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Recap / The Flash (2014) S1 E8 "Flash vs. Arrow"

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Team Arrow comes to Central City seeking a fugitive, just in time to help Team Flash capture a rage-inducing metahuman. Part of a crossover that is continued in the Arrow episode "The Brave and the Bold".


  • Anti-Climax Boss: invoked Bivolo is a complete and utter non-threat physically. Once Oliver and Barry understand how his power works (and calm Barry down), they capture him entirely offscreen.
  • Arrow Catch: In pitting an archer against a speedster, this is bound to happen. But both times, Barry catching an arrow leaves him open to attack from another direction.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Why are the Arrow crew in Barry's town? There's something in the boomerang's alloy that's commonly found here. What is the rare substance in question? Iron oxide, more commonly known as rust. Interestingly, the Arrow crossover episode talks about S.T.A.R. Labs analyzing residue found on the boomerang, completely bypassing the artistic license taken in this episode.
  • Beware the Superman: This episode demonstrates how powerful Barry could really be and also how terrifying it would be for him to go after ordinary people.
  • Broken Pedestal: The Flash becomes one to Iris after his Bivolo-induced rampage.
  • The Cape and The Cowl: This crossover shows that the Flash (The Cape) and the Arrow (The Cowl) operate in different cities against vastly different enemies, and they're different kinds of heroes because of it.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When training Barry, Oliver tricks him into catching an arrow he fired so that Barry will be an easy target for two crossbows hidden, hitting him in the back. A "reverse" of this (the Arrow's cycle shoots two arrows at the Flash in the back, which he catches, only for Oliver to throw (not loose) a flechette through Barry's leg) is how Oliver manages to finally get the upper hand on Barry, allowing Wells and Joe to come in and undo Bivolo's brainwashing.
  • Continuity Nod: A couple to previous episodes of Arrow, and a few others to past episodes.
    • Deathstroke and Huntress are referenced when Oliver criticizes the use of codenames for his villains.
    • Oliver bumps into one of his ex-girlfriends, specifically the one who had his child that he doesn't know about, who is clearly shocked to bump into him after all these years.
    • Felicity asks for Caitlin's help with breaking down a DNA sample from Canary's murder scene.
    • Oliver comments on Barry's mask, after he suggested it to him in the pilot.
    • Enraged Barry's line to Eddie after he attacks him is identical to what he said to Iris when he confronted her about her blog.
    • Wells references the two major terrorist attacks on Starling City that have happened since the Arrow appeared.
    • When Bivolo is being locked up in the Pipeline, Oliver compares it to his prison facility on Lian Yu.
    • Captain Cold is referenced twice; once when Oliver dismisses "silly codenames" and once when Cisco voices that a cold gun to take Barry down sure seems like a good idea now that he's out of control.
    • As it happened in "Plastique", Cisco is a bit too eager to throw a boomerang.
  • Crazy-Prepared: How Arrow always evens the odds against the Flash; when Barry catches his arrow during training, a trap shoots two more in his back. During their fight, the trap makes a return, only for Barry to be ready for it ("Fool me once!"), but Oliver was ready for that and simply hurls a flechette through his leg while Barry is distracted.
  • Credits Gag: During the first cut-away after Oliver shows up, the "Flash" logo is pierced by an arrow.
  • Crossover: Between Arrow and The Flash, both of which air on the CW.
  • Deconstruction Crossover: Both shows have some holes poked in their M.O. by the others' casts. Oliver isn't impressed with how the Flash team isn't taking their job seriously, while some of the Flash characters have a dim view of the Arrow's brutal methods. By the end of the accompanying Arrow episode, members of both casts admit the other has a point.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe, the S.T.A.R. Labs reaction to Cisco's brief Yoda impression.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Iris openly fawns over Oliver and gushes to Barry about how attractive he is.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Oliver will help Barry catch Bivolo. He will not, however, call him a metahuman. He does call Bivolo a metahuman after he and Barry fight, however.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Oliver shoots an arrow "at" Barry, which turns out to be an explosive arrow that works just fine when lodged into the nearby wall.
  • Exact Words: Oliver told Barry to run to the other side of the field and back, and he'd get hit with an arrow. He never said he'd be shooting the arrow...
