TV Recap: Arrow, ‘The Brave and The Bold’

Written by Marisa Carpico

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Arrow/Flash Crossover Part 2 – The Brave and The Bold

Night two of the epic The Flash and Arrow crossover event was just as good (I’d argue better) as the first part. While my fellow recapper went through the episode character by character, I don’t think Cisco and Caitlin can bear the weight of close examination. So, let’s go through the big events instead.

Captain Boomerang was awesome!

Man, Arrow knows how to make a villain. While the tag at the end of the last Arrow episode teasing George Harkness was kind of lame, the combination of Nick Tarabay’s menacing performance, the character’s propensity for extreme violence and the fact that he was after Lyla made for a pretty compelling foe for Team Arrow. Add to it the fantastic, very comic book-y 5 bomb climax (we’ll get to that later) and I’m already hoping we get to see Captain Boomerang again.

Roy and Cisco were fun!

Roy has mostly been eye candy this season and Cisco needs to be obliterated off the face of the earth, but both characters were surprisingly fun this outing. Arrow has a better handle on how to use its ensemble than The Flash and both characters were used just right here. Roy’s sort of bemused annoyance at Barry zipping around was my everything and for the first time ever, I found Cisco’s horny fanboy act amusing.

Lyla and Diggle are getting married!

These two crazy kids. You could tell they were meant to be when they had the exact same flabbergasted reaction to seeing Barry’s powers for the first time. This is a good development for our beloved, Mr. Diggle, as the Central City folks kept calling him. Let’s not forget Diggle started this show in love with his dead brother’s widow (yikes!), so it’s nice to see he’s going to possibly live happily ever after with his kickass spy wife and adorable child. Though it was touch and go there for a while. Lyla got more screen time in this episode than she has all season so I was sure she was dead when she took a boomerang to the chest. I’m glad she gets to live on and thus allow me to vicariously live out my dreams of marrying John Diggle, everyone’s ideal husband.

Oliver and Felicity already act married!

These two were engaged in some pretty shameless flirting in Part 1 and that continued here. It doesn’t quite fit with the fact that the previous Arrow episode ended with Oliver wrecking the Arrow Cave because he saw Felicity kissing Ray Palmer, but I’ll allow it. Who needs continuity when watching these two make eyes at each other is so enjoyable?

Oliver isn’t dead inside!

The subject matter for the episode was pretty heavy–certainly more complex and fleshed out than Barry’s repressed rage story in Part 1–even for Arrow. The show has spent endless scenes questioning Oliver’s murderous streak, but never his propensity for torture. Barry started hounding him about it in Part 1, but it really took center stage here, even driving the flashbacks. There was a great argument between the heroes in which Oliver accused Barry of living in a cartoon world filled with permanent sunshine and Barry chastised Oliver for using his traumatic past to justify being a a-hole. Both solid points, but I’ve got to side with Oliver, The Flash is too happy and bright and I distrust its twee optimism on principle. Still, I like that the discussion made Oliver question his lower than dirt self-esteem issues. Barry (echoing Sara last season) is right in saying that there’s a light inside of Oliver that makes him a good man and the guy needs to just accept that already. And really, any dude who can get Felicity Smoak to fall in love with them couldn’t be totally worthless.

5 bombs? No problem!

While “Flash vs. Arrow” sort of felt like it wasted having all these characters in the same room just so they could act out a typical comic book nerd argument about which hero would win in a fight, “The Brave and the Bold” made use of all these people milling about by planting bombs all over Starling City. Fast as Barry is, he couldn’t simultaneously cut the wires on all bombs at once (Harkness rigged them so if one was disarmed, they would all explode), so he zipped Roy, Felicity, Cisco and Caitlin to each location. It was a great, very The Flash kind of set up, but it worked here even if it wasn’t quite Arrow’s usual tone. Though I have to wonder why nobody’s clothes burst into flames like Felicity’s shirt in Part 1. Don’t Arrow fans deserve nice things too? Roy’s startled ambivalence about being zipped to some back alley without prior warning almost made up for his lack of nudity.

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By day, Marisa Carpico stresses over America’s election system. By night, she becomes a pop culture obsessive. Whether it’s movies, TV or music, she watches and listens to it all so you don’t have to.