This week we got the Arrow/The Flash crossover, titled “Legends of Today”, that I’m sure many of us have been pining for since the last hero team-up, and let me just say that I don’t feel let down after all the waiting. Unlike the last crossover episode, both Barry and Oliver have changed and grown stronger. Last time Barry was still just learning the ropes of being a hero, but this time we’re seeing a Barry who’s won and lost much since last time The Flash actually teamed up with Green Arrow. We’re excluding the quick run in and save everyone in Nanda Parbat from that statement, but it’s fun to have a crossover between two actual established heroes. While we only get little of Joe and Patty, Kendra Saunders and her ancient lover Carter Hall fill that void as we get introduced to our newest additions to the CW DC Universe. They’re more than welcome as well.
Warning: SPOILERS will follow!
1. I want to talk a bit about some of the actual The Flash-centric plotlines that went on during this episode and we’ll start with Harry and Caitlin who are working hard on figuring out Barry’s Zoom problem. We learn that Barry has been training and running as much as possible to try and speed up, but with Zoom being “three or four times faster” than him currently, Barry is going to need more than just more time practicing. I find it a bit crazy that Harry and Caitlin can straight up make a drug that enhances a speedster’s connection to The Speed Force. While I admit that back in Earth-2 the technology seems to be farther along than in Earth-Prime, I still think that The Speed Force should feel like something that is harder for a couple of scientists to understand so easily; let alone manipulate. I liked that they gave Jay Garrick something to actually do this episode (what the hell does he do every day?) when they guilt him into saving a shot and dying Harry with the newly made Velocity-6 formula. We get to see that this formula works as intended when Jay is able to move his hand fast enough to move into Harry’s chest and pull the bullet out. He tells Harry that the formula has left his system at the end of the episode, but I have a feeling that it hasn’t. Maybe that’s all Jay needed to regain his connection with The Speed Force. I really liked this interaction between Harry and Jay though, because we see Harry ease up and show some actual gratitude towards Jay. While Jay doesn’t ease up on Harry, I feel like if they keep moving this direction, we’re going to have Jay and Harry returning back to Earth-2 as the friends I assumed they were before the Zoom incident.
2. My girl Patty didn’t show up too much this episode, but when she does… shots fly! I loved the #PattyBarry scene in the police lab when the couple is trying to “remain professional” while at work. It’s cute as hell. While she didn’t get much screen time, Patty’s scenes were all pretty important to The Flash‘s stand alone story. Not only does she track down the Harrison Wells who was seen stealing from Mercury Labs, but she follows him into S.T.A.R. Labs and pops a cap in his ass! Okay, in his chest… but still! While I didn’t like how trigger happy Patty was this episode, I guess I can understand after the whole King Shark and Zoom occurrences she’s witnessed that she’d be a bit jumpier. What’s even more interesting in her plot line is how her relationship with Joe will be affected after everything that happened in this episode. She knows now that Joe is hiding a ton of secrets from her, the least of which includes lying about and covering for this reappearance of Harrison Wells. Not only that, but now she’s been into the S.T.A.R. Labs base. She was there for the whole duration that it took Joe to arrive, so I can only imagine that as smart as Patty is, that she saw clues that the lab was more than it appeared to be. I am really loving this character not just as a love interest, but for the role she plays in the overall story and how well she plays it. I can’t wait to see this plotline continue.
3. The big bad during this crossover was none other than Justice League villain Vandal Savage. For those that follow the news about Legends of Tomorrow, you may recognize that name as the announced main antagonist for that upcoming show. That news kind of spoils this crossover for us mainly because we know he isn’t going to actually be defeated, but that being said I ended up kind of liking his character. He kind of plays the stereotypical villain archetype that came straight from the comic pages, and they play with that idea a bit in some of the dialog through out the crossover. We get a quick scene of Savage dispatching some cops to show us what he can do. While I thought the scene was okay, I was left wondering… If he’s so powerful why did he let those guys strip him of his weapons and handcuff him? A bit of lazy writing I’d imagine, but I won’t go too hard on the writers this episode because they did more right than wrong. One thing that I didn’t like is that we didn’t get a whole lot of motivation for why Savage does what he does; besides him just wanting to kill the Hawk-heroes. Sure it makes him more powerful, but why does he want more power? Does he need to drain their life force to feed his immortality like some kind of vampire? I feel like we’ll find out his overarching plans during Legends of Tomorrow, but I also feel like we should have gotten a bit more info on who he is currently and not just who he was. Also, for someone who’s been alive for four thousand years, Vandal doesn’t seem extra intelligent. You’d think that he wouldn’t fall for some of The Flash or Arrow’s tricks after four thousand years of experience. Either way, I’m a huge supporting of magic users in comic book shows and movies since most studios are too scared to do magic. I’m also a huge fan of Egyptian mythology, so a bad guy who is a mix of both is right up my alley. I liked Vandal Savage and I can’t wait to see his true potential during Legends of Tomorrow.
