The Brave and the Bold is the second part of the Flash/Arrow crossover which aired in the Arrow timeslot, succeeding the “Flash vs. Arrow” episode that aired in the Flash timeslot last week. Now, you didn’t have to watch one episode for the other to make sense, although I highly recommend watching them both because they’re both very good— funny, well-written, and action-packed— and they make me glad I watch these shows.
What was interesting to me is that the creators stayed very true to the format, feel, and general themes of each show while having the other characters guest star. The Flash episode was wildly hilarious in so many ways, where as the Arrow episode was much more dramatic and intense (but still full of win!) But enough of that.
Plot: This Arrow episode was more action packed than ever! The Arrow team has been tracking a lethal killer who uses unusual murder weapons: super-fast, super-sharp boomerangs. They had tracked him from Starling City to Central City, where they met up with Barry Allen, and now it seems he’s back in Starling. Oliver, Roy, and Diggle head to a confrontation with the killer, but are surprised to find A.R.G.U.S. on the scene chasing the same man. The confused team goes to Lyla for more information, but she remains tight-lipped on the matter. Then, Cisco and Caitlin from S.T.A.R. Labs show up, asking to see the “Arrowcave”, play with Oliver’s toys, and generally drive Oliver crazy.
Diggle heads to A.R.G.U.S. HQ to question Lyla again, and the boomerang killer shows up and starts eliminating people. Roy and Oliver head over to provide backup, but seem to be down for the count until…The Flash runs in at blazing fast speed and intercepts some boomerangs like he owns the place! The boomerang killer uses the distraction caused by Barry’s entrance to his advantage and disappears in a cloud of smoke.
Oliver, Dig, and Roy finally get some answers out of Lyla. She explains the boomerang killer is a former Suicide Squad member named Digger Harkness. An op that he was on went south and Lyla was in charge of cleaning house, but something clearly went wrong and he was not eliminated as he was supposed to have been. She believes he is out for revenge on A.R.G.U.S. for trying to have him killed, so Oliver & co. takes Lyla to Verdant to keep her safe. Cisco is well-informed about the technology on the boomerangs used and provides the maker’s name. Oliver and Barry find and interrogate him, while having a strong difference of opinion about their methods of information gathering.
Related, today in Oliver’s Hong Kong flashbacks, Amanda Waller decides to groom Oliver in the delicate art of interrogation. She gives him a prisoner who has planted a bomb somewhere, provides Oliver his bow and arrows, and demands that he find out where the bomb is. Oliver refuses to resort to torture and the bomb detonates, killing people. Amanda insists that practice makes perfect…
The Arrow and the Flash then end up on a wild goose chase to track down Digger, and unfortunately Digger finds Lyla and sinks one of his pointy boomerangs in her. Even worse, during a confrontation with Digger, they discover that he’s planted five bombs set to go off simultaneously around Starling City. Barry uses his powers to quickly place his and Oliver’s team members next to the bombs to disarm them all at once, and Digger Harkness is then hauled off to that A.R.G.U.S. facility where all the really bad baddies go. Lyla is in the hospital recovering from her boomerang-stab wound, and the Arrow and Flash decide to have a private showdown to see whose powers are really best.
Review: This episode was definitely in no way as goofy as the Flash episode, but it was a little more evenly balanced, which was great. Also, Cisco and Caitlin are just the best characters. They are everything I wanted Fitz and Simmons to be in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that I didn’t really get. Cisco is such a ridiculous goofball, and Caitlin is just a good friend type character which really rounds out Barry’s team well. I’m having a blast watching them bounce off of the more dramatic/intense/brooding Arrow characters, because Oliver and his crew need that. And watching Oliver get so annoyed with Cisco’s child-like curiosity was a trip!
This was a very plot-driven episode revolving around A.R.G.U.S. The whole situation with Lyla knowing who this guy was from the beginning but not telling anyone—not even Diggle—makes me trust her less. I just don’t think anyone in A.R.G.U.S. or working for Amanda Palmer can be trusted. They may not be inherently bad but they’re painted as…sort of anti-heroes in this series. However, even though they may be doing good work, or at least are not doing bad work, they lack Oliver’s conviction and sense of morals, so I’m not really sure what to make of them. They almost seem no better than a team of bounty hunters to me. We’ve been seeing an awful lot of A.R.G.U.S. this season, and I wonder if that is going to continue, especially with Amanda Waller popping up in all of the Hong Kong flashbacks.
It’s hard not to feel for Barry during the interrogation scene. Oliver is completely used to doing things his way, based on the training he has received and the information he knows he must acquire for the greater good of Starling. Barry is just so naïve that he cannot even process what is going through Oliver’s mind. To top it off, this is actually a milder, gentler Oliver we’re seeing than the vigilante in Season 1 that used to run around killing bad guys (and Joe and Dr. Wells in the first part of this crossover did not let us forget that), so Barry’s mind is probably thoroughly blown after this experience.
Other random things that happened:
I usually try to highlight cheesy lines or my favorite moments, but I don’t recall anything overly cheesy and I don’t have enough favorite things. There were, however, some noteworthy and kind of random things that happened in this episode:
- Remember Thea’s whole thing from last episode where she hired the DJ with a huge ego and then the next thing you know they’re making out? (Ugh how could you forget, right?) We see and hear her talking on the phone with this guy about how it’s not a big deal they kissed and it doesn’t mean anything. Hope she walks away from that one so we can forget it ever happened, but I somehow have the feeling it won’t…
- In a fairly awkward scene, Oliver reintroduces Barry to Detective Lance (which Laurel points out is kind of weird because the Arrow, not Oliver, worked with Barry) and Detective Lance calls Barry “Bart”. Bart Allen is basically another version of the Flash from the comics. Very sneaky, writers.
- Also, in said scene, Oliver fumbles over Quentin Lance’s title and isn’t sure whether to call him “Captain” or “Detective”, which is also a problem I’ve been having in the reviews all season.
- Speaking of problems with names of things, Cisco also asks Felicity about the “Arrowcave”. I mentioned this predicament in an earlier review, but the comics refer to the Arrow team’s home base as the “Arrowcave” but this is the first time the series has ever called it that. Personally, I think “Arrowcave” has a nicer ring to it than “the secret basement of Verdant, the nightclub that I used to own that my sister now owns.”
Overall Episode Score: B. I’d watch it again. One of the better episodes this season, IMO.