Tonight’s episode of The CW’s Arrow closed out the two-part crossover with The Flash in spectacular fashion. Titled, “The Brave and the Bold,” it could have equally been dubbed “A Tale of Two Cities” since both heroes channel their respective cities into their character: Barry Allen’s youthful effervescence and carefree approach to crimefighting is borne of Central City’s cutting-edge technology and, until lately, squeaky-clean streets, while even the most respectable parts of Oliver Queen’s Starling City belie a ruthless underworld, much like the personality of the masked crimefighter himself. It was a clever bit of writing to portray these characters this way in order to let them clash at times, but also to allow them to come together in pursuit of a common goal:
conquering the salmon ladder defeating supervillains. But while the fun and games were enjoyable for the two-hour special event, things are about to get dire in the mid-season finales of both shows.
Hit the jump for our Arrow recap.
Waller introduces Oliver to Cheng, and tasks him with extracting information from the man on the whereabouts of a bomb. Let’s see how violent he gets, with respect to the events of the main plot in this episode. Cheng goads him during the interrogation, saying Oliver’s conscience will prevent him from doing what he needs to do. Cheng’s right. Oliver hesitates far too long and a massive bomb detonates in the background. It’s safe to say that this moment certainly helped to shape Oliver’s opinion of necessary torture for the greater good.
Waller chastises Oliver for his failure to interrogate Cheng due to his lack of conviction. She tries to explain to him that some people can’t be reached by reason, that some people only embrace chaos. She also encourages him to brush up on his torture, saying he has a particular talent for it. Oliver gets another chance to hone his skills as Waller brings in Li Khuan Hui, who just so happens to have some much-needed intel. It seems like Oliver is ready to get to business this time around.
Back in Starling City, Arsenal, Arrow, and Diggle converge on a house suspected of being the residence of Captain Boomerang, aka George “Digger” Harkness (Nick Tarabay). It’s rigged to blow, so rather than just walk away, they light it up. Harkness is gone, but an A.R.G.U.S. team arrives and has a brief stand-off with Team Arrow.
Cisco and Caitlin arrive at Palmer Technologies with the hopes that Felicity will take them back to Arrow HQ, oh and to check on that DNA sample from Canary’s murder. Cisco geeks out over the Arrow’s weapons and does his best to get on Roy’s good side. It’s fun seeing Oliver uncomfortable in his own place, so hopefully they play this up in the rest of the episode.
We get our first good look at Captain Boomerang as he infiltrates A.R.G.U.S. rather easily. Good thing Diggle’s there talking to Lyla since he gives Team Arrow a heads up. But will they make it in time? As Arrow and Arsenal race on their bikes, The Flash zooms toward Starling City (passing Thea on his way). The archers get there first, but when their bows are beaten by boomerangs, they engage in melee combat. Oliver nearly gets skewered, but The Flash arrives in the nick of time to save the day.
Lyla drops the news that Harkness used to work for A.R.G.U.S. as part of Task Force X, aka the Suicide Squad. Things went wrong on an operation and the team was remotely executed, minus Harkness.
For a bit of levity, Barry shows off by going nuts on the salmon ladder with his superspeed. He runs out for sushi, and runs back just in time to accidentally expose his own identity (and powers) to Lyla. Barry’s all jazzed up to help Team Arrow and is eager to prove that he’s taking Oliver’s advice in how to approach crimefighting. Oliver’s a bit reluctant, but Barry’s powers come in handy in helping them to rebuild the exploding boomerangs and get a lead on Harkness’s whereabouts. Their info also leads them to Captain Lance, who previously arrested one of Harkness’s cohorts, Klaus Markos. Lance has a sharp memory for the man, who was arrested for running an identity theft ring for the Russian mob.
