocolate for his lovechild, Connor. Why didn’t we think of this? Of course he would run into his Baby Mama in a coffee shop while visiting Central City! Of freaking course!
[Ed. note: I know most folks are geeking out the show is teasing Connor, but I really hope the babymama isn’t Sandra Hawke, actually. I know that’s the most obvious character, but Sandra’s supposed to be Black and Asian, and actress Anna Hopkins is decidedly neither. I mean, they already whitewashed Sin and Ra’s Al Ghul. It’d be unfortunate if they did that again. –KC]
At night under a bridge is a beautiful specimen hidden in homeless man attire. His jawline is familiar as we see it tense once two dumb bullies attempt to rob him. He turns around and we see it is in fact a not dead Ronnie Raymond. And then he bursts into flames. Like my fangirl feels.
Diggle never ever getting over Barry Allen’s speed: “I had a cousin who got hit by lightning once. He just developed a stutter.” “How fast do you think he goes to the bathroom after he’s eaten?”
SnowCity: I fully support a Caitlin/Felicity webisode series. They don’t even have to talk about superhero things. They need each other; girls needs girl friends, even if they don’t realize it.
Caitlin looking into Canary’s murder + DNA: My guess is that the killer will be identified at the end of Part 2.
Iris has a Tap List: I wonder if Eddie knew Oliver Queen was in town? Because he was having a lot of competition for his girlfriend’s affections that week.
- Homeless Shelter made possible by Palmer Technologies.
- Captain Singh’s boyfriend is supposed to be supervillain Pied Piper, Hartley Rathaway.
- Captain Boomerang
- Connor Hawke
- Firestorm. And the entire Flarrow cast seems stoked about it.
- One may argue that the eighth episode of every season must now be a crossover. From now until the end of Flarrow time. ↩
- Bivilo is actually referred to as “Prism” in this episode. At least until Caitlin meets him. ↩
- I’m impressed we haven’t really had any truly sexually explicit scenes. It’s The CW, and we’ve seen a lot less on-screen banging than I’d expect. I guess superpowers are sexy enough, and I am so happy about that. ↩
- Though I must say I do not blame Eddie for risking his life. Candice Patton is a goddess. ↩