‘Arrow’ 3.08 Recap: “Red Is So Much Cooler Than Green”

Part 2 of this week’s big Flash/Arrow crossover continues on the show I don’t usually watch and don’t particularly have much interest to watch, but I’m willing to give it another shot.

In fact, I haven’t watched ‘Arrow’ since the pilot episode, which didn’t impress me at all, so I was honestly a little lost about some of the characters and plot details, many of which apparently carried over from other recent episodes. Here’s what I was able to follow that a fan of ‘The Flash’ will find relevant.

The episode is called ‘The Brave and the Bold’, which is also the title of a Batman animated series. As if Arrow weren’t already enough of a Batman wannabe, the writers (I’m not sure if they’re regular ‘Arrow’ writers or if ‘Flash’ writers stepped in for this one) bend over backwards to make a ton of Bat-references. Flash’s sidekicks Cisco and Caitlin drop by Starling City for a visit, and Cisco is very eager to see the “Arrow Cave.” He asks if Oliver Queen has an “Arrowmobile.” Now, that may just be Cisco being obnoxious, but Arrow does have a very Robin-like sidekick who follows him around, wearing basically the same costume Arrow does but with a reddish tinge. If this character has a name, I didn’t catch it. Is he the Red Arrow to the Green Arrow or something?

In the first part of the crossover, Oliver and Felicity mentioned that they were investigating a killer who uses fancy high-tech boomerangs. That didn’t come into play much in the ‘Flash’ episode, but it’s the main focus of this one. The criminal’s name is Digger Harkness, and he’s a former employee of A.R.G.U.S., which I gather is some sort of Blackwater-like military contractor. Harkness is on a major vendetta against A.R.G.U.S. boss-lady Lyla Michaels, who tried to blow him up after a mission went south. Lyla also happens to be a friend of Oliver’s who knows his secret identity, and the girlfriend of one of Arrow’s other sidekicks. So, when Harkness invades A.R.G.U.S. headquarters on a boomerang kill-spree, Oliver has a vested interest in stopping him before he can get to Lyla.

Because Caitlin worries that Oliver won’t get to the building fast enough, she calls in The Flash to race to the rescue. Just as Arrow “saved” Flash from a situation he probably could have handled on his own, Flash does much the same thing to him here, and makes a big show of protecting Oliver and Lyla while the crazy boomerang guy slips away.

Barry is very eager to team up with Oliver again, and Oliver is very angsty about that again. They trace the fancy boomerangs to a Russian mobster named Klaus Markos. Arrow tortures the guy to make him give up what he knows about Harkness. Barry is horrified by this and argues with Oliver about crossing the line from hero to vigilante. Broody Oliver tells Barry off about how Starling City is a much darker, more dangerous place than Central City, and how naïve Barry just doesn’t understand the reality of this world. In other words, he’s even more of a self-righteous prick in his own town than he is when visiting Barry’s.

Cisco laments, “I remember a world where people didn’t kill each other with boomerangs.” Right on, man. Right on.

Markos points Arrow and Flash to a Russian mobster hideout where Harkness should be. Barry ties up all the mobsters before Oliver can even step in the door… except one, who Oliver shoots in the chest with an arrow. Just as Barry is about to chastise him for murdering people again, Oliver claims that he just hit the guy with a “tranq arrow.” I’d be very curious to hear the physics of how that’s supposed to work. It seems to me that if an arrow sharp enough to pierce through clothing and flesh is propelled into a man’s chest at speed, the guy’s probably going to die anyway before the tranquilizer can take effect. Oliver certainly isn’t shooting Nerf arrows at his victims. Imagine if Rick and the gang from ‘The Walking Dead’ announced that they were using “tranq machetes” on the Terminians. That’s kind of what this feels like.

Anyway, Harkness isn’t at the hideout. This was all a ruse. He anticipated that Arrow would torture Markos, and used that to misdirect and lure Arrow away while he raids the Arrow Cave to kill Lyla. D’oh! Should’a seen that one coming!

Lyla and Felicity try to fend off Harkness, but Lyla takes a boomerang to the chest. Ouch! Fortunately, Barry gets there in time to rush her to the hospital. She’ll be fine. How deep could a boomerang really penetrate?

Flash and Arrow next confront Harkness at a train station. He reveals that he has hidden five bombs throughout town on a timer that will detonate shortly. Barry races off to find them, only to discover that they’re all linked wirelessly and need to be defused simultaneously or all of them will blow up. Barry can’t be five places at once, but he can run back and forth from the Arrow Cave fast enough to get four of his and Oliver’s pals to the other bombs in time for them all to snip the red wire at the same time. Or was that the white wire? As we know, movie and TV bombs only have two wires, and one always needs snipping.

While Barry’s taking care of that, Oliver traps Harkness but holds back from killing him. He sees this as a sign of personal growth.

Cisco dubs the villain “Captain Boomerang.” Everybody’s a captain to Cisco. What supervillain organization hands out this officer ranking so freely? Did Harkness attend Supervillain West Point? Was he promoted from Lieutenant Boomerang?

As a parting gift, Cisco also designs a new costume for Oliver that looks just like his old one, but is supposedly lighter weight and can tote more gear. Oliver installs an extra mannequin in his Arrow Cave so that Flash will have somewhere to put his costume the next time he visits.

Before they say their final goodbyes, however, Oliver brings Barry out to an empty warehouse and challenges him to one more contest to determine which of them is better than the other. The results of this are left to viewers’ imaginations. I imagine that Flash hands Arrow his ass in no time at all.

Obviously, I’m not a fan of ‘Arrow’. While this episode is fine for a crossover and even has some entertaining parts, and I don’t regret having watched it, I’m still not convinced that I need to tune into the show again. However, I do enjoy ‘The Flash’ and will stick with that one.


  1. astroworf

    FYI “The Brave and Bold” was a long-running comic book, beginning in the 1950s. It morphed into a team-up book before settling into a Batman team-up format. After cancellation, it was brought back as a mini-series team-up featuring Flash and Green Lantern. So, the title referenced something other than Batman, but still lots of Batman references may be relevant since Green Arrow began as a Batman knock-off, complete with Arrow car and Arrow cave and even an Arrow plane.

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