TV Review: The Flash – Season 1 Episode 8 “Flash vs. Arrow”

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

EPISODE 8: "Flash vs. Arrow"

SYNOPSIS: In the first episode of a two-part crossover event, Oliver and Barry turn against each other after a new meta-human brings out Barry’s angry side.

RECAP (Beware of spoilers!):

What a fun start to the two-part crossover event of ARROW vs. THE FLASH! We have had mini-crossovers before, particularly with Felicity Smoak traveling to Central City, but nothing of this magnitude. For those viewers who have not seen an episode of ARROW, do not panic. You will not be lost by any of the major plot points. This episode does stand-alone in THE FLASH universe (though I hope everyone plans to watch the other crossover episode tomorrow night on ARROW).

Because THE FLASH and ARROW are so different tonally, it was entertaining to see the two shows come together – especially Oliver’s no-nonsense stoicism vs. Barry’s goofiness. It was also interesting that the show presented the different sides of heroism: The Flash’s clean reputation (until the dark Flash took over) vs. Arrow’s bloody history of killing criminals. Though both have the city’s best interests in mind, their heroic legacies and reputations are already so different.

Of course, the whole big crossover event concept is not new, especially in the comic book world, but the writers came up with a great idea to get the two heroes to fight it out: a villainous meta-human that is able to create uncontrollable anger in people (even Barry). Although the character was completely underdeveloped, his powers did create a great catalyst for the Arrow vs. Flash battle royale. It all starts with a bank robbery. Roy G. Bivolo (aka Prism) breaks into a bank and uses his super power to make everyone else in the building extremely angry so they turn on one another. One woman almost shoots someone, but Barry jumps in and disrupts the bullet. Thanks to the distraction, Prism gets away with $500,000.

Back at S.T.A.R. labs, the team investigates CAT scans from the people Prism affected at the bank. The scans show the emotional centers of the brain are overwhelmed, particularly in the area of executive function. This means people begin acting impulsively and destructively; contact with Prism is making the emotion of anger uncontrollable.

Meanwhile, Eddie is busy trying to get the police captain to allow him to create a task force that will bring The Flash down. However, the captain is not ready to divert resources to this mission, especially with the recent crime sprees. Not to mention, he doesn’t find The Flash to be a public menace. Barry hears about Eddie’s idea and tells Iris, who then gets extremely angry. She wanted Eddie to believe in The Flash like she does, but didn’t want him to create any drama. Iris messages The Flash and when the two meet up, she warns him about Eddie’s task force idea (though Barry already knew). As they are talking, however, Barry hears that the police traced Prism's location so he heads to the area.

Before Barry is on-scene, Joe and a few other officers move in to take Prism down. However, Prism uses his powers to influence one of the officers who then shoots at Joe. Barry rushes in and saves Joe and the other officers from the bullets, and when Prism reloads his gun to fire again, two arrows shoot him. Oliver Queen has arrived! As it turns out, Oliver, Felicity and Diggle were in Central City to investigate a mysterious homicide. A boomerang, containing remnants of iron oxide, was found at the crime scene, and since Central City has a surplus of iron oxide, they came to investigate. After much persistence from Felicity, Oliver and Barry agree to join forces. They will take down Prism and solve the boomerang case together, though Oliver refuses to use the term meta-human.

At first, Joe and Dr. Wells do not trust Arrow (who they will later find out is Oliver). They feel he will be a bad influence on Barry because in the past he killed his enemies (though he doesn't any more) and in the time since he started working in Starling City, there have been two terrorist attacks. Coincidence? Their feelings are cemented even further when Oliver uses violence, an arrow in the leg of a security guard, to get information about Prism. Barry defends his friend, and even starts to train with Oliver, Rocky-style. Oliver wants Barry to learn to prepare more for his battles instead of going in blind (Exhibit A: the battle with Captain Cold on the commuter train). To illustrate his point, Oliver tells Barry he is going to shoot him with an arrow. When Barry thinks he won the exercise by catching it, two more arrows shoot him from the back. Barry wasn’t as prepared as he thought. Thank goodness for super healing.

