Arrow: 1×08 Review – The Brave and the Bold

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This week’s episode of Arrow concludes the epic, 2-part crossover event! This time Team Flash comes to Starling City to help Oliver and his team close the boomerang killer case. Like Part 1, this episode was a joy to watch. Also like Part 1, this episode highlights the differences between Oliver and Barry as well as the differences between each team’s experience fighting crime.

The episode opens with Arrow and Arsenal tracking the boomerang killer to an old house rigged with explosions. There they have an unexpected rendezvous with an A.R.G.U.S. squad. Turns out Digger Harkness (AKA Captain Boommerang) killed an A.R.G.U.S. agent, and the squad tells the Arrow to stay out of their business. Oliver, of course, doesn’t listen.

Despite this being a crossover episode, it still features a few flashbacks of Oliver’s time working as Waller’s henchman in Hong Kong. Long story short, he’s being taught how to interrogate through torture. These flashbacks prove relevant later in the episode when Oliver has to interrogate Marcos for information while Barry watches on, insisting there are better ways of getting information. Oliver points out the hard truth that his city is meaner than Barry’s, and that he has gone through a lot of s**t.

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Chilling at the Arrow Cave.

When Team Flash arrives in Starling City, they insist on seeing the “Arrow Cave.” Despite Felicity’s (and Oliver’s, really) claim that they “don’t call it that,” the lair is indeed the Arrow Cave. Cue the cute bantering between members of both teams and you have a very fun and memorable scene! There are several enjoyable scenes in the Arrow Cave as the episode progresses, including some fun discussion about Oliver’s salmon ladder. We’re even gifted with a scene of Barry using his super speed to go up and down that very ladder.

Captain Boomerang is causing all sorts of havoc in his quest of revenge against Lyla, but he makes it fun with actual quips! This is where some of The Flash’s lighter mood comes into play, taking on a bit more of a comic feel than Arrow’s typical broody and dark fashion. Part of what makes this crossover so special is the ability to blend what makes both of these shows great, and thus creates an even better recipe than before. The show-makers did not disappoint.

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“What goes around comes around.” – Captain Boomerang

Not to be outdone by Oliver’s entrance in “Flash Vs Arrow”, Barry has to make his own epic appearance in this episode. He swoops in as Arrow and Arsenal are fighting Captain Boomerang and saves Oliver from deadly boomerangs. Then he just smirks and cocks his head, confident in how cool his entrance was. Once again, Oliver is hesitant to group up with Team Flash, but Barry convinces him that they should work together anyway.

The plot of this episode revolves around catching Harkness, but the theme of the episode settles on Barry helping Oliver realize that he doesn’t have to lose Oliver Queen to be the Arrow. Oliver is worried that he’s losing his humanity. He admits that his conviction and willingness to do what’s ugly are what have helped him survive, but he has to trade away pieces of himself. Pieces of Oliver Queen. But Barry convinces him that the only reason he’s made it through the hardships of his life is because of his humanity. This was a beautiful sentiment for the show to explore, especially since both episodes of the crossover event focus on how Barry and Oliver are opposites. They are both heroes, but vastly different heroes.

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“This is gonna be awesome!” – Barry Allen

The subplot of this episode boils down to Diggle and Lyla’s relationship. We’re given a slightly more in-depth look at how their non-marriage works (several jokes are made about their lack of marital status, too). Diggle and Lyla are a delight to watch together, and though the show has downplayed Lyla in the past, it’s trying to make up for it now. Since this is Arrow, someone has to be on the brink of death, so it might as well be Lyla. She nearly dies when Harkness infiltrates the Arrow Cave, but thanks to Felicity and Caitlin’s quick thinking, she’s saved. Although, there was a moment when I really thought she’d died. This serves as a powerful motivator later when Diggle asks Lyla to marry him . . . again.

The episode climaxes when Team Flarrow finally confronts Harkness, who has set five bombs all around the city. In another move that furthers this crossover’s message of “Yay teamwork!”, all of the bombs have to be disarmed simultaneously, so members of both teams work together to thwart Harkness’s plan. As if the episode can’t get any better, when Captain Boomerang is locked away with Deathstroke on Lian Yu and all is well (at least, temporarily) with Starling, Barry and Oliver have one final showdown. Just the Flash and the Arrow, determining once and for all who would win in a fight. The episode closes on them just about to clash, leaving this crossover suspended in a draw. It was a great way to end the episode!

 

 

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“I’m sorry, Barry, but I’m not as emotionally healthy as you are.” – Oliver Queen

Verdict: I give this episode 10 out of 10. Perhaps I’ve become a bit more biased than I should be, but I can’t get enough of these crossover episodes. Like “Flash Vs Arrow”, this episode had so many funny, action-packed, and heartfelt moments. If I had to choose, I’d say The Flash managed to pull off a better episode, but they were both stellar. What more can I say but, “I want another crossover episode!”

What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Memorable lines to highlight:

“What’s that for?” – Caitlin Snow *indicating the salmon ladder*
“Distracting me from work.” – Felicity Smoak

“Sweetie…” – John Diggle
“You only call me sweetie when you want something.” – Lyla Michaels

“Oliver doesn’t play well with others.” – Felicity Smoak

“You’re, you’re…” – Lyla Michaels
“The Flash. Sushi?” – Barry Allen

“You live in Central City, where it’s sunny all the time, and your enemies get cute nicknames. We’re not in Central City. I live in a city where my best friend was murdered, where the woman I loved was shot full of arrows and sent tumbling off of a rooftop, where my mother was murdered right in front of me.” – Oliver Queen to Barry Allen

“Sometimes bravery isn’t enough. Sometimes the world requires us to be bold.” – Lyla Michaels to Oliver Queen

“I think you’re full of crap. Look, you’ve convinced yourself that you’ve traded away your humanity, but I think it’s because of your humanity that you made it through. You wouldn’t have survived, much less come out a hero – somebody that wants to do good – if you didn’t have a light inside of you.” – Barry Allen to Oliver Queen

“Torture is an art form.” – Waller

“Screw you, Captain Boomerang.” – Cisco

“You were wrong. When you told me I could inspire people you said you couldn’t. But you were wrong. You can inspire. Not as The Arrow. That guy’s a douche. But as Oliver Queen.” – Barry Allen

“When I’m fighting you, it’s literally like you’re standing still.” Barry Allen to Oliver Queen

“I get it, Barry, you’re fast!” -Oliver Queen

 

 

Alisha Bjorklund