As we know, Team Flarrow is trying to protect the Hawks from Vandal Savage, who wants to murder them because of destiny or habit or something. So everyone’s all teamed up, Kendra’s unlocked her hawking powers, and Oliver’s spotted his baby mama!
I’ve been so cautious this season, guys. Good things were happening. Oliver was LEARNING LESSONS. TEAM FLARROW WAS AWESOME. Despite some plot/exposition bumps, the team up in this half of the crossover was fun. There were things I wished for: Less Carter. ANY Snowlicity aside from their one nerd moment. Less white ancient Egypt (I’ll get on some of that later). But the Barry/Oliver moments were great — they’re wonderful foils for each other. As was anything with Cisco. Can he be my friend? Also he should be in every show. But just like we were burned last season with the Ra’s al Ghul arc, this Kid arc (I’ll come up with a better name for it another time) is only going to lead to terrible things. Unhappy fans. Annoyed fans.
Time to do that thing where I recap less and do more of split this episode into… THE GOOD and THE BAD! (You’re all meant to say it along with the text like on a game show.)
So, seeing the team together? Great. They can barely fit in one farmhouse!
With the focus on the Hawks, there’s less time for Diggle or Thea or Caitlin or even Laurel to say… anything. I think our side characters got more to do in The Flash version of the episode, than the Arrow supporting cast did this week.
Barry. Barry was wonderful this episode.
LOVE. SASSY. BARRY.
Barry and Oliver sticking together for the final moment of the battle was great. Like I said, they play off of one another well. Barry’s growth as a hero is apparent here, he’s less puppy and has more backbone (I guess Zoom breaking his back strengthened the bone…) to stand up to Oliver, tell him what is and isn’t going to work… He’s growing! (I can’t wait for the future crossover where Flash has grown even more and they are more toe to toe in planning and execution). He’s also a great friend, and he’s trying to keep up with everyone. There’s Cisco, there’s Oliver, there’s Felicity. He wants them all to work things out, but they’ve also got some people to save. He stretches a little thin, but he tries. Reason to love him.
Cisco! Who doesn’t want to date Cisco at this point? Besides his amazing one liners, his care for Kendra was really apparent. Something that I’m probably making up just now, but just go with it: Cisco is a namer of things. In order to do that, you have to consider what it is. You have to understand what makes a name work at its core. The reason he is so good at naming things is because he has this ability to understand things on a deeper level instantly. (Oh, of COURSE this ties back to his vibing powers, y’all). And he’s spent more time with Kendra than the other metas he’s named, so he knows just how to get her to unlock her powers. It probably won’t be for a while as her nurses this disappointment, but I hope Cisco finds someone one day. He so deserves it. But I am glad he got a love interest while it lasted.
Okay, this is the part where this devolves into only THE BADs. =/
I really dislike Carter. They’ve focused less on him in promo-ing Legends of Tomorrow, so hopefully he’s not around too much longer. I would love for Kendra to find herself without his assistance (he’s so pushy about it. “We like St. Roch, let’s go there.” Ugh no, what if she wants to stay in Central? Or back to Wisconsin?), especially since it’s been bad assistance so far and as Cisco mentions, she doesn’t even really seem to like him. In the present OR the past. So he’s out soon.
Briefly, this episode title was going to be “Not hubris. Hope,” because awesome line, awesome Barry. Alliteration. But then Oliver did what he did at the end, and it made this null and voice. Oliver’s hubris is going to be his downfall. He really thinks he can keep baby mama visits from Felicity? As she says in the episode, she does this kind of thing for a living. And we see that she’s suspicious. This episode does not leave us with hope. Even non-Olicity fans know that the backlash of this is going to be awful and devastating. Not hopeful at all! So I flipped it.
I could defend a lot of season 3; until the mess of the end, it felt like it was going somewhere, and it kind of got there with the beginning of season 4, even if the episodes prior were, like I said, a mess. But where do we go with this? I know everything going well isn’t going to last long, but this not only takes the character backwards, it spoils everything he does going forward. Heroes don’t lie to be selfish, if they must lie (secret identities and whatnot), it’s for the greater good. It’s to protect (even when it’s usually ‘it’s not protecting them either way to keep the secret’).
But here, Oliver’s lie doesn’t protect anything but himself. Yes, him being the Arrow makes his life crazy and not great for a young kid trying to get to know his dad, but Oliver is lying to the two most important people in his life (and also the rest of the important people of his team): Felicity and his kid. Neither one of them is going to be on his side later when he tries to explain things. Iris did it on The Flash, but she’s an angel we rarely see. See Thea. See Felicity’s own missing father issues. See John’s anger at his brother being alive. See anything with the Lances and lying. No one likes being lied to by someone they thought they could trust and trusted them. Oliver has too many examples of this kind of lying going badly for him to do it himself.
Also, thanks for trusting your 10 year old fling with all of this, but NOT Felicity (or Diggle. I appreciate the Barry, but that’s only because Barry was stepping in it and wouldn’t let Ollie NOT tell him). Baby Mama lied to him and still isn’t letting him get to know him properly. Oliver doesn’t get enough out of this deal. Oliver get to know his son, but the kid doesn’t get to know his dad… He just knows this strange man who suddenly wants to hang out with him (that wasn’t creepy or concerning AT ALL). This is a one sided relationship full of lies that will not end well for anyone. Le sigh. You were going SO WELL with the character growth, Ollie.
I have a terrible sense of dread now. Both for the characters and the writing. Hubris. Not hope.
