This week, the CW DC Universe held its first major crossover of the season, with the “Legends of Today” episode of THE FLASH and the “Legends of Yesterday” episode of ARROW forming a two hour extravaganza that could better be described as a two hour TV movie than two episodes of their respective series. In the spirit of the team-up, this week I (your humble ARROW reviewer) had a discussion with Fabio Castelblanco (Comicsverse’s outstanding FLASH reviewer) about our thoughts on the two-parter.

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Brian: Well Fabio, I guess before anything else, we should start off with a bit of recap of where each of these shows are so far in their respective seasons, just in case we have any FLASH-only or ARROW-only viewers as readers.

Fabio: In THE FLASH’s sophomore season Barry Allen is facing a new evil Speedster, Zoom. Assisting him in his fight are all of his returning teammates – Cisco Ramon, the tech guy with the power to see vibrations into other parallel worlds; Caitlin Snow, the bio – engineer who lost her husband Ronnie (Firestorm), who sacrificed himself to save Central City from a Black Hole last season; Joe West, Barry’s adoptive father and confidant who is the father of Barry’s childhood crush, Iris; Iris West is a journalist for Picture News and a member of Team Flash this season.

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Some new faces this year are Jay Garrick, a former speedster from Earth-2 (E-2) who lost his speed after fighting Zoom and entering Earth-1 through the Black Hole. Another individual from E-2 is a new character with a familiar face, Harrison Wells. This version of Wells has come to help Barry stop Zoom, but his methods ultimately push Jay away.

After dealing with several new metahumans from E-2, Barry decides to take the fight to Zoom. Their fight ends terribly, with Zoom breaking Barry’s spine & televising his victory to all of Central City. Barry ultimately gets his speed back after a pep talk from his father, who was recently freed from prison thanks to a video from E-1 Harrison Wells admitting to Nora Allen’s murder. The Flash took care of Grodd, a telepathic gorilla, by sending him to Gorilla City in E-2. Also, Cisco has a new lady friend named Kendra Saunders who has secrets she may not be aware of. 

Brian: ARROW’s fourth season has seen a major status-quo shift for the show’s titular team of heroes. After briefly stepping away for some romantic bliss at the end of the show’s third season, Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak returned to Star City at the start of the fourth to assist the rest of the team (John Diggle, Laurel “Black Canary” Lance, and Thea “Speedy” Queen) in combating the threat of Damian Darhk and his HIVE organization. Oliver brings back with him a sunnier disposition than we’re used to though, finally changing his codename to Green Arrow and deciding to run for mayor of the city all while the team continues to track down Darhk.

READ: Like comic based TV shows? Check out our review of DAREDEVIL here.

As if that wasn’t enough on their plate, Team Arrow has also had to deal with Laurel using a Lazarus Pit to bring her sister Sara (the former Black Canary) back to life, Thea’s own post Lazarus Pit bloodlust, the revelation that John Diggle’s brother Andy is actually alive, Detective Lance being a double agent within Darhk’s organization, and the revelation that Ray Palmer is still alive. Suffice to say, it’s been quite a year already, and the season premiere’s tease of a future funeral for someone close to Ollie makes it seem like things are just gonna get worse. So to talk about the crossover itself, what did you think of it?

Fabio: This second crossover felt much more like a crossover of the two shows, whereas last year it felt like an episode of THE FLASH which featured some ARROW characters. I love that we actually spend a majority of the episode in Star City, even going so far as interacting (although brief) with the villain of ARROW this season! These crossovers give audience members who watch only one show a chance to keep up to date with everything on ARROW as of right now, which is always a plus.

Brian: Agreed totally. I think that in this crossover they really went with the two-hour movie approach as opposed to two single episodes with guest stars. As far as the change of scenery, I loved it from the ARROW POV as well. First off, the Arrowcave looked great on The Flash, possibly due to that series having a different lighting look? Same for the two casts both sharing the farmhouse in the ARROW half, it was so out of the norm for both teams, but somehow it worked. I also really want to see a full-on Barry/Darhk fight at some point this season, maybe in the second crossover.

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Fabio: That would be amazing! I hope they do that. By the way, did you notice the little AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON nod Thea gave when they arrived at the farmhouse?

Brian: I did. I must say, I actually literally laughed out loud at that moment. What did you think of the groundwork the crossover laid for LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, specifically Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Vandal Savage? Personally, I enjoyed it. I thought they did a nice job of adapting the Hawk reincarnation/love story, which can be somewhat complex and a bit creepy.

Fabio: I agree, they adapted the story of Hawkman and Hawkgirl to coincide with Vandal Savage’s immortality very nicely. Since Kendra was the one who did not remember her past reincarnations, her reaction to Carter saying they’re destined to be together was what I expected. It helped that Kendra was a bit of the fish out of water in this case, so the audience learned with her.

READ: Get caught up on the fourth season of ARROW here.

Brian: Agreed. She made a very good POV character. I also liked Cisco’s characterization during the two-parter. He seemed to be the only character commenting on just how odd the “destined to be together” thing truly is. Beyond that, I actually thought all the characters had some fun stuff to do. Obviously there wasn’t time to give everyone plus the guest stars equal focus, but I thought generally the characters were all well-served.

Fabio: Agreed. Due to the limited time it was difficult to give every character screen time. But whoever was there served a purpose. Speaking of Cisco, his dialogue was on point for this crossover! He had a few great one liners.