  • Experienced Protagonist: Oliver, and this is highlighted when he lectures Barry on how the latter should use his Super-Speed more properly. When Barry is struck by Bivolo's Hate Plague and is required to be stopped by Oliver, their respective team members except Felicity (who is close to both and thus more concerned about the situation happening than the possible outcome) have an argument with Diggle invoking this very trope in the discussion.
    Caitlin: I just hope they [Wells and Joe] can turn Barry back before he kills Oliver.
    Diggle: Me, I'll be more worried about what Oliver might have to do to Barry.
    Caitlin: Barry has super-powers, Oliver has a bow and arrow.
    Diggle: Do you have any idea how many people Oliver has put down with that bow and arrow?
    Cisco: Recurve bow arrows can travel up to 300 feet per second, so, like, 200mph? Barry can run three times that fast.
    Diggle: Whatever. Oliver's been doing this a lot longer; my money's on experience.
    Cisco: My money's on speed.
    [pan to a mortified Felicity sitting away from them]
    Felicity: Please tell me you're not actually having this conversation!
  • Eyelash Fluttering: Iris does this when she flirts with Oliver at Jitters.
  • Fanservice: Felicity having to remove her burning shirt is a most memorable case. Cisco's definitely going to remember that...
  • Fish out of Water: Oliver's vigilante methods might work well enough in a place like Starling City, but not so much in a more-or-less normal city like Central City.
  • Foreshadowing: Oliver sensed that there's "something off" about Wells...
  • Funny Background Event: when Wells outs the Arrow's secret identity, take a closer look at Cisco.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Toyed with; Barry accuses Oliver of this, due to Ollie's tough love approach to training him making him think he's hard on him out of resentment. Played straight with Barry's Hate Plague-induced attack on Eddie, whom he still holds some resentment for because he's dating Iris (though in this case, his eyes turn red). Eddie himself is noted to also be at least partially jealous of Iris's Hero Worship of the Flash, which is largely why he pushes to get a task force to deal with him assembled.
  • Hate Plague: Roy Bivolo's power.
  • Healing Factor:
    • Used against Barry because it's fighting the Hate Plague which means it gets bottled up, which leads to some very bad things.
    • Then Oliver expects this after he shoots him in the back with arrows then rips them out.
  • Hero Antagonist: Oliver (and by extension the rest of Team Flash and Team Arrow) becomes this to Barry after he's exposed to Bivolo's Hate Plague, hence the episode's title.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Oliver says that they need to discuss Barry's use of "silly codenames" for his enemies. Barry counters by suggesting that they have that conversation "over coffee with Deathstroke and the Huntress." Although ARGUS gave Deathstroke his and Huntress was an ally of Oliver's when Detective Lance gave dubbed her "the Huntress".
  • Hypothetical Fight Debate: As Flash and Arrow start fighting, Cisco and Diggle start talking about who would win it; with Cisco backing Flash's super speed, Diggle saying that Arrow's experience would trump it, and Felicity not amused that they're taking the situation so lightly. It ultimately proves to be an Evasive Fight-Thread Episode. The argument can be summed up with these two quotes.
  • Idiot Ball: While it is to showcase Barry's naiveté, it is still pretty stupid to look Bivolo directly in the eyes after being told that his power works through the ocular nerve.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Arrow even utters, "I still believe in you, Barry," near the end of their fight.
  • Implacable Man: Barry himself while under the effects of Bivolo's powers; while Ollie is eventually able to restrain him, their fight is almost completely one-sided as everything Oliver throws at him is shrugged off, leading to an almost Curb-Stomp Battle (which isn't surprising given the big difference in their power level). However, Oliver ends up overpowering Barry towards the end of the fight.
  • Irony: The Arrow, a dark and brooding vigilante who has no problem wounding (or killing, if necessary), is on good terms with the Starling City Police Department, while the Flash, who is inherently upbeat, more fun, is very much opposed to killing and will do things like stop and help out someone painting a building, is considered a threat by the Central City Police Department. That being said the Central City police are even less thrilled to have The Arrow in town because he's a vigilante with a body count and want him gone ASAP.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Oliver truly wants to help Barry be a better hero, but his methods are just a bit extreme.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Oliver points out (with crossbow bolts) that there's no excuse for Barry to be caught by surprise by someone setting up traps or other surprises when with his speed he should have plenty of time to scout out an area before confronting his opponent.
