'Flash vs. Arrow' Episode Review: A Mixed Bag
This week’s episode of The Flash, the first part of a two night/two episode crossover event with Arrow creates an entertaining hour of TV for both comic book fans and non comic book readers alike.
Don’t get me wrong though. For as much fun as this was to watch as a huge fan of both characters, this was far from a perfect episode. In fact, I believe this episode actually magnified both the good and bad of each show.
We’re getting close to the mid season finale of The Flash but the show has been very inconsistent so far. The whole “villain of the week” formula is already growing old, and half the episodes have been total clunkers so far. But worst thing about The Flash so far has been Iris West. This show is suffering from the same issue Arrow had when it first started, with Laurel Lance, Oliver’s on again / off again love interest. This week was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me when it came to Iris’ character. Every scene she appears in is almost cringe-worthy, and the unnecessarily awkward love-hate dynamic between her and Barry is excruciating to watch now and really drags the show down.
This week doesn’t start much different than any other episode of The Flash so far, we have Barry being the cheerful character he is and helping the people of Central City. Then we’re introduced to our villain, Prism, who turns out to be nothing but a plot pusher to create a tiff between Barry and Oliver. A tad predictable, if you ask me.
Prism (aka Rainbow Raider or Chroma), is a metahuman who essentially brings out a person’s anger by looking at him. Flash attempted to take him down on his own, which resulted in him getting “whammied” by Prism. The Scarlet Speedster then gets angry and lashes out at everybody and everything.
This leads to a pretty great fight scene between Flash and Arrow.
Each one of them get their own moments during this well choreographed battle. Arrow has his trick arrows/gadgetry that gives him the upper hand, only to immediately have Flash turn it around and get the upperhand by using his superpowers, like vibrating horse tranquilizer out of his bloodstream and using his speed to create a fire circle out of one of Arrow’s explosive arrows, all in a surprisingly good visual medium for a TV show on the CW.
We also get to see Team Arrow and Team Flash exchange plenty of comedic relief. Diggle’s reaction to seeing Flash in person for the first time, was particularly memorable. His argument with Cisco about who is going to win the fight was also wonderfully fanboy-ish. Felicity shows she is one of the best characters in either show, and Cisco continues to become just as entertaining. The supporting characters for each show really help solidify another and we’re getting better character development every week.
Part 1 of this crossover event can definitely be labeled as a success. Lets hope that part 2 picks up from here, and we get to see more development on the relationship dynamic between Flash and Arrow, and that this can be the catalyst for The Flash to become as consistently good as Arrow.