Both The Flash and Arrow are on hiatus this week, airing reruns as they prep for the massive excitement of next week's two-part, two-night crossover event, "Heroes Join Forces."
They've done a fairly good job of keeping a lid on what's going on, and we dig that -- especially because it means we can sit here and speculate about how anything can happen.
So...what's on our wish list?
Well, we don't mean to be greedy...but it's the holidays, so maybe if we're reeeeeeally good...!
Nods to the Past
Yes, this crossover is all about looking forward and setting the stage for DC's Legends of Tomorrow. But let's be real: what makes comics special, in part, is the ongoing, serialized nature of the storytelling and the interconnectedness of the characters, their histories and their worlds.
That's always a hard thing to really get across in TV and film, but at this point, with this group, it shouldn't be anymore. There are 80 episodes of Arrow floating around in the world, and 30-something of The Flash. The heroes and supporting characters in the episodes have generated enough backstory that when you have a character like Vandal Savage -- an immortal who has been slowly manipulating the world to his own ends for centuries -- it would seem like a missed opportunity if he didn't have something to say about what's been going on, say, in the Arrow flashbacks.
Nods to the Future
One of the things that the showrunners have done very well in the recent past is generate mysteries. Who is Harrison Wells? Who's in the casket on Arrow?
Well, again, this is a great opportunity -- with Rip Hunter arriving from the future -- to establish some teasers not only for Legends of Tomorrow but for what's next on Arrow and The Flash.
Nods to the Comics
The last little while, things on both Arrow and The Flash have been so fast-paced and involved that we haven't had a lot of new characters or concepts introduced -- just a deepening of what's there.
Name-dropping some concepts and characters from the comics would be pretty cool right at the moment -- especially with the fan base still on a little bit of a high from hearing that whole thing in the Legends of Tomorrow trailer about Men of Steel and Dark Knights.
At the end of this episode, it seems as though Sara is going to head off with Rip Hunter and company to join the Legends of Tomorrow.
Existing outside of time and not really acknowledged as being alive by the world at large, it's easy to imagine that communicating with loved ones is likely going to be pretty hard, so it would be nice to get some resolution on the major relationships in her life.
We've already seen that Laurel and the family side of things will be handled in DC's Legends of Tomorrow (it's in the newly-released trailer, which you should really have checked out by now), but what about Nyssa? Sara's on-again, off-again relationship with the woman who might be the love of her life has not only been one of the most interesting interpersonal relationships on the show, but it's driven a ton of story, and leaving it on the table (especially since she knows that Sara is alive) seems like a missed opportunity.
With Malcolm Merlyn, the current Ra's al Ghul and therefore Nyssa's nominal boss, appearing in the episodes, it seems like as good a time as any to give us a little bit of closure there.
Look, we want a lot of things. We want it to tie into the past, to set up the future, to introduce new characters for Legends of Tomorrow while giving closure to characters who might not be coming back to Arrow and The Flash once it's all over.
But the most important thing is for a two-night, two-hour event to feel important, and to feel like it's something that gives a satisfying conclusion to its own story, even as we know it's a jumping-off point for more. From Marvel movies to comic books, we've seen people fall victim to treading water while they franchise build and more than anything else I don't want to see that here.