Episode Title: All Star Team Up
Original Airdate: 4-14-15
It’s been a little while since the last crossover, so it’s nice to see the return of Felicity Smoak and the introduction of Ray Parker also known as the Atom here in Central City. And as I haven’t been watching Arrow, I’ve brought in fellow writer here at Channel: Superhero Jeffrey Lyles, our Arrow correspondent to share his thoughts on the episode from Arrow’s perspective. But as for my own thoughts, there was a little bit of television trope tension involving keeping secrets and the tensions that creates between friends and lovers, and it never ends well. But other than that, there’s a lot of fun to be had throughout the episode which is one of the reasons why I love this show so much. There were a few rocky patches, but overall there was much more to enjoy than there was to criticize.
The villain of the week involved some robot bees, but what was most important was the return of Amanda Pays as Christina McGee. I still can’t get enough of how much this show honors the original TV series, and she was able to give Barry an important clue to what happened to Dr. Wells that we as an audience already know. The villain was again one of the weakest points of the show, I wasn’t very fond of how Barry couldn’t get away from the bees, nor at the end could he quickly handcuff the Bug Eyed Bandit to the chair in the first place. I also didn’t much care for either the built in defibrillator in his suit, the fact that it was burnt out for the second run through, or the static electricity defibrillator he gives to Cisco at the end. The only thing I liked about her, was the subtle honeycomb pattern on her outfit.
But as is usually the case with this show, the villain of the week isn’t the most interesting part of the show. Instead, it’s about the relationships between the characters, and I for one relished the introduction of Ray Parker’s Atom. As I mentioned, I have not been watching Arrow so it was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed his naive rich nerd exuberance about everything. He obviously gives off a Tony Stark vibe, at least when Stark is nerding out with Bruce Banner and without the darker elements of his personality or the playboy qualities. He just brings a playful joy to all the science stuff that completely fits with the tone of the Flash and makes me really look forward to the proposed spin-off featuring him among many others.
The real heart of the drama section of the story this week is how to deal with secrets. At the end of the last episode, Barry and Joe let Eddie in on his little secret, but this week Eddie has to deal with the ramifications of keeping that secret from the only person on the show who doesn’t know the Flash’s secret identity and is also supposed to be an investigative reporter. And Eddie is not a very good liar so it causes some real friction with their relationship. This is another fault that I have with the show, as it’s always such a tough subject to keep the supposed love interest in the dark about something as big as this over the course of a full season if not several seasons, and the longer that secret is kept, the more tension has built up. It rarely ends well, and the end is rarely handled well. Barry is also struggling with keeping the secret that Dr. Wells is the Reverse Flash from Wells himself as well as Cisco and Caitlin. There’s the added struggle that Barry has when he has doubts on which side of the fence the two of them will land on. We also get to see that Cisco is having flashes of the changed timeline where Wells came out to him as Thawne only to then kill him. And before I hand it off to Jeffrey Lyles here, I just have to mention that the opening of the episode was an absolute blast to see Barry, Joe, and Eddie really revel in the Flash’s powers and how they can use them to stop mundane crime with ease.
Sometimes, Felicity and Ray’s more lighthearted antics and banter don’t flow with the more serious tones going in the other subplots on ‘Arrow’ so it was fun to watch them with more like-minded folks like Cisco and Caitlin.
Unfortunately their timing was awful as Team Flash was in the midst of some serious angst as Barry wasn’t sure who to trust, Iris and Eddie were arguing and Wells was just generally acting shady. Still, we did manage to get some fun moments like Ray and Cisco naming The Bug-Eyed Bandit (which made sense as BEB is an Atom villain), Felicity geeking out over Ray being like “Dating Barry in Oliver’s body” and being excited at having a computer tech evil version of herself to battle.
The timeline for the visit seemed a bit off though as Felicity wasn’t showing any signs of questioning her feelings for Ray and there was no mention of Roy in jail over the Arrow manhunt. It’ll be interesting to learn when this episode was set in regards to ‘Arrow’ continuity.