A Closer Look: The Flash/Arrow Crossover (Part 2) – “The Brave And The Bold”

The two-night Crossover Event of The Flash and Arrow concluded last night, which not only gave us another chance to see our favorite TV superhero teams work side by side, but also had profound effects on both shows as they near their midseason finales. Though unlike the first part in this Crossover – “Flash Vs Arrow” – “The Brave And The Bold” was less a physical battle of heroes and more so one of ideals. It was a chance for both heroes to get reality checks. So let’s take a closer look at Arrow “The Brave And The Bold”

Flashback Purposes:

Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be an episode of Arrow without some Flashbacks. This time around we saw how Oliver had to learn torture in order to find out where a bunch of bombs were placed. Without the stomach to proceed, the bombs detonated and Waller blamed all the lives lost on Oliver – who she tasked with the torturing. A you will see, this episode dealt a lot with Oliver’s suspected “loss of humanity” and he sees this as the start of it. Sure he’s killed before; but as we learned in this episode ‘for those with a conscious, sometimes inflicting pain is harder than inflicting death’.

This is why Oliver always uses rough means to get information, because if he doesn’t he fears what might happen. Though this time around it was very fitting that the information he got during an interrogation was all a plant in order to get Lyla alone. This scene doesn’t only show Oliver the error of his ways – and give him more guilt – but also shows Barry that The Arrow can be the man Joe and Dr Wells originally thought him to be. Though it is from this break in Oliver’s mindset that Barry is able to teach him a lesson himself.

A Lesson For Oliver:

During Part 1 of this The Flash and Arrow crossover, we saw how Oliver taught Barry an important lesson about always learning and using what talents you have to their fullest potential. As Part 2 picked up, we saw that Barry has indeed heeded Oliver’s advice and is already canvassing situations rather than running in blind. He’s learned his lesson! Though this is a two way crossover event, so if Barry had a lesson to learn from Oliver, Oliver has something to learn from Barry.

The Brave And The BoldWhen Barry sees The Arrow interrogate that man, Barry sees it as weakness because he believes the heroes are supposed to be bigger than the villains. Oliver then takes this chance to remind him – as well as us the viewers – that he isn’t as “emotionally healthy” as Barry is. He sees every time he puts on the hood as trading a bit of his humanity; but Barry sees things oppositely.

Oliver has become a virtual recluse this season after losing his family as well as his company; and so believes that The Arrow is who he really is – that Oliver is just a disguise. Though Barry reminds Oliver that is because of his humanity that he made it through everything he has and still wants to do good. The Arrow can’t really inspire people – aside from becoming vigilantes – but Oliver can inspire. So in the end when we see the flashback of Waller telling Oliver he has ‘a stab at redemption’ – mastering torture – it mirrors how now Oliver has a second chance at redemption as far as becoming more “emotionally healthy”

How The Crossover Event Restored Balance:

As far as the half seasons for Arrow and The Flash are concerned, you know the general mood – Arrow insanely dark; The Flash insanely light. Though after this crossover we’ll see these two pull back from their ‘extremes’ and have a more centered approach. We just saw how Oliver can restore some balance in his life and keep his humanity; but the same will be true for Team Flash. Caitlin and Cisco admitted to Roy and Felicity that they have been treating the superhero gig as a big game – which The Flash kind of is.

The Brave And The BoldThe Flash will still be a fun show, don’t get me wrong; but this shows the characters acknowledge the fact that they have to be more real. They have to take things a little more seriously; and just because their villains have powers it doesn’t mean what’s happening is any less real. The Arrow universe is remarkable for grounding things in reality; and The Flash will indeed keep that spirit. Similarly, Arrow will now reclaim a vision of hope despite all its dark tones lately. It’ll still be a dark and gritty show; but now they’ll be light at the end of that tunnel.

Task Force X Exterminated? – Suicide Squad Gone Wrong:

So we learned from Lyla that Digger Harkness was another member of the Suicide Squad; but wait a minute. She said ‘the team’ had to be exterminated when the mission went south; but his neck bomb malfunctioned. Does this mean the ENTIRE Suicide Squad is dead? No more Deadshot or anyone for that matter? What about Cupid? She just got there?

Then again, there also could be the potential that this all happened a while ago – before the Suicide Squad that we’ve seen in action on Arrow came into existence. Though if this is the case, why would it take several years to start exacting revenge? Either way, I hope all the members of Suicide Squad we’ve come to love (Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Cupid, etc) are still all in one piece – rather than a thousand exploded pieces.

“Speedy” Who?:

This episode we heard Lyla refer to the Flash as “Speedy”; but Oliver mistakenly thought she meant Roy. Now we know why Lyla calls Flash speedy; but Oliver’s quick thought that she means Roy reveals much more. Despite Roy’s name being “Arsenal” now, Oliver did call him “Speedy” once to make him remember Thea (who Oliver always nicknamed Speedy) during a mirakuru induced rage. Later, Roy told him to never call him that again.

The Brave And the Bold Yes Roy’s sidekick name is Speedy in the Comics; but here “Speedy” has more sentimental value to Oliver when its placed upon his sister. So Oliver immediately thinking of Roy as “Speedy” RATHER than his sister shows how much these two have bonded and are now more siblings than Oliver is with his own sister lately.

Other Quick Episode Notes:

  • With all the constant reminding this episode that Diggle and Lyla aren’t married – as well as the repitition of “you only call me sweetie when you want something” – really insightful viewers would have seen that proposal coming a mile away
  • Seeing Harkness take out an entire ARGUS base shows just how highly skilled and trained he is. Though with the ‘newness’ of his weapon choice and use faded, Oliver was able to take him down in the end with no problem.
  • Yes, that was Thea talking on the phone about the –insert offensive adjective here – DJ she kissed last episode. Now whether she was actually talking to HIM or one of her friends about it, I don’t know. Couldn’t make out the pronoun
  • Wow, was it just me or does Amanda Waller REALLY enjoy the idea of torture . . .
  • Laurel and Oliver’s quick banter this episode was actually really cute; and was a side we haven’t seen between them at all this season – or since Sarah showed up for that matter. Cute or not, it shows that Laurel put two and two together and knew Barry was the Flash since the Arrow teamed up with him in Central and now Oliver’s friend Barry is here – from Central.
  • Barry had less than 90 seconds to run the team to different parts of the city in order to diffuse bombs. That’s all fine and good, but WHY didn’t their clothes burn off from friction burn like Felicity’s did in Part 1 of this crossover. Not running as fast? Considering there were bombs involved I feel like Barry would run as fast as possible. Who knows, maybe they have stronger clothes now.

Next episode, we should have the results of the DNA test for Sarah’s murder and I’m going to take a wild guess and say it’s one of Ra’s al Ghul’s men – or Ra’s himself. Either way, Ra’s is about to make Starling City pay and Oliver will have to face off with him in a one on one match. Malcolm Merlyn will also return, so you can expect some incredible moments with “The Magician” as well. Though despite all these insurmountable odds, thanks to this Flash crossover, Arrow’s outcome now has a sense of hope to it

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