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Crossover Plot Makes Flash, Arrow Bit Players on Own Shows

By Craig Wack | TV | December 3, 2015 |

By Craig Wack | TV | December 3, 2015 |

The CW network superhero spinoff show Legends of Tomorrow will premiere in a about six weeks, hopefully by then the cast members of that show will stop slumming around on The Flash and Arrow.

The future cast members of Legends have been cropping up on both shows throughout the first half of this season. Mostly, those appearances have been welcome, who didn’t like seeing Captain Cold show up or Sara Lance return from the dead?

There have been some clunkers, too (looking at you, new Firestorm) but this week’s Flash-Arrow crossover plumbed new depths backdoor pilot insanity by laying out the backstory of Legends’ antagonist, Vandal Savage, and new heroes Hawkman and Hawkgirl, while relegating the title characters to the sidelines of their own shows.

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It’s doubly a shame because last year’s crossover was handled so well by making Ollie and Barry better heroes and better people by the time the episodes were over. The best that can be said about this year’s edition was that it had so much other stuff going on there wasn’t much time for Lawwrel (which is always a good thing).

The main plot mainly involved how the universe is going to great lengths keep Cisco from getting laid. How else can you explain how a budding romance between Cisco and the cute barrista Kendra can ultimately involve immortal Egyptians, reincarnated soulmates with bird wings and Barry traveling through time again?

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The scant scenes where Team Flash and Team Arrow actually, you know, teamed up were breezy and fun. Thea delivered solid one liners about the Avengers and Indiana Jones. Felicity showed more of the personality that made her a fan favorite in these two episodes than she has in a calendar year. Unfortunately these moments were all too often interrupted so we could watch Kendra and Carter stand is a pasture talking about repressed memories.

The side story during Arrow where Ollie discovers he has a 10-year old son and, thanks to the miracle of time travel, decides to twice lie to Felicity about it, was a development worthy of being more than a footnote in this episode, especially considering it adds two names to the list of potential people in that grave at the end of Arrow’s season premiere.

Both shows have a lot brewing right now, but both also haven’t found a consistent storytelling rhythm because of detours to set up the spinoff. Here’s to hoping that next week’s midseason finales set up exciting story directions for Flash and Arrow that leave the Legends of Tomorrow baggage in the past.

For discussion of other comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Pajiba commenter Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes.

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