Aaaand, after a brief break to celebrate eating turkey while wearing funny hats, we’re back! Here’s what you need to know about Arrow 3.08 “The Brave and the Bold”: First, what you need to know is that the title of the episode comes from a series of team-up books published by DC Comics starting in 1955. The Brave and the Bold is responsible for helping introduce lesser-known character to the world, many of whom would go on to appear in CW’s It’s also when Neal Adams debuted the more “Robin Hood” appearance of Green Arrow. Have I mentioned that The Brave and the Bold is a big deal? Following in the footsteps of that original series, and picking up from the previous night’s episode of The Flash (see Dave’s review for more – ed.), Barry Allen makes a trip to Star City to team up with Ollie. Digger Harkness, aka Captain Boomerang, is in town to wreak havoc on ARGUS after trying to, *ahem*, “eliminate” the Suicide Squad. Did I mention CAPTAIN BOOMERANG??? Lyla gets shot, she lives, Diggle proposes, and she says “yes,” enough said. Before I jump into my review, I want to take a moment and quote something I wrote on my blog shortly after watching both parts of the Arrow and The Flash crossover event: “Like Flash on the Cosmic Treadmill, I was rapidly sent back in time. Gone was the middle aged man with the scruffy gray beard and in his place was a 9 year old little boy with a chipped front tooth and dirty blonde hair sitting on the edge of the couch clutching his Super Powers Collection action figures.” – http://dethpaw.com/flash-bangarang-arrow/ I know that I usually review these shows and try to talk about their literary or psychological parallels in the “real” world. But, I have to admit, this crossover event just hit on so many of what I consider to be the “right” notes. It was fun, it had great action, and, most of all, it made me really believe in superheroes. The tag-line for the original Superman, starring Christopher Reeve, was “You will believe a man can fly.” The crossover did the same thing for me. It made me believe in a modern-day Robin Hood protecting the citizens of his city. It made me believe in a scarlet speedster who can save the day at a moment’s notice. And it definitely made me believe that those two individuals could operate in the same universe, world, country, state or city and everyone is better off as a result. It made heroes real, flawed, complex and believable. I loved every minute. The episode didn’t forgo moving the plot forward in light of Barry’s arrival. Both shows brilliantly incorporated the visuals of the respective characters without either overshadowing the other. Barry remained light, hopeful and excited. Oliver remained brooding, tortured, less “emotionally healthy.” But, it went a step further than just giving the characters the proper treatment. In my notes I wrote “Oliver believes a whole package of lies,” and I was pleased when Barry called Oliver out on that fact: “I think you’re full of crap. Look, you’ve convinced yourself that everything you’ve been through took away your humanity. But I think it’s because of your humanity that you made it through. You wouldn’t have survived, much less come out the other end a hero, somebody who wants to do good, if you didn’t have a light inside of you.” I can neither confirm nor deny cheering when Barry said those words. I will also neither confirm nor deny that the aforementioned cheering sounded like I said “victory over the shadow!” To refer back to Jung, the shadow is our unconscious self. When ignored, or left in the dark, it manifests itself in ways that cause harm. The act of individuation, becoming a whole person or single identity, requires that we assimilate the unconscious, we give it life and bring it into the light. I’ve said before that, unlike Batman, Oliver Queen is not a splintered psyche. He is learning how to be a hero. It was as amusing as it was ironic to watch Barry, a relatively new “hero,” be the one to teach Oliver some very important lessons on heroism. Overall, the entire episode was like watching a cartoon come to life. It was the kind of thing I had always wanted to see when I was a kid. Decades later, I couldn’t be happier. Well done CW, and particular kudos to the cast of both shows. For two nights, you made superheroes a reality. The Good: Corner of (Carmine) Infantino and (Neal) Adams?? Hell yeah! I literally laughed out loud when Captain Lance mistakenly called Barry “Bart.” (This episode was chock-full of Easter Eggs!) Watching Barry climb the salmon ladder was like watching Pac-Man on meth. I loved every second. Once again, the writers take a character whose gimmick seems silly and turns him into a very real threat. Captain Boomerang was INTENSE! Ollie’s costume now has a few Cisco-built upgrades. That makes me feel a little sorry for the villains in Star City. Everything about Cisco was gold. Much like Diggle’s appearance on The Flash, every line Cisco delivered was perfect. He was our avatar to that world. I know I complain about a lack of CCH Pounder, but I do have to admit that Cynthia Addai-Robinson did a fantastic job this week. She absolutely nailed the delicate balance of smart, pragmatic and ruthless demonstrated by Amanda Waller. I won’t stop campaigning for Pounder to get the role again, but Addai-Robinson made me a convert for the Arrow The Might Be Good: As usual, Hong Kong is making things interesting. The flashbacks this season have been somewhat underwhelming, particularly compared to the first season. However, I think we’re getting more of a slow burn and the payoff will come later. The Bad: Somehow, on a show in which John Barrowman is a star, we went an entire episode with a character named “Harkness” without a nod to Captain Jack Harkness (Barrowman’s character from Doctor Who and Torchwood). The Suicide Squad is dead? That better be a red herring. The AWESOME: Oliver to Barry re: being shot by arrows: “You gotta get over that Barry.” Barry to Oliver, re: the Arrow: “That guy is a douche.”  I should note that I’m vastly oversimplifying a very complex psychological process, but the simplified process is suitable for this discussion. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.