Before Barry Allen became the Flash, he was introduced in a two part episode of Arrow. When I heard that Barry was going to be played by Grant Gustin, I was cautiously optimistic. I only knew him from Glee, where his character was everything Barry isn’t. I really shouldn’t have been concerned, since the casting on Arrow has been spot on so far. O!M!G! Gustin totally blew me away. He lit up the screen every time he appeared, and he hadn’t even donned the red suit. He brought an effervescence to what can often be a dark series. Not that Arrow is without humor of charm–quite the contrary. One of the best things Arrow ever did was to make Emily Bett Rickards a regular. Her character, Felicity Smoak, came along at exactly the right time, and gives the others perspective and lightens the mood when things get a bit grim.
At the end of the two parter, the accident happens that turns Barry into the Flash. I knew this was a “good” thing, yet I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad. It’s not tragic like the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, but it hit me hard since I had grown to love Barry in only a short period of time.
The plan was for episode twenty of Arrow to serve as a backdoor pilot for The Flash, but the executives must have known that they were onto something special, because they scrapped those plans and ordered a traditional pilot episode.
One of the best moves was to set up “Team Flash” right from the outset. Arrow didn’t take flight (sorry) until Digg, Felicity, et al. became a unit. It was part of Oliver’s learning curve that he couldn’t handle this undertaking (not a pun) alone.
Right from the beginning it was assumed that there would be a Flash/Arrow crossover, since Barry and Oliver are friends–if “friends” is the right word. I was excited by the prospect, but I didn’t want it to happen right away, because I wanted The Flash to find its own way and become its own thing on its own without having to rely on Arrow too much. Once again, I was worrying too much since The Flash hit the ground running. (Again, sorry.) I don’t want the two series to cross over too often for fear it will lose the specialness.
But it was freaking awesome.
All I have left to say is that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had better take it to the next level because “The Flash vs Arrow/The Brave and the Bold” brought it. Brought it hard.