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Flash Review (S3E8): 'The Flash vs Arrow'


Who needs Batman V Superman when we have The Flash vs Arrow? Sure, it's television but rarely is action so much fun and fan friendly. Last night, The Flash got a visit from Starling City's own Arrow in the much anticipated crossover event. In Part One of Two, Felicity and Ollie came to STAR Labs looking for help with a suspicious boomerang and got more than they bargained for.

The episode begins with Roy G. Bivolo robbing a bank by just looking at people with a red eye glance that causes them to want to destroy each other.  While everyone is fighting he's emptying the vault. Later he crosses paths with Barry and the hypnotizing red glare doesn't take affect right away causing him to slowly build up some sort of 'roid rage. 

Team Arrow get a mostly warm welcome from Team Flash at STAR Labs especially  a smitten Cisco who's just as enthralled with the curious weapon as he is with Felicity. Harrison Wells and Joe West aren't that keen on aiding the vigilante known for having killed people. Of course though the boomerang is nice device to connect one show to the other because Part Two takes place Wednesday night on Arrow as they face Captain Boomerang. 

As Barry's rage grows it leads to some uncharacteristic clashes with his Captain, Joe, and even Ollie. Barry was always happy to work with Ollie and even do some superhero training but the effects of the red glare have started to get amplified within his mind. This leads to a physical altercation with Eddie and then a great one-on-one brawl against Ollie. The angry Flash versus the Arrow set piece everyone was waiting for was worth the wait. 

Sure, Flash has super-speed but Arrow has his tricks as well. The well choreographed fight allows each to get their licks in while not producing a clear winner unless you're biased of course. Arrow uses his trick arrows to wrap up Barry, who in turn drags Ollie around. Arrow escapes only to have Barry cut off his grappling line. They go back and forth and it's a fans dream come true. Eventually, Arrow gets the best of Barry long enough to help cure his rage but it was nice to see this side, the dark side of the Flash. 

Angry Flash served several purposes on this episode. It was a stark contrast to the jovial happy crusader of justice that Barry has embraced and relished. He's not the brooding angry vigilante tormented by his past that seeks to strike fear in his foes but this hypnosis let him lash out. Barry has his issues obviously, the murder of his mom is a major one, but he inherently wants to help others and it shows in his actions. Even Ollie's stoic demeanor helped balance out the naivety of and enthusiasm of Barry but we're reminded that funny, kind Barry was the right approach for this hero. Angry Flash just reinforced the need for self-control, self-discipline and most of all training. 

Probably the best thing to come from Angry Flash's behavior was that it turned off Iris completely off. Especially, when Flash was tossing her boyfriend around on the streets. It's the one storyline, the unrequited love interest, that has hampered Iris' growth as a character and now with her fangirl side tempered we may finally see some more depth. It certainly doesn't help either that with Felicity around those character flaws become more apparent. She needs more important things to do on the show that romanticize over her crushes. 

Flash vs Arrow was a complete blast yet oddly constructed as a stand-alone episode. Perhaps for syndication purposes down the road but there is in fact a Part Two that leads Barry to Starling City once more to battle Captain Boomerang. Check out the preview below for The Brave and the Bold.

P.S. - That was Robbie Amell (Stephen's cousin) as Firestorm in the tag scene. Ronnie Raymond apparently is back in town and he's hot stuff. 

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