I don’t want to write a whole thing, because we’re all SO TIRED OF IT. But WHY OH WHY WAS ALL OF ANCIENT EGYPT WHITE EXCEPT FOR ONE PRIESTESS? Let’s not even go into the sort of fake Egypt they went through (I don’t feel like fact checking meteors and The Middle Kingdom). Or who Vandal was in Egypt and why he came for them in the first place? Was he actually in love with Kendra, or just sexually assault her? Or what kind of non-Egyptian name is VANDAL SAVAGE. Of course they’re not going to acknowledge their gross white washing, but Exodus came out and was panned and dragged and flopped all before this episode was written. I even think the Gods of Egypt backlash happened before this was probably written (though the producer’s ‘apology’ is recent).
But this is a comic book inspired story. PICK ANY FICTIONAL PLACE. Even with Ra’s al Ghul, fans (especially of color) were annoyed that Ra’s was cast as white. But Nanda Parbat is fictional and Ra’s is a title that Season 3 Ra’s likely inherited, so somewhere there was a PoC Ra’s to fit the culture he leads. But don’t pull the same crap with Egypt and expect no one to say anything. Next time, pick a fictional place. (Like, why was Carter an EGYPTIAN PRINCE…!? HOW SWAY? I can’t.)
Even with all of this… mess, the one liners and Barry and Cisco are the redeeming qualities. I think in future crossovers, I’d hope for a few things (besides singing. GIVE ME SINGING!):
- For the stories to be maybe set apart from either show’s continuity. The Flash did it better than Arrow, which spent so much time on The Kid, that it left little time for team integration and interaction. It’s hard when the episodes are set right before the mid-season finales, and in some ways I want the teams to influence the other stories, but this is a prime example of it sort of falling apart. There are too many characters to deal with. Also, when Barry’s advice is straight up ignored, it shows that these interactions aren’t having an influence on the other show’s stories, and that makes me sad. Because they can be fun on the outside, but if it has no meaning, then what’s the point? It should be fun and have a point.
- With that said, we have to figure out how to let these characters interact. I know the main focus is Ollie/Barry with some Felicity thrown in, because they are the initial crossover trio. But more John/Barry or John/Cisco. Even Laurel/Cisco like we saw last season briefly. SNOWLICITY PLEASE. Let’s get Iris in on this. Joe! Joe and Diggle need a brotha talk for real. “These crazy white people and their meta humans…” I want more TEAMWORK. As opposed to the two heroes just doing it all themselves.
- I suppose next season might be a huge thing with Legends of Tomorrow if it gets renewed for a second season. This is a cautionary tale on watching how many characters get squeezed into these episodes. Because I want to focus on our side characters in each show, not just the leads of all the shows.
- A story with characters that need less exposition. The Hawks needed a LOT of exposition, which I didn’t really care about. Give us a story we can just jump into. I don’t want to get to know new people in the crossovers, I want to have fun with the characters I already know (new villains are fine).
- What if the funeral is for the kid…!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Especially after this character betrayal, it’s the only logical option for the show to not lose a cast member AND for why Barry shows up.
- (If Felicity died, Barry wouldn’t be late to the burial. If Diggle died, he honestly would have less of a need to show up at all, especially when dealing with his own crap. I doubt we’d say Oliver would go to Caitlin’s funeral, just to make a parallel of characters who rarely speak to each other right now.)
- Whatcha doing, Malcolm? You seemed ALL FOR Team Flarrow taking out Savage. Why did you suddenly change your mind? What is up with you? Also, this is the one time in this crossover he didn’t roll seven deep with Shadows behind him.
- I was surprised not to see Ray at all here, since other episodes of Arrow didn’t care about squeezing in LoT characters to see them rotate around each other pre-spinoff.
- TROLLS. I can’t believe these trollololling writers did an Age of Ultron thing. It was funny, but also: who’s house is this? Why are they here, still in Central City apparently? I guess outside the city limits but still.
- Also, the 600 miles or so (from Barry zooming from one city to another in The Flash pilot, was that the distance?) between Star and Central Cities is way too long for these back and forths. They couldn’t have taken Felicity’s jet?
- This line was golden and I loved it.
- Barry and Cisco really saved this episode.
- When Kendra’s wings sprout in Timeline 1, THERE’S NO HOLE IN HER JACKET. HOW DO THE WINGS WORK?
- Barry runs a side business now:
- While I am team:
I was a little annoyed at how little time Felicity gave Oliver in Timeline 1. He DID need time to process, but he also did need to tell her the truth.
- “That’s staff’s gonna go from “Can’t Touch This” to “Invisible Touch.”
- I think Vandal Savage is Sailor Saturn??? He has a staff with the power to destroy worlds (really surprised he hasn’t used it more recently, considering how willy nilly he is with the thing.) Savage basically:
- Welp, everyone dies. Moral of this episode, if Oliver lies to Felicity, everyone dies. Hubris, not hope.
- Why did we need to see that Baby Mama reads magazines about Mindy Kaling tho? lol
- Why does Laurel get deja vu when she wasn’t even there the first time?
- The episode where Oliver gets to hug two of the most important people in his life, is the episode where he deserves it the least. That bosom hug is SPOILED.
- Eternally facepalming as Oliver’s regression.
Okay. Well, this episode mimicked Flash brightness (The Flash, in turn, had a purposefully Arrow darkness about it, they spent each episode majority in the opposite hero’s city), but The Flash half was more fun, for sure. Next week is the mid-season finale. I am not hopeful about it.
What were your thoughts? Comment or tweet me @ConStar24