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A week without The Flash hurt a little bit. Thankfully, for most of us in the States, we had Thanksgiving to keep us occupied. For the rest of you, hopefully you all found  a way to keep yourself busy. Since the break, the day many of us have all been waiting for has finally arrived. Tonight was the first part of a two part crossover with Arrow. Entitled, “Legends of Today,” this week’s episode introduced some of the comic book universes most iconic characters. Not only that, but it told a great story, developed our heroes some more, and touched upon a subject many of us thought went away years ago.

Before we get things started, this is your weekly warning that this recap/review may or may not contain spoilers from tonight’s episode. So take this moment to think about what your about to do, then look away if you have to.

This week’s episode was a big one so there is quite a bit to take in. With that said, enjoy the show.

Recap

This week’s episode began with the question of how can Barry go faster. Being the scientists they are, Barry has left it to Caitlin and Harrison Wells to try to come up with something. We also jump right into things with the introduction of Vandal Savage. Like being thrown into the fire, we get a taste of his cunning, his martial skills, and his viciousness. This is a man not to be trifled with. We also get a glimpse into the continuing relationship with Cisco and Kendra. It all seems to be a little perfect, that is until Vandal shows up. Thankfully Cisco is friends with the Flash and, with the push of a button, he shows up and saves the day. Of course, Cisco being Cisco, accidentally reveals The Flash’s real identity.

Back at the lab, they begin to analyze the weapon used to attack Barry and friends. Based on the info they’ve obtain, Barry feels that this might be something out of their league. So it’s time to call for some help. In comes team Arrow.

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Per usual, team Arrow is trying to save their city, and just when things look like they’re getting a little dicey, The Flash swoops in and pulls them out of harms way. In what’s probably the best scene of the night, we see that Diggle hasn’t gotten used to being ripped away from situations like that as he throws up. Also, Thea’s reaction to knowing/not knowing that the team is friends with The Flash was one one of the best highlight of the night. “It’s the Flash. Did I know we knew the Flash? We know the Flash. Okay. I didn’t know we knew the Flash.”

At the Arrow HQ, friends get reacquainted as Felcity gets mad at Barry for not telling her about the incident with Zoom. Also, Cisco seems amazed that the place hasn’t fallen apart since so many components seem to be missing. After some other quick introductions, Oliver gets right down to business and quickly begins interrogating Kendra about her current problems. Things begin to get a little heated, but before things get out of hand, Felicity invites everyone back to their place for some drinks.

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During the party, an unexpected guest shows up and Vandal Savage crashes the party and attacks the crew. Savage throws a fan of knives, but Barry is able to catch them…except for one which Savage seemed to precisely throw at Barry. Oliver fires a few arrows into their new friend, but before he could say anything Thea comes out and finishes the job. Savage falls over the edge and to the surprise of many, is no where to be found hundreds of feet below. That’s when Barry and Oliver realize they’re in for something not-so-ordinary and dangerous.

Speaking of dangerous, having heard of Star City’s new guest, Malcolm Merlin has taken upon himself to make an appearance and lend a hand. It seems that he and the League are very familiar with Savage since he’s been alive for so long. Meanwhile, Cisco and Kendra go out for a walk to take break from everything. Their walk looks like it’s going well. Some sound advice from Cisco, and Kendra seems to be taking in everything as well as she can. That all changes when a man with wings comes flying down and whisks Kendra away with Cisco looking helplessly below.

As it turns out, that winged man was none other than Hawkman. On top of some remote rooftop, the man formally known as Carter Hall tries to revive Kendra’s past life as Chay-Ara, an Egyptian princess. Carter Hall is better known as Prince Khufu, and together the two were former lovers who were killed and continuously become reincarnated always destined to be separated and who must find their way back to each other.

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Back on the ground, Oliver and Barry work together to capture Hawkman. Some quick strategizing, and the two are able to capture him and bring him back to Arrow HQ. All chained up, Hall explains his situation. It all seems a little too far fetched, but Merlin is there to help corroborate much of the legend. Cut to the roof where Barry, Oliver, Carter, Kendra, and Cisco have gathered to try to for the emergence of Chay-Ara. According to Hall, the only solution if for Kendra to jump from the roof. The brush with death should awaken her spirit and her wings. The idea seems crazy to the two scientists, but after many years of experience, Hall is convinced that his plan will work. And surprisingly, Oliver is willing to go along with it having seen his share of the unexplained.

The first try didn’t go as plan. Before anything could happen, Barry raced towards Kendra and carried her back to the rooftop. Although, Kendra didn’t emerge as Chay-Ara. Carter thinks something may be “blocking” her from doing so. After pulling Barry aside, Oliver questions him about his possible issues. It seems that Barry is having a hard time coping with all of the new things he’s been experiencing lately. Could this be what is preventing Barry from reaching new speeds? Is he “blocked” himself?

