It’s the most wonderful time of the year, kids! That’s right! It’s time for the two-night event that all the superhero geeks adore most, the annual Flash/Arrow Crossover! And what a spectacular it was this year! Heroes Join Forces helped lay the final groundwork before Legends of Tomorrow launches in January and it did so in a huge way as it introduced that series big bad, Vandal Savage (played by Casper Crump); one of the said Legends, Carter Hall, aka Hawkman (played by Falk Hentschel) and sees Kendra Saunders (played by Ciara Renée) take flight as Hawkgirl. Part One kicked off with The Flash episode, “Legends of Today,” which saw Savage arriving in Central City and then promptly murdering the captain of a ship he had stowed away on, several members of the ship’s crew and a police chief. These murders put him on Barry and Joe’s radar as they investigate his handiwork. Barry doesn’t have to wait too long to find Savage as the immortal villain sets out to kill Kendra right away. Luckily, Savage goes after her while she is on a date with Cisco and he is able to call in The Flash for a quick rescue. The Flash saves Cisco from a knife thrown by Savage, and later, while examining it, realizes it is similar to the weapon used to commit the murders on the docks. Barry also determines that the blade is centuries old. Realizing that he’s going to need help protecting Kendra because there is something mystical about Savage, Barry enlists the assistance of Green Arrow and his team in Star City. But some distance isn’t enough to keep Savage from his prey, and he tracks Kendra down to Ollie and Felicity’s apartment and brings the fight to our heroes. After he is beaten back, Cisco comes clean with Barry and everyone else about the vibe he got from Kendra in the previous episode where he saw her with wings. Then, out of nowhere, Malcom Merlyn shows up to (almost too) conveniently provide some much needed details about Vandal Savage and his past. When Kendra and Cisco step out for some fresh air, she is abducted by Hawkman. Once they are safely away, Carter tries to get her to remember their past lives as Priestess Chay-Ara and Khufu. Hawkman tangles with Green Arrow and Flash as the two mount a rescue attempt, and he proves to be a formidable foe for both the Battling Bowman and the Scarlet Speedster. In the end, Barry takes him down with his newly acquired projectile lightning and when Carter comes to, he fills in the rest of the gaps that the teams need. He reveals that he and Kendra have been reincarnated throughout the centuries, and Savage has always been there to kill them and grow more powerful with their deaths. Malcolm alerts our heroes that Savage has left Star City to retrieve the Staff of Horus, a weapon from the Hawks’ past that he can use to take the good guys down. As Felicity does a search for the Staff, Carter attempts to get Kendra to remember who she really is. The only way to do that is for her to take a swan dive off a building to get her true self to emerge, which she is able to do eventually. Meanwhile, Ollie hits on the idea that Kendra might have been drawn to Central City initially because that is where the Staff of Horus is located. Green Arrow and Flash find Savage after he has located the Staff and they learn firsthand just how powerful a weapon it is in Savage’s hands. What happens next? That you’ll have to find out by watching Part Two, which is Arrow’s “Legends of Yesterday.” Like I said, this entire event was amazing, especially the way the two episodes flowed together perfectly. There were story elements in play in Part One that pertain solely to The Flash though, such as Harry trying to increase Barry’s speed so he can finally be a match for Zoom. Harry, with the help of Caitlin, develops an enhancement called Velocity 6. I am presuming this speed serum is a prelude to Velocity 9, a drug that was developed by Vandal Savage during Mike Baron’s run on the late 1980’s Flash comic book (the series that featured Wally West as The Flash) and which had dangerous side effects for its users. We also got to see the return of Jay Garrick (played by Teddy Sears) who reluctantly must use the drug to save Harry after he is shot by Patty Spivot (played by Shantel VanSanten) who mistakes him for Earth-One’s Harrison Wells. While we have some forward movement on some plot point for The Flash, there are also story elements from Arrow at play and that might be a problem for some people. When Barry first reaches out to Team Arrow, they are in the middle of a fight with Damien Darhk (played by Neal McDonough) and his ghosts. Also, at the end of this episode, an old wrinkle from Arrow is revisited as Ollie begins to suspect that he has a son by a woman who had left him at the insistence of his mother before the child was born, and that is going to have serious repercussions on Mr. Queen in Part Two. While the perfect, seamless blending of these two episodes is a real treat for fans of both shows, I am afraid it might leave viewers who only watch one series (most likely The Flash) and not the other (most likely Arrow) confused and wondering what is happening at times. I must add that there were a couple of things that bothered me about this episode. First, for a bunch of masked superheroes, no one seems really concerned about maintaining their secret identities. First, Cisco outs Barry as The Flash to Kendra and then everyone on Team Arrow unmasks for her all too easily. Another issue I had was the way Patty is used to put Harry in danger. Once the damage is done, Joe is called in and dismisses her with no explanation regarding how Harrison Wells can be alive or why his presence is being kept secret. It’s just one of those things that is needed to be done to move the story along, but really could have been handled better. Hopefully they will address that in the next episode. While there are things to nitpick about, there is much to be excited about regarding this episode. We got a great introduction to both Vandal Savage and Hawkman and the fight scene between the heroes was just amazing. Plus, we got the chance to see the partnership between The Flash and Green Arrow grow and deepen in this episode. There is a keen sense of Ollie being a big brother to Barry, and it is a good dynamic. At the same time, by comparison, we get to see that Barry has become his own man and his own type of hero since the first crossover. All things considered, my final score on this particular episode, taken on its own merits, is a 4. 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