Episode Title: Heroes of Today
Original Airdate: 12-1-15
I wonder if this will be planned to be a yearly-ish thing for Flash and Arrow to have their big crossover episode around midseason finale time. Or at least a couple episodes before midseason finale since there’s at least one more new episode of the Flash to come out next week. Not to mention that this episode, at least the first half of it feels more like the biggest part of the prequel to Legends of Tomorrow than any other episode to date. I mean, it’s even called Legends of Today, you can’t get much more clearer than that. But it was still a very fun episode that brought a lot out on all fronts. It was interesting for me to watch since I still haven’t been watching Arrow so the last time I caught up with them was the last time that Barry caught up with them.
As I’ve noticed in the past, many episodes have a bit of a Buffy-esque theme/allegory/double meaning to them. Not that Buffy started that trend, it’s just most well known for it, and a show that I’m quite familiar with. But this episode really was just about the action and the set up for Legends of Tomorrow. We get to meet the villain of the new show Vandal Savage, we also get to see Hawkgirl spread her wings for the first time, and we learn what their whole connection to each other is. But for the most part, this episode just felt like a lot of people popping up out of nowhere. Vandal Savage pops out of nowhere about three times during the episode, there’s the League of Shadows a couple times, Hawkman scoops up Kendra, and even Jay Garrick gets to have a moment after being gone for several episodes.
Aside from all the Legends of Tomorrow buildup, there is a little bit of momentum for the fully Flash-centric storylines. Patty gets a good look (and a good shot) at Earth 2’s Harrison Wells which means that she’s going to start asking questions and won’t be able to take “I’ll tell you later” for an answer. Also, Harry and Caitlin are able to create a usable version of Velocity 6, something that Harry had been working on unsuccessfully on his own in Earth 2. It’s a synthetic drug that will allow Barry to tap into more of the Speed Force in order to multiply his speed for a short time, which in theory could give him the edge over Zoom when the two of them get together again. It’s also so disappointing that Jay has had so little screen time. As much as I enjoy Harry, I greatly preferred Jay’s presence in the show and would really like to see him return.
As far as Vandal Savage overall as a villain, he seems equal parts overpowered, yet somehow uninteresting. He just pops up out of nowhere, yet has been alive for ages. The only context that I’ve ever been aware of him as a character was in the animated movie Justice League: Doom and I didn’t care for him much there either. He also seemed to acquire a speech impediment once he gained the Staff of Horus that I either didn’t notice during their first two encounters, or it just wasn’t quite as pronounced. Time will tell if he’s interesting enough to carry on as the villain for an entire season. Here’s to January!