TV Review: The Flash - Season 2 Episode 8 "Legends of Today"
EPISODE 8: "Legends of Today"
SYNOPSIS: Vandal Savage arrives in Central City and sets his sights on Kendra Saunders. After Vandal attacks Kendra and Cisco, they turn to Barry for help. Realizing how dangerous Vandal is, Barry takes Kendra to Star City and asks Oliver and team to hide her until he can figure out how to stop Vandal. However, things quickly go from bad to worse when a man with wings AKA Hawkman shows up and flies off with Kendra. Meanwhile, Harrison develops a serum to make Barry run faster and asks Jay to test it out.
REVIEW: (Beware of spoilers!):
While I have continually lamented the episodes building to next year's Legends of Tomorrow spin-off on both The Flash and Arrow this season, I absolutely look forward to these crossover episodes. With both series developing exponentially more complicated mythologies in their own right, when Oliver Queen and Barry Allen share the screen, it tends to bring out the best in both shows. Tonight's first part of a two episode crossover may just be the best crossover for these series to date and manages to deliver the introduction of Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Vandal Savage in a way that is both organic and exciting to watch.
It all starts when Savage makes his way to Central City to confront Kendra Saunders whom he has been hunting for 4000 years. Previously the Egyptian Shiera, Kendra has been reincarnated 206 times along with her soulmate Khufu. Savage confronts Kendra at Jitters where she is on a date with Cisco. Barry arrives just in time to stop his daggers from reaching their target when Cisco accidentally reveals that The Flash is Barry. Team Flash realizes that Vandal is not a metahuman which leads them to believe his mystical origins will require some help from Star City and Team Arrow. Barry helps rescue Oliver from the grasp of Damien Darhk who is left stunned by The Flash, as is Thea who didn't realize they were allies with the Central City hero.
Barry and Oliver have not teamed up in eight months and quite a lot has changed for both of them. Oliver is now happy with Felicty while Barry is content with his relationship with Patty. While Oliver has been dealing with Darhk and the mystical elements of the League of Assassins, Barry has been dealing with Earth Two and Zoom. Both heroes have embraced the massive changes in their universes but it still has not prepared then to deal with Savage. Malcolm Merlyn makes an appearance to explain that Savage is an immortal while Carter Hall arrives as Hawkman to explain that he must help Kendra realize her powers so they can escape from Savage. Green Arrow and The Flash combine their powers to stop Savage but instead send him back to Central City in search of the Staff of Horus, an object that can help him stop the two superhero foes.
Cisco and Kendra discuss what her fate will mean for her and that she will have to let go of her inhibitions to gain her wings and her powers while Cisco also reveals his meta-human ability to vibe. I do not think that their romance will last long once she embraces being Shiera, but the build-up to her becoming Hawkgirl is quite well done by the writers. Oliver and Barry track Savage to a church in Central City where he finds the staff and battles them. Once Kendra leaps from a tall building and becomes Hawkgirl does Savage relent. The episode ends with Oliver and Barry preparing for their next fight with Savage when Oliver is bumped into by a young kid with a Flash action hero. When he runs off to his mother, we see that it is Oliver's girlfriend whom his mother paid to leave town. That means the boy is Oliver Queen's son.
During all of this, we get a subplot with Harrison Wells and Caitlyn Snow trying to increase Barry's speed to allow him to be on par with Zoom. They devise a serum they call Velocity 6 that will allow a temporary increase in the speed force but need to test it on Jay Garrick, who refuses. When Patty Spivot spots Harrison Wells and thinks he is the Earth-1 version, she shoots him gravely. The only way to save him is for Jay to take the Velocity 6 and remove the bullet in Wells' chest. Jay does and then swears to never take it again, but we can see on Wells' face that either Jay or Barry will need the serum again if they have any hope of stopping Zoom.
Overall, this was one of the best hours of either The Flash or Arrow of all time. It had great dialogue, an entertaining story, and a great development for both heroes and their respective plot-lines while still introducing two new heroes and a powerful new villain that actually feels worthy of either series. Legends of Tomorrow is still over a month away but I am more excited now than I have been to this point. This episode also clearly showed that these crossovers need to happen much more often. If this can work over just two episodes like this, I am convinced that intertwining these series multiple times a season would work as well on television as it does in the pages of DC Comics. I cannot wait to see how this story concludes tomorrow night,
NEXT ON THE FLASH: "Running To Stand Still" airs on December 8th: When Mark Mardon AKA The Weather Wizard returns to breakLeonard Snart AKA Captain Cold and James Jesse AKA The Trickster out of Iron Heights, Barry must stop these rogues from taking overCentral City during Christmas. Meanwhile, Joe and Iris meet Wally West.