While not quite the epic episode I envisioned given the setup of the CW DCTV de facto Justice League’s first mission, this was the most exciting superhero action I’ve seen on the small screen in a long time.
Let’s talk about the good. I liked Teams Arrow and Flash heading to a farmhouse to evade Vandal Savage and help train Kendra in the ways of the Hawkgirl. Thea’s little dig on seeing superheroes at a farmhouse referencing Avengers: Age of Ultron was cute.
Time travel! That particular brand of Flash game-changing hadn’t been brought to the Arrow world just yet. Watching the team’s first plan unravel due to Oliver being distracted with the revelation that he’s a father was a cool twist.
Barry outracing Savage’s attack and getting a second chance to defeat him is one of those tricks that can only be done sparingly. Everyone getting killed seemed like one of the rare times that button should be pushed.I appreciated Barry being leery of screwing around with the past and future this time while Cisco complaining about his head hurting trying to make sense of it was terrific.
Since Savage is kind of a point and shoot from magic staff kind of villain, there was only but so much that could be done in the fight scene. In this case with only one villain to fight, the individual heroes only had but so much time to showcase their skills before Savage had to battle the next one. Strangely of all the moments, Black Canary unleashing her Canary cry was my favorite.
While I love all the support staff of the respective teams, I would have loved for an extended sequence with Green Arrow, Flash, Black Canary, Hawkman and Hawkgirl to fully have that Justice League flavor. Height rarely is a concern for me on these shows, but Falk Hentschel doesn’t quite have the imposing stature I envisioned for Hawkman. Some of that may have to do with him being shorter than Barry, Oliver and Diggle and being closer in height to Cisco.
That final scene with Oliver and Barry was tremendous with Oliver saying he’s not a hugger and Barry saying he could get a hug in before Oliver realized it. As much as I enjoy the costumed team-ups, just watching Barry and Oliver hanging out makes for some great TV.
And while from the beginning, we knew this was coming, it was hard not to feel for poor Cisco as Kendra broke things off to pursue her destiny with Carter. I’m glad the show is retaining the tone of more recent comic storyline of the two Justice Society of America: The Return of the Hawkman (JSA) where Kendra isn’t so willing to embrace her relationship with Carter.
Merlyn’s role made a lot more sense tonight as he wasn’t just dropping by for random exposition, but was back to his old tricks of manipulating all the players on the board. Since Savage is the main villain for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Merlyn certainly has plans for Savage’s ashes, but I’m curious if he’ll be a silent partner/enemy in the series.
Now for the aspects I didn’t enjoy as much.
I’m sure budget restraints played a role, but considering the threat posed by Savage, it was surprising Oliver and Barry didn’t call in their other allies A.T.O.M. and Firestorm. You’d figure Ray’s scientific expertise at least would have come in handy. And the gang luckily securing a Betamax tape from a professor with the best way to stop Savage was silly.
While it probably would have been too complicated to the random viewer to grasp, I’d rather seen different actors portray Chay-Ara and Khufu. Renee and Hentschel looked way out of place in Ancient Egypt.
With Barry’s help Oliver confirmed that his ex did have his child. Her refusal to allow Oliver to mention his son to anyone seemed more for the sake of a storyline influenced decision to drive a wedge between Oliver and Felicity than anything else. And while she could make all the demands she wants, Oliver not immediately ignoring her edict and telling Felicity and Thea (she’s an aunt now!) was frustrating.
A major storyline this season has been Oliver’s maturation as a person, not just a vigilante, and this was an odd step backwards in that growth. It’s a little annoying the writers are going back to the Oliver has a secret from the others well yet again after going to such lengths to re-establish the trust bond between Team Arrow. Seeing if this secret will drive Felicity away will prove interesting.
Now, I’m thinking Oliver’s baby mama is in the lead to be that character Oliver is visiting at the grave. All in all, this was another successful Arrow/Flash crossover and hopefully at some point they’ll be teaming up again this season.