Brian: Agreed. He had a couple of contenders for the Line Of The Episode award I usually give out. The one that sticks out to me was “We’re gonna change that staff from Can’t Touch This to Invisible Touch” just for the absurdity of referencing M.C. Hammer and Genesis in that moment.

Fabio: I wanted to ask your opinion on Jay’s refusal to use the speed serum developed by Harry and Caitlin. I can see where he’s coming from, but they’re desperate to stop Zoom in any way possible. If they can’t make Zoom slower, than making Barry faster would be the next logical solution.

Brian: I thought it was interesting. I would imagine it points to Jay knowing something he’s not saying about Earth 2 Wells. Nothing as drastic as Thawne/Wells, but certainly something. Perhaps Jay did actually use the formula previously, and it’s caused him harm, or maybe the formula is what birthed Zoom in the first place? In turn, I wanted to ask you about the one part of the crossover I didn’t like, namely Oliver’s actions regarding his son. It struck me as nonsensical that Oliver would go along with the birthmother’s demand that he not tell Felicity. For starters, there’s no reason he couldn’t share it with Felicity and have her not say anything. And considering the birthmother lied to him for so long about William (who I’m admittedly bummed isn’t named Connor), he really doesn’t owe her his word. It just seemed like a way to jam tension into the Ollie/Felicity relationship for an inevitable break-up/fight later on rather than sensical storytelling.

READ: ARROW fan whose curious to check out the comics? Check out how DC has added TV continuity to the book.

Fabio: Possibly, this version of Wells clearly has some hidden agenda. I completely agree, it seemed like a cheap way to add unnecessary drama into the show. I’m also disappointed that his son is not Connor; missed opportunity there. Although how did you feel about Olicity breaking up because of Oliver keeping his son a secret? Granted it was undone after Barry time traveled. Still, I’m curious to hear your opinion.

Brian: Well, in general I thought the whole thing felt shoehorned in to justify Barry’s whole “shouldn’t mess with the future” speech as a negative consequence. If not, the only thing they’re changing is the destruction of the city and everyone dying. And the breakup itself I thought was weak. First off, I can’t see Felicity ending things that fast and in the middle of an apocalypse-level crisis. The whole thing just feels like a way to force the plot of Ollie not being able to have love in his life.

Fabio: Which is a storyline that has been done to death at this point. I’m personally hoping that Felicity breaking up with Oliver is foreshadowing that those two don’t live happily ever after. The Flash writers have stated that when Barry goes back in time it’s the writer’s opportunity to give sneak peeks of where the story will go.

Brian: Agreed. I still think Felicity is either going to die (as the person in the flash-forward funeral perhaps) or leave the show after this year. It would be a shame, as I still love the character, but I think it’s the only logical way out of the hole they’ve dug.

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Fabio: I still like Felicity too, but not when they use her for unnecessary drama. If she does leave, she shall be missed. What’s your theory on the relationship between Merlin and Vandal? They’re clearly “friends” or allies, but what could Merlin gain from Vandal staying alive?

Brian: My first thought was that he wants Savage to somehow make him immortal, but that’s just a guess. Now that the setup seems to be over, what’s your opinion on how both ARROW and THE FLASH have set up LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, both with this crossover and their season’s as a whole regarding Firestorm, Ray Palmer, Sara Lance.

Fabio: While I feel like both shows have done a tremendous job at setting up LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (LOT), I still feel myself wanting more. Perhaps maybe another mention of Rip Hunter or maybe Cisco sees a vision of the LOT team. It’s minor, but overall I believe that audiences have a good idea of the main villain, his motivation & the characters involved. I imagine once the new show airs in January there will be some ARROW & FLASH characters in the pilot to send off their loved ones. 

READ: Catch up on the Scarlett Speedster’s adventures on Season Two of THE FLASH here.

Brian: In general, I thought they did an okay job. I don’t mind not seeing Rip Hunter as I think it makes more sense to save him for the LOT pilot. I liked what the crossover did with the Hawks and Savage. Giving their whole backstory here eliminates a lot of exposition that would have bogged down the pilot. The other characters were a bit more hit or miss. The Firestorm episode of THE FLASH just felt a bit too “backdoor pilot” to me. The Sara Lance and Ray Palmer ARROW arcs were slightly better, but still had that same feel. As for who sends them off, I’m curious to see if it’s the main characters or not. Realistically, Laurel, Felicity, Cisco, and Caitlin make the most sense. I just wonder if The CW would allow that or if they’d insist on Grant Gustin and/or Stephen Amell appearing.

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Fabio: I believe Cisco is already set to appear on LOT & we’ve seen Flash in some of the promos, but I’m sure it’s easier to have supporting characters guest star than the main characters.

Brian: So to wrap it up, what would you say is your overall opinion of the crossover?

Fabio: This year’s crossover flowed much better than the previous year & really showcased what is great about each individual show. I appreciate the simplified version of the Hawks origin story & I’m excited to see Vandal Savage wreck havoc on LEGENDS OF TOMORROW premiering Jan. 21st.

Brian: I definitely agree with that. In addition to everything we’ve said, I loved how it highlighted the evolution of the Ollie/Barry relationship. The bond they share, and the chemistry between Amell and Gustin is so fun to watch. The only thing that bumps it down to me is the Olicity storyline.

Well there you have it everyone, hope you enjoyed this super-powered team-up between Fabio and myself. Be sure to check ComicsVerse every week for our respective reviews of ARROW and THE FLASH throughout the rest of this season.

How did you like the crossover episodes? Let us know in the comments!

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