Before I begin, if you haven’t already and want to you can read my review of the previous part on this site here: https://gjamescreviews.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/flash-vs-arrow-crossover-episode-review/
The second episode of the two night CW crossover event ended on a very uplifting note. The episode as a whole was a significant improvement upon the first part. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed Flash vs Arrow but I found the second part of the crossover to be more solid overall as an episode. There were a number of excellent action scenes and some really strong character development.
First of all can I just comment on how much I enjoy the DC references present in the two shows recently. A couple of episodes back we got a reference to Superman on The Flash and in this episode, references to Batman. At one point Cisco asks if team Arrow have an “Arrow Cave” or an “Arrow Mobile”. This is of course a direct reference to The Dark Knight himself. I love these references and crossovers they really add to the rich tapestry of the shared universe even if the characters that are referenced aren’t part of the CW network’s version of the DC Universe.
Although he was a little bit cheesy in his first appearance Captain Boomerang really came into his own in this episode, becoming a really compelling villain. Who would have thought that CW could make a character that kills people by throwing boomerangs at them so threatening and enjoyable to watch on-screen? It’s a testament to the show that they can make a concept like this seem completely natural in a violent and gritty world. Not only do these characters seem normal they really work, the show makes these villains very brutal and dangerous even if their origin in the comic books was quite garish and stupid. Captain Boomerang shone in the initial fight scene at ARGUS, he has a truly visceral weapon, the boomerangs looked amazing arching through the air, taking people down permanently. Arsenal and Arrow taking on Boomerang in this scene was really cool. The moments like these are always really well choreographed. For the choreographers on Arrow there is no idea too big. They can have multiple highly trained and lethal badasses in a fight and make it look amazing. The moment that the cavalry arrived just as two boomerangs were about to stick into Arrow was also really cool. The orange lightning is always beautifully generated and contrasted really nicely with the darker colour pallet of Arrow.
Seeing The Flash suited up alongside Arrow and Arsenal on-screen never got old. Seeing them all fight together was even better. The characters all had a really nice interplay that felt real. All of the characters had a relationship with the others that felt true to their character. Cisco’s dynamic with Diggle, Roy and Oliver was particularly fresh and compelling. Cisco really is the representative of the audience, he is intended to be the character that always gives the audience’s reaction. Him freaking out when The Flash and Arrow were going out to catch Captain Boomerang being an example of this.
It was good to have a scene in which Felicity, Caitlin and Lyla got their time in the spotlight. There was a short scene where they had to fight for their lives against Harkness who had managed to get into “The Arrow Cave”. The realisation that Digger Harkness knew where they were by tracing the phone put a knot in the stomach. As did the ensuing chaos as Boomerang tried to kill everyone in the room, due to the fact that the writers really aren’t afraid to kill off an established character. The following moment was shocking and honestly took me by surprise, Lyla gets stuck by one of the lethal boomerangs. Lyla survives so it is fine but seeing Felicity step up to defend her friends was brilliant and a really cool moment for the character.
The stories in these episodes that run parallel with stories in Oliver’s past are always really compelling. This episode’s was particularly strong, providing some good acting fodder for the cast to get their teeth into. Stephen Amell was especially good in this episode in a sombre moment with Barry in which he reflects on his life, wondering if the things he has been forced to do have scrubbed out who he really is, leaving only The Arrow behind. Amell was excellent in this scene, these episodes as well as the very strong season 2 have demonstrated the tools in Amell’s acting armoury. He was definitely a good choice for this character, the past few episodes have demonstrated that he has the appropriate range of emotives in his acting repertoire to cover the character of the troubled Oliver Queen.
The final act was fantastic, the ending to the conflict with Boomerang was satisfying. It ended in a tense fight scene and an awesome moment where Barry took the various team members to the different bombs across the city to defuse them all at once. It seems next week’s episode of Arrow is the last for a while, like many TV shows this year Arrow is having a mid-season break. However from the description of the mid-season finale on IMDB it will be a pretty epic episode with Oliver coming face to face with Ra’s al Ghul. The return is unconfirmed at the moment, the release date of the episode after next week’s states simply “2015”. This saddens me as I look forward to Arrow every week, however The Flash isn’t going on a break it is one long run of episodes. In fact next week we finally get to see The Flash go up against The Reverse Flash. I am very excited for that.