Warning: Spoiler Alert
This week’s episode of The Flash is part one of the two-part “The Flash vs Arrow” crossover event. I will try to connect the dots as best I can. Suffice it to say that we don’t cover Arrow. It’s not a slight, it’s just the literal truth. I have seen enough episodes of Arrow that I feel confident in connecting the dots. If I have somehow missed something, I extend an invitation to you the viewer to contribute in the comments section at the end of this recap. And here we go.
Based on the Barry Allen voiced cold open we get a hint to the nature of our episodic bad guy. Emotions. Someone has the ability to convey his emotions into anyone he looks at. Which provides him enough cover to rob a bank. He literally robs a bank while the customers and bank employees tear themselves apart.
Side note. I know that I have been harsh on Iris West. I don’t like this interpretation of her. Full disclosure, I love the interracial element. I hate the overbearing personality. As we are doing a cross over event, I’d prefer that Barry pursue Felicity for now. Besides, what’s a long distance relationship to a guy like Barry Allen anyway. Regardless of that, I really could do without seeing Eddie Thawne roll around a bed with Iris West. If she is supposed to end up with Barry as every version of the story to date would indicate, do I really need to see what could be suggested?
Thawne tries to convince the captain to consider tracking down the Flash, the Blur, or whatever he’s called. There is too much coincidence surrounding him that it can’t be coincidence. Naturally, Joe sits there quiet with no intention of signing up for anything that ends with chasing down Barry.
Luckily, the captain isn’t going for it. Iris walks up just in time for Barry to tell her that Thawne is trying to convince the captain that the Flash is a public menace.
At Star Labs, Wells is letting the emotional element of this particular case sink in. Jokingly, Cisco does a not bad Yoda impression about things not to be craved. Against Caitlin’s better judgment Barry leaves abruptly to rendezvous with Iris as the Flash. Nothing more than a warning that the police may be looking to apply pressure to the Flash. He gets a call from Cisco about a ping on the tracker in the money stack. He is almost flirty in his departure from Iris, which she is affected by.
The Flash shows up the moment this meta-human has instilled the anger in one of the swat team members. He turns to shoot the others including Joe. Barry is able to get everyone out in time. Just then the angry one gets hit. By two ‘arrows’. Barry looks up and smiles.
Arrow (Oliver Queen): Nice mask.
Felicity and Diggle eat fast food that Felicity is more excited about than Diggle outside a rundown shack in the middle of nowhere. A motorcycle approaches. Its Oliver. As it pulls up, Barry speeds passed him. Then to Felicity and Diggle where his draft knocked most of the food out of Diggle’s hands.
Barry: By the way, I gave Oliver like a half an hour head start.
Felicity: Hi Barry.
Barry: Hey Felicity. (He looks over at a stone faced Diggle). How you doin’ Dig?
Diggle: You’re fast.
Barry (to Felicity): What? Did you guys not tell him about me?
Felicity: Seeing is believing…or drooling.
Oliver is less than thrilled by Barry’s enthusiasm to see him and the idea of teaming up. I’d say this seems more than slightly out-of-place. But this is Oliver Queen we’re talking about. Not exactly the ‘Arrow’ he will eventually become. Just like Barry Allen is not the Flash he will eventually become. Nonetheless, Felicity disregards his hesitation over too many people knowing that Arrow is Oliver Queen and she decides to go to Star Labs. Not before Barry picks her up and takes off.
They arrive suddenly. So suddenly in fact that once Barry puts her down, she realizes that her jacket is on fire. That’s when the shirt comes off. Then once the fraction of a second passes allowing to realize her current predicament, she covers what she can with her purse.
(Cisco and Caitlin walk in)
Barry: You guys remember Felicity…?
Cisco: I’ll always remember this.
Caitlin asks why she’s here. “Not Barry?” Then Felicity falls into a stutter like rejection of the premise. Barry seems much less willing to dismiss the possibility. She then shows Cisco the boomerang that is the primary piece of evidence in the Arrow case. Then she and Cisco nerd out over the material makeup and vibrations of the boomerang.
Barry gets called into the principals office (the apostrophe is missing because in this case there are two principals). Harrison and Joe are waiting. They want to address ‘Starling City’s Vigilante’. Barry refers to him as Arrow. They are on the side of seeing him as a dark vigilante who brings death in his wake. While Barry sees him as a hero. A hero that Dr. Wells doesn’t think he should look up to. Then we hear screams.
Caitlin is trying to run away from the boomerang. Cisco comes out once the boomerang has landed saying, “My bad. That’s on me”. Joe looks at Barry and says, “I want him out of my city. Tonight”.
Oliver and Felicity are seated at a table in Iris’ coffee shop. Barry shows up and Oliver gives him the name of the meta-human they are looking for. Then Iris brings their coffee. She is perfectly nice to Felicity, then gets all googly-eyed at Oliver. What in the name of Silver Aged reverence is going on here? The Iris West I know wouldn’t go from rolling around with Thawne, flirting then swooning over the Flash, and showing intense interest in Oliver Queen. Do you see what I’m getting at. This is not the Iris I know.
We get back on track with Felicity staring at Oliver, but not in a flirtatious way, more of a stern mother stare that says “eventually you’re going to do what I want”. And what she wants is for Oliver to help Barry with his case. Oliver gets up and agrees to help Barry. Then they shake hands as partners. This is the beginning of the end of the warm and fuzzies. Unless the meta-human invokes their anger unnaturally.
Barry meets Oliver at his outskirts hideout. Barry believes they are there to work together on the case. Oliver thinks it’s time to train. He convinces Barry to run away then run at Oliver and when he does, he will get hit with an arrow. Barry complies. He catches the first arrow then gets hit in the back with two more. This was done because Barry runs into new situations blind.
