TV Show Review

TV Review: ARROW: Season 3, Episode 8: The Brave & The Bold [The CW]

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The CW‘s Arrow The Brave & the Bold TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 3, Episode 8: ‘The Brave & The Bold,’ was the (next) inevitable meeting, between The Arrow & The Flash, since spin-off velocity was achieved; and it actually did both series a service. It scuffed some of the polish, on the visiting team, while knocking some of the crust off of the hometown hero. Of course, it wouldn’t be a rare superhero team-up without a friendly contest; but more on that later – there was crime in the air!

Boomerangs, specifically. Digger Harkness, aka Captain Boomerang (Nick Tarabay), was an odd twist on a recent Arrow trend. Instead of a source villain destined for the Suicide Squad, he was a former member, out to avenge his compromising. Compromising, in the Squad, often meant a bomb going off in your head; so he may have had a legitimate gripe. While her ARGUS service (including that Squad policy) may have driven a wedge between Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) & Diggs (David Ramsey), Cap Boomer’s payback campaign made their non-marital status more than just a running gag.

Fresh off of The Arrow’s (Stephen Amell) trip to Central City, where crossing paths with the local Scooby Gang didn’t have too much bearing on this episode, Team Arrow suddenly found itself hosting, in kind. Something about an assist on the Sara investigation added up to road trip crashing the Arrow Cave. Even if the ratio was a little off – a Cisco (Carlos Valdes) & Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), to one Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), and no Team Flash equivalent to Roy (Colton Haynes) or Diggs – Capt. Boomer proved formidable enough to justify the Scooby gang-up.

– Or, maybe he was just hard up for real competition. He took his fight directly to ARGUS, where the security guard didn’t bother to call in Boomer’s bad login attempt. No, he just leaned into his own death – and a bad boomerang pun. I assume time spent with archers was the reason Diggs seemed to be the only gun, on hand, that knew how to avoid neolithic weaponry. Even The Arrow & Arsenal (is that official? I heard a Speedy reference made to Roy, later on) had some trouble. Good for Boomer; better for The Flash (Grant Gustin).

Barry Allen made good use of his powers, for much of the episode; but that wasn’t what rubbed Ollie the wrong way. A difference in World view (between Ollie & Barry, on one side, and Lyla & Diggs, on the other) led to a hawk on hawk convo, that pretty much framed the episode title. Boomer getting one over on both Scooby Gangs, however, got him a measure of revenge.

Lyla didn’t seem to learn from her first boomerang fight. Boomer was better with his weapon, than she was with hers. Of course, he could’ve pointed out that boomerangs don’t run out of bullets; but he settled on another !#%*@ pun. He curbs that habit, and he might actually make a good baddie, some day. With vengeance now in the heroes’ sails, Barry got a sobering up close look at what it took to get things done, in street level Starling City.

Hammering home that point, was Hong Kong Ollie’s latest grooming session – this time under Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), herself. Waller wanted to head off a bombing, and used a captive-in-the-know as an opportunity to get Ollie’s hands dirty. I can see where the Waller Years might’ve contributed to The Hood’s reign of terror; but for The Arrow, his dressing down of Barry, in the context of Hong Kong Ollie’s hard lesson, seemed like a regressing of his character. Sure, compared to Barry, he’s Dick Cheney; but Arrow has been about his transition from vigilante, to hero. Playing the V card, to make Barry play his H card more wisely, just seemed like a step back. I guess it wouldn’t be a cross-over, after all, if their respective outlooks didn’t clash.

I still don’t buy Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Waller. She continues to pack all the presence & menace of a Shinobi Lord’s secretary. Maybe her Spartacus diploma will count (should the show actually give her a reason to get her own hands dirty) towards a more favorable comparison, to the New 52 version; but I’m not terribly fond of that one, either. I liked the Waller that could intimidate without any physical prowess.

With Barry bummed, Cisco took over the bright side of the street. I’d just as soon wait for Barry to get over his scolding. Cisco did seem to assume the voice of the fanbase community, however; among other things, forcing Felicity to make it official: they never call it the Arrow Cave. Not ever. He also took the time to address the different approaches to the respective series: street level realism vs Superpower hijinx. Can’t say I was altogether impressed with his offering; but I thank him for playing the game, all the same.

Besides Cisco’s Comicbook Guy insights, ‘The Brave & the Bold’ attempted to blend the two stylings, for the climax. They may have to do a few more of these, to work out the kinks. There seemed to be a degree of self-consciousness to it – as if extra lengths were gone to, just to make sure both shows got their due. The Arrow pulled his punches with Boomer, for Barry’s sake, while Barry literally pulled both Scooby Gangs together, to save the city from Boomer’s get-out-of-town insurance measure.

Unless the bombs were rigged to trigger when moved, The Flash could’ve simply collected them all, bundle the right wires together, and single snipped. For that matter, I don’t see why he couldn’t just knock Boomer out, as part of his crowd clearing stunt – that Boomer stood idly by for. Well, everybody got to contribute, Diggs was spared losing another loved one to a Squad member (in favor of a life long sentence), and the titular heroes got to part ways as better protectors of their respective turfs.

Given the nature of Ollie’s turn, on Barry’s turf, and Ollie pulling rank, on his own, there was something of a turf war, that needing settling. A friendly contest was arranged between the pair, for the closer; a contest that may have been in the making, dating back to the very first teaser for The Flash.

The outcome? C’mon. These team-ups never settle that question – there’s money in keeping the respective fanbases rabid, y’see….

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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