It turns out she’s a lot more than that in this jaw-dropping episode which shows Wells and “Snow” desperately working to develop an enhancer for Barry’s connection to the Speed Force while Barry brings in Team Arrow to help fight off Vandal Savage, a new and extremely dangerous enemy.
What would you do if someone came up to you and said, Hey, we're magical immortal lovers reborn into new bodies, wanna fly? Well, if you're Kendra Saunders, you jump off a building. I'm guessing this two-part crossover with Arrow is going to be the last we see of the Cisco/Kendra relationship, which has been cute and low-key. It was fun to meet Kendra, incredible to see the birth of Hawkgirl (and it does feel appropriate that Cisco at least gets to name her) and I loved the moment when Kendra finally took aloft. I think her wings are understated yet undeniably present–a great way to show her powers. Still, there's been this feeling of forced-ness to the dating between her and Cisco which I'm happy to see the back of. There already seems to be more chemistry when she looks at Hawkman. Maybe if they'd taken Cisco/Kendra's development more slowly, and made more of a character thing out of it, but basically Kendra learns who the Flash is meets the Arrow meets Carter Hall dumps Cisco and flies.
Hawkgirl is a hero with an amazing history on comics and in animation; this is the first time, I believe, she's been live-action. I'm looking forward to seeing how they develop the character for this iteration; so far I'm loving Ciara Renee, who has this aura of both innocence and conviction at the same time. She'll be a cast member on the upcoming show Legends of Tomorrow, along with her male counterpart. I hope Cisco will find occasional kisses elsewhere.
Vandal Savage is a freaking awesome bad guy. He's got magic, he's got weaponry, he's got it all. It's the mystical side of him which makes Barry call in Team Arrow; the two teams have a lot of fun scenes catching up (including one very special scene between Oliver and Barry which I'll talk about in just one little minute.) Is Barry right that Oliver's more experienced with magic? I guess so. At the same time, I think there's aspects to the Speed Force which make it seem like more than just a result from a particle accelerator explosion. Still, I loved Oliver and Felicity on this episode. I loved having Felicity/Cisco and Barry/Oliver both have moments of figuring out their relative genius/hero boundaries. Arrow folks are going to want to take note of some interesting character bits with Thea; she seems to be maintaining if not increasing her levels of aggression. The weakest part of this plot and this episode IMHO were Malcolm and his people appearing out of nowhere to give Barry and the rest mystical warnings about Savage, then standing around imperiously. Can't he text? Regardless, I can't wait to find out what Savage does with the Eye of Horus, which is a huge weapon for an already overpowered Big Bad. Maybe Malcolm can do something useful at that point, like be bait.
Am I alone in thinking Wells is developing a crush on “Snow”–or at least vying for her attention with Jay? Their working relationship is definitely building and the characters play off each other all right. The subplot tonight shows Wells desperate to help Barry. The problem, he claims, is Barry’s not fast enough; Zoom is three to four times faster. It’s great that Caitlin is the one who has the answers for Wells, and takes the lead in developing the enhancement formula, but I hated the rest of this storyline because of what it wound up doing to Patty. As usual, she’s been doing awesome things and getting dumped on. Patty catches a glimpse of Wells and tracks him back to STAR Labs, shooting him in the process. When the remaining team members show, Joe simply kicks out Patty. And Patty walks out with her head turned in sad shame?!?!?! WTF? I felt this was close to abusive... and Patty's starting to look like a dog that's been kicked. If Joe hadn't kept stuff from her which she arguably had earned the right to know, Wells wouldn't have been shot.
Caitlin's depending on Jay Garrick to save Wells-2; the serum works on Jay, and he gets back at least part of the Speed Force in order to remove Patty's bullets. I'm left wondering about Jay, actually. I'm sort of okay with his dropping in and out, although I keep wondering what the heck he's doing with his time in our dimension if he's not helping the team (and who knows, maybe that'll be a plot point soon) or flirting with Caitlin. I feel like the show is developing very naturally the rivalry between him and Wells-2 and there's going to be a heading-off between the two characters at some point. They end with a sort of détenté, with Wells silently not agreeing to not give Barry the formula. But with Savage still out there, and Zoom still out there (this is the second episode he's not been seen) it might be Barry himself who's begging for Velocity-6 before too long. Oh, and then Jay goes off again, because even though he's arguing with Wells-2 about the serum... there is no way I can finish that sentence which makes sense; I don't get why Jay keeps going off. If he hates Wells-2 and worries about Barry, he should be there.
Oh, and that moment I mentioned? It's probably nothing, but Oliver basically told Barry how happy Felicity made him and how perfect everything was. If you watch Arrow, you probably know why this makes me worry. Also, while I'm trying to focus mostly on the Flash crew here–Oliver met a little boy tonight and saw a woman who is extremely familiar to him. I'm betting son. Fatherhood's been a theme on both Arrow and Flash lately.
Flashes of Insight
When Savage attacks Kendra and Cisco initially, Barry comes rushing to save them. When he succeeds, Cisco accidentally blurts out Barry's identity. The way they treat Kendra after this is sort of infuriating when you compare to how Joe's been treating Patty. When you compare Kendra, who’s just getting to know the team, with Patty, who’s not only dating Barry but fought side-by-side with the Flash, you can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with Joe. Is it really down to losing Eddie and not being willing to risk another partner?
Thea and everyone else are having identity discovery fun too. It's almost a theme.
When Flash finds the Arrow team, he interrupts a beautiful fight between Oliver and Damien Darhk's respective gangs as Darhk tries to steal chemical weapons from Argus.
Barry's high-speed sketching skills. It's like watching one of those YouTube videos of painters doing portraits.
When Savage attacks and Thea actually somewhat overpowers him, appearing to maybe kill him, Oliver goes nuts. I think he's more reacting to Thea's aggressiveness than anything else, though. Savage could easily have killed them all.
I didn't like Hawkman/Carter Hall. He seems bossy and petulant.
During the fight between Hawkman and Arrow/Flash, Barry really impresses Oliver with the step-up in his powers and abilities. And yet Barry really respects Oliver's experience and abilities. I love how these two share the screen sometimes.
The little boy at the end is carrying a cute Flash doll, and Jitters is serving Flash drinks.
Felicity: "Felicity, the magnetic-arrow gag will never work." Yes, it will, my love, because I am really smart. And guess what, Oliver. It did work.
Oliver: Felicity, honey, it's a little hard to fight with you doing that in my ear.
Felicity: Oh, I totally forgot that this is an open line. Keep doing what you're doing. Make smart decisions.
Carter: These people cannot protect you from Savage any longer.
Oliver: Do you know who Vandal Savage is?
Carter: In every lifetime, he hunts us down and kills us. He's done it 206 times, and I'm not planning to make it 207.
Diggle: Why does he kill you?
Carter: His life force is tethered to ours. Every time he kills us, he becomes more powerful. You do the math.
Cisco: You're 0 for 206, and you still think you're her best bet?
(Note: I think Cisco has a point here. He has armed supervillains and fixed superheroes. Now he's an actual metahuman...)
Five out of five. I look forward to Arrow/Flash crossovers because, unlike crossovers for many many other shows, these tend to work. And this episode kept me on edge throughout. Don't forget to watch Arrow for the sequel and a little extra Flash this week! Apparently the sequel to this episode is titled "Legends of Yesterday." (Link here!)
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