FLASH: SPOILER Review 1×08 – “Flash vs Arrow”

The Flash (1×08) –
“Flash vs Arrow”
Written by: Greg Berlenti and Andrew
Directed by: Glen Winter
The episode opens with Barry traveling the city doing good
deeds, in a very Barry way.  He delivers
flowers to a woman annoyed with her husband, and giving a pair of young
commuters their “meet-cute moment, my favorite was Barry helping painting
that felt so much like this moment from the Johns/Manapul Flash story “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues” below:
At Jitters, Barry pauses (for him, the world seems to be in
slow motion we’ll come back to this) to watch Iris before moving on.
At a Central City Bank, a man walks in and (as Barry will
describe it) puts the whammy on random patrons and bank employees. Each time he
does this, his eyes glow red.  Moments
after he reaches the counter a riot seems to spontaneously erupt in the lobby
and the man uses the distraction to clear out the vault.  Barry arrives but is unable to stop the man
because one of the patrons has picked up the guard’s gun and fired it at
another patron.  Barry puts a large
charity display between the man and the bullet to save him.  Moments later everyone seems to snap out of
Iris is over at Eddie’s apartment, enjoying some
“quality time” with her boyfriend but Eddie cuts it short.  Bringing up that Joe hates tardiness, which
kills the mood.  As Eddie gets dressed,
Iris checks the internet and finds another Flash sighting.  Eddie scoffs and explains he believes in
things he can see and more importantly, he believes in Iris.
Barry returns to the bank out of his suit to help Joe’s
investigation and lets him know what he saw during the robbery while Eddie is
questioning the young woman who nearly shot a man despite her never getting
violent before.
Back at the station, Eddie is talking with Joe and Captain
Singh as he prepares his lunch.  While he
told Iris he doesn’t believe in the Flash, he believes he exists and is a
growing menace to the City.  He wants a
taskforce formed to track down and arrest the vigilante.  Singh is unimpressed and makes a point to
bring up Iris’ blog to not so subtly imply that Eddie is trying to use his position
as a detective to chase after a guy his girlfriend has a crush on.
Barry is waiting outside Singh’s office when Iris arrives
and when Barry tells her what Eddie’s doing she gets angry.  Eddie is angry at being shot down by Singh
and leaves.  Iris declares him jealous
and leaves as well, but before Barry can start to dwell on Iris’ crush on his
alter ego Joe tell him to get to STAR Labs. 
Barry leaves to talk with the STAR Trio, with the Captain’s lunch.
At the STAR Labs, Barry and the trio are trying to figure
out how a lobby full of people can suddenly go from waiting in line at the bank
to WWE’s Money in the Bank for no apparent reason.  Cisco takes a moment to use his Yoda
impression but Caitlin is more helpful; Joe got her a copy of the CAT scans
each person at the bank underwent.  Each
person shows over-stimulation of the emotion centers of their brains, primarily
the area of the brain that acts as impulse control. Unfortunately, she doesn’t
have a theory as to how he does.
Barry receives a message from Iris to meet him as the Flash
and despite Caitlin’s objection to him wedging himself into Iris and Eddie’s
relationship he heads off to meet with her. 
He arrives at Jitters after close and Iris greets him and flirtatiously
asks for his name.  Barry plays it
off.  Iris then tells him that Eddie is
trying to start up a task force to bring him in.  Before the two can flirt any further, Cisco
calls and lets him know they’ve been able to track down the stolen money to an
Joe and the SWAT team are already there but as they try to
arrest the bank robber he uses his powers on one of the SWAT officers causing
the man to turn his shotgun on the other officers.  Barry arrives in time to save Joe and the
other members of the SWAT team but before he can get up the officer is taken
down by a trick arrow fired by The Arrow.
Felicity and Diggle are outside of town, waiting for
Oliver’s return.  She spots Oliver’s motorcycle
but Barry arrives first; treating Diggle to a display of his speed leaving the
man a bit thunderstruck.  Team Arrow is
in Central City tracking down a man who murdered people with a boomerang and
hope that since Central City has an abundance of iron they might find a
lead.  Barry finds this “Cool”
and quickly fills them in on his case before offering them his help in exchange
for theirs.  Oliver is concerned about
his secret identity getting out and refuses, but Felicity is excited to play
with STAR Labs’ equipment again and offers to help on her own.  Barry then rushes her off to STAR Labs.
