After a great first part to this Arrow/Flash crossover event with The Flash vs Arrow on Tuesday, part two entitled The Brave and the Bold really feels like the third act to the mostly self-contained episodes.
On The Flash, the always fun and charming guardians of Central City welcomed Team Arrow as they battled
Rainbow Raider Prism but really it was a chance to show that Barry still has room to grow as a hero. A lesson Ollie was trying to instill in him based on his experience and training.
On Arrow, those differences between them and the cities they protect are clearly on display. While Central City may have been a sunny departure for Team Arrow, Team Flash realizes the danger that lurks in the darkness of Starling City puts them all at risk. This life they've chosen to protect others has real consequences and it becomes a sobering reality to Caitlin, Cisco and Barry. What happens to Lyla brings that thought home.
Digger Harkness (Nick Tarabay) is on the loose and bent on revenge. A skilled killer with boomerangs he was installed in Task Force X aka the 'suicide squad' but when his team was "sanitized" when the mission was compromised he vowed to terminate the person that tried to end him, Lyla. She ends up with a boomerang in her chest. Even though Captain Boomerang is really part of Flash's rogue's gallery, his ruthlessness and deadly tactics fit right in on Arrow.
Tarabay does a great job of being menacing and formidable as he takes on numerous guards virtually Matrix-style in the lobby of ARGUS. He's not the disposable evil meta-human of the week we normally see Flash face. And as usual the stuntwork, fight choreography and visual effects are in top form.
Having the support teams of both heroes together is an exercise in effortless chemistry and natural bonding. Cisco in complete awe of the "arrow cave" and all the "toys" is endearing and expected. Seeing Roy amused at his Central City counterparts is a welcomed ray of sunshine on the normally darker show. Most relevant and poignant was Diggle telling Cisco protectin his loved ones was his number one priority.
Part of what makes both shows likable are these intelligent, funny and loyal assistants that help keep their heroes grounded. It makes perfect sense that they would bond over drinks and discuss their roles in this crazy new world where meta-humans exist. Despite their different jobs and approaches they are equal in their value to bringing justice to their respective cities.
Barry was taken aback by Ollie's use of torture to gain intelligence from suspects. As has been the crux of many conflicts in the comic book world between heroes is the methods and lengths one will take to get the job done. Their philosophical differences come to bare in a heated exchange where each displays their character and moral compass. It was the perfect vehicle for them to learn from one another without changing them completely as evidenced by Ollie not filling Harkness full of arrows at the end.
The Brave and the Bold was easily the best episode of the season for Arrow. The crossover was a success as Team Flash brought some fun and teamwork to Starling. Barry earned more respect from Ollie and Ollie was inspired by Barry to let some light shine through his brooding. Overall an enjoyable and satisfying team-up that mixed the best aspects of both shows.
Check out the trailer for the mid-season finale, The Climb.