This GIF Explains Everything That Was Great In The ‘Flash/Arrow’ Crossover
Last night (December 3) CTV aired the second part of their epic crossover between “The Flash” and “Arrow.” There’s a lot to unpack in the episode, big character moments, huge fights… But mostly we want to look at this GIF a bunch:
These scant few seconds pretty much encapsulate everything that was great about the two-night event… And here’s why.
In that moment on “Arrow,” a man named Digger Harkness has already killed multiple people using exploding boomerangs. Which would be totally ridiculous if the show didn’t play it straight and make him a legitimate threat. After an insanely well choreographed fight scene involving Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Arsenal (Colton Haynes), the younger archer was knocked clean out.
Ollie’s back is against the wall, Digger throws two boomerangs right at him, and time slows down while The Flash (Grant Gustin) appears out of nowhere, snagging the boomerangs out of thin air and saving Ollie’s life.
It’s not only a well-staged sequence that clearly blew out the FX budget, it also nails the difference between the two characters in a time it takes to, well, watch an animated GIF.
For those who haven’t been watching “The Flash,” you’re — pardon the pun — brought up to speed on what his powers are instantly. You know he’s a hero, he saves people, and he brings something very different to the table than Arrow.
And you also get to see what’s going on with Ollie: that he’s increasingly dealing with threats that are pushing him to his limits. Though he may need super powered help, he’s not going to be happy about it.
So that covers the character arcs the duo proceeded to play out over the course of the episode, but we’re ignoring one crucial element: it’s fugging fun.
A man throws exploding boomerangs at a guy dressed in an archer costume, and only a man powered by lightning bolts can save him? It’s not “The Wire,” but it’s a joy to watch — and sometimes, that’s just as important as making a profound statement.
That’s something that played strongly through both hours, a sense of play, joy and overall reveling in superhero tropes. And it’s something that’s often sorely lacking in the genre, which errs on the side of “grim and gritty” reboots.
Not to get too lofty, but everyone from Marvel to DC itself — in movies, TV, and especially comics — could learn a lesson or two from this crossover.
That lesson? It’s always important to say something about the human condition in your art, but don’t forget the fun. Sometimes, the fastest man alive catching exploding boomerangs to save Robin Hood is as important as showing what loss and tragedy can do to a hero.
Now let’s look at that GIF a few more times: