The Flash Review: “Flash Vs. Arrow” (Season 1, Episode 8)

Those of us counting down the days until 2016’s big superhero showdown, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, have been blessed with a fun, satisfying superhero team-up to tide us over. The only difference is, it takes place on the small screen, and comes in the form of an Arrow/Flash crossover titled “Flash Vs. Arrow.”

When Arrow gave way to a Flash spinoff, we knew that crossovers were in the cards. After all, the whole point of creating a shared universe is to allow some storytelling overlap and character cameos. We’ve had our fair share of that so far this fall (Felicity has already shown up on Arrow, Oliver Queen showed his face in the Flash pilot, and even a villain like the Clock King made the jump from Oliver’s stomping ground to Barry’s home of Central City), but “Flash Vs. Arrow” is our first full-fledged crossover, and it’s the first of a special two-night event. Tomorrow, Arrow will host an appearance from Barry Allen in “The Brave and the Bold.”

Despite the two-night runtime, the first part of the crossover is a highly self-contained episode of The Flash and actually stands pretty well on its own. Other than a few bits of Arrow storylines that won’t make sense to those who don’t tune into The Flash‘s sister series, this outing felt very much like a Flash episode, and not a contrived amalgam of the two. Considering that The Flash is the better of the two shows at the moment, I was thankful that the episode kept all of the series’ little quirks and sensibilities; it was always abundantly clear that Oliver and company were guests on the series and they were given just enough screentime to keep the episode focused on the Flash characters.