Arrow S3 Ep08 – The Brave and the Bold

“The Brave and the Bold” is the second part of The Flash and Arrow‘s two night crossover event and guess what, it has become the second-highest rated episode of the series since the pilot episode premiered in 2012! After fighting each other in “Flash vs. Arrow,” Barry Allen and his team head to Starling City to assist Team Arrow in finding a man who kills people with boomerangs. Yes, that is as ridiculous as it sounds, but you can’t blame them for trying to bring the classic Flash villain, Captain Boomerang, into the fold.

ar308a_0463b

The Arrow vs. Captain Boomerang

Surprisingly, this episode focused a lot of attention on the relationship between Diggle and Lyla. Captain Boomerang (who I will simply just call Boomerang for the remainder of this review) had his own agenda against Lyla and A.R.G.U.S. This leads Team Arrow to try to find him and stop him, but places Diggle in a very vulnerable position. Even with the help of Team Flash, Boomerang somehow proves to be a worthy adversary.

I will say up front that I love Captain Boomerang. He truly is a ridiculously goofy villain that’s always fun to see on screen. Still, seeing him on Arrow, a show so grounded in reality, actually felt out of place. How does a man, who uses boomerangs as his primary weapons, take down A.R.G.U.S. agents with guns and vigilantes with arrows, all while The Flash is there lending a helping hand? Honestly, he should have been taken out immediately when he first comes face to face Ollie and Barry.

While Boomerang wasn’t taken down so easily, the time taken in tracking him down made for some great screen time between Barry and Ollie. I especially enjoyed seeing Ollie get frustrated while working with Barry, as Barry is able to quickly incapacitate criminals before Ollie has a chance to even try. Like in “Flash vs. Arrow” there were some fun meta jokes thrown about (e.g., reference to the Arrow Cave, Arrow Mobile, etc.). There is even a scene were Ollie has to explain the differences between Starling City and Central City to Barry, much like Batman would likely explain the difference between Gotham City and Metropolis to Superman.

The episode also goes into how Ollie uses torture to get information from criminals. Barry, being the hopeful hero that he is, tries to convince Ollie of finding other ways to get these tasks done, which leads to some drama between the two. That was some drama I wasn’t all that into. After Ollie’s torturing skills nearly get Lyla killed, Ollie puts on his “this is all my fault” face. I was happy to see Barry help him through that and basically call him out on his behavior and shut him up.

“The Brave and the Bold” nearly got me very, very angry at the show’s writers. Boomerang is led to The Arrow Cave where he finds Lyla, Felicity, and Caitlin Snow. Lyla gets hit with a boomerang and almost dies. Believe me, I am extremely happy that she lived, but I would have been so angry if she died. Several women have been killed off on this show only to serve as inspiration for other characters to become heroes. Lyla didn’t need to be another Shado or Sara Lance. The silver-lining of Lyla’s near-death experience is Diggle was inspired to propose (or re-propose) to Lyla, which I enjoyed. I’m looking forward to seeing that relationship progress.

ar308a_0130b

Just run and grab him, Barry!

The conclusion of “The Brave and the Bold” saw Barry, Caitlin, Felicity, and Cisco disarm five bombs placed around the city. The Flash having to disarm multiple bombs in different areas has been done before in the comics, but to my knowledge the bombs didn’t all have to be disarmed at the same exact time. I enjoyed the twist on that trope as it allowed everyone on Barry’s and Ollie’s respective teams to be a hero in their own right.

Boomerang fortunately gets caught, but now he shares a prison with Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett). Considering that Bennett will be returning to the show next year, we might see Slade and Boomerang have a team-up.

I enjoyed “The Brave and the Bold,” but not as much as “Flash vs. Arrow.” There were plenty of things I liked about the episode such as the contrast and chemistry between Arrow and The Flash, the humor, and even Nick Tarabay’s sinister portrayal of Captain Boomerang (though, I would have appreciated hearing an Australian accent). On the other hand Captain Boomerang is still too silly of a villain to work in a serious episode like this. I also wasn’t crazy about Colton Haynes’ Roy Harper/Arsenal. He didn’t seem to mesh well with The Flash characters, almost making him feel out of place. Overall, these two episodes were just fun crossover experiments and I appreciate The CW making the effort. Also, the final scene of “The Brave and the Bold” reminded me a lot of the final scene of Rocky III. I’m not sure if that was on purpose, but I liked it.

Next week is Arrow‘s mid-season finale and I’m really looking forward to it. After being teased since season two Ollie will finally go up against Ra’s al Ghul. Watch the promo for “The Climb” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “The Brave and the Bold” in the comments.