While typically reviews of The Flash and Arrow are done separately, watching the crossover back to back gives the impression of watching a single movie, so this review will cover both episodes. Honestly, waiting until Wednesday to be able to watch them in one sitting is highly recommended, but only if you can stay clear of the Internet to avoid spoilers for 24 hours. If the call of Twitter is too strong, watch them on their separate nights.
Obviously, there have been crossovers before, with Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco all being introduced on Arrow, as well as Ollie and Barry’s discussion in both shows premieres this season and Felicity’s earlier trip to Central City. But you have never seen anything like this!
The Flash starts off as a typical episode, with Barry narrating, mostly about his feelings for Iris, and the arrival of a new metahuman. But things take a dark turn when Ollie, Diggle, and Felicity show up tracking the boomerang that was recently used to kill someone in Starling City. When Barry wants to team up, Ollie reluctantly agrees. But where Barry foresaw an equal partnership, Ollie sees himself in more of a mentoring role, much like he has with Roy. This disagreement turns dangerous when Barry is affected by the new metahuman’s powers and Teams Arrow and Flash are forced to work together to save him, as well as Central City.
Arrow begins with a return to Starling City and the continued investigation of the Boomerang killer. The interference of A.R.G.U.S. and a direct threat against Lyla stretch Ollie and company to their limit when Caitlin and Cisco show up, with Barry not far behind. Again, both teams have to work together and overcome their differences to stop a villain and save one of their own.
Crossovers can be fun to begin with, but these two really pack a punch. With two interconnected shows that have very different tones, there is a lot of opportunities to give the actors a chance to do things they normally don’t get to do. Whether it is Diggle’s hilarious reaction to seeing The Flash for the first time, or Caitlin and Cisco sadly commenting on the differences between Central City and what they do versus Starling City and what Ollie and his friends do (both among the highest points in their respective episodes) the performers are given chances to stretch and shine. And let us for forget the epic showdown -- or is it showdowns? -- between Arrow and The Flash.
Every actor brought their A game, but the shining stars of the episodes are the ones who it is all about: Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin both brought every incredible thing they do each week on their own shows to the other’s flawlessly. While Ollie’s serious nature seemed humorous and comically over the top on The Flash, Barry’s joviality transformed to horror seamlessly when he saw how the Arrow really gets the job done on Arrow. They partnership works in that they are such opposites, with much to learn from each other.
Both episodes are high points in already strong seasons, making one fantastic story in two hours’ time. And leaving the desire for another crossover very firmly planted in the minds and hearts of fans. So before you watch, remember to ask yourself just one question. Arrow vs. Flash. Who do you think will win?