After his encounter with Barry and Oliver, Savage went into hiding, most likely planning on how to better his odds against them. Merlin believes that he is in search of an item known as the Staff of Horace. With the staff comes great power, and the ability to kill Hawkman and the soon-to-be Hawkgirl. Oliver realizes that the staff may be in Central City and the two set off to find it.

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The heroes find Savage inside a church already with the staff in hand. The three begin to fight and things begin to look bad for the Flash and the Green Arrow. The fight takes a quick turn as Kendra takes another leap of faith to try to awaken her inner spirit. Her attempt is successful and Savage feels it. He blows the church up but Barry and Oliver are able to escape before any harm is done. Unfortunately, Savage gets away.

Review

Tonight’s episode was a lot of fun to watch and pretty much lived up to the expectations of what the trailers teased. There was plenty of action and plenty of story. What more could you ask for? The best place to start is probably from the beginning. So let’s talk about Vandal Savage and what he brought to the show. For those of you who don’t know, Vandal Savage is one of DC’s biggest villains. What makes him so powerful? For the most, he’s immortal. And that’s the biggest reason he’s so smart and why he’s such a master with weapons – because he’s had so much time to perfect his craft.

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What many of you may not know is that the show has taken some creative liberty to change the origins of Savage. While it’s nothing like the comics, this origin works and is fine for the television. The reason why it works is because without some advanced knowledge about comic lore or some research, you’re not really going to know about the real origins of Vandal Savage. The connection that Savage has to Hawkman and Hawkgirl works well and allows the story to flow. In a nutshell, it makes things a little bit easier. Also, can we talk about that introduction? It doesn’t get any more savage than some brutal murders. That coat must weigh a ton, but it just comes to show you how strong the man is.

Looking past all of the characters and guest appearances, tonight’s story was well told and brought up some very good angles and questions. A big issue that they explored was Barry’s conflict over what he perceives. Remember, Barry is a forensic scientist. So his approach to things is very analytical. A few episodes ago, he made this powerful speech about how he and his friends are scientists, journalists, and police officers. Their jobs are to test theories and be able to prove things from a scientific approach. However, subjects like Vandal Savage, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and magic are all out of his league. So it’s really great to see him and his friends take on these kind of problems. By forcing him out of his shell and accepting the impossible should grow his character. From there it could open the door to other elements that the show can feature.

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Poor Cisco. The guy just wants someone to love. Now that he’s finally landed the girl of his dreams, it turns out she’s actually been in love with someone for thousands of years. It’s a real bummer and you genuinely felt sorry for the guy tonight. While it’s a long shot, and most likely won’t happen, you have to hope that this opens the door for him and Lisa Snart. Although, it would probably be considered jumping the shark if these two ever got together.

One of the worries going into tonight’s episode had to have been Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Adding wings to someone and allowing them to fly on television is quite a hefty task, especially when you want it to look good. A lot of times, the end result is cheesy and can take away from the whole experience, story, and characterization. Overall, though, it looked good tonight. Basically, it didn’t look like a high school drama production. Also, the man formally known as Carter Hall was great. Played by Falk Hentschel, this version of Hawkman looked and sounded like the real deal. That’s not a slap at Michael Shanks who played the character on Smallville, but this guy fit the mold a little bit better. Remember, this is just one person’s opinion.

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Some Final Thoughts

This is, by far, the best crossover yet (even though there has only been two), and the best part is that it isn’t over yet. This just covers the Flash side of things. Something that needs to be mentioned is that this whole thing is a special event. Simply put, there isn’t a whole lot of time to do everything. That being said, it was nice that they were still able to get Caitlin, Wells, and Jay Garrick involved even though they didn’t have a major role in the scheme of things. Det. West and Patty even had roles, and Iris showed up! Also, it was a lot of fun seeing the “personalities” of the show mix now that Arrow has taken a lighter approach to things like on The Flash.

At the beginning of the show, they touched upon Barry not being able to run faster, and they questioned what could be getting in the way. A great example of how everything comes together is how Kendra’s powers came to fruition. In the end, it’s probably what Barry needs to do if he wants to go faster.

Oh, and about that ending. While it would be wonderful to discuss, that’s more of an Arrow thing. So we’ll have to leave it up to Adam to cover that subject. But don’t think we didn’t see it!

Legends of Today” overall grade – A

There isn’t a preview for the next episode, but here’s a look at the continuation on Arrow:

Category: reviews, TV

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