Kabooooom Hangout: THE FLASH S1 & ARROW S3 Mid-Season Finales

This week the DC/CW television universe held their mid-season finales. On The Flash, Barry came face to face with his greatest enemy, and on Arrow, Oliver met with his greatest challenge yet. What did we think of how it all went down? Matt and Sarah react to this week’s shocking mid-season finales in our latest Kabooooom Hangout!


[Warning! – SPOILERS for THE FLASH and ARROW – Proceed with caution.]

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Matt: Would you hit me if I said I was actually kind of expecting it? Or if I made a joke about literal cliffhangers?

Sarah: [laughs] I was beginning to expect it once the episode began picking up. But still… wow.

Matt: So… do we want to start with Arrow while it is fresh on our minds? Or The Flash?

Sarah: Let’s begin with Arrow, there’s a lot to discuss there. Then we’ll circle back to Flash, because while it was a good mid-season finale, it wasn’t nearly as monumental as Arrow.

Matt: Yeah. For all the questions in Flash that got answered, not as much seems to have been accomplished. At least, not compared to Arrow.

Sarah: I would like to start by saying that I called who shot Sara. I wish I had been more confident though, I really only mentioned it as an afterthought, but I was right!

Matt: My theory was that Ra’s had one of his people do it because he didn’t want his daughter being distracted by a League member he saw as unworthy, but it seems obvious in retrospect.

Sarah: I figured it would turn out to be Merlyn, maybe using Roy, so it was kind of funny that it turns out he did use someone – it was only Thea.

Matt: I held back on it because I didn’t think they’d be going the Tigress/Cheshire route this soon. Then again, I didn’t think we’d be getting Laurel trying to become The Canary this soon either.

Sarah: Right? Then there’s Ray Palmer whipping out his super suit at the end of this episode and there sure are a lot of costumed crime fighters/bad guys around here.

Matt: And I loved Felicity’s response of, “Why does this keep happening to me?

Sarah: [laughs] She does often say she has a type!

Matt: I almost wish it had been Roy because it would give him something to do. The one big weakness with the show is it doesn’t seem to know what to do with him a lot of the time.

Sarah: And what he does do often boils down to stand over there and pout. Which, I guess, sort of works on The CW.

Matt: I just find it maddening because smart-ass Roy is one of my favorite characters in the comics. If you read Colton Haynes Twitter feed, the dude has that same kind of wit in real life, much in the same way Stephen Amell has a bit of Ollie’s show-off tendencies. And yet, I found it telling that when everyone is saying their goodbyes to Ollie, Roy hugs Ollie whereas Diggle shakes hands. Not that Diggle is a hugger, mind you, but it was a nice touch.

Sarah: Though it was to Felicity he says, “I love you.” I know Olicity fans are going to love that. It was also kissing her that he remembers last before… well… you know…

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Matt: The big cliffhanger? If we’re going to go no-spoiler on that point, I guess I can’t point out the one subtle thing I haven’t seen anyone comment on on Twitter.

Sarah: We can talk spoilers. Was it the 67 years?

Matt: Bingo. Ra’s said it had been 67 years since someone had challenged him to a duel and nobody batted an eye at that. Ergo, Lazarus Pits exist in this universe.

Sarah: Yup. I picked up on that right away. He looks no where near 67! And look how spotless his body is, especial compared to Ollie. And if it’s not an actual pit, then it will be something similar, like some kind of elixir.

Matt: This does beg the question of why Nyssa hasn’t demanded they dig up Sara’s body and bring her back post-haste. Presumably, Ra’s keeps a tight grip on things, but it does also answer the question of just how Merlyn is still mobile. And if Merlyn stole a Lazarus Pit, that would be one more reason for Ra’s to be out for his head.

Sarah: Hmm… good call. But in regards to Nyssa resurrecting Sara, there have been times when using the pits makes people act differently. Which we may get to see very soon.

Matt: I’ll admit that a lot of my desire for Lazarus Pits to be in continuity stem from my desire for Sara to return as Canary and Laurel to be…. not pretending to be Canary.

Sarah: [laughs] Yeah, I could do with a return from Sara, and technically, they’ve kind of laid the groundwork for that to happen. In the comics the pits can resurrect people way dead right?

Matt: Oh yeah! One of the best Ra’s stories ever, in my opinion, had him holding Bruce Wayne at bay by stealing his parents bodies and putting them over a Lazarus Pit.

Sarah: Let’s make a prediction. How soon until Oliver comes back?

Matt: Well, they’ve already said we’re going to get three episodes centering on Laurel’s training… Presumably, they’ll build the drama of Ollie being really and sincerely dead for a bit so they can work that angle. Hopefully, we’ll see some of the other cast during that time. Maybe see Roy having to step in to replace Ollie full time?

Sarah: I would give Roy less grief if we saw him step up into a leadership role, that’s for sure. Otherwise, I hope we see Laurel and the rest of Team Arrow coping/filling the void left by Oliver. Maybe a little Atom in there, too.

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Matt: Hopefully. I must say that Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer has been one of the more pleasant surprises about this season.

Sarah: I was on board with Routh as Palmer from the first episode, and I’ve really enjoyed how they’ve developed him so far. And the Ray/Felicity bits are personal favorites of mine.

Matt: I’ve got to say that typing out some of their exchanges for the Arrow Episode Guides, I’ve been struck by how creepy some of his dialogue comes across as blank text. Has a real 50 Shades of Grey vibe with everything he does to manipulate Felicity, but Routh plays it in a way that Ray comes off as a socially awkward geek who doesn’t know when to reign it in rather than an aggressive jerk. And that’s a hard act to pull off. Even if they have given him a fridged fiancee to spur him into action on Project A.T.O.M.

Sarah: I caught that too, like the casual hacking of her phone. It should be a huge flag, but he’s so charming – and the fact we know at heart he’s a good guy – it’s plays like, “That’s adorable,” instead of, “Whoa. Creeper.

Matt: The dude found out Felicity’s measurements somehow and rented a $10 million dollar necklace for her to wear! That’s a little creepy…

Sarah: The mention of Palmer’s dead wife brings me back to last week’s episode, where Diggle’s wife, Lyla was injured. Really glad they didn’t kill her in the end, but while it was happening I did feel a little like, “Jeez guys, how many other women do you have to kill on your show!?!” I know it’s partially because Arrow does have a significant roster of women characters, but it still hits me as cliche when they’re injured/murdered/etc.

Matt: See, I did like that scene because with the exception of Caitlin Snow on The Flash, who isn’t a combatant at all, none of the women in that scene were helpless. Lyla was fighting back. Even Felicity tried using that flash bang.

Sarah: That is true, and maybe that’s why I find Arrow as enjoyable a show as I do because yes, women are endangered, everyone is, but they’re taught how to deal with it.

Matt: It’s a valid point though, at least so far as Laurel being the perpetual hostage/incompetent fighter. And on that note – Laurel’s subplot in this episode was a real distraction and a waste of Alex Kingston, wasn’t it?

Sarah: It was terribly brief, but I really liked what I saw in their scene at Sara’s grave. I liked Laurel’s determination, and I loved Kingston telling her, “Then you make them pay. And you make them suffer.” It was fierce, and I kind of hope it brings them closer together.

Matt: That was a good moment, but I put that down more to Kingston’s talent than Cassidy’s. But we’ll see. Although that does bring up one of my annoyances about Season 3 in regards to the Lance family. There’s only one character on the show who has had less to do than Roy and that’s Quentin.

Sarah: I had that thought while watching The Flash mid-season finale. I was thinking how excellent Jesse L. Martin has been, and how wonderful his relationship with Barry is and how integral he is to the show. What happened to Quentin? He had great stuff last season.

Matt: And I am not buying for one minute Laurel’s assertion that the news of Sara’s death would kill her father.

Sarah: Same here. I really thought he’d find out in this episode.

Matt: Bad heart be damned. If she was really that concerned about the death of a daughter sending him over the edge, she wouldn’t be contemplating doing what she’s doing.

Sarah: That’s a really good point, because tracking down Sara’s killer could very easily get her killed.

Matt: And she hasn’t even been trying to track down Sara’s killer! Just training with Ted Grant to beat them up. No detective work. No looking at the evidence. She could have been a big help to Felicity on that end. That’s what bugs me about this whole sudden transformation Laurel has supposedly undergone. She hasn’t changed at all since last year! She’s still the same selfish, lying opportunist who was stealing her dad’s painkillers and trying to use her job to get out of a DUI charge.

Sarah: I’m thinking they aren’t taking the time to develop her investigative skills because once Oliver’s death is revealed, all hell will break loose. She may even find out the whole deal of who killed Sara and why.

Matt: Yeah. Maybe with Ollie out of the way they can try… try to steer her out of the funk they drove her into in Season 2. Or maybe Tommy gets dunked in a Lazarus Pit, they run off and go back to their home planet, because they need them.

Sarah: I’m still proud I sort of guessed who Sara’s killer was, but I do think the way they went about it was a bit of a cop out. Thea killed Sara! But not really! She didn’t know what she was doing!

Matt: I just love that Merlyn filmed it. And I’m picturing John Barrowman putting together a Daddy/Daughter Killing Together montage on Windows Movie Maker because I am a sick, sick man.

Sarah: Merlyn would though, that’s just it. Thea is his new doll, who he’ll dress up and have do whatever he wants.