    • Also Barry has a series of these while under the Hate Plague. Specifically he points out that Caitlin is treating him like Ronnie, calls out Singh for getting on his case despite the fact that he does his job to the best of his ability, and calls out Joe for putting his innocent father in jail.
  • The Killjoy: Oliver. Amongst other critiques he has of Barry's operation is "giving his enemies silly code names"...which Barry points out the authorities do about Oliver's own rogues in Starling City.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Barry's been encouraging Iris to have a crush on the Flash, even though she's with Eddie. So her disowning of the Flash seems pretty fitting.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Sara's death if you don't watch Arrow. Ditto Moira's.
  • Leitmotif: As the composer of both shows, Blake Neely's able to pit his Flash and Green Arrow themes against each other during Oliver and Barry's fight.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: As promised in the title, the Flash and the Arrow fight when the former is under the influence of Bivolo's powers.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Oliver meets the mother of his (unknown) illegitimate child.
  • Meaningful Echo: Joe tells Oliver at the end "I may not agree with your methods, but I agree with the results", which is what Detective Lance told Oliver once after a rescue of Laurel, cementing Lance as an ally.
  • Mugging the Monster: The two guys in The Stinger who end up trying to mug Firestorm.
  • Mundane Utility: Barry uses his speed to steal Captain Singh's hamburger. The funny part is that he planned to eat it in the office because his boyfriend doesn't want him to eat "junk food".
  • My God, You Are Serious!: When Oliver tells Felicity he's going to shoot Barry with an arrow, she isn't sure if he is joking or being serious.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Caitlin's suggestion for Bivolo's codename is "Rainbow Raider", which was the name the character used in the comics.
    • Caitlin and Felicity mention a color spectrum of emotion while studying Bivolo's powers; the Emotional Spectrum is a huge part of the mythology of fellow DC hero Green Lantern.
    • Flash and Iris both refer to Superman: The Movie when she asks if he has a first name and he asks "What, like Ralph?"
    • Oliver encounters the woman he got pregnant eight years prior, with the child being implied to be Connor Hawke.
    • Flash gets on Eddie's case saying about living the life Barry thought was meant for him. Eddie basically succeeded where his comic book namesake failed, whose goal is to ruin the Flash's life and take his place in history.
    • Oliver's parallels to Batman are given another nod with how Wells tells Oliver that Robert would have been proud of what he had become, a more direct version of the ending of Flashpoint, where Bruce recieved a letter from his father Thomas which presumably contained the same message.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Barry going after Bivolo and therefore exposed to his anger plague, causes him to attack Eddie which leads to the approval of the Anti-Flash Taskforce and Iris heartbroken at her hero.
  • Not Himself: Barry for about half the episode due to being exposed to Bivolo's Hate Plague.
  • No-Sell: Barry pulls a couple, super-speeding up a building and yanking out Oliver's grappling-hook arrow to prevent his escape, intangibilizing out tranquilizers he's injected with, and catching arrows fired from set-up crossbows.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Oliver falls from the top of a skyscraper and fires another grappling arrow that stops his fall about an inch before he hits the ground.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Barry brings Felicity to S.T.A.R. Labs at Super-Speed and her clothes catch on fire. They're tearing her shirt off in a panic just when Caitlin and Cisco walk in.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We don't actually see Bivolo get captured by Oliver and Barry working together. Then again, considering their respective abilities, it would likely be so much of a Curb-Stomp Battle against him it would be more likely a funny moment.
  • Oh, Crap!: Oliver's reaction when he shoots Barry with an arrow full of powerful horse tranquilizer, only for Barry to work it out of his system in seconds due to his speed.
  • Only Sane Man: How the two casts react to one-another seems to be this. Diggle is utterly freaked out by Barry's powers, compared to how Felicity and Oliver were about them, and can't help but ponder certain implications of his powers (namely, how fast does he digest food). Meanwhile, Joe finds Barry's trust in the Arrow sketchy given the fact Oliver has killed many people in the past, just like Quentin Lance over in Arrow did at first.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The Flash's team start noticing something is wrong when generally optimistic and cheerful Barry starts giving several The Reason You Suck and What the Hell, Hero? speeches.
  • Product Placement: Felicity's Bugs Bunny Shout-Out, considering that said character is Warner Bros.' (the show's distributor) mascot.