Unfortunately for Felicity’s wardrobe, Barry forgot about
the friction factor and he blouse catches fire forcing her to discard it, right
as Cisco and Caitlin arrive.   Felicity
shows Cisco the boomerang and he is unsurprisingly excited.  As that pair heads off to test the weapon,
Caitlin fills Barry in on what she’s learned about this week’s villain.  Each person at the bank saw a flash of red
before blacking out so she think he’s triggering the rage via the optic
nerve.  She also informs him that Dr.
Wells wants to see him.
Barry finds Dr. Wells and Joe waiting for him.  Neither man is happy about the Arrow’s
presence in Central City.  Barry tries to
explain that he knows the archer and trusts him but neither man shares his
trust and wants the Arrow gone.
In another part of town, Digg is acting as lookout for
Oliver as he investigates a warehouse. 
Digg’s trying to figure how exactly how Barry’s powers work while Oliver
is more interested in finding the man Barry’s looking for.  When Digg asks why he doesn’t want to help
Barry he replies that he’s just getting Barry a name.
Oliver and Felicity meet up with Barry at Jitters the next
morning with a name: Roy G Bivolo.  Iris
arrives with their coffee and takes Barry aside.  She’s a bit annoyed that he didn’t mention he
knew Oliver Queen and that he’s apparently on her “free three” list
with Eddie.  Meanwhile, Oliver and
Felicity are discussing why he won’t Barry. 
Truthfully, she’s really brow-beating Oliver into helping Barry.  Oliver relents and he and Barry agree to team
up to find Bivolo.
Later, Barry shows up at the warehouse Oliver’s held up at
to train.  The two discuss Barry’s abilities
in the field.  Oliver believes he relies
too much on his speed, instead of using his speed to a greater advantage by
using it to out-think his opponents. 
Oliver then gives him an object lesson in the form of two crossbow bolts
in the back.
Barry finds Joe at the Station and learns that Eddie has mew
ammunition in his fight for an anti-Flash taskforce, the Arrow’s appearance the
night before.  Joe is angry that Barry is
working with the Arrow and that they got their lead on Bivolo from his more
brutal tactics.  Barry argues that
instead of being distrustful of his friend Joe should be thankful for the
results he gets.
At STAR Labs, Felicity and Caitlin are discussing the how
colors can affect emotion and how that might be how Bivolo is triggering Rage in people.  Caitlin wonders if they might be able to use
light to counteract his abilities.  Dr.
Wells arrives and asks to talk with Felicity. 
He explains that he trusts her and the members of her team because they
are known quantities to him but the Arrow is not.  When he asks her to tell him who the Arrow is
and she refuses, he simply says he will have to figure it out on his own.
Barry arrives and he and Felicity talk about his training
session with Oliver before Cisco announces they have found Bivolo.  Before Felicity can convince him to call
Oliver for backup, he races off on his own. 
Barry finds Bivolo in his apartment but is unable to capture the man
when he uses his power on Barry and disappears.
Barry returns to STAR Labs and tells Felicity and Caitlin
about the confrontation before stating he feels fine.  He believes it obvious that Bivolo’s powers
didn’t work on him but when Caitlin presses Barry immediately becomes annoyed
and demands she stop treating him like Ronnie. 
Caitlin storms off but before Felicity can try to convince him that
something is wrong Oliver pages Barry for a meeting.
Barry hasn’t calmed down by the time he arrives at Oliver’s
hideout and the two quickly descend into an argument.  Barry declares that Oliver is jealous of his
powers because no matter how much he trains he’ll never be able to do what
Barry can do.  He leaves for the Police
station and when Singh for a progress report, Barry flies off the handle on
first him and later Joe.  Joe tries to
calm him down but when he tells Barry he’s trying to help him keep his job,
Barry says the only way he can help him is get his father out of jail since Joe
put him there.  Barry sees Iris and Eddie
leaving, his eyes flash red and he threatens Joe before storming off.
