After taking a night off, Arrow's not just back this week, he's pulling double duty. The first part of the super-hyped CW comic-book crossover, ”Flash vs. Arrow," aired last night and, as the title suggests, it was more of a superhero showdown than a partnership. The Flash still has a lot to learn. Thankfully, Part II, “The Brave and the Bold,” is another opportunity for the Green Hood to teach the Red Streak a few crime-fighting lessons. Oh, and it’s also a venue for even more nods to the DCU...

”Flash
”About Last Night…”
One of the first things I spotted during the trip to Central City on Tuesday night was a Palmer Technologies sign. That company is really growing. Also growing is the CCPD's belief in and contempt for the Red Menace. Iris finally managed to get Detective Thawne to accept the impossible and then the insufferable boyfriend immediately asks Captain Singh for a task force to take down the Flash. And presumably the rest of the the S.T.A.R. Labs crew.

Team Flash gets a little assistance from Team Arrow this week (kind of essential for a crossover), which is perfect timing since the latter knows a thing or two about being hunted by the police. See Season 1. Oliver, Diggle and Felicity provide the new crime-fighters with more than just advice; they're also able to get the villain-of-the-week's name. Well, Bad-Barry is the villain-of-the-week, but I guess Roy G. Bivolo (or Chroma) deserves some of the credit. Caitlyn calls him the Rainbow Raider, while Cisco prefers Prism. Makes sense, since the show's version kind of combined the two.

Oliver and his bag of tricks eventually turn Bad-Barry good again and then the dynamic duo (sorry) make short work of Bivolo. Several other villains were name-dropped during "Flash Vs. Arrow," including Captain Cold, Deathstroke and the Huntress. Even mirakuru and the island got shout-outs, as did Arrow's super-max prison. The biggest twist, though, came in the coffee shop when Oliver ran into the girl he cheated on Laurel with, and we find out that she decided to keep the child. That, or Ronnie re-appearing and bursting into flames. That was good, too.
”Arrow
Hot Shots! Part Deux
Just like the title of the crossover's first part (well, mostly the 'Vs.), "The Brave and the Bold" also has a long history in DC Comics. The episode opens with Team Arrow already back to work in Starling City, and that means Arsenal gets to go on the adventures. I guess he doesn't travel. The lead doesn't pan out as our heroes hoped, as they encounter a bunch of A.R.G.U.S. agents instead of the bad guy. Time to turn to Lyla for help. And to Hong Kong for a life-lesson.

I was a little surprised that the crossover event included flashbacks, since conventional wisdom suggests putting the two heroes on-screen together as much as possible. For better or worse, the decision to have "The Brave and the Bold" cut to the past did make it feel more like a typical episode of Arrow and I won't complain about getting scenes with Cynthia Addai-Robinson 's Amanda Waller. She's an exemplary Mockingbird and leaves big shoes for the big-screen version to fill. It's okay, DC is thinking big. Waller manages to work in a nod to the Amazo before returning Oliver's (and our) attention back to China White, the flashback's central (but so far absent) villain.

Captain Boomerang is this week's (very much present) villain, and he was much more formidable than his silly name suggests. He was even a member of Waller's Task Force X or "Suicide Squad." And since Lyla tried to kill him, he's back and looking for vengeance. Good thing Caitlin and Cisco were already visiting the Arrow Cave (not to mention inquiring about the Arrow Mobile) and could call Barry to come help the Arrow. Forget The Flash, they should call him Justin Time. Sorry.

Cisco is able to lead the supergroup to a guy named Klaus Markos and, after a quick detour through Captain Lance and Laurel (where the former calls Barry Bart), he leads them into a trap. I told you, this Digger Harkness guy is good. And, if you didn't catch it, one of his misdirections was a stop at Infantino and Adams. A nice nod to two giants in a giant episode. Finally, Barry tosses out a reference to Multiplex when he's trying to figure out how to diffuse five bombs at once. His solution is pretty rad. I can't wait for the next time the two teams get together. Oh well, back to their separate super-shows.

Arrow continues with Episode 9, “The Climb,” next Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW. Created by Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, the DC Comics inspired series stars Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes, Paul Blackthorne and John Barrowman.

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