Arrow vs. Flash: Tabloid Style

Last week, everyone got to witness CWs favorite heroes in a two-part crossover that would make Kal-El and Bruce Wayne proud. The Flash and The Arrow banded together to stop both The Rainbow Raider and Captain Boomerang, though found themselves at odds at times. Still, in typical hero vs. hero fashion, we never really get to see who would put who down for the count.

Still, it’s episodes like “Flash vs. Arrow” and “The Brave and The Bold” that make Arrow and The Flash entertaining series and this week saw another exciting turn of events as both series dropped their mid-season finales, but which one did it better? Well, after a spoiler-filled breakdown of both episodes this humble fan will deliver the verdict. So sit back, relax, and let me tell you what happened.

First off, let me say that for its first season, The Flash has been a solid series across the board. Ironically the pacing has been a bit off, I feel, but it’s a show that has delivered on what it promised (a lighter tone than Arrow counterpart, and a more “superhero” feel.) However it’s also offered something you wouldn’t really expect, and that’s deep and engaging side-stories throughout.

Those of you watching know that Barry’s father was sent to jail for the death of his mother when he was a child. This was actually the doing of a yellow-and-red clad speedster, who is obviously an incarnation of the Reverse Flash. Since then, Barry has devoted his life to clearing his father’s name, and though Barry visiting his father in jail is a scene we’re used to, never before has it been this powerful a moment. Father and son tearfully acknowledging everything they’ve lost because of what happened, from Barry’s sense of freedom to Henry Allen’s literal freedom.

The mid-season finale was an emotional episode for Barry. Along with expressing his emotions to his father, the episode also took his relationship with Iris in an interesting direction as he made the “I love you,” speech we’ve been waiting for since Iris first hooked up with Detective Thawne, in a moment that was that nice mix of “kind of awkward, but you can’t look away cause you’ve been waiting for this.” The Christmas backdrop for everything also put an extra emotional point on things, and needless to say, everyone delivered.

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The real meat of this episode though, was the high-speed chase we’ve been anticipating since episode one, as The Reverse Flash came face to face with The Flash, and promptly proceeded to lay a Super Speed smackdown on him and anyone unfortunate enough to step up, and let me just say, the visuals for The Flash have been top-notch so far, but tonight with the Reverse Flash in attendance, they really kicked it up, and while Barry was on the receiving end of quite the beating, it was tame compared to what he did to the shady paraplegic Dr. Harrison Wells. All that and even Firestorm made a save, before taking off in a literal blaze of glory, and of course Dr. Wells was up to some typical tricks by episodes’ end, which can only leave us wondering what he has planned for the second half of the season.

Across the way in Starling, things haven’t been all that quiet either. We’ve been seeing the teasers for some time now. The showdown between Oliver Queen and Ra’s Al Ghul. Season three has been a packed season for Team Arrow. Where The Flash has delivered a show that’s kept us guessing who’s going to appear next, Arrow has been delivering a season filled with one question: Who killed Sara Lance? Merlyn? Roy? Nyssa? Well, we finally have our answer. Oliver Queen did it!

Well, not really, but someone close enough to him genetically that they could pass for him. Here’s a hint. They’re pretty Speedy when they want to be. Give up? Thea Queen, ladies and gentlemen. If ever there was a cerebral comic book television series, this was it! It’s like NCIS for comic book fans. We learned that it was Thea Queen who made the killing shots, much to Olivers’ refusal, but Merlyn, like a true Magician was the mastermind behind it all, in a supreme power play has pit the two people that want him dead against each other–Oliver Queen and Ra’s Al Ghul. Prep game is strong with The Magician.

And of course, what would Arrow be without meaningful flashbacks. We saw even more of the “Katana in China” storyline unfold, as Oliver and Maseo worked more on Oliver’s skill (and stomach) at interrogation, and we saw Tatsu (Katana) in action against China White. Another Easter egg was dropped as well, as Ray Palmer revealed what looked to be a prototype for his own Superhero identity. Though it’s officially dubbed “O.M.A.C,” Ray even admits he prefers “A.T.O.M.” Nice…

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Everything came to a head when our boys went shirtless, and Oliver went toe-to-toe with Ra’s Al Ghul In a Highlander-style battle to the death! The two were pretty equal and for a time it looked like Oliver would walk away with the victory. Until he didn’t. After essentially giving Oliver his final rights, Ra’s sent the vigilante tumbling to his apparent demise, and until return for the second half of the season, there’s no way of knowing how things will play out.

Arrow has been a series filled with one twist after another, and made you question if you can trust every new character–or even the old ones, and season three has been a high-point in a series which hasn’t had a lot of lows. Now, I told you at the end, we’d decide who took it in terms of which series had the better mid-season finale. Which CW Hero did it best this week?

'Arrow' press conference at The New York Comic Con in NYC

Better luck next year, Barry.

And the answer to that…is Arrow! Let’s be honest though, both series delivered show-stopping performances and we’re only half-way through the season for both. Plus, I just slightly prefer Arrow as a whole, but it’s close. That’s just my opinion though. Sound off with your own thoughts on who did it best.