Hot off the heels of Tuesday night’s detour to Central City, Arrow returned Wednesday night with an episode entitled, “The Brave and the Bold”, words any DC comic fan would recognize as a promise of greater things to come. A somewhat conclusion to the two part crossover started on The Flash, Barry and his team popped into Oliver’s neck of the woods to repay dues from their previous encounter.
Full disclosure — I haven’t been watching The Flash, aside from the pilot episode. For the simple reason that I wanted to have something to binge watch when Arrow went on hiatus. Therefore this episode gave me my first taste of many of the characters from Flash’s world and while the two shows clearly differentiate in tone, the mix of supporting teams and plot was seamlessly integrated into the world of Arrow we’ve already come to admire. You really have to hand it to The CW, they are doing something right here.
Part of me struggles to believe that when they were sitting around during the final seasons of Smallville and planning for Arrow, that they knew what they had when it came to world building. But whether it be the perfect casting decisions, captivating fight scenes or realistic humor you have to admit CW has knocked it out of the park, and the timing couldn’t be perfect. Our world is currently thirsty for any and all superhero related material and you would be hard pressed to find anything better than what The CW has to offer.
With both DC and Marvel having their respective films planned out for the next decade, the market is due to get oversaturated with superheroes. Hopefully by then we will have had a few more years of small screen adventures from Oliver, Barry and possible more. One thing I know for sure, it’s an injustice that these superb actors won’t be reprising their roles for the DC movies. The image of Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin busting heads and making quips next to Ben Affleck’s grizzled Batman will have to live on in my mind it seems. But enough about this, let me dive into the episode.
We began with Arrow and Arsenal (Roy’s official codename now) storming a house looking for Capt. Boomerang but instead they found ARGUS. I don’t know about you but I am sick of these guys already. The biggest revelation of their involvement was that Capt. Boomerang was targeting Lyla for revenge from an awry Suicide Squad mission. As scared as it made me for him, it was nice to see Diggle given some personal stakes in this mission. His cheerful personal life has been a background storyline for a while now and I was happy to see another happy ending for him, against my own impending sense of doom.
Oliver and Barry continued to hit some speed bumps on their road to mutual respect. As usual, mirroring the flashback sequences Barry was disgusted with Oliver’s tactics to gain information, accusing him of torture. Oliver defended his extreme measures and the heroes eventually found common ground. (To be honest, most of the fun with the two of them at odds came in the Flash portion of the two parter, where they had about five minutes of one-on-one combat.) As the duo face Captain Boomerang head on, it’s clear how awesome of a team they can be when working together. I mean, how cool was it when Barry emptied the subway of all civilians? When they split up, Oliver was left to deal with Capt. Boomerang while Barry faced the unique problem of needing to stop five bombs simultaneously. While I applaud Barry’s quick thinking, there is no getting around the fact that he single handedly jeopardized the lives of each person he placed next to a bomb. One could argue all the team members know what they are involved in and what the risks are, but without even confirming if it’s OK with them it’s a decision I’m not sure Oliver would have made, and just goes to show how different the two heroes are.
In the flashback sequences this week, Amanda Waller consistently berated Ollie, trying to force him to torture men for information. When she blames Ollie for the bomb going off, I couldn’t help but wonder why she didn’t have anyone more qualified to extract information than the former stranded playboy. Note that the words Amanda tells Ollie about extreme measures are the same ones he passed along to Barry in present day. I’m not sure Amanda Waller is the best person’s advice to be following, and it seems Barry would agree. When presented with the second opportunity to extract information from a henchman of China White, we were taken out of the scene before Oliver made a move. With the bombing being the most recently catalyst, it’s not hard to believe that Oliver went through with the torturing. It would make sense story-wise too as his past self is still a little too naïve to the world. Will flashback Oliver start to slip into the darker version we saw when we first met him?
I was very disappointed that the plot thread of the DNA arrow went absolutely nowhere and while I don’t blame them for the lack of Arrow plot advancement in the crossover special, there was also no need to tease us with the possibility of answers for Sara’s murder. The episode ended on another tease, a fight between Arrow and Flash, but for any actual action between the two you will have to check out the Flash side of the crossover. Next week is the mid-season finale, where is looks like Oliver will finally come face to face with Ra’s al Ghul!
- Barry doing the salmon ladder repeatedly. Something tells me it’s not as enticing for the female viewers.
- When surrounded by Arrow, Arsenal, Diggle and Flash, Capt. Boomerang used the old comic book staple of a smoke bomb to get away. Sigh… C’mon team!
- Quote of the night goes to Cisco Ramon: “Screw you Captain Boomerang!” I have a feeling I am going to like this guy!
- Barry tells Oliver he can inspire as himself as well as the Arrow. Will Mr. Queen be looking to take back his company? Or can he just start a new one now that the name has changed?
What did you think of “The Brave and the Bold”? Do you like the idea of the shared universe? Would you be willing to sacrifice scenes of Laurel and Thea for similar encounters? Sound of Below!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW and CTV.