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Matt: One other big shocker I don’t see anyone taking about – Maseo joined the League of Assassins.

Sarah: Oh yeah, and what happened to Katana!?

Matt: Yeah. Not looking good for her in the flashbacks. Especially if her husband says he lost everything and joined the League.

Sarah: I’m hoping that means their kid, though I realize it sounds terrible saying I want the kid to die.

Matt: And I’d hate to think they’d kill Katana off.

Sarah: I’d be really, really upset if they already killed Katana, so let’s hope that isn’t what happened. It’d be such a waste.

Matt: Well, if they actually do bring in the thing from the comics where her sword is a soul drinker, and it took her husband without killing him, then maybe his souless body is running around with the League? Stranger things have happened in the comics.

Sarah: The fact that he’s alive makes me think they won’t go that route, but who knows! We’ve got superpowers and Lazarus Pits (maybe) – anything could happen!

Matt: And that’s the big difference between the finales of Arrow and Flash. With Arrow, all these possibilities have been opened up. With The Flash, things became more limited. They were both good, but Arrow is going forward with more momentum, if that makes sense?

Sarah: Yeah, let’s get to that one big reveal from Flash… Wells is Reverse-Flash? I don’t buy it.

Matt: Well, that is the question, isn’t it?

Sarah: It seems too obvious. And then there’s Thawne, just standing there with that name.

Matt: And Eddie sure seems to be a whole lot more smug about being with Iris around Barry now, doesn’t he?

Sarah: Yes, but I don’t know if that’s related. I don’t think Eddie, this Eddie, knows he’s the Reverse-Flash (if he is). It’s all got to be time travel, which Wells is definitely connected to.

Matt: Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey. Someone had to say it. [laughs] All we really know is that Wells has the suit and he has the tacyhon device. The obvious implication is that he can now use that suit to time travel, do all the things The Man In The Yellow Suit did. And yet, that does ignore the one big million dollar question.

Sarah: How’d he get so fast!?

Matt: No, but that is a good question and we’re presuming he’s fast in the first place. I think he builds the suit to become fast. But then that leads to another question besides the one I was referring to. (I feel like Riddler all of a sudden. All these questions I’m making you guess… [laughs]) And that question is all this futuristic technology? Where did that come from?

Sarah: You mean like his whole hidden room?

Matt: Yeah. My theory is that Dr. Wells is actually T.O. Morrow – a JLA mad scientist whose whole schitck was using his technology to see the future and building that technology today.

Sarah: The Morrow connection is a good one, especially since I can’t think of anyone in DC with the name Wells.

Matt: Oh, well that’s an obvious alias. Harrison Wells. We haven’t heard a middle initial, but the AI of his computer in the secret room is named Gideon. H. G. Wells? Time Traveler.

Sarah: Oh, duh! [laughs] Well then it’s definitely a fake name.

Matt: Or a tribute to trip up the smart asses like me who research every name on the show thinking there’s a meaning to it. But the real big question… If Wells is the Reverse-Flash, why on earth is he trying to help Barry?

Sarah: It was in the first episode we saw he had the newspaper, right? So he’s trying to fulfill the future of Barry entering the speed force and disappearing, but why I don’t know.

Matt: Yeah. The only thing I can think of given all the evidence is that in order for his future to exist, certain things have to happen. And Wells is making sure they happen so that he’ll exist in the first place. Unless… we’re looking at the wrong Zoom.

Sarah: Have there been multiple? I know there are multiple Flashes, so it only makes sense there’d be more Zooms. (I had also forgotten ‘Professor Zoom’ was another name for him, too!)

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Matt: The second Reverse Flash – Hunter Zolomon – his whole schtick was trying to make The Flash a better hero.

Quick backstory for the benefit of the readers who don’t know the modern Flash history as well as I do: Zolomon was a police psychologist specializing in profiling criminal minds. His wife left him after one of his mistakes got his mentor/her father killed. He transferred to Central City to start a new life, became friends with Wally West (the second Flash) and then got paralyzed. He asked Wally to go back in time and stop his life from going bad. Wally West refused. Hunter tried to use the old Cosmic Treadmill in The Flash Museum by himself and… well, it changed him. In addition to fixing his legs, it gave him a rather unique power equal to but opposite from super speed where he could control his position in time at will. Basically, he could move as quickly as a speedster without having to actually move.

Also, Zolomon was created by Geoff Johns… who is working on the show.

Sarah: That’s crazy, but I see how it fits so well with the hints they’ve been dropping. And if he was created by Johns, then it’s probably a given he’s Zolomon.

Matt: Yeah, and now he has a tachyon powered suit. Of course, this also begs the question of how Wells got to the past in the first place? Or how he knows so much about what is going to happen if he’s from the present? For all we’ve learned… we really know nothing.