Back at Star Labs, Dr. Wells wants a word with Felicity. Wells doesn’t trust who he doesn’t know. Felicity attempts to put his mind at ease by assuring him that Arrow would never hurt anyone, on the team. This is not good enough for Wells. He in a very Harrison Wells way, asks Felicity to share the identity of who is under the hood. A secret that is not Felicity’s to share. Surprisingly, Wells accepts her answer.
They get a ping on the ‘Prisms’ location. Barry decides to head out on his own. Felicity tries to stop him. Barry is clearly not feeling the love from their new partnership.
Once on location, the Prism is ready for him. Barry tries to refrain from looking. But eventually Barry’s eyes go red with rage. Then nothing. He races back to Star Labs. They conclude that no real damage was done. Then Caitlin falls into her nagging mother mode about Barry leaving on his own and taking too many risks. Then Barry turns.
Barry: Caitlin, I’m not Ronnie. You’ve got to stop treating me like I am.
Caitlin: You’re right. You’re not.
For those of you who don’t seek out the spoilers or hints to what’s coming, here’s a fun one. Ronnie is going to return to the show. As part one half of Firestorm. The other half being played by Victor Garbor.
Oliver calls for another ‘session’. The slight remains of the rage left by Prism I think are clouding Barry’s judgments. Everything Oliver is trying to impart is logical. There is no flaw in it. Barry is reckless. Barry is learning on the fly. So Barry needs to be conscious of certain things. But instead he pushes back. Asserting that Oliver is jealous. The last words of this particular scene are very un-Barry like. Including, getting in Captain Singh’s face. And then when Joe intervenes, getting in Joe’s face. Something he never would have done previous to this Prism.
Oliver calls Felicity to tell her that Barry’s acting strange. Then Joe walks in and confirms it. With the whole red-eye thing. Earlier in the episode when Felicity chose not to reveal Oliver’s secret identity to Wells, Wells just said that he would figure it out. Concerned about what is happening to Barry, Wells turns to say something to Felicity.
Wells: None of us can stop Barry. Fortunately Felicity knows someone who can. I think you better call back Oliver Queen. We’re going to need the Arrow’s help.
Iris and Thawne are driving somewhere and Thawne is still annoyed. It comes out that Iris has seen the Flash a couple of times. This of course doesn’t sit well with Thawne. Just about the time I’m hoping to see a rift between Eddie and Irish, a flash of red grabs him out of the car. He yells at him in that vibrating voice. Thawne pulls his gun and fires at Barry, who naturally dodges and repositions like a cat toying with a mouse.
He advances slowly on Eddie who is just crawling across the street. Iris tries to talk some sense into him, playing up the ‘a good man doesn’t suddenly turn’ card. The rage subsides for a moment, then returns harder. He lunges at Thawne. Then a cord wraps his torso and his yanked back. Arrow says, “Run”!
At Star Labs, Cisco and Caitlin vs Diggle for the debate of who would kill who first. A conversation Felicity is not OK with.
Back in the street, the very fight they were debating over is actually happening. Arrow tries a horse tranquilizer arrow, but Barry just vibrates the poison out of him. Arrow tries to scale the adjacent building, Barry beats him to it. Then the street fight continues with Barry dodging everything, except one. This stuns Barry but just enough to piss him off. He then, using his speed, goes on the offensive. Arrow tries the sneak shot like in the first training session. Barry catches those, but doesn’t see the one that Arrow throws into his leg. Arrow is able to capitalize on this moment and wrap Barry up so there is no way he can run.
Arrow: I still believe in you Barry.
A white van comes flying down the alley. Its Joe and Harrison. Harrison power slides the van so that it is perpendicular to Barry and Oliver. The sliding door opens revealing a large box (as tall as the van door). Previously, Felicity and Caitlin theorized a plan that involved rapid colors in the right order may reverse the rage effect. Which is exactly what this big box does.
It works like a charm. A matter of seconds and the effect is gone. This still leave and rage inspiring meta-human to catch. Which they do during the break giving us no indication of how they did. Back at Star Labs, Oliver Queen gives a speech about the value of his identity and collateral damage if it were to get out. Even Joe steps forward to thank Oliver and shake his hand. Then Felicity approaches Caitlin and asks her to find the genetic markers of a DNA sample. A sample from the murder of ‘Canary’.
The captain has approved the task force for taking down The Flash. So that’s going to be a thing now.
The kids all meet up at the coffee shop before Oliver and Felicity head back to Starling City. Barry apologizes for his behavior and Oliver shrugs it off. Then Oliver says something that I love. He pulls the old Spider-Man bit. If you care for her, you need to let her go. Referring to Iris.
Oliver: Guys like us don’t get the girl.
A brunette woman who I am not familiar with but Oliver is, walked into the coffee shop. Their exchange was awkward, but clearly there is something there.
Barry (as the Flash) meets with Iris to apologize. Iris being the stubborn person that she is, is not hearing any of it. She instructs The Flash to never contact her again.
Under a freeway, two miscreants attempt to rob a man shaking and alone. He stands up and ignites his hands walking towards the would be muggers. There is a relatively quick shot of his face. Introduce, Ronnie Raymond as part of Firestorm.
. . .
Canary of course referring to DC’s Black Canary and one of the more popular female heroes in the DC universe. The death/murder of Canary is a major plot line in the most recent Arrow season (currently running). There is a great deal of speculation as to how the death of Canary (Sarah Lance) will affect Laurel Lance moving forward. I’m sure some are hoping for to take up the mantle. Something tells me Arrow fans might get a step closer to an answer in tomorrow’s Arrow episode and part 2 of this Flash vs Arrow crossover event.