4. Having Team Arrow in this episode was fun but also funny at times. I get that some people have stopped watching Arrow, especially after Season Three’s lower ratings, but did they really need to do all of the “catch up” scenes and dialog in such an obvious way? I found it all a bit cheesy considering how in contact Cisco and Felicity seem to be. Let’s not forget the dumbest, laugh out loud moment of this episode, when Green Arrow fired a magnetic arrow that literally sucked the guns out of Damien Darhk’s ghost’s hands. That was campy as hell, but I won’t give them too much shit for putting some of the more fun trick arrows from the comics into the show. We got a pretty big moment where Darhk was a few seconds away from killing Oliver, but The Flash saves them all by whisking the team away and that’s that. No stopping Darhk for Oliver or anything. Sure leave the chemical bomb in the truck with Darhk, now that whole fight was all for nothing! Nevertheless, I liked how Barry remarked on the new Oliver and brought up the whole “guys like us don’t get the girl” line from the last crossover. For the first time this episode I was glad to see the appearance of Bloodrage Thea when Savage interrupts the party, because she freakin’ shoots three arrows into Savage saving the whole group from certain death. It was actually exciting! I did love seeing Team Arrow’s reaction to Cisco being a metahuman as well. John Barrowman made his appearance, which prompted me to roll my eyes and Barry to make some pretty funny lines about how he appears from nowhere. Thankfully they actually wrote Malcolm into the crossover with intent and purpose. The last thing to say goes back to my point about both Green Arrow and The Flash being established heroes now. I really liked the whole “we’re in my/your city” back-and-forth that Barry and Oliver kept doing. It shows that they respect each other and follow their lead when they’re in their respective cities. That’s a big change from the last crossover!
5. The Hawk-heroes are here! Last episode of The Flash we got a “vibe” of Kendra as Hawkgirl, but in this episode Hawkman shows up first. We get a short fight between our heroes and Hawkman, as heroes have to do before teaming up, then we get some exposé on who Carter Hall is and why he’s interested in Kendra. The “emerging” scene on top of the roof kind of reminded me of The Matrix, where Neo had to jump off a building and survive to become who he was destined to be. While it takes some time, Kendra finally works through her feelings and jumps off becoming Hawkgirl… kind of. While we only get a few glimpses from the past of “Prince Khufu” and “Priestess Chay-Ara”, Carter fills us in on some of the details about his and Kendra’s origin story and why Vandal is after them. I was okay with this portrayal of Hawkman, but I still think Smallville did Carter way better. Falk Hentshel played a pretty boring and stiff Carter, but I’m hoping he grows on me. Either that or he dies… If you know anything about Hawkgirl from the comics, you know that the two are seldom alive together. I also don’t care for Hawkgirl and Hawkman’s wings just magically disappearing when they aren’t using them, but I guess that’s just a cost over cheese factor thing. I’m just glad that we finally have our final member of the Legends of Tomorrow cast. Can we move back onto more Zoom now?
As with most crossover episodes, the main story has been put on hold and will probably resume as normal next week. This was a fun episode mainly because of the lighthearted “party” scenes. While the catch up dialog was cheesy at times, it also allowed for more fun moments like Oliver commenting on The Flash’s coffee drink at Jitters. Which leads into the final bit of this episode. Like Diggle’s quest to avenge his brother, the mystery of Oliver’s child out of wedlock finally rears its head again as Oliver finally sees Samantha Clayton and her son William in Jitters. This was a good way to end the episode. While the heroes didn’t actually defeat Savage, which could have been a lazy cliffhanger, the writers chose to use this as the cliffhanger and it paid off. I’ve been waiting for Oliver to learn about his child for like… three whole seasons now. Overall this was a good episode of The Flash, but it’s hard to compare a crossover episode in the context of the entire season since it’s a pretty stand alone story. The main questions I have after this episode are: Will Jay have any after effects from Velocity-6? Will it work as intended on Barry? Where the hell is Zoom? What will Joe do to explain himself to Patty? That’s really it, since those small plot points were the only The Flash-centric bits in the episode. I guess now we start waiting once again until the next amazing crossover special.
This week in the competition between The Flash and Arrow in who’s show was better, I give each show the point! It’s too hard during crossovers to give one the win over the other, especially since both shows connect into one feature length story. As expected though the story as a whole was really damn good so I gave them both a full point each! Check out my thoughts on this week’s Arrow in my Arrow Zoom-In crossover column here!