Sarah: Exactly. The Flash has only left with more questions

Matt: I actually liked the subplot with Caitlin Snow best out of everything going on in The Flash mid-season finale. Danielle Panabaker totally sold it during her speech about “What would I give up for one more minute?” and then later regretting that one minute.

Sarah: She’s going to be an interesting character to see change, because again, she’s another who we sort of know where she she goes.

Matt: Well, in the comics anyway. But she wasn’t Ronnie’s fiance in the comics at any point I know of.

Sarah: Oh yeah! I forgot about Firestorm. That was pretty good looking, their man on fire.

Matt: Yeah, the effects for him were great, but him showing up at the end was kind of Deus Ex Machina. And we still don’t know what his deal is.

Sarah: Very true, I don’t even remember who the other half of Firestorm is right now, but I don’t think we’ve been introduced to a professor of any kind, have we?

Matt: Martin Stein has been cast for some episode down the line. So has Jason Rousch, I think. Of course we have no idea if they’re going to be using old Firestorm mythology, new Firestorm mythology, or something new given that Firestorm’s powers aren’t exactly “man on fire” stuff. So again… more questions than we had before.

Sarah: I was definitely surprised they were going to use him in the show at all, so it’ll be neat to see how they adapt Firestorm.

Matt: And Barry tells Iris how he feels and her reaction is…. well, she doesn’t really have one.

Sarah: I was just trying to think what her reaction is when you said that. She just sort of absorbs it, doesn’t she?

Matt: Tear down cheek but…

Sarah: Still, wait to go Barry for finally telling the truth.

Matt: Well, the truth about his feelings. Not the truth about him being the guy in the red suit she was crushing on, and that reminds of the one thing about Flash that is maddening to me right now. I can see why Joe West would want to keep Iris ignorant about Barry’s secret life, but why the hell does he think it’s important not to tell the other cops that there’s a potential for men with eye lasers to be killing them in the near future?

Sarah: [laughs] Yeah, that would be helpful information, y’know?

Matt: I was half expecting Eddie to snap at him after their little talk when Joe revealed metahumans to him. “So you see why we have to keep this secret?” “No! No, I don’t! I would loved to have known about this weeks ago when that guy with the ice gun was wrecking a train! I thought it was just bad clams making people hallucinate!

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Sarah: Really, all in all, I have to say I’m very impressed with how DC/CW’s television universe is shaping up. They’re pulling from a lot of DC Comics’ lore, playing with our expectations, but also giving fans what they want to see. And it’s honestly making me less excited for their cinematic universe to start going, and I didn’t think it was possible to be less excited for that.

Matt: It’s just Superman fighting Batman. Big deal. It’s been done to death. Arrow and The Flash are showing us new things. They aren’t always great, but at least I don’t know what to expect!

Sarah: Yup! And they’ve taken the time to build to and earn all the characters crawling throughout their shows. Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (winner for ugliest title ever) is just cramming everyone in to one movie for the hell of it.

Matt: But we get Conan Drogo as Aquaman!

Sarah: I lied, I am excited for Aqua-Drogo. It’s not who I’d have picked, and I say this as huge Aquaman fangirl, but I’m interested to see what he’ll bring to it. Then again, there are like a billion other DC shows (unaffiliated with the DC/CW universe) that are in development, so that’s some overkill. Supergirl, Teen Titans, and there was another one I can’t remember now.

Matt: Yeah. Is it bad that I hope some of them aren’t any good? My schedule is already packed trying to keep up with The Flash, Arrow and Constantine. As for Flash and Arrow, I think it’s fair to say that both mid-season finales were good, but Arrow‘s was a little better.

Sarah: Yup. They had more at stake, and you can’t really beat a finale where you kill off your main character.

Matt: The Flash, ironically enough, seems to be moving at a steady pace and has been good more consistently than Arrow has so far this season.

Sarah: You can really tell that Flash is their second show, they worked out those first season kinks with Arrow.

Matt: Of course, Arrow only really started to become great after its first season’s mid-season finale. When we come back to The Flash, Captain Cold returns with Heat Wave and that will be something to look forward to. Plus, Mark Hamill as the original Trickster!

Sarah: I am so pumped for Hamill!!!

Matt: I know! James Jesse is my favorite Flash villain.

Sarah: I can’t wait to see what they’ll have him wearing. All I can think of it this look:

mark hamill the trickster

What did you think of both The Flash and Arrow’s mid-season finales? Who is the Reverse-Flash’s true identity? Is it Dr. Wells as the series suggests? Were you shocked by Oliver’s untimely (though no doubt brief) death!? How will Team Arrow react? Keep the discussion going in the comments!

 

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