  • Protagonist Title: The title puts the main hero of this show against the main hero of where this show was spun-off in a Versus Title.
  • Psychotic Smirk/Smug Smiler: A Hate Plagued Barry is fond of doing these during his battle with Oliver.
  • Punch Catch: During the fight between Ollie and Barry, the former catches the latter's fist before putting him in a headlock so Joe and Wells can de-rage him.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Barry gave Oliver dozens of them.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The victims of Roy Bivolo's powers get a set of this.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Oliver warns S.T.A.R. Labs that his enemies may resort to this.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: Much to Barry's shock, this is the role Oliver plays instead of the partnership he was hoping for. Understandable, as Arrow Seasons 1 and 2 demonstrate that's how he was primarily trained and he himself trains Roy. It's unlikely he's used to training people any other way.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Caitlin mentions to Felicity how she's glad that another girl is around.
  • Special Edition Title: To mark the momentous crossover, the lightning bolt running through the title is replaced by an arrow, and the one behind it is green instead of yellow.
  • Stepford Smiler: Barry. Turns out the poor guy's hiding a lot of anger and grief behind that goofy smile of his.
  • Straight Gay: Captain Singh reveals in passing he has a boyfriend, just like his New 52 counterpart.
  • The Stinger: Two muggers apprehend a seemingly-homeless guy...only for the guy to explode into flame, revealing that a) Ronnie's alive, and b) he's got Firestorm powers.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Played with; Joe does not like Arrow operating in his city, believing him to be a lunatic, and his methods are not welcome. Oliver's Starling City is very much a corrupt Wretched Hive on the brink of collapse, while Central City was more like an average city until the particle accelerator explosion. So while Oliver has to be a hardline vigilante out of necessity, Barry is able to bit less cynical and more playful which leads to their conflicting heroic ideals: Oliver wants to stop crime by punishing criminals, Barry just want to help people.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Just as Quentin Lance did at first over on Arrow, Joe West's trust in the Arrow is sketchy given the fact that he killed many people in the past, and is therefore technically a criminal as well.
    • While it is ultimately a tie, Barry all but destroys Oliver when they fight, as to be expected by someone with his powers against a guy with a bow and arrow. The show plays to both of their strength and shows Oliver relying on trickery and catching Barry off-guard, which works to keep him in the fight despite Barry's power, letting Joe and Wells activate the machine to de-rage him.
    • However, Barry's inexperience leads to several humiliating moments for him: Oliver first stuns him with explosive arrows, hits him with a tranq arrow, then actually manages to land a blow on Barry with his bow while Barry was arrogantly dodging. He then hurls a flechette into Barry's ankle, severing his tendon and removing his speed advantage. If Oliver had fought to kill, Barry would have been dead from the start.
    • Barry thinks he can convince Iris that the Flash is not himself when he attacked Eddie, but Iris just completely lost faith in her hero.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While under the effects of Bivolo's Hate Plague Barry is functionally unstoppable and demonstrates new applications for his powers, such as running so fast that nearby objects actually catch on fire, vibrating himself to neutralize a tranquilizer, and performing Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs for the first time.
  • Tough Love: Oliver uses this approach in training Barry.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Caitlin and Cisco immediately conclude that Oliver doesn't have a slight chance against Barry. Diggle quickly makes a point.
  • Unfortunate Names: Iris's implied reaction to the Flash saying his "real name".
    Iris: your name Ralph?
  • Versus Title: And it delivers.
  • Villain Protagonist: Barry becomes this due to the Hate Plague.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Caitlin repeatedly points out to Barry that by constantly involving the Flash with Iris, it's almost as if he's trying to break her and Eddie up. The most apparent is when, directly after she tells him to "stop ruining Iris's love life" and go do his superhero work, he immediately hits on Iris by heavily implying she's the only girl he talks that way about.
    • Wells and Joe aren't happy that Barry is friends with Green Arrow.
    • Felicity delivers a soft one to Oliver because he is reluctant to help Barry with Bivolo even after Barry defended him from Wells and Joe.
    • Barry delivers several of these while under the Hate Plague.
    • Felicity isn't impressed that Cisco and Diggle chose poor timing to argue on who would win between Arrow and the Flash.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Oliver shoots a grappling arrow and ziplines away. Barry runs up the side of the building and yanks it out.