The following was written for Culture Fly
A ‘fangasm’ is when a fandom gasps in ecstasy. The Flash-Arrow crossover episode, ‘Legends of Today’ will cause members of the Arrowverse fandom to have climaxes so joyous, they’ll be left wanting more.
The episode is successful on three fronts. One, it sets up The Legends of Tomorrow TV show. Two, it hits every crossover beat and then some, and three, it maintains the Zoom storyline. Throw in some one-liners, a John Barrowman and Neal McDonough cameo, and ancient Egyptian superheroes and The Flash presents a bonkers hour of television.
Vandel Savage (Casper Crump) arrives in Central City hellbent on tracking down Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renée). However, Kendra is dating Barry’s (Grant Gustin) bestie, Cisco (Carlos Valdes), so Savage’s pursuit makes him cross paths with the Scarlet Speedster. Believing Team Flash need help protecting Kendra, Barry calls in a favour with Team Arrow and everything hits the fan in that special splash-page way.
With the shows being tonally different – Arrow being the self-serious older sibling to The Flash’s fun younger brother – they don’t make for the easiest amalgamation. However, the tonal clash is used for character conflict as the classic heroism of the happy-go-lucky Barry clashes with the do-what-it-takes pragmatism of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). The scene where Kendra is forced to find her wings shows this clearly as Barry itches to save her, whilst Oliver is okay with letting her fall.
But the ‘fangasm’ moments don’t come from the conflict, although the characters trading one-liners will make people smile, but from the heroes working together. Oliver using a lasso arrow before Barry uses his whirlwind arms and a lightening sucker-punch to take down a foe, can’t help but make your muscles contract. Everything great about superhero stories is present and correct from the slow-motion knife catching to hammy villains, fans will get everything they want and more.
The casting department should be given a huge shout-out for not just achieving cast chemistry on one show but achieving it across two. Gustin is able to blend into Team Arrow with ease and Emily Bett Rickard’s Felicity has always had great chemistry with Team Flash.
Elsewhere, away from the superhero spawning, Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and Caitlyn (Danielle Panabaker) are developing Velocity-Six, a drug that should make Barry run faster. The Flash has never been afraid to have its smart characters do smart things and it is great to see two characters stare at a computer screen and talk about oxygen molecules. Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) started off strong but he’s devolved into a boring, cautious character that needs to lighten up. Nothing against Sears’ performance, its just that Garrick is so serious he’s become boring.
Where as last year’s crossover was a self-contained story, with almost too much going on, it’s not a surprise that this year’s crossover is being stretched over two episodes (tune into episode eight, season four of Arrow) but this leads to a weakened whole as an ending remains evasive.
The Flash part of the crossover will have fans ‘fangasming’ hard.