At STAR, Oliver’s called Felicity to tell her about his
strange behavior.  Joe arrives and tells
them about his altercation with Barry. 
They theorize that it’s taking Bivolo’s ability longer to work on
Barry.  Caitlin and Wells worry that
since Barry’s been able to suppress himself so long when he finally loses
control he’ll be far more dangerous.  Joe
asks what they can do to stop Barry and Wells suggest that Felicity “call
back Oliver Queen.”
No need to worry about “when” Barry loses control
because at that moment Barry’s changed into the Flash costume and caught up to
Iris and Eddie as they’re driving.  He
pulls Eddie out of the car and begins to alternate between threatening him and
beating him to death.  Iris tries to talk
him down, saying she doesn’t believe he’s capable of murder but Barry’s pretty
much past caring at this point.  Luckily,
the Arrow arrives and distracts Barry long enough for them to escape.
Oliver pulls out some of his best tricks against Barry;
exploding arrows, tranquiller arrows and his grapple gun arrows but Barry’s
simply too fast for him.  He finally
manages to catch Barry off guard and catch him in a choke as Wells and Joe
arrive in a STAR van.  They strobe blue, violet and indigo lights at Barry
and this counteracts Bivolo’s powers. 
Once they see Barry’s himself again, he and Ollie leave to catch Bivolo.
Later at STAR Labs, Oliver is stressing to Team Flash how
seriously he takes his identity and what his enemies could do with that
knowledge before he Digg and Felicity say goodbye.  Felicity asks for Caitlin’s help trying to
find out who murdered Sara Lance and Oliver is disturbed from a brief
conversation he has with Wells.  At
Jitters, Eddie tells Iris he’s got approval for the task force.  When he asks what she thinks of that, Iris is
supportive of him.
Oliver and Barry talk and Oliver advises him to let Iris go.  He tells Barry “Guys like us don’t get
the girl” after a glance at Felicity. 
As Felicity and Oliver go to leave he runs into an old flame.  That night when Barry tries to explain what
happened to Iris she pretty much shuts him down, telling him not to contact her
Under a bridge, two punks attempt to mug a homeless man but
bite off more than they can chew.  The
homeless turns out to be Ronnie Raymond and seems to be able to combust at
This episode was frankly a bit of a letdown.  The crossover was a lot of fun and allowed
them to play out the “hero team-up” and “heroes fight each
other” tropes but it was lacking. 
You might notice I skipped over Bivolo’s capture.  I didn’t, the show did. It went from
“Let’s go get Bivolo” to Bivolo locked up in the Pipeline.  That might be remedied in tonight’s Arrow but for now it felt a bit like an
unfinished thought.
The whole episode hinged on getting Oliver and Barry to
fight and introducing further arc developments but they sacrificed this week’s
story to do it.  Don’t mistake me, the
fight was awesome.  Inexperienced hero
with superpowers versus experienced vigilante without powers… I bet you could
make a movie out of that. 
Also, I really loved how dense in DC lore this episode was,
they introduced the Emotional Spectrum
My Green Lantern fan-side practically squealed at that moment.  And while I was a bit annoyed at how quickly
Iris seemed to turn on the Flash, I’m willing to see how it plays out.  Lastly, it’s about time they gave Eddie
something to do beyond being the too-perfect boyfriend.
All said and done, the Bivolo non-resolution is a minor writing
nitpick that I hope they don’t make a habit of. 
But I have to mark this episode down accordingly.
Three Things We Learned This Week:
Ronnie Raymond is alive and has powers.
Singh has a boyfriend who’s out to make sure he
eats right.
Barry has now shown signs of being to think as
fast as he can run twice.  In Jitters in
the pilot and this week. (See question below)
Three Questions:
Is he doing this consciously or has he noticed
Has Ronnie been alive and awake for ten months and not
told Caitlin?
THE EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM?! Are you kidding me?!
Where’s  Hal?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be petitioning Geoff Johns for a
Flash/CM Punk team-up next season.

Just another guy on the internet.

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