Team Arrow + The Flash get set to take down the mobsters … but Barry beats them to it, knocking the guys out and zip-tying them before the others even get in the building. Barry’s light-hearted and fun style of crimefighting conflicts quite nicely with Oliver’s increasingly brutal and unyielding manner of interrogation. Barry doesn’t overlook this, taking Oliver to task for his tactics. They have more in common than Oliver wants to admit, and it leads to a fair bit of friction between the two. Oliver more or less tells Barry to scram, that he can handle things on his own. Good thing Barry doesn’t listen since he helps Oliver take down some more thugs in Harkness’s hideout, but there’s no Harkness. Oliver’s pride takes a hit, and so does his headquarters, which has been tracked down by Captain Boomerang himself. Though he’s after Lyla for revenge, Felicity and Caitlin are also in danger of getting caught in the crossfire. Lyla takes a boomerang to the chest before Felicity chases Harkness off, but it might be too late. (Why do they never take people to the hospital? Oh, nevermind, good work, Barry. Right on cue!)
Roy, Felicity, Cisco, and Caitlin head to the club to blow off some steam. Diggle is at the hospital with Lyla while Oliver is confessing his sins to Barry. He seems to be coming around to the realization that every time he does something ugly in the name of doing good, he trades in a little bit more of his soul. Barry tries to encourage his new partner that, although he has a rough manner of dealing with criminals, his heart is in the right place.
Felicity tracks down Harkness, and Barry and Oliver go after him. Harkness reveals that there are five bombs planted throughout the city as part of his contingency plan. Time for Barry to get moving! He’s got 90 seconds to track them down with the help of the the brainiacs back at HQ (anybody keeping track of the time?). That leaves Oliver to take on Harkness alone. He does pretty well in close combat, then traps Harkness by snaring him with a dual arrow around his throat. Meanwhile, Barry recruits each of the teammates (by picking them up and carrying them) to each of the five bomb locations in order to deactivate them simultaneously. Harkness, much like Cheng, goads Arrow into doing what he must do … but Ollie doesn’t, trusting in his teammates. His trust pays off, and a little bit more of Oliver Queen remains intact.
At the episode’s close (in which it’s revealed that Harkness is imprisoned alongside Slade), Lyla wakes up to find Diggle at her side, waiting to propose to her (again); she accepts, of course. Caitlin makes some progress on the DNA sample, but has to go back to her own lab to finish it up. Oliver has installed a new mannequin for Barry and his outfit the next time he’s in town, and Cisco whips up a new Arrow suit. If you thought the brotherly banter between Flash and Arrow was over, think again; they’re up for another challenge. Flash reminds Oliver that he can indeed inspire people (though not as the douchey Arrow), to which Oliver responds with a challenge. Oliver fires arrows at Barry as he flashes forward, closing out the episode.
This two-part cross-over was a helluva lot of fun, but it looks like the fun’s over for both superheroes. Barry’s about to come face to face with his mother’s killer, while Oliver’s situations escalates dramatically when he enters into a duel against Ra’s al Ghul. The CW, DC, and WB really know how to handle mid-season finales!
Quips & Quivers:
- Arsenal: “Your friend doesn’t want any surprise visitors.” Arrow: “Well, he’s gonna get a surprise.”
- I love that Arsenal is starting to bring his own “Arrow voice” into the mix.
- Arsenal: “Since when did we start selling admission to the Arrow Cave?”
- Caitlin: (Points to salmon ladder) “Hey, what’s that for?” Felicity: “Uh, distracting me from work.”
- Captain Boomerang: “What goes around, comes around.” More boomerang puns!
- Arrow: “The only thing that hurts worse than an arrow going in is an arrow coming out!”
- Oliver: “Barry, you live in Central City, where it’s sunny all the time and your enemies get cute nicknames. You’re not in Central City.”
- Lyla: “Everything alright between you and Speedy?” Oliver: “What? Roy? Yeah, we’re fine.” Jokes!
- Diggle: “I remember a world where people didn’t kill each other with boomerangs.” Cisco: “Or walk on water?” Roy: “… Barry can walk on water?”
- Harkness: “You know what I like about boomerangs, Lyla? They’re proof that the past can come back to haunt you!” Pun #2!
- Cisco: “Yo, who is that?” Felicity: “Oliver’s sister.” Roy: “My ex-girlfriend.” Cisco: “So … stay away. Got it.”