Facial recognition technology warns the team that Prism has been spotted in a residential location. Again, Barry goes to check it out… alone. There, he starts to fight Prism but makes the mistake of looking into his eyes. Prism uses this opportunity to give Barry “real anger”. At first, Barry seems okay. In fact, he even goes back to S.T.A.R. labs and Caitlin doesn’t see anything wrong with him. As time begins to pass, however, Barry’s personality starts to change and he becomes increasingly agitated, yelling at Caitlin, Oliver, and the Captain of police. Now Joe and Dr. Wells have to put their ill-will towards Oliver aside because they need him to help get Barry back.

Just as Iris is telling Eddie to stop with The Flash task force because she knows he’s a good guy, an angry Flash storms through the car and pulls Eddie out onto the street. A horrified Iris looks on as the Flash starts attacking Eddie for bringing about the task force (and probably for dating Iris as well). However, thanks again to the facial recognition software that somehow identified Barry under the mask, the S.T.A.R. labs team finds his location. In what seems like a prelude to BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN (gadgets vs. super powers), Oliver shows up to save Eddie and start the fight with Barry.

Like all of us sitting at home, Team Arrow and Team Flash make predictions about who will win in the fight. Diggle thinks Oliver’s experience will help him, whereas Caitlin and Cisco point to Barry’s super powers. Of course, Felicity doesn’t choose a side. When the fight begins, Oliver shoots Barry with an arrow and tries to wrap him in the attached rope. However, Barry uses his super speed to drag Oliver down the road. Oliver manages to get away, but the fighting continues. When one man looks like he might finally beat the other, the tides change. Oliver is finally able to hit Barry with an arrow to the leg, which gives Joe and Dr. Wells enough time to expose Barry to Caitlin’s cure for the psychosis, flashing lights and colors that offset Prism’s red light.

Now back to his old self, Oliver and Barry team up to capture Prism and put him in the Pipeline. As the episode ends, however, we are left with some plot points that are going to have a major influence on both ARROW and THE FLASH as the storylines progress. Following the Flash’s dangerous behavior, the police captain approves Eddie’s task force. This means, Barry will have to seriously look over his shoulder from now on. The fight with Eddie also completely lost Iris’ respect and trust in the Flash. What does this mean for her blog? Will it become anti-Flash? Additionally, Oliver confirms our suspicions about Dr. Wells, declaring something untrustworthy about him. Oliver also advises Barry not to pursue Felicity or Iris anymore; guys like them don’t get the girl. On ARROW’s side, Caitlin agrees to work on DNA from Canary’s murder case to help find the killer. Then, a mysterious woman from Oliver’s past comes into the coffee shop and the show wants us to think she may have Oliver’s love child. (Edit: Thanks to JoBlo user Mjones4690 for the reminder… this woman is Oliver's ex-girlfriend, who Moira Queen paid to leave town after she became pregnant with Oliver's child. The yet to be named character lied and told Oliver she had a miscarriage, so he has no idea what is about to come to light.)

Even though the fight between Barry and Oliver was technically a tie, I can’t see Oliver being able to compete with Barry in the long-run. What do all of you think? Who would win in a fight, Oliver or Barry? Let me know in the comments below!

STINGER: Caitlin looks at a picture of her “deceased” fiancé Ronnie. However, little does she know, Ronnie is still alive! Two robbers find that out the hard way when they go to rob a man under the bridge. They think he is going to be an easy target because he is shaking really badly. But when they make their move, Ronnie erupts into flames and goes after them.

DC UNIVERSE EASTER EGGS: Roy G. Bivolo (yes, Roy G. Biv…like the colors of the rainbow) was actually called the “Rainbow Raider” in the comics. While he was called “Prism” tonight, Caitlin gives a nod to the Rainbow Raider moniker towards the end of the episode.

COOL ALTERNATE USE OF “THE FLASH” POWERS: Who knew Barry would use his super powers to turn into the Hamburglar? He also was able to shake out the tranquilizer Oliver shot him with, and shook a doorknob lock at super speed to get it to open.

FAVORITE QUOTE: With all of the STAR WARS excitement this past week, I guess I have to put Cisco’s Yoda impression here, right? When Dr. Wells says, “Anger. Hate. Aggression,” Cisco takes the opportunity to say, “A Jedi craves not these things.”



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